Monday, June 30, 2008

Our First Family Portraits

I don't think words are even necessary...

We Tried...

Marley and I went to a Gymboree music class a couple of weeks ago, but we didn't like it. Too much structure and lap time, not enough moving around and exploring..but I got a couple of cut pix from before the class started!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Marley's New Babysitter

Yesterday we hung out with one of my students, Sarah. She is going to be one of Marley's babysitters and as you can see he is quite taken by her!!

A Weekend With the Davis Fam

This weekend we spent time with my best friend and her family in Irvine and Newport Beach. We were celebrating Lesley's neice's 13th much fun...wishing she lived closer!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

He's Already Driving?!?!

We knew he was advanced, but this is ridiculous!! He drove us around Whole Foods while we were grocery shopping! And he didn't run anyone over!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Father's Day Montage

Happy father's Day!

A Very Happy Father's Day

This was Michael's birthday and Father's Day weekend! Marley got us tickets to see Winton Marsellis at the Hollywood Bowl in July...great job buddy! And we went to diner at Shudders Beach Resort for a romantic dinner on Saturday. We also went man shopping: Best Buy, Sport Chalet, Lexus dealership and had our first family portraits taken at Sears on Sunday. All-in-all it was a pretty good weekend!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

What is This?!?

Marley has been making some very loud vocal projections lately! Most of them are happy and jubilant, and others we can't quite identify. So, please chime in and cast your vote:
Tantrum or Laughing?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Doing Better With What I Can

After the last post I had some serious discussions with myself and Mike. The ones with myself were along the lines of the difference of being caring and compassionate versus obsessive and counterproductive. So I took action in the ways I knew how to feel like I was doing something to help the people of my son's homeland. I read more articles about the drought and watched some BBC...why doesn't the American media report this stuff?? And then I made a donation to UNICEF and purchased some protein bars on behalf of my dad and fahter-in-law as part of their Father's Day present. I then sat back and asked myself what else could I do? I could give more money, but that might be irresponsible right now with our financial situation...I could keep crying and worrying, but what good would that do? So I took stock of what I had done: Educated my family and friends via email and a post on this blog, made a donation to a cause that I know will help Ethiopia directly and purchased two really gifts that will do the same thing. Could I as a human being do more? Yes. Can I as Lauren Marcos do more with what I have right now? No. What good will come of it if I wallow in my sadness for these people? I will have a bad day which would take away from the gift of spending the next 2 months home with my son. My decision: I was happy with the extraordinarliy small change I made and loved the poop out of Marley for the rest of the day!

The discussion I had with Mike was much shorter and went something like this:

M: Are you OK?

L: I've been thinking about the drought in Ethiopia and Mathewos and Marley's two brothers.

M: Yeah, it's been all over the news, really sad.

L: I'm worried about what would happen if Mathewos had to make an adoption plan for Marley's brothers.

M: Why?

L: Well because we would get that call.

M: Well, we would do whatever we had to to be able to adopt them of course. So see, there is nothing to worry about?

L: (no words...just tears...)

So to my husband I say have grown so much in the last few months and I see you continuing to to do so. I am so proud of you and happy to be your wife! I love you more and more each day, especially as I see you embrace your role as Marley's father. Thank you for being such a wonderful amaze me!
And that is why I love this man!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Struggling Today

I haven't yet posted about any of the issues surrounding international adoption, as I am trying to make this blog a place for friends and family to see the smiling little boy they love. But there are many things that some friends and family (those who are not familiar with international adoption and all of its "issues") don't know or think about; one of them is the life long connection I now have to a country and man half a world away.

Today my heart is very heavy as I am thinking about Ethiopia and its people; especially Marley's birth family. I worry about Mathewos, Marley's birth father a farmer, and how he must be struggling in the midst of one of the worst droughts his country has seen. I worry about how he is managing to care for and feed Marley's two older brothers. I think about Mathewos often, trying to empathize with the hole in his heart created by the many losses he suffered in such a short amount of time. I pray for him daily and include him in the prayers I say with Marley...hoping that hearing Mathewos' name will help keep him close to Marley's heart. I felt joy this morning hoping that upon receiving our first post placement report he will be releived to see how happy and, most importantly, healthy Marley looks (and is) and perhaps he can take some comfort in his most difficult decision.
The picture in this post is of Marley on the day he was admitted into the care center. It is hard to even recognize the smiley, chubby boy I call my son and so easy to see why Mathewos was forced to make an adoption plan. When asked what Mathewos wanted for Marley and his new life, he simply replied, "To live." In another photo (which I decided not to post because I don't know how Marley would feel about it) Mathewos is looking at the picture of Marley that was taken only days before we met him. A picture that shows a healthy, chubbier, smiling boy; this boy made Mathewos cry tears of joy. I like to think that in the photo of Mathewos with Michael and I taken in Hosanna, there is a glimmer of a smile upon Mathewos' face; perhaps some relief in his decision knowing that as difficult as it was, his very selfless act saved the life of his youngest child.

And now, to juxtapose his selfless struggle, I worry that because of this drought Mathewos won't be able to feed his other two boys. I worry that he will again be faced with the most difficult decision of placing his child(ren) for adoption, a last and desperate attempt at saving their lives. I worry, not only for Mathewos and his boys, I worry for Mike and I. I worry because I know we will be the ones contacted if they do come into care. I worry about making the most difficult decision that Mike and I would ever have to make about growing the family we are so content at keeping to a threesome. I worry about how I would live with myself and us if we didn't adopt Marley's brothers; I worry about how we would all live, and how dramatically our lives would change if we did.

As I said, I pray daily for Mathewos, but lately my prayers have included some other sentiments and I don't know if what I am asking for is worthy of prayer. So now I am doing the only thing I know how and that is taking some sort of action, so at least I don't feel completely out of control. In addition to praying and meditating on the health of Marley's birth family, today I wrote not only to all of my friends and family, bit also to my state senators. I told them who I am, a mother of an Ethiopian who still has family alive and struggling in his birth country. I asked them to what they can to ensure that Mathewos won't have to lose his entire family to drought, famine and poverty. If I were able to send Mathewos aid myself, I would, but I can't, so I did the only thing I knew to do. And now I am asking you to do the same.

Please write your senators and urge them to send aid to Ethiopia. Here is the link to the letter template I used, it is from my agency's forum.

And here is the link to find the email address for your senators.

And if you would like to donate to UNICEF's Ethiopia program, you can do so here:
Please take the few minutes it will take to help in getting aid to a country and its people who are forever a part of your life as well; if you are reading this blog, you are a part of Marley's life. And a very large part of Marley needs you to act on his behalf.

Sending Sunshine to a Friend

This post is for our freinds Steve and Julie who are going through a difficult time!! We had lunch with Julie last week when her life was a bit more simple! Here's some sunshine for you Julie...anytime you need to squeez his cheeks, you are welcome to!! Hope things get easier for you guys soon!

Father's Day Came Early

For Father's Day, Michael's first, I decorated his office with a miriad of pictures of the family! Here is what it looks like and Michael's reaction when I surprised him!! The two blank frames will be filled with the family portraits we are taking on Sunday!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Oh No He Di'nt!!

Yes, he did!! Daddy, the die hard Spurs fan, let Marley wear one of his two, yes two, Lakers outfits during the game yesterday! You can see Michael is thrilled...I beleive I heard the words "Why have you forsaken me" come out his mouth!! Marley was clearly upset over the loss...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Tongue!

It seems to be a permanent fixtures these days!! At prom, at parties, at the beach, with's not just for determination anymore!! And if you're really good...he'll let you pet it!!

Marley's First Prom

To think that Marley's senior prom will be in the year 2026 is a little too much to comprehend!! So I thought we should get him started early!! To top of our fun filled Saturday, we met Daddy at prom after the Mia, Demoze and Yenenesh party!! I am sure he was crowned prom king...but we left at 9:30...way past the king's bedtime!! I made a little Ascot looking tie (ok, maybe Marc Jacobs would argue...but whatever) with a head scarf of mine!!

Another Party You Say

You know it!! While Daddy was rocking his GRE, Marley and Mommy were at a party for Demoze, Yenenesh and Mia. All three were celebrating their birhtdays, and more exciting, their 6 month "Famiversary"...we were lucky that we had Julie to accompany us...she rocks!! NOtice the rainbrow bright butt!!