Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A New Reality

Thursday will mark four weeks since we got home with the little girl Polsgrove. A month. It's cliché to say that it's been a whirlwind and we don't know where the time has gone, but sometimes statements are cliché because there are mountains of truth to them. For the first week, we were just trying to survive, and in many ways we still are. The second week we were dealing with a nasty stomach virus. Now it's not so chaotic, not so stressful. At least it's calmed down for me. I've gone back to work and reconvened a regular weekly schedule. Only now when I come home there's two people I'm looking forward to seeing rather than just one. I know it's different for Anna. She doesn't go back to work for a few weeks, and she is pregnant with our second child. I'm sure this makes the job of being a mother much harder because she is uber tired but she's doing a great job. One thing that has helped both of us is Lucy started sleeping through the night last week, and ithat's been a huge help. It's nice for us to sleep a little bit.

Before we brought Lucy home, there were two things I hated. First, I got tired of people telling me how different my life was going to be. Not because I didn't believe it was true, but because I hated the connotation that always came with it. Mostly we heard "do everything you want to do now, because once that kid comes home it's OVER". Although most people weren't trying to scare us, it was usually no fun hearing from people in that way. Our lives have changed, this is true. But we've made a priority out of trying to do the things we used to do. We've been to movies, created space for each other to go read and relax. It's more difficult to get away, but we prioritize our time away more because we realize how precious it is. And also it allows us to prioritize the time we get to spend with Lucy as well. Once the initial bonding process is over and we start having babysitters, I can't wait to go out with my wife again too. Yes our lives have changed, but it's been for the better. It's harder for us to do the things we used to, but we're still fundamentally the same people. I hope that never changes, even if our schedule is different.

The second thing I hated was when people relentlessly flooded the internet with pictures of their kids. Their Facebook profiles are their kids pictures. You get email updates every day. Blogs are filled with pictures. It bothered me so much. It seemed pretentious and self-absorbed. Now i know why those people do it. It's almost impossible not to. When you have an addition to your family, and you have other people who want to be a part of that, you can't help but be absorbed in the brand new moments. Asking a new parent to cool it with all the pics is like asking a 16 year old to stop showing off their driver's license. It's like telling a newly engaged woman to stop showing off her ring. It's such a life changing experience there's no way not to be proud.

Our lives have dramatically changed, so you will pardon me an indulgence for a little while. It'll eventually cool off, I promise.

As you can tell, she likes the swing.

She wore this headband for approximately 4.7 seconds before ripping it off.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Together at last!

We have been home for one week and are doing great! Every day is full of surprises and not all days have been easy but we are so thankful to be on this journey. Here are a few pictures from our first day in Ethiopia.

After sitting on a plane in Chicago for 2 hours, running through the Istanbul airport, almost missing our plane to Addis, we finally arrived around 1 am that Saturday morning. We then found out that two of our four pieces of luggage did not make it (one made it the night we left to come home, one just came to our house today--TWO WEEKS from when it should have arrived in Ethiopia- thanks Turkish Airlines!). Our friend and driver Yoftahe dropped us off at the guesthouse. We unpacked, got everything settled, and finally went to bed around 3:30 am.

Last night with an empty crib in our room

We woke that morning and called Belay about taking placement. He said he would bring her after lunch. We knew that could be 1 pm or 7 pm. Around 2 pm I decided to lay down and take a nap. As soon as I closed my eyes, I heard Russ saying, "They're here!" We both jumped up and ran outside as they pulled up. We could see her in the backseat, drinking a bottle, with a precious bonnet on. We walked around to the passenger side and there she was...just a smiling. As I took her from the caregiver, I was so nervous of how she would react. She was a little cautious but quickly began smiling and laughing.

We spent the afternoon playing. She showed off her tricks and loved showing us how she could walk (just a few steps without our help).

We ended the day by giving her a bath (she was very unsure of this...but has come to LOVE the water) and then bed. Loved having her fall asleep in my arms!

The day began with an empty crib and ended by us putting OUR DAUGHTER to bed in it. We could not believe that after all this time she was with us to stay!

It has been quite a whirlwind since that day two weeks ago. We have so much to share about her, life, adoption, etc. but we are all still adjusting to our new life. I will say there have been difficult parts of the past two weeks (for her and us) but we are so thankful for God's continued faithfulness. We are exhausted but so in love and are truly amazed by this little ball of energy. We are so lucky to get to be a part of her life. Can't wait to share more!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Coming Home

So sorry we have not had a chance to update! We have been busy here with the sweetest, cutest, funniest, MOST ACTIVE 13 month old I know! She has done so well and we cannot wait to get her home. We fly out in 5 hours and land in Memphis Thursday night at 6:50! Can't wait to see friends and family that have loved us and her for so long!

My heart is at peace for the first time since October 2007-- when we knew we were to adopt a baby girl. It has been a wild and crazy journey...one that has taken longer than I would have liked...but being on this side I can say God is good and IT WAS WORTH IT!

She has adjusted well... but pray for our long flight. Hoping she does well! Can't wait to update from home :)