Friday, May 29, 2009

Musings on the past week

So, it was a pretty good week here--both in the LA Ethiopian adoption community and in the greater ET adoption community at large. Our friends (and yours I'm sure, I know who my readers are ;-), Julie and Steven received their referral this week.

So many people have been looking forward to this happy news for so long that once the word was out Facebook and email and the blogasphere just went crazy. Heck, there might have even been a star over their house on Wednesday to help share the news. A happy dancing star or two, shining their beams down on the love sick raccoons who took a break to look joyfully at the new Mom and Dad.

For those of you who aren't within 2 hours of LA let me just say, you missed a great party. When there is this much joy to be had, even rush hour on the 405 won't stop Angelenos from gathering. There was a special cake and champagne and more cute kids underfoot then you can imagine. You can go over to Julie's blog today to see a few pictures.

The thing that struck me at the party was how thick it was. I know, what?? I have been mulling this over for 3 days...trying to find the words... the party that night, the crowd, the love, the hope... it was all very 3-d. You could see it, touch it, taste it. It was all around us.

That's the thing I was the least prepared for in this adoption process. I knew about the wait, the anxiety, the ups and downs, the crazy legal issues, blah blah blah. But I really wasn't prepared in the least for the 3-dness of support we would feel.

Support system
, what a boring phrase, sounds like a bra. What we have here- in our real, virtual, and virtually-real community of friends- is more like a big lovely sun hat, with a wide floppy brim that protects us from the heat and the wet and the prying eyes, with a huge sunflower of hope on top. I'm picturing a Steel Magnolias-goes to the Kentucky Derby-and then gardens for a bit-while sipping a cool beverage-kinda hat. A hat that your great Aunt Francis and your 2nd cousin Bruce would both be proud to wear.

I started this blog to meet people who were on the same path. But looking back now, I realize that I just thought it was a way to swap ideas and news. I really didn't get just how heart moving it would be to belong to this community. It is quite possible that I am in love with people I have only met in comment sections. My pray post-it is covered in User Names. The Esquire no longer asks "do I know them?" because he knows, odds are, he doesn't.

But back to Julie... she was my first real "let's meet for lunch" blogger friend. One, because almost everything she wrote struck me and two, because I could tell from her blog that she lived close by. So we made arrangements to meet for lunch and we both told our husbands "call my cell in an hour to make sure I haven't been kidnapped/killed/bored to death by this stranger."

We met Julie and Stephen one week after we went on the wait they have been The Couple that we've watched. We have had the good fortune to welcome several friends home from Ethiopia with their newly completed families, so in our heads we knew that this adoption thing really does happen. But it wasn't until I hugged Julie on Weds night that my heart knew it too. The Esq said the same thing, "ok, now we know it's real!" Referrals really DO happen!

I'm getting way too mushy here ... I need to stop before I start making more accessory analogies.... the wait list is like a pair of skinny jeans--they sit on a chair taunting and judging you most of the time but then suddenly they are a perfect fit and you love them!...

Yes. Definitely time to stop. Say goodnight Gracie. Happy weekend. Fingers crossed for all the court dates next week.

Much MUCH love to all... Kat

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Today is a Good Day

Today is a Good Day.

Today, my very first blog friend, Julie--aka: my first LA ET adoption friend, my wait list mentor & sounding board, my eyebrow guru, my talented, amazing writer friend--my very dear and wonderful friend Julie... Julie and Steven saw their children for the first time.

Today is such a good, good day. I haven't stopped crying since she said, "can you come over tonight, there is someone I want you to meet. Two someones actually."

They waited 16 months and today they met their daughter and her little brother.

I am overwhelmed. Overwhelmed sounds lame compared to how I feel about these people and about their good news. I am Whelmed-Up. Whelmified. Uber Whelmed.

I'd write more now but it's hard to type through the tears. So just go on to their site. Read the comments, feel the love the world has for them and you too can be whelmificated.

Seriously. Today is a GOOD DAY.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

And the Award goes to....

Hola friends, family and peeps.

Since we are sitting firmly in the middle of week 37 of waiting (aka: month 9.75 depending on how you count) I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for their well wishes.

Seriously, the good will and happy thoughts and cheerful armchair participation by all of you has been overwhelming. Experiencing all this love is a veryclose 2nd to Airport Welcome Wagon as our favorite part of this whole adoption process so far. (not sure what I mean by Airport Welcome Wagon? ...well then, go here and here) We always thought having you as friends and family just made us we know it makes us extremely blessed too.

If I had to give out an award for Biggest Cheerleader...and while I do love award shows I am hesitant to do this because it is SUCH a tight competition...but if I have to...well, the award has to go to... drum roll please....

The Esquire's sister, brother-in-law and our two nephews!

They have been excited for us about this adoption since we first said "we're thinking of adop..." couldn't even get the whole word out before they were cheering us on. And even though they live half-way around the world in Muscat, Oman, they have been with us on this journey every step of the way.

There are SO many reasons why The Omani Contingent should win Best Cheerleaders but I think it can be summed up in two words: ear infection.

A few weeks ago I asked everyone to join us in an anthem of "startin' something." This is the email I got from my sister-in-law in response:

The other day I pulled out all the Ethiopian crosses from Mom's jewelry (The Esquire's parents lived in Addis for 5-6 years where his mom collected all sorts of Ethiopian jewelry and art--both the tacky and the lovely) and we're all wearing the lucky crosses each day (despite the infections the darn earrings cause...well, honestly, maybe I'll stick to the necklace after the last two days of lobe pain). The boys have put ropes on their crosses and they're suited up.

I know you have all been there for us during this process but have you taken that extra step and worn crappy metal in your ears for us? I thought not. Therefore... The Omani Contingent wins. Their prize...years and years of babysitting. :-)

Here is my sister-in-law and nephews in their Coptic Wear while out camping in the Omani mountains

This is a picture of my brother-in-law chasing wild goats from their campsite. No, he's not wearing any Coptic jewelry while he hurls camping chairs, I just think it's a funny photo.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Weekends are the Golden Time for Singing Birds

I have a confession to make. Every day, Monday thru Friday, at 2pm I let out a huge exhalation, a sigh of both disappointment and relaxation. See, 2pm LA time is 5pm Texas time... the end of the work day for our agency.

Once the clock strikes 2pm I can stop jumping every time the phone rings. I can stop checking my email every ten minutes. I can call the Esquire at work without getting his hopes up. I can go into a store and not worry that my cell phone won't have service. Of course I'm sad that another day has come and gone without our referral call. But at least now, after 2pm, I can stop thinking about it. Ok, that might be a stretch...but I do stop dwelling on The Call as much.

The weekends are the same way. Two whole days where I can lose track of my cell phone and we don't have to worry about being reachable. Suddenly Thank God for the Weekends has a whole new meaning. It's just nice to have a bit of time where you don't have to wonder...could the call come today? Cause you know that it won't. (and if anyone knows of a referral call coming on a Sunday, please don't tell me! I need these two days of calm to help me stay alert for the rest of the week!) Weekends are the golden time when you are on the wait list...we aren't anxious about whether or not our ringer works and we're filled with hope for the coming week.

So it's now after 2pm on Friday...and we are heading out for a spontaneous weekend road trip. Going north a few hours to sample olive oil and wine, eat adobado and queso de cazuela, sit, read, nap and explore. I am very grateful to have the kind of husband who will call suddenly in the middle of a Friday and suggest a road trip.

Next week is a big one for Gladney families ... I've counted at least 17 families who have court dates between now and May 25th. The only anthem (sadly) suggested for these families was "Make It Happen" by Mariah Carey so alas, it wins by default. Hey, no one ever said international adoption was easy! So no matter how you feel about Mariah, I expect you all to join in and sing it loud, sing it proud next week in honor of those families.

And just so my last thought for the weekend isn't Glitter-related ... I'll share with you my new favorit-est saying. It was given to me by my Uncle-in-law (who I think is just the bee's knees. Mainly cause we share a love of the Jacaranda :-) earlier this week and I think we could all grow some heart trees right about now.

Keep a green tree in your heart and
perhaps a singing bird will come.

Happy Weekend,

ps...I did a search on Google images of the quote and it pulled up the amazing jpg shown above. I have no idea who this blogger is but I want to give him/her credit because I just love it! Isn't Google the coolest?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Why it's more fun to wait in LA

Apparently, the King of Pop's Wait List Anthem, was just the trick we needed to get things moving. Last week we were #5 on the very unofficial list and today we are in the #2 range. There was a referral yesterday and another one things are happening folks!

So we continue to wait. But luckily we are waiting in sunny LA where with one quick phone call, I can be at the beach in just 20 mins to hang out with 5 of my favorite ladies...

It was LT's first visit to the beach.

Miz Mimi was amazing when it came to sharing

LT liked the added crunch the sand gave her snacks.

Mimi wasn't so into actually being in the cold waves but she seemed to love sitting close by with her best bud Julie.

It was a lovely, spontaneous day. I'm not a doctor, and I don't play one on TV, but I do think think the beach and some babes are the perfect prescription for Waiting-List-Sickness.


ps: there are at least 16 Gladney families with court dates next week. I think we need to find an anthem for them. Sister Sledge's "We are a family" perhaps? Any other suggestions?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wanna be Startin' Somethin' (edit)

**edit: I fixed the now you can go to Emily's blog and congratulate yourself!**

Good news in Referral Land... Emily's family received The Call today. An absolute doodle-bug of a little boy, 11 months old. I am so thrilled for them!

Emily's family went on the wait list two days before we did. And now that they've gotten their referral we move up to #4 on the very, unofficial list.

So here's what I'm wondering...could this be the start of something? Referrals have been far and few between lately. Could Emily's referral be the one that gets the ball rolling? Cause I for one, think there's got to be something starting SOON.

So, let us all join in and sing along with Mr. Jackson. Shout it from the rooftops, a rousing chorus that will hopefully get lots of referral balls rolling. Come on, you know you remember the words...and don't chicken out on the ending...sing it loud, sing it proud, make it count!

I Said You Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
You Got To Be Startin' Somethin'
I Said You Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
You Got To Be Startin' Somethin'
It's Too High To Get Over (Yeah, Yeah)
Too Low To Get Under (Yeah, Yeah)
You're Stuck In The Middle (Yeah, Yeah)
And The Pain Is Thunder (Yeah, Yeah)
It's Too High To Get Over (Yeah, Yeah)
Too Low To Get Under (Yeah, Yeah)
You're Stuck In The Middle (Yeah, Yeah)
And The Pain Is Thunder (Yeah, Yeah)

Help Me Sing It, Ma Ma Se,
Ma Ma Sa, Ma Ma Coo Sa
Ma Ma Se, Ma Ma Sa,
Ma Ma Coo Sa


Sunday, May 3, 2009

More LAX Magic

In the past I have tried my best to keep busy while we wait for The Call. I have spent my waiting-time learning how to make this and these, or reading about this subject, or making sure the Esquire doesn't buy too many of these. But I'm done with those hobbies. I have found a new obsession to spend my time on. One that gets my heart racing and my blood pumping and makes use of my glitter-pen skills:

Airport Welcome Wagon

Yup. Greeting new families as they return home from Ethiopia... trust me, it's addicting. A few weeks ago we got our first taste of the Welcome Wagon Magic when we were on hand to meet Simone as she arrived home with her family. The joy, the energy, the was like baby crack. We had a taste and we wanted more.

Luckily, we got another fix yesterday. This time we were at LAX to greet Amy as she arrived home with her daughter, the littlest ladybug of them all, Miz LT.

To be a member of the LAX Welcome Wagon, you must possess superior poster board skills and be able to cry at the first sight of the arriving family.

Like a hysterical group of tweens catching a glimpse of that guy from Twilight, The Welcome Wagon rushes toward Mama and Babe at first sight.

Mama never stopped smiling while the Sweet Babe gazed out at all of us thoughtfully.

Baby-sized, madras-plaid espadrilles...just one of the many signs of magic you witness when you are part of the Welcome Wagon.

While the Welcome Wagon gathered around cooing and ahhing and crying and laughing, the Sweet Babe just smiled. She never cried or pouted or hid away. She rested comfortably in her mother's arms, found her light, and smiled at her adoring fans.

So, I think it's pretty clear why I won't be wasting my time crocheting any more owls... I mean, I have signs to make and babies to greet! Once you've experienced Airport Magic you can't go back. Oh, alright, so maybe I'll work on an owl or two when flights are delayed...

Now, who's coming home next?