Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I talked to Angie for about 10 minutes this morning which was 2:10pm Ethiopia time and she said that Noah is Magnificent!! Angie also said she LOVES Ethiopia! When I called, Anil actually picked up the phone first and just sounded beyond happy! He was walking around with a sleeping Noah in the Bjorn! She promised to email as much as she can, but said it is not very easy or convienent to do! I will of course keep you updated anytime I hear from Angie. The proud parents have close to 300 hundred pics, but of course this is all she could send this time. The following is what she said in the email . . .

Here are a few pics I was able to download from our first day with Noah. We are having a great time, loving every minute of it. And Noah Arone is just magnificent! Can't wait for you all to meet him! Ethiopia rocks, but not for internet service!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Noah Arone is in Our arms in Addis

Hi everyone! It's Auntie L, Angie's sister again! We just recieved this email from Angie about 15 minutes ago. I know you are all anxiously awaiting information just like I was!! I would have been happy if they said, "We're here, Noah's Awesome," but we got a whole lot more! Enjoy! :)

We arrived safely in Addis Ababa last night safe and sound. Unfortunately, only 2 of our 5 bags made it here with us. But nothing could ruin the excitement and anticipation of meeting Noah Arone...and we have! This morning, after a night's sleep (what little we could get anyway) and after a full breakfast of french toast and oatmeal, we went to the Gladney Care Center and waited for sweet Joanna to bring down our sweet little boy. He is everything we dreamed he'd be and more. Beautiful, HAPPY, engaged, mellow, sweet, and ours! We are so happy to be with Mr. Happy. I wish we could send photos but we have not yet found an internet cafe that is able to email pictures. We will - I am determined before we leave! Hopefully tomorrow.

For now, wanted to let you all know we made it and we are having the best time. The other families here are wonderful too and the people of Ethiopia are friendly, warm and love babies! Noah woke up from a little nap early this afternoon so that we could come to this internet spot and he was crying a bit...Anil took him downstairs to the car while I packed our things. As soon as he got downstairs, the crying stopped. I got down there to find our driver holding Noah, and Anil said he stopped his crying instantly.

Tonight will be our first night together as a family. We will write again tomorrow if we can to let you know how it goes. :) We think it will go great!

We are hoping to get our bags on a flight that comes in tomorrow. All we can do is cross our fingers. Thanks to heather's amazing packing skills, we did get the bag with our clothes and Noah's, so at least we got the most important one!

My mom just talked to Angie and she said everything is GREAT!!! And that Anil is SUPER DAD!!! As Angie and my mom were talking she said Noah was enjoying his pacifier and just looking up at his mommy!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

25% Complete

Hi! This is Auntie L, Angie's sister!

I talked to Angie three hours ago and she said to let you all know that they had completed 25% of their journey to Noah! She was on the plane at 8:00pm Eastern time prepared for a close to on time departure at 8:30pm! They are scheduled to arrive in Addis Ababa at 7pm Sunday night, which is 11am Sunday morning Central time!

Just think, right now they are probably flying over the Atlantic Ocean! Angie or I will keep you updated during their time in Ethiopia!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Less than 24 Hours...way less...

Thought I'd post this pic because it is the very first one we saw of Noah just last month on March 17, St. Pat's Day. And now...

Tomorrow, yes, that's right, tomorrow we leave for Ethiopia to pick up our son! As I write this I am overcome with those ugly cries and sighs of an incredibly happy, excited, nervous, anxious, delirious, hopeful, overwhelmed, elated (still sick) MOM, allowing the reality to set in just for a moment again. This has happened several times today. At Trader Joe's this morning, a little baby girl said 'hello' to me and I started chatting with her. The next thing you know I was chatting with her mom, who had a 2nd baby strapped into her Bjorn who looked to be only a few weeks old. I told her I was leaving TOMORROW to pick up our son from Ethiopia and she was so excited, she started to cry. And then another woman came over and asked all about the adoption and our journey and ended up taking my email because she has a sister who teaches mommy classes. She too was so excited for us. Strangers, ecstatic for us, so wild. I love Trader Joe's.

So I'm just starting to pack. I must be out of my mind. I'm pretty sure I am. I better get back to it. But had to write in for the payoff to say that TOMORROW we leave to pick up our son!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will (believe me) try everything possible to blog from Ethiopia. I hope I can make it work. If not, I will catch up when I return. I hope to hear about a lot more referrals and court dates and successes for those with court dates assigned when I get back! Be well!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Day after Tomorrow

I just can't wait for tomorrow. Because tomorrow I can say that tomorrow we leave to pick up our son! This is so major. Me, a mom. And Anil, a dad. Holding our son for the first time. Making memories in Ethiopia we will never forget. Amazing.

And speaking of amazing, I thought on this day before tomorrow when I can say that tomorrow I am going to Ethiopia, I would share a few photos of the amazing blog book that my sister put together, with the help of my fabulous cousins, Kari, Rachael & Jen. It's a book that documents my blogging from the beginning. Time was taken to cut, paste, print, cut out and decorate each of my posts along the road to Noah, and it's pretty darn cool. They presented it to me at the shower last weekend and I was blown away.

How incredibly great is it that I will have this to remember all my crazy, silly, emotional, anxious, happy, ecstatic, frustrated, longing, excited rants. Blogging for me has turned out to be such an integral part of this whole process. I have loved documenting our journey and sharing information, support and encouragement with other adoption bloggers as well. I know everyone says you give up quite a bit of your privacy to blog, especially in this way, about something so personal, but I think for the community and support that you gain, losing a little privacy is well worth it. And I've never been much of a private person anyway, my heart is always hanging out on my sleeve.

I'm really grateful for so much and so many right now. And I love my new blog book. And I can't wait for tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New Noah Photos

The Schumachers and the Albertsons are back from Ethiopia and they were both kind enough to take some fun photos of Noah while they were there and send them to me. Thank you both so much! These photos are priceless.

And one more shout out for anyone who wants photos while we are there next week, please don't hesitate to ask. We're happy to do it!

3 days til we leave and I have come down with something BAD. Going to the doc today to try to whip myself back into shape before we go! Rebecca, you might want to put yourself on standby. This is ugly!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Soucys Referral

We are so happy for Chris & Jess Soucy...they just received a referral for a gorgeous little boy!!!!!! Go on over and send them a big CONGRATS!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Family Shower

A fantastic baby shower took place yesterday in honor of Noah...we had a great time. My sister and cool cousins and sweet aunts and mom left no stone unturned in the planning of this celebration. The details were so fun and special. We had a blast!

Candy list altered had to do with the favors, which were bags of candy with a tiny little book dedicated to Noah (pics of that coming, pretty incredible) and a list of the candy with a 'baby meaning' for each piece. AND the colors were about an ink color for the BEAUTIFUL blog book my sister and cousins put together, which they had everyone sign with some sage advice at the shower. It was amazing.

Back to LA tonight to PACK! 5 days til take off!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Sweet, sweet Andrea took time out of her trip to pick up her beautiful daughter to email me this latest photo of Noah Arone. How cool is that? We get to see that toothless smile up close and personal. And did you notice what else is in this photo? That's right, folks, a GIRAFFE! For those of you that remember my giraffe post from back when we were waiting, waiting...I hope you find this as 'interesting' as I do.

We're in IL for my hometown baby shower. It's tomorrow afternoon - I'm super excited! My sister and family have gone to great pains to keep everything completely secret from me. It's pretty hysterical. The only 2 things I know are that it's at Noon and we're having lunch.

Well okay I did see an email to my mom from my sis today when I was on her computer that had the subject "Candy List Altered" and I overheard my sister asking someone on the phone something about the colors green, black and purple. But that's IT. It's been fun taunting her with the little info I have because she gets so upset. Really cute. I'll report back tomorrow on what is sure to be an awesome (and completely surprising) event! I can't wait to find out what this altered candy list is all about...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Another update on Noah yesterday - they said his fingers must be made of honey because he always has them in his mouth! And they also said that he has an amazingly peaceful persona...ahhh, music to my ears. I can't wait to meet this lil man and find out what this 'tummy time' stuff is all about...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Today is my other son's 5th BIRTHDAY! I could not let this day go by without posting about this special dog. George has been in our lives almost all of his life; in fact, as I'm writing this, I'm realizing he came into our lives at about 4 1/2 months old, just shy of Noah's age when we meet him NEXT WEEK! :)

George has had a great year - he has learned many things, had many happy walks and talks with his dad, and been a very good boy. Highlights of this year include:

1 - he learned to ROLL OVER! We had taught him sit and down early on but had stopped there. Then I guess we thought it was too late after a while, thinking no way to teach an 'old dog new tricks'...well I guess that theory is false, because he loves to roll over now. Albeit, half way, but it's a roll over. And we're proud!

2 - he has become even better at being mr. watch dog...scaring away postmen, delivery boys, skateboarders, bicyclers, and most recently, a thief! Just the other night, Anil woke at 3am to George barking his head off, and he saw a head pass by our window. He thought nothing of it until the next day when we discovered that one of our good softball bats and Anil's favorite glove were missing! That was a major bummer, but I am convinced that George scared them away before they could grab anything else from our backyard or worse yet, try to come inside!

3 - and probably the most profound change for George this year, is that he has slowly started to pick up on the fact that something is changing. He is gaining a little brother named Noah and everything is about to be turned topsy-turvy - he knows this somehow, and he is a little freaked out. All the sudden our place is filled with things for baby, furniture is being moved, boxes unpacked, suitcases packed, cribs and gliders built, and lots of squeals and general hoop-la from mom and dad. He is a little bewildered by it all, no doubt, but he is taking it in stride and we just know that because he is after all the best dog in the world, he will grow to love this new life with his new little friend, Noah.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Georgie! Our lives will never be the same, only richer and more FUN!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Glider, Name Change & Photos Anyone?

We went back and forth on the 'to glide or not to glide' dilemna. It's amazing how many opinions on all this baby stuff there are, and how different they are from one another. But my mom bought us this beautiful glider a few weeks back and we love it! So it is 'to glide' for us! This pic is of the glider in our little nook that we have started to think of as the Noah Nook. It's a beautiful spot in the front of our place, with sunlight for days, as you can see. Some amazing memories will be made here for sure. We can't wait!

Ok so obviously I need to change the name of my blog. I'm having a hard time coming up with something clever and fun so I'm asking for help. If you have any good ideas, please leave a comment with your thoughts.

AND if any Gladney families have referrals or even think they 'might' get a referral while we are in Ethiopia, and you want me to take some photos of your babies, please leave your email here and I'll contact you. You can either mail me a memory card or just let me know who to look for and I'll be sure to get some pics.

I'm going to try to check email at least a few times while we are in Ethiopia so make sure you get my email address if you think there's a chance. I was lucky enough to get in touch with Lori Rooney who was already over there when we got our referral. She took some adorable shots of Noah on one of her last trips to the care center. So awesome! We are HAPPY to do the same for anyone who would like us to.

Hard to comprehend that 2 weeks from today we will be holding our little guy for the first time. Just no way to fully imagine it - we tried this weekend and it was just so overwhelming. I'm trying to stay in the moment and soak in as much as I can as we progress and prepare for his sweet arrival.

** Update - Julie has already won the contest for the name change. I know it might not seem fair since I just started it - but she just knows how much I love the Almost and I must admit, not having to change the blog address is very appealing. In short, she's brilliant! And I'm in a rush with everything right about now. So I'm going with it. BUT Rebecca's idea of Noah's Nook might have to take over when we get back. Love the sound of that too! I love all my brilliant blog pals!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Funny Noises

I find myself making a lot of funny noises lately. I will just be walking along or in the shower or sitting at my desk at work and something will come over me, I'll think of the moment Mary called with news that Noah was our son, or the moment I ran back into the house to tell Anil and we hugged like never before, and I will choke up and a squeal or a gasp or a deep breath with audio will just escape from my mouth before I realize it. It's so strange, and sort of embarrassing. I told Mary on Wednesday when she called that I was discovering sounds I didn't realize were hidden within me. They aren't exactly the most attractive sounds or altogether pleasant to the ear, even my own, but they are chalk full of emotion and glee, that much I know.

Since learning that we had passed court came 2 days ago, we have officially hit whirlwind mode. Nothing could have prepared us for this. We leave to meet our son and bring him home 2 weeks from tomorrow. That is just impossible for me to really comprehend, even though I booked the plane tickets and I continue to feverishly search for an affordable place for us to lay our heads at night.

It's still not sinking in, but slowly, with every gasp and nervous laugh, I am realizing that this is all too real and it's not going away. We have a son. And that is the most brilliant and exhilarating thing that has ever happened to me in my life.

I want to blog more about my LA shower. I just want to document here how phenomenal it was. I'm going to try to get to that this weekend. And of all things, my family is throwing me a shower in IL next weekend. So this weekend is the only one we have to organize and pack – it's going to be pretty intense. But we are so motivated, so ready to be parents, so beside ourselves with excitement, I have no doubt that it will all get done. We are also fortunate enough to have terrific friends willing to help, so life is exceptional and truly, unbelievably good.

I started on his closet last night - cleaned out the mess that was in there and started hanging his little clothes. A labor of love.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

No words...

There just are no words to describe what we are feeling right now. Noah Arone is officially our son! It's an indescribable time.

I am so excited to share his photos with everyone! I will share more photos and stories and shower stuff as soon as we get done with the travel arrangements. Looks like we will leave on April 26th to bring our beautiful little guy home for good.

So much gratitude, we are humbled by all of this. We're PARENTS to the most amazing little boy we've ever seen!!! WOW.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Don't have much time...and I will post a lot more photos from the shower (HOPEFULLY tomorrow!) that have a certain little cutie's photos in them, but for now, here are a few to give you an idea of what a wonderful, amazing, sincerely beautiful time we had at our LA shower. And check out my kid's sweet ride, the BOB! And the beautiful lady in the yellow is Shannon, who my regular readers will recognize from an earlier post and who spear-headed the entire operation - the man in the photo with her is her hubby who took all these killer photos. Oh, and the last photo is me with Heather and Chris, who were gracious enough to host our shower at their home, and are our great friends who are also adopting from ET, and Natalie and Dominic, also great new friends, also adopting from ET! Cool, huh? :)

Please send out all the positiveness you can tonight - it is the eve of our court date over in Ethiopia right now. Our judge is going to bed now, or will soon, or already has, and tomorrow he or she will decide whether everything is in order and Noah Arone can officially be our SON! Wow.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Oh Ye Of Little Faith and April Showers

"My husband is a lot of great things...handy is not one of them." I literally said this to my mom yesterday as I was running around doing some shopping and getting my hair done. We were discussing all the various furniture pieces that had arrived or would be arriving shortly that needed to be built, and I was worried about how it would all come together, and trying to figure out who to 'invite' over to help us construct.

So I ran home to drop off the glider I had just picked up at the store (gift from my parents, sis & bro, thank u!) and lo and behold, I walked into Noah's room and BOOM - the crib, was there. Built, sturdy, BEAUTIFUL, and even done up with the crib set I had picked up that early morning. No mattress yet, but he still managed to put it on. I was simply FLOORED. And super impressed. I cried, happy excited amazed tears.

So I'm posting a photo of the crib in the nursery. The room is only half done so I'll post better ones soon - we still need, as you can see, curtains for the windows (byebye blinds!), cute stuff for the walls, books for the shelves, a mattress!, etc. but I think it's coming along quite well. I hope you like the sky blue walls. We do!

And also, folks, our dearest friends moved our baby shower here in LA that was being planned we thought safely for May 18 to ummm...YESTERDAY! Leave it to my incredible, amazing friends to throw a shower together in a week and a half after we got our speedy court date. We are humbled and so grateful for their hard work pulling it together so quickly. They sprang into action like nothing I've ever witnessed and I'm still in shock at how gorgeous, touching, and perfect our shower was.

I can't wait to post photos from the shower. I'll do that tomorrow and tell you more about it. It was magnificent. We were truly blown away.

And Wednesday is court day. I can't believe it's only a few days away and we might possibly become Noah's parents officially. All of this is still just a bit beyond me but I am slowly trying to grasp it and wrap my head around it. My heart's been there for a long time, so my head is just trying to catch up.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Update Day!

An update on our little dude appeared in my mailbox yesterday. It was a very sweet message with a hilarious photo attached - he has his arms in his favorite outstretched Y shape and has a look on his face like 'excuse me, i'm trying to catch some rays here'...It's too cute. They also mentioned his infectious toothless smile so I thought the photo to the left was perfect for this post.

Our favorite part about the update is that it started with these three words: "Happy! Happy! Happy!"...so incredible to know that halfway around the world right now, little Noah Arone is chillin' in the sun (with his pals!), happy as a clam, waiting for us to come and bring him home! We really couldn't be more thrilled.

Sweet baby gifts are starting to arrive and we actually painted the nursery this weekend! I'll post a pic next week after we get the crib up - it's arriving on Friday! We've moved into fast forward mode over here with the unexpected speedy court date. We're just trying to keep up with ourselves and remaining eternally grateful!