Talk about an anticlimactic finish to an otherwise roller coaster of a ride. Thanks to a new California law, it made it one of the cheapest ($25/kid) parts of the adoption process. For those of you who don’t know, re-adoption basically serves 3 purposes:

  1. Changes the kids names-since Ethiopia puts the father’s first name as the kids’ middle names when they’re adopted, the kids all had Brian as their middle name.
  2. Gets them a US birth certificate-Very useful if they need authentic copies of it for any reason.
  3. Makes them U.S. citizens-Well the older 2 at least. Since we saw Yordie prior to her adoption, she’s already a citizen. By the way, anyone know why that law (IR3 vs IR4) exists? People ask me and I have no idea.

They’re already our kids in every conceivable way, so it was mostly a formality more than anything else. As you can see it was a fairly laid back affair:

judge check out paperwork

The judge asked us if we understood it was forever. I’m not sure how you could have gotten to that point and not understood that, but whatever. Then I signed:

brian signing paperwork

Susan signed:

susan signing paperwork

Even Meron signed:


The kids got branded as being adopted:

Meron and Estifanos get branded Yordie gets branded

And then we got our picture taken with Cynthia:

us with the judge

All told, we were out of there in probably 10 minutes. Like I said, anticlimactic.


Inspired by Blaine and Julie (picture was actually on our agency yahoo group which I can’t link to…well I could, but you’d all have to join the group to see it), and perhaps someone else that I’m forgetting, I decided to try piggyback ponytails on Yordie.

Slightly out of focus, but you get the picture (oh, man that’s a pun in so many different ways):

Yodie in piggy back braids

A little better although she’s not actually looking at the camera:


Have you ever tried to take a picture of the top of an 22 month olds head?  They naturally look up at the camera.  This is the best I can do for a close up (the bottom crop isn’t mine, it’s the edge of the picture):

top of yordies piggyback ponytails

I think you get the idea.  You can do it with much shorter hair than you could with piggyback braids; it might be a good style for an older child with short hair (due to the orphanage shave).  You have to use a lot of rubber bands in the hair, so I do worry that it’s damaging her hair.  But it looks really good.

I’ve always wondered what I would answer if I were ever became a famous actor, made it onto Inside the Actors Studio, and had to answer the question, “What is the one profession you would not want to do?” After this weekend, I think I know my answer: tile layer.

The first layer of stick on linoleum came up no problem (15 minutes work, tops). I didn’t think to take a picture until it was already in the trash (easy tasks don’t make good blog entries):

first layer of tiles in the trash

Unfortunately, there was a second layer underneath the first. I should have figured this wasn’t going to be easy; the second layer didn’t come up as easy as the first. I fact each 1ft square broke into about 144 pieces as I scraped it up. Here’s what it looked like towards the end after a few hours of scraping.

2nd layer of tiles broken up

Finally I was able to go rent the tile saw and cut all the pieces.  I’ve never been so happy to have such a small bathroom.  I’m not a total perfectionist, but it seems like there’s always a little more you can cut (especially on the curved parts). Finally at 10 minutes to midnight I laid the last tile. Here it is with the blue spacers still in their spots:

tiles layed no grout

Yordie seems pleased (the next morning when she saw it, don’t worry we don’t keep them up till midnight):

yordie likes it

When I woke up on Sunday, boy was I sore. But the grout still had to be done, so another few hours on my hands and knees. The final product looks pretty good (new baseboard needs to be put down, but that will have to wait for another weekend):

tiles finished with grout

But man am I sore. I could barely walk when I woke up on Monday. All day at work I was walking around like I just got off a horse.  Today is a little better, but getting up and down out of chairs is a real problem still.

I’m not sure the couple hundred dollars we saved was worth giving up a weekend of playing with the kids. Of course, we don’t have the money to pay someone right now, so if I hadn’t done it, it wouldn’t have been done for a few months.  But I don’t know, I think the wait might have been worth it unless my legs get back to full functioning in a day or two.

The thing I like most about doing the girls hair is how the learning curve is so steep. Your first attempt at a new style is usually so poor that you can’t even take them out in public, by the 3rd or 4th attempt you’re usually at tolerable state, and by the 6th or 7th, you’re usually pretty proud of your work. I don’t know, maybe it’s all my superfluous schooling, but I really like something that you can master in such a short time.

Here’s my first attempt at flat twists:

right side flat twists hairfront flat twists hairleft side flat twists hair

You can actually see the learning curve with the different twists. Can you figure out which was my first one and which was my last? The answer and a few tips under the fold.

I’m thinking of sending this into Webster’s for them to use as an example of food induced comas:

yordie sleeping in highchair

I promise not to turn this into a photo blog (or feel free to convince me to go in that direction if you think my cute kids/photography skills are better than my thoughts/writing skills). I’m sure I’ll be inspired to write again at some point. If not, check back on Thursday, I’m sure Susan will have something interesting to say.

kids and dogs on couch

  We let the dogs watch TV too.

PS I don’t normally store my drill there. I was in the middle of installing the new blinds and had to take a break and snap the photo.

We reached 3 hair milestones this week:

Meron’s hair is finally long enough to put in piggy back braids on the top. You braid the first box, and then use that strand as one of the 3 strands for the next box braid. We had tried it previously, but she pulled the 1st braid out of the second set. Next time I think I’ll make the boxes after the 1st one smaller since the braids start to get thick with all the hair from the earlier braids.

piggy back braids frontpiggy back braids back

Estifanos is trying to grow out his hair so he can have cornrows. This picture doesn’t really do his afro justice which is getting long enough to need daily picking. I was thinking that the daily torture session combing would be enough to get him to demand that his hair be cut at once, but he’s sticking with it so far.

long afro hair

And Yordie’s hair is long enough to get the top into just 2 puffs. You don’t know how happy this makes me since doing parts and wrangling 6 or 8 puffs into rubber bands while the head constantly moved was starting to get to me. Of course, I’ll have to redo it more often since larger braids and puffs seem to frizz much faster, so it’s not much of a time saver in the end.

yordie drinking a bottle with big puffs

Next Page »