Sunday, December 23, 2007

The best adoption stationary ever!

I looked and looked for the best adoption stationary ever, but sadly, I couldn't find it. So I 'made' my husband (who is a graphic designer) make me the best adoption stationary ever. It even looks better in person than it does in the picture. It's on pearly paper and has 3 layers so it's all sparkly, shiny and 3D-y ... and I love it! He even added a red rhinestone in the heart to mark Ethiopia! What do you think?!

My 32nd Birthday things about me list!

1. I REALLY do think I hit the husband lottery with my husband. We laugh hysterically at, and with, each other every night. I think that's special.
2. I used to think that I was special because my birthday was on Christmas Eve, now I just think I'm jipped...It may be a sign of maturity in retrograde.
3. I think my 30's are way better than my 20's. I finally, honestly, like myself.
4. I LOVE my profession- Speech-language pathology rocks! I have to stop myself from chatting about it too much with random people at the grocery store.
5. I have two sisters- I'm the middle child and have all the middle child syndromes.
6. I've had the same BFF for the last 20 years. She is the best. Seriously. I could give you MANY references supporting this.
7. I love the feeling of being in a new place- I'm very addicted to the rush- that feeling of being completely in the moment and alive.
8. I like wine more than I should.
9. I use exaggerated speech more than I should, no less than 5,000,000,000 times a day.
10. The biggest compliment that someone can give me is that I'm funny. Which makes me think that I may have issues with what is truly important in life. Sad, but true.
11. I love cooking, but have a lot to learn.
12. I love kids. They are the funniest people on earth.
13. My nephew makes me laugh more than anyone.
14. My older sister is the smartest person I have ever met. Yep, it was a thrill following her.
15. I'm not good with technical stuff. I lack patience with it.
16. When I witness a child do something new and wonderful for the first time (e.g. say a two word sentence) the rush is the same intensity and very similar to the feeling of seeing Paris for the first time.
17. I miss Judah...even though I have never met him. I have cried every day since I first saw him because I miss him too much. 98% of the time I do this in private.
18. Sometimes I ROCK at bowling, even though I have no form.
19. When I was 12, I was a kick butt 1st basewoman.
20. I'm a Capricorn and a mostly stereotypical one at that.
21. I worked at more random jobs in my youth than most. If you need shoes, a Christmas tree, a meal, dog training, a secretary, clothes, a movie rental, or books, I'm your woman.
22. My dad is the funniest person I know.
23. I love old houses. I could drive around Pasadena forever and sometimes do.
24. I love the beach. To walk on. Not to run on or near.
25. The other day I got a fortune cookie that said "The best mirror is that of your best friends." I honestly hope that's true.
26. I love to hike and don't do it enough.
27. My least favorite thing about myself is that I have too much anxiety and worry about things too much.
28. I love to read about and plan vacations.
29. I cry sometimes because I miss my nephew Darrigan too much. My sister says that he sometimes cries because he misses me too. I secretly like that. When he cries...not when I cry.
30. Although I'm honestly not smart enough to hang out with him... (he turned 2 1/2 yesterday).
"What kind of dinosaur is that Auntie DL?"
"I don't know Darrigan."
"I think it's a Triceratops, Auntie DL."
"Oh, you're right Darrigan. It does have three horns."
"Yes, Auntie DL, it IS a Triceratops. What kind of tree is that?"
"I don't know Darrigan. Do you know?"
"Yes. I do. I can speak Spanish. Can you speak Spanish?"
"No, Darrigan. I can't."
Basically, hangin with Darrigan is a learning experience...for ME.
31. I've never been to a country where I didn't think for a moment that it was my favorite...and I've been to 30.
32. I'm leaving for Hawai'i in a matter of hours and I'm insanely excited about it!

So, there are 32 things about me. I've seen others do this post and thought it was fun. Sorry my list isn't more exciting!
Merry Christmas Eve!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Birthday Jude!

Yesterday was Jude's 5-month birthday! I can't believe that he is already 5 months- he was just 10 weeks when we first saw, and lost our hearts, to that little perfect lipped, old-soul-eyed babe! But don't get me wrong- I'm not pouting. No more of that for me. I'm actually super happy. Every day we are getting closer to him...
And I have so many other reasons to celebrate. Life is just really good right now. I finished all my coursework and competency exams for my MA in speech-language pathology. I am leaving for Hawai'i on Monday (for a babymoon extravaganza), which also happens to be my BIRTHDAY (whoohooo, I finally get to experience the big three-two everyone has been chatting about all these years)!
I've had nothing but fun this week. I took my best friend's babe to the zoo. I've had time to cook, shop, read, (texts that are NOT even required - i.e. no dysphagia, voice, or neuro books. I told you, life is too good right now) and drink wine. AND I have a court date next month! Plus things are going well in blogland (referrals, successful court dates, and I'm feeling more on the horizon - Lori, this is mostly about you.).
This was not meant to be a braggy-brag post, but I wrote about how upset I was when it took almost 11 weeks to get a court date - now I feel like I must share that I've been singing and dancing around my house for the last 8 days ... and no one can stop me. My husband tried once. I can tell you that story.
He was mellow. I didn't think the mellowness added to my joy. No one should be unsupportive of joy. So I asked him if he thought his current blahness was affecting my happiness level (I believe the term, although I'm not proud, was "happiness stealer"). He said he was not a happiness stealer (and stated his preference for being called a "happiness dealer"). But, he just didn't feel like being THAT happy at THAT moment. So, I left him for a few minutes to sing a ridiculous, yet completely original, song about how much I love my pups (my dogs are so generous that they don't even care that I'm tone deaf). I also made up an "I love Tommy" boogie to put him in a better mood. Yep, this is a typical night at our house. Poor Jude.
Did I mention that every day we are closer to him? ... and Hawaii makes time go by A LOT more quickly (it's been scientifically studied- I'll post my personal data next week).
I hope everyone has a wondrous Christmas! I will be thinking of you all and wishing you and your children, here and in Ethiopia, a miraculous day filled with love and peace.
Cheers to you all - you inspire me!

Friday, December 14, 2007


Is set for January 17th, so if all goes well with the court date (fingers and toes are already firmly crossed) we should be able to cover him with kisses on February 10th!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Here are the pictures that were taken just a few days ago! Isn't he just amazing?! Along with the photos was a note from our director..."I will know your court hearing date soon." BTW, I'm in much better spirits today. How could I have an ounce of sadness when there are lips THAT good in the world? I was just super disappointed yesterday because I was expecting to hear (and yesterday was just one of those days). Thank you for all of your sweet comments! Today, I'm happy and grateful again :) Thank goodness, yesterday I was such a bummer for me to hang out with (my husband was not polled).

Monday, December 10, 2007

Waiting for a court date...Week 10

Last week we got a call from the head social worker from our agency. She said it was the pre-travel call. She didn't know when we would be traveling, just that she had been given our name, so it must be soon. I was hopeful. Today we got a mass email update from our agency. It said that three families received court dates for the end of December.
I wrote to find out if we were in that group. Here's the response:

Danielle, I have already contacted the families with court dates. I'm sorry you were not in that group. I don't have any info at this time but we should be getting more court dates soon.

I'm so disappointed. I don't know why it's taking so long. I haven't been given any answers. I'm sad.

Friday, December 7, 2007


So I was plain mopey today. Seriously, just feeling sad and frustrated. It will be 10 weeks on Monday and we still don't have a court date. I think this week was particularly difficult because we were kind of expecting one (I'm thinking Monday is our new day). I was grouchy and was having trouble pulling myself out of it...then...guess what!?
A SURPRISE baby shower! Yes, it's true! I'll say it again for those in shock. A SURPRISE baby shower! FOR ME! My friends from Bunco orchestrated a super top secret extravaganza. FOR ME! (But I plan to share the great gifts with Jude). I had absolutely NO idea and suddenly it was blue frosted cupcakes and presents galore. It is safe to say that Jude is going to be the best dressed little dude ever. The festivities couldn't have been timed more perfectly. It was such a great reminder that although I wish so badly that he had his mom and dad loving him up, he has such a great support system when he gets home and so many people that are thinking of him and loving him. I just don't have words to describe how much this meant to me. I'm a very lucky girl. Since I didn't know that I was having a SURPRISE shower, I didn't come camera ready. So, I'm going to have to coerse others to give me pictures to post. I would love to share my super special night. THANK YOU FOR TONIGHT! It was perfect!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Tesfahun, my hope

Our beautiful little one's Ethiopian name is Tesfahun, which means "be my hope"...Translated, it's quite a big job for a 4 month old, isn't it? As Carey wrote, and I completely agree with, he is "an old soul." I'm sure the name is fitting. The most common compliment given to him (besides how amazingly cute he obviously is) is how he looks smart. I completely agree.
Speaking of names, Tommy seems to prefer Judah, I'm leaning toward Jude. We don't fight over this and are ok with the dispute. You can feel free to call him either Jude or Judah. I won't be offended. If you would like to call him Tesfahun, that's ok too.
The name (which I actually like very much) Tesfahun, got me thinking, what is "my hope" for Jude? I hope that he loves life. I hope that he makes amazing lifelong friendships. I hope that he makes the world a little bit more beautiful. I hope he has passion, loves to learn, and the confidence to try. I hope he loves his family. I hope he loves adventure. I hope he feels proud of his roots. I hope he feels he is always loved. I hope he gives. Most of all I hope he doesn't take himself too seriously and laughs often. Tesfahun, I love you already. You are my hope.

On a different note, I heard from our agency that they were expecting "some court dates early next week"...I'm thinking that since it will be 9 weeks tomorrow since we received our referral that we should be in that "some" group...I will let you know the moment I hear. I just can't wait to get my hands on all that goodness- all that hope.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tommy's first time ...

Happy Birthday, Judah! I can't believe you're already 4 months old! My how you're growing up so fast! Pretty soon now, you'll be a man. You'll head off to college and start a new chapter in your life, and we'll miss you when you're away. But until then, let's just concentrate on getting you home for the first time! We miss you and love you. -Dad


On a random note, every night I dream about Jude. We have gone on a zillion adventures together. We just have the best times. I've even spent time with him when he is all different ages. I'm very lucky.
A few nights ago, Tommy said I was laughing really hard and saying "oh, people are going to laugh at you and Jude, but do what you want!" Obviously curious, Tommy asked me "Why, are they going to laugh at us?" Waking up, I immediately got irritated and sternly replied, "Don't wake me up!" (By the way, I'm much better tempered than that in my dreams). The next morning, I remembered my dream and told him about the ridiculously mismatched outfit Tommy had dressed Jude in. I feel badly for Tommy because he only has super hero action dreams. I just can't believe they haven't met.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I want it. I need it. The 7 week itch?

When my adorable two year old nephew, Darrigan, has a high interest level in an object (such as a menu) he clearly states the obvious "I want it." If he is met with any resistance he looks you straight in the eye, and with a serious look he says, "I need it."
Well I feel as passionately about a court date as he does the menu. I need it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Our tribute...

There's this nasty rumor that has circulated which I feel must be addressed. It has something to do with after becoming a parent, the obsession with your furry friends will fade. Well, I thought I'd take my mind off our nonexistent court date to pay tribute to two of the most spoiled pups on earth. The little Whippet is named Scarlett (O'Hara - Gone with the Wind, she's very fast and has a very similar personality...all spunk). The Greyhound goddess is named Annabelle aka Big Baby. She's a southern belle, born in the South, and raced there and in Mexico. At 3 years old, she is taking her retirement VERY seriously. When she cries, I believe it is equivalent to a unicorn dying...for she is the only pure soul (sorry Baloo, after the Animal Control incident you officially lost your title). Therefore, we obviously try to avoid Annabelle crying at all possible costs. I was forced to reprimand our friend Bryan (an animal lover and self proclaimed lurker on this blog) this week when I felt he just wasn't making her feel special enough. No one puts Big Baby in the corner.
We just got home from the dog park and now it's time for their spa treatments...long luxurious spa treatments. Seriously, people act like I won't have the time after our actual baby gets here to spend full days making sure all of their emotional needs are being constantly attended to, those people are just crazy. :P

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Last Saturday, our friends threw us the BEST baby shower! It was just perfect (the mom-to-be could still have wine!). We were just so happy to have our close friends join in all that we have to celebrate! Thank you! We love you!

I realize I am not a slide sharing genius. Therefore, the presentation may not be up to the standards I was eluding to during my last post. But, I'm still shamelessly basking in the glory of what I was able to create. I'm not good, but I did it! Proud, proud, proud!


Where oh where is our court date? Tommy has waited patiently for over 6 weeks (I will not discuss my style of waiting).

Oh, but I do have some great pictures to share from last Saturday (which was one of my very favorite days so far)! I'm going to work to put them together in some presentable way. I'm thinking about one of those extravaganzas. No promises, but I really am considering something THAT spectacular. If I pull this off, I'll be the talk of my household for a good week or two (while I'm talking, that is). Good stuff. Here's to hoping I can pull this off :)

Friday, November 9, 2007


She has helped support me through this process. I started this blog as a way to let family and friends know the latest happenings and as a record of our process. I never thought of it as a way of support for me. A few blogging friends changed that. They are going through the same process and understand some of my feelings like no one else could- that the adoption process is emotionally complex, draining and difficult to express. I have valued Jocelyn's support and encouragement and she has helped me so much. Today, was a very sad day for not only her but all of those around her. Although we've never met, my heart brakes for her. I know she is a special person who will be an incredible mother.

My beautiful friend...

I have the best friends a girl could ever ask for. Seriously. They are just amazing, inspirational people. I am super lucky.

One of my super close friends has a baby girl. She works full time and pumps, pumps, pumps. Her baby is on formula and breast milk because she has just never made quite enough. Actually, her cutie pie daughter just started eating solids too (sweet potatoes are a hit...carrots an acquired taste). Recently, her milk supply started to decrease more, so now she is pumping with even more fervor. So every hour and a half she pumps. Well, this is no easy task while you're working and she is FANTASTIC at her job (and obviously an absolutely fabulous mother, spouse and friend).
Today, she told me that the reason why she was pumping 8 times a day was also for Judah...because she loves him too. She has some put away for him. I just can't think of a better gift. I know how much time and effort it took and I'm just so touched and feel so grateful to have her in my life. Such a great friend. What a neat connection they will share. I love that Jude has her as a special person in his life. Very special. I just cry when I think of my beautiful, beautiful friend.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

New Pictures!

Isn't he beautiful!?!!!! We think so.

Do you think we look alike?

The first time my parents saw Jude's picture, they had the same reaction, "He looks like you did as a baby!" I thought this reaction was very funny. So, to end all doubt, my mom emailed me this picture of myself as a baby. My first reaction was that Jude is SO much cuter than I was. But, we do have a similar brow (I love his little brow. I think it's much easier for a boy to pull off the distinct brow). My mom says we have the same brow and lips. All I know is that he is meant to be in our family and I love him more than everything.

I apologize, although I'm a somewhat dedicated blogger, I am NOT a formatting specialist...yet.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Now they can tell I'm expecting!

Today I was in Babies R Us obsessing over strollers (you know, big vs. small and features vs. weight). I made a few BFFs there (at least in my mind) who were offering me advice, such as pros/cons, etc. Finally a brave woman asked, "Are you pregnant?"- so I cheerfully explained, "No, I'm adopting!" My new best friends happily cheered and I felt such a real part of the "almost mom" club. It's a really really fun supportive club. I was hooked.
I came home today to a package waiting for me. I LOVE packages (even when I know that inside is a book I ordered for myself). But, I hadn't ordered anything. Inside was this fabulous t-shirt. I am going to wear it every single day. After one little taste of the club, there is no turning back. I'm advertising.
The shirt was from one of my real BFFs, Christa...who is even way more supportive and fun than the Babies R Us crowd.
Oh, and yesterday when I was feeling impatient and anxious, I dyed my hair really dark. It was an impulse move. I forgot to ask the Babies R Us group how they felt about it. They are good with advice.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Shots, round one...check!

Last week we got our first round of shots...I feel proud and accomplished (it doesn't take much for me to get boastful and even a tad smug as the result of seemingly small tasks). We still haven't heard a new word or seen a new picture. I just feel so impatient. As of today it is four weeks since we received our referral for baby Jude...Keep your fingers crossed for a court date- or at least a new picture soon. For everyone it's different, but I think this is the toughest part of our journey to Jude yet. At least for me, I'm super anxious. Tommy is a bit more breezy than I am...My unrealistic dream to bring him home by Thanksgiving was gone a week or two ago, but I'm still holding out hope that he will be home by Christmas... I can't wait to have a court date to obsess over. Yes, I am still listening to Lori :) and that's why I'm posting. The next post will be much more exciting- because I will either have a date or new pictures...I just know it!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Happy to hear...

that Jude is in the care center. At the care center he is being cuddled up with and he may even get a little chunkiness to his thighs...Although no where near the cuddles he's in for (or the chunkiness) with us! I'm not sure how long he's been in the care center- truthfully, I was afraid to ask for fear he was still in the orphanage. So, I am just so happy to know for sure that he's being well taken care of.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Jude!

Today Jude is 3 months old! We are just dying to hold him...We haven't heard any updates as far as possible court dates yet, but we will post as soon as we find out. I really hope to get more pictures of him soon! He is just growing up so fast :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The night of our referral...

Holding my baby for the first time...So happy and so in love. But, now I'm just dying to really hold him.

Judah's name!

The night after we received our referral for Judah, I obviously couldn't sleep. Here is the result of my 2:00AM project.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Still just doing what Lori tells me...

I'm "IT"...

Job's I've had:
1. Substitute Teacher
2. Behaviorist
3. Dog Trainer
4. Server (this list really could go on forever...)

Places I've lived (some):
1. Los Angeles, CA
2. Nagano, Japan
3. Balboa Island, CA
4. Flagstaff, Arizona

Food I love (I have to list types, because the list of specific dishes would be too extensive, LOVE FOOD):
1. Mexican
2. Japanese
3. Thai
4. Italian

Places I'd rather be:
1. With Judah and Tommy in Ethiopia
2. With Judah and Tommy in Europe
3. With Judah and Tommy in Nagano
4. With Judah, Tommy and Nicole in Thailand

Movies I love (I am not critical of movies. Unless it's an epic, I usually like it):
1. Grease 2 (the standard by which all other movies should to be compared to...I want a C-O-O-L, R-I-D-E-R)
2. The Notebook
3. The Sound of Music
4. Notting Hill

T.V. show I love:
1. The Office
2. Grey's Anatomy
3. Gilmore Girls
4. Newport Harbor (I defend this choice to Tommy by saying I watch it because lots of filming was done where I used to live, on Balboa Island, and because I need to be in the know for Bunco, but Christa knows the truth)

Books I love:
1. Anything by Lonely Planet
2. Mists of Avalon
3. There Is No Me Without You
4. Memoirs of a Geisha

All the Ethiopian adoption blogs I read have already posted this list...who to tag?...who to tag? Nicole, you're it! Finally, I'm telling you what to do! Please do it so I have a momentary false sense of power. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Hey Jude!

Why Judah?
Here's why!
It means "the praised one"
On the ancient Ethiopian flag, is the Lion of Judah...

Judah (in Hebrew: Yehuda) is the original name of the Tribe of Judah - traditionally symbolized by a lion. The Lion of Judah is important in Judaism, Christianity, and Rastafari religions.

Besides, who doesn't LOVE the song Hey Jude by the Beatles (and I LOVE the Beatles)...most of all we just like the seems strong to us, and that is the one thing we know for sure- our little one is definitely a strong one!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

How it happened...

I was at school with children. My cell phone was in my pocket and went off. I reached in and turned it off instantly. Less than a minute later it rang again. Convinced it was important, I looked to see it was CHI! Well, since our dossier arrived just a few hours earlier THAT SAME DAY, I was convinced she had a paperwork question. So, I quickly told someone to take the children for a moment. I answered the phone to "I have a boy for you! He is just three weeks old. And he's cute as a button." I instantly started crying, so the rest is quite blurry. I then started calling Tommy. He wasn't answering. I even texted 911 (I was desperate people)! I obviously left school instantly. I needed to see my little one immediately! On the way home I was able to get a hold of Tommy and he said he would try to get home as soon as he could, but it would probably be around 4...Well, it was only 1:30 ish. I asked him the obvious question "When did you change jobs from a graphic designer to a heart surgeon?" Unless it was life and death?
When I got home I ran upstairs, opened my email account, and stared at the new message, from our agency, titled REFERRAL. I couldn't open it up and see our baby for the first time without Tommy. I called our agency to see if she had ANY bit of additional information. She said that he was actually 10 weeks old. At this point I didn't really see a difference between 3 weeks and 10 weeks. I HAD A BABY BOY! (see how breezy I've become in Fall). So I stared for a good hour or two. When I couldn't take it anymore, I decided to pretend to do errands. Finally I went to the craft store. I made my mom meet me and bought the letters for his name, JUDAH. When Tommy and I finally met at home, we opened the pictures...Seeing my baby for the first time was the most amazing feeling of my life...such intense love instantly. During the past week I have been busy staring at him- and when I am not, I've registered, decorated the letters of his name for his room, read books on how to take care of him, and shopped for him. I am completely obsessed. Oh, and if you stare at him, he gets cuter and cuter and cuter, until you just have to take a break from all of his cuteness, because it drives you insane (this is not just my experience, but scientific data collected from Tommy, my mom, dad and me). Not an exact quote from them, but still the gist. I will post pictures of his letters (which turned out mostly ok, considering it was a 2 a.m. project after having a couple of glasses of wine), his bedding, and of us seeing our baby Jude for the first time!
By the way, this post was inspired by Lori. My sister moved to Thailand, I need someone to tell me what to do before Jude gets here and takes over...thanks! :)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Our love...

His birthday is July 21st, so he is 10 weeks and 2 days...but the pictures, we think, are of him at about 3 weeks. I can't wait to get more pics (and we will post them immediately)! I can't believe how in love we are already. He is our little precious man.
Truth be told, the picture you are looking at is altered. All of the referral pictures were of him wearing bright pink. Tommy love, is a graphic designer, and quickly changed him into a more boyish blue outfit. Although, it takes no more than a glance to see that our little man is ALL boy. We love him and think he is perfect. Share a comment about how perfect you think he is. We would like that.

Introducing Judah


We got our referral! It's a boy!!! We are so happy! I am so teary I can't type right now. I am waiting for Tommy to get home to look at the pictures. These are the longest minutes of my life. I have never been happier. This is definitely the greatest moment of my life thus far.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


I apparently think the answer is YES! I bought baby bedding today (appropriate for either a boy or a girl). FUN! FUN! FUN!

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Our dossier went through authentication (where they added some pretty yellow ribbons- yes, now we have star stickers and ribbons on our paperwork- both of which make me feel unreasonably happy, official, and fufilled. I love paper decor. I had no idea)! We notarized some copies, and shipped it off to our placement agency (go UPS! more tracking fun!) and then from there it will move on to Ethiopia. I am so so happy (I even cried a little- but if you have spent more than 13 minutes with me, you know this is not the biggest feat). We are official! This means, in just a matter of weeks, we could have our adoption referral. Sometimes, I close my eyes and I can so clearly see my baby (sorry, the picture is still too fuzzy to tell if baby is a he or a she). The plan tonight is to have a glass of wine (or two) and just feel really really happy! Can I start buying baby stuff yet?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Tracking...WAY more gratifying than stalking!

I love tracking. You just click a few times and there you have it...the exact location of our dossier in transit to D.C. We shipped it last night and presto- it arrived this morning! Our dossier had a very busy night, not stopping for more than an hour. I've never been more fond of UPS. Magnificent work if you ask me. A company made of pure magic. This is way more instantly gratifying than stalking our spicy mail carrier.
So, we first decided on adopting a girl, then a boy, then a girl again, then perhaps two, then one, then two, then boy only. I don't post with each change, because I realize that the confusion and exhaustion is just too much to handle... But, I am thinking that all of the changes are for good reason. We are SO completely open. We just want to be parents already. I'm just saying, when we get our referral, don't expect a certain age/gender...because decision making is not a strength of the Tommy and Danielle team (or remember, it could be because of my previous, more whimsical and positive claim of just being so "open").
I think that our package is going to hang out in DC for a week or two. Then, it will be shipped back to us and we will send it to our agency. At that time we should be officially waiting. I think. With me being so breezy, it's hard to know (you know me, just going with the flow...I believe summer is officially over tomorrow).
Is obsessively tracking breezy?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


We received our immigration approval form today in the mail! I am very happy...VERY VERY happy!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Nothing to report...

We have been VERY busy the last few weeks. My school started and Tommy has been busier than ever... We should have SUPER fun news about him in the next few months (that was a cliffhanger to keep you from deserting us). I will post the moment we hear.
Adoption update:
We received a letter from immigration. The letter told us that they need additional info. So that was a bust.
Other ramblings:
I noticed that People magazine (Yes, I am a subscriber and there is much personal shame. But shame builds character? I have also perused and have voted on if a certain celebrity is better as a blonde or a brunette. It's a new thing for me. But I will NOT vote on who looks better in a certain outfit. I simply believe in giving hair advice, although frankly I have no credentials considering I am not very fashion savvy, and I don't particularly love receiving critical hair advice. Perhaps, I should rethink this new gig. But I do know I am against trying to make someone feel poorly about how they didn't look as good in their outfit as someone else...You must have standards people! I am admitting a lot. I better stop) had an article about Tom's shoes. That means that tons of people will be sporting them, here and abroad. Which I think is pretty cool. The next shoe drop is in South Africa.
How can you blog about nothing? It's pretty difficult at times, but I persevere. I just can't wait to have something adoption related to blog about!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Shoes that I like...

Sunday, in an LA Times advertisement, I found shoes that were of high interest level to me...It was an advertisement for Toms shoes (Toms stands for TOMorrow) now being sold at Macy's. I went to Macy's today. They did not carry Toms. I was sad. I really, really wanted them in my life. I will find another vendor. But, until then, below is the link. For every pair of shoes they sell, they donate a pair to a child in need. I will wear them...when I convince someone to sell me a pair (minor detail).


Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 13, 2007

I am a breezy mailman stalker!

We have everything for our dossier except for our I171-H form (immigration approval). AAA is wonderful because if you are a premier member (we upgraded, now I'm fancy and you can brag about knowing who I am) they will notarize 10 documents a day for free. They are very nice people that way. I've been busy stalking our mail carrier (even though I don't really expect the I171-H form to come yet). I am hopeful, so I stalk. This is way more daring than it sounds. Our mail carrier is spicy. I'm just warning...DO NOT leave junk mail in the mailbox to throw away later and then forget and leave it in the box. She does NOT like that. I don't know her stance on stalking, but I have a feeling she may be against that, too. I have to be smooth and I don't believe smoothness is a personal strength. We'll see.
As soon as we have the I171-H, I can ship the dossier off. Then I will be able to stay awake nights waiting for THE phone call. My eye twitch is still going full force. I'm sure waiting for THE phone call will totally fix that up.
Oh, and as many people have been informed, I will be defined in fall 2007 as "breezy". It's a new thing. No more overdoing stuff, wanting things to be perfect, obsessively researching, overanalyzing, or running about with an eye twitch. Fall 2007 me=breezy (my definition of the word, not Webster's). I go with the flow. stalking breezy? I may have to reevaluate. Oh,'s not fall yet. Hurry up I171-H...Hurry, hurry...HURRY!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

So so close to waiting!

Today we got our police clearance letters (and even had them notarized, a bargain at $102) and a couple of documents certified (a mysterious process which is done after you notarize them...basically they staple a gold star on the papers and charge you $18. Oddly, you don't even feel ripped off because you are so proud of yourself for getting it completed. I think they trick you by giving you a gold star. It is impossible to be irritated right after receiving one. You feel good, almost prideful. I earned/paid for a gold star. This process is well thought out). I still have to get them Authenticated...who makes this stuff up? Do you think I may get another gold star?
Two more things were checked off our list today! What do we have left? Really just an errand or two, copies, and more notarizing...oh, and our immigration approval. VERY EXCITED! I can't wait to just wait! I have a feeling that waiting without having anything to do, won't be as glorious as I think it sounds. My left eyelid has been twitching for over two weeks (Tommy refuses to pity me because he holds the record with his infamous 3 week twitch, so I must widen my possible pity providing circle by posting). I think it may be adoption related. I'm not an eyelid twitch scientist, but I'm pretty sure.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Ethiopia Reads

I spend a lot of time thinking about the best items to donate when I go to Ethiopia. I will have the opportunity to hand deliver many items in need (clothes, diapers, etc.). Since I have a passion for education, I am most excited to have the opportunity to bring books. A children's library opened in Addis Ababa a couple of years ago. This is a BIG deal considering that more than 99% of Ethiopian schools do not have libraries. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to visit the library, donate books, and read to children during my visit. If you know me, and have an extra special book you would like me to bring, please let me know during the next few months. Or perhaps you can add to your child's multicultural library by purchasing a book from the Ethiopia Reads website. The money goes toward their goal of bringing literacy to Ethiopia. I firmly believe that education can help Ethiopia.
Please check out the Ethiopia Reads website:


Also on the Ethiopia Reads website- the Mesgana Dancers of Ethiopia (7-12 year old girls) are coming to the U.S. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children. I know Tommy and I will be attending, if you would like to join us, let me know! It will be a fun night out :) Maybe we can go out for a great Ethiopian dinner first (again, I'm obsessing about food...typical).


Monday, August 6, 2007

and if you don't like those clothes, here's another option!

50% of the profits go to Millenium Promise. Their goal is to end extreme poverty by 2025. The price is a bit steep, but it is a great cause! BTW, please don't look at the rest of the Kitson is embarrassing to endorse. Thanks!


If you too need clothing...

Half the profits go to the Global Fund to help women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa...and I think they are very neat shirts. Our fam will be sporting them this season.


A family adopted 3 boys

I warn...this video may make you cry. It made me cry. A lot. Good luck with that.


Friday, July 27, 2007

I600A form filed, fingerprints...check, check!

We have filed our I600A form, which, upon approval, will allow us to bring an orphan into the US (we actually asked for approval of two children, just in case). This can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months (I've heard as little as two weeks and as long as four months) to approve. We should be able to gather the remaining documents during this time. So, when we get the news in the mail that we are approved, we should be ready to authenticate our documents and ship em off to Ethiopia. It would be then that we would be "officially waiting" for a referral. Very exciting!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Homestudy approved...check!

I just got back from a road trip up to Canada with my mom. LOVED the Pacific Northwest! It was very beautiful.
Nicole left us. Her and Andy just took off and left us. Now they are spending time in beautiful places drinking from buckets.
Our homestudy is finished and "in the mail." It was approved by our placement agency, Children's House International. WHOOOO HOOOO! That means that we can go to immigration next week and make our FBI fingerprint appointments. Most of our other dossier documents are done. So, by the time we get our fingerprints back we should be ready to authenticate our documents and send them off to Ethiopia. My guess is about 2-4 months till they are headed to Ethiopia! Then we will be officially waiting for our referral. So adoption plan next week is to go to immigration, a doctor's appointment to finish that paperwork, and hopefully figure out how to get the proper state police clearance letters we need.
Sorry this is such a boring boring post, but Nicole reprimanded me and told me to post. I usually do what she says. Which explains a lot actually.
Tommy's neck is healing nicely. He's very pretty again.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Poor Tommy

Today he got the drainage tube removed from his neck and he is in much better spirits (I will not post pictures, but I will say he was/is quite a sight). We will go back to the doctor on Tuesday and hopefully get the stitches removed. Tomorrow Nicole leaves for Thailand! She signed a two year contract, so I hope we will be able to make it out there to visit and explore. Nothing new as far as our adoption, but I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Introducing ANABELLE!

We went to THE POLICE concert last Wednesday night AND I have a new horsey named Anabelle. She is very sweet and loving and just perfect (if she would just stop knawing away my favorite pieces of furniture. I'm hoping that coating our home with the bitter-anti-chew-dog-stuff is going to save our relationship). She also is not too keen on the stairs and takes quite a bit of coaxing (and pulling) to get her up them. As I write this, I fear she has found some close-to-my-heart, passed-down-for-generations, piece of furniture that she feels needs a corner freshing ground. But, I must take a ten minute horsey break!
Not much new on the adoption front. I picked up my notorized letters of employment and wrote another hefty check today. Hopefully, since I am not doing much else of a productive nature this summer (except for my national exam, which I am really looking forward to), I will be able to complete all of the adoption paperwork. Tomorrow is Tommy's surgery :(

Thursday, June 14, 2007

the day Scarlett decided to beg (and even sit) for veggies*

Today was a busy bee day. I woke up at 5ish and have been groovin' ever since. Work is busy because I only have 1 1/2 days left. wooohoooo!!! I had a FIVE hour meeting after school (with lawyers which is always a blast...the treasures they are have a fancy way of making five hours seem like a million**) and I phone interviewed with an SLP for the hours I need (he was great, I will hopefully start next week...I guess against my better judgement, I will consider sticking with this profession)...AND we had our last homestudy meeting (I barely got home for it due to the meeting), which was painless. I can't believe we are all done with that part of the process. It seems too good to be true (I'm singing in my head, are you? Important note: I am not tone deaf when I hear it in my head. Well, I really didn't want to brag, but I am actually pretty darn good when I hear it in my head. I'm just not sure how to profit from it...yet). Back to our social worker...The last time she was over was in January, which really puts into perspective how long we were on hold for. So, we just need to visit our doctor, collect some more paperwork, notarize everything, wait for the homestudy report, get our fingerprints done, authenticate the documents, send $, wait for a referral, and then begin the next phase of waiting for Ethiopian court fun! See, we are almost there! Nothin' to this whole adoption gig!

*she previously was not fond of veggies. Therefore, we are obviously in search of a deeper meaning to explain her new passionate consumption of carrots and broccoli. She does not usually sit upon command, even for bacon. She finds it humiliating.

**although I do enjoy the company of a cute sister lawyer who does not make me sit in 5 hour meetings without wine.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Home Stretch...

We met a lovely greyhound girl last Sunday. She was very girly and LOVED Scarlett. She was a kisser too. Generous with her sugar, which is how we like em.
The good news...
The paperwork update: we laughed REALLY hard today. My method of doing paperwork so far: I try to figure out how to do a document, then I ponder, which results in a pinch of confusion and a bit of lost sleep. This is followed by an email asking our agency the basics, and another email or phone call asking about the details and just-to-make-sures. So, today I did something huge. I wrote our agency (who has always responded very quickly and in a friendly manner) and asked if there is somewhere I should have this information. She quickly wrote back a heartfelt apology and the DIRECTIONS. With DIRECTIONS this whole adoption thing just got A LOT easier. We were laughing because we were trying to figure out how to do the paperwork ourselves. Now the paperwork list appears easy and without challenge. With directions, I feel like I am again part of a brilliant and competent duo.
The bad news...
School: I need about 150 hours working with adults. Yesterday, the chair of my department called and asked if I would be willing to drive TWO HOURS EACH WAY to a Speech and Language Center that specializes primarily in pediatrics with Autism. According to him, I could get 80 child hours and 20-30 adult hours. I explained that I don't need child hours, just ADULT and I need 150 hours, so 20-30 won't help and it is TWO hours aways from my home. He said "well, yes it would be better if it was around the corner." GRRRRR...I think he just had to pretend to place me somewhere (even though he know it wouldn't help me) because it is his job to place people.
I have been signed up for this ADULT clinic for 2 1/2 years! I have already tried to assign myself, but to no avail. When I asked him about my placement a few months ago, he told me not to worry, he would place me somewhere great. GRRRRR
So, it looks like I will not graduate in December, because I will still need 150 adult hours! I can't do it in the fall because I am already overbooked (school during the day and clinic in the evening).
After the conversation, I decided to call everyone I know that works in, or basically has been to, a hospital...then I threw myself on my bed and cried on and off for 3 hours while watching old Friends episodes (because it is important not to overreact people). But, my husband is amazing. He came home, took me out to a romantic dinner (because I needed a change of scenery), told me I am not a failure, etc. But the cutest part is what I found out he did after I told him. He started emailing people asking them to help me. He even emailed the PRESIDENT of our state organization and SHE WROTE BACK. She can't help, but it was a nice email. Funny stuff. Isn't it funny how boys just instantly feel compelled to try to solve the problem? I would have been just fine with an ear and a glass of wine :)
Our last homestudy visit was rescheduled for this Thursday. She mentioned that she wants to talk a lot about adopting an Ethiopian child (our social worker is from Jamaica, so she may have valuable insights to share!). I'll let you know how it goes!
I started reading "I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla" and am enjoying it so far. It includes research about when and how children begin developing awareness and ideas about color, race, etc. It's interesting.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Clean or what will the people think???

Today I took the day off of work! Yay for me!
Instead of going to work, I wrote a letter to the Ethiopian courts regarding why we want to adopt from Ethiopia, how we will be good parents, etc. Writing is not a personal strength, so it took me a lot longer than I had anticipated. It's not due to lack of material. I have a ton of stuff to put down, it's just how to word it all and what to include. I want to make sure that it is culturally appropriate, etc. Tommy helped by saying it was "great!".
Now I need to start cleaning, cleaning, cleaning! The social worker has been to our house before, so I don't know why I feel the need to over prepare. I KNOW that she is not going to bring out the white gloves, but I will be a freak about it anyway. I like to overdo most things and this is a perfect opportunity to exercise those skills.
We also found out that Tommy will have his little surgery on June 27th (I write "little" in an attempt to make it seem less alarming to anyone reading, but be assured that in my head/heart it's not "little" and is actually closer to medium in size and most definitely panic worthy).

Monday, June 4, 2007

Greyhounds and Guesthouses...

Scarlett met a few Greyhounds and continues to be open to the idea of getting a new BFF. They were beautiful! I fell in love more than once. How can you really choose? Saturday the Grey Save Greyhound adoption representative will come over and make sure that we are Greyhound worthy. She's going to bring her Greyhound too. So, if we are approved she will recommend a couple of Greyhounds for us and then we will go check em out and choose a friend for Scarlett. That's the process. I feel really good about getting a Greyhound. They are special.
I still feel overwhelmed! On Friday, our social worker Karen is coming over for our last homestudy visit. She hasn't been here in months and months. This week I need to make sure we have all the paperwork we need, which is a MUCH bigger job than it sounds (and I will clean our house a little bit better than I usually do!). Lisa from CHI sent out an email to us today. She just got back from Ethiopia and sent a ton of new pictures. The children are absolutely beautiful. I have a sneaky suspicion that we are going to meet some cuties, come home, and start the process again. Lots of boys and older children need homes! She also sent pictures of the brand new guest house. It is just a few blocks away from the Thomas Center (the place where the children are cared for before the adoption) and looks really nice. It's also less expensive than most hotels. Since I am obsessive I had already found a few hotel choices I was interested in. The Damu hotel seemed like it was located in a really neat area. Hmmm...I'll have to think about it??? She also mentioned that the guest house was a bit noisy, which is NO problem for me, but I'm not sure if Tommy or baby will like that...We will have to ask some questions to get a better idea. The guest house may be a neat option for meeting other new parents as well.
Speaking of our babelicious- NAMES? Names are really hard. Ethiopian? Family names? Our favorite names? She will have an Ethiopian name to consider too. So, we cannot make our final decision until we find out her name. Seeing her picture may help also! We like Violet and Maya, the Ethiopian name Ayanna, and many, many more. It's very fun to think about names!
I'll write soon to let you know how our final homestudy visit goes (on Friday evening) and how Scarlett's Greyhound adoption goes (on Saturday).
Oh, I've been very concerned about where I'm doing my internship this summer. I THINK that I'm going to be placed in a hospital that sounds like it would be a great learning experience, so please keep your fingers crossed for me that I get it!
Oh #2, I haven't heard any updates regarding when Tommy is going to get his surgery. I'll let you know when we hear something.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

To descramble or not to descramble...

Last night was a Bunco Babes night (Tommy is not an official member of Bunco, so he was not present) and I told the girls about our exciting news. They were SO wonderfully supportive and, after a glass of vino or two, I was even offered "babysitting EVERY single day"...not too shabby! That is really going to make this whole parenting thing a lot easier :) Today, Scarlett (our Whippet) is going to meet potential BFFs. She feels really good about this and is keeping an open mind. Tommy's descrambling abilities are fairly perceptive. He was able to decode that I wanted a mini vacation, but urgency was not dually noted. I would like his company on a mini vacation in the next few weeks (e.g. camping over the weekend, a day in Santa Barbara or Laguna, etc.). Let's see if he can decode that :)

Thursday, May 31, 2007


I can't believe it's June tomorrow. Not much new news on the adoption front. We have to change around a bit of our homestudy because Ethiopia has different requirements (some additional documents, wording changes, etc.) and our placement agency facilitator is in Ethiopia until June 4th. I'll write more when we have more news or items to be checked off our rather long list...
My sister, brother-in-law, and nephew went back home to Arizona on Monday. They were out for a week and we had a really good time. We went to the zoo, Knott's, and the park. VERY fun stuff with a 23 month old. He is brilliant and beautiful and I miss him terribly. He is going to be a good older cousin for our little one :) I will have to post a picture of all his cuteness! It is only fair to share a bit of it.
My best friend, Michelle, is also out from Denver with her super cute pie daughter. Her daughter is 17 months old and is hysterically funny. Tommy is always in awe over how pretty she is.
There is so much going on in our lives right now. I work in the schools, so I am finishing up the year. I am not coming back to work next year because I am going to finish up my M.A. in the fall and hopefully be a stay-at-home mom in the spring. So I am a bit sad about not returning. This summer will be a bit hectic because I am working on some research, need to complete my hospital internship, and will take the national exam for speech-language pathology. Tuesday we found out Tommy has to have a minor, but unpleasant surgery, which makes me more than minimally unhappy. My younger sister also MAY (I'm in denial) be moving to Thailand next month. SO happy for her, but I will miss her :( AND we are starting back on the adoption paperwork (I believe that I have already mentioned that paperwork is not a strength of the Tommy and Danielle team). Additionally, our spoiled spoiled SPOILED whippet, Scarlett, has been asking for a BFF. She claims that she needs company to lay on the couch all day. We are going to take her to the greyhound rescue to see if she finds a pup there of high interest. There is so much good and stressful stuff going on. Mostly really good stuff, but I still feel like we need a mini vacation to take it in, enjoy, prepare, and center myself. There is a secret message to Tommy in the previous sentence. I will let you know in future blogs if he was able to decode my very mysterious hints :) I have never before tested his descrambling abilities.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Since I am not a full blown computer scientist and still COULD learn additional skills, I am unable to post multi picture posts. Therefore, I will only post one picture per blog. Not a BAD ratio. Better than before. But, just wait. One day I will learn, and I am sure to be a show off about the skill. Above is my Dad and me!

Pictures of My Family

I am VERY excited! I JUST learned how to add pictures. Now I will show off my new skill...Above is a picture of my mom, sister Nicole, and myself at our Cinco de Mayo celebration!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Application sent...

We finally sent in our application to CHI last week. I love that we are back on the road to adoption. Now the infamous paper chase can continue...
The entire process seems rather abstract. I have read books, looked at endless websites, taken courses, etc., but it still doesn't seem real. I'm not sure that it will until we actually have our referral. I may be cynical, but I just don't trust that nothing will go wrong until we have our baby. I want so badly to nest and prepare, but I know that I need to wait. There is still plenty of time for all that fun stuff.
This week, I have been waiting not-so-patiently for our dossier packet to arrive. I know that it is coming any day/week. It's kind of funny actually, because I realized recently that Tommy and I are not too savvy on the form filling out thing. It's just not one of our strengths. I want to hurry and get it done, while Tommy's form-filling-out style is thoughtful and deliberate. Together? Not the best scenario...and yet there are so many forms left to fill! The excitement that awaits :)
Timeline so far...We decided that we wanted and were ready to adopt in November 2006. We researched countries and programs and had a few disappointments. We turned in our application to Bal Jagat in December and did our first three homestudy visits in January-February. Then, the country we had chosen went on an unofficial hold. We waited for a few months. During this time I researched our options. When we decided that Ethiopia was our calling, it just felt right. In April the decision was made and we researched placement agencies. Last week was a great milestone, mailing in our application. Now I just want to start filling in those lines and checking those boxes (in a haphazard fashion, of course, thank goodness for Tommy!).
A good friend of mine just told me that she is going to adopt domestically. I am so excited for her and her family. It is such an exciting time for us, it will be special to watch someone close to me go through a similar experience.
Tommy is not yet in tune with his "blogging", I must now blog for him. But, he did want me to share that he "can't wait to just hold our baby."
I will work on supporting him to reach a place deep within where he is comfortable expressing himself through blog, but until then, you are stuck with me. I apologize for any misrepresentations :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Decisions so far...

to catch you up...we had almost completed our homestudy (we had 3 visits with our amazing social worker) prior to deciding on Ethiopia. We used Bal Jagat-Children's World adoption agency and really like them. The director, Hemlata, is very straight forward. I LOVE that. I never have felt like anything was being sugar-coated. We have also collected quite a bit of our paperwork, so hopefully the process from here on out will be smooth. Hemlata referred us to Lisa Anderson at Children's House International. My wonderful husband talked with Lisa this morning and thought she was great. Decision is made, we will be using CHI. The program is currently really great and if everything keeps going this way, it looks like we will be able to travel in January or so. I finish my MA in Speech-Language Pathology in December, so it would be ideal if we could travel right after I finish and then I could stay home for a bit.

Oh, and we are requesting a baby girl! We are VERY excited!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Drum roll please....

We have decided to adopt from...Ethiopia! We are very excited! Tommy, my sister Nicole, and I went out for Ethiopian food last night to celebrate. It was Tommy and my first Ethiopian food experience and we fell madly in love with it. We went to a restaurant called Merkato in Little Ethiopia, which was awesome and reasonably priced. We will surely be back soon (can you tell that food is of utmost importance in my life?). I have been reading a wonderful book called Without You There Is No Me. Highly recommend it...Now it's time to consider more tough decisions...Which agency? Boy or girl? age? siblings? More tough decisions. During the last 6 months we've gone from girl to boy and then back to girl again. I feel like this process is full of big decisions that don't really matter, I'm just thrilled that somewhat soon we will get to be parents. Anyone who gets Tommy as a dad is a very lucky person.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Our adoption so far...

We have talked about adoption for years. We love kids and have always wanted a big family. This, coupled with our passion for travel and learning about other cultures, attracted us to international adoption. I thought that since I am currently obsessing about the topic, "blogging" would be a healthy expression. Which country? A HUGE dilemma. The question is partially so perplexing because, doesn't really matter to us. And then it does. It doesn't matter because we are certain that no matter which country the child comes from, that will be our child, meant and destined to be a part of our family. We will try our best to teach that child respect and appreciation for the culture of their country...and with our passion for travel, we are sure to visit.
So, I started reading. I read about the pros and cons of international adoption. Quite frankly, I was amazed at how many "cons" were put out there. I started feeling almost defensive. People judgingly ask, what about children from this country? I have lived abroad. I very well may live abroad again. I love this country, but first I consider myself a citizen of the world. I worry about all children without families. Many children living in this world face a reality where they have limited food and medicine, and no opportunity for an education. I very well may adopt from the U.S. in the future, but right now, international adoption is my calling.
Then there is the issue of adopting outside of the parent's race. Another huge issue. Some believe that this should NEVER happen, stating reasons such as white parents being unable to teach their child about racism. I come from a biracial household and genuinely felt special as a child because of it. I just cannot believe that a child is better off without adequate food, medicine, education, or parents than with us. I do not believe in attempting to be "color blind." Colors in life should stay bright, be celebrated, and be learned from.
I know that regardless of the country we choose, we will have lots to think about and read about in preparation...and I'm thrilled.

My first blog ever

There are so many exciting things happening in our lives, that I felt the need to begin a blog and share. This first blog is an experiment, since I am not the most technically savvy of folks. I hope you enjoy reading about our adventures.