Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving

What was/am I grateful for this year?

Being a mama is #1! The joy I felt holding Elliott is beyond anything I've ever experienced. I just felt so connected to him that at times I thought my heart would just burst with love and happiness. I cannot wait to have him home so we can be a "forever family".

My niece Jennifer and her husband Rob hosting their first Thanksgiving for the families! I was so proud of her and am so grateful to have her in my life. I love her and Rob so much!

Logan-the baby of Jennifer and Rob. I love seeing the world through his eyes. Everything is an adventure and life is to be lived full on. Logan is bright, curious, sweet, and smart. It sometimes feels a bit strange having a great-nephew and being a new mama! I can't wait for these two to meet!

Garrett. What can I say about the boy who has my heart? My nephew is smart and funny and helpful and kind and sassy and awesome. I have loved every weekend we have spent together for the past four years. He is Jennifer's little brother and I love them both so much.

My mom whom I too often take for granted and forget to enjoy her and appreciate all that she has done for me and my sisters. I love her very much and am glad she is part of my life.

My best friend/cousin Debbie and her family. She helps me keep my perspective, shares her love and her family, and helps me laugh at myself and at life! She has two beautiful children and a handsome husband, all of whom I also adore.

My sisters Sheri and Karen. What can you say about sisters? They know everything about me from childhood. They remind me of my many foibles and idiosyncrasies (ie: using big words!!) from when I was young and help me remember to be grateful for all we had growing up.

My almost a grown man nephew Lucas. He is quiet and smart and kind and solid. He has a great sense of humor and I am so glad he is my nephew. We don't spend as much time together as we did when he was young. Amazing how busy teenagers are these days! I have great faith in Lucas and know he will be an accomplished and wonderful adult.

My dad. I miss him every day. When you've had unconditional, always there, solid as a rock love, its hard not to miss that and feel that loss. This is especially true of the holidays. He never even knew Garrett and how sad is that for my dad and Garrett? I love it when we tell Papa stories when we get together and keep his memory alive for all of us, even those who know him only through our stories.

I am grateful for a God who recognizes my frailties and loves me anyway. I have a hard time being a shout it from the rooftops person but I know that the universe is an amazing and wonderful place and am happy to praise God in my own way.

What are you grateful for? I'd love to hear from you!

Love, Julie

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Meet my son!

Back from Haiti!
What a trip. I absolutely loved meeting Elliott. We got to the orphanage and they brought him to me in the baby room. I will always remember seeing him in the doorway. He came in and he came right to me. It was really wonderful. He is charming, sweet, laid-back, wants me to himself, loves to lead me around, likes to be held, likes to jabber. When he is trying to repeat something I'm saying, he'll bob his head and tap his feet at the same time. He has a sweet laugh and his eyes are like pools of deep chocolate. I could stare at him for hours (and did, while he was sleeping). It was magical and amazing. I feel very much like a mom now, more so than I've ever felt before. The days were kind of a routine, meals and naps. He had preschool in the morning.

I was thrilled to be traveling with Marty and Daniela and their son. They were visiting their daughter who is a year and a half old. They were an amazing family and helped me so much with everything. It was great to have their support! Elliott and I will have to go visit them!

Here's a link to my pix on Shutterfly. Go down to the photo book and click on the single page view in the upper right corner. username: petsrgr8t@gmail.com password: Tootsie6 **OR TRY password: elliott09 You shouldn't need it but just in case! Hope it works!

http://elliotthaiti09.shutterfly.com/

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What a day!

I woke up very early, at my usual time today but as I had last looked at the clock around midnight, it was too early!! The cats were being their usual selves but it felt extra obnoxious. So I ignored them and went back to sleep. I had meant to be at the driver licensing office by 8:30 but decided to check my bank account. Ack!! Over $500 is missing. Are you kidding me? Right before I'm going out of the country? I called Bank-not-of-@merica and asked about my missing trip money. They don't know what I'm talking about. They want me to print out all my records and bring them in. Again, are you kidding me? Like I have time for that today? So I said no, I'd take care of it later. Got showered, dressed, fixed my hair and makeup for my picture and as I was getting into my car trying to protect my makeup in the pouring rain, managed to practically knock my self out, I hit my head so hard. Instant headache. Lump on my forehead (under the hair so it won't show in the picture-golly, I'm vain!) that throbbed most of the day. So I drove to get my license and went in to wait. And wait. And wait.

The rest of the day went better. Went to Costco, got some supplies for Elliott's orphanage, some snacks for us, and pictures for his bed. Now I'm working on washing all my clothes and trying to decide just what to pack. I have to be somewhat dressed for winter as I am leaving from Seattle but it was 90 degrees and 87% humidity Wednesday in Haiti. Hot!

I am just going to focus on one step at a time tonight and pray for sleep. I can't wait to see Elliott!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Waiting4Haiti

Oh boy, time sure plays funny tricks. Sometimes it feels like these last few days before I leave for Haiti are going so fast I am panicking because there aren't enough hours in the day. Then other times it feels like time is in very slow motion. I know Sunday evening is going to come very quickly and it will seem very surreal.

This time next week I'll have been with my son (I do so LOVE to write that) for three days. I just can't wait to kiss those cheeks!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

5 days until Miami, 7 days until Haiti

I am so nervous, excited, and scared. My brain is having a REALLY hard time shutting off and going to sleep so I'll update instead. I fly to Miami on the red-eye Sunday night, spend Monday night in Miami, and then fly to Haiti Tuesday morning. I am going with another family I will meet at the airport.

Tonight I got my hair done because being even blonder will help me fit right in...NOT! But my roots were driving me crazy and I was vain enough not to want our pictures of our first meeting to have roots in my hair. Gack! Just writing that sentence down makes me seem so shallow:) I do have other things on my mind, like what the heck to pack. I got a passport holder that goes around my neck, a travel bag for the shower, and some bug spray with DEET. Yep, DEET, the stuff that's really bad for you. But it's that or get malaria from the mosquitoes. I tried some on my wrist to make sure I'm not allergic and this one doesn't even have much of a smell. Now I'm trying to decide if I want to check the weather reports, as its still hurricane season.

Besides all the packing questions and making sure I have everything I need, there's the what is going to happen when I see Elliott for the first time? Will he cry? What is he going to think when this white lady he's never seen before wants to hold him and tell him she loves him? Will he laugh and play with me? Will he get some idea of just how much he is loved? How much I think of him, every day, every hour? Will he know that I believe God has brought us together? Will I overwhelm him with my own emotions? Will he feel the healing he has already brought to my heart after 20 years of wanting a child? What the hell am I going to do when I have to say good-bye?

Only time will tell. And if you read this, please send a prayer our way for us to connect and have a wonderful time together. Please say a prayer for my safe journey. I am grateful, oh so grateful, for this amazing and joyous experience. Blessings to all who read this! Peace be with you!

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