Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Cases Have Been Cleared!

It's official. We are heading back to Addis Ababa to pick up the triplets and bring them home! It feels so surreal - especially since we've spent years dreaming about this moment.

It's hard to believe it's finally happening!

We got the email Friday morning from the U.S. Embassy saying "Cases are cleared; request for visa interview." I honestly thought it was a mistake. I didn't think we were going to travel until mid to late October. But here we are, running around like crazy people, making travel arrangements and trying to figure out what exactly we have to pack for our babies.

I've gotten as far as LOTS of diapers, wipes, formula, snacks and of course several changes of cloths (in case of blowouts, which are probably inevitable, on the 16-hour plane ride home.)

As one mother of triplets said - who also adopted from Ethiopia - "just remember the plane ride is just one day out of your life. If the kids cry the whole time and things are insane, who cares. You'll never see those people again anyway."

That made me feel better. I also feel better because we have three fabulous women traveling with us to Addis and back. So there will be plenty of hands to hold the babies.

Like I said, I can't believe this is finally, FINALLY happening.

We are leaving as a couple next week and coming back as a family of five. Pretty damn amazing!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Doro Wat Night in Warwick

In celebration of the triplets turning 11-months-old yesterday... I decided to whip up some authentic Ethiopian cuisine. OK, it may not be completely authentic, especially since I couldn't get my hands on ingredients like fenugreek seeds for the Berbere. But, hey all you can do is your best ... right!?

I decided to make Doro Wat , which is a spicy chicken stew, and one of the most recognized dishes in Ethiopia. The recipe calls for hard boiled eggs, but I ended up skipping those. Wasn't feeling it.

So here is my culinary masterpiece bubbling away in our wok. (Believe me it tastes better than it looks!)
And below is the final product. I served it over couscous with cranberries and chunks of mango. It was quite delicious. On the side I served an Ethiopian cucumber and tomato salad. (Again, straying a little from the original recipe, I added a little fresh basil from our herb garden.)

So with our bellies full of "almost" authentic Ethiopian food, we went to bed last night and woke up to an email this morning from the U.S. Embassy saying... "We would like to inform you the consular section completed screening for your Form I-600 petition.  We will now begin the review of orphan status for the I-604, Determination on Child for Adoption."

All this very formal talk just means our paperwork is getting processed and things are moving along! Fingers crossed everything goes smoothly the rest of the way.

Maybe my next culinary challenge will be making Injera! Has anyone successfully made this spongy little delight yet?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Triplets' New Digs!

I was looking forward to a long, lazy holiday weekend - but instead what I got was hard labor. OK. Not really. But in three days we did manage to complete the triplets' room. I've had a vision of what I've wanted their room to look like for months - and it all started when I spied some birch tree decals on Etsy. I LOVE Etsy. I love it.

What I didn't love was installing them on the wall. Honestly, I was scared that I was going to make a mess of them, tear them, get frustrated and abandon the whole thing. I had to give myself a pep talk - and after scanning some how-to videos on Youtube on applying decals - I was ready to go.

Put a bird on it!
Four-and-half-hours later, a few mishaps, and presto: The birch tree wall was done. I was thoroughly impressed with myself. Just ask my husband. I promptly rewarded myself with an ice-cold Dos Equis!

Then it was on to the cribs. Three massive boxes containing all kinds of parts and pieces. After lots of research I chose the Babyletto Hudson crib in white. Not exactly my dream crib, which was the Oeuf Sparrow Crib, but at $730 bucks a piece - I had to find an alternative. So the Hudson crib was the next best thing. Remember, we have to buy THREE of everything. Things get pricey fast! And honestly, I really love the look of the Babyletto. It's simple, modern and sturdy. Perfect for my three little ones.

And the best part... they were super easy to put together. I had all three done in under 2 hours. Again, totally impressed with myself. I was on a roll. 

Saturday was a trip to IKEA. I love the idea of IKEA - but I hate actually going to the store. It's a maze you can't escape. Also, those damn Swedes make everything so difficult to put together - and I'm Swedish (a quarter Swedish that is)! On a positive note, I was inspired by some fabrics I saw there. At $6.99 a yard, I bought three different patterns and framed them in a white frame that was just $19.99. It's amazing what you can do with a glue gun. Presto: Original wall art for under $30 bucks a pop. 

Fabircs: Annamoa.

We also bought a really cool light fixture. I had originally made one with balsa wood. Unfortunately, that DIY project didn't quite turn out the way I wanted it to. Seriously, working with balsa wood is a B-I-T-C-H.

The room was looking good. My vision was coming alive. But what really pulled the room together were the drapes. My one big splurge. White and gray zig zag fabulousness from Carousel Designs. (You'll also notice the bird mobiles hanging in the middle of the drapes. We found these hand-painted gems at a small store when we were in Ethiopia.) Throw in a basket from West Elm (that I waited to go on sale) and we're almost there. Just waiting for the Ryder Rocking chair, also from West Elm, to be delivered. (That was also on sale too.) Actually, they just delivered that 5 minutes ago. Here's what it looks like:

Oh. As I am writing this, my husband yelled downstairs that we got the email from the U.S. Embassy we've been waiting for saying they have are paperwork and are now processing it. It's been 4 weeks and 3 days since our court decree, so things are moving along. We are one step closer to bringing them home. 

I can't wait for them to sleep in their new digs. That's when the room will really be complete!


Other items in the room:

Alexa Shag Rug on OK. It's white. I know it will probably get destroyed. But it looks great now. 

Crib Mattresses: L.A. Baby Organic Cotton Mattress on Amazon. (they fit perfectly in the Babyletto Hudson Crib)

Sheets: (another splurge) Giggle better basics orange stripe organic fitted sheets. (note: if you're wondering why all the organic, I once wrote an article when I was working at Fox News about "Greening Your Baby" and it convinced me to buy at least some stuff organic.)

West Elm Basket. It was originally $99 and I got it for $59 dollars, although I don't think there are any left online. I would check a West Elm store.

Custom Curtain Rod: Highland Forge. They are great to work with. The price will vary depending on length and material.

Floating shelves: IKEA Lack wall shelf.

Changing table. IKEA Hemnes 3 drawer chest.

Drawer Knobs. Lisbon Knob from Anthropologie.

Wall Color: Cumulus Cloud from Benjamin Moore.

Accent Wall. Peacock Blue from Benjamin Moore. (Don't judge this color until it dries. It looks a little neon when it's wet.)

Various stuffed animals from Babies R Us and Amazon.

Waiting for my 3 little birds! (We bought these in Ethiopia as well)