blue sky shining over

Month: December, 2012


adoptive parents with baby at airportoh, blessed rain!
blessed hippies
blessed evergreens
blessed messy bedroom
blessed excited housemates
blessed home cooking
blessed shower with water pressure
blessed clouds
blessed cats
blessed friends

welcome home, ash.




dear florida,

please accept a goodbye kiss from ashal.

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… cause we’re going HOME!

our ash baby is about to experience the wonders of life in oregon, where daddy isn’t the only guy around with facial hair, mommy isn’t the only one who greets strangers on the street, and a host of people are waiting to love him!




we gave ourselves the entire plane trip to pick out a name for our 12 day old, yet-unnamed baby, forgetting that the plane would have no internet access. how the heck do you name a baby without the internet?!

the process went something like this:
watch an episode of seinfeld.
“what name do you like the best right now?”
“you answer first.”
“let’s watch another seinfeld.”
(lather. rinse. repeat.)

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ashal was a name that we had briefly considered before sky was born, but never even reached the “let’s research this name” phase. basically, we wanted to call him ash, but give him a slightly more dignified full name. “asher” had a little too much R action with our last name (asherrrrrroberrrrrts), so ashal was a lovely alternative.

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my dad did some research on the name. (cause, you know, he had internet. such a useful invention.)┬áhe found that it means “tamarisk tree” in hebrew, and “a flower in the heavens” in arabic.

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joel asked why the baby even needed a middle name. i informed him that depriving a child with the ridiculously common last name of “roberts” of the many internet-age options a middle age name provides is not very nice. joel capitulated.

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ashal’s birth dad is haitian, so i used our half-hour layover in phoenix to look up popular haitian names for inspiration.

unrelatedly, the phoenix airport carpet is weird. (though i suppose a pdx native can’t really boast in the matter of airport carpets.)

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and there, right near the top of the list.

god with us.

it all came together.
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today we’re snuggling our little flower from the heavens, who brought the hope of god-with-us back into our life after a desolate year of pain and grief.

web ready-039i wondered if i would ever say this again.

merry christmas.


i don’t like the term “easy baby,” but if there ever was one then ash is it. he eats, sleeps, hates to be changed but forgives us quickly, and soaks up as much cuddling love as he can get. we’re working hard to start breastfeeding, and i’m so impressed with how well he’s doing! we’ve managed to establish a good latch a few times, and we’re slowly moving toward more and more human milk, and less formula. (woohoo.)

mommy’s learning that babies don’t have anti-migraine properties, and forgetting to eat for hours on end doesn’t do anyone any favors. (headslap.) daddy’s taking the lead on sling tying (check), bottle making (check), laundry doing (check), and delivering that special dad-brand of wit (check).

here are a few unedited pictures from the big camera from meeting ashal at the agency and our first day “home”.

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ash with mom, day 2


it’s been almost exactly 24 hours since we brought ash home (i.e. extended stay america) from the agency. yesterday at this time we were in whole foods, buying baby wipes, cocoa butter, and big people food. we’re spending as much time holding him as possible to promote bonding (i.e. all the time), so instead of carrying his carseat through the store i carried him, swaddled in his little receiving blanket and drawing stares from everybody. one lady, beaming at him, wished us good luck.

he’s been giving us plenty of time to sleep. he rarely fusses unless we put him down, and is content and alert when he’s awake. today’s itinerary includes a first attempt at the intricacies of babywearing, continuing to slowly introduce breastfeeding, and finding milk donors in southern florida.

oh, and snuggling. lots of snuggling.

ashal emmanuel

IMAG0180 joel holding ashal IMG_20121220_173519_970(more pics to follow when i decide to delve into my real camera. for now, this is what you get.)



(apologies for the capital letters, I’m on my phone)

2 hours …


hopefully that will be enough time to install this ding blasted car seat.

We’re in shock, recovering from sleepless night on the plane. Gosh, it’s warm in Florida! Our hotel graciously let us check in early, then proceeded to have no hot water in the shower, mold in the bathroom, loud beeps from outside, and a shower repair man. So much for a nap and a shower.

Going to buy a bassinet now, since we forgot our pack and play at home.

Did I mention it’s warm in Florida?


yes, that’s a carseat i’m holding … and it felt weird, let me tell ya. the us airways check-in man is named rico. he asked where the baby was, and we told him. he asked if this was our first time, to which i still answered yes, and then stuttered a bit. our first time […]

rainbow | part 2

we’re flying to florida tonight to pick up this little week-old sweetie.
we’ve known about him for less than two days, and in less than one he’ll be ours.

i wrote the original rainbow post almost exactly 9 months before he was born.

i have no words to express all that we are experiencing right now … but i’ll keep this space updated!


… year since we drove home without our baby.