Saturday, June 27, 2009

Do fingerprints expire?

So today we are in the USCIS waiting and I look over at Amy who is having her fingerprints taken. This is some nondescript office building wedged behind a car dealer in Brandon. Amy is wearing a long plain blue dress and the impatience is apparent on her face. Still, my mind wanders to a few months from now and she will be wearing that same dress in a very different place. She will be carrying Ella and weaving through the bustle of a crowded street in Addis Ababa. I don't understand why we are sitting here, waiting for new fingerprints. Do fingerprints expire? If they can place a person at the scene of a crime 20 years later from a dusty glass (at least they can on CSI), then how in the world am I sitting here in this stupid line waiting for more fingerprints! We actually had to request more fingerprints from Homeland Security because the one's we got last year aren't any good anymore! Please somebody help me understand that. Seriously. I have just found a way to cut the budget Mr. President and I'm starting with the expiration dates on fingerprints. We shouldn't even be here now. We were supposed to be back with her by now, but the Ethiopian government has managed to drag out what is already a ridiculously slow process. Thanks governments! I'll have to remember this feeling on July 4th when I celebrate how great it is to be free. Free to wait...
-Charles

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Happy 7 month Birthday Ella

Dear Ella,

Happy Birthday!
7 months today and I am going to celebrate this day by being happy,
happy that we have the best support system, happy that you are in the
world, and happy that I will one day hold you and kiss your sweet
cheeks. We have a lot to be happy about and your Nanan said that I
need to put some funny and happy stuff in my letters so that I won't
make everyone cry and want to join me in the looney bin! I am trying
to be positive and hopeful. I had a dream last night that kept
repeating. It was about you and me on the beach and you were building
sand castles in the sand. I was helping and watching you build it
bigger and bigger. Soon the castle was large enough to go inside. We
played together and each time I woke up and went back to sleep it was
the same scenario. I suppose you want me to keep building the hope and
adding to our dream because someday soon we will be playing together
in our real castle, our home. I am celebrating your life today and
will keep stepping forward towards my dream, we will be together
soon! You are the reason I am here and you are the child I was always
meant to have. I know what it means to be connected to your Mom, I am
connected to mine. I sometimes feel that the doctor forgot to cut the
cord, she is my best friend, my confidant and my lifeline. At times
when we have been apart, I could always feel her presence, she is a
part of me and when she hurts I hurt and vice versa. I feel that with
you and I want you to feel happy and that everything is going to be
okay. It is going to be okay, Mommy will make it so. There is nothing
in this world I wouldn't do for you. Happy day Ella and know that
mommy is coming to get you very soon. If you are afraid or feeling sad
just think of me, I am holding you and rocking you to sleep. Don't
fret little one, I am coming soon.
All of my love,
Mommy

Sent from my iPhone
Amy Haynie
Tampa Street Market
www.tampastreetmarket.com

Amy Smiles


For those of you that read this blog and think that Amy doesn't have any happy times anymore. I would like to submit this photo as proof. This blog is cathartic, and it allows her to dump her mind out for a few minutes. It's messy and depressing, but more than anything, it makes her feel better and more connected to Ella. This was taken in Mexico before my little brother Rory's wedding. She might have been distracted, and it was good to have something else to focus on that day besides the endless waiting. She looks great here, but here's the best part... Every once in a while, when the weight of the world is resting somewhere else besides her shoulders... Amy Smiles.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

One of those days

Dear Ella,
Today your Aunt Brook said that it has been one of those days and I
couldn't agree more. I again waited and searched for news about the
abandonment cases in Ethiopia and once again we came up short. It is
amazing the games that you can play in your mind to cope. I think I
will get through this hour by doing work and I won't check my email or
the blogs for that hour. It works for an hour but then you have to
find another game to play for the next hour. I am tired of playing
games and I just want some resolution. I stare at your picture and try
to imagine what you are like. What are you doing now? Are you sitting
up and rolling over? You turn 7 months tomorrow and I missed another
month in your life. Today is hard, but tomorrow is going to be harder.
What time do you eat? What do you do if you need to be changed? What
happens when you are mad or sad? Do they hold you a lot? Dammit, I
want to know all of these things and I am missing it. I know I know,
all of this will be water under the bridge when I get you, but
still...all of those experiences are gone, lost and there is no record
of them. Not being able to have kids is hard and going through this
makes it harder. Why must life punish us, is it so we appreciate what
we have and why we get all that much more? I appreciate everything
that I have and would gladly give it up for my daughter. Just to hold
you and bathe you and feed you. The simple things are the things I
miss. There is no more time. I want you now and I need you now. I am
rambling on and I am not making sense. I miss you Ella and I my body
craves to cuddle you. Please God I am apologizing for all the bad
things I have said and done, just send me to Ella. Please, I am
begging you on my hands and knees.......save me from this, give her to
me and I won't ask for more. I will spoil her rotten and I won't
complain. I know she is my miracle and I will treat her as such for
the rest of my life. Send me to my baby.....please.
Crying must stop and I have to say goodnight. I have sent all of the
pieces of my heart to you Ella girl and I have none left. Hold them
tight and I will come and get you. Remember that mommy loves you so
much. I am coming.
Love,
Mommy

Sent from my iPhone
Amy Haynie
Tampa Street Market
www.tampastreetmarket.com

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

No new news....again

Dear Ella,
Today I heard a rumor that we aren't going to hear anything regarding
the court cases or how they are going to proceed until July 2. I hope
that is just a rumor, because your mommy is really tired of waiting. I
just want you home and in my arms. I have planned out all of these
wonderful things for us to do together. Your pictures and video keep
me going, but it is not enough. That isn't enough for me. I am now
faced with more time to fill and more questions about your where
abouts. I am thankful for all of the support, but I don't want to talk
anymore. At times, my heart wants me to curl into a ball and shut
down. I have never known about sadness like this. I continue to get
up everyday and to put on a happy face, but at times I feel that I
will never get through the day. I get up everyday living to hear good
news only to be faced with despair when I get the last email saying
that there is no new news. I just want to medicate myself and sleep
until I can wake up again with some new hope. This has been my
existance for the last 6 weeks and I am growing tired. I will never
give up the hope that I will come and get you, but I am tired.
Questions flood my mind and trouble my soul. I am lost.
You are my light and the thought of you gets me through my darkest
hours. I need you little one. Today I took your picture and drew a
likeness with pencil. I will do anything I can to feel closer to you
and hold on to my reality of us as a family. I am sorry that this is
so dark, but in a way this helps me to clear my thoughts. Putting down
my darkest ideas helps to cage them in a way. I learned long ago that
dark thoughts can be suppressed, but at some unknown time they will
rear their ugly heads and you will have to deal with them. I have to
deal with them now so that I can be whole and healthy when you come
home.
I hate to end my talks to you, but if I continue I am afraid all of my
family and friends will send a straight jacket and a padded cell will
be in my future.
I love you more than words can say and my heart is again in pieces
heading to you. Hold on to the truth that mommy is coming to get you.
I am coming soon. Never forget that you are the most loved baby girl
in the universe.
All of my love,
Mommy

Sent from my iPhone
Amy Haynie
Tampa Street Market
www.tampastreetmarket.com

Monday, June 22, 2009

New measurements

I am not supposed to give out exact details about Ella so I am going
to share some dimensions on a table I am expecting.
The table is normal size for American standards now. It is 24" high
and weighs almost 16 lbs. That is the normal size for a table. They
must be oiling and waxing that table a lot!!!! I can't wait to put
that table in my house, it is going to look perfect where I made room
for it!!

Sent from my iPhone
Amy Haynie
Tampa Street Market
www.tampastreetmarket.com

Same sh__ different day

Dear Ella,
Mommy was expecting to hear some good news again today, buy nope. Once
again we have been let down. I am getting used to this and that makes
me want to scream! You turn 7 months this week and we are getting an
update on your height and weight. I can't wait to find out how much
you have grown. Be healthy baby, but don't grow too much. Mommy wants
to see you grow and experience your spurts first hand, not via email.
I can't wait to see you and hold you for the first time. I play that
scenario in my mind over and over again.
I love and miss you and hope to report good news tomorrow.
All my love little one.
Mommy

Sent from my iPhone
Amy Haynie
Tampa Street Market
www.tampastreetmarket.com

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dear Ella,
I want to tell you about your Grandpa. It is Fathers Day here and I
need to wish your Grandpa a happpy day. I thought that I would share
some things that he has done so you get to know what a great person he
is.
My dad is the best man I know. He has always made me feel like I am
important, not only to him but in the world. What I do and how I act
towards people has an impact. He taught me that I am no better than
anyone and that no one is above or below me. We need to treat everyone
with respect. He used to be a cop and bums that he would arrest or
question would thank him for treating them with respect. Just because
someone may be in a bad place or do something bad doesn't mean that
they are a bad person. That lesson travels with me every day of my
life and I try my hardest to treat everyone with respect and dignity.
His love for his family is his top priority. He would do anything for
us and would bend over backwards to make us happy.
A couple of Christmases ago I was really upset because I was trying to
save enough money to get you. There was a big blowout and I went home.
On christmas day you Eepaw came to our house with coffee and a gift.
The gift was the money to have you. He saw that I wanted and needed
you more than anything in the world and he couldn't see me in pain.
That gift may knock some time off their retirement, but he saw me in
need and he helped. That was the best gift I will ever get in my
life--you.
I will never be able to repay that generosity, but I will try and pay
it forward. I love my Dad more than I can say in words. I will try and
make your childhood as magical as he made mine. You are a lucky girl
like your Mommy, you get my dad as your Eepaw. He is a little shy, but
you will be privy to those few moments when he opens up his heart and
the warmth and love that envelopes you will stay with you forever and
you will know that you are never alone.
Happy fathers day dad!
Love, Amy and Ella

Sent from my iPhone
Amy Haynie
Tampa Street Market
www.tampastreetmarket.com

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ella,
Hi sweet baby. Mommy is doing better today thanks to her great friends
and family that give so much support. The true hero though is your
Daddy. Tomorrow is Fathers Day here and I want to thank your daddy for
all of the support he gives to your mommy. You are a really lucky girl
to have such a great person to call your father. He works his but off
to give financial support and then comes home to your depressed and
crazy mom. He is one of a kind and I love him so much. He keeps all of
his emotions in check because he doesn't want to upset me, but he
can't wait to be with you. He gets tears in his eyes when we talk
about you and he plans things fir you. He us so talented at writing
and designing and building. I know that he will teach you so many
things.
Happy Father's Day Charles! Ella, Baci and I live you and appreciate
all that you do for us!


Sent from my iPhone
Amy Haynie
Tampa Street Market
www.tampastreetmarket.com

Friday, June 19, 2009

No news today

We were told this week that we would be informed about what was going to happen with our court dates today, but unfortunately we heard that there was no news given. Although I was "cautiously optimistic", I am crushed! How am I supposed to go another weekend without news and maybe no news next week? How is this possible, this roller coaster of emotions--high to low! I am angry and sad and confused and jealous and frustrated and depressed. I am no good to anyone right now, poor Charles for having to put up with my neurotic ass! I want to be sane and happy, but it isn't that easy. I envy those people that can just sweep those emotions under the rug and deal with them later, I am not that person. My emotions are out there for everyone to see, and if one more person asks me about Ella--I am going to Scream! And if I hear, "just wait till you get her, you think that you are crazy now", but I will have her! My head is pounding, my heart is breaking and I want to throw something. Someone please make it stop! Stop telling us that we are going to hear something and we wait for days, on pins and needles and then nothing--do you know how hard that is? Frustration--is not even close to what I feel. Sadness--please, my heart is in my throat every second of the day, I wake up crying and go to sleep crying. I have waited for my baby for over 2 years and now she is growing up in a crib all alone in Ethiopia, where is the sense in that. And please don't tell me that Jesus and God will help--I am tired of using that crutch that seems to break every time I lean on it. I am sorry that I am venting, but I am tired and hurting and I want so badly to not be. I need drugs, sedation, something. Get me out of this hell!

Blessings

Dear Ella,

Mommy just got new pics of you and a video! You are growing so fast and gaining weight and I couldn't be happier. Today is the big day, I am trying not to get my hopes up, but we are supposed to hear about how the courts are going to proceed with the abandoned cases. Keep your little fingers and toes crossed all day!

The new pictures are bittersweet. On one hand, I am thrilled to see you and how much you have grown and on the other hand, I am so sad that I can't be there to hold you and kiss every inch of you. I don't know how long now, but I have a glimmer of hope that it won't be too long. I have watched the video over and over just so I can feel close to you. I told your Daddy today that when I see you I see him, there is no longer just the two of us, you are a part of us. You belong to us and we belong to you. I know that you can feel that. I think you are just waiting for us to come and get you. I think that once I get you I will never let you go, so lets get a few things straight: you cant go to school unless I can be there, you can't date unless you don't mind if I am with you, marriage will be hard because your husband or wife (whichever you prefer) will have to let me move in, I am being really serious. I feel like I have lost so much time with you that I am going to have a hard time letting you out of my sight.
Mommy's world starts and stops with you Ella. My life paused when I found out about you and the rest of my life is planned with you in it, so I will press play again when I get you in my arms. You will never be without love for as long as I live, you will be the most loved child in the world. I hate to write these letters because the only time I am at peace with the world is when I am writing you. When I end this letter, I will feel that emptiness again.
I love you baby and I am coming to get you soon. Remember that you are the most loved baby in the universe and Mommy and Daddy are coming, we are coming, we are coming.
All of my love,
Your Mommy

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Little Hope

Dear Ella,
Hi baby girl, Mommy is in Mexico for Uncle Rory´s wedding. I just looked at my email for the first time in a few days and there is a light of hope! It is only a rumor and I cant say much, but it looks really good. That is really good news and I need it because today was not a good day for Mommy. I woke up crying and havent stopped all day. I miss you little one and every day I sink a little deeper, but todays rumor has helped me see some light. Depression is a hard thing to deal with and I was starting to lose. I need you and I love you so much that it hurts--it really hurts. I dont want to plan my days without you and I want to hold you. My arms ache and my heart hurts. Your Eepaw says that depression is a hole that pulls you under and you have to fight to get out, I am fighting really hard and you are the light that I fight to see. No words can describe the feelings that I have, pain doesnt even come close. I want everyone to think that I am ok, maybe so I feel that I am ok. I just want you to come home to your Daddy and I. I stayed home from the festivities today, I just couldnt take it. I love this family, but I just needed some time to myself. I let your Daddy go on without me, I cried for hours. I didnt want to bring everyone down on such a happy occasion. I want so bad to feel better, but I can only supress these emotions for so long before they come up and choke me. Why? This is not something I can answer, I can only hope and pray and cope. Cope. Cope. Keep saying it and it will be real. I am also still having a hard time with the death of your Great Grandpa. I miss him and Grandma very much and I really wanted you to be able to meet them. All I can say is that you have 2 more angels watching over you. I know that they are there and they love you and Mommy very much. I will end this as I do with all of my letters and tell you that you are the most loved baby in the universe and that Mommy and Daddy are coming. Dont give up the hope that we love you more than we love anything. We are coming...Mommy is coming.
All of my love,
Mommy

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Life don't clickety clack...

Ella,
This last week there was a funeral for a great-grandfather you will never know. You will see the pictures and hear the stories and that is all we get sometimes. Things change all the time. The lyric in my head this week is "Life don't clickety clack down a straight line track, it comes together and it comes apart." It goes over and over in my head in a sad folksinger's voice. This weekend you will miss my youngest brother's wedding. We kind of figured you would miss this one though, because you need a passport to get to Mexico these days. I know that you will get to know him soon and his new wife. So after a very full month, while we wait for you to come home, you have lost a great grandfather but gained an aunt. I am sure by the end of this weekend we will well know all of our new in-laws and we will have many more stories to tell you. I long to tell you stories of all your uncles and how they will change your life in small ways. Hang in there little one, I have to be strong for mommy right now and so do you. I know that you have already been through so much, but soon you will lay with us on the rug and your laughs will heal all this trouble. We will sing songs and dance for you this weekend. Travelling with us is another thing that you should look forward to. You will be born into a family with walking shoes.
See you soon,
Daddy

No Air

Dear Ella,
Hi my sweet baby. Mommy misses you so much. Every day gets harder, the questions in my head get harder to quell. I don't know how to do this. I am trying to be strong for your Dad and for you, but you dominate my thoughts. This empty house starts to close in around me. You should be here in my arms, I should be feeding you your morning bottle and instead I am alone with no idea when you are coming home. I hear babies crying and it kills me. How am I supposed to do this? How do I keep going? I don't want to keep playing like I am ok--I'm not! I hate this--I pray that God will do something, but my faith is failing once again. Maybe that is the problem, I am being punished for all the things I have done in my life and for not believing like I should. I have countless thank you cards to write for all of the beautiful things that people got you, but each time I try I sob uncontrollably. Maybe I am not cut out for this, maybe I can't handle it. Other people seem to go on and they are ok--I am a mess. I just want some word, some hope. Please God, I am praying, please please please help bring Ella home--I need her, I can't breathe without her.
Ella--help Mommy pray--I know you can hear me. Pray that this is settled and we can go to court soon. Mommy will see you soon, I am coming for you. You are the first thing Mommy thinks about when I wake up and the last thing I see when I fall asleep. Be a good baby, you are the most loved baby in the universe and we are coming to get you soon. Mommy loves you.
Mom