Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Anil and I had a great day today, getting our approval from Gladney on Halloween will certainly always be memorable. :) We decided to stay home tonight in the hopes that we would get a few trick-or-treaters at the door, and we had prepped a BIG BOWL of candy for our visitors. Well...this is our first year in our new place in Santa Monica, and although as you can see from the pic of George (that wasn't posed at all by the way!) we have a very inviting front door, we do live on a major street in SM that doesn't really have a lot of houses on it, so I guess the kids went elsewhere for their candy. Ah well, next year we'll have to make some calls!
Luckily, we did get 2 cute dressed up little girls at the door - our neighbor and her friend - near the end of the night - so we gave them as much candy as they could carry! And got a cool pic before they went. I'm not sure what they were 'supposed to be' but I never ask, just appreciate the effort!
We had a great night celebrating our news and hanging out together, the 3 of us. HAPPY HALLOWEEN, everybody! I can't wait to see more costume pics of all the little ones tomorrow.

Gladney Approved!

I'll write again later hopefully with some pics of cute trick-or-treaters that may come to the front door tonight...but just wanted to share the news that we received an email a few hours ago stating that we are officially Gladney approved! We are so excited as this is a big step, and every step closer to the end result, adopting our beautiful little baby and bringing him/her home, truly feels like a milestone on our path that is worth celebrating and being grateful for...YEY!

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I had the best birthday on Saturday. My parents are in town. We hung out, did some shopping during the day. Then late afternoon we headed over the valley to see an old friend of mine, Chantal. I've only seen her once in the last 15 years and my parents hadn't seen her in longer. It was fun to hang out with her and introduce her to my hubby, who hadn't met her at all. We've known each other since 3rd grade so even without staying in the best of touch, it's so wild how it feels like time doesn't matter and we're right at home after all these years.

Then we went to Julie's - I know a lot of you know Julie - as I refer to her as blogger royalty, which I'm not sure she digs. But it's true! Anyway, Julie and her kids (her husband was out of town at a wedding) were incredibly kind and invited us over for the evening. When we got there, they had decorated on TOP of all their really cool Halloween decor, a birthday extravaganza for me. And Julie had a "happy birthday" flashing light magnetized pin that she forced me to wear all night...I didn't mind! It was so much fun. She is awesome and her kids rock and it was so cool to hang with them. Julie showed my parents the videos Marshall had made of them picking up their daughter, Marlie, from Ethiopia and some other cool travel videos/montages. Haven & Seamus had a face-making contest with Anil and Marlie was just adorable as always knocking everyone out with her smile. It was such a great birthday!!

AND we got our finalized homestudy in the mail on Friday (or I guess technically yesterday morning) - I was expecting it to come on Monday so that was a little gift on our doorstep! That means it also arrived to our placement agency and USCIS today, all notarized and official. Sweet! One tiny step closer to the tiny one we are waiting for...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Almost, Almost...

First off, HI to Gladney Families! I just learned that I am now posted on the site with all of the other awesome blogs that I have been following for a few weeks now, since I learned of them. I am so excited to be among the group and thrilled for all of you, wherever you are in your journey, and have shed more than a few tears of happiness for you already. :) I hope to get to know you and share experiences. All of your stories are individual and unique and yet we all share a common bond that is so amazing! I'm in awe of it every day.

We are adopting an infant of either gender from Ethiopia. My husband, Anil, and I live in Santa Monica, CA with our dog, Georgie, who you will come to know well through this blog. This will be our first human baby, although G is if you ask anyone likely to be considered our first child, also adopted at 4 mos. old from The Lange Foundation.

And in other news...

I almost changed my blog title today. My friend Julie pointed out to me that I'm going to be a Mom in a very short time (wow, really???) and at that point, she wondered if I would keep the title or change it. That got me to thinking - she's right. Once I AM a Mom, I don't want anyone to think that I am only 'almost'.

See for me, Almost has a good meaning. My BFF Shannon and I are big into the idea of all of us being almost lots of things. We love being almost anything, almost lots of things, almost everything.

But I am also concerned that in this particular instance, with all of the stigmas attached to adoption, that if I leave my title "Almost Mom" once we have our child, people might get the idea that I am somehow saying that I'm not a 'real' mom to a 'real' kid, all the way, completely and totally. And then I got to thinking...what makes a Mom a real life, certified, bonafide Mom...

Well, I remember being asked that around Mother's Day every year as a kid, and what I remember writing are things like "she loves me unconditionally, she feeds me my favorite foods, she makes me feel better when I'm sad, she fixes my booboos and makes me feel safe and sound." The pic below is of my real mom. What made her that were the above mentioned things and so much more. I am excited to join the ranks, and I think I can fit the bill.

And let's not forget the greatest Almost Dad there ever was...that's my hubby, Anil. He is just about as real as real gets, and seeing the excitement in his eyes, hearing it in his voice and watching him go through this process along side of me, is probably the most unbelievably surreal experience I have ever had. The joy that I feel in his joy is inexplicable.

I decided to keep the blog title for now, because it signifies our journey, our quest, our way. And down the road, there will hopefully be a redirect to REAL 'RENTS. Woohoo!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Niece, Nephew, George and Finger

We babysat for my nephew, Callan, on Saturday. Had a blast. As you can see, he's easy on the eyes and a pretty happy kid to boot. It was a good practice session. He's 3 mos. old and enjoys playing, eating, sleeping and pooping. Typical dude, I guess.
We were very pleased to see George warm up to Call and although he mostly ignored him, there were moments where he seemed to actually enjoy his presence. And even when Call accidentally punched him (baby punched you know but still) in the face, George did not react. Wshoo!

And I couldn't post pics of Callan without posting one of our beautiful niece and goddaughter, Arianna. I love this pic. I think it was taken in NJ where she lives, but it somehow ended up on my computer, I think because I downloaded it when Anil's parents were in town. We don't get to see Arianna as much as we'd like, but she is in our hearts...and her mommy is due with another nephew in a very short time!

As for us, we had a great time with Callan and then things went South a bit on Sunday when we played softball - at the last minute, a guy from my team bailed so Anil had to come and fill in, even though his team had a bye week. I had a bad feeling about this game for some reason. It was the first time I really didn't want to go. Well, call it intuition, but I wish I hadn't now. Not only did we lose by 14 runs, but Anil went to field a ground ball at shortstop and somehow the ball fielded his finger instead. He has a broken finger now and had to have his nailbed drained (gross, don't ask) and he'll be in a finger splint for 4 weeks! I feel so bad. Poor guy can't type, can barely shower and certainly can't play softball for HIS team these next few weeks...and they are actually going to make the playoffs! Tragedy!

In adoption news, our homestudy has now made its way to Gladney and they are in the process of reviewing it. It sounds like we should know within a week if we are approved by Gladney, which is pretty awesome!! Then the homestudy will be sent to USCIS and we will await their approval. Then the USCIS approval will be sent to Kate notarized, and she will get it authenticated and sent to D.C. and at that point, we will officially be waiting! I can not wait to be waiting.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Almost Orange

I broke my promise. Luckily, I haven't told more than a handful of you about my blog at this point, so there won't be too many people to hold it against me. Sorry, but we have sure been busy. Since I last wrote, we have been all over the place trying to get all of the necessary requirements aka paperwork completed...and I'm very happy to say, that we are almost finished!!! We got fingerprints, medical forms, bank statements, employment letters, insurance info, tax forms (that was a tough one of all things), notarized letters, notarized passports, and on and on. And we filled out housing statements, financial statements, HIPPA forms, PCR forms, Authorization forms and miscellaneous forms galore. And then we had our final homestudy, 3 weeks ago tomorrow. And yesterday...well yesterday...we received our homestudy report. And we passed!!!!!!!!!! We have been officially recommended for approval by our homestudy agency. And while this is just the first of 4 approvals that we will ultimately need, it's a HUGE step because first off, this recommendation only comes once you have ALL of your homestudy paperwork in, which is the bulk of the paperwork overall. AND all other approvals are based largely on this homestudy report! So we are very excited and relieved and HAPPY.

Now the homestudy report will be emailed to our placement agency (Gladney) and we will wait for them to review it along with all of the letters and forms and papers we sent them separately, and hope to get approval from them very shortly (approval #2)! At the same time, our homestudy report will be mailed to USCIS and we will wait for government approval (approval #3). Once we have those (fingers crossed!), we will send everything off to Kate, the dossier expert, and she will prep all of this paperwork along with the notarized letters, notarized passports, notarized references, notarized FBI clearances, photos of us, the house, family, etc. and then send to Ethiopia for translation and down the line, again (fingers crossed!) approval # 4. And then it's baby time!

We are getting so excited, it's a little crazy. But my dear friend Julie just said to me the other day that she believes that adoption can make even the sanest folks since I was a little nutty to begin with, it's no wonder I'm a little over the top right now.

Anil and I have decided to go with an orange-ish nursery, since we won't know boy or girl til very close to travel time. I found this orange rug at JCP and purchased it last weekend. We weren't sure about it at first because it wasn't quite the orange we were imagining, but now we really like it - and so does someone else in the household! We already envision George lying on it in front of the crib, protecting the little one from things that go bump in the night. He's going to be a great big bro.