Wednesday, July 29, 2009

7 days till court

Dearest Ella,
Mommy decided to write again, I can't guarantee that it won't be sad
but I feel the need to write you. I cannot explain what I am feeling
right now. I am strangely at peace and feel your strength growing
inside me. I am surviving and doing what I can to be strong. I want so
desperately to come and get you that I avoid the airline pages for
fear I might buy a ticket on tomorrows flight. The days have been long
and the nights are even longer. I know that you are getting fat and
that makes me smile. You are everything to me and I am planning on
treasuring every second that we have together.
I hope that everyone that reads our blog comes away with the idea that time is a precious
thing and time with our children is a gift. Make sure that every
moment counts and experience all that you can with them. Spoil them rotten but teach them how to love and respect. I am not jealous of anyone and can say that everything "bad" in my life is a lesson and a gift. Each experience has given me a clue on how to live more freely and to love more deeply. If I had everything given to me I would never appreciate the time and effort each experience brings. Ella, you are the most precious experience I have ever had, you have already made me a better person a better friend and a better wife. You have taught me how to be strong and how to be vulnerable; to be able to ask for help and freely accept the help when it is offered. I am your Mother and I will work so hard to earn that title. I will make mistakes, but I will also learn from them. Life is not about what you do or where you live or what you own, it is about your relationships and your family. Through all of this mess I am developing a relationship with you that spans galaxies and will last throughout time. Nothing will keep me from loving you and nothing will keep us apart. On the day you were born, I loved you and will continue loving you forever. No matter what happens "good" or "bad" I will never stop loving you, my love for you cannot be broken and that gives me peace. I pray for the day we can hold you and kiss your toes, but until that day I will be content in knowing that our love is unbreakable.
I am lucky to have a fat, beautiful daughter named Ella.
All of my love,

Sent from my iPhone
Amy Haynie
Tampa Street Market

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ella's First Concert

Before all this happened with the investigation of the adoption, we had some plans. There were things we thought we would be doing by now with her. One of the things that I thought we'd be doing was attending Ella's first concert last Saturday at the Cuban Club. That was the Avett Brothers show that I've been harping about and telling strangers about for months with the excited giddiness that I used to reserve for junior high.

This photo credit is for Nicole Kibert (elawgrrl)

Thanks for the amazing pics of our boys "singing in front of the moon." Check out the whole set at...

Well, things don't always turn out like what you think, or "Life is what happens while you're making plans." to paraphrase John Lennon. So she's still over there. We're still here. And we went to the concert anyway. I'm glad Amy was excited to go and I think she really enjoyed it - until the whole ridiculous traffic jam while leaving thing. They played a lot of my favorites like "Shame" and "Distraction #74" They even played a new song that gets stuck in my head called "I and Love and You." Anyhow it was great, but these guys are bluegrass and punk and raw screaming emotion right in your face. I will not try to plan out Ella's first concert for a few more weeks now until we get past this last hurdle that is this illogical movable court date.

The Avetts in all their emotion finally got me during a song called "Gift for Melody Anne." I'll finish this little blog up with the lines...

"If I ever have a son, if I ever have a daughter,
I don't want to tell them that I didn't give my all."

I'd like to think they were telling us not to give up.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Why the hurry?

-Charles here-
People at work ask all the time about whether we have news. Amy definitely avoids being at the shop to not hear that question. She has found some help there and multiple ways to stay busy, but we still get the question. So I say yes. Yes, we have news... and it is all bad. The only good news is that our daughter is fat. She is putting on weight. She might not be getting any exercise. She might never get out of her crib for more than a few minutes a day. She might be sitting up or babbling right now, but the only thing I hear is "Wait." My agency, whom I've paid to help me through this process, has no news of value. Everytime they tell me something, I question it. I should be able to trust them, but everyone knows I don't. How many times do they tell you it will happen before you say, "Maybe I'm crazy for believing it." So we get news that says we wait. There are no guarantees. There is no certainty that it will happen on this date. We no sooner marked our calendar that she would go to court on the 20th of July than we got an email (how impersonal!) that it was not that date anymore but actually the 5th of August.

People say, "You're not missing that much." or "She'll still be young, don't worry." But it's not that simple is it? If somebody came to your hospital bed after you gave birth and took your baby away and said "We'll be done checking her out tomorrow." and then came back every day and said the same thing for the first 8 months of her life, you would be losing your mind by now too!

Also, the thing I wish the Ethiopian government and all of those feet-dragging folks involved would think about is this: The infant mortality rate in Ethiopia is between 80 and 86 infants per 1000 live births each year. Based on the population numbers (82 Million people in Ethiopia) I could find, that means that 31,200 infants won't make it to their first birthday. So right now, my daughter takes up space in a bed in an orphanage and eats food that I could and want to give her. This is food that another child might survive on. She gets fat while outside of her building, other kids starve. This isn't the only thing about this situation that bothers me, but I'm hoping that it helps people understand what is at stake.

All we want to do is provide for her what every single child deserves, and all they do is tell us to wait.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Losing Faith

Dear Ella,
Mommy just got more bad news. Our court date of July 20 has now been pushed back two weeks to August 5--pushing our visa date back to September. I don't even have faith that that will work out. I don't know why but everything is working against us. I am numb to this now and I am losing faith that I will ever hold you. I am tired of disappointment and tired of all of this! I don't want to talk to anyone or see anyone because I see the way they look at me, like I am going to break, and they may be right. I want to come now and I would love to come and get you sooner than September, but we don't have the money and so I have to wait. I must have really done something horrible to deserve this torture and I am just not wanting to do this anymore. I will never stop wanting you and waiting for you and loving you more than anything, but I am done with the process. I just want it to be over, why is this so hard? I cant take it anymore. Why? I will not believe anything until it happens, so as far as I am concerned this court date doesn't exist. I will continue on with my horrible existence until someone tells me to get on a plane and come and get you, until then I am numb. I don't want anyone to ask me about you, the adoption, the court date...nothing. I am numb and silent from this point on. I won't put myself through this anymore and I just can't take the heart-break. I can't take the ups and downs, I can't look at your pictures or video or anything. I just want to act like it isn't happening for a while.
You are in my heart forever Ella, I just need a break from the process. Mommy will talk to you but no more letters, it is too hard!
All of my love,

Thursday, July 9, 2009

New court date today?

Dear Ella,
We are supposed to get a new court date today, but I have heard that
one before and there are some new hang ups, what's new about that?
Mommy is tired and sad and I am not doing well. I am staying busy, but
my emotions are getting the better of me. I am again lost in emotions
and can't see through them anymore. My heart is numb and I am in a
hole of despair. Will I ever hold you? Is this all some cruel joke?
With everything that is happening I can see that I might have to fight
to see you and I am ready to fight. I just dont know who the enemy is.
Everyone says it is going to happen, but I am not so confident
anymore. Damn this whole thing. I want my life back. I want to be
happy again and experience joy. All I see is darkness and despair.

Pray little one, pray for your mommy. Pray that we get to see each
other soon. I need you.
All my love,
Sent from my iPhone
Amy Haynie
Tampa Street Market

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Your Garden

Dear Ella,
Mommy and Daddy just got finished building and planting "Ella's Garden". We planted tomatoes and Peppers. We also landscaped the yard and planted all kinds of pretty flowers for you to pick and admire. We haven't stopped planning and fixing the house for your arrival. There have been several set-backs along this journey but the journey isn't over, it won't be over till we reach you. You have grown so big and strong and I am so proud of you little one, you are doing your part in all of this--growing big and staying healthy. Mommy can't wait to come and get you. I am planning to come as soon as I can. If I have to come early to be with you, I will. The tickets to Ethiopia have skyrocketed and I am going to do extra work, have garage sales, plan a benefit, whatever it takes to be able to hold you and rock you and tell you how much I love you. Oh and kiss you Ella, you better get ready for Mommy to kiss every piece of skin you have, over and over again. I keep repeating to myself, "you will never sink this ship" throw me whatever you got, because I am unsinkable! I wake in the morning crying and go to bed in the same fashion, but that doesn't mean I am weak, I am just sad that you are not here, but when push comes to shove, I am a rock that will never be broken. So keep getting bigger and learn as much as you can. You are going to see me soon, Mommy promises!!!
I love you more each day! Mommy and Daddy are coming to get you--count on that!
All of my love,

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sinking the boat

Dear Ella,
I second what your daddy said! You will never sink this
Mommy will swim If I have to but this boat isn't going down. So bring
on the misery because I will face it all to be with you.
Stay strong baby!!!!
Sent from my iPhone
Amy Haynie
Tampa Street Market

You'll never sink this boat!

After a conference call that promised everything and nothing... After a storm that dropped an ant infested limb on our new little car and dented it and invited a colony to move in to it at the same time... After yet another day of no news... maybe tomorrow... We realized it had almost been two months since we were shut down for what appears to have nothing to do with us in our adoption. Our friends and family try to help, but they have lives and problems too. I thought back to Lieutenant Dan and that part in Forrest Gump where he climbs the mast and screams at the sky "You'll never sink this boat!" And even though it feels like somebody is trying to sink us - I am screaming the same thing from my roof!!!
"Is that all you've got?!!!"

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Quick Prayer

Dear Ella,

I don't pray a lot, but today I am sending out quite a few and thought that if you pray with Mommy, God is more likely to listen. I have always felt that God listens to all but listens closely to the children because they are more likely to pray for something they need and not just something they desire.
Dear God,
Please help us find each other. We are a family that needs to be together. We have been waiting a long time and we need your help to bring us together. Please Lord, help this process go forward and help the courts decide to resolve this issue and bring us together quickly.
Ella, Mommy is still here. I know you must be getting anxious that I am not coming, but I am. I am here waiting for the green light to come and get you. You are the most important thing in the world to me and I won't rest until I get you in my arms.
Keep your fingers and toes crossed and pray.
Mommy loves you more than anything and I am coming to get you....I am coming.
All of my hugs and kisses are for you sweetie,

P.S. No tears because Mommy has plenty for the both of us. Laugh and grow and play. That is all that I wish, be happy little one.