Tuesday, March 31, 2009


News from our dear facilitator today.

Emerson's paperwork was released from the Ministry back to the Center last Thursday. The Center expects to have the last step - where we are chosen as her family - done by the end of the week!

We might actually have a travel date soon.

A part of me is afraid to latch on to any glimmer of hope, knowing how many times before I've stuck my foot in that fire. But how can I help myself?

Maybe I will get my sweet girl after all. :)

a heartbeat

I'm nearing 10 weeks and tonight managed to catch baby's heartbeat long enough to get a read-out - 150 bpm! :) Lower than Dawson's and Macy's, more around Parker's, maybe he or she will also share Parker's relatively subdued temperament ... I can dream anyways LOL!

I have no clue what's going on in Serbia right now, I was a little unsettled to get an email today from another family pursuing an adoption there asking me about my experience with the last adoption shut-down. Yes, the LAST one. As in, they have been told adoptions have been shut down again. I am not sure if there is some new development I'm not yet aware of (and I'm checking into that) or if it's still the same unofficial shut-down because of this one person's motives.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I have done quite well in staying away from our computer for a while. It is easier to forget everything then, to immerse myself in real life - the one laid out before me every day, in this moment.

I think I have moved to a place of sad peace about this adoption, knowing how little time is left but also knowing that we did all we could. Financially, emotionally, spiritually - we put everything we had into our move and have patiently waited for the other player to make their decision, to continue or to stop the game.

As always, I seem to be a study in contradictions; I asked our facilitator to measure Emerson one last time, knowing the clothes we continue to buy for her continue to be outgrown thousands of miles away; and I also took down her pictures from the dining room wall where I had so happily hung them so many months ago.

And I realized, standing in front of that wall, my eyes hovering on that strange empty space below the pictures of the other children... that beautiful face was no longer gazing down at me, but the holes left from the nails were gaping there in the mossy green paint it took me three tries to get right. And I knew that if time does run out and Serbia does not come through for us, those holes would always be there.

For a second I felt this furious urge to dig out the little pail of spackling from the kitchen pantry and fill them, paint over them. But I didn't, knowing the holes would still be clearly visible, the faint impression circling a small bump, the paint color not quite the same as the surrounding green, not having yet faded from the sun that comes in from the big window on the adjacent wall.

Standing there staring at those tiny holes, I knew that if we do not bring our Andjela home to us, that is how our lives will always look. Just as it was before - beautiful, happy faces holding and reflecting so much joy, as if hers never belonged with the others - but forever woven with these tiny little holes, these empty spaces, never able to be repaired completely, always remembering what was, what might have been.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

10 months


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

news of many colors

We heard from our facilitator today... some amazing news that she will be attending the very first Down Syndrome Conference in the region late next week and into the weekend! I was so excited to hear this and only wish we could've been in the neighborhood then to tag along with her! ^_^

Our little Emerson is still in the hospital :( but apparently this is not a cause for alarm, it is normal procedure to keep kids with medical issues longer when a bed is available. Our dear friend J did say that the testing they have been doing has shown that it is not too late for her for surgery - I admit I won't feel entirely comfortable without being able to have her checked here and see the results myself - but it was comfort to hear.

J is hoping to meet with some important officials in the first couple weeks of April, hopefully then our paperwork will be pushed along and we will still be able to bring home our angel before they close adoptions down in June and we are forced to release our committment.

I would be very surprised by an April travel date and think May is our one and only chance. We will be short at least $500 on the increased costs for that month - so I am trying to think of a good fundraiser to do, and if anyone feels called to donate to Em's fund it is going to be needed no matter what transpires in the next couple months, either by us or by a new family working toward bringing her home ... which I try not to even consider :( ... and we would be very appreciative even if we are forced to release our committment in June.

And, one final piece of news I've been waiting cautiously to reveal (and explains the pumpkin pic above LOL) - and am still cautiously announcing, but I wanted to include a cheery spot in all of my recent sad posts.
We are very unexpectedly.... expecting! :)

A few of my readers already know this incredible development but for those that don't - no, it was not planned at all LOL and no, this doesn't change how much we love Emerson and still want her to come home to us. I am due around October 28, I'm 9 weeks right now and though I haven't yet found baby's heartbeat on my not-so-wonderful doppler, I have been feeling flutters for a few days now (4 babies in 4 years = paper-thin uterus LOL). It is best to keep this under wraps as much as possible until everything is complete, so I'm glad for a private blog right now!

We are going to have a very crazy fall and winter this year, hopefully Em is part of the sweet chaos and enjoying being a big sister x 2! :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Yesterday was World Down Syndrome Day. I admit I completely forgot what date it was, let alone the special significance of that date. I normally would do something special, make a montage, write some overly wordy post LOL... I just don't have much heart for those sorts of things these days. Anyway, Happy Belated World Down Syndrome Day.

I can't describe how sad I am lately. I feel like I'm being brought full circle, back to the person I was before Dawson, before Down syndrome... the angry, bitter person convinced the world would never change. Maybe I'm just being brought back down to earth a bit - there are good people out there but there are bad too, ones that will never change, no matter what pretty words are thrown their way. I wanted to forget that forever. I don't seem to get what I want much anymore. ^_^

"Most people give up just when they're about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game, one foot from a winning touch down."
- Ross Perot

I'm there. Not quite remembering which play I'm supposed to make to get that touchdown.

Friday, March 20, 2009

no explanation

Every day that passes finds me trying to put more and more distance between myself and this adoption. Airfares are poised to skyrocket, we NEED to use some of our savings and we can't unless we either complete this adoption or give up (we went with a broken toilet for a week before finally admitting we had to spend some money on repairs) and emotionally I am not sure how much longer I have in me. I want our little girl, but I want my life back too. I am tired of our entire world revolving around the whims of some bureaucrats thousands of miles away. I am just ready to deal with the grief and move on.

Today I tried out the subject with Cade. A conversation that left me close to tears and deciding to put off any decisions at least for another week. I don't know how to explain all of this to our kids who have loved this child along with us for 10 months. Macy named her baby doll Angela. :(

Me: Cade, I want to talk to you about Emerson. I want you to know we might not be able to go get her.

Cade: [near tears] NO! I want you to go get Emerson!

Me: I know you do, we want that too. But we have been waiting a very long time and the people in Serbia might not let us go get her.

Cade: Then I'll go to Serbia and punch them and get her!

Me: That wouldn't be very nice, and we can't do that.

Cade: [slumping against me] Well I want to get her. They are just meanies.

Me: I know. We will keep trying really hard, but sometimes we just can't get what we want even though we want it so, so much.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

moving down the line

It might sound silly but it makes my heart so heavy to see our family profile on the "Traveling Soon" part of Reece's Rainbow moving down the page as other families with dates for other countries, or expecting them soon, move in above us.

I remember writing a post about how nice it was to see Emerson's picture on the "Already HOME!" section... under March... and I remember posting something like "hopefully more like February 27."

Naive persistent hope.

We're now under the April heading. Please God let us stay there.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

cheer-me-up post

(And yes, you American Idol fans - I was inspired tonight LOL! ^_~ )

Monday, March 16, 2009

a new countdown

Blame it on the old cynic in me, I've added a new countdown to the sidebar to the right, below the one that keeps on ticking away representing how long this adoption process has taken.

It counts down to May 26th. What magical thing happens on May 26th, you wonder? Other than it being ONE YEAR since we officially committed, the fact is we will have the ending to our story by that date. We will either have traveled, are currently out of the country, or we have released our committment to Emerson. It gives me some peace knowing how close we are to that knowledge.

Everyday I'm puzzled by the number of people still with us on this journey - this can't possibly be a very cheerful place to be. LOL, but not really. I chose a little elephant for this most momentous countdown because, well, an elephant never forgets.

Lilypie Date is set Ticker

feet dragging

The meaning of good and bad, of better and worse, is simply
helping or hurting.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Ministry officials still have not sent Emerson's paperwork back to the Social Work Center.

It is becoming clear to me that the individual responsible for past delays, including the complete halt to adoptions last November, is also responsible for the current ones. Whether this person has an "issue" with adoptions of children with special needs, or specifically Down syndrome, or with Americans, I don't know.

Our facilitator is going to be meeting soon with the wonderful person who reversed the halt last year in hopes of moving Em's adoption along and also safeguarding the adoptions of the other children.

I have a lot of words in me right now, and I know my blog is private, but I will hold them in for the moment. Our Emerson is still in the hospital, I don't have many details and honestly I fear asking for them - what tests can take weeks? Is she beginning that inevitable fall into congestive heart failure? I don't know.

I can only hope my little girl makes it one way or the other.

I am editing myself here LOL.
Perhaps it's just time to start working on one of those books I carry around in my heart. I used to be pretty good with words, maybe that is the best gift I have for these children. At some point you must stop being politely quiet and start lending these little ones a voice.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

life doesn't wait

A few new ones of our sweethearts. Finally what has been the most bitterly cold winter in my memory is giving way to the first glimpses of spring. It was a beautiful weekend and we spent A LOT of time outside! It is strange to think we began waiting for our Emerson late last spring. Coming up on 4 seasons ago, 8 months since dossier submission and 10 months since committment. And no, life doesn't wait, does it? :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

still waiting

I know I don't post as frequently as I usually do. This blog was our family blog first and foremost, so I feel a bit guilty for neglecting updates on our present little ones.

But, what can I say, I am feeling very quiet lately. Not quite depressed, though I definitely have moments of sadness, just... like time has stopped and I am just waiting for it to start moving again.

Sometimes I feel like maybe all of this has unfolded this way because my strength is being tested, because Em's heart will not be an easy fix or maybe can't be fixed at all... because to be her mommy I will need to know how to be patient and steadfast.

Other times I feel that perhaps someone is telling me to let go, that this is not meant to be, and I continue to stubbornly cover my ears and hum loudly to block out that truth and so more and more roadblocks are placed in our path, waiting until we finally realize it's time to get off this road.

I don't know which it is, I guess only more time will reveal. We are getting ready to file our taxes and to our surprise, for once in our married years we will owe. More awful timing.

We have about 4 to 6 weeks left to get a travel date or make the very painful decision not to complete this adoption, leaving one more broken heart than with which we began. There is truly no other option. Our home study will expire soon after, adoptions will close down in Serbia for the summer, and we will not be able to continue. Right now I am still stubbornly hoping, still waiting.

Friday, March 06, 2009

but not lost

Tears are all I seem to find these days. Sad ones, hopeful ones. I barely posted about my concerns and several people have posted and emailed me pledging to help if we do find ourselves short on the airfare. I am again in awe over the kindness that has been shown to us on this journey. It seems the instant my faith begins to break so many people come along and hold it together. So thank you.

To clarify a bit, it seems they were actually considering doing the heart surgery there, right NOW. Our facilitator has spoken with her cardiologist though and for now that's not going to happen because she is so close to adoption. I want so badly to be by her side and we really want to continue our plans for taking her to San Francisco for the robotic repair - I only want her to have the best chance of a smooth recovery, it is all we can do. So now the good news is her file has been noted at last to be of urgent medical concern, so we can just hope the remaining steps in the paperwork process go FAST.

The second little possible problem should not be a problem at all as long as we don't make it one.

April seems to be the most realistic thing to hope for at this point. Our facilitator is Em's best fighter and she is fighting so very hard to hurry things through.

I know I am an incredibly emotional person - I cry big, I fear big, but I love big too. And sometimes all it takes is for someone to suggest that we think about giving up to make everything in me stand up and scream absolutely not. I don't care how hard it is, I don't care how many tears I've cried and may still have yet to cry. I won't give up on her.

losing hope

Little Andjela is in the hospital right now having extensive testing done for her heart condition. It seems only now are the cardiologists there realizing and recommending she have surgery. I'm baffled.

Her paperwork has been completed and given to the Ministry officials, but they still have to do something, send it back to the Social Work Center, then they have to do something and choose us as her adoptive family, then send the file back to the Ministry who can then finally make an appointment for us.

So, any hope of March is fading fast I think. I have been crying all morning, as to be honest I think any hope of completing this adoption is fading even faster. We have just enough to cover airfare in mid-April. Past that, we will probably be around $500 to $700 short.

There is another reason we may not be allowed to complete this adoption, one that I have not shared on this blog yet and won't for at least several more weeks. It would be unfortunate if this were reason enough to stop things, but that's out of our hands.

And right now all I can think of this beautiful little girl whom I have come to love dearly lying in a hospital crib, blood being drawn, tests being run... alone. Just alone. And I cannot stop crying.

In the beginning things went so fast, doors opened like we'd been given a green light from heaven to do this. And now, it seems doomed to failure. And there's nothing I can do to stop it.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

this month?

"March is the month of expectation,
The things we do not know."

- Emily Dickinson


I haven't much to say these days, words seem to fail me as I sit on the edge of my seat, white-knuckled, wide-eyed, wondering if our time is coming or if it ever will at all. Harsh ticking of the clock in the background, slowing like it's time to change the batteries.

I've been checking airfare prices for the past 6 months. I had the airport codes memorized ages ago LOL. Those prices are, understandably, starting to creep up by several hundred dollars. I don't look very much anymore; I figure I'll only worry on an as-needed basis. ^_^ Getting out into mid April may find us doing a lot of praying and making a very tough decision. For now I'm just taking it day by day, patiently, patiently.

And still life goes on, appointments are scheduled, plans are made. Kindergarten registration, parent orientation, pediatrician visits, Macy's speech evaluation. Always made with a brief thought of what if we're--? quickly stopped by the reality that we just don't know and chances are good we'll still be here, waiting.

We just keep hoping. And I admit, I'd love to reschedule some appointments. :)