Posted by: ourwildride | April 26, 2008

A Couple More Pictures

It has been a busy couple of days. It is wonderful to have all 5 of us under the same roof. And it is our roof!! T seems to be doing pretty well. Unfortunately, he has had a fever for the past 24 hours. Doesn’t seem terribly sick, just not real happy either. For those of you curious about how things went through immigration in Atlanta, it went really fast. The agent took our folder and said ‘Oh, he’s coming in on an IR3. Everything is already done. Congratulations. Have a nice evening.’ Literally, we were processed that quickly.

There have been a few requests for more pictures. And so here you go.



Outside the Marriott at about 7 am Monday morning. En route to the Embassy.
You can already tell I’m short on coffee.

Walking in the courtyard. He was mad. He had decided Daddy was much more fun and
he was not going to let anyone take a picture of him with Mommy.

Abs to drive a Mommy wild!

Wednesday Morning – Happy Birthday! Now that’s what I call breakfast!

Party at home in the high chair. I can’t believe we are actually home!


And now it looks like I will need to buy a space upgrade. So I think I’ll call it a night. Peace.

Posted by: ourwildride | April 22, 2008

It’s Official

I wrote this last evening. But it didn’t post for some reason. User error, I’m sure


As of about 9:15 am today T is officially a part of our family. Talk about an odd anti-climax. Kind of a cross between the DMV and a wedding. We were sitting in a waiting room with about 30 other adoptive families and the decked out kids plus a handful of other random people with US Embassy business of some sort. There weren’t enough chairs to go around. It was hot. Babies were throwing up. T needed to poop but couldn’t. I could have used another cup of coffee (seeing as we met our facilitator outside the hotel at 6:55 am). You get the idea.

They take you into a little closet to review the paperwork and make sure all is in order. And then, one by one they call you over to a window (we were window #7) and with all the stuff going on in the background and through bullet proof glass they ask you to raise your right hand and affirm that you are taking this child for your own. That was basically it. Congratulations. Next family please.

Tomorrow we need to go back to the embassy to retrieve the visa that T needs to come into the US. Wednesday we’re coming home! If you think of us, say a little prayer around 6 pm Wednesday that we get through Immigration in Atlanta without any hassles or hold-ups. We only have 1.5 hour layover and he has extra processing because he is coming into the US for the first time. 

Posted by: ourwildride | April 20, 2008

Two More Pics

Here are two more pictures to enjoy. The first is from Friday afternoon. His foster mom is holding him and we are making footprints and handprints in the baby books I made for us. One copy for the foster family and one copy for T.

Making Footprints

The second picture was poolside yesterday. He was having fun banging his butterfly against everything to hear what made the best noise.

Butterfly Noise 

Posted by: ourwildride | April 19, 2008

Still Surreal

I wonder how long this feeling will last? For me, today feels like the time in the hospital after giving birth when the world outside momentarily ceases to exist. And I remember feeling very strange bringing A & W home from the hospital (like when are they going to realize I’m not ready for this and make me stop). Then at some point, without being conscious of a shift, it just became our life. 

T’s napping at the moment and it is nice to have a chance to take a deep breath. Yesterday when we arrived at the hotel our room wasn’t ready. They tried to give us another room but it was an adjoining room that smelled like cigarette smoke and to make a long story short we decided to wait an hour until a different room was ready. We tried to call our agency contact but kept getting her voice mail. So we were sitting in the lobby of the hotel when we saw Mami T, one of her daughters, and our lawyer walk through the door. The nice part about that is that we didn’t have the chance to sit around obsessing about when they would arrive. The downside is that we didn’t have gifts ready and were digging through our bags just trying to find our camera.

T seems to be doing okay. I really think he has some recollection of us from our February visit. He hasn’t been really happy but he isn’t distraught either, just more sad and wimper-ing. All in all, we’re doing fine. We just need a little sleep. Because, at the moment, this is T’s crib. Seriously, how can one small body demand so much space?


Posted by: ourwildride | April 11, 2008

What a Difference

A Week Can Make.

Next week at this time I will be in Guatemala City – probably with T in my arms. I can’t believe this is actually happening.

We received email (known in the adoption world as e-pink) notification from the US Embassy that T’s appointment had been scheduled for Monday 4/21 at 7:15 am! Because his appointment is on a Monday we will need to pick him up on the prior Friday. And oh my goodness – that is next Friday! Flight arrangements have been made. Hotel has been booked. I suppose it is actually time to start packing!

Posted by: ourwildride | April 6, 2008

Keyed Up

I’m keyed up tonight. Perhaps (wild guess here) having something to do with the fact that I spent about 7 hours driving today with a 7 & 4 year old in the back seat. Then, immediately upon entering the house, I went into hyper mommy mode with the laundry, meal planning for the week, grocery list, and library book round-up. Now I’m feeling ready for the week – just can’t come down.

In the midst of that going on externally, my internal world is all about attachment. And wondering really, honestly, what is it going to be like to bring T home? What does it look like to parent a child with whom your intial interactions (from the child’s perspective) result in trauma and grief? How can we best foster trust and emotional security in our relationship with him?

Certainly parenting him – at least initially – is going to be different from how we parented our other 2 children by the time they reached the 1 year milestone. And we feel fortunate to have access to the research that has been done on attachment and attachment related issues and grief and trauma in a pre-verbal child.

So what are some of the things we would like you to think about regarding his transition?

  • Remember that while we have been excitedly preparing for him to join our family – he is not feeling the same way.
  • It is extremely important that he forms a primary attachment to us and only us. Initially, we will be the only ones performing all the primary care tasks including feeding, changing diapers, bathing, and holding him. And right now we have no idea how long ‘initially’ might last.
  • He needs the right kinds of stimulation which will encourage his attachment to us – not overstimulation. And it doesn’t take much to overstimulate a child in his situation. We will ‘hole-up’ at the house for some time after he comes home.
  • The first priority of attachment is responding promptly to his needs. There is no ‘spoiling’ of him by us during this transition. He has to know, and I mean deep down really know, that we are always going to be there for him. No matter what.


And how can you support us during this transition?

  • Respect the choices we are making in parenting him. You may not understand or agree with our choices but they are our choices.
  • Please don’t reach for him or try to hold him (or – this is for my father and brothers… try to feed him ice cream) until he is ready and we will let you know when we think he is ready. This may feel strange or unnatural for you. But we are doing this for him.
  • If you really want to understand attachment, and some of the related issues, and the research that is the basis for some of our decisions, we would recommend reading the book Attaching in Adoption by Deborah Gray.


The first few months we have with him are really critical for his long term health. I’m so ready for it. And people on the adoption forums are saying things like ‘better get packing’. Which, of course, I haven’t started just yet. Most of the time it still feels very surreal. But I did move buying a car seat for him to the must-do list for the week. So maybe, just maybe, by the end of the week it might be feeling a little more tangible.

Posted by: ourwildride | March 31, 2008

One More Checkbox Checked

We found out this morning that we are ‘orange‘. That indicates that the embassy doctor appointment has been scheduled. Best guess tonight is that we will be traveling the week of April 28th. Could be the week prior. Or sometime later – although it’s hard to imagine something that would cause it to be too much later at this point.

Over the weekend we started seeing the anxiety of impending separation (even if it is for only a short time) begin to rear it’s ugly head with A. We’re trying to allow her time to talk about it and to come of with some ideas of what will help her cope with it. Mainly because I have no idea what other approach to take. And it is a little maddening to start thinking -Is this your problem? Or my problem? And how much of your problem is my problem because you are 7? And round and round we go.

Posted by: ourwildride | March 26, 2008


I’m trying hard not to obsess. Which, by it’s very nature, implies I am obsessing. I’m trying to stay away from the adoption related forums and not to look at other people’s adoption time-lines. It serves no purpose for me to see what happened or is happening in other cases. I’m trying to do all this with grace. Tonight I am face down on the pavement. Splat.

Monday I had myself convinced that this week he’d have the embassy doc appointment and we’d be set to travel in four weeks. But as of tonight – still no word and no charge on the credit card – which isn’t a good sign. This morning I contemplated what it would be like to miss T’s first birthday. And I was at peace with it. But right now I’m just mad. And I’m mad at myself for being mad about something that is out of my control.

Posted by: ourwildride | March 20, 2008

Adoption Twist on Obama’s Speech

I’m still processing Obama’s speech from Tuesday 3/18. And this afternoon I started wondering what would happen if it were tweaked to outline a new vision for the adoption community that went something like this…


For the natural mothers in our community, that path means embracing the burdens of their past without becoming victims of the past. It means continuing to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life.

But it also means binding particular grievances to the larger aspirations of all Americans. And it means taking full responsibility for their lives — by demanding more from agencies and communities, and by demonstrating that while they may face challenges in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism; they must always believe that they can write their own destiny.

For adoptive parents, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails our sisters, the mothers among us who relinquished children to adoption, does not just exist in the minds of the natural mother; that the legacy of pain and discrimination — and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past — are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds — by insisting on unbiased counseling; by enforcing openness agreements; by lobbying for open records; by providing any woman who chooses to parent a ladder of opportunity that was unavailable for previous generations.

It requires all members of the adoption triad to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the counseling, education and post adoption support will ultimately help all of our children prosper.

In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world’s great religions demand — that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother’s keeper, Scripture tells us. Let us be our sister’s keeper. Let us find that common stake we all have in our children, and let adoption policy reflect that spirit as well.

These ideas were lifted (some entirely and some in part) from Obama’s 3/18 speech which can be found here.

Posted by: ourwildride | March 19, 2008

Political More with Less

If you are looking for adoption related news. Sorry, it’s Semana Santa (that would be Holy Week). We hope to hear something next week. We need ‘orange’ (embassy doc appointment) and then ‘pink’ (embassy pick-up appointment). Most people have been traveling within 4-5 weeks of getting ‘orange’. We’re getting close.

In lieu of adoption related news (and I know I’m way late on the uptake but I finally had a chance to read the full transcript tonight), did Obama’s speech yesterday give you chills, or what? I’m kind of sick of the whole political thing already this election cycle. I’m sick of the sound bites. I’m sick of the posturing. Plus my mind has been preoccupied with other stuff. But that speech was amazing. If you haven’t heard or read it in it’s entirety, go here. And read the whole thing.

Warning:  Sound bite ahead.

For me the crux of it is the following quote. ‘It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams’. That strikes me as a political ‘More with Less’ mentality. Yes, we all have to take responsibility. Yes, there is enough to go around. Now, let’s do it.

Lest you think this is my endorsement of Obama – it isn’t. I’m still firmly undecided. But that speech seemed like a breath of fresh air.

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