Monday, December 31, 2007

So long to 2007

It certainly has been a whirlwind of a year! We've run the gamut of emotions, from elated to extremely depressed. We've had things go well and things go not-so-well. Jason's business has been prosperous and there have also been lean times. I've had some students have the wonderful natural births that they hoped for and some students who have had c-sections even though it wasn't what they wanted. The house has been clean and the house has looked like a child and two dogs live here.

OK, the house almost always looks like a child and two dogs live here. The two adults--we get camouflaged by the rest of it.

2007 has been a good year in many respects. We've pursued adoption from Ethiopia and feel OK with where things stand right now. We know that it's the right decision for our family. We've learned a ton about adoption, international adoption, transracial adoption, parenting an adopted child, Ethiopia, Ethiopian culture, even Ethiopian restaurants around the area! We've met a wonderful group of people in those who are adopting or have adopted from Ethiopia, and look forward to many more gatherings. We've made many new friends and spent time with those who were already friends. We got to travel to Maine and Florida and Utah, and visit with many family members--some who we hadn't seen in years!

It's also been a very, very hard year but I don't want to dwell on those aspects. While we certainly won't forget the difficulties we've had this year, we're trying hard to look ahead to 2008 and hope for a good year that sees our next son come home and our family grow and change with him.

May 2008 bring your hopes and dreams to fruition, and may those who love you (us!) get to see you soon!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Furious with Discovery Toys Company!

I paid for expedited shipping on Patrick's MarbleWorks set. It was $20+, but I really wanted him to get it for Christmas. I told him that Santa might not be able to fit it onto his sleigh, but he would get it here soon after Christmas. That way, if it didn't get here in time, he would be OK with that. And he was.

Now it's been a week since I placed the order and it's still not here. I tried their on-line tracking service, and it said there wasn't any for that order. So I called their 800 number and it says they're CLOSED UNTIL JANUARY THIRD! I am absolutely livid. I should have been told that the order wasn't going to ship for a FULL TWO WEEKS after I ordered it, and I damned sure wouldn't have paid so much for shipping. I sent them an e-mail, saying that I expected them to contact me before it ships. I want an explanation as to why they didn't tell a customer who clearly wanted the item quickly that they weren't going to even mail it for several weeks.

Just needed to vent. I hate that my son is disappointed yet again. I feel like the only thing I've done lately is to disappoint him.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The amusement that is Patrick continues

The visit with Santa could have been worse. A few days earlier, Patrick and I were at the grocery store. The cashier asked if Santa would stop at our house and Patrick said yes, he'd been good. She asked what he would leave for Santa and Patrick clammed up. I said "What about cookies?"

He said "Uh huh. And beer."

I started snickering. "Did Daddy tell you that's what Santa wants?"

"Yes," he answered, perfectly seriously.

So it could have been worse--Santa asked if Patrick would be nice enough to leave him some cookies and milk, and thankfully Patrick didn't mention the beer to him.

It's killing me that Patrick keeps saying that Santa is bringing him balls. I know exactly what he wants--it's a huge ball set that they have at the Children's Museum (lifts, pneumatic tubes, tracks, etc), and he knows that Santa can't bring him the same thing because it won't fit down the chimney--but all he keeps saying is that he wants balls.

We've ordered him a MarbleWorks set that will hopefully be here in time. I just hope he doesn't see it and start talking about playing with his balls...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Patrick's visit to Santa

Last night we took Patrick to see Santa. He was very excited, which was a huge change from last year; he spied Santa from the upper balcony of Lenox Mall and flat-out refused to go downstairs. He wouldn't go anywhere near him last year. This year, he said that he would go only if I stood near him. I agreed and, after waiting in line agonizing over what he would ask for, it was finally his turn.

First, he said "Thank you for the presents that you brought me last year," as we'd practiced. Santa said he was welcome and that he wanted to figure out what Patrick wanted this year. Patrick's response?


I have to give Santa credit for being able to keep a straight face, because I couldn't.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Time to catch up

I've been remiss in updating this blog after posting about Manalimo's diagnosis. Part of it has been the end of the semester--between Sunday morning and Tuesday night, I had 3 hours of sleep. But it's more that it's been incredibly painful and I've had as much as I could deal with trying to tell people in person. Writing it down seemed like too much to face.

We had no idea. We thought we had all of the information. I talked to Jan on Friday and she explained that she'd been absolutely stunned as well--she could only remember one other time that something so major had come up during a neurological exam when the preliminary exam came back fine. She said that she'd actually worried that we would accept his referral even having said that CP wasn't something we could handle, and not realize until Manalimo was home that we really couldn't handle it. She felt like it spoke to our abilities as parents to be able to make such a difficult decision, though I told her that it made me feel like a horrible and low person to be able to see a diagnosis and say "no". She reassured us that isn't the case at all.

I'm still very sad, more so since Manalimo's listing appeared on the CHS.FS waiting child list. I just wish we were the right family for him--his face is still in my dreams and I know we'll think of him every day.

It's back in our court now as to when we're ready. We'll let you know when something happens.

To those who've been there for us and expressed your sympathy, brought meals, had us over, thank you. There were times when simply doing day-to-day activities, like preparing meals, were too much to bear and those were the things that got us through.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Patrick is four!

My Patrick. My sweet pea. My munchkin. He supposedly turned 4 yesterday, but it could not possibly have happened. He was just born! And yet, it feels like he's been in our lives forever. I don't really remember what we did before he was here, to love and hug and laugh and cry with us.

To read bedtime stories and rediscover the joy of simple things like Playdoh and race car tracks, and building forts out of pillows and blankets next to the bed.

To say "I love you, Mama" and give Jason big hugs and kisses to wake him up in the mornings.

To snuggle next to him when we say our bedtime prayers and make his hair stand up on end when he's in the bathtub.

To go to to the park and the zoo, and birthday parties at fun places like the children's museum.

To blow raspberries on his stomach and flip him upside down, just to hear him giggle.

To watch him learn to dress himself and figure out the letters of the alphabet.

To hear him tell me all about the Jewish holidays and see how much he loves to go to school.

To hear the joy in his voice when he opens up drums that he's been asking for since his previous birthday.

To play Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders and Hungry, Hungry Hippos.

To hear him tell stories about "little Patrick", who lives with "little Mama, little Daddy, little Caesar, and little Neitzsche", and all of their adventures together.

To hear him plan for the future, like being 5 and being able to chew gum.

To know that we are the luckiest of parents to have such a sweet and wonderful son. I don't remember the days before him, because they paled in comparison to the days since he came into our lives.

Happy birthday, baby.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Emory concert

We're doing better and I'll post about that soon. I have to cover Patrick's birthday and birthday party first--he'll be 4 on Monday, can you believe it? His party was today.

Before I talk about those, I wanted to let everyone know (because Courtney reminded me that I'd forgotten to send out my customary e-mail) that I'll be performing with the Emory University Chorus* for the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols this coming weekend. The Friday concert (December 7th) is at 8 p.m. and there are two on Saturday, at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Patrick and Jason will be at the 5 p.m. Saturday show.

Tickets information is here. It's a Christmas concert, and only a Christmas concert, guaranteed to put you into the Christmas spirit. There are readings of New Testament scripture between songs such as Once in Royal David's City, The First Noel, and a version of Silent Night called Still, Still, Still. That last one is sung in almost complete darkness but for the candles that we carry as we ring the congregation. It is a truly amazing concert, one in which I feel very privileged to sing every year but two** since we moved to Atlanta.

I would love it if you'd be able to come. You can buy tickets there, although it does sell out most shows. There are many people who've made it a tradition every year because it is an incredible concert.


*The Emory University Chorus is open to anyone: Emory students of all levels and schools, alumni, and anyone else from the community who would like to sing. I started as a graduate student. We rehearse on Monday nights from 7:30-9:30 p.m. during each semester. I usually only sing in the fall, for Lessons and Carols, for various reasons.

**I was hired at Georgia Perimeter 4 days before the semester started last year and was assigned a Monday night class. The other time was in 2003, when I rehearsed all semester and then, the Wednesday before the concerts, Patrick decided it was time to be born--2 1/2 weeks early (I'd convinced my director that my water wouldn't break on stage, and I was right. It broke an hour and a half after I got home from dress rehearsal on Tuesday night). I felt perfectly fine to sing that weekend, but Jason and my parents wouldn't let me. They're no fun, I tell you. Patrick is known as my Lessons and Carols baby by much of the chorus.