29 January 2016

So Encouraged!

Okay, a preface: a lot can happen within a Michelle in a day.

Yesterday, we received news that the birth certificate should be done by the end of next week. Good news! I also asked for a new appointment with the embassy to file our I-600, and we got one for February 8th. Doubly good news, because it is as soon as we can be sure we have the documents, and also because it give some indication that we may not be waiting for weeks for our visa exit interview (not a guarantee, but it's the first positive sign I've seen in months that we may not have to be there, twiddling our thumbs, for weeks).

I was able to book a flight this morning for nothing more than the change fee. I'll be leaving on Tuesday, February 2nd. I'll get to see our girls on February 4th, exactly two months after we left.

I'm not sure if we'll be able to do our IOM (medical) appointment before filing the I-600, but it's okay. Since I'm filing on Monday, I'm not feeling a ton of pressure to have it done beforehand.

Seriously, no matter what, I'm getting on that plane.

28 January 2016

Still Here

I thought I would have the emotional energy today to explain what happened yesterday. I don't, so this will be about as barebones as it gets. Sorry for the lack of energy to make it appealing to read.

Stephen took me to the airport yesterday. I checked my bags, went through security, and walked to my gate (the same gate Stephen and I sat at when we left in November).

My phone plan hadn't been renewed because my autorefill was on a card that expired this month. But I didn't want to pay for a phone I couldn't use in Uganda, so I let it lapse yesterday. So, at the gate, I opened up my computer to text Stephen from GoogleVoice letting him know I was safely at the gate.

I got an email from our lawyer in Uganda, saying there is a misspelling on Mirah's official birth certificate, and that the corrected one won't be ready in time for my I-600 filing appointment. He advised that, if I wasn't already traveling, I shouldn't come yet.

This was 9:40a. The email was sent at 9:33a (our time). The plane would start boarding at 11:10a.

Here's where I stop knowing how I feel about what happened. I let those who are invested in this adoption tell me what to do, and I didn't consult my own impression, thoughts, or desires. But I rescheduled my flight (with no extra fees, thank you, United!) for February 9th (which I had to do by calling from GoogleVoice and holding our Chromebook up to my face, like a cool guy). That's really just a placeholder date. I don't know when I'm going.

But when did I start to just lie down and comply? Who even is that? My whole life, I've fought for my thoughts to be heard, understood, and valued. It's not about submitting; it's about making sure the decision I submit to is fully informed and not just someone's preference. I'm just so puzzled at my own behavior. Not that the decision wasn't the right one either; I think only time will tell that.

I was dreading going with no end date, so for that, I'm glad. I don't want to be separated from my boys (and my man) longer than I need to be. But my girls, they matter too. It's been almost two months since I've seen them. And I know changes to the adoption laws are coming soon. We can only delay so long before our adoption (and thus, our family) may be in danger.

I'm trying not to mope, but I don't want to unpack my necessary clothes, and repack them again. I don't want to do this leave-taking all over again. I am really tired. But I'm also getting ready to fight.

24 January 2016

T- 60 Hours

Honestly, the feelings I'm feeling this trip are really different from what they were when we were planning to leave January 12th. Because the boys aren't flying out with me; because I don't know how long I'll be separated; because I have to do these big, involved things "alone." I'm dreading leaving. When I've been making preparations, I've been struggling not to cry.

I don't want to leave my boys on a one-way ticket. I don't want to leave not knowing how many weeks it will be before I see them again. I know it sounds dramatic, but it's true. Even two and a half weeks is a really long time for our four year old, not to mention our seventeen-month-old. He will not understand where I am.

The only thing that has kept me from calling the airline and canceling everything are my girls. I am so ready to feel the relief of my eyes clapped on their little bodies. I'm ready to renew the bond we began to build. I'm ready to restart the process of becoming a safe person. I'm ready to cling to God during what will probably be a pretty high-output season.

I just really, really wish we could all be together. But to change the boys' flights was $3,000-$4,000 per ticket (we're talking $7,000 for them to get there & come back). If I end up staying for weeks and weeks, I'm sure they'll come for a visit after the prices go down in mid-February. But having to leave my children to go be with my children... it should not be. I'm so ready for us to be one family.

I've been praying for the process to be short, but I've felt a little check in my heart tonight. I do often want to rush things, and Jesus isn't a hurried person. So I want this to take the amount of time he wants it to take. Not one day more or less. I want the girls to have the right amount of time with me before I take them from their home country and shuffle them onto plane after plane for hours and hours into a country that looks and smells and sounds utterly different from anything they've ever known.

I don't want our days to be constantly filled with things we must do, because life won't be like that here. I want time, unstructured time with them. Time to begin to know them and begin rhythms of living together. That won't happen if I'm busy stressing out over how long it's taking to be done with. What's another week, compared to the rest of our lives together?

And I want to actually trust God with my boys; I want to trust that his grace can stretch the gap left by my absence. It highlights how much I lean on my own understanding, on my own abilities, now that the rug is being pulled out from under me.

I'm just really glad God is gracious and patient with me, that I have to leave the country indefinitely to realize that I've been relying on myself too much. You're such a good Dad, God.

20 January 2016

Ten Years

Did you know I've been a mom for ten years?

I mean, not really, but also yes, really.

My first son, my birth son, was born ten years ago.

I don't tend to carry a lot of memories with me; I've come up with several different guesses as to why that is, but they're just me judging myself with varying levels of severity. But I remember so much from the 7 months I (knowingly) carried him.

I am so proud that I got to be his first mom. It's hard for me to understand why God would take some really big mistakes I made and redeem them by allowing him to be born. And why he would gently and clearly lead me through the process of letting him go to be with the family God ordained. And he's allowed me contact with my birth son and his family, so I get to see him growing up into the amazing person God formed in my womb. What an honor.

Carrying and birthing him made me a mom. It changed me. It made me more like Jesus, in choosing love that wants good for that person and not just what I want for myself. It really felt like my heart was breaking, for a long time.

Despite the grief, I've never regretted my decision. Really, not ever. But that's probably because I know I was obeying God. It reminds me of Luke 11, where that person shouted at Jesus "blessed is the woman who birthed and nursed you!" and he was like "Actually, blessed is the person who obeys God's word" [Michelle's paraphrased version]. Even tho Mary was obviously totally blessed, Jesus reveals that obeying God is a gift he gives to us. In his presence there is fullness of joy. I have received so much joy from my first son.

18 January 2016

Blanket #1

Here's (probably Stella's) blanket:

Yeah, I don't know how to use my camera well.
 Sorry for the lack of proper focus. I'm not entirely please with how the colors worked out. There's a lot of variegation in the main yarn color I used, so it is less cohesive than I would have preferred.

For example, you can see above that the two rows between the accent colors are totally different, and the row above the purple is also a different shade.

Oh well. I feel like these big projects become their own things no matter what I plan. I added the blue in because that's the main color in Ezra's and Judah's blankets. I used this yarn in Ambrosia, Grape, and Montana Sky. I didn't use Montana Sky for the last one I'm making bc ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I'll post pictures when it's finished.

17 January 2016


I've been trying to focus on all the reasons I can be glad we didn't leave last week (since we didn't, I might as well, instead of mopetymoping). On of the reasons is that we can get our girls' room more in order for our return. Nesting definitely exists with adoption, in case you were wondering!

We had a friends give us an online baby shower (so sweet!) and we were given so many useful things, like the storage cubbies for their clothes (and the bins that go in them), their pillows, a toy chest to hold their toys, books, two twin mattresses for their bunk beds (!), and some things to help me care of their hair. We were also given generous gifts of funds to help with our trip.

All this generosity bowls me over. Of course, with packages coming nearly every day, Ezra has been very excited too! It's been so comforting to feel like people support us and are excited for us as I wait to go.

My parents have started working on their bunk beds, and so it looks like it will all come together soon. Organizing things is the main way I deal with my big-things-are-happening-to-me anxiety. I've also been making every list Stephen could ever need to manage our home while I'm gone.

Please, please be in prayer that my trip will be short. It will be a big strain on our family to be separated even for two weeks (the minimum amount of time I'll be there). Also I hope to put pictures of their blankets up sometime this week (I have to go to the office to do that).

06 January 2016

Okay, an Actual Update

I'm now recognizing that last post was not an actual update.

So we received some strange news. I think it's strange... You guys, I don't even know anymore. So the US embassy is telling us people from a different branch of the Ugandan government (so not the courts, but the Ministry of Gender and Other Things I Can't Remember Off the Top of my Head) has been going around to adoptive families in country and asking to see their dossiers. I don't know what happens after that if one allows them to do that, but the US embassy is advising adopters to call the embassy instead.

And I'm like
Don't with me, Ministry of Whatever and Stuff
I am not traveling to Uganda for governmental drama, and I do not want some kind of as one escaping through the flames adoption. Yes, I know I need to have a "come to Jesus" time about this. But in my flesh, I'm hardcore Liz Lemoning this situation.

The other thing is less Annoyed Lemon and more Confused Bunny

So we now are being told we have to make an appointment to file a form. And we can't do any of the other steps to get the girls home until that form is approved, and I'm just going to assume that the approval will take like a minute. Or a day is fine. But So we have to get an appointment to file a form? What? Like there's no interview, we're just handing in papers. The interview comes after. What is the point of the interview if our big fat important form has already been approved?

Okay, maybe I'm a little Lemon on this one as well. I'm just super done. I'll feel better when we're in Uganda and with our girls. And I'll feel really way better when me and the girls are on the plane home.

05 January 2016


Sorry I've been less active on here! There are two main reasons, one being the computer I've used for so long is starting its glitchy descent into darkness, and so I'm stuck using a wonderful little chromebook. I do like it, but I don't know how to get pictures from our camera onto it, and I know blogs are very fun without pitcures. Here's some clipart for you though.
It's like high school vomited on my eyes, this pic.
The other reason is that I'm frantically trying to finish the girls' blankets. I've crocheted blankets for the boys -- ones big enough to sub in for a bedspread -- because (a) I'm a gifts person and it brings me joy to see my loved ones using something I made for them, but more practically, (b) I don't have to stress out about them putting it over their heads at night. You know, since crocheted things have lots of holes.

I've finished Stella's and have started working on Mirah's. It's taking longer than it could take because Judah sits in my lap whenever I sit down, and it's really hard to crochet with a person in your lap trying to take off your glasses. I'll post a picture of it once I figure out how (I swear I'm an intelligent and capable person. I have a lot of other things going on that are a tad more important).