Friday, August 31, 2007

"He's Perfect!..."

...are the first words Heather told me about their son! My name is Jessica and I am one of the many best friends she has. I was lucky enough to be painting their house with her mother-in-law when Heather called so I got a few details! She is sending a blog soon for me to post for her, but until then I know she would want her friends across the miles to have an update!

Heather said their flights went well! They made it to Ethiopia fine, but somehow encountered a very interesting and lengthy taxi cab ride to the care center. (I'm hoping she has more details on that!) They finally made it to the care center Friday morning and were able to meet Charlie Fekadu Beauchamp for the first time! They seem to be bonding so well already! Heather explained that he has already called Adam "Da Da" and let Heather kiss a boo boo on his elbow when he fell down. He is also running over to them from across the room with arms wide open! I am hoping to get more details from her soon and I will post them as soon as I get them! For now all I know is that they are in ET, they are safe, and they are a happy family!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

7 hours and counting....

Until time to GO!!!
I can't sleep, well I don't think I could, but I can't settle myself down to try. I keep thinking back, to last year, around Halloween, when I looked at Adam and said "what are we waiting for?" and he said "I don't know". We both KNEW it was our time, and that we were doing the right thing. We barely discussed our actual decision, because there was no doubt. November 1st we applied to CHS, and those days and weeks and months of paper and meetings and errands that I thought would never end....did. And here we are. No amount of daydreaming or planning could have prepared me for what it really feels like. I am about to fly around the world to be united with the little boy who is now our son, who will call me mom, who will watch football with his daddy. He will go to kindergarten, and ride a bike. He will help me cook dinner for fun, and play with my friends' beautiful children, and he will ride on his Pop's shoulders. I am going to look into the eyes of his mother and promise her with all that I am to do a job she will be proud of. I will mean those words more fiercely than any other words I will ever say. I am going to watch my amazing husband become an amazing father. And our parents, oh, I can't even begin to explain how we love those 4 people. They have taught us everything, given us everything, and most importantly, they showed us the way to be the kind of families we came from, and dream about having for ourselves. It is because of Pat, and Allen, and Alice, and Bob. We are bringing your grandbaby home!
Thanks to all my friends who left sweet comments today, for thinking of us. I will return the favor for any of you waiting. It's incredible to share this journey with all of you.
And with that,


So, we are all packed (mostly) and ready to go ( kind of). We still have a few things to do today, which is what I should be getting ready for right now. Adam is snoozing next to me, and I have learned that the longer he sleeps, the better mood he will be in and I do not feel like riding around with cranky-stressed-sleepy Adam (again).
Packing was an adventure. I honestly don't know how some people pack so light for this trip. I don't think we overpacked, but WOW we have a lot of stuff.
I could barely sleep last night, so I kow tonite will be a challange as well. We were up until 2, and STILL I lay awake, thinking about this adventure that we are about to begin. It's almost too much to really imagine.
I am really excited about meeting our new friends as well. You know who you are! I think we are going to have a great group.
Sorry the blog has been kinda lagging lately. I am sure I don't have to explain why!
I will try to update tonite. Maybe even some pictures!

Friday, August 24, 2007


...And an adorable new photo. I can't WAIT to hold him!!!

Look at that hair! :)
Hopefully I can update the blog later today, we are SO busy!!
Love to all of you.

Monday, August 20, 2007

It's getting so close!

The last few days have been busy, busy, busy. Shopping, packing, building the house, working...I have moments when I start to lose it and have a nervous breakdown, but then someone wonderful will talk me out of it and remind me that it is OKAY....Everything will be fine, and I need to focus on getting ready for this amazing trip, and to meet our son!
Tonite the ladies of our adoption group met and I am telling you, it was so good for me. I love being able to relate to this amazing group of women. I feel special to be included with them, and honored to call them friends. After I left, I felt so much better. Seeing them is a reminder of what I should be focused on. Thanks girls!
The rest of the week I will be working (when I have time, ha!) picking out carpet, packing, doing paperwork...and just trying to stay positive. I have been way too hard on myself lately, and had some really pitiful moments of...self-doubt and anxiety. And I am usually a laid back person. So I am resigning to let go of this pressure, and just do the best I can.
Being excited is way more fun than making mysef sick worrying!! :)
(Please note. My next post may not be this upbeat, but I reallyreallyreally will try.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Closing Time...

After much conversation and thinking and planning and worrying...Adam and I have decided I should close down my beloved studio. At first, I felt like I was back stepping, that all photographers want their own space to create and build a client base. But the more I think about having Charlie home, the more I know this is the right thing to do. I can still work, my camera can go with me wherever. I will still do weddings, I will still photograph families and children...Just in a different, less stressful way! I am so excited now...SO, let's add this to the list of things to do in the next two weeks...(Yep, we want to be out by the time we leave.)


1. Prepare everything for the trip

2. Finish building cabin and move in

3. Help my sister who is getting married next month

4. Close down and sell what we do not need from the studio.

5. Pack.

Woohoo! See, I KNEW I wanted to be so busy while we prepared to travel. Time is absolutely flying by at this point! I feel...relieved, happy, excited, refreshed, and also like I am going to cry!

I wrote a note on my website to inform my customers of the change. Lots of them are now personal friends, so I felt the need to explain.

I can't believe how much my life is changing right now!

Thank you to my friends and family who helped me with this choice. I can't tell you how much your support means to me. I always need it, and it always steers me in the right direction...
Oh, my GA ladies...hope you got the news about our Ladies' Night! Monday, 7pm, at Sheba in Atlanta. I hope you guys can all make it! If I have sawdust in my hair, just ignore it. :)

Monday, August 13, 2007

WHAT is my problem???

I was so happy this afternoon after getting home from the Delta office where I finally fixed our tickets for the trip. OF COURSE I come home and by some miracle, someone on the forum asked a question about what the baby's ticket should say. Instantly I knew I did it wrong. SO here I am on hold with Delta AGAIN sorting out another doozy caused by me. I am seriously wondering how I can function like this. Am I totally scatterbrained, or just unlucky? I used to think my flightiness was a cute quirk. Now it is upsetting that I just cannot seem to be one of those people who can just get things right. I hope this isn't a reflection of how I will be as a mother. :(
I was told just now that they updated his ticket in the system and will issue a new ticket in Rome. We shall see. They cannot mail me a new one because we have a paper ticket.
My poor mother. I keep telling her not to worry, but I can see why she does, with me in charge!!
Sorry for the pity party. I will cheer up yet again, I'm sure.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Everybody's workin' ON the weekend...

Oh, that's not how the song goes...but it is for me! Wedding season is slowing down now, but seniors are in full swing. I have SEVEN appointments in the studio tomorrow from 10 until 4. It's GREAT, but very hectic. Here are my favorite shots from my wedding on Saturday. They are a really sweet couple, and the wedding was very pretty...just HOT.

I can't stand this weather we are having. The heat is really driving me insane. 105?? Really? That is just not normal.

Today I heard some awesome news!! My friend Kari got moved to our travel group! I really think it is fate! We have been through the whole wait together. Their dossier was in the day before ours, so we always hoped to travel together. And now, after we both stressed out all spring and summer ("are we going to make it???") we get this great surprise. I really like all the people in our group. We are going to have a lot of fun.

The closer we get to travel, the less scared and more excited I am getting. Yeah, we are gonna be on a plane for 30+ hours to get there....Yeah I will be nervous...things will go wrong (minor i hope)...but Adam and I will be I know we can handle it all. Then when we get to meet Fekadu...I can only imagine what that moment will feel like.
Sunday we get to have some non-planning, non-moving free time and go to Six Flags with our best friends Jess and Wes. Yaaaay for roller coasters and $10 hamburgers!
Have a great weekend everyone.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Leaving on a Jet Plane? PLEASE?

I spent all afternoon on the phone trying to redo the Amsterdam flight. After several hours of figuring out options, we have a flight on hold from Rome to Atlanta. This is what we will book if we don't end up using the Ethiopian Airlines flight that Susan Parr is looking into. Since the Amsterdam tickets were mailed out today, we have to take them to the Delta office in Atlanta to get those miles back...It has been crazy, but we will get home one way or another.

Last night Adam and I went to Target and bought...basically one of everything. We came armed with a great packing list from the CHS forum, with a few things added or subtracted. It was a lot of fun! Now that we have had two baby showers and this shopping trip, we literally cannot walk through our bedroom. Adam has to climb across the bed to get to his side. It is a mess, but I am starting to go through Charlie's stuff and decide what to bring, what to keep here, ect...We really have no storage right now, and since we are moving into the new house in about 2 weeks, we are just going to have to stack it up until time to move it! Phew!

The BEST thing about today was we FINALLY received an update on Fekadu's measurements. No picture, but it's okay. He has grown! Since the referral, he has grown 1 inch ( now up to 32 inches) and gained 1.5 pounds ( now 21.5 pounds.)!! I can't believe he is real and he is ours, and we are leaving in TWENTY ONE DAYS. I want to be on that plane (ANY plane, haha) now.

As excited as I am to go, I think about Fekadu's birth mother a lot more often as we get closer. I try to figure out how many days it has been since she has seen him. I wonder if she counts those days as well. I say her name out loud, to hear what it sounds like. I imagine him as a tiny baby, and I wonder what it must have been like for her, how long she must have struggled with this decision. I hope we get a chance to meet her, and his father, and I hope she trusts us to love him and take care of him like I know she wanted to. It's a struggle to me that this woman's pain is becoming my greatest happiness. How do I say thank you for that? I hope I do not crumble when/if we meet this brave woman.

Okay, now that I am totally emotional, I am going to post something comical to lighten the mood. A picture of our redonkulously packed out bedroom. YES I know the bed is unmade. I usually make it every morning. (ahem).

Saturday, August 4, 2007

We are booked!

Thanks for all the sweet comments about our little cute one. I can't believe we will be holding him in 4 short weeks. For the first time in this journey, I feel like the time might go by quickly, because we have SO much to do. I am glad though, I want to be so busy I can't worry.
This afternoon, we got the final word on our travel date...We are going to be in the August 31st group. This whole time, we have been planning on using the skymiles that Adam and his dad have accumulated with their jobs. (We ended up using ALL of my FIL's miles, but he seemed to be glad to donate them!) It is an amazing gift, seeing as we booked the entire trip and only had to pay taxes and fees! Unreal. The crazy part is the adventure route we are taking. Because of the millennium celebration, flights are harder to find right now, and I guess they only let you use skymiles on certain flights? We were able to be really flexible. All I care about it that we get there! So here is our itinerary:
Wednesday, August 29th-10:20 am. Leave Atlanta - Delta
Layover in DC
Arrive JFK in NYC - 2:42pm.
5:00 pm. NYC to Paris - Air France
Arrive in Paris - 6:00 am
7:20 am - Air France to Amsterdam
8:40 am. Arrive in Amsterdam
10:50 am. Amsterdam to Addis Ababa - KLM
9:10 pm. Arrive in Addis. I have never seen a more insane flight plan, but hey...I am so game! I can't wait. Adam said "bring a book"...Ha. Bring ALL the books! I think we estimated 28 hours total flying time and like, 35 total travel time. But we saved like, thousands of dollars! And it's great because the return flight is much easier. Addis to Amsterdam and Amsterdam to Atlanta! Home sweet home. We should arrive here Sunday, September 9th at around 2pm. And yes, we are doing the airport welcome home thing, but we aren't going to pass Charlie around just yet. He will be really- well, I don't know how he will be, but it's mostly going to be a wave, some hugs, I'm sure you'll get to see me cry a lot. :)
I had some big time highs and lows today...the highs are obvious! The low....was awful. As Bob, my FIL, was booking our flights, he had to read our names from our passports. Now, I had checked our passports months ago to make sure we were good on the expiration, and we were. So WHY did I not think to check my freaking NAME??? Sure enough, I never changed it to my married name. I got the passport before the wedding so we could go to Paris. And that was that. So as he is reading my maiden name, I break into a cold sweat and feel my hear sinking into my toes. I felt like the worst person ever. Anyway, I rushed home and posted the situation on the wonderful CHS forum, and a lot of the people helped assure me that it would be fine, since my passport does indeed match my ticket. They should just use my passport...The trouble we may run into is at the Embassy appointment. I am going to call our agency rep first thing Monday and see what we need to do. I can't get my passport changed that quickly, and I don't have a DL with my maiden name on it. So, it has to be okay. It really just has to....I was so upset. I feel much better now.
I guess I need to get back to normal sleeping hours! I stay up way too late. That will end soon enough, when the little one starts giving us a wake up call! I can't wait. Oh, how many times have I said that? "I can't wait". Must be the number one overused statement ever....especially in the adoption process! I mean, you have to wait, but you just can't. But you do. The waiting is almost over, finally. Let the fun begin!!
I really hope to talk to the people in our travel group. If you are going the same time, let us know! We are excited to meet all of you.
Sunday I have another baby shower! How fun...and then the John Mayer concert! I am such a lucky gal.

Friday, August 3, 2007


I am tearing across the internet like a madwoman!! I am so excited happy relieved terrified grateful overwhelmed amazed and AHHHHHH!!!!

Here is our beautiful boy at 15 months old in May...
If you are reading this, I want to thank you. The people we have met and have helped us through this have impacted my life in a way I can never really thank you for.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Passing the Time...

I KNOW if I just went to bed, I would wake up and have our answer...Did we get through court? Are we officially parents? But of course, sleep is not in the cards for me for a couple more hours, so I am going to do this survey that I found on Diane's blog. Mine won't be as clever, but here goes!
5 Things I was doing 10 years ago

1. About to start my senior year of high school! Wow, that's crazy.
2. Working at a movie theater with all of my best friends.
3. I was totally in love with my best guy friend, Jeff. We are still good friends!
4. Hating my hair.
5. Being over dramatic.

Favorite Snack Foods

1. ANY kind of dip or spread with bread. Crab dip, Onion dip, whatever. I am a dip fool!
2. Kettle Corn
3. Guacamole
4. Hummus and Cholula hot sauce with pita
5. Dill Pickles

5 Songs I know all the Lyrics to

1. Me and Bobby Mcghee- Jess and I sing this every chance we get, and never need the screen at karaoke.
2. Vienna, Billy Joel- My favorite song to sing!
3. American Pie- I worked in a bar where a singer played it all the time, and I love it.
4. Shoop- Little known fact about me. I used to REALLY love Salt -n- Pepa. If you ever hear me singing this, cut me off.
5. Maggie May- another Heather and Jess classic!

5 Things I would do if I were a millionaire

1. Get all my friends and family out of debt
2. Build my dream house.
3. Donate money to charity...yes, I really would!
4. Travel a LOT.
5. Buy the most amazing camera ever.

5 Bad Habits

1. Okay....I almost skipped this one. I hate to confess this to all of you who don't know me well. I still have not quit smoking. I KNOW it's awful, and I AM quitting very soon. It's hard when everything is so stressful! So yeah, no lectures. I know.
2. I leave empty shampoo and conditioner bottles in the shower until they are practically falling on me. I clean my bathroom, but I forget to get those sometimes.
3. I give way too much information to people. Adam has to prep me when we go somewhere with people. A simple question could have you there, several minutes later, nodding and tuning me out. Kinda like right now.
4. I twirl my hair constantly. I do not smack gum at the same time...I think it's more subtle than that.
5. I eat too late at night.

5 Things I like to Do

1. Hang out at the pool with my family and friends.
2. Go out to dinner.
3. Watch TV shows with Adam.
4. Shop online for baby stuff.
5. Travel.

5 Things I shall Never Wear Again

1. SIGH. A babydoll dress....with or without Doc Martens. My friend Catherine and I had a plan to bring this back, because I really miss them. Anyone else in??
2. Heels to a wedding (as the photographer...there is no pain like it).
3. Overall shorts.
4. My Flashdance Halloween costume. I would wear it every year if I could! I love legwarmers.
5. My favorite Bob Dylan shirt, unless I lose about 80 pounds. I shrank it in the laundry. :(

So there it is. Hopefully I won't be cast out of society.
Well, that took care of about half an hour. I wish I could just SLEEEEEEEEP!!!
I'm way, way too excited!!
Tune in tomorrow for pictures of our I being to optimistic???

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


CHS is having an all day training tomorrow, so we won't hear the court decision until Friday. Tonite our thoughts are with our friends and the CHS staff in MN...We hope everyone is safe! I was so sorry to hear this awful news tonite.