Tuesday, January 26, 2010

We're Home

We made it home and we're so glad to have everyone together. It was an amazing journey to our two new girls. Their adjustment has gone surprisingly well so far. Hermela was definitely the mother figure to Meron and unfortunately her parenting style was to give Meron everything she wanted when she pitched a fit. This has led to several meltdown tantrums when we've had to put our foot down with Meron (wearing a seat belt on the plane, wearing underwear, my favorite-not eating "mastica" (gum) out of the trash can). Aside from this "normal" 3 year old behavior (she is so much like Caroline it's scary), things have been going very well.

I'm still amazed at the things they get excited about. I made green peas with lunch yesterday and Meron ate them one by one and kept saying, "tank you mommy, tank you". She also likes green beans and broccoli. Hermela on the other hand has rejected all vegetables except potatoes with berbere (a staple Ethiopian spice that I brought home). They ate refried beans mixed with berbere and flat bread today. Hermela seems to be having the harder time adjusting to the food. Probably because she is older and more accustom to Ethiopian food. Our success foods have been fruit of any kind, especially bananas and oranges, peanut butter and jelly and cereal. We'll keep trying and I think we'll go to the Ethiopian restaurant this weekend.

Language is coming along. We learned a good bit of Amharic and I brought picture cards with us with essential words and phrases to help with communication. I think it really helped with the initial bonding and transition. We really didn't use much English while we were in Ethiopia, but now that we're are home, they are picking it up quickly. Meron has now officially mastered the phrase, "no mommy" thanks to Colton.

We had to take the camera that we had rented for our trip back today, so we did one more photo shoot in the back yard this morning. I'm loving having all five of my kids together. Finally, things are as they should be.

Praise God-He is so good!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


We have our Embassy appt. tomorrow and then we'll be going shopping. Today was a holiday-epiphany. We had the coffee ceremony and Hermela danced for everyone. The culture is amazing. The guest house is really nice. It is so fun having the girls and feels like it has been longer than just 2 days. They will fit perfectly in our family. Meron is happy and her smile is priceless. Hermela is just a delight. Tonight they saw their embassy outfits for tomorrow (dresses with tights). You would have thought they won the lottery to have tights. They squealed and danced and ran to me and said, "thank you mommy, thank you". Then we put them on them and they danced and laughed. Hermela said, "yes, yes", made me tear up to see them so happy over something we wouldn't think twice about. I'm sure they will teach us all a lot. We are so grateful for them. Keep praying for the rest of our journey here. It's been amazing so far.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

We're Here!!

We've spent the last day in half in Mekele at our agency's other care center. It was amazing. The people here are so nice and the staff and nannies take wonderful care of the children. We haven't even met our girls yet and this has already been one of the most amazing experiences of our lives.

We are now back in Addis and will meet Hermela and Meron in the morning. Hard to believe we're actually here. Meeting the children today kind of assured us that things will go well tomorrow (we hope). The children are so welcoming and loving, so we hope for the same with our girls.

Keep praying. So far so good. We are well and all of our bags are all here.

I hope to be able to post pictures tomorrow.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

We're Off!!

We left this morning for DC and will board Ethiopian Airlines early tomorrow morning. We've been soooo busy this past month with Christmas, 3 birthdays, our anniversary, switching and preparing the kids' rooms and packing. Oh the PACKING. Now that it is done, I feel like I can relax and enjoy the ride. I've had information overload for weeks-can't shut it off-wake up all through the night with to do lists running through my head. Now that we've done all the prep work, all there is left "to do" is board the plane and meet our girls! I think I will sleep well tonight.

Keep praying. We know it works. We've been praying specifically that our baggage will all get to Ethiopia and nothing will be lost. As we got off the escalator today to wait for our baggage, we saw it coming out on the conveyor belt. All four pieces. Doesn't sound too impressive, but it was because ours was the only luggage out. Not another piece of luggage was their, just all four of ours-at the exact moment that we came to the baggage claim area. Maybe I'm reaching, but I think we just experienced a small baggage miracle (or maybe someone just did their job). We're hoping the miracle will continue on our next leg.

We also got to make a little snowman in DC. They had a big snow storm last week and there are still piles everywhere from when the roads were cleared. This is the most snow I've ever seen, so it was a nice surprise to be able play a little in the snow.

We'll update if we're able.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Departure Eve

Last night before we start our travel journey to our girls! We've managed to get 20 care packages for other families, donations and enough snacks/clothes/camera equipment to last a week-we hope. Our kids are really starting to realize that we're going to be gone for a while (a "long time" as they put it). We've never left any of them for this long, so I know they'll miss us and we'll really miss them. Caleb told me he didn't want us to be gone so long tonight and Caroline said, "I will miss you so much mama". Even Colton was saying, "mommy bye bye?"

We've left a count down chain until our return, a treat grab bag for each day and we recorded ourselves reading their daily devotion, bedtime stories and saying their prayers, so hopefully all that will help. I'm sure all the grandparent attention will help as well.

Continued prayers for them, our travels, baggage making it all in one piece :), and our first meeting with the girls. Also, for all that Hermela and Meron will be leaving behind and their many adjustments to life with our family.

Monday, January 11, 2010

TB Test Results

The girls passed their TB test-yeah! So we are off to Africa. Just 3 more days until we leave and one week until we finally meet Hermela and Meron. We have lots to do still, but we are really excited!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Surprise Shower

Tonight a group of my friends threw a surprise shower for us. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for every one's generosity tonight and throughout this journey. We had one Christmas miracle after another a couple of weeks ago with family and friends and friends of family donating monetary gifts to us-just unbelievable. Literally, everyday during the week leading up to Christmas day, someone gave us money for our trip. Tonight was another unbelievable outpouring of God's love and the love of good friends. Our girls will definitely not be lacking in the fashion department. We can not express in words what every one's support has meant to us. We are truly blessed!

Travel Update

We've been given the opportunity to travel to the Mekele care center (our agency's other care center in an outlying area). We'll be able to bring care packages to and take pictures of the kids there for their parents that are waiting. We are so excited for this opportunity. This means that we'll be traveling 2 days earlier to accomadate this side trip. We'll still be in Addis by Sunday night and be able to meet our girls on Monday morning.

It was Christmas Eve in Ethiopia today and tomorrow is Christmas day, so no news on TB tests until Friday. Hopefully, Friday morning. Keep praying that all is well and for our upcoming trip and familiy transitions.

We're still working on the girls' room, but it is all coming together(we do have bed rails, they're just not up yet, and drawers-still being painted). Nick's dad built the beds from a picture we sent him and my dad and Nick have been working all week to get them painted. I love their sweet little room-can't wait to fill all those beds.