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Snacks, Foxpaw Three Ways, and Rabbix #9: A Pack of Unusual Nursery Friends

What do a toy ostrich named Snacks, a stuffed fox named Foxpaw Three Ways, and a faux taxidermy wall piece named Rabbix #9 have in common?

First, they’re all inanimate objects that Sarah and I have ridiculously – no, shamelessly – named. But more importantly, the three lovable creatures (who are friends already of course) represent our little lady’s first purchased nursery toys!

Since we started the adoption in January, we had been somewhat slow to go “all in” on the nursery, for a couple of reasons. Without yet having our match and knowing our daughter, it has still felt a bit theoretical… so we wanted to wait on the referral before the traditional nursery painting and decorating. Also, while we’re for sure our match will be a girl, the only other thing we know is that she’ll be less than three years old. By the time we get the referral then travel 3-5 months later, we may come home with a tike ranging from 14 months old to 3.5 years. It really could vary, so we want to “know her” before planning too much. That means that her room – our front guest bedroom – has kind of just become a storage area since the Austin road trip brought home a bevy of clothes and gear.

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We couldn’t help falling in love with an irresistible little stuffed ostrich back in July though via one of our favorite social entreprises called Sevenly (www.sevenly.org). Sevenly is an inspirational online store that picks a different charity each week, and donates $7 from every purchase to benefit that cause in need. Not only do you learn about noble entities week-in and week-out, but you get to see some really powerful messages printed on t-shirts, posters, and such. One week in July, we noticed that the charity beneficiary was Love Without Boundries (www.lovewithoutboundries.com), a non-profit that raises money for surgeries for orphans in China. We also noticed Sevenly was carrying a new line of stuffed animals. And we couldn’t help but notice what had to be our peanut’s first stuffed animal: a wide-eyed, spiky-haired, lanky-legged ostrich. I mean, what little girl doesn’t need a quirky stuffed ostrich? We affectionately named the little man Snacks, and have let him hang out around the house ever since he arrived. It’s become a fun “prank” for Sarah or me to stash him in a funny place, for the other to discover unknowingly. The dude is flexible, so poor Snacks has been stashed inside the cupboards, in the fridge, and often sits on the blanket with us as we watch TV. He’s been a good friend to us so far, so we’re confident he’ll be a loyal companion to the lotus once she arrives.

The second item we swooned for came about randomly too, after discovering an artist named Elizabeth Foster earlier this year at a unique neighborhood art gallery (http://www.elizabethfosterart.com). Elizabeth’s work is incredibly dreamy (quite literally, her oil-painted canvases are magically wispy and dream-like), but unfortunately we’re trying to save every penny for the adoption and couldn’t afford to buy a piece. We did notice, however, that she made some small, more affordable to us faux taxidermy animals, ranging from fox to deer to… the cutest guy ever, an adorable, long-eared rabbit. We still passed on buying one, knowing we needed to save money. But after our neighborhood’s annual Tomato Art Festival in August when we saw that Elizabeth made a special round of taxidermies – featuring the animals wearing little tomato necklaces, the symbol of our neighborhood – we couldn’t resist. Again, how appropriate and so East Nashville for this little guy to be the first item on the nursery wall. There were originally 10 of these rabbits on display, each with a slightly different mischievous look. Rabbit #9 was our clear favorite, so we snatched him up, but had to wait six weeks to bring him home because he was technically still on display (it was like a mini-adoption wait!). Once home, we named him Rabbix #9 (with an emphasis on the “icks”). Long story. You can ask if you’re really curious.

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Once we got Snacks and Rabbix #9 home, a third friend joined the pack. Ma Callaway found an astute little fox and gave to us her second stuffed animal. How sharp is he in his tweed vest? Following a Callaway family inside joke, we’ve coined him Foxpaw Three Ways. We start to wonder, will our daughter have a harder time adjusting to America in general or to her goofy parents with their made up languages, sayings, and nicknames? And not just normal, easy-to-pronounce names like “Sam”. We’re talking, multiple syllables and inside jokes that would confuse the heck out of an adult, much less a tike trying to learn a new language.

Sarah has also hit a couple of garage sales and consignment sales with Leslie recently to begin filling out items like books and play toys. So the nursery is starting to come along. Next up will be to start thinking about wall colors, curtains, and such. The amazing decorator she is, Sarah already has ideas. And something super special is in the works as we speak: a special pair of carpenters are contemplating a built-in bookshelf and window seat for the lotus. Fingers crossed that it works out. I personally can’t wait to see it all come together. Like everything else, in due time.

For now, we’ll just leave Foxpaw and Snacks on the recliner and maybe test out her play chairs next the coffee table. A pretty cute odd couple, huh? I think they’re going to like it here. All four of them.

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"I am a lotus flower – delicate, fragile, yet strong... floating, unfolding, and blossoming into the life where I belong.”