Destination Accomplished

My husband had to travel for work this week, and I didn’t like the thought of being left home so I contacted my sisters in Chicago to see if they were wanting some quality Wren time. Okey and I left very early yesterday morning. He headed down to the airport, and I started my drive. We chuckled knowing that he would land on the West Coast before I even approached the middle of the country.

Wren and I made it to our first stop on schedule. I was so proud of my little travel companion. She was doing so well; she was sleeping a lot. We took our time at our first rest stop in Ohio. We also took more time than we intended at our first rest stop.

As we returned to the car, I was juggling the baby, her diaper bag, the coffee and the car keys. I put the coffee down and tossed all but the baby onto the front seat. I shut the door. I heard a beep, the kind that indicates that the car is now locked. What?! I checked every door and the back hatch in vain. I looked hopelessly at my car keys and my wallet and my cell phone sitting on the front seat.

It was cold and blustery, and so back into the rest stop we went. The travel schedule was shattered. I started to worry about when we would arrive in Chicago, but I had to still focus on the task on hand: getting back into the car. The very nice man at the welcome desk called for the tow truck who patrols the toll road, and all we had to do was wait. While I berated myself for letting this happen. While my phone was in the car so I couldn’t even figuratively cry on my mother’s shoulders. While my $2 coffee was getting cold. While thanking God that Wren was still in my arms when the car decided to lock itself*.

I was also upset for not taking my car on this trip, which not only gets good gas mileage but has the feature which will not let itself lock if it senses the keys inside**.

We found ways to amuse ourselves before the tow truck arrived. Since all of the books were locked in the car, I had found a colorful zoo brochure which worked as a picture book. Wren also enjoyed waving as people were coming in, and then saying “buh-buh” as they were leaving.

Finally, the tow truck driver arrived and within a minute, we were back in business.

As we continued to Chicago, we encountered whiteout conditions. Visibility was incredibly low, and traffic was reduced to one lane. It continued to snow off and on until about 15 miles from the Illinois. I am very glad that Wren and I were in a vehicle with all wheel drive. And I can’t help but wonder if God had intervened back at the rest area, keeping us stranded before the initial snowfall and consequently out of harm’s way.

Wren was the perfect travelling companion. She was content to play with her Alix and Sammy dolls. She figured out the sippy cup last week, and that probably saved me some grief along the way. She let me know, though, about ten minutes from my sister’s house that this 10-hour road trip I promised her had turned into a 13-hour road trip. But once we got to my sister’s house, she was happy again. Happy to see her family and happy to be out of that confined space. Me, too.

*I was willing to admit possible human error even though I believed at the time I did not lock myself out. When we got to Chicago, the car decided to lock itself again. That time I had the keys in my hand.

** I have locked the keys inside my car, and the dealership was very confounded. Evidently, I had let the car’s 12-volt battery die at the same time as the key fob’s battery.

Road Trip

This afternoon, Wren and I left for Chicago, Illinois, via Martinsburg, West Virginia. We made the first leg of the journey without a hitch, and we even stopped along the way at Hunt Country Yarns for the first time. I picked up a couple of Cascade 220 skeins (which were kindly turned into balls before I left the shop). Will I be able to turn them into a scarf before we leave on Monday morning? We have only a few adventures planned so we’ll see.

Interview with a Knitter: Sarah

Just over ten years ago, my roommate and I snuck an upright grand piano into our dorm room. We had spent our Saturday driving throughout the mountains south of Morgantown looking for the right piano. It had to have a pretty sound, be priced reasonably, and fit into my future brother-in-law’s truck as well as the dorm elevator. Like the music that piano produced at the hands of my skilled roommate, our amity has been harmonious.

I have enjoyed my friendship with Sarah.  Together we have experimented with recipes, exchanged stories, and experienced motherhood.  She has also shared her enthusiasm of fiber art with me as we learned to spin yarn together a couple of years ago.

Sarah is also a fantastic knitter. She is able to create beautiful hats and lacy scarves from wool yarn.  She recently allowed me to ask her some questions about her hobby, and below is that interview.

I know that you have been knitting for many years. How many has it been? Who taught you to knit? Have you always knitted or did you quit only to take it back up again as an adult?

I learned to knit around the start of high school. So maybe almost 20 years. My Nana was an avid knitter but my mother is the one who patiently cast on the start of each project and picked up my dropped stitches for me until I learned to do it myself. I used to get the urge to start a project and I’d walk over to my Nana’s house where she would help me look through our pattern books. She often had some wool in her stash that would be just right. In college my knitting slowed down a lot. There was a pink vest I was always knitting on… the never-ending project. Maybe it was too soon to start a large project like that when I had only knitted one scarf and a few hats. Anyway, there came a time I couldn’t face it anymore and I put away my needles. Later my mom found the half finished vest in a closet and tried to complete it for me but it seems that moths had found it first. Maybe it’s for the best–it might not have fit anyway since I had not yet discovered the importance of gauge. When my life changed again I started my “career” and I had some time on my hands again. I found knitting to be a meditative and pleasant way to spend a winter evening or even to keep my hands occupied while I watched a movie or listened to books on tape.

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Our Morning Story

Nothing beats sneaking into her room right as she’s waking up.

Her little fingers start to wiggle.  Her legs start to kick.  Her eyes open and look around the crib.

She is so content lying there and at the same time eager to start the day.

Her eyes meet mine and, there it is, her smile that I’ve missed since the night before.

Strange Conversations with Strangers about Adoption

I’m thinking I should start up a series of blog posts called Strange Conversations with Strangers about Adoption, but that’s a bit lengthy of a title for an ongoing series so I’ll be mulling it over until the next blog article begs to be posted.

Our family does not match, and people cannot resist approaching us to figure it out.  I don’t know why people want to know where our daughter is from.  We get asked what country she is from constantly.

The first Sunday after we brought Wren home from the hospital, a gentleman in our church approached us and the conversation went like this:

He said:  Oh, great! The two of you are babysitting.

I said:  No.  This is my daughter!

He said:  Oh, where in Africa is she from?

I said:  No… She’s from here.

[Okey has decided to add an accent to the name of the well-known local city in which she was born since he figures people want an exotic answer.]

A parking garage attendant spotted me carrying Wren, and that conversation went like this:

He said:  Is she from Ethiopia?

I said:  No.  Are you?

[He was.]

Twice this past week, well-meaning acquaintances asked if we would adopt another child from the same country.

I said:  Yes.  I would.

Then there are people who assume we are related by blood but can’t quite figure out the connection.

When Okey and I were visiting his grandmother in West Virginia, his father introduced us to another visitor at the nursing home. The lady was so confused that she sought clarification.

She said:  If the two of you [meaning Okey and me] are brother and sister, then who’s the little girl’s parent?

[I still don’t understand how Okey and me being siblings made more sense.]

Then there was the conversation I got when just Wren and I are out shopping.  The cashier was trying so hard to figure us out.

He said:  She must have her father’s face.

I said:  Uh, I guess.

We stopped by the alley to visit our old bowling league.  A new bowler approached us, and the conversation went like this:

He said:  Oh, so is this your niece?

I said:  No.  This is our daughter.

He said: Oh, how great of you to adopt her from Africa.

I said:  Umm, she’s not from Africa.

And sometimes there are just awkward conversations like when the nursing students in the hospital were encouraging me to breastfeed my daughter.  That conversation went like this:

She said:  Breastfeeding has been shown to have more health benefits for a newborn child.  You should consider it.

I said:  Oh, I don’t think that it’s an option for me.

She said, curiously:  Why not?

I said, straight-faced:  I just don’t think I’ll be able to lactate.

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For truly serious in-depth conversations about adoption, please check out Don’t We Look Alike? DWLA is generally about adoption, primarily international adoption, and often-times transracial adoption.  Every post has been insightful,  and I highly recommend it to everyone in my circles.

Wren at 10 Months

10 Months
This past month has been the most fun to date.  Wren has so much energy and spunk.  She keeps me busy, very busy.  (This is my third attempt to publish this short post.)  Here’s a short list of the amazing things she’s done this past week alone.  She learned to clap on Monday, cut another tooth on Tuesday, took her first step on Wednesday, and said “bye bye” clear as a bell on Friday.

10 months