Monday, August 31, 2009

Her Room is Coming Together...

The crib was delivered and I assembled it this afternoon... I was so curious to see the bedding against the dark wood. I LOVE it!


Thank you Gran and Pop for your generous gift of Maeve's crib... it really is beautiful.


And, can you say spoiled? I had to wait until I moved out before I got my own bathroom! Maeve's, soon to be BFF, Bennett, gave us housewarming gifts yesterday... and this shower curtain was one of the gifts. Isn't it just perfect?! I'm so glad that I drug that sweet boy out to the stores with us so many times because he's turned out to be a great lil' shopper!


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Back to August 11th

In case you were curious as to what "The Call" looks like....



Because I love documenting all phases of this amazing journey, I was pleased to see that my Caller ID log still had "The Call" in its possession. This is what I saw when I knew my world was about to change forever. (Although my clock is off... it was closer to 9:15am)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Update...

Its not much -- but its good. Upon referral, Maeve was experiencing some bronchitis... but, all is well again and no more bronchitis to report. Yay!

I spoke briefly with my caseworker, Julie, on Thursday and have another phone call scheduled on Monday to discuss this next phase of waiting... but apparently I probably won't hear much about Maeve unless there is anything out of the ordinary to report. Not shocking to me. I'm not sure if I can expect any more photos during this time, I kind of doubt it, but I'd be so pleasantly surprised if that were not the case. What I'm most curious about is her little personality. Is she full of sass? Is she mellow? I just cannot wait to find out.

Court date? Haven't heard anything yet. Julie said that, even though the courts are closing for the month of September, they will still issue court dates while they are closed, but it will just take longer to find out when the dates are determined. I'm still hopefull for a late October court date. Time will tell.

And, Twilight update, for those that care. Yeah.... not doing it. Seems I don't hold the love for 'Edward the Vampire' that so many others do. I'm okay with that.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ummmm... Ew.

I'm not going to lie. I'm not really enjoying the first Twilight book thus far. Very very disturbing. I mean, the girl is making out with a weird, pasty white, ice cold guy... gross and creepy. I'm not sure that I can continue... Amber tells me to push through. We'll see. And yes, Carin, maybe you've left me for too long!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Inevitable...

Yes. I'll declare it true. It has begun.


It was only a matter of time I suppose. Apparently I was next in line to read Melanie's Twilight series. I am a bit of a teeny bopper at heart, so I've been told I'll love them.


This time I plan to be smarter about a book series though... I will not make the same error I did with Harry Potter and read books 2 & 3 out of order. I'm an idiot sometimes.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Registry

Check. I stole Amy and we headed to Babies R Us today. She served as my baby guru to tell me what I actually needed and what is practical. So, the nice lady at Babies R Us armed me with a gun and off we went. It was super fun... as a single person I find myself always attending other people's showers and weddings etc... and buying things off their registries, which is fun and exciting in its own right. But, now a role reversal -- surreal. It was pretty amazing knowing that I was registering for sweet lil' Maeve.



Bennett was a trooper and gave his input too. Seriously, everytime the lil' guy hangs out with me I seem to make him go shop... Sorry dude.


After registering we made yet another trip to IKEA. Big boxes of furniture are currently sitting in my house just waiting to be assembled.... I need to gather up the perfect amount of patience before I decide to divide and conquer... maybe later.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Human Pin Cushion

The RN at the travel clinic was really nice up until she started sticking me with needles... bam bam bam bam bam. Polio, Typhoid, Meningococcal, Hep A, and Yellow Fever. I dodged a bullet by having my MMR and Hep B up-to-date.




Okay Ethiopia. Bring it. (kidding.. Just kidding)

A visit from the North...

This weekend I was treated with a visit by Jodie, Dirk, Larissa, and Erika. They came to stay for a couple of nights before heading off for a family holiday at Lake Chelan. Certainly I was excited for them to visit, but I was excited for Dirk to come and help me with a few select projects... Little did he know! I needed a little extra force clicking my blinds in... and assistance in putting up shelves. He decided to give himself a bonus project after he broke the latch on my hope chest... all my hopes and dreams were in jeopardy for a minute there... but fortunately all is well again!


Dirk fixing my hope chest AKA a math problem.


Larissa, Jodie, and Erika cheering Dirk on


Scary smile... but the job got done!


Remind me never ever never go shopping on the weekend soon before school starts ever ever again. Oh my.... What a complete zoo -- sans cute fuzzy animals. The girls needed to shop for school so I thought I'd tag along and be social. Its a good thing they're worth it... But, its going to take a lot of convincing to ever do that again!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Priceless

I don't want to screw up this post. I say priceless, and I really really do mean it, as I hope to make it clear. Most people know that I'm a pediatric oncology RN. I LOVE my job. I am passionate about it. I love our patients and families. It is a strange and intimate world on the hematology/oncology/bone marrow transplant unit. Every child is special and no child should have to endure what we make them do... Because some children are in the hospital a lot, or because of various camp experiences, tight bonds often form with the kids and families. For people that know me well, they know that this year was a particularly hard year for me because some of my very favorite kids died from their cancer. Cancer doesn't care if its fair or not. You can do everything possible to try and kill it, and you can do the exact same thing as the person next to you, but the outcomes can be completely different. Here are two of my favorite kiddos that the world is missing now.

Jenna:

Summer 2008 at Camp Side by Side




Jenna was the sweetest girl's girl. She had the best giggle -- it was so pure. Jenna and I became friends at Camp Side by Side in the summer of 2007. Honestly, because so many kids are treated on our floor, its possible to not know all of them. Jenna was one that I did not know of before we became buddies at camp. And what a loyal buddy she was. From there on out she was always seeking me out on the unit. Every time she'd ride by the clusters on her bike she'd call out "Hi Shauna". I loved it. And, Jenna was the slip-n-slide fanatic at camp. Because Jenna wanted to go slip'in and slide'in with me, I had to take it for the team and go in my clothes. I loved every second of it... because it gave me the chance to hear her giggle and squeal with delight.


Slip-n-slide Summer 2007

Jenna had such a giving spirit. I had the opportunity to go over to Jenna's home on Monday night and have dinner with her parents -- Chris and Michelle, and little brother, Braden. It was great to see them and to talk about Jenna and see her room with all the things she loved. Chris and Michelle gave me a gift for Maeve that night -- one of Jenna's doll's. They said that Jenna would have loved for me to have this to give to my new baby. Her name is Susie. I cannot tell you how touching it is to me and I will treasure her.


Baby Susie



And, Ben.

My favorite picture -- December 2008

What can I say about Ben. He stole my heart. How many hours and days did I spend in the hospital as his nurse... so many. His parents, Jeff and Carin are so great. Had we met in any other circumstance we would've been great friends, we decided, but due to the intensity of Ben's treatment and how much time we all spent trying to help the lil' guy get through it, our friendship grew tenfold. Mostly Ben didn't feel well when he was in the hospital so he spent most of the time in his bed playing cars. Oh, how that boy loved his cars... I mean, LOVED. He loved all sorts of cars, but his favorite came from the movie, Cars. Ben also liked organizing his cars in a particular order. You didn't want to mess the order otherwise you'd hear about it! ;-)

Jeff & Carin gave me this Lightening McQueen after Ben died

Playing cars on his bed -- September 2008

Halloween 2007 -- More cars on his bed


Jeff and Carin have given me the gift of bedding for Maeve's crib. At first I thought, oh how nice, that is a great gift and super generous of them. Then Carin explained to me that she wanted to give me the specific gift of bedding because I had made Ben's bed so often and had played with him in his bed at the hospital, and had helped him organize his cars. I so wish that I could help Ben organize his cars still. I will always cherish this gift -- Maeve's bedding holds so much meaning now.

Here's the bedding.. now I need the crib


So -- priceless. Absolutely, without a doubt, priceless. My emotions brim over because of the amazing parents of both Jenna and Ben. How sad that we don't have these two precious kids in our world - plus many many more. Its such a loss. I cannot fathom experiencing the death of a child -- and you couldn't fight harder than these kids and families did. What I find amazing is that in their grief, they are able to think about Maeve. They are so loving and giving to her. I am overwhelmed by their love and kindness.

I hope I did this post justice in articulating how I feel.

This just in. Check out Carin, the rockstar, on the news tonight continuing her fight for her family and other families with children. Watch the video. I LOVE it.


Giraffe's Galore...

When I first told my mom my plans to adopt, she was overcome with excitement. But, shortly thereafter frustration set in -- she realized that she couldn't fulfill her need to buy clothes for my baby because we didn't know how old Maeve would be. So, giraffe's were her outlet. Now, let me explain a little... My nieces Taryn and Kate both have the love of their lives with them everywhere -- For Taryn it was initially White Teddy and then Brown Teddy -- but they are both in attendance often. For Kate it is twin monkeys -- Teagan and Taylor. These friends are so well loved that most of their fur has been rubbed off. My mom was the one who got them these best friends when they were born. Therefore, Maeve will likely choose one of her new giraffe friends as the love of her life too, I suspect.

But, I received a gift in the mail today from my mom to Maeve that wasn't a giraffe. This photo reminds me of a scene in the movie, ET... Can you pick out the new friend?



I do want to point out that my mom did, in fact, make a purchase in the clothing family -- When we were in Australia she picked up the sweetest, softest pair of Ugg boots for Maeve. How awesome are these? I can't wait to see her sporting these in the winter months...

Thanks mom for all your love and support!!

Maybe??



No longer do I have a mint, crest, green room. Its more of an olive/sage now... I refuse to do a second coat and trim until I see it in all shades of light... oh please let me like it! I'm starting to think I'm getting carpal tunnel -- either that or my wrists are in the midst of a mutany...

Now I'm down to just the upper staircase/hallway -- a vaulted staircase, mind you. But, whaoooo hoooooo, my friend has volunteered to paint it for me... The light is getting bigger. Yay.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Care Package...

How many snuggles can fit into a one gallon bag? This many....



I am allowed to send a couple items to Maeve so she can cuddle up, play, and look at her new photo album. I have labeled her blanket and toy, hoping that they will make it back to her after washings... but really, if they don't, that just means another baby is enjoying these items -- you can't fault that.

I got a special gift today via email from a friend of mine who was able to ask about my Maeve at Hannah's Hope. This is what I learned: "Yes "Maeve" is such joy and we love her very, very much and she is doing amazingly well and growing." You can't ask for more than that.... Hannah's Hope is an amazing place.... the children are so loved and well cared for. If you can't be with your children, you want them there. My International Pediatrician, who has no vested interested in AGCI and Hannah's Hope, couldn't praise them enough. It allows you to sleep at night....

Don't be Fooled

So, I found my runners....



How can something so innocent looking inflict so much pain? Guess how my training is going for the Leavenworth Oktoberfest Half Marathon. Yeah. Umm. Really well....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Epic Roadtrip to Jill and Matt's Wedding....



Whaoooo Hooo..... Roadtrip! Seriously, who doesn't like a roadtrip?!
Final Destination: Roy's Barn -- Bozeman, Montana
Reason: Jill and Matt's Wedding

So, we departed Seattle at 5pm on Friday with a destination of Missoula, Montana, where our accommodation awaited us. We returned to Seattle unscathed this afternoon....

Let me break it down...

The participants:

Leann... rocking out in the backseat



Katie and myself (I promise, I did not obstruct her view as she was driving...)



And, of course, Maeve made the journey with us...



Recognize this?? Seriously, I didn't know such things still existed. Its called a tape deck and it still lives in Katie's car. Back in the day this is how we generated selected compositions -- called 'mix tapes'. Now most people just create playlists.... (although, I have to say, the selection that we were privy to was quite awesome -- I mean, the '80's love song mix was pretty stellar and the harmony within the car was impressive)



Dusk on I-90



Starbucks to keep the caffeine level at a steady state



Now onto Saturday evening. Here we are at Roy's Barn... the sweetest wedding setting ever. Thanks Roy.



Remember... its Jill & Matt's wedding...



And, here is the adorable couple saying their vows to each other



Seriously, they are so sweet... It was a really moving ceremony.



Jill is so beautiful....




Another view of the sweet location



Katie embracing the "hoedown" atmosphere



Perfect... right?!



They even had lawn games



Many other friends wanted to go to Jill's wedding, but were unable... so, we were thrilled to represent the RN posse...



Wedding cake time



I love this photo because you just get a slight glimpse at the type of moves Katie was throwing down on the dance floor....



Happy Wedding Jill.... We're so happy for you!!


Whaooo Hoooo!!!!

In motion...




This is me making friends at the post office.

What I am holding in my hand is a folder of notarized paperwork indicating my acceptance of Maeve's referral. I was running around on Friday juggling work, making best friend status with our hospital's notary, making photocopies, and finally getting said documents to the post office in time to be couriered.... before taking off for "Epic Roadtrip to Jill & Matt's Wedding" that evening (next post).

What's next? These documents are needed to complete the stack of documents required to get Maeve and I our court date in Ethiopia. As with most things in the adoption process, I don't really know how long it will take before I find out when our court date is set -- likely, several weeks. So, I will continue to stare at my sweet girl's eyes in her photographs until I get to see them in person...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mesmerized

I think that may be the word. I can't stop staring at Maeve's photos. I absolutely, without a doubt, adore her.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Her Name...

Btw... I'm naming her Maeve and keeping her given name as her middle name. I love all her names....
Again. Smile.

The call....

Its surreal to be writing about "the moment".... It hasn't fully sunk in yet. I just keep staring and staring at the four photos that were sent to me. I even went as far as making a slideshow out of the four photos, just to mix things up a little!

The moment. It was somewhat classic. I had been doing some painting, of course, this morning.... I was going to pound out my room and be done with it today. I ran out of paint... therefore I was running out the door to visit my peeps at Lowes, once again, when I heard my landline ring. Often I just let that ring slide... but since I moved and got caller ID, I am now more interested in seeing who is calling... so I ran upstairs to grab the phone. OMG... It said AGCI on the Caller ID. Ahhhhhhhhhh!!! "Hi Julie!"

Julie was super cheerful, as always, and had explained that she had been trying to track me down. Of course. I had left my cell phone somewhere upstairs... no longer was I hypervigilant about the phone.... she had called my cell, she had called work, and now was trying me on my landline. I don't remember the finer details of the start of the conversation, but eventually Julie told me that she wanted to talk to me about a little girl. It was amazing.... I got to hear the little bit about her and hear how beautiful she is. And, she really is. The pictures I received are amazing. As I mentioned on my previous post -- she is 2.5 months old, 11.5 lbs and perfect! She's got chubby cheeks, sweet lips, a head of curly black hair, and eyes to die for. She's super duper cute. I can't post photos or say her given name online because she's an orphan and Ethiopian rules prohibit it... So, here is a glimpse of the sweetness.


After I got off the phone with Julie I started making phone calls and emailing people. It is so fun to share such amazing news. I set up an appointment with an International Pediatrician this afternoon and afterwards left Julie a message saying I was definitely accepting this referral. My pediatrician was very happy with what she saw and all the information that was provided. What's next? Julie will courier me documents that need to be signed, notarized, and quickly returned to her so that everything is set in place for me to get a court date in Ethiopia.... Maybe October/November? It would probably be too much to hope for any earlier than that....

I celebrated by going over to Carin and Jeff's this evening.... and then dinner with the girls. We had already planned on celebrating my belated birthday, as some of the posse couldn't come to the party.... but it was amended as a referral celebration instead.




She makes me smile.....



So here begins another chapter of my life. Again, I smile.