Thursday, September 20, 2007

An Adoption Update

I realized this afternoon how long it has been since I updated news of our adoption progress (the ostensible purpose of this blog!). I have something to report, in fact. Last Friday, Josh and I were officially fingerprinted at USCIS, the final step in our application process with the US government to petition for our adoption....pretty big news, actually, for all of us. We celebrated a very merry unbirthday for the new babies, together all day. (I should clarify the "very merry unbirthday" reference, as I realize it is a peculiar family holiday. One of our children has a birthday very close to Christmas. In order that her "special day" not be entirely subsumed in the fervor of the season, we instituted the Very Merry Unbirthday. At least once a year, we surprise each kid with a day of devoted celebration. We arrange our plans around an event geared toward the interests of that particular child, and, after waking her with a loud and badly rendered version of the tea party song from Alice in Wonderland, we shower her with attention, affection, and the planned surprise outing. The only stipulations we restrict ourselves to when planning a VMUB are 1. Every immediate family member must be present for the day in its entirety. This stipulation often requires that Josh take vacation from work...I think he looks forward to the unbirthdays more than the kids do actually. 2. No gifts. Very merry unbirthdays are exclusively for celebrating together, an activity that often requires little if any expenditure {a HUGE bonus}. We still celebrate birthdays wildly, but I think we have all grown to anticipate and appreciate the unbirthdays as staple family holidays. I have to think it would be very cool to wake up every morning of your childhood knowing that it could quite possibly be your very own Merry Unbirthday! {I really like to think that, anyway.} As the kids get older, they love being in on the planning and secret-keeping for each other's unbirthdays. In fact, I often have to reign them in from instituting daily VMUBs by invoking rule one so that Daddy won't be left out of the festivities -- they have found a loophole, by the way, in very special brother day or very special sister day. These are days that they plan and orchestrate on their own for each other...very sweet, though they often last only until shortly after anyway....We made Friday a first Very Merry Unbirthday for our two kids who are far away, devoting our day to celebrating and appreciating them and the depth they already bring to our family.) After our stop at the immigration office, we headed to the art museum to take in art created in Ethiopia. Finding, however, that the museum opens much later than it used to, we headed to Grandma and Grandpa's house for a visit before having dinner together at an Ethiopian Restaurant. All in all a powerfully fun and eventful day and another milestone (maybe a half-milestone....they have those, now, in Indiana, you know) as we continue moving toward completing our family.

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