"Let Maria know that Kozit is possibly the sweetest child I have ever met. I drove her yesterday, and she was in the back with one of the caregivers. Every now and then I would turn around and pat her on the leg and she would just get this huge smile. All the times that I have been around her she has never cried or complained and any time anyone gives her attention she just gives you the best smile! I will really miss her when she goes, but am so happy for Maria, Tsebay, and Kozit."
This is the word that was sent via Mary from Ryan (Ethiopia Gladney All Around Awesome Guy) today. How lucky am I? Aren't these the words every mother wants to hear? I can't wait to see that smile in person. Those cheeks are the cutest and the eyes just draw you in. I am reading, researching and preparing for the worst.......... temper tantrums, spitting, sadness, frustration and jealousy but am hoping for the best............a sweet, happy little girl that shows emotion, likes to play and loves her momma and sister.
I'm hoping no news is good news on the dossier front. My paperwork is making it's way around the country getting all the necessary authentications. Hopefully it will get to DC anyday now. Ethiopia here I come! I just got word that the courts are not opening until next week and they are expecting a back log. Hopefully it will not be too long. I know how anxious many of us are to hold our new little ones. Check out other Gladney families that are ready to travel. Renee and Geert will be picking up their two little cuties, the Mestas Family will be adding adorable twineetes and a sweet little boy to their family and Drew and Carrie will be going to get their little angel Zoe. She's only 10 weeks old.
My friend Cristin got her shots today and is planning to travel with me. I am so grateful to have a travel partner for this trip. Thank you to all of you who have offered to make sacrafices and travel with me. I am so fortunate to have such supportive friends and family.
There are so many people doing such amazing things for me and my girls. I am touched daily by the kindness people have been showing. My cousin Kate was the driving force behind the raffle tickets. Without her it would have just been another great idea and I would be going into some scary debt to make this all happen. Kate and her family showered Tsebay with everything she needed(and more) to have an swesome start in her new life. Thanks so much Kate! My college roommate, Jen, is leading the pack in selling tickets and is not taking no for an answer. She is another person that bought out baby GAP with gifts for Tsebay. I love ya, Mulv!
Isn't she so adorable? I can't wait to kiss those adorable cheeks and check out the sparkling eyes. Wow, how blessed am I. Mimi, what great timing for these pics to arrive on your Birthday. Happy Birthday!!! Tsebay is also sharing in this special day. She's 8 months old.
It was taken by Ryan when Kozit was on her way to the clinic. She was given a clean bill of health. Yay!!!, no more earache. One report from Ethiopia shared that Kozit likes to hang out with the big kids and has the boys feeding her. Wow, what great skills! She already has the men wrapped around her finger. Rachelle and I are impressed and are hoping she will share her magic with us.
I received this news today from a traveling family---- Maria – I was able to get an amazing video and lots of pictures of her opening her gifts from you. She was SO happy and recognized you and her sister right away and had a big smile on her face when she saw the pictures. I honestly don’t know who was happier about the bag – her or her caregiver! Her caregiver dove right in and put her new sneakers and shirt and hat and necklace on and Kozit had as much as she could possibly carry in her arms and wasn’t about to let go!! First and foremost was the snowman – it was almost as if she knew – she held onto that with all of her might. Thank you so much Heidi. I am on emotional overload thinking of little Kozit hanging out with Snowy. Snowy is the a stuffed snowman that I have shared my bed with for the last 10+ years. My sister has one, many of my friends have one and it is so sweet to think of my little girl feeling all the love that snowy brings.
Here is a picture of Tsebay saying good bye to Snowy. We'll be reunited soon.
Here is a picture of the care package we sent Kozit. It is filled with a photo album, an outfit, socks and shoes, bubbles, jump rope, Maui calendar and stickers, a Phillies cap and any other goodies I could squeeze in there. Preparing the package was a challenge. How do you tell a two year old you love them with things?
I am so anxious to bring Kozit home and show her our love through actions. The paperwork on my end is complete. It has been sent to Kate (KBS Dossiers) and is going through the authentication process. With any luck it will be completed some time next week, will make a quick stop in DC and then it will be on it's way to Ethiopia. Although I just went through the process for Tsebay I had to do all the paperwork again. The only break I got is that my CIS fingerprints were still on file. It's been crazy trying to get it all together and I am very excited that it is complete.
The raffle tickets are still being sold. We have over 150 still available. Please contact my cousin, Kate, at firstname.lastname@example.org or my mom at email@example.com to make a $50. donation and possibly win a trip to Maui. See the previous post for more details. I am so touched by everyone's generosity. Blogging Buddies, you all rock!! Thank you for the emotional and financial support. I hope we all get to meet face to face with our little cuties sometime soon. "Uncle" Bob, Grandmom, and the random Oregon donor, thank you so much for your super generous donations. To all my family and friends that have donated and are spreading the word, thank you, thank you, thank you. Everyone's love and support really kept me motivated during the paperchase.
Here are some cute pics of Tsebay.
Our washer and dryer are outside so we take walks to pick up the wash and get the mail. Here is the final product.
In an effort to raise funds for the adoption my family and friends have organized a fundraiser to help cover the costs. One adoption is a struggle and two in a year is financially impossible, at least for a teacher and soon to be mother of two. Every donation of $50. or more will get you a chance for a 10 day trip to Maui. We are only selling 275 chances. The goal is to raise $10,000 of the adoption costs. The additional $$$ will go towards the prize. This should cover about 1/2 of the costs. I'm hoping to receive some grants to help with the other 1/2. Please read the letter below for more details and feel free to spread the word. You can contact my cousin,Kate, at firstname.lastname@example.org or my mom,Mary Ann, at email@example.com if you are interested in buying or selling chances.
Dear Friends and Family,
I am calling upon all of you to reach deep into your hearts and help someone very close to me reunite two baby sisters back together again. As most of you know from me and my mom, Maria Quinn, my mom's best friend from child-hood's daughter, a.k.a my "cousin" has recently adopted a beautiful now 7-month old baby girl, Tsebay from Ethiopia. I have included pictures for all to see. If I have not had the opportunity to tell you about Maria and Tsebay's journey, here is a brief look at how their lives have been brought together.
Maria, a single-woman living Maui, HI (Philly raised), who has a most fulfilling job as a teacher and mentor (not to mention a Big Sister for the last 6 years to two local boys) wanted to adopt a little girl, and for many reasons was drawn to Ethiopia. Well not long into the process, Maria found her little girl, Tsebay!
Soon after the news, Maria and her mom, Mary Ann, went on the long journey to Ethiopia to be united with their baby. While in Ethiopia, Maria had the opportunity to meet her new daughter's birth mom! However, the circumstances were not celebratory as Tsebay's mom had dropped off her two-year old daughter, Kozit, (Tsebay's big sister) at the orphanage just that week. The girls' birth mom asked Maria to take Kozit with her and Tsebay and "teach" her as she will Tsebay. Well at the time, Maria could not legally take the older sister even if she was prepared to. She would have to go through the entire process again from the beginning, as this is an entirely new adoption. The paperwork started as soon as the plane landed in the States and the process is getting under way. From the moment it was asked of her, Maria knew in her heart there was no way that she could leave Kozit behind to grow up without her sister (As I am sure we would all feel).
After about a month in New Jersey with Mimi and Pop-Pop (formerly known as Mom and Tom), Maria and Tsebay are now back at home in Maui. And while Maria is happy to be home with Tsebay, there is a sadness lingering as she thinks of Kozit waiting at the orphanage to be reunited with her sister.
Okay - so why am I telling you all this, except to share a wonderful, yet unbelievable story on how life and priorities change in an instant. Friends and family members of Maria (myself and my family included) are putting together a fund-raising raffle where all of the proceeds will help to pay to reunite Kozit with Maria and Tsebay. What we are planning to raffle off is a wonderful trip to Maui (or the winner could choose the cash equivalent). A minimum donation of $50.00 will get your name in the raffle.
Specifically, the 10 day trip to Maui will include: -round trip tickets for two -a lei greeting at the airport -10 day accommodations in a cottage on the North Shore of Maui -10 day car rental -2 nights out at beautiful Maui restaurants ****The cash out option will be: $3000****
As you may or may not know, the cost to adopt a child is in the tens of thousands. If we exceed the costs of the adoption, any additional money raised will be donated to the wonderful adoption agency (Gladney Center for Adoption) that has brought Maria to Tsebay and soon to Kozit.
The drawing will take place on November 1st, and the winner will be contacted via telephone. You can track the progress of the drawing by visiting mquinn.blogspot.com, in addition to seeing the status of the raffle, you can also see pictures of the sisters and get updates on the progress of the adoption.
Please take some time to digest what I have just told you and think about the future you are helping to provide this two-year old little girl. Please consider helping this wonderful family, as I am sure the joy you will feel from knowing you have made a huge impact in another person’s life will far surpass any dollar amount. Any bit will help, so again, please give this some thought and talk to your friends, neighbors, family members, co-workers and ask them to chip in or buy a ticket themselves!
If you are interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call me at 856-467-5117 and I will make sure I get you the tickets you would like to purchase. Our goal is to get 275 tickets sold so please pass this along to anyone interested in winning a trip or even more importantly, helping to bring Kozit home to her little sister!
Thank you all for taking the time to read this letter. I hope you are able to help (but will still love you if you can't!)
My dossier paperwork is almost complete and I will be at the Fed. Ex. Office first thing Tues. morning. As I'm sure I've said before I can't believe I am in the middle of this paper chase again so soon. There are a few positive sides to starting the process again so quickly. The process is still fresh in my brain and I'm hoping to not make some of the same mistakes I made the first time around. Also, I'm so busy taking care of Tsebay and working that I am not as anxious and obsessive as I was the first time around. Kozit just got over bronchitis and is still fighting an ear infection. She needs her momma and her sister and we can't wait to see her. Tsebay gets so excited every time I show her a picture of Kozit. It will be so interesting to see the girls interact with each other. Will they remember each other? Will the bond be automatic? Will there be jealousy? They have not spent a lot of time together. I was able to see them interact for an hour or so while in Ethiopia. Kozit was kissing up on her sister and Tsebay seemed to mimic her sister a few times. They both have a tongue thing as is evident in this picture.
Tsebay is growing more and more each day. She is so pleasant and happy. People constantly comment about what a great baby she is. I definitely hit the baby lottery. She is starting to imitate speech and it seems her first word is cat. We have two outside cats that came with the house when I bought it. The old owners were very attached to the cats and were moving off island. I agreed to care for them although I am not a cat person. I feed them daily and pet them from time to time but Tsebay loves the cats and they definitely hang around more often since she came home with me. Now she is starting to put the sounds together and say cat. This would not be my choice for a first word but she is an independent thinker. What a big girl! Here are some recent pics of the little cutie......
Yes, Tsebay is reading Surfing Mag. It's the green edition and she is stoked.
The two smartest, funniest, cutest little girls ever call me momma. It was written in the stars that we would be a family. Thank you to all the family and friends that have prayed, gave fincancially and provided emotional support. You are the reason we are a family. We are blessed. We love you.