Friday, June 18, 2010

She said it best...

WoW! I just read this post on Rage Against the Minivan! This sums up so much of what I wish I could say to people when they ask about adoption and why we adopt and what it is like being a transracial family. Wow. What an amazing post!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Payton at 21 months, Adoption and Life Update

I think it has been years since I last posted! My apologies. Here is an update on life for our family and friends that use this blog to keep up with us. We celebrated our seventh anniversary with a quiet dinner at new restaurant downtown. It was a nice evening, that mostly involved us talking about how much has changed in the last seven years! Just look how young we are in our wedding photos!

Payton has been busy horse showing these days :) He has been in three so far this summer, including an "A" show at the end of last month, and another planned next Monday. It took me FOREVER to find show clothes tiny enough for him. But I did it! He is becoming quite the rider- and can post when given the command "up-down." So fun, and I am pretty sure his grandma is eating this stuff up big time. He is also in the middle of a vocabulary explosion. More impressive than his spoken words, is his mastery of sign language. He creates sentences! Currently, Payton knows the signs for :fish, giraffe, monkey, mouse, dog, pig, please, finished, thank you, more, beautiful, phone, wheel, lotion, bubbles, help, brush teeth, wash, wash hands, hat,i love you, eat, water, milk, music, potato, spider, and (my personal favorite) cold. His favorite spoken words these days include NO (drawn out into about ten syllables), "I DON'T WANT," and "OH-NO!" (usually after he drops something on purpose.) Tis the age, I guess. Below is a video of Payton demonstrating his "NO!" skills as well as his version of signing COLD. He learned this sign during our daily icee sharing. I spent $15 to buy a shaved ice treats machine and we love it!

He is also working hard on phonics. He can do the sounds for A-F and H, S, T. As I type, Payton has a tractor in his hands and is saying beep beep as he runs it up and down Carmen's belly. Thank goodness our dogs are so wonderful! We have filled our days with swimming in the baby pool and doing fun things like making a sign to welcome home Payton's new friend from Ethiopia. As you can see, finger paints are far more fun if one paints their own face and hair too!
I can hardly believe he is 21 months old today. He is turning into the most amazing little boy. Wes or I still hold him each nite as he drifts off to sleep and I cherish those moments. As much as some may argue that this is a bad habit, I think it has done wonders for our family and attachment.

Wes is still working hard with his company and trying to fit in time to train his new horse, Jaz, and keep his horse Bandit in shape. He is VERY ready for a relaxing vacation. Wes and my Dad have also been working hard to get in the hay this summer. It makes for loooong days and sore arms.

I am enjoying my first days of summer home with Payton. The last two weeks were incredibly draining as I packed up my entire classroom (amazing the junk you an collect in 5 years) in preparation for the move to the new high school. Wes was a saint and moved ALL gazillion boxes with me. It was also an emotional few weeks as I said goodbye to colleagues and a school that really did mean more to me than a pay check- it was my high school, too. In fact, it is where I met Wes :) I was also informed that I will have to teach AP US History next year so I will be spending a week at a conference this summer to teach me how to teach kids to pass the test with a 4 or 5. I'm thrilled (insert sarcasm). I also joined a book club for this summer and am finishing up our first book, The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. It is a great read and I highly recommend it. It does address issues of family ties and loyalty, racism, and the generation gap.

In other news, our journey to our second child is fully underway. After a frustrating four months of paper work (more than you could ever imagine unless you have done this process), we are finally approved by the state. We still have to get USCIS (Immigration) clearances to bring a child into the country. That will involve another set of biometric prints in DC to get our I71-H document. However, we were able to get our "numbers" from our placement agency yesterday. These numbers indicate how many people are in front of us on the waiting list with our agency. What is so sad is that there are this many waiting families with just our agency and over 146 million orphans world wide, and 5 million of those are in Ethiopia. Yet, the crazy amounts of bureaucracy keeps things from moving any faster. Nonetheless, our numbers are (drum roll please)....Infant Boy #37, Infant Girl #59, Toddler Boy #7 (36 months or younger), Toddler Girl #23 (36 months or younger), and Sibling #22 (4 or younger for both children). Given these numbers, it is most likely that our referral will be for a toddler boy but we are ready for whatever blessing God sends our way. If I am right, however, and we are placed with a toddler boy we will have what they call in the adoption world "artificial twins." We are going to work on creating a room for the boys this summer. I think their attachment to each other will go better if they are in the same room. We also want Payton to have time pre-brother's arrival to get used to being in his "big boy" room. We are really excited about our adoption and cannot wait to bring him (whoever he is ) home. I think a best case scenario would have our little one coming home sometime in December, but realistically I think next spring is more accurate. Our next step, other than waiting for that wonderful phone call and submitting our I600A for immigration approval, is saving up money for Ethiopia's country fee that is due at the time we get our referral. I am applying for various adoption grants this week and hoping we will qualify for some.

As far as the animals are concerned... all is relatively calm at the moment. (And I did just knock on wood.)

I guess that is it for now....