Miss Mert is helping to promote my prom as my original pimpstress with others helping out. To give a little background to the whole adoption process, I thought that I'd write this to set the stage. (For some reason Blogger is having issues with my return button, so stay with me!) My dad had been sick for a while, but we didn't know what was wrong. We found out that he had terminal pancreatic cancer (there is no other kind) in early spring. As we were helping my dad with treatment and starting to wrap our minds around losing him, I had the realization that my life was not going like I had planned it to. I began to think about regrets. I decided that if I were to die the next day, the only thing that I would regret was not having adopted a child. Chris and I had looked into adoption briefly while we were having our miscarriages before having Miss Ivy and had decided on an agency (Adoption Advocates International) that we had heard amazing things about that is located in our state. One day I went to Chris' office and told him that I really felt that it was time for us to adopt, that it had been on my mind, and that I really felt a huge pull to do this. It was amazing timing, as he had been thinking about adopting as well. We put in our adoption application that afternoon. It was July 28, 2005 which was also my twin brother and sister's birthday. We had decided to not tell my dad about our adoption because we thought that he would die and be feeling so bad that there was another grandchild that was coming that wouldn't know him and that he wouldn't get a chance to know. But our plans changed as we got our referral extremely early, before Christmas. We signed papers on a beautiful 2 month old named Agegnehu. For my dad's Christmas present we copied Agegnehu's photo and gave it to him as a gift and told him all about his grandson in Africa. My dad was ecstatic! We are the first in our family to adopt and my dad just jumped on the Agegnehu bandwagon like no other. He was telling everyone. He kept the baby's photo in his wallet. He would tell me, "This one is Papa's Cowboy. He's tough. He's been through so much. " He would ask about the baby every visit. On the last day that my dad was alive, we had all been holding the death vigil for days. On a whim, I came home for lunch before heading out to my dad's ranch. As I checked my email, I found out that Becken had been assigned to group I (which we took to mean for Ivy) and that he would be home a lot sooner than we had thought, although not soon enough to get here before my dad left this world. Through tears I called my brother and told him that I was on my way to tell dad about the baby, but if he began to die before I got there, to please tell him that Agegnehu was coming home. I sped like a demon out to the ranch, climbed into bed with my dad and whispered that the baby was coming home, he was fine and healthy and would be home soon. That we were all ok and that my dad could let go. My dad died a half hour later. A couple months later, on my birthday, I received notice that all of Agegnehu's paperwork had been accepted through immigration. But I knew this in my heart already. It was a birthday gift from my dad. We decided to name him Becken, with the "ken" after my dad. He was supposed to be Beckari with the "kari" after me but losing dad changed that. There are times that we call him "Little Kenny" or "Papa's Cowboy". Our family had been through Hell with losing my young, life loving, tough, Daddy. He was only 54. There are 6 of us kids with the youngest just being 13 at the time. It was horrid. But the baby kept us all going. Our light at the end of the tunnel. Our little saving grace. Our baby has been home almost one year and we are so thankful for him and for his caregivers that cared for him for 5 months before us. We are donating our money from Prom, (after expenses) to their scholarship fund as a way to try to pay them back in some way for loving our son. And by the way, did I mention what Agegnehu means in Amheric? It means "I found you". Thanks, Dad, you and Bec are made from the same cloth. We miss you! We love you!