Friday, April 24, 2009

The Rythym of Life

The past two days have been a dream. Jackson seems to have settled into a routine (once we got past the nasty doctor visit). Or at least that's what I'm telling myself. But since this isn't my first ride on the merry-go-round, I'm taking it day by day.

Jackson slept for nine hours again last night. That's two nights in a row. He woke up at six o'clock both mornings, took a bottle and we went outside to smell the jasmine and gardenias. Jackson loves to be outside. He looks around in wonder at the trees and sky. I just love watching him watch everything.

He went for a stroll around the neighborhood with papa so mama could get a shower and get dressed. Jackson has trained us well in such a short period of time. We know to get while the gettin' is good! He is lying in his crib at the moment, just cooing, giggling and panting. I LOVE listening to him. It is music to my ears. It will be time for another bottle in about fifteen minutes (if he stays true to his schedule). Rest assured he will let me know if it's time.

I think mama and Jackson are going to make a trip to the medical express clinic today. My regular D.O. is not in on Fridays and I fear I have an infection in my eye. A mother we traveled with noted yesterday that her son was diagnosed with a bacterial infection in his eye and I just might have the same. I've been sick since Thursday of last week and wonder if this is all tied together. I have a terrible cough and congestion in my chest which takes me at least an hour to clear in the morning. We'll see. I hate to take Jackson to a sick clinic, but papa has to go to work to earn the dough. I confess, I thought I'd be able to do a little work from home myself this week, but it is much more difficult than I ever anticipated. There is very little down time with Jackson. As a matter of fact, this respite (with him in the crib) is a rarity that I am fully enjoying. It's the best of all worlds. A few minutes to myself while listening to my sweet baby's voice. He is absolutely precious!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I spent months with a cell phone glued to my hand, not allowing it out of my sight while waiting for a telephone call announcing our referral. Now I spend my days with a baby monitor glued to my hand awaiting the sweet stirrings of Jackson in his crib. I like the baby monitor much better!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Home, Safe and Sound

Well, here we are home safe and sound replete with all the activity associated with an infant. We made it home safely Saturday evening and let me just say the BTDT people did not exaggerate their warnings for jet lag. Greg and I suffered greatly (and still are to some degree) from jet lag. That said, I can only imagine how hard it is for Jackson. Our internal clocks were only reset for ten days. Imagine poor little Jackson who has been on Africa time for his entire five months of life. I can’t say the adjustment has been easy. Jackson is a very high-maintenance baby. This may also be due to the fact that he has some type of infection (I presume) in his chest, sinuses and possibly ears. He has no fever, but a strong, rattle-like cough that has gotten worse since we’ve been home. Additionally, his tummy is so bloated with what I presume is gas, that I swear it’s going to explode! We have our first pediatrician appointment scheduled for tomorrow and I cannot wait to get there!

He is on an extremely tight feeding schedule of every three hours. Once in a blue moon we can stretch it to four during the night, but not often. It’s pretty firm at three hours and there is no way around it. When hungry, Jackson screams at the top of his lungs until you put that bottle into his mouth. I had expected it to be trying, and I have not been disappointed in my expectations.

To top it all off, Greg and I are both sick. My throat became scratchy Thursday of last week, but I was optimistically hoping it was from the dense smog we had been driving through for hours throughout the day. It worsened somewhat Friday and by the time we got to the airport Friday night I was pretty miserable. Our flight, scheduled to depart at 10:15 PM Ethiopia time, didn’t actually take off until nearly 1:00 AM Saturday morning. During the six hours of travel to the airport and waiting at the airport I deteriorated rapidly. But the time we got on the plane (11:15) I had a fever, severe body aches, chills and a pretty bad sore throat. Twenty-seven hours of flying was absolutely miserable. Here it is Tuesday morning and I still have a severe sore throat and no voice at all. I cannot even say Jackson’s name aloud. This makes me sad because he cannot hear me tell him how much I love him. Needless to say, Greg now has the sore throat and fever so he’s a few days behind me in whatever bug we have.

Enough about me though, let me just say that Jackson was such a trouper on the way home. We had four total legs of travel—two international and two domestic. He slept through the entire first leg and much of the second leg. The third leg? Well, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. Our travels took us from Washington, D.C., to Atlanta and ultimately to West Palm. The aircraft from D.C. to Atlanta was a smaller plane that never really cleared the 10,000 foot pressure barrier and poor Jackson screamed bloody murder the entire flight. I felt bad for the entire plane, because I’m certain they heard us, but I feel much worse for poor Jackson whose ears must’ve been throbbing.

We have some adjustments to make here at the DuBose household and they are on a fast-track schedule. But it’s all good. This is what we’ve waited for, for nearly nineteen long months and firsthand experience tells me that we’ll be through this phase before you know it. Until then, say a little prayer that we might get at least a couple of hours of shut eye. Just because Master Jackson demands a bottle every three hours it doesn’t mean he sleeps for three hours in between. Au contraire, mon frère. Master Jackson just LOVES that hour and a half of playtime and walkabout following each feeding. Yes, my friends, we certainly have our work cut out for us.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

James 1:17

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Journey of a Lifetime

Today was our first full day in Addis and already my life has changed forever. We began the day by heading to the top of Mount Entoto. The driver parked approximately one mile from the top and we along with the seven other early arrivals hiked to the top. It's not the typical hike one might think of. This was a hike up a paved roadway intermittently dotted with tin roof, dung-sided, one-room houses.

We were accompanied on our journey by several children and young men who served as pseudo tour guides, begging and (sometimes) pleading for money.

Our drive to the mountain showed us such great poverty that I can't even begin to put it into words. I felt so helpless. I wanted to save each and every person I saw--children, women and men. I wanted to feed them, bathe them and give them medical care. But I can't. I can't help them all.

I can begin, however, by helping one beautiful little boy named Jackson Bereket DuBose. He is but one little boy, but it and he--will make a difference.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Time has Come

Tomorrow we depart from West Palm Beach to travel to Africa to bring our son home. Although this adventure is nearly 19 months in the making, it still doesn’t seem real. It doesn’t seem like it’s happening. Perhaps this is exacerbated by the fact that it will only be two weeks Friday since we passed court. It has been many months of waiting followed by a punctuated HURRY-UP! Although we knew expedited travel dates were a possibility, there were still so many things to finalize. We had three different sets of potential travel dates assigned to us since January, plus two court dates. Each time I moved forward “tentatively” with things, but until you get that final “YES”, all bets are off.

So, here we are. We will leave our home tomorrow to return in 10 days with our long-awaiting addition.

We thank you all for your prayers over the past 18+ months. We ask for your continued prayers for us, for Jackson and for a safe, healthy return home. We love you all.

In HIS name,

Peace love and blessings.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Donations! We are blessed!

This suitcase is filled with donations from our church and our
friends. It is packed to the brim! It's a huge suitcase, large enough
to hold me if I tucked into a fetal position. And it's filled! We
serve an awesome God!

The bags next to the suitcase are filled with donations for the TH
caregivers and for children. I only have enough for 40 children, 20
boys and 20 girls. And I'm sad I can't take more--space-wise or
mometarily. We are visiting two orphanages. I wish I could take
something for everyone!

Can't Sleep

I am so keyed up! Saturdays and Sundays are my days to catch up on my sleep. I don’t mean sleep the day away. On weekends I look forward to getting eight hours of peaceful slumber, an additional two hours from the six to six and a half I get Monday through Friday. But this weekend, the last weekend without a little one to care for, I can’t sleep.

One week from now we will be in Ethiopia. Nine days from now we will have a baby! This baby has been nearly nineteen months in the making and the day to hold him in my arms is finally almost here. It’s funny though because I just can’t quite wrap my arms and mind around it. I’m terrified! I’m nearly as terrified as I was when I was pregnant with Brittany. The same thoughts are racing through my mind. What if I’m not a good parent? What if he gets sick? What if he stays up all night crying? Having a baby is expensive! I’m too old to be a parent, which is the opposite of what I said when carrying Brittany. The list goes on and on. But you know what, as much as I worried about all of these things, they worked out. They happened. That’s parenthood. But it was all okay.

Isn’t it ironic, however, that it’s not these thoughts that keep me up at night. It’s thoughts of I can’t wait to hold this baby. I can’t wait to love this baby. I can’t wait to care for this baby. I imagine reading to him and putting him to sleep in his crib. I imagine walking outside with him so he can hear the lovely birdsongs. I imagine walking around the neighborhood with him so he can take in all the greenness and fresh air and feel a breeze brush against his tender skin.

Our life is about to change drastically. Friday at work I kept thinking, this is the last weekend Greg and I will spend in our home as “just us”. The next weekend we spend in this home we will have a little one between us—literally. I know it won’t always be rosy. There will be sickness, tantrums, sleep deprivation, messiness, (much) extra work, etc. The list goes on and on. But these things are outweighed by the fact that we will be loving, nurturing and teaching a now-tiny person who will grow up one day to become someone who will change the world because he was given the tools and opportunity to do so. Not because of who we are, but because of who he is and because he was given a chance in life.

Hold on, Jackson. We’re almost there, son. I can’t wait to meet you!