The thing that struck me most the first time I met T was how still she was – stoic, really – sitting in her crib, watching the farenji who had just wandered into Room 2. She just looked at me with those eyes of hers – as big as dinner plates, no lie – and a Mona Lisa smile on her face; letting me stroke her little cheek and pat her little head, just watching me. She let me pick her up without a fight – but without any enthusiasm, either. Her entire demeanor screamed “I’m not sure what’s going on right now but I’ll just roll with it.” The nanny explained to her, “T, this is your mommy” – I swear, the kid didn’t even bat an eyelash.

 

That’s when I realized that she was going to make me work for it. The other kids might have been climbing all over each other to get my attention, but not T. T was too busy playing Queen bee – making sure that all the children had fun toys to play with, comforting the crying toddlers, and pretending not to notice the Mommy in the room. If it weren’t for the fact that I was watching her like a hawk, I might have missed her glancing over at me whenever she thought I wasn’t looking. I might not have caught her giggling whenever the nanny reminded her just whose Mommy I was. Eventually she came close enough for me to snatch her up and engage her in a tickle fight/kissing game, which she loved. Happily, this broke the ice, and set the stage for her becoming more comfortable with me over the next couple of days. It was slow going, though.

 

The next major breakthrough was on day 3 of my 6 day stay. But before I talk about that, let’s talk about Room 2. Meg called it the party room in her recent blog about her trip to HH. That, my friends, is an understatement. These toddlers are cray cray in the best way. If Room 2 was a song, it would be Rebecca Black’s Friday as performed by the cast of Glee.

 

Or Pink’s Raise Your Glass, also as performed by the cast of Glee.*

 

 

 

Unfortunately I can’t go into too much detail in order to protect the kids’ privacy, but suffice it to say, there were shenanigans. There were also bubbles.

What? You want to know more? Let me put it this way: if you happen to spend any time Room 2, you will be utilized as a human jungle gym; you will be enlisted into the hilarious game of swatting imaginary flies, much to the amusement of your 2 year old audience; and you will find yourself falling in love with every single one of those kids and their crazy antics.

If you’re adopting a toddler who is at HH right now and you happen to read this blog, send me an email at bole2concord @ gmail dot com. Chances are I have some great stories to tell you about your kid. Honestly, these kids are amazing. Smart, funny, happy, healthy…and I’m pretty sure they’re plotting to take over the world. Just saying.

 *Don’t judge me, m’kay? That’s my show.

Next time: Day 3 and the Vapomonster

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I was just informed that my job will now require regular travel. Couldn’t they have mentioned this before I became a single mom?

I’m home – actually, I’ve been back for a few days now. I’ve been meaning to post, but between jet lag and the nasty cold I managed to pick up from my daughter, I’ve been pretty wiped out.

I’ll write more in depth soon, but here are the highlights:

  1. My daughter is amazing. Smart, happy, and thriving. I think we’re going to get along just fine.
  2. I passed court! The MOWA letter was in place, no other issues. The whole thing took less than 5 minutes.
  3. The staff in ET told me that they believe my wait for an embassy appointment will be very short. They somehow managed to complete my paperwork and submit it to the embassy before I even left the country – a record, according to them.

A long, rambling TMI post will follow soon, I promise! In the meantime, listen to this:

 


 

Big thanks to Barbaloot for turning me on to this group!

Quick question for the BTDTs:

Is it okay to wear short sleeved blouses/tee-shirts in ET or should I stick to 3/4 and long sleeves only? I have way too much stuff right now, I need to edit what I plan to pack.

*Nothing to see here, just having a minor packing dilemma atm!*

This is what I’m signing up for?

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms and future moms!

Just when I had resigned myself to a long, hard slog of waiting for a court date that could be up to a year away…

Yes, that’s right! I have a court date, everybody! May 30th, to be exact. Booked my flight this morning, and now I’m scrambling to get my stuff in order before I leave for Addis on the 27th!

Not sure whether my MOWA letter will be in place by the time I appear in court, but I’m too excited to dwell on that right now. I’d much rather focus on how amazing it’s going to be to finally meet my daughter! Wish me luck!

ETA: My court date changed from 5/20 to 5/30, so I changed the dates above to reflect my new itinerary. It’s all good!

 

I don’t have much to say, really. I’m trying really hard to stay positive and convince myself that my court date is just around the corner. The uncertainty is killing me – I’m somebody who needs boundaries and time-frames, I make lists, I never just go with the flow. Without any kind of solid news, I feel untethered. But I’m striving not to fall back into old habits: the old me had a tendency to indulge in negative circular thinking – taking my mind to some very dark places – that I couldn’t always reign in. I don’t want to be that person anymore, I want to be all about the Zen, even though I find myself swimming in the deep end of the negativity pool more and more often lately.

 

So, I’m making a concerted effort to recognize and express my emotions – all the frustration and anger and anxiety – and then just let it go. I’m not going to stew in it, I won’t spend all my spare time reading the message boards, feeding my own negativity; I’m going to move forward and make plans and try to distract myself. Because what I’ve been doing lately hasn’t been healthy, and it doesn’t accomplish anything except turn me into a basket-case who isn’t fit to be around people. It’s okay to worry about my daughter’s well-being and safety, it’s okay to be sad and even angry over circumstances I support but can’t control. But I have to find healthy outlets and distractions, instead of wallowing and paying interest on a debt that hasn’t come due.

 

I’ll still write here, because this is a good outlet, but I’m going to stop reading most blogs and I’ll probably stay off the message boards for a few weeks. I just can’t handle it right now and I really need to get my head in a better place. No, what I really, really need is a court date, even if it’s 4 months out – as long as I can plan ahead, I’m a happy girl.

 

 

On another note, even though I knew this was happening, it still make me sad. I have a ridiculous amount of love for James Murphy. Love this song so much: