Thursday, May 27, 2010

Good News and Bad News
Today we got a tentative embassy date…… July 1! The good news: we have a tentative embassy date. The bad news: I will likely NOT get to travel with JT to pick up Tedi. I start my pediatric residency on July 1, of course. Plus, I have orientation the week and a half before I start. It is very very difficult to ask off during this time in a residency. I told the chief resident my “tentative” travel dates (June 26-July 4) today but have yet to hear anything. Again I do not expect to travel but I am praying to get some time off in the end of July/beginning of August.

The irony in this situation…. when we did our Target registry on Sunday, it asked for a “DELIVERY DATE” for the child. Guess what date I chose…. JULY 4th. Guess what date JT will probably bring Tedi home….. JULY 4th. God has a very sense of humor. I wish I could say I was taking this like a seasoned champ, but it really has hit me harder than I anticipated. Throughout the day today, tears were looming behind my eyes. Thankfully, I have understanding co-workers and there were not many patients. As the day has progressed, I have had several uplifting conversations that have put me at ease….as well as trying to re-focus in prayer.

What peace have I reached? God has called me to be both a Doctor, a doctor for children nonetheless, and an adoptive mother…..He would not bring me this far in both journeys to not have a plan for me in this detail of my life. I am clinging to this and praying for continued peace so that I can experience all the joy with getting Tedi home. I have been reading “The Mom I Want to Be” by T. Suzanne Eller, and in the book, there was a Bible verse in a translation I had never read. Because of my nature to worry about the details in my life, it really hit home. (I know it is not a traditional translation but sometimes we need a break from the routine to really get to us….)

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces the worry at the center of your life” Philippians 4:6-7


Tomorrow is my last day of work in Somerset. This is very bittersweet as I ecstatic to move but will truly miss the people I work with. Despite the drama that occurs in an office of mainly women, I have come to love each person I work with…. But after a day of goodbyes, we have so much to do….

Friday: I leave work and head to Louisville to drop off my car.

Saturday: 7am drive back to Somerset and pick up the moving truck
10:30/11am load the moving truck
3:30p meet another adoptive family at my dad's boat dock
6p Egyptian wedding reception for my boss’s son

Sunday: 8am leave for Louisville with the moving truck
1-2p lunch at Sake Blue with Jacqueline
Sometime in the after: load the items at JT’s parents and buy Tedi a mattress
6:30p Walk through at our new place
7:30-8:00 Start Moving in !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am tired just typing it but so excited for it to happen. I will take lots of pictures to post on here!
But that little guy below makes this all worth it....

Monday, May 24, 2010

Working on Tedi's Bedroom

This past Friday one of my best friends from high school, Sarah Luttrell, took off work to re-finish a chest and nightstand for Tedi's room. The furnitured belonged to my in-laws Jim and Sharon, to be known as Tedi's Pop and Grandmother. They bought the furniture 35 years ago as their second bedroom suit. The wood was blondish-ish brown mix....not to sound as if I am describing hair. We sanded the furniture, primed it, sanded lightly per JT, and then put two to three coats of paint on each piece. We went to Hobby Lobby and found the knobs... soccer balls, basketballs, footballs, and baseballs. I am so pleased with final product. I can not wait to get them into Tedi's room this coming weekend when we move!!!!

Wrigley Field wall art for Tedi's room

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Like Mother Like Son......

The Hanel's and Wilkerson's were so kind to take a bag of goodies for Tedi during their visit to get their children last week. Well, the goodie bag had stuffed lion, a teddy bear, a tshirt that says "My mom Rules", sunglasses, a bracelet, a card with our voices, and two different pictures of us. They were able to give Tedi the baggy.....THE CAVIAT...... the nannies woke him up from his afternoon nap for this. Like me, he OBVIOUSLY does not like being awakened from a nap. I really do not think he was as annoyed with the gifts he got as he was with being sleepy. (or with wearing the girl's polo shirt).
1. Austin giving Tedi the State Farm teddy bear.... My dad has been with State Farm for 29 years.... and now SF is in Ethiopia
2. Austin showing him the card with our voices.... He looks a bit more interested.

3. Boy, he looks sleepy. In Austin's right hand is a picture of JT and I.... so weird to see our picture in Ethiopia next to our son.
4. Tedi all dressed up..... though not happy about it. He is sporting State Farm sunglasses, State Farm teddy bear, the stuffed lion, and his light blue "My mom rules" shirt.

I promise, son, once you are with us, we will work to decrease those frowns.... Because I know what it is like to lose good sleep! Thanks Elizabeth and Austin; Emily and Mike!

Fab Five..... shopping for a toddler edition

We have fabulous friends, Phillip and Abby Mullins, who are having an adoption shower for us in a few weeks so we spent some of today registering (JT with a shopping "gun" was annoying ,,,,jk) ... Yesterday, before we discussed the shower, we bought a few things for our pending trip to Ethiopia (date still to come). Well, here is our fab five over the two days of shopping for a toddler..

1. Munchkin's Snack Time Thingy.... This is JT's favorite. One of our friends, The Scott's son Eli, had one of these and JT was intrigued.... Therefore Tedi now has a set.

2. Carol's Daughter products.... this is a company that designs hair and skin products for African/African American/Caribbean hair....or non Caucasian hair rather. She has built a large business and the products are great. We did not buy this because we are going to visit the main store in NYC when we are there for my graduation.....We are looking forward to it.... Thanks Holly Prosser for the suggestion!

3. Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Booster Seat.... Thank Jason and Emily for the suggestion. JT fell in love and the safety ratings were good so.... we registered for 2. We chose brown, though I liked black better, since the interiors of our cars are taupe/brown. Oh well.

4. Superhero Underwear.... JT said every boy needs this. Not only will Tedi have Spiderman, but all of the superheros..... I do not have brothers so this was a new thing for me!

5. Aveeno.... we registered for and purchased several aveeno products on the recommendations of a lovely black girl in Babys-r-us (no registering there but "browsing") in a Kevin Garnett jersey... though she called it "Al-veeeeeeno" She was great!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
-William Shakespeare

Although I usually do not disagree with one of the greatest writers in history (because I live with my wife- the English major), this time I will disagree with William. Give me a moment to explain. I want to share with you the amazing story of how Tedi got his name-
Tedros James Henderson.
It is a story that goes back almost 300 years. My father’s family traces its ancestry back to England and immigrated to America well before the Revolutionary War. The Henderson’s are a loyal, strong and proud clan. In many ways, I fit right in with the Hendersons. I, too, am proud of my heritage and fiercely loyal to my family and friends. I am sure I look like most of them though taller and broader than most Henderson men (they rarely topped 5’8’’) with a bit of Irish (temper) mixed in thanks to my mother’s family- the Mulloy’s. Despite all of this, there are certain ways in which I feel detached from this Henderson heritage. These men were all excellent with their hands and could fix anything. I do well to put gas in my car and change a light bulb! I did not serve in the military. Henderson men proudly served their country. In fact, a Henderson male has fought in the American Revolution, the Civil War, and WWII. The thing that constantly binds me to these men is that name: Henderson. It goes even deeper than our last name. You see, my family has not been creative with its given names. Denise, my sister-in-law, did some researching and discovered that every firstborn Henderson male since at least 1740 has been named either James or William (or in my Dad’s case, both). The last four generations have been named William Franklin, James Thomas, James William, and James Thomas II (me). It makes me feel good that I was chosen to carry on a name that many proud and accomplished men have taken before me.

When Natalie and I received the referral for Tedi, I was a proponent of completely changing his name. I know you are thinking that I must be the biggest idiot in the world for considering this. I could never be described as boring and I looked forward to giving my child an exciting and cool name. I also wanted to change his African name because I did not want him to be “that kid” whose name no teacher can pronounce until December. I mean, he is already going to get some weird looks being dropped off by the weird white guy. Natalie, as she is usually right about these things, was adamant that he should be named Tedros James. My thinking changed when I did an internet search and discovered that Tedros is Amharic (Ethiopia’s primary language) for “Gift from God.” After my heart started beating again, we did not have the name change conversation again!

I am so proud that Tedi will carry on the legacy of the Henderson name. He has received this name in a rather untraditional manner but it makes for a great story. I am sure that James Madison Henderson (born in 1818) did not think that this generation of Henderson would be born in southern Ethiopia with a completely different set of DNA. I hope to teach Tedi that he was chosen to be in our family and that he more than measures up with his birthright. I hope that by choosing this name it will tangibly prove to Tedi that he is loved and always wanted. His name is special and 300 years in the making. Heck, I think I will end up trying to be half the man he already is. He has experienced a lot of sadness, loss, hurt, and abandonment in his three short years on this Earth. Yet he still manages to flash the most beautiful eyes and smile I have ever seen. I’m proud to share my name with this young boy, my son.

And isn’t the story of Tedi’s name an analogy of our relationship with Jesus? Please do not think that I am trying to compare Natalie and I to Jesus. Work with me here. We have all experienced hurt and sadness, yet Jesus still loves us unconditionally. He even invites us to share in His birthright- to be children of God. There is nothing that any of us could ever offer Him, yet He loves us so deeply. Tedi’s name will also be a constant reminder of the immense love that his Heavenly Father has for him.

John 15:16- You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you…”
Doesn't he look like a Henderson!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sydney O'Leary..... a little girl with a big heart and a big mission. Her mom originally contacted me for shirts several months. I then learned that the mom, Kristie, grew up in Liberty, KY, near where I grew up. The O'Leary family are adopting two lovely children from Ghana. Well, young 10 year old Sydney has decided that she wants to raise money to help feed children in Africa.... Please check out her blog and look at her shirts! She is a young girl striving to make a difference. Below in the

Front of the T-shirt

Back of the Shirt
They are $15...check out her blog for more details

Sunday, May 16, 2010

My Handsome Little Man

These are some pictures taken by a family last week.... I can not wait to get my hands on him!

(he looks a bit scared)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Reflecting on the Wait & What's Next?

I must say that I was not always "great in the wait." (The wait to pass court that is). I would get weepy and teary and frustrated and then angry. People would tell me that God erases the pain once you have the child in your arms.....merely passing court was a feeling I can not describe. It did not whitewash the pain and aching from the wait, yet it definitely transformed those feelings into something different. Now, Tedi is mine. He is really mine. I am a mother, though one with empty arms, I am still a mother. I think the instinct to be a mother and desire from within created the majority of pain.

One quick point, if you look at our time line.....we passed court six months to the day that we submitted our application. That is CRAZY fast! God is good.

Now, I have so much joy..... I still have concerns like "will I get to travel with JT to pick up Tedi?" Because my residency starts July 1, I will most likely not be able to travel in July. It is amazing, though, the peace I am having about this. Of course, I am praying for an earlier travel date but we just do not know.

Now we wait some more, but this time it is more predictable (kind of). The next step to get an embassy date at the US Embassy in Ethiopia. They tell to plan on 8 weeks (puts us in July). I have seen some families go sooner and I am praying that is us....but everything has a time period out of my hands (the lesson God is TRYING to teach me). So now we wait on an embassy date and at that time we can book our (or JT's) plane ticket, hotel and such.

I do not know who, if anyone out there, reads this but WE ARE SOOOOOO EXCITED. I am dying to get into our new place and fix up his room (haha need a twin mattress set first!). I want to get him toys and more clothes now that we know he is closest to a 3T and for me, I WANT TO GET HIM SO MANY BOOKS. I love reading and was an English major in my first college life, and believe reading is such integral part to language development and overall education......I even made an amazon wishlist "for fun." I am THAT nerd. yet all of these cost money so it will be gradual for us.

Now we are praying for two other grants to come in to help us pay for travel. While we have some money saved for travel, it will not cover two round trip plane tickets, one oneway ticket, 7 nights in a hotel, food, and other in country cost...God has provided before and HE will continue to do so.

Thank you for your support along the path. We are so blessed.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Friday, May 7, 2010

Fab 5 Friday

Though my poem sounded sad, I am not sad....frustrated and longing....yes. Sad, no. I am resting in the peace that God is watching over little man. Until then, I am trying to think of ways to stay positive.....

1. My Favorite Perfume: Marc Jacobs Daisy.

I first found this perfume on our cruise in October with my friend Jacqueline. My mother-in-law, Sharon, surprised me with it for Christmas and I am savoring every drop

2. You are my I love you You by Maryann Cusimano.... I read this book over and over in multiple bookstores and kept coming back to today I bought it!

3. Ice Cubes.... I love this gum and have to even hide it at work, but it is a luxury because at $1.19....that is a lot for gum

4. Diet Mountain Dew: I know it is not healthy, but I love it. Enough said.

5. Greenwich Village Food and Beverage Walking Tour.... A new friend, Jeanna Dawes, suggested this tour NYC tour at our first meeting. Though I lived in NYC for a year, we did not spend tons of time in the Village, but we love food and wine. My mom agreed and we scheduled this tour during our trip to NYC for my graduation in June!!! Yay!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I Wonder.....

I got home before sunset tonight and needed to re-focus after some things that have happened in my world and the pain of waiting for Tedi..... especially the pain of Mother's Day coming and going, another year, without being one. I sat down outside in rural Kentucky and thought about my son.... I returned my to English major roots and wrote a poem. Though elementary, it is my Don't expect Walt Whitman or Dickenson to jump off the screen.....

I Wonder in the Wait
  • I sit and watch the sun set
  • across the Kelly green grass
  • I wonder when you will be in my arms
  • and if this time will ever pass
  • The cool breeze lifts my hair
  • and whips it in the wind
  • I wonder how you are sleeping
  • and will this wait ever end
  • The birds continue chirping
  • as the day draws to a close
  • I wonder if you feel alone
  • and hope this chapter will soon close
  • The leaves dance briskly on their branches
  • and show their color to the sun
  • I wonder if you know I want you here,
  • my one, my only son
  • The blue sky fades to slight gray
  • as it waits to see the moon
  • I wonder when I can hold you close
  • and if you will come home soon
  • The warm day yields to cool
  • as darkness tries to overtake
  • I wonder if you will know
  • how with each picture of you my heart does break
  • The stars shine brightly above all night long
  • awaiting the morning dew
  • I wonder if you know, my son,
  • how very much that I love you.

Monday, May 3, 2010

An Update on Our Boy

There is a wonderful in Ethiopia right now picking up their daughter who is at T's orphanage. They are fabulous and emailed us an update this morning. I thought I would share a little bit of it since the words were medicine to my hurting heart. Her words made me both long to have him here and comforted me knowing he is doing well. Thank you so much..
"I met your sweet boy today. I asked for him and they brought him to me. He came with some of his friends. He has a very sweet personality. He was a little bashful and very tender. He made my heart melt. He has gorgeous eyes. I think he will bond well with you both, he was slightly
apprehensive around us, which is good because we are strangers.

I had one of the workers tell him I knew his mommy and daddy and he
smiled. I think 3t is a great size of clothing for him. Also we traced
his feet so that you can size shoes for him....."

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Child's Perspective

I have written before about our friend's daughter Stella who is four and is in love with Tedi. I had sent her mom a new picture and she heard Emily talking about from the other room. She ran in and asked (my recounting of the story)

Stella: Is Tedi here?

Emily: No. Not yet.

Stella: I don't understand why he has to live in the or-sanage.

Emily: Remember, his African mommy could not take care of him.

Stella: Well does he get to sleep with friends.

Emily: I don't know......(ad lib some story by Em and Jason)

Stella: Why can't their mommies keep them?

Jason: Many do not know Jesus or have the money to take care of them?

Stella: Well, why can't we go there and tell them about Jesus if they don't know about Him?

~Isn't it beautiful how the mind of a child works? She is such a sweet girl and I can not wait for her love on little T when he gets here! I found a quote on, one of my favorite websites, that made me think of Stella and T...I have get it in a frame or somehow.

No Difference
"There was a boy with skin as dark as the earth & a girl with eyes as blue as the deep & they loved each other so well that people could not tell them apart, for in their hearts, there was no difference between them. "

Our Weekend: Rain, Derby and Engagement

Unfortunately, there is no change in our adoption news. I am very frustrated and saddened, but trying to remain strong and immersing myself in other this weekend.
JT and I went to Nicholasville, KY to have a Derby/Engagement Party with my friend Jacqueline and her man Chris. Earlier in the day, he proposed to her! We are very excited for them and know they will be a great "aunt" and "uncle" to T, when he arrives. We watched the derby, drank Mint Juleps (my first ever), and went to a dueling piano bar. It was a great night. We drove back to Somerset this morning in the monsoon. Fortunately, none of the roads were flooded but it continues to rain! I posted some pictures below of the weekend. Enjoy.
(PS...I hope to post news about passing court soon. We are praying it comes. I would like to be a first mom on this mother's day. Only God knows though...)
Jacqueline and Me, showing off her ring....

Jacqueline with her step-sister Eavan and step mother Cala

Jacqueline and Chris at the piano bar

The fruit pizza JT and I made for the was fabulous!

The view from my dad's front door....the rain continues.