Friday, 27 March 2009

We are here

We arrived safely in Addis after a very long flight!  We had a long layover in Khartoum, Sudan where passengers left and more joined, and we were refueled, while on the plane!!  The flight attendants were very good, especially with the children and one little boy inparticular who was very upset when he had to sit down and have his seatbelt fastened! 
Our Guest House is much more basic than we expected from its website!!  The bed is very small and creaks everytime we move!!  But despite that we managed a good nights sleep.  This morning we had breakfast and went straight over to theorphanage.  Our new little one is PERFECT and I spent most of the morning holding and hugging :-)  I've also signed the initial lot of papers for both me and Mr Messy and the orphanage director is going to sort out her bit and then I think we have some more to do on Monday.  We can visit again tomorrow, but not on Sunday so we are going to check the guide book and decide what to do. 
We had lunch in the famous Kaldi's Coffee House and are just at an internet cafe before returning to the guest house.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Last post from England!!!

I have spent the whole day running round getting last minute bits sorted out!! And here was me thinking I was ready lol. But now I really AM ready :-) Mr Messy is on his way home after picking up Baby Sis. Little Prince is fast asleep in bed. And me and Drama Teen are going to watch a dvd of her favourite comedien while having our tea :-)

We leave for the airport at 4am tomorrow EEK!! So I won't be updating until I get to Addis Ababa, if I'm able to!! There have been internet/phone problems in the area of Addis we are going to, so I'm not sure if I will be able to update or not. But I'll try my best :-) If not I'll post LOADS when I get back :-)

Bye Bye W

On this day five years ago, I learnt of the sudden death of my best friend W. The week before we had been at the gym together, she thought the ache in her arm was from doing to many repititions on one of the machines. Unfortunately it wasn't it was a warning sign of the heart attack she was about to have. She seemed to recover fairly well and was making slow but steady progress. She was as crotchety, demanding and controlling as ever lol. My car broke down (the one I'd not long before bought from her daughter) and after the AA had fixed it I drove round to see her, for what turned out to be the last time. She seemed fine. I got a phone call the next day to say she had died in the night. She was so full of nervous energy and sheer determination to make things go her way, it seemed impossible that she was gone. She never got to meet or even hear about Little Prince, and I'm sure she would have loved him, even though he would have driven her mad lol. And now she won't ever know about our new little one either :-(

Its been a long time W but I still miss you.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

TWO more sleeps!!!

WOW!!! That has come round so fast!!!

I think I have got everything sorted out now, well fingers crossed that I have anyway, I'm running out of time to do anything else!!! The suitcase is as packed as it can be apart from the last minute bits and bobs. I've got the very important Power of Attorney and letter from the DCSF all safely packed in my carry on. The Guest House confirmed this morning that we are booked in, and they will pick us up at Bole Airport. Mr Messy and Baby Sis have sorted out when/where he will pick her up tomorrow evening. LMS has started packing to set off home on Thursday (arrive here Friday after an overnight at Grandma's House). I keep trying to think of things that I still need to do and there isn't anything!!! Which makes me worry and think I've forgotten something lol. But the only thing left to do is to make the most of the day and a half left with my family, and to get VERY excited about going to see our gorgeous new child at the end of this week :-)

Only THREE more sleeps until I can meet our new little one WOW!!!
Look out little one Mummy and Auntie Baby Sis are coming :-)

Sunday, 22 March 2009

LMS's Creation :-)

As requested LMS here is a picture of your creation :-) And I am very proud that at almost 20 years old you still haven't lost any of your creative flair :-)
Love you lots and lots too


Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there, especially my own Mum (I know you read this lol) as I've forgotten as usual to post your card - I'll post it first thing tomorrow Mum, promise :-)

This morning I opened my pressies from my gorgeous children :-) I got a fantastic picture frame, decorated by LMS, who is the least creative person I know! I put her in a flat spin when I told her I wanted something creative created by her for Mother's Day lol. And the picture frame has instructions that it is for a photograph of my FOUR children together - I can't wait to take that photo :-) I also got a lovely new handbag from Drama Teen and Little Prince and cards from all of them :-) Thank you so much you three, you are the best :-)

And to all my friends who are still waiting for their child, you are in my thoughts as today must be a hard day for you.

UPDATE: LMS had just rung to wish me Happy Mother's Day and explained about the picture frame lol. It started off plain white, and she painted it yellow and tried to paint all the children's names round the edge. That apparently went horrible wrong, so she painted the whole thing black to cover it up!! Then she painted multi coloured splodges all over it to brighten it up. I love it LMS and will treasure it forever :-) Its just like when you were in Primary School lol

Getting prepared

I've got most things packed in my suitcase now!! I need to go out and get a couple of passport photos tomorrow, so that I can get my Visa when I get to Bole International Airport and I think that's about it!!! I can't believe how little there is in my suitcase, perhaps there are advantages to travelling without my teenage daughters lol. And quite a lot of the room is taken up with things I am taking to the orphanage, so there should be LOTS of room to fit souvenirs in on the way back :-) I am looking forward to bringing home genuine Ethiopian things to decorate the house with. I've been tempted by things I've seen on Ebay, but I want to buy the genuine articles from Ethiopia. I'd like to get Ethiopian music CDs too and have been trying to note down names of traditional style and modern style musicians.

Yesterday me and Little Prince made a countdown calender. I wrote the dates I will be away on each piece of paper, then Little Prince cut out a picture from a catalogue or magazine to remind him of what he would be doing that day and stuck it to the relevant day. I then stapled the pieces together to make a booklet. Little Prince is going to pull one page off each day, so that he knows how long it will be until Mummy comes home. And today we are going to make a paperchain to also countdown the days.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Reality bites!

Little Prince asked me to snuggle him to sleep in my bed tonight, and every night until I go to Ethiopia. He said this is so that he can store up all the snuggles for when I'm away. While I was lay there with him as his warm, wriggly body relaxed and he fell asleep, I started to cry. I need to store up his snuggles too. I have only ever been away from all the family at once for an extended time once before. I spent three weeks in China with good friends who were adopting. It was the trip of a lifetime and a fantastic experience, but I HATED being away from my family for that long. When I had managed to speak to them on the phone, I would have to go and lock myself in the bathroom for a good cry afterwards. And now I'm doing it again!! I think I've been deliberately avoiding even thinking about this until now. But I can't escape it any longer. It is going to be so so hard to be away from everyone, and I don't even get to see LMS before I go as she doesn't get back from University until the day after I've flown!!

I love all of you and will miss you all so much.
Lots of love Janet/Mummy

Getting Closer!!!

The flights are booked!!

I'm waiting to hear back from my absolutely fantastic Travel Agent that the accommodation is booked!!

I've ordered my currency!!

And I've still got a million and one other things to do before I go!!!!!! This afternoon's plan is to go shopping for the bits and pieces I need for all the Little Prince activities everyone has suggested. I've started packing and I've just got to check through what Summer clothes I've got and see if I need anything else, and I'll shop for that next Monday.

OH SH*T!!! I've just spoken to the DCSF and they haven't received anything from our Local Authority!!! I'm just waiting to get hold of the LA Team Leader and get her to fax or email a copy of the form to DCSF!!
ALMOST sorted out!! I've just spoken to the LA Team Leader and she is going to fax a copy of the form to the DCSF. And I'm going to get in touch myself to ask the DCSF to Special Delivery their Permission to Travel letter back to me!!!

Think its totally sorted out!! I managed to speak to the DCSF (miracle in itself!!) and they have received everything they need from our LA. BUT they have never heard of the Permission to Travel letter that a previous adopter told me I need?!?!
UPDATE:- Little bit more sorted!!! Hopefully!! I've spoken to the previous adopter who told me I needed this letter, and got the gist of the wording of it and the date it was sent to them and who signed it. I've emailed the DCSF with all this info and asked them to get this letter sent out to me Special Delivery ASAP!!! I'll be ringing them on Monday to check if they NOW know what I'm talking about!!!

OH SH*T 2!!! Chased up our Notary for the Power of Attorney I need to travel without Mr Messy and although it is confirmed as ready, the Embassy haven't returned his calls and so he doesn't know when that will arrive!!!
ITS SORTED OUT!!! Just heard from our Notary again and the letter is back with him and he's sending it Special Delivery so it will be with me TOMORROW :-)

Everything was going well WHY does this have to happen NOW!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Our LA said YES!!!!!!!!

We've just got back from our meeting with our LA, to discuss the implications of our acceptance of our referral and they said YES!!!! They are sending their letter of agreement to the DCSF (UK govt dept) today!! We need a letter from the DCSF giving us permission to travel, so to give time for that to arrive and to fit around LMS's University Easter Break I will be flying out on 27th March!!

OMG!!!! I am going to Ethiopia in NINE DAYS!!!! I will see, hold and cuddle our new child in TEN DAYS time!!!!!!!!!!!!!

UPDATE - slight change of plan!! The route we need to fly isn't available next Friday so we are going on Thursday instead!! We could have chosen to go on Saturday, but I didn't want to wait ANY longer!!!!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Appeal for Ideas!!

Does anyone out there have any ideas of activities etc that I can organise for Little Prince while I'm away in Ethiopia for the first trip? Since he was placed with us he hasn't spent more than a night/day without me, so a week seems impossibly long to him. And on top of that he has ADHD (can't concentrate for long periods and needs very active activities) and Dyspraxia (struggles with fine motor control, so finds colouring/writing etc very difficult).

I have had some very good ideas from Kate (thank you so much) but just wondered if anyone else had anything creative to suggest??

My brain is complete mush at the moment lol.

Friday, 13 March 2009

GP reviewed Medical

I've just walked in the door after seeing our GP. He read through the medical, noted that it was written by a University trained Paediatrician, which he said was excellent and made the medical much more likely to be accurate. He said he had no concerns about anything written in the report :-) He did comment on the child's weight, but said that is probably down to where child is living and with good nutrition child is likely to be fine. I asked about the HIV test and he said that as the child tested negative that it is an accurate test, apparently a positive can be false as it can show maternal antibodies. He congratulated us and said the picture was lovely :-)

The only thing we have to do now is meet with the LA Team Leader and our Social Worker next week and get that precious letter from the DCSF and we are on the NEXT PLANE TO ADDIS ABABA :-)

Busy Weekend

I've just picked up a Korean Student from the train station, as she is our latest HOST guest. She seems a lovely girl and is enjoying playing with the cats at the moment :-)

SW meeting Arranged :-)

I've just got an email from our LA Team Leader saying she's arranged a meeting for me, Mr Messy, herself and our Social Worker to meet next Wednesday :-) That might seem a long time, but for OUR LA it is lightning fast!! We are to discuss the proposed match, implications and support needs and any advice we are given by our GP.

I have an appointment with our GP this evening to see what he thinks and what advice he has to offer :-)

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Medical has arrived :-)

This afternoon has been a whirlwind! The medical and background info on our future child arrived and I've been like a headless chicken ever since!!! Everything looks really good and the child looks to be healthy, but underweight for age/size :-) I am desperate to go over there and feed the child up!!

I've spoken to our LA Team Leader and impressed on her the urgency of getting the UK process and documentation started. She is going to try to arrange to meet with us, our Social Worker next week. She is also going to check into whether or not me and Mr Messy have to meet the Agency Medical Advisor in person, or if he can read through the information and give his opinion that way. Once that meeting is done then the LA Team Leader can get in touch with the DCSF and indicate that the LA approves of the proposed match. Then the DCSF will send us a Permission to Travel letter and me and Baby Sis will be on the next plane possible :-)

I've already asked two medical friends to look at the Medical and both say the health looks good - thank you so much to both of you, you know who you are :-) I'm going to see our own GP in the morning and ask his opinion too.

Now all I want to do is get on a plane and go and see, hug and cuddle our new child :-)

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Carbooting :-)

This morning I did the unthinkable!! I got up EARLY on a Sunday!!! I took myself off to a local carboot sale to look for things to take with me to the orphanage when I visit. And look for bargains for our own little one too :-) I wandered round and made one or two purchases, and I'd almost looked at all the stalls when I found one selling baby clothes, which the orphanage is desperate for. I was rummaging through the boxes on the floor when the lady on the stall asked what size and boy or girl? I said I wasn't that bothered as I was taking them to an orphanage in Ethiopia. She looked surprised and then her husband said "Just fill a bag full for a Fiver" So the lady proceeded to stuff a carrier bag FULL of tights, hats, mittens and cardigans. I tried to protest that I was there to BUY stuff and she shouldn't put so much in the bags and she just smiled and said "It's not all about money" People can be so so sweet and I had tears in my eyes as I walked away with the bulging bag of things for the orphanage.

On the way home I stopped off at a Business Centre that offers a laminating service. I wanted to get one of the copies of the photograph of our future little one laminated so that Little Prince could take it to school and I'd be sure it wouldn't get damaged. The man serving said I would have to wait a few hours as he had a huge order in already. Oh no I wanted to get home and see LMS before she had to go back to university :-( I asked if there was anywhere else nearby that did laminating? No. So reluctantly I handed over the photograph and asked how long did he think it would be. He asked "Is it just that one photo?" and when I said yes, probably still looking all disappointed, he took it over to the machine and did it there and then! I thanked him profusely and with a huge smile and a bounce in my step returned to the car. Aren't people lovely :-)

Yesterday's stuff

Yesterday was a WONDROUS day :-) The day we finally saw our future child's face for the first time, it was so unbelievable and fantastic and scary all rolled into one!! I can't stop gazing adoringly at the photograph we have and just hope our LA realise the urgency of getting the Ethiopian legal processes started as soon as possible. My nightmare is that they delay us so much (they have at EVERY single stage so far) that we are unable to be allocated an Ethiopian Court Hearing date before the Courts close for the Rainy Season (July - September ish).

Apart from learning about our new little one for the first time, we also did normal, mundane stuff too lol. Me and Mr Messy went out to pick up a Moses Basket Stand I'd won on Ebay this week and went to a lovely (very posh!) cafe on the way back for lunch. We also bought Little Prince a quirky little sign to hang on one of his wardrobe door handles saying "Star Brother." He is struggling with the adjustment from knowing a sibling will arrive "one day" to knowing a sibling is arriving in a few months!!! We knew this would happen and are as prepared as we can be to help him through this, but I think I need to go to the Patience Shop and buy some extra reserves lol.

When we got back from our errand me and Mr Messy picked up LMS and Little Prince (Drama Teen was out at a geeky party!) and went to town to get the photo of our new little one printed out :-) While we were out shopping we took Little Prince to choose and buy and outfit for his new sibling. I have promised to take this to Ethiopia with me and send or bring (depending on if I can get emails to work!) him a photograph of sibling wearing it. And of course I'm going to bring a present back from Ethiopia "from" his new sibling :-)

During the evening I spent ages replying to all the lovely emails people have sent us following our news :-) I am going to print them all out and make a Good Wishes Scrapbook for little one, so that they can see how welcomed they were to our family.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

~*~ Perfect Match ~*~

We are thrilled to let you know that today we received initial details of the child who will one day be ours :-) The child is not yet legally ours and as such we are not allowed to post any details on the internet, but PERFECTION doesn't even come close :-)

We now have to wait for full details and medical background, which will arrive early next week. Once we have these documents we can talk to our social worker and get theirs and the LA's approval to accept this child. Then our LA will tell the DCSF they approve our adoption of this child and the DCSF will send us a letter giving us permission to travel to Ethiopia. Once we have this letter Me and Baby Sis will travel to Ethiopia for about a week to start the legal processes to adopt our little one, including applying in person for a Court Hearing Date. This date is likely to be about 8 weeks (ish) in the future. The whole family (minus Drama Teen who has chosen to stay at home with Grandparents) will travel back to Ethiopia to appear at the Court Hearing and then finalise all the other legal necessities that will allow us to bring our little one home with us. We will be in Ethiopia for about three weeks for this trip, and we are very excited about seeing and experiencing a tiny slice of our future child's birth country.


Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Stomach in Knots!

Ever since our dossier was confirmed to be delivered my stomach has been in knots! Everytime my email programme says its getting a new message, it knots even more!!! And now I've just heard of another UK match, its getting worse!! I think we are now next in line!! Not that there is a line the way UK people adopt from Ethiopia! It is more like the UK domestic adoption system, where a child is matched to you based on your profile in your homestudy. At least I've got a busy day tomorrow so I'll have a break from being in front of the computer!!! But I'll be rushing to check my emails the minute I walk through the door!!! Must calm down, must calm down, must calm down!!!!! But then again perhaps the permanently tense stomach muscles will improve my flab! Or knowing my luck I'll just get permanent indigestion lol

I just bought a buggy!!!

WOW!!! Its feeling real now!!!! Me and Mr Messy visited a baby retailer a while ago and checked out this buggy and we both loved it. I was playing around on Ebay and found it (in the exact colourway I want) for a bargain price! Its lightweight and quick and easy to fold up. And the major consideration, its rearward facing - best for attachment and language development :-) In short its perfect :-) Its in barely used condition and has quite a few accessories with it, and it should be here in about a week :-) I'm so excited :-)

You can buy a car seat that attaches to the chassis too, but I refuse to take any chances with that and I'll be buying that from an actual shop, so that I can be totally sure its brand new and never been in an accident.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Little Prince's Parent's Evening

Before I get to the Parent's Evening, I just want to write about Little Prince having his next lot of injections for travelling to Ethiopia!! I didn't tell him in advance that his appointment was tonight, as he gets himself all worked up, so the less time to get worked up the better I thought. As soon as we passed Mad Cat Lady's house without stopping, he realised where we were going. He started to cry and argue that he didn't want to go to Ethiopia, it was stupid and he wasn't going to have any more injections and they HURT. By the time we'd got there and I'd parked the car he was almost hysterical, big fat tears running down his cheeks and totally out of control!! I got out of the car went to his door (the one behind me!) to get him out of his car seat and he had already taken off his seat belt, darted into the drivers seat and tried to lock the door. I had to be very very strict and shout to get him to come out of the car. I then had to hold his hand VERY tightly as he kept trying to run off!! The surgery door was locked so we waited outside for a few minutes (we were early, with Little Prince getting more and more hysterical by the second. I gave in and knocked, the receptionist opened the door straight away and greeted Little Prince by name. We were the only ones there (apart from the nurse) and so the receptionist sat chatting with Little Prince for a while trying to distract him and tell her why he was going to Ethiopia. He answered all her questions quite calmly and then immediately returned to sobbing! He then decided he needed the toilet, but he couldn't reach the pull switch for the light. By the time I got there (and I moved fast!!) he had already run off to hide in one of the Doctor's rooms! I had to shout him and start counting to three to get him to come out! I then told him he would be in a lot of trouble if he locked himself in the toilet and he had to leave the door slightly open just in case!! When he came out he dived under the chairs and said he wasn't coming out. I (still trying to be calm!) told him either I would pull him out or the nurse would bring the injections over to him under the chair, but he wasn't leaving until he'd had them!! More hysterics! Then the nurse called us in!! He threw a chair on the floor as I tried to get him out and fought (kicked, bit, scratched and punched) all the way to the consulting room. Once in there he tried to escape and I had to hold him extremely firmly to stop him actually running straight out of the room. He then did that thing that kids do, make your legs go really limp and yourself really heavy, whilst still managing to fight with all his strength!! Somehow I managed to get his coat off him and hang on for dear life!!! He threated to wee on the floor and that he was going to hurt me and the nurse! Its a good job she is used to him by now, as he has got worse each visit!!! He decided to have the injections in his thighs today, but then wouldn't pull his trousers down, or let me do it!! Once again I had to use brute force. Then I had to try and hold a wriggling, hysterical madman still while the nurse actually did the injections!!! I should take up wrestling lol. Once the injections were over and done with and he had got lots of sympathy and huge pieces of cotton wool stuck over the (invisible) holes, he changed back to his normal self!! Instant transformation!!! The receptionist, who has admitted she finds it really hard listening to him scream, asked me if it was ok to give him some sweets on the way out and Little Prince loved them :-) He has been fine ever since apart from one or two moans about having one more injection at the end of the month!! I think I'm bruised and scratched from head to toe and I'm exhausted!!!

We got home just in time to see Mr Messy for a few moments, before he and I had to set off to school for Little Prince's parent's evening. We were early and had to wait quite a while for our turn, but they weren't running too late, thank goodness. When we did get to chat to Little Prince's teacher it was lovely :-) She had nothing but great things to say about him :-) His behaviour in class and at breaktimes is now way better, she hasn't had a "naughty" report from the dinnerladies for ages. In class he sometimes gets lead to mess about, but as soon as she asks him what he is supposed to be doing, he tells her and gets on with his work again. She says his attitude to work is fantastic, he is asking to do his weekly spelling and mental maths tests in his own writing, instead of someone writing his answers or doing them orally. He is trying so hard to do his written literacy work and when he asks her to write a sentence for him to copy (or write over the top of) his vocabulary is astounding :-) She said when he does good work he is asking if he can go and show the Headteacher and is obviously blossoming with all the praise he is getting. He is working very well with the male classroom assistant that helps the pupils who are struggling and seems to really enjoy working with him. Neither of us can believe the change in him from when he returned to school after Christmas, when he was wild and out of control both at school and home!

I told her that our adoption plans were likely to happen any time now!! And she knows about me having to go to Ethiopia for a week. She is already planning to do activities on Ethiopia that week, and we discussed me trying to send photos and emails to his class so they could discuss it. We also discussed when we all go to Ethiopia that we would try to encourage him to do a mini blog for his class to see too (which would also mean he was working on his typing skills!!). The teacher loved these ideas and asked that we keep her informed of when things happen, so that she can support Little Prince if he needs it.

Finally we discussed the report from the Speech and Language Therapist. We all agreed that it didn't fairly reflect on Little Prince's behaviour or capabilities. But if (when??) he has another bad spell it could be useful evidence to back up the school in getting more resources in place to support Little Prince.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Delivered - Signed for by XXX 10:38

Super Exciting DHL News :-)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009
With delivery courier 07:48 Addis Ababa - Ethiopia

OH WOW our dossier could be DELIVERED today :-)

Monday, 2 March 2009

Rang DHL

I have just rung DHL to check what was happening with our dossier parcel, and was told that they tried to deliver the package yesterday but couldn't (they didn't know why). They said it would be quicker and easier for me to contact the receiver myself to arrange for them to ring DHL and request a redelivery. I tried emailing a couple of times, but the email kept bouncing as "over quota" so in desperation I rang up! The person I spoke to said it was a holiday today in Ethiopia, so they would ring up DHL tomorrow and get the parcel redelivered. I mentioned the email problem and they said that was because they were not opening emails today and would sort it out tomorrow. It was very very exciting to ring up and speak to the actual person who will be receiving our dossier and, in due course, matching us to our little one!!!!! I feel all shaky now, but in a good way :-)

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Flurry of activity from DHL

Sunday, March 01, 2009
Arrived at Sort Facility Addis Ababa - Ethiopia 07:28
Arrived at Delivery Facility in Addis Ababa - Ethiopia 07:40
Scheduled for delivery as agreed 07:44
Address information needed; contact DHL 11:16
Shipment on Hold 12:01

OH NO!!!! I hope this doesn't mean there is a problem!!!! I thought earlier "on hold" meant that they couldn't deliver because it was Sunday! This new info about "Address information needed" doesn't sound good!!!! Urgh how to ruin a perfect day!!!

Our Dosier is in ADDIS ABABA :-)

Sunday, March 01, 2009
Shipment on hold 12:01 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Wow what a fantastic DHL message to wake up to :-) Our dossier should reach its final destination TOMORROW!!!!


25th May 2009 - See New Child again & Court Date

23rd May 2009 - Fly back to Ethiopia

26th March 2009 - Fly to Ethiopia :-)

3rd March 2009 - Dossier Arrived at Orphanage

26th February 2009 - Dossier sent to Ethiopia

22nd December 2008 - Dossier back at DCSF

28th November 2008 - Certificate of Eligibility ISSUED

6th October 2008 - PASSED Approval Panel

7th July 2008 - Homestudy Update Started

28th Feb 2008 - Told LA we wished to change country


Formally withdrew from the China Adoption Programme 17th July 2008

LID (Logged in Date) with CCAA 16th August 2007

Documents to China 10th August 2007

Passed Approval Panel 5th March 2007

Homestudy started 6th June 2006

First Contact with our LA 1st Jan 2006