Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Counting Down

We have our first travel dates!  Feb. 23 is when we will get to meet baby girl for the first time!  We are a tad disappointed that it is so far away.  We originally hoped that we would get to meet her in January, but what's one more month? Right? Right. We're no stranger to waiting.   And this way we'll have a little more time to scrape together our pennies for the trip.  AND since we have a two month lead time, plane tickets will be cheaper too.  So there are a few positives .  Right?  Right.
But still...we are anxious to meet her, hug her, hold her, never let her go. It's kinda strange, this feeling of missing someone you don't even know.  So here's hoping that the next two months go by quickly, smoothly and hiccup free. :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Impatiently Waiting

This waiting part is no fun.  No fun at all.  We think of baby girl all the time.  What is she doing right now?  Is she having a good day?  What are her favorite things to play with?  Is she being taken care of?  Did she sleep well?  Those are the things that are easy to wonder about.  The simple things.  But many times my mind wanders to her painful reality.  Does she miss her birth mother?  Is she overwhelmed with grief?  Is she confused?  Will she be forever scarred by the trauma of losing her mother, then losing her caregivers at the orphanage?  Are we doing the right thing?    Sheesh, I could make myself sick with worry.

I pass the time and ease my anxiety by reading about others' adoption stories.  There are a billion other adoption blogs out there, with families all sharing their unique experiences. One of my favorites is Flower Patch Farmgirl.  I recommend reading her Big Adoption Series, if you like a good story or are considering adoption.

Getting baby girl's room ready also keeps me distracted.  We now have paint on the walls (robin's egg blue, if you'd like to know).  I've been mentally rearranging furniture, trying to decide on bedding and what to put on the walls.  Which reminds me, sometime soon I'll be posting some details about a cool fundraiser/art project for baby girl and her bare bedroom walls.

And lastly, while we wait for baby girl, we also make t-shirts.

Monday, November 1, 2010


She is 16 months old  and she has beautiful eyes.  We can't wait to meet her!  As of yet we have no travel dates, but our best guess is that we will make our first trip in January, to appear before the court and legally adopt her.  About a month later we will travel to Ethiopia again to finally bring her home.  
As much as I want to, I cannot legally post a picture of her on the internet, or give out too much information.   So for now you can just get a glimpse those beautiful eyes.  

Monday, October 18, 2010

Road Trip

Our weekend got off to a rocky start

But we eventually made it to Kansas 
and had a good time with the fam.  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sweet 15

We are currently number 15 on the waiting list!  I still have no idea when we can expect a referral, but to give you an idea of our timeline, we have been on the list since January 2010.  And at that time we were number 76.  So we're truckin' right along.
Also, as you may have noticed, we've added a few things to the sidebar of this blog.  Fundraiser things. Just Love Coffee is one of them.  It's simple, really. You order some coffee, we get some of the proceeds.  They are a super cool company who's mission is to help orphans and adoptive families.  Check em out.  Also, there is just a plain 'ol simple PayPal button, where you can give directly to our adoption fund.  Easy peasy.
Now, I hate asking for money.  And thankfully we have saved most of the money on our own so we don't need to ask for much.   And at this time I'm not even gonna ask.  But be forewarned.  There will be a time (as soon as we get a referral) when we will be kicking this fundraiser business into high gear.  So until then prayers for a speedy and smooth process are greatly appreciated.  But of course, we'll take any money any time you feel like donating.  ;)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

First days and birthdays

Second grade.  Geez, I’m old. 

DSC_7278 DSC_7271

This is what Ryder was doing before I forced him to pose for his First Day pictures.  It’s 7:30am, mind you. 

DSC_7284 DSC_7291

My baby headed off to kindergarten today.   Walked right in.  Didn’t need me.  Didn’t miss me.  Apparently I cramp his style. 



It’s also Ryder’s 8th birthday.  But he’s not too excited about turning 8 yet.  We won’t have his party for a few weeks.  He wanted to wait until after school had started, presumably to make some more friends.  Which means he could invite more friends.  Which means  more presents.  He’s a genius. 


(a double wave, for Aunt B)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

This boy...

has always been afraid of water.   He never liked bath time when he was little.  He was deathly afraid of being splashed and getting water in his eyes.  Every swimming lesson  has always ended in tears and frustration.  The boy would not even put his mouth in the water to blow bubbles.  Last year he started to enjoy going to the pool, but mostly just hung out on the steps, never getting more than up to his shoulders wet. 
Well, I am happy to report that as of last week – thanks to our trip to Table Rock - his fear has been conquered.  He is now a cliff jumper…

and VERY proud of himself.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Last week

Ok, so technically it was the week before last.  We spent a few days up in South Haven, as we like to do every year around the 4th of July.  This year Jeff's sister Joanna and her girls were there too, so Ryd and Gav got to play with their cousins that were visiting from Salt Lake.   A good time was had by all.  We went on the dune rides, fished, hot tubbed, played at the beach and ate our weight in freshly picked Michigan blueberries.  We also went to the children's museum that was hosting the Grossology exhibit.  Who doesn't like to learn about gross bodily functions? Here are a few pics of our adventure.  

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Summa Time

School is almost out (finally) and I have been pondering what to do with two rambunctious boys this summer.  I wish they were more like me; sleep in till 10am, watch Martha, Oprah, Ellen and GH, bake scones, go to thrift stores and garage sales, paint fingernails, etc.  Oh, life would be so easy then.  But no.  They like to get up at first light, make noise, fight, get dirty, touch bugs, not brush their teeth, and all kinds of other gross stuff.  So in order for me to keep my sanity, we have devised a list.   A list of all the fun things we want to do this summer.  We totally stole this idea, but I think it will really help me us to get off the couch and enjoy summer vacation - minus the bug touching.  Here is the list we have come up with so far:


I think Gavin had the most original idea.  He asked me if I had been everywhere in our house.  Uh.  Duh.  Of course I have. "Yes, baby.  I've been everywhere in our house.  …Well actually, I don't think I've been  in the attic."   "Let's go to the attic this summer!" he exclaims.  So this afternoon we made his dreams come true.  Up the ladder he went to visit the attic.  Which  I am sure is full of gross bugs. 


Thursday, May 13, 2010

The latest

Nothing super significant to report on the adoption front.  When we were officially put on the waiting list back in January we were told we were number 76 - meaning there were 75 other families ahead of us in the waiting line. A few weeks ago were were told we were number 39.  That may sound like we've made a lot of progress in the last 4 months, but really the number is not all that telling.  Because we want a younger girl (as do many adoptive parents on "the list") our wait will be longer than families seeking boys or older children.
We also recently found out that there has been a new change regarding Ethiopian adoptions.  Sounds scary, right?  One of the reasons we decided to adopt from Ethiopia was that you only had to make 1 trip.  But wouldn't ya know it, the Ehtiopian government has recently decided to change that policy.  Starting ASAP all adoptive families are now required to make 2 trips.  Sigh.  One trip to appear in court and make your adoptive intentions known, and another trip to finalize the adoption and bring your child home.  Since this is a new rule, not much is known about the timeline of the trips or what exactly will be expected of us.  While this change in policy is annoying to us, we consider it just another minor bump in the road (Lord knows we've come to expect the unexpected) and know that it will still get us to the end goal of welcoming another child to our family.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Signs of Spring

Sedum growing in the front garden



Boys playing outside




Dog enjoying the sunshine



Boy #2 learning to ride without training wheels

DSC_5337 DSC_5363(success!)


Muddy shoes, floors, furniture, paws and boys


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Statistically Speaking

Over the last week there has been a plague on our house.   Well, maybe I'm being a tad dramatic.  Germ infested might be a better way to describe it.  Last week Gavin had a nasty fever for 3 days.  It sure wasn't fun for the little guy, but we managed and he was back to his old charming self in time for the weekend.  I guess Ryder was jealous of his brother and decided to one-up him.  At the beginning of the week I got a call from his school nurse telling me Ryder was in the bathroom puking his guts out.  I'm pretty sure those were her exact words. 
So here are a few statistics I have compiled that summarize the last few days at the Berry house  You know how I love numbers:

Number of sick boys:  2
Number of whiny boys:  0    (no whining!  almost wish they were sick more often)
Hours of cartoons watched:   36 and counting
Number of times Ryder threw up:   13                                     Number of times Ryder threw up on me:   2.5   (ick!)
Number of times Gavin threw up:     0    (he's totally my favorite)
Hours I spent cleaning the carpet:   3
Loads of laundry I've done this week:   473

The good news is Ryder is on the mend today.  Now I just need to convince him to take a shower.  That boy is rank!DSC_5027

Now for the deep cleaning and Lysol-ing of the house…and another load of laundry.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It’s officially official

As of January 5, we are officially a “waiting family”.  This means we are on the waiting list to adopt a baby girl from Ethiopia.  Our dossier passed inspection and has gotten it’s final stamps of approval.  So now we sit back and wait……again.  Our agency did not give us a time frame of how long we can expect to wait.  But we do get weekly updates from them listing their current “stats” of adoptive families.  And based off that information it looks like we could be waiting anywhere from 9-15 months.  Things change so frequently in the world of international adoption that you can really never know when things will happen. 

While we wait we plan to continue studying and learning more about Ethiopia.  We also plan to read up on attachment and bonding and transracial adoption issues, and maybe even learn a few phrases  in Amharic. 

So this may be the last post regarding adoption for a while.  In the next few months I doubt I’ll have much news to report.  So I guess I’ll have to get in to the habit of blogging about all the many fascinating and exciting things that happen in my life everyday.  Like today, for instance, I spot cleaned the carpet and watched General Hospital. 

It’s going to be a long 9-15 months.