Friday, October 24, 2014

9 Years

Despite certain days/hours/minutes going painfully slow,  the years have gone so very fast (except the third year, still traumatized).  Nine years ago I walked down some steps and met the love of my life. 

We arrived in Addis Ababa the night before and quietly made our way through the night.  I remember unpacking all of Lucy's clothes, diapers and formula and putting them in a cabinet. I took all the shoes, formula and medicine that I had for donations and put them in the hall.  We all kind of stared at each other and sort of fell asleep.  

We woke up early on the 24th, dogs barking, the call to prayer sounding and soon after a beautiful sunrise.  We heard some babies cry from the care center below us, I wanted to go down there so very bad.  We gathered with the other families and had some breakfast, some drinks that were blended with avocado and we waited.  Outside we could look down to the parking lot below and see that they were bringing babies and cribs outside for their sunbaths.  Melanie zoomed in with her camera and we found Lucy among the other babies, I was screaming inside (she's RIGHT THERE!).  Finally the director's wife came up and said it was time to go down and have a short meeting before we met our children.  I don't remember much about the meeting. 

Finally she looks at me and says "are you ready to meet Eskedar?", I'm like heck yah!  The children that the other families were adopting were down the street at the older kids care center.  We walk into one of the infant rooms and there were two rows of cribs,  I am brought to the last crib on the left and as she pushed the mosquito netting away I saw my baby laying on her tummy, sleeping amongst quilts, so cozy.  I picked her up and she opened her eyes for a minute and went back to sleep.  She was wearing an outfit with a pink elephant (her theme animal, and the same outfit I had in her dresser at home).  I was sitting in a plastic lawn chair surrounded by people and babies, yet I didn't really remember that until I saw video footage.  

Lucy was little for 5 1/2 months but she was engaging and talkative.  She looked right at me.  I was hooked immediately. If anyone tried to tell me I would love her more every year I wouldn't have believed them because it felt pretty full right then.  The truth is, somehow I do, somehow every day for the last 9 years my heart has swelled a little more with love for this girl. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Hi friends,

It's hard to believe it's 2014 and little Lucy is about to head to 3rd grade!  Third grade.  What a monster time can be sometimes.  It goes so fast.  Lucy is still the funniest, most social, beautiful girl in all of Minneapolis.  Not that I'm partial or anything.  We've had an amazing summer.  Long weekend in Madison with some dear friends,  a trip to Stout's Resort (Island of Happy Days) with Deb and the boys,  a week at an RV resort with grandma and grandpa and two visits from Auntie Jen.

 bonded with our new friends

 enjoyed the outdoors

 learned a teeny tiny bit about the art of relaxing

 lots of love from the grandparents

 developed an interest in creating recipes and cooking

 rocked out to Katy Perry

ate delicious bad food

We also said goodbye to our friend Eric, daddy to our three boys.  Eric died in October after fighting cancer for 9 months.  The world is definitely a sadder place since Eric left.

Hope to see you soon friends.  I really want to preserve this blog for Lucy to look back on.  It's so much fun! An electronic 'baby book'. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Our Beautiful Boys

 Prayers and good vibes needed.  These boys and their parents who have been in Lucy's life since before she came home who are such an important part of her story and who we love like brothers/sons are needing some love.

Their daddy has cancer. Things are looking grim.

Please surround these sweeties and their mom and dad in all the love and healing you can muster. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

It is Time.

The time is rapidly approaching.  We must travel back to Ethiopia.  Almost every night the questions are coming, "were you there when I came out of her tummy?"  "is she alive?"  "did I cry in the orphanage"  "I think she is dead..." 

Her heart and mind are open right now.  The questions I can not answer are coming forth and although there is no guarantee that the answers will come when we travel, at least she'll have a connection that she can remember, at least she'll know we tried and that I support her in her quest.

Our biggest burden is finances.  I cut my last credit card with the adoption tax credit and it's a huge relief not having that burden.  I don't have a solid savings and stinky life situations (fractured elbows, bad teeth, rising gas prices...) keep our savings from blooming. 

Our goal is Spring 2014. 

First step is getting the girl a passport.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Animal Whisperer

Lucille LOVES animals and most animals love her. They are drawn to her and they anchor her. She is at her most regulated and focused when there is an animal near her.
for some reason our old old cat Azazel LOVES to sit by Lucy she reads. It's the cutest thing. Lucy loves it. It's like we have our very own reading incentive program right in our home.

even my mom's dog loves Lucy.
of course good old Zep. He is unhappy and anxious anytime Lucy is out of the house, pacing back and forth back and forth until she is home where she belongs. 


Friday, March 29, 2013

So anyways ....

I'm really really starting again.

Is there anybody out there?  

We are here and we are good.  Lucy is still 7 and still as funny and full of life as ever.  See?
I last left off in October, mere days before the big fall:
oh the irony. Lucy was all dressed up as a zombie.  Covered in fake blood, I even left her hair down and stuck leaves and twigs in it so it looked like she just emerged from the grave. It was a good costume, and possible not appropriate for the church Halloween party that we were about to attend.  It was a beautiful fall afternoon so Lucy was climbing a tree at the neighbors, when she slipped and fell, there was a skinny little patch of walk way and like an arrow to the bulls eye she fell right on that cement.  I knew right away she busted a bone in her arm.  I was all "cool" because in my head, you break a bone and you go get a cast and then you go home.  

*special secret: if you want to be seen VERY VERY quickly in the ER, have your kid dressed in a very bloody shirt.

turns out, a fractured elbow requires surgery and pins and a lot of recovery. So Lucy and her unkempt hair, and the twigs and leaves and her mama spent the night at the hospital.  Above you see a very looped up Lucy.

but our lives haven't been all hospital drama.  We've also had that regular type of drama that one might expect from a very very spirited girl:
you know, the kind that requires one to stare forlornly out of the window when mom cuts off the Taki consumption and tv.

It's spring now and our big thing is dreaming and scheming for our return trip to Ethiopia. We are taking Auntie Jen and hoping for some treasured memories and some grounding moments. It's time. It is. Only thing stopping us at this point is finances. 

I will leave you with Lucy the reader! 

More soon.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


and just like that summer is almost over. 
Lucy has one week left until she starts school.  We are both ready.  I work the same amount in summer as I do the rest of the year so summer is just a more relaxed version of every other season of the year.  Lucy gets a nice break from all of the expectations of the school year but the benefits of the break are tempered by the consequences of lack of consistency in her days/evenings/caretakers etc. 

So, yes we are ready to head into the rushing out the door to daycare/work and the rushing home to get her off the bus or picked up on time.  We are ready for consistent earlier bedtimes.  I am so so very curious (and nervous) to see how being with a new group of peers (she is having a do-over in first grade and will get to be with new kids for the first time in 2 years) and how getting a 2nd chance with first grade academics will help (hopefully not hurt) her.  It helps that Lucy is really excited to be with her teacher again (although she's not that excited about her friends being in a different class). 

I'm trying to get organized and prepared and ready to help Lucy as much as possible so she can feel really good about school and be super successful.  I am having the best attitude possible and hoping it rubs off on her.  I love her so.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hey There

Hi Friends!   Can't believe summer 2012 is in its final month already.  So much has happened this summer.  Let me do a quick recap in list formation:

1. Lucy spent six weeks in a Children's Defense Fund Freedom School.  It was hard and wonderful at the same time.  My outgoing, social little girl does have anxiety around starting new things so it was rough going for the first couple weeks.  Look up Freedom School, awesome and I imagine there is at least one in your area!

2.  We went on our annual summer vacation with 'the boys'.  We got all brave and decided to head west to the Black Hills, SD.  We all had a wonderful time and really enjoyed our time.

3. Mama got a new job!  I was so sad to leave my former agency but my new gig (in St Paul) pays SO MUCH better and has a lot of growth opportunity.  I am still home visiting, but no longer doing direct teaching in a classroom.  I'm still getting used to the new paperwork, expectations and traveling around all parts of St Paul but I think I like the job and look forward to getting into a little pattern. 

4. Lucy is growing and growing.  Life with a 7 year old is funny, enjoyable and a tiny bit more peaceful then before.

5. Our rats have moved on.  One of them died and the other is now cohabiting with another single rat in a local preschool.  Happier rats and happier me. 

6. We just went on a mini roadtrip with auntie Jen to Iowa to see a bunch of people in concert.  Lucy's best boyband friends Green River Ordinance and her true love Adam Lambert, plus many others.  Lucy rocked out from 1pm-8:30 pm and she did great!!!  How fun to be able to experience events like this with my baby.
 babes in badlands


 happy Lucy got chosen to help at the bird show

 wild burros in Custer State Park

 Corny Corn Palace

 Jr Paleontologist at the Mammoth Hot Springs Dig site

 kids in the hall


Mt Rushmore

Sunday, April 8, 2012

St Louis in Instagram

We went to St Louis to visit auntie Jen over spring break.  I am pretty sure that she aged by about 7 years on the flight over.
She wanted to go to a beautician. Her hair was in a bad way so the experience was not good for her.  It took three hours to put in about 10 cornrows and that was with me working along side the beautician helping her comb out Lucy's hair.  In the end Lucy was SOOOO proud of herself and I was SOOOOO tired of standing. 
Lucy requested to sit under the dryer.  She was so cool.

Saturday morning we met up with Diane and 2/3 of her boys.  For a bike ride.

It was awesome fun. 

More later. 
Happy Easter.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lucy's talent show practice

Lucy participated in her school's talent show this afternoon. Soon I will post the sweet video of the actual event. Here is the more animated "home version" of her talent :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Love her

after seeing some show, or learning something about scuba diving and undersea adventures Lucy asked her ever faithful and obliging grandpa for some scuba gear (she actually asked for two sets, one for her and one for Morgan).  Grandpa came half way through with a lovely wet suit for Lucy (along with a snorkel and mask).  Wet suit appreciated during swimming lessons in January!

and seriously,  aside from a huge lottery win, what more could a mother ever ask or hope for?  I hope you can all read this section of her report card.  I am sure the academic stuff will come in its own time but the empathy?  the honesty?  let's all give a round of applause for my straight A(wesome) Lucille!!!!

bragging done.
will probably whine tomorrow.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

RIP Kris Allison

Tonight we mourned the loss of our beloved blue fish Kris Allison.  She/he lived for a long long time. Longer then I ever imagined a fish would ever live.  The death was super traumatic for both Lucy and I as we were present to witness the fish's dying swim.  Ugh. Lucy took it really hard. She was devestated and cried harder then I've ever heard her cry, her whole body fighting the sadness.

Never check on pets right before bedtime. Never.

Friday, February 3, 2012

on Friday nights

On Friday nights I am burnt out beyond belief.  Toasty crispy done.
Short but sweet blog post.
Our new nutrition makeover needs a bit of tweaking (ie, we are in a rut and need to add some more variety and nutrition) BUT it is still working its wonderful magic.

1. Lucy has many many days at school with no time outs.
2. when Lucy does get a time out she gets really upset because she's worked so hard to avoid it
3. Lucy is SO proud of herself.
4. She is finally grasping reading and it's so amazing to see her brain clicking.

I am on a crusade now to cut dairy out of most kid's lives.
With that being said, I really really could go for some cheese and a malt right now.

adios amigos.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Power of Facebook (or the amazing village I am a part of)

So earlier this week this mama bear got all riled up.  Lucy has been having some issues on the school bus. She is on the bus for one hour every morning from daycare to school.  I've always felt bad about her having such a long ride before a long day of school.  A couple weeks ago Lucy got into trouble for spitting on the bus. The details from Lucy are fuzzy, although normally Lucy will tell the truth even if the truth doesn't exactly 'set her free'.  All I know is that both Lucy and the staff at her school reported that the driver was really mean about the incident and unnecessarily rough with Lucy. 

So my radar went off when Lucy asked me rather randomly if I drooled when I slept.  "Why do you ask Lucy?"   Her eyes dropped and tears welled up in her eyes "I fell asleep on the bus today and I drooled and I think the driver is mad at me that I spit".  During this conversation she also let it out that some of the kids (k-8th grade) on the bus are mean to her.  The next morning during drop off some kid makes a remark about Lucy being there, my strong sassy girl immediately shrunk back against a wall and those tears started welling up again. UGH. 

at 7:26 that morning I posted this:  "Does anyone know anyone in s.Minneapolis that can provide before school childcare.from 7:45 till around 930ish? Lucy is struggling with an hour long bus ride and i'm struggling with her sadness" on my facebook page.

and at 9:57 the same morning I got this reply "Where do you live Stacy? Believe it or not my kiddos don't start until 9:40 so it might work..."   um. thanks Heather!   Lucy now will spend her two before school hours at a home with a family I know and respect. 

and because I've been a photo taking slacker lately, here is an oldie but goodie.  Lucy and her future husband Wendim. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I was thinking it, but Mama Papaya did it and if she can do it so can I.   Blogging starts again now.  Thoughtful blogging starts tomorrow.  It's almost 11pm and I am rip roaring tired.  I will leave you with a photo.
or two

She is prepping for a career with the roller derby.
See you tomorrow.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

It's a brand new year ..

2012 promises to be a year of transformations.  New job for me (hopefully), new acheivements for Lucy (for sure).  I am excited for this tangible shift of time/date because it shifts my mind and attitude giving me the kick I need to make some changes.  We ushed out 2011 with a small gathering of friends.  It was a fun night, the kids played hard!

We didn't do our traditional sled ride to Jakeenos because there was no snow.  Honestly I am happy about the no snow thing. It's been a load off my mind to not have shoveling and the yard is clean of dog waste. Every day that goes by is one less mess in our spring poop soup.  Nice

We started 2010 by taking a vacation to Madison to visit Blueberry and his family.
LOVED our time there.  Lucy just got done looking at these photos, exclaiming how cute Blueberry is and how she woudl really like to go back to Madison and sleep there for three nights next time. She doesnt' have to twist my arm.

We got the kids outside and moving while in Madison. Important.

Went to an open gym and Lucy jumped jumped jumped on the trampoline.

she figured out all sorts of ways to move her body.

Lucy has been doing great on our new diet regime.  It's really not a regime. As time progressed with her in public school it was getting more and more evident that Lucy might need a little (lot) of help in order to suceed in traditional education.  Her pediatrician started talking about adhd. I was thinking it before the pediatrician stated it.  Lucy's moods were all over the place and learning was hard.
I hope she doesn't hate me one day for putting this out in cyberspace.
I decided to try shifting her diet a little before doing anything more chemical.
Took her off of dairy.
Added more protein into her day.
Added Omega 3's at night.
Added vitamin/mineral supplement.
with the dairy exclusion came a forced foray into more whole foods, less packaged foods.

About 2 (give or take) months into this now and big big changes have happened.
She is learning faster.
She is more focused.
She can sit through a meal.
She is getting into less trouble at school.

see??? 2012, big changes.