Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quick update!

We made it! So far so good, even got to feed them a bottle! They are still officially under the care of the foster home but soon we will be IT for taking care of them! So here they are...still in their foster home duds and not too sure of us but....we are doing just fine. Now if someone could get me some hot water life would be perfection :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wheels Up!

Ok this is new...blogging from my iPhone! I'll keep it brief but we are on the first leg of our journey. These past few days have felt surreal, jammed with prep and full of 'lasts'...last jog together just the two if us, last quiet meal in front of the TV watching an old 'Sopranos', etc. But as my wise friend Stacey said, soon our lives will be full of firsts!

I will try to post some from Ethiopia, but Internet can be fickle at best!

I'll leave you with a pic from the DC airport with all our bags...the duffels are stuffed with medical supplies, clothes and blankets. The orphanage fund ended up with about $5,000 and we are so thrilled to buy the big ticket items when we get there!

Ok blogger on iPhone won't let me upload a pic which is stinking because now how will I share baby pics? Ack...if anyone knows how let me know...

Thanks for all the wonderful well has really taken a village to make this family:)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I should be writing it all down...

The details.
The feelings.
The craziness.
But instead, I'm racing around like a nutcase trying to do everything one feels one needs to do before bringing home two babies that are not tiny sleeping infant newborns.

First of all, thank you so so much for all your words of support, love and congratulations! They mean the world to me.

Secondly, I know I am behind on all of your blogs. I am sorry. I am trying to keep up with reading, but commenting, not so much.

We are thrilled, naturally, beyond belief. We had a middle of the night phone call with the US Embassy that left us near frantic, only to have it all resolve within a day. I guess the rollercoaster never ends, and yes, we're fully aware we're trading one for another with parenting.

And while we are thrilled about bringing our babies home to live with us, there is so much sadness I have in my heart for them, for their little innocent hearts.

The loss is tremendous.  It is something I can only imagine in bits and pieces because, as I have pointed out before, I know what it is like to lose my future genetic connection, but I have no idea what it is like to lose my past. My babies will go through yet another traumatic loss as they lose their culture and their language. Naturally we are going to try to do whatever is possible to help them know their culture but we're not foolish enough to believe it is a substitute for being able to be raised in your country of origin, with your first family. So I do hurt for them. I do keep reminding myself that although I am in love with them from the top of my head to the bottom of my toes and that I have been falling in love with them more every day they do not know me. They do not remember me. They are now at the age where they might not readily go to me.

It's ok. We'll figure it all out. This isn't about me anymore, about my expectations, about my needs. It's about theirs.

But, all that being said can I just say how I am dying to hold them again? How I am dying to feed them, to rock them, to read to them, to sing to them, to dress them in the little clothes I have been washing and folding and organizing for the past few days?

We leave at the end of this week, fly for two days (did you know a volcano was erupting near Ethiopia and that for a few days our agency was nervous for us....and that it hadn't erupted in several hundred years so naturally picked the time the MTLs were coming to unleash some airline un-friendly ash into the skies? Although it seems to have calmed down we both felt maybe a teeny tiny bit picked on by the universe....!), land, love on the babies, see the US Embassy, purchase and deliver all the supplies for the orphanage (we raised $4,300!!), and then fly home to land on U.S. soil July 1st. It's going to be a whirlwind.

Speaking of whirlwind, on Friday I decided to cook as many meals as I could that could fit in my freezer to help us out. We won't have anyone staying with us to help out--my Mom can't do it with my Dad's health condition--and while we do have friends who have offered meals I still wanted to do what I could. Let me say I don't really want to see my kitchen for a while....I cooked: 15 vegetarian eggrolls, one veggie fake chicken enchilada cassserole, two vegetarian strombolis, eight black bean cakes, four feta vegetarian 'burgers,' and a lentil 'meat'loaf. Plus I stocked up on some easy stuff to cook and some of our favorites. I had to clean out the fridge and freezer, which always feels good. The deer in our neighborhood ate well, ha.

Otherwise, we've been packing, washing, filling out and gathering paperwork (we have to take NEW employment letters, just in case we lost our jobs this week, a copy of our taxes, a gazillion immigration forms, etc. etc. etc.) buying baby food and formula, sterilizing bottles, packing bottles, trying to anticipate the needs of two virtual stranger infants for a 16 hour flight and pack accordingly (ha, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!), cleaning our house, hiring our pet sitter, getting them on our insurance, making their pediatrician appointments, installing car get the drift. We've been busy.

About that long flight....God help us. But, our lovely friend Bea made 50 (fifty!) airline treat bags to hand out to passengers (picture below). In them, there are snacks, gum, ear plugs, and a lovely little poem that says the following:
We're becoming a family of four,
With two children we greatly adore,
Our daughter and son
Bring joy and such fun.
We feel more complete than ever before.

Please forgive their fussing and crying.
You see, it's just their first time flying.
We're now homeward bound
And til we touch the ground
This mommy and daddy are trying.

Isn't that the greatest! Hopefully it will engender some goodwill from the folks nearby as I'm sure we will have some less than beautiful moments on that long flight....

So those are the details as they are. Scattered, unorganized, but I wanted to get these thoughts and these activities down. We're so close.

So close.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Babies, you're coming home!

Yes, it's true.

We got approval for both babies, they have been cleared by the US Embassy!

Babies, we'll be there.

More details mind is a spinning mess of good stuff!

Friday, June 10, 2011

I was this.close

I was this close to posting fantastic news today.
Fantastic news that would help make June 10th not such a horrible day.

June 10th, 2008...the day my sweet friend Gail lost her beautiful twin girls, Caroline and Samantha at nearly 20 weeks. A loss so unspeakable, a type of pain I didn't even know existed, and I say that as someone who witnessed it from afar, not lived through it.

June 10th, 2009...the day my sweet father had his massive stroke. The day that half of his brain died and he became paralyzed and unable to care for himself. The day my mom's life changed forever. All our lives did.

And then last night, although not technically June 10th, I read about sweet Lis, who lost her twin baby boy and girl at 21 weeks. This was after losing her sweet twin baby girls at 20 weeks in 2009.

This morning we woke up to an email...the email we had been waiting for. The email that said our case had cleared the US Embassy, that we could travel and go pick up our babies.

Except said we could travel to pick up our baby. One. Singular.

They have not completed our daughter's case. We have no idea when it will be completed. We were never prepared for this possibility. And of course, this happens on a Friday, and the Embassy is long since closed in Ethiopia.

"Are you willing to travel twice?" our agency wants to know.

Um, no. We cannot. We do not have that kind of money. Adoption shouldn't be about money, but let's face it, it's expensive. Traveling internationally is expensive. Buying airline tickets with only a week's notice is expensive. So no, we cannot travel twice.

The agony--to know that our son is available to unite with us but not our daughter. Leave him there? Wait? The unknown smacks us upside the head, yet again.

But none of this compares to the loss of babies. None of it. I know that.

I just wanted this June 10th to be different. But instead, I find myself sitting here, staring out our giant picture window wondering why? Why does any of this happen? Why does it seem like nothing is easy for those of us with infertility? Why do some people have two, three, nineteen babies without a hiccup and some lose four? Why am I faced with another agonizing decision, complicated by finances, powerless yet again.

To Gail, my heart will always break for the loss of Caroline and Samantha.
To Lis, my heart is breaking today for the loss of Thomas and Bayli. For the loss of Ayla and Juliet.
To my Dad, I am so sorry this happened to you. You deserved more.

And to me and Mr. MTL...we'll get through it, we always do.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Warning: this post is very "same song one millionth verse." I'm sorry for that, because if I could sing a new song I would-- in a heartbeat.

Today my little girl turns six months old.

So make that six months of her life that I have missed, save five precious days back in March. Our little boy is six and a half months old.

I have so many posts roiling around in my head but most of them are so depressing, or so raw, and I want to put them out there but sometimes when I overspeak my mind I get into trouble so I need to tread carefully.

There is another reason the number six is significant to me but I'll leave it at that.

We started this process over two years ago. I remember telling my parents about it, in the neuroICU at the Texas Medical Center, where my Dad lay suffering from his massive stroke. I told them to bring something good into the space, into a room that was so heavy with despair. His stroke happened two years ago on June 10th. He's a sliver of his former self.

I am, too.

How many ways can you feel foolish?
Why did I wash their little crib sheets a month ago? Why did we race out and buy diapers a month ago, thinking that at any day we'd get the call to travel and wouldn't want to be purchasing last minute items? Do you know how many clothes I have that say 6 months? That they will not even get the chance to wear?

I guess there are a million ways to feel foolish in this process.

The Embassy is already closed in Ethiopia so we won't get any news today.
Which means we go into another weekend with nothing. No news. No frenzied travel plans to make. Nothing.

We get to lace up our shoes and go for a long trail run. For weeks we had been saying the words "We should do this now while we still can..." but the last time I started to say it Mr. MTL interrupted and said "Stop. Please don't say that anymore. It's just too hard."

He's right. I don't give a fuck about being able to go on a long trail run, about being to sleep late (even though I don't/can't), being able to lazily watch the day slip by. I don't care. June was not supposed to arrive without my family on the same continent.
Sometimes when I hurt so deeply I can only exercise so hard I think I'm going to die of a heart attack. Because when you can barely breathe, when each step brings searing pain in your lungs and chest, at least your brain can't think about the issues that really are breaking your heart.

But that only lasts so long.

And then you're right back to the empty nursery, the birth announcements, the daily tasks of existing, the volunteer duties, the pregnant coworkers and their birth stories, the sinking into exhausted sleep only to be awakened with dreams that they are here. And then to realize in a fog that no, they are not.

Infertility was hard.
Three surgeries was hard.
Five IVF cycles was excruciating.
Dealing with others' pregnancies and babies during infertility was hard.
Filling out paperwork for adoption was hard.
Being interviewed and prodded and investigated and fingerprinted....all hard.
But this wait...this wait is the hardest by far.

See? I told you it was the same verse again.