Sunday, November 20, 2011

The List

My 13 year old daughter just had her birthday. And as tradition has it in our huge family, my husband and I take the birthday victim....I mean, person out to dinner alone with just us. Our kids LOVE this as they see this as time specially put aside for them where they have our loving and undivided attention. Not to mention, they get to order anything they want at the restaurant of their choosing. This is a huge deal. And now it was our daughter's turn.

I need to describe my 13 year old daughter. She is witty. She is organized. She is intentional (as you will soon see.). She does not mince words and is tough as nails, but in the same breath, she is gentle and has great maternal instincts. Her softness with our younger children has melted me on more than one occasion. She has physical endurance unlike any other child I have. She is my first baby girl and I could not keep my hands off of when she was first born. In fact, I would often wake her up just to hold her. I remember her infant doe eyes never leaving me as she had the intense need to track every where I roamed. Often, while she was facing rear in her car seat, I would turn back to see her head craned unnaturally just so she could keep her eyes on me while driving. We nicknamed this gaze "The Baby Psycho Stare". She is gorgeous and she doesn't even know it. Just for the next couple of years I would like it to stay this way! I love this girl so much and I am just so proud of her. She is amazing.

As we were driving to her chosen restaurant (one where she would single handedly polish off 14 teriyaki wings without blinking or taking a breath) she began asking us questions like "How is the adoption going?" and "The weather was nice to day wasn't it?" I'm not thinking too much about her questions....although I did find them to be a bit odd, contrived and out of character for her. I mean, is this what she really wanted to talk about when she had us all to herself? Oh well, whatever floated her boat. When we arrive at the restaurant, she was seated directly across from us. She looked down and then looked up to ask yet another question.....about
politics. This is coming from a child that lives, breathes and thinks about horses 24 hours a day and she is asking us about politics? Her wanting to converse about politics was about as uncommon as a man wanting to delve into the specifics of childbirth.

Ok. Something was up.

At this point, I am getting wind of the fact that she may actually have a sheet in her lap that she is reading questions off of. So I said, "You're reading off a list aren't you?" She went silent but a smirk started to appear on her sly little face. "Oh my gosh, you are actually reading off a list?????" I proclaim in humor ridden shock.
She responded saying she wasn't sure what she was going to talk about with us. This was hilarious! This is a child that has no problem sitting down and starting a deep and involved conversation with us at 12 midnight when we want to die of sleep deprivation. And all of a sudden, she needs a prop to help her have a dialogue with us??? I demanded the list from her. She refused and tightened her steely grip on it. Action had to be taken so I propelled my huge pregnant body across the restaurant table stunning and embarrassing her so much that she lost her hold and I grabbed it stealthily from her grasp.

Ha. I won.

So, without further ado, I want to share with you her list of possible discussion topics to have with us parents: ( It actually had a title too.)

Things To Talk About

1) Dad's Work

2) Adoption

3) Food

4) Mom's Blog

5) Idle Chit Chat (yes, she actually wrote this)

6) Writing Class

7) More Soccer

8) The Economy (Yes dear, let's talk about Occupy Wall Street)

9) Christmas

10) You're on your own babe. (
This is my personal favorite!)

I actually was a little bothered by this list at first. I wondered whether she really felt that awkward with us to need this list. Was she so used to having siblings as a buffer between her and us that having us one on one was too overwhelming for her? I could feel the enemy getting the upper hand on this adorable event and getting to my "insecure mother" part of me. I then remembered all our errands where we have taken alone where she was fine and had no problem talking and all our late night talks. This was not a symptom of a child ill at ease with her parents. This was an example of a child that thrives off of making lists for everything she does. Her birthday night would not be immune from her list making antics and it proved to be of great entertainment! I think the other thing I really like about her list, as a friend also pointed out, was that many of the topics were very "others" centered. Not all the topics were about her but about what she knew would get us going. For a teenager, I find this fairly noteworthy.

To my precious daughter, thank you for coming into our lives and giving us so much reason to smile, laugh and be proud. You are beautiful, smart as a whip and you are turning into a person that I would choose as a friend if I had a choice. I can't imagine, nor would I ever want to, life without you. So, my little list maker, I would find it more than a privilege to make it on one of your top 10 lists one long as it has a good title. ;)

It's Getting Close

Well, our paper work is done and was has been hand delivered into the country of Ethiopia. Now, all we have to wait for is the announcement of a court date. The wait. Oh the wait. For us, there is no way of telling how long this will take. Since our precious boys are already waiting children, this may grease the machine to go a little quicker. Also, the fact that I am very pregnant apparently adds a little more grease. We have been assured that everything is being done to expedite our case.....even to the point of putting all our paperwork on a plane with our adoption agency's rep. to be hand delivered to the appropriate people. The loving care with which our case has been handled has been touching and reassuring to say the least. I really believe that the Lord is taking care of these boys and of the whole adoption process. There is such peace that it is hard to I won't.

I really want to see these boys before they hit US soil. I feel an intense need to see, smell, meet and touch the environment they call home. I want to be able to imagine truly what they speak of when they try to explain their prior life to me. I want to be able to have the chance to say "Yes, I remember what she looked like" or "yes, I remember where you slept". I realize there will be so much I won't be able to relate to with them......but just to have a little taste, some visual and tactile link.

There is a distinct possibility of me not being able to go on any of the trips to meet them for the very first time or to bring them home. The timing and vaccination issues could be travel show stoppers for me. If I am going to travel, I ideally should travel by the end of January. If I don't, it will be too late as I will be only 5 weeks from delivery by the end of January. I am also trying to ascertain whether the Yellow Fever Vaccine is "required" in order to enter the country of Ethiopia. This particular vaccine is live and not one I am willing to to take while pregnant. There is too much risk. So my prayer is that we find out that this vaccine is just a "recommendation" and not "required". These are issues for which I ask for prayer.

All in all, this adoption has gone so smoothly so far. I am very thankful. Although I ingest all their most recent pics and videos like a drug crazed addict, it is beginning not to be enough. I am now in need of their hard core presence. I need to know if they like peanut butter. I want to know if they are scared of the dark. I want to know what they sound like when they laugh and when they cry. I want to know what their bodies feel like when I hug them and when I run my hand over their hair. What is their gate like when they walk/run? I just want to get started with them. I want their healing to have the chance to begin.

I am done waiting...