Thursday, April 19, 2012


It seems that our doc's are taking a trip to Nairobi!!! I think the DHL website might get a few extra hits today - as I watch our doc's get delivered to the High Commission. This is the last thing we have to wait on - the visa. Can it be that we are closing in on the end of this whole crazy process????

Hold on Bedi - we are coming soon!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What to expect when you're expecting...

We have had a busy couple of weeks. We have been getting ready for Bedilu to come home! I am estimating that we have 4 or so weeks to go! We have had a baby shower, have been test driving strollers and even bought one. We bought our first box of diapers. I have made new packing lists and reorganized our luggage and carry-on’s. New curtains have been made. And a new renovation project has begun. These projects have been fun and have kept us busy. I had been told that they wait from court to visa would be the hardest. And that advice might just be correct. We have hit a few snags in the past few weeks and our patience has been put to the test.

Of course I have been thinking non-stop of our son. I sit in his room and imagine rocking him there. I wash and fold his clothes and try to remember exactly how big he is. I think of him in the orphanage and remember the love I saw between him and one particular nanny. I feel guilt that I will soon be turning his world upside down.

You see, lots of people tell me how lucky he is to be joining our family. But he is going to be losing as well. He will be losing all he has known and even though living in a family unit is much healthier than growing up in an orphanage, he is going to suffer loss and grief because of us. This transition will be difficult for him no doubt. We have been getting ready for him – but he has not been getting ready for us – he has no idea how his world is going to change very shortly.

We have had lots of time (4 years) to take courses, read books and speak with other adoptive families. We will be following some recommended actions in bringing Bedilu home.

First of all we will be ‘cocooning’. This means that for the first little while (the time depends on Bedilu’s personality and progress) we will be sticking close to home. We will be limiting his experiences until we feel he is comfortable. After all, he has spent the last 16 months in an orphanage – often in the same room – with the same people. All that is familiar will change. We need to ‘introduce’ him to the world slowly. We will be limiting visits and visitors.

The first thing that we need to teach Bedilu is that we are his parents. He has been used to numerous nannies and care givers coming and going and he needs to learn that we are not going anywhere. As parents, Mike and I need to be the only ones responding to his needs. The only ones to hold, bathe, dress, change, feed and soothe him. He needs to know that when he has a need it will be met by Mom and Dad. Yep – that is a tall order. Yep – we are going to be exhausted. But it is essential to his bonding with us that we undertake this huge task. If a strong attachment does not develop it will affect other relationships he has in the future. This also includes responding quickly to his needs – there will be no ‘crying it out’. He needs to learn that when he cries we will respond.

Adoption is hard. Bedilu is in for a huge change in his life. And so are we. Parenting will probably be the biggest challenge yet for us. Thanks for your support and for respecting our family!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Did I miss something...

Most observant folks might notice that when we got our referral we introduced our son as 'Devin Shawn Bedilu Manning'. Last week when we announced that we passed court we introduced 'Bedilu Michael Manning'.... Anyone confused???

The issue of naming in adoption is complicated. There are good points to both sides - to keep the birth name or to change them. I am not trying to start a debate here. It is totally a personal choice and I really don't believe one way is better than the other - this is just the story of how we came to change his name and then change it back again :)

We (for lots of very good reasons) had decided to change our son's name. We thought about it long and hard and weighed the pros and cons. We poured over baby name books and made list upon list of names to consider. We choose a name we really liked - Devin - just because we liked it, Shawn for Mike's middle name and then Bedilu for his birth name. At this time we also began calling our son Bedi. My family tends to shorten names as nick names and Bedi has just kind of stuck all along.

Fast forward to meeting our son. All of a sudden it just seemed right to keep his name. Once we saw him we just knew he is a 'Bedilu'. Bedilu means 'by his luck'. Now, I don't really believe in luck - I do believe that our lives are directed by God and that Bedi has come to us not by luck but by a Divine plan. Changing his name 'back' to Bedilu wasn't a hard - it just feels right. I know we messed a few people up who have been making us things with his name - so sorry for that :) And that my friends, is the story of Devin/Bedilu.