In less than 24 hours we’ll be on a plane for Ethiopia to bring home our son. It’s been such a long wait. And it’s almost here.
As the hours tick down, I love how all the extra stuff falls away and doesn’t matter anymore. My last day has been flittered away with random tasks here and there, none of which really matter. It doesn’t really matter if I heard the conference call my wife already heard a week ago. It doesn’t really matter if I write that blog entry today or not. It doesn’t really matter if I clean off my desk or not.
As I’ve told about everyone I can, you can follow along at our adoption site. My latest blog posts (if you come here you already know where to find them) will be there—many are just pre-programmed updates of what we’ll be doing each day— as well as my on-the-ground Twitter updates (assuming it all works).
I’m awash in emotion right now. I’m so excited to meet Milo and hold him in my arms. I’m eager to see his homeland and the country where he was born. I’m worried about Lexi and how she’ll do without us for 10 days (and how Grandma will cope with 10 days of Lexi). I’m expecting to be broken as the reality of this 19-month journey finally comes together.
Some things in life just wash over you, flooding you with grace and love and mercy and hope. That’s already happened so many times in this journey, but now we’ll be diving into it. Can’t wait.
If a week could suck, this one would be it:
- Found out Milo has been sick for a week with gastroenteritis. He’s doing better, but the little guy doesn’t have much weight to lose (Today we visited a two week old baby who’s bigger than 4-month-old Milo).
- Lexi threw up in her car seat on the way home from visiting said baby.
- Friends went through another miscarriage.
- Other friends in Sudan wait to see if they’ll be evacuated.
- Confronted a family crisis and the related fallout.
- A week of workplace drama escalated like a bigger/better party.
On the plus side:
- Distractions abounded, including the flurry of a U2 album release (did you see them do the top 10 list on Letterman?).
- I found out exactly how much the Federal government owes me (it’s like my own personal bailout!).
- Mazie didn’t eat anything she wasn’t supposed to (well, except for the feet of a little plastic girl of Lexi’s, but that doesn’t bother me because Lexi didn’t put it away).
- Ate at Los Cabos for the first time in months. Mmm… tasty.
- Two friends welcomed healthy, happy babies into the world.
- And best of all, I get to meet my son in two weeks.
Sometimes life is hard and messy and ugly, but there’s always beauty. In that sense, I’m an insufferable optimist. Life may not always be happy, but it is joyful.
Two weeks from today we’ll be heading to the airport. We’ll spend a few hours on the ground in Washington, D.C. (never been there before), and then fly across the Atlantic (never done that before). We’ll spend maybe 45 minutes on the ground in Rome (my first contact with Europe) and then fly off to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (yeah, never been there either).
If you noticed the trend, you could probably guess my international travel experience begins and ends with Canada. So this is going to be new and different. Plus that whole thing where I get to meet my son. It’s hard to put into words exactly what we’re feeling right now.
We’re excited. We’re stressed. We’re giddy. We’re tired. We’re overjoyed. We’re busy.
We’ve got a lot to do. Our to do list keeps getting longer, but we’re hacking away at it. It’s amazing how the things of everyday life begin to fall away as you realize what’s really important. Some of my side projects are being neglected right now. Other distractions I just don’t have the time for. I do still manage to find time for certain stress-reducing diversions (preserving sanity is a priority). There’s somehow time for tickling, laughing or just sitting with Lexi. What needs to happen does, and the rest falls away.
Continue reading When Regular Life Falls Away
We had Lexi’s birthday party on Saturday. There’s nothing like a bunch of three-year-olds running around the house. The highlight for me had to be Lexi’s ‘W’ birthday cake.
‘W’ has always been Lexi’s favorite letter. It’s one of the first letters she recognized. When we asked her what kind of cake she wanted, she wanted a ‘W’ cake. So there it is, in all it’s alphabetical glory.
As a bonus, a w-shaped cake has an excellent cake to frosting ratio.
We planned to take Lexi to Sesame Street Live on Saturday night for her birthday, but a week of illness meant my wife couldn’t go. So Saturday comes along and I find myself taking Lexi and one of her friends to Sesame Street Live by myself. Either I’m super dad or an idiot. Maybe both.
In the end I survived. But I was ready for bed at 9:00 p.m.
The girls were good, for the most part. We had a minor run-in with the spring-loaded chairs and then I think Lexi was getting restless near the end. Both the girls enjoyed it, but I don’t think they were quite old enough to really enjoy it. Then again it was just Sesame Street dancers singing songs for an hour and a half. I think they’ve perfected the art of maximizing profit with as minimal production as possible.
Their favorite part of the evening was probably running down the long, empty corridor between the parking lot and the Target Center, which confirms my suspicion that a fun afternoon would be wandering the skyways.
This week Abby showed Lexi some old school Sesame Street clips on YouTube. Lexi loved them—especially the YipYipYipYipYip monsters. So I decided we’d try watching some Sesame Street when it was on PBS. I’m usually not big on watching TV with Lexi, but an hour of very educational TV has been better than I thought it’d be.
Though Sesame Street has changed a lot from when I was a kid (duh). Yesterday’s show was brought to you by the letter M and the number 20. And McDonalds, Beaches Resort, EverydayKidz.com (AstraZeneca), New Balance and Earth’s Best. Each sponsor (except for M and 20) had a 15 or 20 second commercial plug at the beginning and end of the show. I remember underwriters getting a logo and a mention, and that was it.
And while it has changed (and Elmo’s World is enough to drive anyone crazy), Sesame Street does still have classic moments:
Elmo: “What’s it like being a yo-yo?” Yo-yo: “Well, it has its ups and downs.” Yuck, yuck, yuck. Then as the yo-yo left: “I’ve got to go walk the dog.”
Then there was the sketch about Jack be nimble who couldn’t jump over the candlestick because he didn’t eat breakfast. So he calls out: “Mom be nimble, mom be quick, please give me breakfast on the quick!” I love breakfast time.
The Count watching his favorite TV show: 24. Each show is only 24 seconds long and consists of counting to 24. And yes, it did feature a puppet Jack Bauer.
It also kind of weirds me out that Muppet characters sound like Sesame Street characters. Kermit sounds just like Ernie, Miss Piggy sounds like Grover and Fozzie sounds like Bert. And yes, Jim Henson (and now Steve Whitmire) voices both Kermit and Ernie, and Frank Oz voices Miss Piggy, Grover, Fozzie and Bert. It’s strange that the kids never catch on—though you never see those characters together.
Lexi and I have been checking out the trails in Lilydale Regional Park lately.
It started with Bruce Vento’s View a couple weeks ago. We drive by the entrance all the time. It’s at the southern corner of Cherokee Regional Park. It’s a great overlook where you can see all the way to Minneapolis (“look down on Minneapolis,” as I later heard someone say). The overlook itself has some stones set up like theater seating, and appears that the stones were salvaged from old buildings. While we were there we saw a trail that descended the bluff but we didn’t have time to check out.
Yesterday we did. I had the not-so-brilliant idea that we’d bike down there and worst case scenario I’d have to walk the bike back up the hill. I didn’t realize how steep the hill would be or account for the fact that the bike, the buggy and Lexi weigh a lot.
But the trip was worth it. The trail was pretty cool and we discovered a cave, a waterfall and a great view of Pickerel Lake.
When we got home I did a little sleuthing and found out there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony planned for this morning. So Lexi and I came back, this time with no heavy bike.
Continue reading Lilydale Regional Park Brickyard Trail