Saturday, March 29, 2008

Day by Day

The past week has been so hectic! I had a stomach virus on Easter so we didn't go to church and I basically slept all day. Thank goodness for Daddy! I was drugged for the best part of the day and regular daddy turned into super daddy caring for mommy and child with the greatest of ease!

I have been trying to get some of our paperwork done so we can continue to move forward with the adoption of our daughter. Re-doing all of the paperwork seems a bit daunting and re-doing it while caring for Ian is dang near impossible! The ONLY time I have to work on it is after my sweet pea heads to bed and even then I can't relax because of his new crawling skills!! Daddy tends to not notice when baby wakes up and crawls out of the bed!! AHHH! One morning Cortney and I were getting ready and when we came into the bedroom Ian was rolling around on the floor!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!! YIKES! I panicked and snatched him up out of the floor, freaking him out worse than the fall I think. Would it make more sense for him to sleep in the pack-n-play? Yes, yes it would. Have I tried to put him in the pack-n-play to sleep? Yes, yes I have and if mommy intends to ever get sleep...Ian will not be in the pack-n-play! Spoiled? I'm sure he is. Rotten? Some might say. He leads and I follow...he never steers me wrong!
Ian is progressing really well. He has started really crawling in the last week. He gets up on his hands and knees and can go ANYWHERE! His favorite places to go are the ones we keep dragging him out of. Our poor doggie, Pacey, really hates that Ian is so mobile. Ian tries his best to steal Pacey's bone right out of his mouth! Pacey politely declines sharing and makes every attempt to shoo Ian away. Ian, being the persistent little guy he is, doesn't like being shooed away so Pacey has to get up and walk into another room where he gets a moments peace before Ian makes his way back to him!! It is an entertaining saga that basically never ends! Those two keep us in stitches! Ian is pulling up and trying to stand on his own now. He lets go of things, sometimes haphazardly, and gives standing his best shot. Sometimes it works, sometimes not but either way he always trusts that someone will be behind him to catch him before he knocks himself unconscious on the floor! So far...someone has been there!
Parenting this child continues to be the most amazing thing I have ever done. We have quite the little love affair going on! I live for those kisses and not-so-soft pats on the cheeks! Nothing I have ever accomplished makes me feel as rewarded as when he sees me in the morning and smiles that big gummy smile!
We can't wait until our family is complete with our sweet daughter. Even though I feel lost in the paperwork once again, knowing that she is waiting for us puts things into perspective. I can't wait until we are all under the same roof (hopefully not all in the same bed) and I can kiss her goodnight!
I leave you with some pictures of our little man.

PS. M*' picture has been removed from the Bright Futures Camp page. She is no longer available for adoption because she is on her way to becoming a Clevinger!!

Pulling up on the toy!

Enjoying the gifts from the Easter Bunny!

Happy First Easter sweet cheeks!

Pacey loves him...most of the time (meal time mainly)!

He knows that this smile makes mommy laugh and gets Ian away with ANYTHING!!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Well, I don't know what to say other than...God is Awesome! He has placed another beautiful child, 9000 miles away, directly in our path once again. M* is 8 years old and she was all set to be a Bright Futures camper until just over a week ago. The moment we saw her little face we knew that God was telling us something. I contacted Gladney and asked if we could adopt her even though we cannot participate in the camp (because we live in KY). After a few days of making sure that we would be allowed to proceed we got "the email". All of the families who have gotten referrals or are waiting on one will get "the email"!!! The one with your future child's name in the subject line. The email said, "M*......more info..... Here are two books I highly recommend for you and your husband in preparing to adopt your daughter". AHHH, our DAUGHTER!

So now we start over with the paperwork. The dreaded applications and dossier but this time is a little different than with Ian. I already have this beautiful picture to help me get through the wait.

A little note about Gladney for any family lurking and trying to decide which agency to use. USE GLADNEY!! Adoption in general is a long and tedious process. It is full of waiting and uncertainty. I can say with total confidence that the people at Gladney love the children they are helping and care deeply for the families in the process. They may not know exactly how you are feeling in every step, but they truly care about you.

So this time around no pictures can be posted but if you are a Gladney family you probably know where the Bright Futures page is located and maybe you would like to have a look. (Hint hint)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Heart's Still in Ethiopia

It is with tearful joy that I report this news to my dear friends and family. For weeks my prayers have had a theme...provision and push. I have begged God to make the provisions necessary for us to do his work and to give us the push we needed to step out on faith. Since we returned home from Ethiopia with Ian my heart has been heavy for the many orphans we met while there. Today we got the okay to proceed with the adoption of our soon to be daughter. We were fortunate to meet her while in Ethiopia but had no idea that one day God may unite us as a family. I hope that you will pray for us as we embark on this wonderful journey once again and follow God as he grows the Clevinger clan by one remarkable 8 year old girl.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Muy Finito

Finally our house is finished. Every part (except rain gutters) is finished. Well, we still need some grass too but that will come with sunshine! We just stood out there this evening looking at the yard, where the mess was just hours earlier, in amazement that finally we don't have a port-a-potty in our front yard!! YAY!!!
Tomorrow is round two of shots. Ian is just getting over an ear infection so tomorrow we will be back to fevers and a less than jovial baby=( I know that every mom says this but Ian really is the best baby ever! 99.9% of the time he is smiling, laughing, clapping, and playing. He has made this whole first time parent thing a piece of cake. I just never knew how much I could love this little person. I just look at him and get all choked up because I know how much I wanted him and now he is person! (If you can't tell I still am in disbelief that he is really mine.)
Tomorrow also is the day that we can file the petition to re-adopt Ian in KY. I can't believe that we have to do this but here we go...adopting our son again! This is a process that we have to go through because of the type of visa that Ian was issued when we left Ethiopia. Since we did not meet him until after he was already adopted by us, he is not granted automatic citizenship in the US. All of this = more time at the local courthouse and more money! Our lawyer is a hideous man that is part of my company's free legal service. He has been rude, snide, and just plain hateful about the whole process. But...he is free, so we are enduring the pain for the sake of the wallet. I keep thinking that he can't mess this up hopefully he won't prove me wrong.
I have posted some pictures of Ian eating peas and carrots by himself! He is doing so much these days I can't even stand it sometimes. I want to sit on him and not let him grow up on me!!! I have also posted pics of our finished house! Enjoy!

Infectious Smile...

The hand is almost as good as the food!

Check out Pacey running through the mud! AHHHH

Sunday, March 9, 2008

constantly evolving

Life is good. Really good. I can remember (and sometimes look back on) my old posts. That deep longing can been seen in my words and I can even remember how it felt just a little for brief moments. That desire I had to roll over and see his face sleeping or even better, smiling back at me. The days that felt endless as we waited for the call and all of the unknowns. Ahh, but those days are behind us and life is more realistic now. I eat, clean, fold laundry, pay bills, brush my teeth, fix my hair, dress, use the potty...with only one free hand! If carrying a twenty pound wriggling child around for 14 hours doesn't snap you back to reality...nothing will!!! I am the guilty party who led Ian to believe that my body is his personal taxi around the house so now we are attached at the hip!

I have to say that I think I am slowly evolving into something that resembles normal behavior now. I may be alone here but I wanted to try to share some of the things I went through emotionally when we first got home with our little sweetie. While we were in Ethiopia I was able to fully experience Ian and motherhood. I had him mostly all to myself. Cortney was there but even when he had him I still had "them" all to myself. Then the moment we stepped off of the plane in the US, I knew that I had to share him with lots of people who had waited and wanted him for a long time as well. I am ashamed to say it but I would actually get upset if anyone took him from me or took him and walked away from me. I was so afraid that he would like someone better than me or even as much as me. I read the books and I know all of the ways children attach and bond and I knew that involving others in Ian's life would not keep us from bonding. However, I still chased anyone who held him around and sulked until they gave him back. It was especially hard for me to watch my sister interact with Ian because she is so good at it . She has three great kids and she just seemed to ooze mommy charm. Then there was that first day when I had to leave him and go to work. I was sure that he wouldn't love me when I got back. All I could think was that I had brought him here to this strange place and I had left him motherless all day. I wanted to call and check on him a million more times during the day than I did but just hearing him talk in the background made me very sad. I missed him so much that I wanted to quit work. (Then I remembered that I will have to work forever to pay off my student loans!) Anyway, on to the evolving part that I declared in the beginning. It is getting easier to let others hold him now. He loves me, I know it! I am getting more confident that he is mine forever and this won't all be yanked away from me soon. Work is still very difficult but we make it one week at a time.

Ian has started doing something that resembles crawling. I am trying to get a video up of his "inch worming". I think crawling isn't too far off from the looks of things. He is chattering up a storm but still just "Na-na" and "Da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da". You get the idea...lots of "da-da" and ZERO "Ma-ma"! He enjoys being read to now. Until the past few days he just wanted to attack the book and stick it in his mouth but he actually looks at the pages now! He loves the Wiggles! I turn them on and and we dance and sing along.