Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Too Much

It's gotten to be too much. I cried in the shower today. I cried in the car. There were many opportunities to cry and unfortunately I took advantage of almost all of them.

We got our fingerprints done last Friday. I emailed our SW to see how long it would take to get USCIS approval and she said it's presently taking 4-8 weeks since one of the ladies is on maternity leave. I emailed our ET coordinator and asked if we needed approval before we could get a travel date. The answer? Yes. Not only do we need approval, but the ET embassy needs it as well. I had said I'd call our Governor if it would help speed the process (someone had done this and it worked for them). Our ET coordinator said she thought it was a long shot and they only typically did it if there was a medical issue to consider.

Is the fact that a 3-year-old boy has been in an orphanage for almost 4 months not an issue? Is it an issue that he has a mother and father, completely clear of any criminal past, wanting to love and care for him more than anything? How is that not an issue that a Governor can get behind?

I wish I was a dude. My husband is a dude and I asked him how it doesn't affect him, he said he just can't think about it. He can't think about our son being one of 10ish toddlers to be fed on a schedule, potty on a schedule, bed on a schedule. He can't think about the gray walls and line of toddler beds. I wish I was a dude. I can't think of anything but those things. I am his mom. His nannies love him, I'm sure. But they have to protect their heart, these kids leave. Who can blame them? I wish I could protect my heart, but I can't. I want to look him in the eyes and tell him I love him because of him, not because I'm paid to and not the way I do every other toddler in the building. That's what he needs.

I know all of these things are in place to protect the child but 4 months in an orphanage...I can't believe that's helping the child.

Sometimes I think God chose the wrong person. Today I just kept asking Him, "why"? Of course I feel so blessed but I can't help but beg Him to make it all EASIER. Why can't it be easier? I want this child, he theoretically wants me. Perhaps we somewhat need each other, so why can't it just be as easy as me hopping on a plane and getting him? Good God I don't know if I have it in me some days.

If we don't make it through court, if they can't give us a travel date, if I hear of too many other friends going to get their toddlers and have to picture Tariku watching his friends leave, wondering why he wasn't chosen. I don't know what I'll do. It makes me sick to my stomach, it makes me inconsolable at times.

I don't know where this is going. I just know I'm going to start finding myself guarding my heart a bit more as this process goes. Until we're on the plane to Ethiopia, I can't do it anymore. I can't think in my head "x weeks, x weeks and you can hold him, x weeks and you can kiss him, x weeks and you can rock him and tell him you love him." I can't do it. I keep freaking picturing us meeting and being together and I need to stop. It could still be too far away. I'm not sure my heart can do it anymore.

Oy, I'm out before I start crying again and Zach switches my birth control pills with Prozac (not that that would be a bad thing). :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

4 Words

Paula Dean, Baked Spaghetti

'nuff said.

We Made It!

By "we" I mean "I". Dailah did great last night. I wasn't even mad that she woke up at 5:55, I had went to bed early just in case.

So I think we're going to live. I think today is going to be a good day.

Have I talked about the support we've gotten through this adoption? A few recent cousin called to ask how everything was going. She had seen that my parents and my bro and sis in law were going to be out of town when we possibly traveled to Ethiopia. She said she and my aunt could probably work something out to watch the kids. They are so wonderful. Even if it wouldn't work out the fact that they were willing to do it. Oh, the love!

A friend, I'm not going to mention her name, but it starts with a J and ends with a Y and I talk about her a lot. She just offered to have us come over for naps or playtime whenever we need seeings our house is no longer ours with all of the construction.

I never had any doubts people are good. I sure do love being right. :)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Had Me Such A Hard Night/Day

My mom used to always say that when she got home from work, as a joke most of the time, "I had me sucha hard day!" Well, that speaks volumes to my day/night.

Yesterday Dailah had started coming down with a cough, etc. She went to bed alright but, what turns out to be truly ironic decided to NOT sleep as soon as we went down. From midnight on she would not go to sleep, her eyes were closed but nothing. It was awful!! I've always known I was no good without at least 8 hours of sleep but today just proved it. So finally at about 7, after rocking her for 45 minutes she fell asleep. I put her in her crib. My friend called to see if I could teach her PUMP class at 11:15. Dailah woke up at 7:03.

Called the doc, appointment at 1:15, great. Went to the Y. Dailah started to get a fever so I took her to PUMP class and lifted her instead of my weight rack, can we say "that's a mom?" She ended up falling asleep when I was doing lunges for a couple minutes. We get to the doctor, turns out she has an ear infection and the same asthmatic-type-thing as her favorite big brother. Since she's too young for a daily Singulair she's now on a steroid to open up her lungs.

So we go to my in-laws to take naps (we've been going there since our house is a construction zone) well the door is locked and my key doesn't work. I go downstairs because last time my key worked there, nope. I was hotter than a hornet at this time. Load the kids back in the car and head home. We made it and Dailah (and myself) slept through the construction. Regardless of the 2 hour nap I waited anxiously until Zach got home so I could get away for a bit to Jeff's Market (our local grocer). I'm not even going to tell you what I was wearing but here's a hint...I wore it to PUMP.

Anyhow, I get to the store and mosey through all of the aisles (the big 6 of them) seeing what I could do. Take a deep breath in, bring in good thoughts; deep breath out, say bye to bad thoughts. Oh, Oreos! Hello good thoughts. Oh cookie dough, you are my home and I love you, I will have you. Oh, wine! I can breath easier just looking at you. Thanks for that! I think with the three of you by my side I shall be buffered should tonight turn as ugly as last night.

I go to the checkout line (by the by, I did have some milk with me, I wasn't totally bad). The checkout "young woman" has her high school sweatshirt on. Make up done, ponytail done messy, it's all the rage. She looks at me and asks for my birthdate. I tell her and she says, "You're young!" Granted, it was a slip but she couldn't have sounded more surprised if she said, "You're Brad Pitt!"

I look at that pretty face and think, "Honey, this is you in 10 years. You see these socks with sandals? That's coming. See this hair with the crease from a day-long ponytail? That's you too. This crap on my shoulder, yah, that's spit up, that's coming too sweet cheeks." Don't let this smile fool you, bad thoughts enter this brain.

I got in my car and cracked open the cookie dough. No spoon, just ate, it akin to how some choose a healthier item like a banana. Have no fear, I soon forgot about my teenage nemesis and delighted in the goodness that is Nestle Tollhouse cookie dough.

Here's to either: a better night for Dailah OR Nestle seeing this blog and giving me a free lifetime supply of cookie dough.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

On Suffering

The topic of suffering has been on my mind a lot lately. So if you're looking for one of my "lighter" blogs, please see last 2 or 3 (or 20) entries, this might get heavy. But bare with me if you will...

Jody (no, she is not my ONLY friend, but I do enjoy our discussions) and I were talking last week about this very subject. It was my turn to come up with a topic for our adoption group at Church this Sunday and I was interested in the stories of suffering that were common amongst those of us who were/had/were thinking about adopting. I was asking Jody if she thought it was a good idea to ask the question, "Why do we think God specifically put it on OUR hearts to adopt?" And even more specifically, "Why do you think God had us endure suffering in order to open our eyes to this blessing?"

I loved many of Jody's points. One was basically, when we are pregnant and people ask, what are you having, what do you want to have. The proud parents most often say, "We don't care as long as it's healthy!" Jody and I have both been through the "not healthy" parts of being mommys/pregnant. So she said, "I often wonder what it takes for someone to go right from wanting a healthy baby to running straight towards the middle of suffering." Isn't that an awesome question? I asked myself that same question...what made me give up on the idea of a "perfect" pregnancy or "perfect" family/child, what have you and go straight to the heart of suffering (by "suffering" I don't mean going through adoption, by the way, read on)?

Obviously I had the miscarriage and near death (or near life, if you're a Fight Club fan such as myself) experience, Dailah's time in the NICU, all of that. But I admit as I've been thinking about getting my hands dirty in suffering I realized something quite remarkable really. The first time I saw a picture of Tariku I remember saying, "Look at his eyes!". I think what I was really saying was that I recognized something in those eyes. Perhaps what I recognized was suffering. Tariku has experienced more than any 3-yr-old I know. More than I want to think about one of my sons experiencing. But I think the first time I saw him that's what I saw. It's not about first choices. I am not his first choice mommy. I may not even be his second (that is to say, if he got to choose) and I'm actually okay with that.

What I realized is the downpour of suffering that made me run into Tariku and forced him into me will hopefully one day be a downpour of blessings. I can already say he has been a blessing to me and our family even though we know so little of him. God has indeed turned my sorrow into grace and worked miracles in my heart. I hope one day Tariku will realize our suffering was no small matter. I hope he realizes, as I do lately, that it took those horrific, awful sufferings to bring us together. In a broken world that we live in, it took suffering to get us here. We need to continue to grieve that, surely, but perhaps seeing it has a two-sided mirror is not an altogether awful thing?

Only now do I realize I need to stop asking/demanding for blessings from God. I need to start truly asking for His will be done. It's an awesome day when I realize He really does know what He's doing. Had He listened to my begging just 3 short years ago I would've never known of Tariku and in turn never known grace as I do now.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Fingerprints, Check!

So today we headed to Des Moines to get our fingerprinting done for the I-600A (finally). They are done, it feels good. So we were leaving a bit later than we had planned so we thought it best, since the appointment card was VERY specific about being there on time, that I drive. It's not that I speed, per se, but I do tend to the heavy footed side, especially compared to my more conservative husband. Let's just say it was wise of me to suggest my taking charge of the drive, we made it on time. Those fingerprinting machines are absolutely amazing! I'm still wondering why we had to travel clear to Des Moines and couldn't just do it in the QC and have them mail it there. I digress, it was a good trip. We got to have a nice dinner (mmmm, Prime Rib) with my family and we're heading home now. Don't want to miss Book Club tomorrow!

I just wanted an excuse to post a few more cute pics since I finally put them on the computer. Alas, my fingerprinting blog!

Pictures: Zach and Dailah after successful completion of snowman
Dailah driving
Trysten and Dailah and their most recent favorite pasttime..riding our dog, Aristotle
Trysten jumping into he and Dailah's stuffed animals. Dailah is actually hiding in the corner there too. This is what happens when I clean, by the way
Trysten and Daddy proud of their deer antler they found after a nice hike around camp

Pump, Pump, Pump it up!

Many of you have asked about what I keep referring to when I talk about BodyPUMP. Well, firstly, it's a Les Mills program ( Secondly, it's flipping amazing. Here are some pictures of our recent new release party. The other two ladies are also PUMP instructors. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I Heart Paula Dean

Have I blogged about Paula Dean yet? If not, that southern phenom deserves at least one blog mention. She has worked miracles in our kitchen using my hands and her brain. Her creation called, "Herb Stuffed Chicken" caused a party in my mouth not seen since New Years Eve 1999 (and his name was...oh just kidding, my mom reads this thing) Anyhow, seriously it was so great. I made it last night and just feasted on the leftovers, savoring every bite. Praise God for chefs around the world who make deliciousness a somewhat easily attainable task for the non-chefs such as yours truly.

Chandra (can't do that cool thing where I make her name light up and it takes you right to her blog, look on my blog list under "Watching them grow") tagged me. I tried starting last night but that's a hard list to come up with! I'll try again but I wanted to thank her for keeping my mind off Tariku for a bit.

One more thing before I do the "8 Things". Last night at about 6:30 we (Families adopting from Ethiopia through our agency) got word that the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia has "requested" that we discontinue any contact with our childrens' birth family. As many of you know, this is one of the reasons Zach and I were excited about Ethiopia...there was a possibility (and it was always just that, there was never any promises our birth family would come to meet us) of meeting Tariku's birth family, or rather any surviving that CHSFS could find. There are also people who have already adopted and were going through CHS's post-adoption process that were remaining in contact with the birth families. CHSFS isn't elaborating why, but I truly trust that they are doing what's best for the children RIGHT NOW and for the families they are representing.

Obviously this is a huge setback. It's been proven that contact with birth family has been an enormous benefit for adopted children as they grow older. CHS has reiterated their beliefs that it is in the best interest OF THE CHILD (who we are most concerned about) that we are able to meet and stay in contact with birth family. However, I know that there are probably reasons unbeknownst to us why this is happening. After seeing many programs/countries fall too easily to unethical practices (i.e. Guatemala, etc) I am ever so thankful Ethiopia is doing everything it can to continue ethical international adoptions. If something has to be "cut off" in order to maintain ethical practices, I am all for that. I realized after thinking about it for awhile and talking it out with Zach, one of the main reasons I wanted to meet birth family was also a bit selfish. I wanted to see what they looked like, would Tariku have his/her eyes, his/her height, etc. I wanted to know details about them, Tariku as a baby, etc. Of course I would go on to share these details with Tariku, but a lot of it would be for me. In the end, I am trusting the organization I chose to keep us informed of any latest news and pray that at some point they will open contact back up so we can get in touch with them once Tariku is home with us.

On to more lighter fare...8 Things

8 Things I'm passionate about:
1. Zach
2. Trysten, Tariku, Dailah
3. My family
4. My friends
5. Body PUMP/ working out
6. Africa
7. God (He really is first, but after I had typed a few, it was too hard to go and fix it)
8. Life

8 Things I want to do before I die:

1. Be married to my husband for record-setting number of years
2. Raise healthy, self-confident, fantastic kids
3. Go to Ethiopia at least 5 times
4. Be on American Gladiators or Amazing Race (with my #1 man)
5. Go on a honeymoon with Zach
6. Start my own business
7. Make a REAL impact in one random persons life
8. Do some extreme sport just to say I did

8 Things I Often say:

1. I Love You
2. Thank You
3. Give me 2 more (I'm a personal trainer for goodness sakes!)
4. Seriously?
5. Mmm. Not so much
6. Stotle, No! (the dog)
7. Zach, Trysten, Tariku, Dailah
8. Hello

TV Shows I recently watched (Like you, Chandra, we don't have cable):

1. Biggest Loser
2. American Gladiators
3. American Idol
4. Amazing Race
5. Ellen Degeneres
6. October Road
7. The news
8. House

8 Songs I could listen to over and over (these will be dancing songs cuz I feel like dancin'):

1. Dangerously in Love, Destiny's Child
2. Christmas music, anything
3. Anything my hubby plays/sings on the guitar
4. Bringing Sexy Back, JT
5. To Make you feel my Love, Garth Brooks
6. Love shack
7. I cant' think of others, it's too early

8 Things that attract me to my best friends

1. humor
2. loyalty
3. honesty
4. passion
5. minds (the way they think)
6. optimism
7. the way they love me
8. trust

8 Things I've learned or been reminded of this past year:

1. I love my husband/ kids sooo much
2. My ability to love ANYONE is not bound by blood
3. Kids don't care if the house is messy or in disarray, they only care if you haven't played with them in 15 minutes
4. If anyone hurts someone I love, mama bear comes out and I'm scared of HER
5. Sometimes (sometimes it's all the time) laughter really is the best medicine
6. if you have a good marriage, everything in life is rosier
7. reading books is a passion of mine that is always there whether i've read the last few days/months or not
8. good friends/family can carry you through ANYTHING

8 People I'm tagging:

1. Leslie
2. Jody
3. Tony (if you have time, you are heading to ET in a few days, afterall)
4. Cousin Amy
5. Cassie
6. Kait (but you must do yours in both Spanish and English)
7. Erica (of course!) :)
8. Barb

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pity Party

Again...I'm so happy for my friends on the forum with travel dates...BUT

The people who got their referral the same week we got ours are traveling February 7th (the day of our court appearance of course).

Today is a pity party. I'm mourning all the possibilites of what could have and should have been. They are counting down the days until they can describe, in detail, how their kids smell and laugh. I can *only* hope for the word that he is ours (that is a HUGE *only*, I'm really excited for that, know the rest)

Pity party for Tesi day..where's the darn cookie dough? Is 3PM too early for a glass (or two) of wine? Jody you interested? :)

"Music to my Ears"

What is music to my ears you may ask? The contractors and their work. Sure, there may be cursing (there's not, but there might be soon) but there is also progress and I don't mind one if I get the other.

Today at 6:45 Dailah gave TT his wake up call, "TT, TT, TT" she was yelling. Finally I hear, "Okay, Dailah, TT's up, let me go potty first." Then they commenced to playing.

Point to "blogging" the "texting" of our generation? (I know people of our generation text, but I don't, I blog) Just something I was thinking about.

Off to PUMP!

Monday, January 21, 2008

2 Things...Part Deux

1) Someone had posted a comment earlier about wanting more info about our adoption group at church. It was anonymous, so not sure who it was. But whoever...We have started an adoption/foster care group every Sunday at 10:30 after church. It's just a place we can go to for support, information, etc. Jody and I haven't completely got it figured out where we want it to go but it's been great so far! If you have any questions, definitely ask a little bit more!

2) We are officially moved in downstairs. You guys should get excited about seeing these pics. It reminds me of a college dorm. Zach commented that he's never sat so close to the TV, I would agree. But overall, it's exciting because tomorrow at 7:30 we should hear our door bell sing "Take me out to the ballgame" and when I open the door it shall be contractors. Yippee!

Kinda can't get enough of American Gladiators. I just can't help but think I could kick some tail at this thing. I think it has something to do with the self confidence instilled in me as a child (thanks mom and dad!) Is it sad that I've been "pressuring" Zach into getting a Gladiator rink at Camp? I think the kids would LOVE it!

-10 and Snowing...Seriously?

It's about this point in winter, Christmas is over, New Year's is over, snow and visible breaths have lost their luster...this point in winter I wish I was anywhere but Iowa. This year, I'm wishing for somewhere warmer, somewhere in Africa, oh yeah, that's right, that's ETHIOPIA. I REALLY wish I was in Ethiopia today. I wish I was there, holding Tariku, telling him a story. Not an important story, just any story. If I'm telling him just any story that means we've "known" each other for a few days by now and we've stopped staking such importance on every word, every hug, every kiss.

I'm ready to just be Tariku's mommy. I love being a mommy. In fact, I never knew that being a mommy would be so wonderfully fulfilling. I didn't know any of this. Now I do, that's why I'm 100% positive I'm ready to do it again with Tariku. Though I may not be completely ready for everything that comes with adopting a 3-year-old, I think I'm as ready as I can be. I've tipped my big toe in the water and I'm ready to dive in; with no limits, get the hair wet, mascara running down the face. Shoulder deep in mothering Tariku, that's where I want to be.

17 days...17 days until the Ethiopian courts will pronounce Zach and Tesi Klipsch as mother and father of Tariku Asamu. I can't wait to get word of that. By just as my friend, Jody, is struggling with, even when I'm pronounced his mother, I can't actually mommy him for a few weeks after that.

We, as mommys, are used to our hearts living outside our bodies. To cry when we hear how a kid beat up our child (someone did to Trysten today), to fight the big battles, the small battles, the insignificant battles, all of that. To kiss the tears away, give big congratulatory hugs, say prayers, eat *white* snow. This is a mommy. A mommy, for all intents and purposes, cannot be a mommy on paper alone. A mommy gets knee deep in poo, throw up, mud, gross bath water. A mommy is just...there. Getting the birth certificate with Zach and my names as Tariku's parents will be huge, there's no doubt; but it doesn't make me any more of a mommy to him. I have a feeling February 7th will pass, Tariku will be ours and he will be none the wiser. The 7th will look a lot like the 5th and the 6th to him. He doesn't know he just gained another mommy and a daddy. But when I get there, when I hold him and (oy) sing to him, rock him to sleep. Then he will know I am his mommy. He may not feel for me like he did for his amaye, but he will know I am what a mommy should feel like.

All this is to say I really wish I could get past the "mother" and get straight to the "mommy" with my Tariku.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I'm Going to be a Sister...Again

My brother (in-law) just announced his engagement to one Emily Mally. He called tonight to say, "I am engaged to be married". I couldn't be happier.

When he (Frank, my BIL) and I used to meet over coffee and bagels we would imagine who he would end up with. Truth be told I never pictured someone like Emily. She's "normal" compared to the ones I had him pegged with. I love my brother, don't get me wrong. But I always pictured someone with more armpit hair and less in common with me (at least on the surface). But when I first met Emily, and saw how she and Frank interacted, they just fit. I couldn't be more excited about her joining our family.

As many of you know, there are few responsibilities I take more seriously and with such joy as that of a sister. I'm so excited to be expanding my sisterly brood with Emily. She will fit in better than anyone I could've pictured. Are you all wanting to see the announcement? To really catch the humor you have to know both Frank and Emily but you should get a healthy chuckle either way. Without further brother, Frank and (soon-to-be) sister, Emily.

I'm Exhaustapated

The title (in case you were interested) comes from one of my cousins when he was about 5-years-old (he's now 16, jeesch). Anyway, my other cousin and I were playing with him, having him run around, etc. He finally stops, fed up with us ordering around and states, "I'm exhaustapated". Well, I feel like my dear cousin Wardie Paul today.

Firstly, don't get excited about tomorrow. The contractors said they couldn't start until Tuesday...and so it begins. Anyhow, we moved more stuff downstairs. I'm going to take some pictures so you can see how ridiculous the house looks right now. Mostly because of how much stuff we have crammed into such tight quarters. All signs point to having to move our other set of couches up to Zach's office because it just won't fit.

It was kind of a wake up call, if I must say. Today's message at church was "where your stuff is, there too is your heart" in a nutshell. Well, it appears our hearts have been in stuff for quite some time the way we've hoarded it. When I was in the corporate world I'd constantly complain that I never had anything to wear. Today I was putting my dress clothes in bins so I could make room in Dailah's closet for the stuff I wear on a daily basis. I filled 2 HUGE bins. I looked up at the closet and it's literally exploding with clothes, not to mention I have 2 other HUGE bins filled with workout clothes and sweaters. Wowsa. My mind hurts, my heart hurts and my fingers hurt.

Regardless of what I've learned today it's ended on a positive...we moved both kids into the same room so we could have a room to ourselves. Right now I hear them giggling themselves to sleep. Music to my exhaustapated ears.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Good Saturday

We worked out today, Zach came to my PUMP class, he's so supportive I could squeeze him. When we got home we all got 2 hour naps, classic and amazing. Moved some stuff from upstairs to downstairs. Then pretty much just relaxed. I can't remember the last time I felt so relaxed. It's been -15 degrees outside so we thought today would be a good day to be hermits. Now I'm researching what my next tattoo will be. I have an idea, but am wanting to just look at my options. I'm sure this news will be met with equal parts sadness and disappointment to my uncle Vic. :)

Tomorrow will be our second Sunday meeting with the adoption group at church. Jody and I are excited and surprised by the amount of people at our church who are either going through or interested in adoption/foster care. I am selfishly hoping more will see how absolutely gratifying adoption can be. Did I mention I love Tariku so much my heart hurts? What does it say about me that I want everyone in the world to feel this jumble of emotions that is adoption? I guess it all comes down to the amazingness that is motherhood. The ups and downs..wouldn't trade it for a thing in this world.

Friday, January 18, 2008

In Perfect Harmony

Hubby is home, Trysten is watching cartoons (pardon us, mommy and daddy needed a little catch up time), Dailah is sleeping, the computer is back in my arms. Things are as they should be...with the obvious exception of Tariku. He is not where he should be right now and that makes me more and more sad each day.

Just a few days and the house destruction will commence. This morning one of the Camp's staff rang our door bell, knocked on the door and 2 seconds later (I didn't have enough time to hop off the couch and answer the door that is about 15 feet away) he just walks right in with three other guys. Did I mention I'm excited to have this place a "home" rather than just another camp building?

Nothing insightful today, just had to make a note of how I took a deep breath today, let my shoulders relax and knew it was okay. Zach is back and Tariku will be soon.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My Love/Hate Relationship With Target

The last two days have been R-O-U-G-H for me with regards to waiting for Tariku. It doesn't help that Zach is not with me, it doesn't help that I looked at 3-year-old clothes and pictured his face in them. But most of all, it doesn't help that people on the forum who received their referrals on 12/28 (ours was 11/12) have a court date of 2/5 and ours is 2/7. I realize this is 2 days. I realize when Tariku is home those minute details become moot points but they are BIG points to me today. They are BIG points to me because those 2 days could mean they sneak in a week early and pick up their kids before us. It's hitting me today because my parents and my sister-in-law, the people who we're hoping to watch the kids while we're in ET are both going to be gone March 20 for at least one week. This puts us in a time crunch to get there beforehand. Oh, the hills and valleys of adoption. A hill that comes with all of this is one of my friends from the forum received a court date of 2/5 so theoretically we could travel together which would make me happier than Trysten when he farts (which he just did, so it came to mind easier, sorry Leslie). But other than that hill, it's been all valleys the last couple of days.

Which brings me to Target. I'm not sure how they do it, but they seem to entice me whenever I'm in one of these moods. Then, when I get inside and we have our popcorn/pop combo, I find myself lingering WAY too long after completing my list. So today I came out MUCH poorer than I should have. I came out with some clothes for Dailah (of course, when there's the cutest girls stuff for $4 I dare you to not buy it). But I also came out with 2 matching outfits for Trysten and Tariku. What the heck am I supposed to do? My baby is half a world away and I'm thinking about him constantly. So I hate Target because they make me poor, poor, poor, poor, poor but I love Target because they are going to enable me to have cute matching boys once the one comes home.

Speaking of Tariku, we finally sent his package. Woohoo! It contained a blanket we had slept with for approximately 2 months (it now smells nicely of Zach's armpit and camp...sweeeet) a photo album with pictures of the family, Amharic descriptions (or as best as I could do, they're similar to Chinese letters and it turns out I'm not so good at any of it) and a recorder with our voices. We recorded 10 things that went as follows.

1) Zach's introduction (I teared up)
2) My introduction (I choked up)
3) Trysten's introduction (I cried)
4) Dailah's babbling (I laughed)
5) Us singing "Jesus Loves Me" (I did okay, they apparently sing this in English at the care center)
6) Zach playing "God Blessed the Broken Road" on his guitar and sang it (I cried, kind of fitting and my husband is too good to be true)
7) Me singing a song I wrote to put the kids to sleep (I cried but that was mostly during playback when I heard how ungodly my voice really is)
8) Trysten telling a story about Tariku sleeping in his room, Power Rangers, etc (I cried, of course)
9) Us praying (I teared up)
10) Can't remember but I'm sure it made me cry.

All this to say God gave me a lot of things but He did not give me patience, or the ability to turn down good deals at Target.

You're My Boardwalk

I had one of the most fun last couple days with Zach. I don't know why, but we were just really having lots of fun, being all lovey, etc. We were THAT couple that makes every other couple green with envy and I must admit it felt great. (In total honesty, we're kinda that couple all the time, but what can you do?) Anyhow, we were talking about how we were going to miss each other this week. He says, "Hons, you are such hot property" (by the way, remember I am a feminist, so he said this in the most adoring way)"You're like my Boardwalk, actually you're my Boardwalk AND Park Place." Believe me, it was precious. I've said before how I think he's the funniest man in the world, so it was absolute classic Zach for him to describe his love for me in terms of the board game Monopoly. Reason #15,000,000 why I love the guy.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Big Things

Today has been a productive day. We have started moving everything from upstairs to the basement because THE CONTRACTORS ARE STARTING ONE WEEK FROM TOMORROW!!!!! You read that correctly, come hell or high water, they claim they will be starting on the house. We've done the math and they should be done just in time for Tariku to come home.

It hit me as we were moving HEAVY stuff, it's really happening. Not just the house, though I couldn't be happier about that. But the fact that the house is beginning means we are on the backstretch to bringing Tariku home. I love the metaphor of the house becoming complete and our family doing so as well.

We're heading to my parent's house this week to hang with them a bit and pick up Tariku's clothes from their storage. It will be a nice time seeing them!

Here's to a wonderful last week in the house as is!!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

On Brothers

Lately when I look at Trysten, I see a lot of my brother. Those who have been on this blog journey with me for awhile know I have always been overprotective of my brother. When we were younger we were BFF. We would team up on my sister (sorry Kbear) and just hang out, have some fun. But I was always overprotective of him and still am, probably to a fault seeings he is 21 and perfectly capable of taking care of himself.

But lately I get those movie-style flashes when Trysten says something or makes a face, it reminds me so much of Marcus. When Marcus was 5, I was 9, so I think the ages are lining up when my memory is readily available. Perhaps that's why for the most part I can't get enough of this stage with Trysten, he reminds me so much of Marcus.

This picture is one of those times, it's the smirk or something about him, can't put my finger on it but it's there nonetheless. Proud to be a sister to my brother and a mom to my son.

I Think I Know

I think I know what Heaven feels like. I think it's something like rocking your 18-month-old to sleep when she has a bit of a cough. At first she's still coughing and then you slowly feel her relax a bit, her breathing becomes heavier and then you feel her melt into your chest. I'm fairly certain it has to feel something like that. God probably lets us feel it in times like those because it's easier to be thinking of everything you have to do rather than focus on the task at hand. But perhaps He allows us to get a glimpse of it when we slow down and enjoy an extremely active toddler melting into her mommy's arms. If Heaven feels even 1/10 as good as that felt last night, I'm truly excited for eternity.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I've mentioned before how much I love my husband because he is different than any man I've known. So he started reading this book by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of "Eat, Pray, Love) called "The Last American Man". It's basically about a dude who lives in the woods and eats what he kills, wears what he kills, etc. Well he became what one might call "obsessed" with the book. He now wants to name our son after the guy. I also just logged onto my amazon account and noticed he recently purchased 4 (read that, 4, they were small and cheap but still 4) books on the wilderness and loving nature and deadly/edible plants. The guy is crazy.

I must admit I read that order and just smiled. One of those smiles you get when you're first dating. Like you have a secret the whole world doesn't know but should. I guess my secret today is that I love Zachary regardless of his poor taste in literature.

I'm also smiling because I've had a REALLY fun day with the kids. Dailah has been saying her favorite word, Julio, and saying it over and over because she knows I can't help but love her more when she says it. Trysten has been singing and telling good stories, making me tear up, the usual.

Oh, and I'm smiling because I just finished off another batch of cookie dough. YUMMMMM!!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Book Clubs Are Rad

Just got back from my book club. It was great. Great discussion on the book, Barbara Kingsolver's, "The Poisonwood Bible". Great discussion about life and great women. Oh, and great food prepared by Kristen Sigler and invented by the fabulous Paula Dean.

I'm amazed how a little time with amazing women can really wake me up. It's like that first cup of coffee in the morning when you didn't realize your eyes were only halfway open until they are fully alert after the steaming cup of goodness. It's like that but way better. I've experienced that twice in two days and I'm starting to feel a little spoiled, I'm not going to lie.

God is a funny guy. Does anyone think it's a coincidence that 3 of the 6 women at book club tonight were adopting (me=Ethiopia, another=Korea, another=domestic)? I don't think so. Especially since I didn't have a hand, unfortunately, in bringing either of them there in the first place (unfortunately because I wish I was responsible for bringing their greatness in the "club"). God, I love you. Thank you for that.

I was never really part of a club growing up. Sure, my mom made me join French Club and things but that was really only for my college resume (we don't have to lie to ourselves anymore mom). My sister-in-law, Kait, started a few clubs with her friends before; though, the way she tells it my favorite husband used to interrupt and throw things at her and her friends, jerk. Anyhow, I never really did that. It feels good starting a club at my youthful age. Especially one that is based on hearing great thoughts on great works of literature. Can this world really handle so many intelligent, beautiful women? I'm not so sure.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

2 Things

So my eldest brother-in-law likes to preface things he's going to say by saying, "Two things". So I wanted to start this off Frankie style just cuz I love him so much.

1) Trysten is probably the best almost 5-year-old I know. I am more and more proud of him every day. I look at him and truly believe God put the best of Zach and the best of me and made him. Truly remarkable. Speaking of remarkable, his hair is amazing.

2) I love living out at camp. Sunday Zach and Trysten went on a hike through camp for a couple hours. They came back muddy, happy and toting a deer antler. Scary but pretty cool.

Biggest Loser time. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 07, 2008

I Heart Cookie Dough

So I'm fairly convinced my body (i.e. hormones) believes that my love for Tariku=a pregnancy. There is no other explanation how I can consume the large amounts of cookie dough that I do on a regular basis now without feeling even the slightest bit of remorse. The best part about not actually being pregnant is I get to team it up with a bit of wine. :) I know, I'm amazing.

I'm wondering how it is that I love this child so much even though I haven't met him. Sunday at church a guy from a company who does work in Liberia was there to talk about the partnership our church is doing with his company. There is an option to sponsor a child (which we did, he is 8 and his name is Emmanuel and is absolutely adorable! I had to pick him, he had the same birthday as Tariku!) Anyhow, we have a big Liberian population at our church and during this man's talk one of them stood up to talk about the situation in Liberia/Africa. At one point he was saying, in his thick Liberian accent, "America please help Africa", "If it continues as it does I pray that Jesus's coming comes soon to save Africans from their present day reality". Yikes. Those that know me, know I'm a crier. So I did fairly well when he was saying this, got the lump in the throat. Couldn't talk, that kind of thing, but was able to stave off any actual condensation to hit the tear ducts.

Then they asked him to pray. Crap. I looked at my friend, Jody (adopting from Sierra Leone, a country bordering Liberia) and whispered, "Please don't let the African talk!" His prayer was passionate, amazing and awesome. I cried. I blubbered. There wasn't just tears running down, it was a full fledged snotty cry. When we were leaving I was wiping my nose on anything I could find. Jody and I ran into Zach on the way out and Jody says, "She lost it". I did, I'm not afraid to admit it.

I've decided there is no reason I should be around any Africans until Tariku comes home. A person with my affinity for cookie dough and amazing capability of crying on a dime should not put my body through such things. I might have to take a sabbatical.

On a lighter and awesomer note, American Gladiator is back and I couldn't be happier. I'm seriously considering trying out for next season (should they have a 2nd season). I just need to get three things beforehand: 1) fake boobs (yeah right, not going to happen) 2) balls (I'm scared of those women!) 3) teardrop shoulders. I figure it would take 1 year (and $15,000 should I seriously consider #1) to get those things.

Also got the official word that we (by we, I mean our contractor) can start on the house. How excited am I? Um, there are no words. Let's just say if I was told that by an African, I would still be blubbering.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Court Date!

Our ET coordinator, Jan (yes, a Saturday, yes I love her), called about an hour ago..we have a court date!!!!! February 7th we will *hopefully* hear, "He's yours!"

That is still a month away, obviously. But it gives me a date, right? Now I won't be attaching the phone to my ear so as not to miss the call. This is a good call!

What's next? If all goes well February 7th (I'm not entertaining the idea that it wouldn't) we would get Tariku's official birth certificate 1-2 weeks later (by the way, they will write his name as Tariku Zachary Edward Klipsch, which I think is hilarious) and then 3-4 weeks after that we travel!!! So obviously the earliest we travel is March 6th, but I'm counting on March 13ish. We will see. Either way, Tariku's birthday is March 16th so we'll probably be over there celebrating!

We have lots to get done in the next 2 months and I can't wait to get started.

Friday, January 04, 2008


Firstly, found out tonight that Zach has to be out of town the week we're supposed to get fingerprints done. Setback #1.

Secondly, soo excited about successful court dates for my forum buddies. There was even a forum buddy who received their referral 11/15 (we got ours 11/12) and got through court yesterday. They will be traveling in about 5 weeks. This means ours should "theoretically" be just around the corner. There is no concrete evidence, however, seeings our homestudy was stalled out there for a few weeks.

Thirdly, this is a glimpse into our night just one hour ago:

We had just finished eating dinner, Zach was cleaning up and I was doing some laundry when I hear, "Tesi, a little help!"
I go running into the kitchen to find Zach lifting Dailah up from her booster seat, she has some substance on her pants.
Zach says, "She shit her pants."
I said, "That's shit?"
Zach, "Well it's either that or she got ahold of a chocolate milkshake and I didn't realize it."
Tesi, "My God, it smells like death, you know I'm not good at these kinds of things." (Editors note: My blog is called "flawed mom" because I'm just that, I hate all things that "run" out of children. If it's done when Zach isn't around it usually results in lots of crying--me-- and very little clean up. Thank heavens for hardcore husbands)
Zach, (still holding Dailah up by the armpits) "What should I do?"
Tesi, "Put her in the sink and we'll take her clothes off there."

So we put her in the sink, find out the poo has not only come out her pants, socks, shoes, etc, but also up her shirt. Zach says he heard the noise that usually accompanies a poo and thought nothing of it until he smelt the foulness. Anyhow, the connundrum was how do we get the shirt off without giving her a poo face? I tell him I'll start a shower and we can just put her in there fully clothed and let it all wash nicely down the drain.

So I'm getting the water lukewarmish and he's hanging with her. Then he says, "Help!" So I put down the showerhead (it's old school down there, like the one my grandma has in her house that comes of the nozzle to reach in places I don't want to think about) and run to help. He didn't listen to my logic of undressing in the shower and has her undressed with no poo face (I'm truly impressed) but it's time to get rid of the diaper. We decide to get a plastic bag, have her stand it in and just let gravity do it's dirty work.

All this is done and he takes her to the shower while I dispose of the nastiness. I hear, "Tesi!" Well that showerhead I had just plunked down was unfortunately facing OUTSIDE of the shower itself and I now had a nice Nile River plunging through my bathroom.

Alls well that ends well. It was not a good day for Dailah. She fell and hit her eye, resulting in a black eye. Fell and hit her head, resulting in a bump and crapped her pants, almost resulting in a poo face.

Moral of the story: I may have enough love to mother many, many children but I don't have near a rough enough stomach to deal with their vomit, poo or anything else disgusting.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Caucus Iowa

Never been more proud to be an Iowan than I am tonight. Great turnout for the caucuses. I love the fight in even the smallest of states.

The latest things I love about being a mom:
--Dailah makes this "yum, yum" sound when she gets hungry. She puts her tongue between her lips. Could be the cutest thing.
--Trysten likes holding his sister's hand. Whenever we go to walk somewhere, she puts out her hand towards him and he grabs it and off they go. When I'm working out, I can see them through some windows walking hand in hand to the kids gym.
--Trysten said the other day that he misses his brother. He says this a lot and is asking with more frequency how much longer it will take until he's home.
--When Dailah is really tired she actually leaps out of your arms to her crib when we get close.
--Tonight Trysten told me in the car that he was really tired tonight and just wanted to go straight to bed instead of getting his 2 minutes hanging out upstairs. Who does that?
--Tariku has touched lives in the most extraordinary ways. We haven't even met him yet!

Latest thing I love about being a wife:
--I'm married to the most ridiculously good-looking, smart, hilarious man.

Latest things I'm sad about:
--My sister-in-law, Kait, left today to go to Chile for 7 months. There are no words for how happy I am for her and there are no words for how selfishly sad I am that she's gone.
--Still no word on travel for Tariku.

Overall, my happy column far outweighs doesn't it? I am one lucky lady.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Dear House

Dear House,
I'm sure you're thinking this is a Dear John letter, if you are, you are right. I have something to say, house, and it seems you no longer hear me when I tell it to your face. So I hope this letter finds you more understanding and willing to negotiate.

House, I used to kind of think you were charming. When we first met, I laughed that you had urinals in one of your bathrooms. I smirked when doing laundry as it is necessary for me to turn it to "cold" if I'd like "hot" water and vice versa. I chuckled when I went to my sacred shower and instead of pure, clean water to wash my long locks with, you gave me chlorinated pool water (without the urine, thanks very much).

I looked on admirably as you let every rodent, crawly thing and disgusting smell come through your doors. No matter how many I killed, you continued to be a place of refuge for the smallest of God's creatures. I even forgave you for the most unsightly florescent lights I've seen since elementary school.

But I'm done with you, house. It's hard to even write that as I've always considered myself to be a person who loves people and things for who they are, irregardless of the "flaws" they might contain. But that is no longer true for you. I no longer think you're charming and I'm not sure the last time I smiled at anything dealing with you. (Keep in mind I am only referring to your "top half", I have no bones to pick with your "bottom half".) Tonight, Trysten found both a dead mouse (inside you) and a cat (outside next to you). Why do you do these things to me?

Today Zach had a meeting to talk with the professionals about what to do with you. He is pulling to get you fixed up right. It seems everyone else is pulling to keep you just as you are but Zach and I make quite the persuasive team. This will not be a long fight for you, house, and you will not win.

Alas, even though you house all things creepy and crawly you also house the 3 other people who are most important to me in this world. You keep us warm and sheltered from this Iowa winter and I am thankful for that. I can't hate you with a hot, hot, hatred because of that fact alone. But I am Dear Johning you and I hope you realize how serious I am about things.

With no love,