Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Unofficial Number....

I haven't spoken officially with my caseworker yet, but as I mentioned before, there is enough chatter amongst the waiting families that you know when you've moved up the list. Wow! This is moving FAST!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Trivia Night....

I don't want to brag of course, but we did walk away winners tonight at trivia. Perhaps it was in the 3rd place category, but placing equates to winning... Here we are sharing a victory drink. Shortly thereafter we walked away with our trophies -- new pint glasses.

Moving Quickly....

Well... I have reported it on Facebook. I have sent out a couple of emails. I may as well spill the beans here too -- Unofficially I have moved into the single digits on the waiting list. Because of known referrals of families ahead of me on the list, it would seem that I am now #9. Wow. Crazy. Panic?

Everyone is chattering about how slow the waiting list is going for girls (the boys is ridiculously fast... they are estimating only a month wait for referrals right now...) but, I disagree. I was planning on a 6-8 month referral wait time and have slowly been going about my life... because there was going to be plenty of time to get ready, right? But, I have moved from #26 on February 20th to #9 currently. Now, it is still hard to predict the timing of everything -- things can slow down or speed up... it is just the way it goes.

So, now I have to figure out how to get my contact information to my caseworker when I'm in the middle of the outback next month and also find a new home to live in. Don't tell Ethiopia that I may be homeless... best they don't know that probably.

Anyway, that's the update. I should get a call from my caseworker this week telling me my new official number... Oh, and, Whaooo Hooooo!!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What's goin' on...

To my friends and family that are not part of the AGCI adoption community... to answer your questions that have been popping up:

Where am I on the waiting list? I am still officially #14 as they only update you once a month, so I won't get my new number until early-mid May. But, it would appear that I am at least #12 based on 2 known referrals ahead of me. And, how do I feel about that...
  1. Excited, for sure, to be advancing quickly up the waitlist;
  2. Slightly concerned that Julie, my caseworker, will want to call me when I'm in the heart of the outback without any form of communication. (Is that a red flag that a prospective parent cannot be reached? hmm...) You never know how fast or slow the referrals come in;
  3. Parts of me would like the list to slow down slightly because I feel like I'm guaranteed to get caught by the court closures in Ethiopia during August and September and I think it will be more difficult to see and know who my daughter is without the ability to go over and get her.... and also knowing that for 2 months, nothing can happen to speed that process up.
As far as the home situation... I guess I should answer those queries too. I have sold my condo... but I suppose nothing is final until closing documents are signed (which will be while I'm in Australia, of course). But, I am plugging forward and planning storage for my stuff as I'll have to move out before I leave in exactly 3 weeks. I am currently spending a good amount of my time online each day looking for my perfect new home. Because of my failure to do so thus far, I am also currently accepting offers to live at various friends places for when I return from Australia!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Flip flops AND Bbq's!!

Its official. Spring has come and not only do I try and wear my flip flops as often as possible, but BBQ season was officially kicked off at Amy and Brent's last night. Oh, it just makes me so happy. The weekend was full of fun... it started with Avery and I hanging out all day together on Friday while Amber and Chris worked. She is sassy, loud, and so darn cute. Amy and I arranged a lunch date for Avery and Bennett, but Bennett slept through the whole thing and Avery was only interested in her teething toy. Oh well. Next time I'm sure the sparks will fly.

Saturday involved some wine tasting in the afternoon to support Amber and Andrew -- an adoption fundraising event they organized -- they are also adopting from Ethiopia through the same agency as me and have been referred the most precious little baby boy -- Levi. Oh, and their new wine store is awesome.

On Saturday night, Leann and I took in Yonder Mountain String Band at the Showbox. It was an awesome concert and super fun... I highly recommend checking them out if they come near you.

Sunday started off way too early, in my opinion, but I did manage to drag my butt out of bed to participate in the "Daffodil Classic" 40 mile bike ride... the ride was beautiful as it followed country roads and generally had nice rolling hills... there were a couple of not so nice hills though! There was the requisite nap in the afternoon and then, as I mentioned, a sweet BBQ to end off the day. Yay for fun and friends.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Favorable Determination

My "Notice of Favorable Determination Concerning Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition" arrived in the mail yesterday. Meaning -- my fingerprints and I-600A application that I recently submitted in Yakima were approved. Phew... I guess I'm not a repressed criminal after all. Happy Days.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Shhhh... Don't Tell My Mom

Last time I went to the outback with my sister and brother-in-law we took the kids with us. My mother could care less that we, the adults (loosely used term), were putting ourselves in harms way, in her opinion anyway. But... her precious grandchildren... well, that was an entirely different story. Talk of loss of sleep, panicking at the very thought that we would be in "croc country" left her feeling very uneasy, nevermind all the other creatures that could kill us at any given moment. So, what did we do to combat her fears? We sent her this photo mid-trip:

(Isn't Emma a fantastic little actor?)

I know, I know... mean. But funny too right? Anyway, why am I spending so much time writing about how mean we are to our mom? Turns out that recently there has been a 4m crocodile enjoying the same waters that we intend to play in at Coral Bay.... But, they just caught it and "took care of it" today. I just blew right past my gag order. But I figured, if the waters are "safe" again, I was free to speak. Right? Right? I may be in trouble for this.

This photo also makes me laugh.... capturing the moment that we "survived" swimming across the lake that had known fresh-water crocodiles living in it. Although... no one bats an eye at the freshies. Apparently if you don't bother them, they won't bother you. That may be quoted as a famous last line one day.

Coral Bay, Australia...

Oh, there is lots to do beforehand... but I think I can start counting down the days to when I get to arrive down under to visit these two tykes -- Emma and Josh. I'll get to play with them for a few days before my sister, brother-in-law, and myself take off to explore, leaving my mom behind to babysit, aka, spoil the kids. Once we complete our 4WD adventure in the Pilbara region, my mom and the kids are flying up to meet us in Coral Bay for a week. It is rough to be me... Here are some photos of that area. Stay tuned for more Coral Bay news in the near future... I've got a gag order placed on me. That is all for now. Happy Easter everyone... and Happy Belated Birthday Grandma.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I'm sitting here thinking about my oldest niece, Taryn. She lives in Winnipeg and I miss seeing her and her sister, Kate, grow up. That makes me sad. And, I can't believe how old she's getting -- but super fun and smart.

Last summer, Taryn provided me the best quote. When she and Kate were staying at my place and it was time for them to go to bed, Taryn begged to not have to sleep with Kate. These were her exact words:

"I don't want to sleep with Kate -- she kicks in her sleep"

Well, Kate may kick, but I'd say she was darn lucky just to have survived the night!

Hot.... Yeah, that's it....

Happy Birthday Andrew....

Love you bro-in-law! Can't wait to see you next month...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hot Sweaty Yoga...

I go occasionally. Mostly, I like it. Last night I think I fried my brain and I felt the repercussions all night long. So, I was dutifully doing some research on some adverse side effects to hot sweaty yoga, I found this:

"The negative side effects of yoga are not always
physical. Mental instability can also be a side effect of practicing too
much yoga or practicing it incorrectly. Some negative, and severe, side
effects can include pseudo death, pseudo psychosis, confusion, increased
anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal patterns, depression, homicidal urges, and
feelings to self-mutilate. Headaches, temporary blindness, sexual pains,
and social issues may also arise."

Awesome. Fortunately these were not my symptoms... but now I'm scared!
And... What exactly is pseudo death?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Updated Number...

My new official number on the girl's waiting list....

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thank You Barista Lady

ummm.... is it a bad sign if you have already paid for your coffee drink and awaiting for it to be made.... and the nice barista lady does a double take and then asks if you'd like an extra shot added to your drink, just because?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Roadtrip to Yakima this time...

I-600A application hand submitted to the lovely government agent at the desk -- check. Fingerprinted by the equally nice man -- check check. What does this mean for you non-adopting peeps out there? It means I am asking the government to send me a very expensive piece of paper acknowledging my eligibility to adopt a child.

So, to be fingerprinted, you are essentially supposed to make your fingers go completely slack and allow the agent to do all the work of pressing and rolling. Things were going really well. I was priding myself on being really relaxed (I was even complimented on it, thank you very much)... but as the process was moving along, the nice man had to repeat a few fingers because my fingers started to get sweaty... I try not to be too analytical about the reasons behind this but I can't help but wonder if I've repressed some criminal past that I'm unconsciously afraid will be revealed through my fingerprints.... hmm.. I guess we'll see. ha.

All in all it was a lovely drive. I spent approximately 4.5 hours in the car to and from Yakima and only 15 mins total in Yakima itself. I, of course, had treated myself to my "roadtrip Starbucks" enroute. That plan seemed great until I realized that I had spilled a ridiculous amount of my Americano down the front of my white sweatshirt that I was wearing today -- and didn't realize it until I was in the government building. Awesome. That's one way to make a good, and responsible impression). I got home to enjoy the rest of the day... even managed a run around Green Lake, which is always a treat because it is fantastic people watching. I saw a man "walking" his bird in a mesh-lined backpack today.... why? we don't ask these type of questions...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Fun Weekend...

(Someone needs a haircut... I'm going to let you guess who)

Well, I survived my first bike ride of the season yesterday... and the rewards were definitely worth the effort. It felt good to be riding again. Although, I did find myself laying horizontally on the couch for several hours afterward because I "had" to watch the final four, and not because my legs felt like jello.

The city is alive. The Pacific Northwest is so predictable... give us a sunny and warm day, especially when its been awhile, and EVERYONE is out. I absolutely love it. I saw every form of activity today -- from your classic running and biking to kite flying, kite surfing, and bocce ball. The enthusiasm for recreation was almost palpable. (or the desire to just laze in the sun... that was pretty palpable too)

This morning I met with the girls for brunch (Leann, Amber, and Avery) and then we managed to explore and slop around the Arboretum. When I got home I decided that I definitely needed to get out on my bike again and see what other Seattleites were up to. I rode to Golden Gardens to see how many people figured it to be beach weather -- a lot did. Gas Works was packed too; and almost dangerous with all the kites swirling about. When I got home it was still so nice that I almost felt guilty that I didn't strap my running shoes on and pound the pavement... but the big a#* hill that I have to ride up to get home kiboshed all plans for further activity... Instead, I planted my chair back on the deck and opened a cool beverage.

Bottom Line: This weekend has been totally satisfying.

Tomorrow I take off to Yakima to submit my I-600A form and have my fingerprints done. One more step in this adoption process. I have downloaded some podcasts on my iPod so I'm all set.

(Is anyone seeing what I'm seeing -- besides the toenails in desperate need of attention?! Yep, you do see it.... It is officially flip flop season!)

(Is it wrong that my legs are the same color as my shoes?)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Weather Update and a Bike Ride...

Well... the snow went away and Seattle is now enjoying sunshine and significantly warmer weather than we've seen in a long time. I had my chair out on the deck yesterday with a cold drink in one hand and a book in the other. Ahhh... I'm getting freakin' old because I'm fixated on the weather right now. But, you just don't understand if you're not from the Pacific Northwest... we are desperately lacking Vitamin D and I guarantee you that with the sun shining this weekend all convertible cars will be tops down and a ridiculous number of pasty white legs will be on display due to perceived shorts weather. Now the temperatures are predicted to be only in the 40-50's today... but tomorrow it is going to be in the 60's. Okay. Yep. I'm totally old. I don't care.

Today I am dusting off my roadbike and am just going to go for it. My friend, Andrew, and I are going to ride to the Red Hook Brewery for lunch in Woodinville... its like a little carrot in front of you. The sad part is that you have to ride back... without any carrot. This will be the first 'training' ride for the STP (Seattle to Portland) and I'm not certain that the length of this ride is a good idea... the bike seat isn't very forgiving, if you know what I mean.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Mexico Please...

Unofficially, the inspection "went well"... hopefully that translates into no more money paid out by me. I guess I'll see....

I am wondering why the heck it is snowing outside my window, again... Come on Spring... Where are you?? I want to be warm and wear my flip flops... oh, how I am coveting three different friends who are flying to Mexico today. And, why didn't I take them up on their offer to join with?! Stupid stupid stupid.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Send Good Vibes...

Inspection Day. It is a little unnerving to know your home is going to be judged. I do love my place and I am hoping this love proliferates to others. So, last night after work, I armed myself with a magic eraser and a caulking gun and went to work making my place look as aesthetically pleasing as possible. I have an unhealthy love affair with the magic eraser... I am convinced it truly is magic. And, my caulking gun... well, it just makes me feel handy despite evidence to the contrary. (We shall not speak of the IKEA bookshelf incident)... And, if I had more time, I would have conveniently left out some homemade cookies for whomever happened to be snooping around my place...