Friday, January 02, 2009

2008 (and 2007) in Review

First paragraph from first post of each month for 2007 and 2008. This will be really interesting or really boring!

January 2007: Saw this done on a friend's blog, who saw it done on someone else's, who saw it done on someone else's, etc., etc., etc., Rather than just doing first sentences, I decided to do first paragraphs of the first post from each month of my blog in 2006. I didn't start the blog until March, so January and February are a bust!

February 2007: Yesterday Heather, who has been waiting over 16 months since referral for her two Ethiopian children to come home, put up an amazing post on her blog. It really resonated in my heart and I've been thinking about it a lot since I read it--probably because I've experienced that too.

March 2007: What a crazy week this has been. I think I will sleep long and hard this weekend (Eric always gets up early with the kids while I sleep in on Saturdays). I don't have anything to share on the Bright front, so you'll just have to read about a few decisions I (and Eric) have made in the last 24 hours instead. ;-)

April 2007: Amsterdam to Accra--
Well, it's a little after 3pm and we haven't taken off yet. I'm hoping they will be able to make up for lost time in the air. If I understand correctly the flight will only be 30 minutes late arriving even though we are 1.5 hours late leaving. Also! I have another aisle seat AND there is an empty seat next to me! Ahhh....I should be able to get some descent sleep this flight. I was kind of hoping to make a friend, but the gentleman next to me doesn't appear to speak much English (He's Dutch).

May 2007: Here are some things I couldn't live without here (or at least wouldn't have wanted to)!
BAGS of water rather than bottles!
My flashlight!
Wet Ones (especially for dirty feet)
Clearasil pre-moistened "Daily Cleans Acne Fighting Wipes) VERY refreshing and I don't have to worry about whether or not water is available)
Hydrocortizone cream--has come in very useful for heat rash, infected bites, and other small skin infections
Local cell phone--if you'll come more than once it's worth the $45 to buy a phone and add minutes inexpensively throughout your stay. Even if you're coming only once I think it would almost be worth it. Just gift it to a Ghanaian friend when you leave!
My journal!
baggies--sandwich, quart, and gallon sized (always a million uses)
immodium and pepto (I take one a day to keep the "D" away but you'll also definitely want this if you DO get sick!)
handkerchiefs--you can buy them for .30 each here, or bring them from home. You'll notice that many Ghanaians carry a hanky or rag to wipe the sweat away. This is a case where it definitely feels right to "do as the locals do!"

June 2007: Well, this is my last post from DutcHotel. I'm heading out in about 1/2 an hour to move to a local guest house that is just 1/2 a block from the new AAI house. No hot water or AC, but they do have a generator so at least I will always have a fan. And for 150,000cedis ($15) per night I can definitely deal with it. The room looks nice and clean and I have my own bathroom. No restaurant, but there is a local chop bar right next door that serves chicken, rice, and french fries and I learned today how to buy local porridge for Bright in the morning. We should be fine.

July 2007: What a fun weekend we had at my parent's house! First, for all of those that were worried (wink) we didn't receive any intentional or unintentional racist remarks! Yea! Although I did insult my brother-in-law (unintentionally) when I joked about him going to smoke his drugs (cigarettes). =-(

August 2007: I'm sure I'm not the only person to have gone through this. I find myself in some kind of withdrawl for not having a big project. We're not adopting. We're not planning to move. We're not redecorating. We're not looking for a new car. There are no big health issues to learn about. I don't know what to do with myself!

September 2007: I wrote a few months ago about how it was hard to go from focusing on adoption for so many years to now just being able to enjoy my family without that background stress. Then for the rest of the summer I think I wasted a lot of time not being very productive.

October 2007: Whew! Thankfully today we found out what has been going on with Eric. Or rather, what has been going on the last week. This whole thing started with a respiratory bug, that turned into bronchitis. Then last week he went to the doc for the bronchitis and it was bad so she said she was going to give him "mega" antibiotics. "I'm not going to let this fester since you're on dialysis!"

November 2007: I'm in an absolute blogging funk lately. So I'm reading on of my favorite blogs EVER over at Fully Operational Battle Station and she's going to do the NaBloPoMo. What is it? Just a silly challenge to post on your blog every day during the month of November.

December 2007: I was so excited to read this story today! Our daughter was adopted from Cambodia in early 2001--just before everything got very sticky and the world learned what a mess the Cambodian adoption system was.

January 2008: Wow. What a good day it has been! Since April we've been working to get our first kids home from Ghana (for the Adoption Advocates Ghana program) and today we found out that the first four kids should be coming home this weekend!

February 2008:
Seven year old has cried 10 times this weekend about her mommy leaving her? Check.
Too many donations to make weight on checked OR carryon luggage? Check!
More things still on their way that will make me more over weight (on luggage!)? Check!
Living room resembles the aftermath of a tornado? Check.
Craving food (like Chocolate, Mexican, ICE) that I know I will miss the next few weeks? Check!
950 page book to keep me busy on the planes? Check (Pillars of the Earth)
Hubby instructed to record Lost (since I seem to always miss either the first or last episodes of the season of lost when I travel!). Check!
Way more motion sickness medicine than I will ever use? Check.
Feeling of an empending anxiety attack? Check! Check!!
It's official then. I'm leaving for Ghana this week. All of the tell-tale signs are there.

March 2008: Growing up is hard to do. Taevy is starting to take her own showers now. It is so cute to watch her struggle to get the shampoo all over her long hair and then rinse it out without getting the soap in her eyes. Oh to be young again, when growing up is learning to shampoo your own hair.

April 2008: One thing we like to do sometimes is have family drum time. I used to be an early childhood music specialist and I also collect instruments from around the world, so our house is full of drums big and small.

May 2008: Thanks to those of you who prayed for me and an affected adoptive family last week when I posted. Sometimes adoption comes with some pretty major disappointments. Things are better now. The family is healing.

June 2008: No, for once I'm not talking about my mood or emotions! ;-) Moving on from the "stormy" week I had last week, and believing for sunny days to come! This weekend was such a stormy weekend. Eric and I had a great evening Friday night, celebrating our 10th anniversary. He got me an awesome necklace that has been on my wish list for a while. Check it out HERE!

July 2008: It was one of those days when it is no fun to be an adoption coordinator. None.At.All. The day started at 4am when I needed to get up and call the Embassy in Ghana to set up DHS appointments for three families. But the call wouldn't go through. That is not usually a problem with Ghana, but of course when I REALLY need to make 3 appointments I can't get through. I called our adoption coordinator in Ghana and he confirmed that the embassy phone system seems to have been down all week. Fun.

August 2008: Gosh, I just feel like I have been so out of touch this trip. This trip there has been a lot less time to myself (not a bad thing) but that results in also not a lot of time to sit and reflect on my day. Also, it has felt so hectic that I haven't gotten to the internet café. Instead I am not-so-patiently waiting until there might be an internet connection at Eban House at the same time I am there and have time to email!

September 2008: The other day USA Today put out a positive article on adopting HIV+ children. The article specifically mentioned AAI and highlighted some families that have adopted HIV+ children from AAI (including one of our staff members). At first I was so pleased to see this article. FINALLY a well written article about adoption. Not only adoption, but the "final frontier" of adoption--the adoption of HIV+ children. And then Merrily mentioned the comments.

October 2008: I'm going to bare my soul a little bit tonight. The last few weeks in my work have been very difficult. And honestly, the "price" that is required to be in my line of work feels like a lot right now. There are so many blessings in my work, and I love what I do, but there is no perfect "job" and I guess that's what I need to whine about tonight.

November 2008: Well, I've written two posts too many for the ultra conservative far right folks who read the blog. Voting for Obama *AND* taking my kids trick-or-treating? How dare I! How can I even call myself a Christian?! There is a "scary pattern" appearing. I must be backsliding. What? What is it that makes someone a Christian? Oh yeah--my deep seeded belief that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and my personal Lord and Savior!

December 2008: Do you have one of these? This is a really traditional decoration for the Bulmer side of my family (my mom's side). We all have one. Santa kneeling in front of the Christ child is a bit of an odd decoration--but I just love what it "says." It's the only Santa decoration in my house.

Hmm...well that was an interestin (for me!) trip down memory lane! Here's to happy memories and upbeat blog posts in 2009!