"Every child deserves a home." --Harry Holt

Monday, July 23, 2012

Still a Rookie

After having Cupcake home an entire YEAR, I was reminded today that I am still a parenting rookie. I learned this lesson in a courtroom. In front of lawyers and a judge and a court reporter. We re-adopted Cupcake today. I'll get to that part. First, I'd like to air my shame as my daughter, basically tried to blow snot rockets in the courtroom in front of the judge, and I had NO TISSUES. I didn't even have wipes. I figured we weren't even going to be in the courthouse long enough to warrant bringing the diaper bag. I was wrong. Very, very wrong. I did have a spare diaper in my handbag, so I had her finish blowing into that. If you have tips on getting the message across to a toddler that it is customary to use the tissue, THEN blow, I'm all ears. She does this backwards, quite a bit lately since she is teething and has a really congested nose. It's awesome. Don't visit our house for another week, I'm trying to keep up with all of the snot. Parenthood is glamorous.
Re-adopt you ask? Yes, we adopted her in Ethiopia last May, she became a citizen of the United States when she went through customs exactly ONE YEAR AGO today. When she was adopted (the first time) it is customary in Ethiopia for the middle name of the child to be the father's first name. Poor thing. We couldn't let her live her life with THAT as HER middle name. So, we went through the 'readoption' process which meant furnishing all of our paperwork, financial information, etc. to our lawyer and the court. She will now get a state issued birth certificate in the mail, and we were able to change her middle name in the process. It was a lovely way to commemorate her being home for one year. My mother asked, "Okay, so does this mean you are finally done with all of the red tape for her adoption." The answer? "Nope." Now, we wait for her birth certificate to be issued, change the name on her social security card, certificate of citizenship and then just for giggles we will apply for a passport, because if there is one thing we love around here, it's paperwork. Said in the tone of someone with lots of papercuts, eye-rolling and dripping with sarcasm. Honestly, the hoops are nothing compared to the joy and miracle of parenting this kid. Don't ever let the hoop jumping stop you from adopting, just know there will be days when it feels like the process is never finished, but parenting itself is never done either. I recommend just getting a really nice, fire-proof filing cabinet, a fun, cute label-maker and pretty files. Might as well add some sparkle to the paperwork.

Our original plan for the last few months was to head to Chicago and do all of our favorite touristy things there to celebrate our FAMIVERSARY. Have I mentioned it is my favorite city in the middle states? It is. I love it. A lot. Then, we ended up getting our court date assigned for today, which wasn't all bad, until we had another setback. More on that later. We're coming back someday Chicago, hopefully sooner, rather than later. 

I sent K a text message last year when he was in Chicago that I would have a large diet coke with ICE waiting for him at the airport, but he had to immediately hand over Cupcake to get it from me. Also, my dad in the green is just slightly emotional about the homecoming. I love him.

A couple of things to point out. 1. I'm smiling, but I felt rotten from mono still. I'm also in denial and still think parenting is all sunshine, rainbows and roses. It's actually a lot of poop and snot. FYI. 2. K looks awesome from traveling with a toddler for 24 hours +. 3. I didn't notice this until a couple of weeks/months later, but Cupcake is clearly petrified. She is one brave little girl. It breaks my heart to look at the photos from this day, because of how fearful she looks.
I still think they make the cutest 'gay-dad' family from Embassy day. Next time, my brother says he is wearing a shirt that says, "I'm the uncle"

We had an awesome judge this morning. She also had on really expensive shoes. Too bad she has to sit behind that desk where nobody gets to enjoy them! K was supposed to earn a 'prize' by using lines from "A Few Good Men" in his testimony. He chickened out. In his defense, it probably wasn't a wise idea for me to encourage him to say things like, "You can't handle the truth" and "You're G** D**** right I did." Couldn't help myself. It's my favorite movie.

We don't have photo evidence of the snot rockets, but here we are outside the courtroom with a new middle name!

Proof that she is a complete ham for the camera and has adjusted well in the last year. No fear in this photo, just a look of complete confidence.

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