Monday, December 31, 2012


I slept badly Thursday night, waking often, and finally rose in the grey predawn to shower and do last minute luggage checks.  I was intensely nauseous, finally succumbing a few times and accepting jc's offer of half an anxiolytic. jc walked me to the streetcar with my suitcase.  I thought we'd missed it until he pointed out that it comes down a different street for the first run of the day.  It was cool but dry, and I was glad I'd worn my long Patagonia fleece and a hat.  I dozed through the Red Line train to the airport. I arrived 15 minutes early, set my alarm, and slept deeply on the airport floor, waking with the alarm to another bout of nausea, mercifully the last.

My Oromo friend soon arrived, looking dashing out of work uniform, with the suitcase of donations for the school in his hometown.  He walked me through check-in, where I found that my bags would have to be rechecked in Frankfurt, but at least there were no baggage fees. Then we had coffee together, and my latte and my stomach decided to make peace.

I boarded the commuter, had a row to myself, and slept all the way to Vancouver.  My layover was just long enough for a snack and a failed attempt to access the internet, and we were off.  10 hours to Germany, and lose half a day. My seatmate was a gentlemanly Somali Ethiopian. We chatted briefly, exchanged lunch items, and spent a pleasant enough flight. I spent an hour pacing and stretching midway through before putting an audiobook of Alice in Wonderland on the headphones and being soothed into a pleasant sleep.

We arrived in Frankfurt to find that we had to take a bus from our landing position on the apron to the terminal.  The overcrowded, SRO bus wove its way through the bowels of the airport for a nauseating lifetime before unceremoniously dumping us in what seemed like a random location.  After several attempts at finding the correct baggage claim, we finally found our bags.  I must have mistakenly exited security only to find that I couldn't recheck my bags until 3 hours before departure, so I had a very long 12 hour layover ahead with 50 pounds of baggage in tow.  After realizing how exhausting it was to lug it all around, I found the nearest bench next to the nearest bathroom to the Ethiopian ticket counter, parked my bags, spread out my fleece coat, covered myself with a scarf, and slept the day away.  Soon it was time to check in.

By the time I got on Ehtiopian airways I had worked out some tricks for sleeping on a plane, was a little less exhausted overall, and the 6 hours flew by pretty quickly. Before I knew it I was in Addis, going down the steps to stand in the long visa line, then the shorter money exchange line, no line for baggage, medium line for customs, with no problems and amid the sea of faces was the foster home driver, holding my name in big black letters on white paper.  He rang the Oromo contacts on his mobile, they took the bag and we were off.

I stepped out of the airport and saw Africa in all its glory in the morning light. Misty hills and a certain quality to the air. I drank in the sights as we drove through town: Africa, still so familiar to me, though I've been away all these years.  Africa has held a special place in my heart since my Kenya trip in 1995, and I'm so glad to be back; but the greatest joy of all is knowing that from Africa I will soon receive the best gift of my life: one of her sons, and mine.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Solstice Surprise

Our baby photo updates were a day late this week. I waited for them all day Thursday, but they didn't come until Friday. I decided to email our director and ask about any progress on a court date, and his reply was: "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? I ALREADY SENT IT!"

Sure enough, waiting in my trash folder was our court date: January 2, 2013. I immediately flew into a tizzy, started shaking uncontrollably, jumped out of bed, and began searching Kayak for a flight. Managed pretty well for the last minute.

I started packing my bags today, and I have a bunch of forms to fill out and notarize on Monday, but I'm finally on my way to meet our baby!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Only Good News

It seems like too long since I've had any good news. I'm anxious and I cry too easily. I have no tolerance for the lady bringing her Australian shepherd on the streetcar, even after she explains that it's training to be a service dog. Or for the guy who sprints up and leaps through the door ahead of me. Even the guy I live with is sometimes too noisy, or messy, or just hard to tolerate in general.

None of them did anything to deserve my ire, not really; I'm just tired of waiting. This week it will be two months that our boy has been in the foster home- waiting for us, though he doesn't know it. I'm very glad to see his picture each week, getting taller and healthier, growing more hair. I'm just waiting for a court date, so at least I can go meet him.  Seem less like a crazy lady carrying around pictures of a beautiful boy she's never seen, pretending he's her son.

I feel like I did, years ago, hoping to become pregnant. Hoping in vain each month that my period would stay away. Sometimes it was late, but it never stayed away, and a perverse voice in my mind tries to convince me that this wait is the same.

I have to beat that voice.

This is not the same. Courts move slowly. Paperwork takes time. People miss appointments, and they have to be postponed. It takes time. But it doesn't take forever, and it will happen. This time next year I will have presents under a Christmas tree, strung with lights. Perhaps I'll take a photo of my son there, and send it to everyone I know.  It will happen.

And I probably won't be any saner then than I am now.  I'll probably find something to worry about, something to make me cry, something that isn't perfect.  I won't remember this though; or only with a vague chuckle. 

Because I have only good news to look forward to now.  It's just a matter of time.


Monday, December 03, 2012


It's been 33 days since we were submitted to Ethiopian adoption court, a process that is estimated to take 2 weeks, and we're still waiting. That means that I'm back to refreshing my email every 10 minutes and taking 3 hours to fall asleep at night.

However, I showed up for my wax this morning, and my wonderful aesthetician Katy had a baby gift waiting for me! Thank You Katy!! You made my day!

Perhaps I will be more patient today now.