So now that the brunt of the cold seems to have passed, I can get back to more important things, like blogging. Jason has cautioned me against writing too much in a single post (which I apparently am already generally guilty of), so I'll have to break it into a bunch of smaller posts over the next few days. Despite being sick last week, I do have things to write about-- like Casey's new shoes (compliments of Grandma Linda and Papaw Jim), the bachelorette party I sort of hosted, and an image of Casey's name-writing abilities.
For those of you who don't know, the wait in China is growing by the minute. We knew when we opted to return to China for B.S. #3 that it was probably a 2 - 3 year wait. But now we think we may be looking at more like a 4 or even 5 year wait. As our paperwork was submitted in October of 2007, it means getting a referral in around October of 2011 and traveling in early 2012. And that puts at least 6 years between Marcie and B.S. #3, a few more years of an age difference than we planned or are even prepared for. We've decided to pursue an interim, concurrent adoption. And though it's not definite, for the time being, we're contemplating Ethiopia. We are not planning on withdrawing from the China program. And we're not planning on beginning this next adoption process until the summer, probably. The plan is to be home with B.S. #4 (out of order, we know) some time in mid-2010. We'll decide what to do about our adoption from China as we acclimate to being a family of 5. If we decide to proceed (which is our current plan), instead of a 6 year age gap, we're looking more at a 2-3 year age gap. Not sure how we'll afford four kids. Or where we'll sleep them all. I mean, our house isn't tiny, but it's not roomy either. Four bedrooms and 1700-ish square feet feels crowded awfully fast. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Anyway, I'm documenting our Ethiopia journey (in case that's the ride we decide to take) at Seeking Baby S. in Ethiopia. I'm pretty must just posting Ethiopia-adoption-related items there right now, but who knows how it'll grow.
Now you may be shaking your head at us for mixing and matching children from different cultures into our family-- or even contemplating doing so. And you're certainly entitled to your opinion. We're no Brad and Angelina, and we don't have the means to traipse the globe with our klan of kids, reminding them of their roots and integrating cultural information and traditions into our daily lives with great consistency. This is something I struggle with because of course I want my children to feel attached to their places of birth-- it's part of who they are. But in the end, children from Ethiopia need homes, and we have one we'd like to share. So there it is. For now.
Anyway, all this is a very long-winded introduction to two photos my good friend snapped today (unbeknownst to me!) when we were out in a suburban strip mall for lunch with our kids. Because there was no music class today, I took the kids down to Lucas's house for a play date. That's where we stayed during the fire storm, and Casey loves visiting Lucas because Lucas has two cats. And also because Lucas lives near the boats, trains, and airplanes. When I announced we were going to Lucas's house for a play date this morning, Casey's eyes got wide and his jaw dropped open: "REALLY!?!" he cried. And he raced off to get dressed immediately, then proceeded to hound me for the next thirty minutes while I got ready to go.
After music class each week we've been eating lunch together with Lucas's family at Quizno's, which happens to be next door to the music class. Casey was the first one to notice the sandwich joint from their sign. He kept telling us, "It's toasty!" It took me a while to learn that's the advertisement for Quizno's. Apparently Casey has seen this on T.V. and it's made an impression. Anyway, with no music class this week, we decided to at least keep the lunch part of our routine. But the parking lot was a bit crowded, and I parked pretty far away from the Quizno's.
When lunch was over, and it was time to go, I walked the three kids over to my car. Casey had driven to the restaurant in Lucas's car, and we needed to transition his booster back into the mini van. But of course none of the kids wanted to be separated. So Grace drove her car over to mine, and I walked with the kids. And here's how she captured me on film:
Is this my future? I can only hope that in the years to come, when I am crossing busy parking lots and intersections with my children that they, like these three kiddos today, will listen and follow my directions when I call out "Freeze" and "Stay close" and "Hold hands." I should only be so lucky . . .