Tuesday, March 27, 2012


So, here is (essentially) the emails Troy and I traded today. I think it pretty well sums up how I've been feeling.

Subject: Bad Day
I'm having a bad day. No rhyme or reason. Students are being fine. It's this LOA wait; it's really starting to weigh on me, especially knowing we're only 1/3 of the way through it. And, then, realizing that in all probability, you won't get any time home with Ethan this summer, only makes everything worse. I am just sad today. Sad. Frustrated. Upset. Tense. To top it all off, my cold sore is growing to epic proportions. I. Want. To. Cry.......

To which he responded:
Hang in there honey! We just have to know that it is going to happen and we will have our little guy home, safe, and sound this year. We know that we've done everything we can and now we just have to prepare for ANOTHER Awesome trip to China - and just think, it will be with OUR sons!!
Besides, we need to spoil AIDEN as much as possible these last couple of months! Because I want our eldest to be an only child for just a little longer. And maybe we need focus more on getting ready - the boys' room, the closet (needs to be painted), the bed etc. Also focus on getting all of our lesson plans done for August through December next year etc. And I'm sure there are dozens of things I'm forgetting we need to do also.

I love you more than words can say-We will get through this honey.

Da Doo

And I replied:
Thanks, honey.

I know all of that is true. And really, I feel the same way. I don't know why today is one of those days.

One thing is, I just hate the uncertainty of it all. If I KNEW it was going to be another 60 days, I could absolutely deal with that. The fact is, it could be 35, 40....90!! It is just so arbitrary, and I struggle with that. A lot. And, although I do want to enjoy this time with Aiden and us as a family of three, the fact is, we're missing a ton of milestones with Ethan, and he is attaching more every day with his foster family. It breaks my heart. I want to meet him, hold him, play with and comfort him. Screw him up in our own special way!

I'm sure being ultra tired doesn't help. Oh well. This, too, shall pass!

Da doo, too!

I know honey - we went through this last time also. We just have to resign ourselves to a later-than-opportune time for us (because what ever really goes our way?? :-) ) And trust me we will screw him up - just look at our little weirdo at home !!


Really nothing to add to this post. I wasn't even going to put it on here -- just share it with my "virtual world" where they're all going through the same thing. But, this is the reality. Some days stink. When I look back and share this process with the boys, I guess they have the right to know the good, the bad, and the ugly. So, is this bad or ugly or both??!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

One Week. Seven Days.

Nothing in the grand scheme of things. 168 hours. 10,080 minutes. Right? A flash in the pan. Chump change. Unless you're waiting for one of THE most significant pieces of paper you will ever receive. In which case, one week, seven days, can seem like an ETERNITY. It has been one measly week since we got an update on our sweet, beautiful baby boy. At that time, we received four pictures and answers to our five questions. One would imagine that that would satisfy a person for more than seven days. It doesn't. And, when you consider it has actually been nearly three months, 83 days to be exact, since we first saw him (that's about 1,992 hours or 119,520 minutes), it was really just a tease.

The only thing(s) that is / are keeping me centered are my loving, patient husband and sweet, gentle, funny and fun son. That, and I keep reminding myself that His timing is perfect, and we will travel when we are supposed to. I also need to remember that these are our last few months as a family of three. Aiden is really just coming into his own. His language and comprehension are starting to develop. His general understand of "things" is improving. He is actually, after almost a year and a half, settled in, comfortable, confident. I need to appreciate that (as I am just beginning to understand) and enjoy us as we are. When we are a family of four, that will be just as it is supposed to be. But for the time being, I want...no need...to just sit back and revel in our family as it is now.

During this time before we make our trip to China to bring home our second son, I am looking back at our first few weeks and months home with Aiden. Because of this reflection, I pray that with Ethan I am more patient and aware of the real and profound trauma he will have experienced. I thought I was with Aiden. I wasn't. I really did not appreciate the shock, stress, and pain he experienced. To be fair, I think I tried. But really, until very recently (thanks to much more reading and close observation and reflection), I don't think I grasped the scope of his required adjustment. I think I, and honestly everybody around me, assumed a week or two, heck, maybe a few months, and he should be fine. I cannot say how often I heard the phrase, "Aw. Kids are resilient. Aren't they amazing." Yes, they are. But they are people with emotions, memories, fears..... Even though I tried to put myself in his shoes, I think I wanted him to be fine. Sometimes I get the feeling that many of the people around me, try as I might to explain, still don't want to hear it. Maybe it is just beyond comprehension. Maybe it is because he was "only 27 months old," or "only 22 months old." They think I'm overstating the situation. I can't blame them. If I was in their place, I would, in all probablility, be thinking and feeling the same way. Maybe, to a certain extent, I did. I pray Aiden didn't pay too high a price for this...well...flippant attitude. It's not that I was abusive or uncaring. It's not that I didn't try to understand or was unfeeling. I just. Didn't. "Get it." I had tried to prepare. I just wasn't. Who knows? I still may not be prepared. How can somebody really prepare to help a person who has been so traumatized? I can only pray and love and pray some more.

Sadly, the reality is, I can't go back and change my expectations for Aiden. I can only go forward from here. And, have I said this before, pray I do better. Hopefully God grants me the wisdom, patience, and heart to do the right thing by that sweet little boy who will one day be, without any real forewarning for him, dropped into this imperfect but loving family several months from now. But, in the meantime, I plan to enjoy the now with this beautifully flawed family of mine!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I guess I should have waited to post about my dream so I wouldn't double post in one day! BUT THIS CAN'T WAIT! We got an update today, and we are OVER THE MOON! This morning a (virtual) friend sent me an email saying she'd received an update on her daughter. While I was happy for her, I actually felt a little sad and said aloud, "Aw. I want an update." I looked up at the clock, did the math to see what time it was in Oregon and thought, "Well, it's early there yet. Maybe there's hope for one today." Lo and behold, a couple hours later, my phone vibrates on my desk, and there's a text from Troy telling me, "Check you email! ASAP! Ethan update and pics!" Sure enough. An email from our agency with four pictures and a progress report!! There was another email from Troy saying, "OHHH my goodness - he is soo cute! I am crying right now! I wish I could be there to hug you and look at these together. He looks so good." Yes. That's a direct quote. (Sorry honey) Isn't my hubby sweet? Anyway, as great as it is to see Ethan's adorable, chubby cheeks, the report is what has me thrilled. He is 29.1" tall (little), 26.4# (I hope that's LOADED up with clothes! That's a LOT to lug around -- and it puts him WELL over the 50th percentile!), and has 8 teeth. They also say he is healthy and active, showing no signs of having heart problems which is consistent with his most recent echo. He can apparantly say simple words like "mama", "papa", and "take" in Chinese and can express "thanks" and "bye-bye" with gestures. According to this update, he knows his body parts: eyes, ears, mouth, etc. 'My' doctor, oh yeah, and cousin, who got back to me within MINUTES of receiving the updated file, says his ability to identify body parts would be fairly advanced. (God bless Half the Sky! He attends "class" from 8:30 AM to 11:00 AM Mon - Fri.) Actually, Jessica said that overall, everything looks "great!" We also learned that he has a foster younger sister in his foster home. It is my prayer that somehow, some way we will be able to stay in touch with her and his foster parents. These people are the only family he has known. By the looks of things, they love him and care very well for him. What a blessing. Now. Without further ado. Our new photos!!

First Ethan Adoption Dream and Random Thoughts

Let the insanity begin. I had my first adoption dream for this go-'round. It's awfully early to be starting as I have SEVERAL more months of dreams before this becomes "reality." The dream keeps coming to me in bits and pieces as the day goes on and is fairly disjointed, but suffice it to say, it was not all sweetness and light. It was stressful and nerve-wracking as a matter of fact. The gist of it is as follows: we're trying to catch a plane. My mom and dad are with "us", at least for a while, but I don't recall my better half being around...or Aiden, but I guess they were around somewhere. Odd. Anway, we get to the airport and are ready to board, but the airline attendants are sorry to inform us that the flight to China has been overbooked. Sorry. Sorry? Well, they do this you know? They proceed to tell us we have been bumped, but they'll try to get us on the next flight out. The next day. As much as I try to explain to them, I'VE WAITED LONG ENOUGH and one more day is NOT acceptable, they stick to their bottom line, and we are not allowed to board. Then, to add insult to injury, we had been booked in economy plus, but they just don't think it'll be possible now -- going over OR coming back. Again, I tried to get them to see reason to no avail. Just as I'm about to fall apart, I woke up. Aaahhh! So, two weeks into our official wait, eleven since we've first seen Ethan's sweet face, I've started the dreams. Now, I don't recall how early I started with Aiden, but I know they were frequently upsetting. For instance, in one dream, he was not the baby we'd been referred. In fact, he was blond and was speaking English. In another, we didn't get to stay in China and get our baby with the other adoptive families. We had to get on another plane, to England nonetheless, to get him, further delaying our Gottcha Day. You get the picture. Even if they are sweet and happy, it just further drives the point home that he's not with us. The point is, if there is in fact a point, that I want to go get our little guy and bring him home -- even if we're nowhere near close to ready. I started the lists yesterday, and I guess I should be grateful we have several months to prepare. There are booster seats to buy, closet organizers to purchase, beds to put together and rooms to rearrange, etc. Not to mention, money we need to save to actually go to China! The way I look at it, though, other than those pesky travel funds, there's nothing that can't be done once we get our boy home. Hurry up As...!! I wanna go get our son!

Friday, March 2, 2012

We Have a Winner!!

At least for the time-being. Dare I even commit this name to "writing?" What if we (and by we, I mostly mean me) change "our" mind(s)? We still can, you know? It is still well within the realm of possibility. Up until we get our I800 approval, likely a couple months from now, we can switch up our paperwork and go with an entirely different name. In fact, should we choose to do so, we can send over our forms with NO name in the English name portions. Another option? We can use the name we have chosen through this entire process, and once we get home and start the adoption re-finalization process, we can change the name even then! What to do? What to do? Put a name to that sweet, sweet face or leave him Tank? Baby Bo? Ah. What the heck! Here goes. The name we have chosen is.....ETHAN FLETCHER STURGEON!!! Actually, now that we have decided, he really does look like an Ethan, don't you think? Well, for now anyway, we have a name for the newest member of our family, but really, the only part of that name that really matters to us is that last part: Sturgeon!