Tuesday, July 29, 2008

We're back as three

by Liz

She's a peach. A total peach. We're so very lucky and so very in love. She just sparkles and you feel lucky to be in her presence.

Ethiopia gets in you. Its intoxicating, beautiful, perplexing, haunting and elusive. Something about it gets lost in translation and leaves you feeling a bit incomplete. I know we'll never get over it, but we'll definitely go back. The pictures don't describe it; they leave out the smell of the eucalyptus fires and the lilt of the traffic, livestock and prayer chants. Its modern and ancient, current and rustic, welcoming and disconcerting. Through our daughter we'll be forever related to it, but never truly a part of it; always ferenge (foreigners).

We are forever grateful to the people of the Toukoul Orphange, admins to nannies to guards who daily open their hearts for the children who live there. They are as happy and secure as you could hope. The grounds echo with the happy sounds of a summer camp; hardly a place of last resort.

The staff truly cares and there were tears when Ru left her nannies. We'll have to send more photos for their walls and wallets.

Nap time is ending... mama's gotta run!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Day of departure

(by dan)

up before the alarm!

I'm sure that does not surprise anyone? not even me and I'm a sleep junky.
A habit that I understand will end cold turkey with baby Ru's demands.

I wanted to leave enough time this morning to spoil my dog Lola as I understand she'll be taking a back seat for attention when we get back...

and she's responding very well to the bologna that I've decided to eat for breakfast. Should we eat the entire package?

Must load up now on coffee and get crackin! Selam!
See you soon grandma and grandpa!
xo dan and liz

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

can't help falling in love

(by dan)

Ah... finally the bags are packed... (sort of, almost)
and we're winding down a bit having a glass(es) of wine and setting up the auto emails to read: "In Ethiopia meeting our future, back on the 23rd. in case of emergency, please do not hold your breath."

iTunes is on and Elvis is singing in the background:
"I can't help falling in love with you" while we gaze at our 6 jpegs of our Ru, how appropriate?

No! NO! now the shuffle just jumped to a song by Rage Against the Machine!

thus prophesizing my destiny as a papa, am I in for it? a rebel? Blamey.

We've packed 8 pairs of socks and underwear, (I cannot stress the importance of these 2 items for a Renuzit kinda feeling) 8 T shirts, one pair of jeans, sneaks, one pair of shoes, two nice shirts and lots of Immodium, for das shits. There is no way I'm going to Ethiopia and NOT eating goat. As long as it's not goat sushi. "Pardon me? Selam! Got microwave?" Seriously I'm very excited about the cuisine- anything beats the food here in Ohio- (Sorry Ru!) and there's a lot of new things to try.

now- it's 11:12pm- and the really nice pair of dress linen pants I was planning on wearing to the embassy meeting with one of those "nice shirts"- are still waiting to be hemmed... hmmm... I'm pretty sure those 2 shirts both match the jeans.

Liz does not plan on sleeping this eve. I'm more of a traditionalist.
good night! (unless I get insomnia?)

Upon our return, some wonderful pictures for you.

Monday, July 7, 2008

back drops

(by dan)

I have in my wallet a very dog eared little piece of paper that I've been carrying around since Wednesday, April 23rd- it's the first picture of Ru we received with her referral.

I've been starring at it for 75 days and the little girl in the photo has been starring back. She looks a little unsure of what's going on and seems to be hesitant to respond to the photographer. She is not smiling but not unhappy either. Just a little dazed- like the way I've been feeling this past week with the upcoming trip.

She has very big eyes and short curly hair. Her right hand is open and resting on her tummy and her left hand is slightly curled under. Both feet are in white socks. She's wearing a purple onesy that has long sleeves with white trim. She is sitting in a baby seat that is on a tile floor. She looks somewhat like a sweet little grape.

We are looking foward to taking many smiling pictures this coming weekend to share with you!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Tribute to our Village

(by Liz)

They say "It takes a Village to raise a child" and our Eaton Cheerleading crew of "37 Aunts & Uncles" headed up by the "Whirling Willis Wonders" proved it, and then some, with an awesome baby shower and party. The decorations were a multi-masterpiece of the Willis Women (Miss Sarah and Kathy), the food delicious, the company stellar, and the booty... oh, the booty... it's out of this world!

Our crew suited us up with not only the coolest most safety-advanced convertible car seat with a "Moo" pattern that would drive any stylish gal to drool (even the ever-dazzling Lady Libby who knows her furs).. but went completely over the top with a off-roading JEEP (that's right... JEEP) stroller with integrated IPOD speakers... are we the object of stroller envy in Eaton or what?

Although they might have wanted to set their pants on fire before admitting it (CRAIG) I think every man in the party wanted to take that number for a ride! (Shawn is still researching an additional rider policy). Even Dan's not sure which of his two "Jeeps" he wants to take for a spin (and that's a good problem to have!).

That not being overindulgent enough, they also cared enough to provide a baby monitor in order for us newly responsible parents to keep up with both our "parental AND social obligations!"

The gals also loaded us up with enough outfits, books and blankies to make a Jolie-Pitt jealous and then proceeded to regale me and the two pregnant gals with enough delivery room stories that, if it wasn't already too late, would have probably gotten two more adoption converts... lucky me, at least I could wash it down with a glass of wine! Stay strong Anna and Amy - we'll all be able to toast to little Ru showing your kiddies around the sandbox!

So on the final lap into our travel adoption adventure we have all the goodies, all the advice and all the love and support this great little village has to offer. How lucky are we?

Thank you Eaton Aunts and Uncles.

Selam. We'll sleep well.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Stranger Anxiety...

(by Liz)

Today's Milestones:

ON OUR END: the first PACKING dry run for Ethiopia has been surmounted (ie. we spread out a bunch of things on the bed for major editing). It looks like we would be wise to invest in two pack mules and lots of duct tape...

ON RU'S END: according to the helpful emails from Babycenter.com... on the eve of our arrival, she will be reaching the developmental milestone of... "Stranger Anxiety."

Oh. good.

So you're also probably imagining the kind of welcome that we strange, smelly foreigners speaking gibberish will be rewarded with after our 22-hour, 7-time-zone spanning journey, right? Feel-Good Family Movie goes Horror-Show before the words "Mommy's here" can even hit her ears.

Well, on the bright side, I guess we can leave the video camera at home and lighten the load for the ever-suffering pack mules.

Expect the first photos to roll in a bit late (how long does it take to convince an infant you're not a stranger anyway?). We'll let you know (or maybe we won't!).