Archive for March, 2006



Ok, so this is more about our son than it is about the adoption, but I think it’ still relevant.

 Anyone who has met our son will probably have observed that he is not your standard issue 4 year old mixed kid. He’s brilliant and caring and thoughtful. He’s a very special little person, and I worry sometimes that he’ll have trouble in the wide, wide world because he’s not ‘normal’ enough.

In fact, this came up in a conversation with a neighbor, and Molly 2.jpgand I had recently discussed it. Well, true to his empathetic self, my boy, not 24 hours after my discussion with Molly, went outside and jammed one of the dogs’ racquet balls into the furnace intake pipe. Apparently he didn’t want Dad to worry.

I stopped worrying that he’s not ‘normal’ enough.

 I wasn’t mad, and the ball came right out (only held in by the suction from the furnace). When I asked him if he’d stuck anything into a pipe in the yard, he piped up with a ‘yeah’. I had to laugh. It was an absolutely normal, exploratory thing to do.

That boy is a smart one, no doubt. Our little girl will be, too.


"My Girl"


This morning when we were getting ready for school and work, Dillon serenaded me with "twinkle twinkle little star" (completely unprompted) and then he asked me to sing him a song.  For whatever reason (or perhaps because i was listening to the Temptations greatest hits cd yesterday) the song, "My Girl" popped into my head.  I sang the beginning, and when I got to the refrain "I guess you’d say what can make me feel this way, My Girl" Dillon jumped in with the tenor "My Girl!", and sang the rest of the song with me.  That kind of amazed me because I’ve never sung that song to him before.  He’s just picked it up from the shuffle of the 2,000 songs on my iPod or whatever. 

 It just reminded me how much kids pick up when you think they aren’t listening.  A couple of days ago he was taking a bath, and I went into his bedroom to get out pjs, and I heard him bust out at full bathtub volume, "Cecilia, you’re breaking my heart, you’re blahblahblah ma mah na da da…"  And then he just sang that line over and over in a totally endearing way, really feeling soulful about his heart breaking.

 I’ve been reading this book, "Toddler Adoption: The Weaver’s Craft," which is really interesting, although possibly geared a bit towards those people in the process of deciding to (or not to) adopt a toddler (at least the first sixty pages are, anyway).  But one part talks about how many adopted toddlers are extremely developmentally delayed when they are first placed with their forever families.  Like, our new daughter may not be able to speak or walk or things like that.  And it talks about how quickly those things come once the child has found a home.  Many of the adoptive parents talk about a miracle, an extraordinary occurence where one moment their child was not walking, and the next moment he was.  And it just resonates with me so much because it surprises me every day how much Dillon knows, what he picks up, and how he retains and recalls information that he asks us and may not even seem like he’s paying attention to the answer.

Somewhere right now, there’s a little girl quietly (or not so quietly) absorbing things, hanging back, waiting for us to come and pick her up so she can amaze the hell out of us.   

Not TOO painful…


So we had the "home visit" with the Social Worker (SW) today, and of course it went fine.  Charles and I have been pretty jazzed up about it, psyching ourselves out that if we didn’t get the closets cleaned out (she didn’t open them) or all the dog hair swept from under the couch (she didn’t check) that we would "fail" or something.

 Of course, it’s more like talking with a therapist than taking a driver’s test where they’re waiting to dock you points for every time you make a bad move.   ("So, how was your parent’s relationship…?") 

The talking was fine, Charles was "Chatty Charlie" again despite my best efforts both before and during the inteview to get him back on track with the questions and less with the anectdotes. 

The best part was probably her interview with Dillon, who was (of course) impressive, and gave perfect answers despite not having been coached in any way.  He says, "I am SO excited for my baby sister!  Even though I know she’s not coming for a while I still need to jump up and down because I’m SO excited!"  (He really IS that excited, believe it or not… He talks about it all the time.)  He told the SW that he helped his dad "lock up the cupboards" so that if she’s a baby she won’t get in trouble, but if she’s big enough they’ll "just take all that stuff off".  (They installed the cabinet latches that we had to have to pass the inspection-I wasn’t going to bring up the fact that we haven’t had them for the past two years we’ve lived in the house or whatever…)

 But basically, it was a lot of talking, three hours of talking…  (mostly thanks to my dear husband, who does tend to prattle on.)  But it was painless.  Afterwards, I gave the SW a two-minute tour of the house we spent days cleaning.  But if we can keep it spotless until Easter it will all have been worth it. 

In all fairness, they told us not to go nuts with the cleaning, and of course I couldn’t NOT go nuts.  Also, they told us not to panic about it, but I still tossed and turned forever last night, and finally got out of bed to do a shot with my husband so I could fall asleep–good tip: rum and toothpaste-not at all a good combination.  But really, as only peppermint schnapps and toothpaste are a good alcohol/hygene combo, and we don’t keep that kind of nonsense in the house, what can you do?  

 Turns out the best thing would have been not to do it at all as I was pretty sure I was going to puke one minute after I did it.  It’s been a REALLY long time since I’ve done a shot of anything, and I’m quite the lightweight these days.  So I went to bed with a terrible feeling in my stomach, but as it turns out, I fell asleep really quickly and slept like a rock. 

So, we "passed" the inspection, not that it really works that way, but now the SW will take three to four weeks to write a report, and then she’ll give it to us to fact-check, then submit it to Dept. of Homeland Security and our other adoption agency.  At that point, I think we work pretty exclusively with our agency out of Minneapolis which is the one that deals with the Ethiopian government.  In the meantime, we’ll be finishing up our dossier, which then goes through various channels in Ethiopia, and will result in the assiging of a daughter to us.  A little girl who is at this very moment, somewhere in Ethiopia and hopefully not in  too terrible of a situation.

Volunteer in Ethiopia


Check out this opportunity to volunteer at the orphanage we’ll be getting our daughter from in Ethiopia.  We’re not going to do it this year, but I thought I’d put it out there… 


Pathways to Children…a volunteer experience
We are able to offer you a unique perspective on Ethiopian culture and people through Pathways To Children… a volunteer experience. This hands-on adventure enables you to work and stay in and around an orphanage in Ethiopia, closely interact with Ethiopians, taste authentic foods and take in the sights with an insider perspective that most tourists do not have access to.

This trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will depart Minneapolis/St. Paul on 09/22/06 and last until October 6, 2006.

Participants may join or leave the group at any time within the above time frame. A detailed itinerary will be available by the end of February 2006. Contact Laurie Haller at 651-255-2335 or for more information.