If I haven't mentioned it (hah!) we are going to India. In an unbelievable twist of fate, the stars in the heavens have aligned and we received confirmation two days before Christmas that we could travel and needed to be in Pune mid January to meet our Sugar Plum. To complicate matters a bit, our adoption agency contacts were on vacation from Christmas through New Years and our in office representative left, when she suddenly got a call that a domestic young mother had chosen her family to adopt her unborn baby, due...you guessed the week of Christmas. Where did this leave us? In a state of panic when one considers that we were originally planning to travel sometime in the spring, gladly losing 3 months of planning and preparation.
So with Christmas plans beginning to unfold, we were simultaneously planning to travel here!
For some, namely Devi Rose, a young and very excited big sister, our plans were set and she was all ready there, at least in spirit. This picture, one of many drawn recently, depicts her little sister Treya/Sonalika standing beneath a mango tree in the sunshine. The salutation stating her love for her before ever even meeting.
Other preparations have been going on too - like trying out this new mode of transportation. Devi has never been a great walker and with our plans including navigating the crowd at the train station, and hikes in the jungle, we figure this is the best way to keep us together and all happy...well, maybe not daddy's back!
But before any concrete travel plans could be laid, we had a couple of things to take care of first. Namely...Christmas and all it's festivities. I love this picture below because it is awful, giving one a bit of a picture into the panic and hysteria that had begun to mount which we are trying to keep concealed. Dressed up, late for church, out of focus, exhaustion on all of our faces, perma grins and with a tree growing out of daddy's head. Yes, that is what it feels like to prepare one's home for a new child, plan an extended stay in India, host a Christmas dinner and celebrate Jesus' birth all at the same time!
Amongst the stacks of research and between internet searches, it came...Christmas came! It was wonderful. We invited my dad and his friend Gail (in town from AZ) to join us in watching Devi experience the wonder of a Christmas morning. Devi, however, was quite serene, suggesting that WE should open presents instead of her. Once coerced into opening something, she carefully unwrapped the package, no ripping, as this is the manner in which a big sister conducts herself. We all expected mass hysteria and a ripping frenzy, over in a matter of minutes. In the end, we took a break for breakfast and let her open at her leisure well into the afternoon.
I made dinner for these guys! My extended family. We had beef tenderloin - with recipe sent from my friend Michele, a chef. It is no secret to my wise cracking family that I am challenged in the meat cooking department and true to form, this year did not disappoint. Who knew cooking meat dabbed with butter at 500 degrees would create smoke? I mean a LOT of smoke. At one point, the women, including Devi, were fanning the plumes of smoke billowing from the oven toward the fan and open windows with kitchen towels while debating whether to OPEN THE DOOR or LEAVE IT SHUT. Meanwhile the two retired firefighters in the crowd, standing in the background with folded arms commented about spontaneous combustion, fire extinguishers and escape plans. Never the less, the meal was delicious and prepared perfectly. The bonus? In true epicurean style, they took the wonderful aroma of the meal home with them to enjoy later in their clothing and hair.
Taking a few last minutes of the year from travel planning we celebrated Oma's birthday and began our New Year by packing the decorations away, downing the tree, washing and arranging a wide size range of Devi's hand me downs, not knowing what size Treya might wear, building a crib and rearranging most of the furniture upstairs to accommodate 2 girls sleeping together in one room and turning the nursery room into a play room (which means all toys contained in one room with a door to shut out the mess!) All this in 48 hours! The good news is we do have a completed itinerary that was finalized last night...phew. We leave the 6th and return on the 29th. NOW we take out a suitcase!
Mountaintops and Valleys
3 weeks ago