Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rosie Update

One of the hardest things about this stage of the adoption process is the lack of information. All of those months waiting for a referral was hard, but this is harder. Now we are specifically waiting for someone. We have her picture, we know her name, we know her story. And, we desperately want to go get her and bring her home.

But, for now, we are having to make do with a once monthly update from the adoption agency. Our update came this week. Darn those sunglasses I sent in her care package!!!!! Sure, they were cute, and they were red so they matched her little dress we sent. And, she loved them. But it means that she was still wearing them in this month's update photo, so once again I didn't get to see her eyes.

On a positive note, she is remaining healthy and has gained a whole pound this month! We also found out that her favorite color is red, she loves to play with dolls, she has made a little best friend who will also be adopted here in the States, and that her favorite food is macaroni. She has been taught to trace the English alphabet, and 4 months in the transition home means that she has picked up enough Amharic that she can now communicate with the nannies and other children. Guess I'm going to go back to work on my basic Amharic.

We are 6 weeks and 1 day away from our court date, and if that goes well, we are 8 weeks and 2 days away from travelling to bring her home. I had all of my travel vaccines yesterday. I feel like a human pin-cushion! Yellow fever, menningococcus, hepatitis a, polio, typhoid, and a diptheria, tetanus, and pertussis booster for good measure.

Only 4 more weeks and I'll have another photo and the answers to 5 more questions that I am allowed to ask the nannies about her.

Please pray for Rosie. That she would be healthy and happy, and that as the nannies work with her she would be mentally and emotionally prepared for all of the changes that are coming her way. And, please pray for us, that we would wait patiently and not grow discouraged.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Things That Go Pitter Patter in the Night

I am a light sleeper. Always have been, always will be. Small noises wake me, and more often than not, I can't sleep until the noise has been identified. Oh how Gareth loves those noise-identifying searches in the middle of the night!!!!!!

But, there is one little noise that I have no trouble identifying: the pitter patter of little feet. I don't know what it is about our carpet, but when the house is quiet, I can even hear the cat walking on the carpet.

Nathan has developed a habit. If he's awake, he needs to tell us about it. Thankfully, he doesn't wake up every night. But, when he does it's usually the result of something being wrong. And when it is, he wants to tell us about it, usually with humorous results as he gives us the chance to see the world from that uniquely 3-year old, Nathaniel-type perspective.

It's not quite 3:00a.m. and I can hear Nathan sneaking across the living room and into our room. "What do you want, Nathan?", I ask. "Something's wrong"-this is Nathan's prefix for all sorts of things. "What's wrong, Nathan?" To which his reply is, "Someone's been messing with my pj's". To which my reply is, "Nathan, it's the middle of the night. No one's been messing with your pj's". To which his very indignant reply is, "Yes they have! They're all twisted, and they're up too high, and they've made my pull up go up my bottom". At which point, I nearly choke to death trying not to laugh too loudly, which would have offended Nathan and woken up Gareth. So, instead, I untwisted the shorts, pulled them down lower, and helped him retrieve the offending pull-up.

Evidently, not quite 4 is not yet old enough to see the humor in wedgies, but it did make me laugh!

Catching Up-What's Been Happening At Our House

With the arrival of grandparents, came the much anticipated arrival of the quilt for Abi Rose's bedroom. When I started dreaming about decorating her nursery, butterflies was definitely going to be the theme. And I wanted lavender, yellow, and green as my colors. But, I couldn't find any bedding that did butterflies in the right colors. Enter my amazing sister-in-law. Keri is quite seriously the most talented arty person I know. She was the one who helped us decorate Noah's nursery, which included hanging clouds, a wall-sized ark mural, and twinkly lights. I cried when I thought about selling that house. I hated the idea that anyone would paint over her mural. But, I digress.
A quick phone call to Keri sorted it out. Yes, she would make a quilt for Rosie. Yes, she could do 3-dimensional butterflies and flowers. And, she did not disappoint. Rosie may never sleep. The quilt is just begging to be touched. The backing is chenille, as are some of the flower petals. The butterflies are slightly crinkly and covered with sequins. There are some with sheer, sparkly wings. I spent ages just looking at all of the detail. Hopefully I will finish the other decorations this week-end, so will post pictures of the whole room when it is finished.

Yesterday, we had a great trip to the Omniplex in Oklahoma City. The boys loved the science museum. It was our first big field trip. I've been saving it until Granny and Grumpy were here for a visit, and I think they enjoyed it, too.Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of most of our favorite activities, because I was too busy playing along. Best things: Science Live-a mad scientist and lots of blowing things up, the water play area-experimenting with building dams, the training simulators for F-16 jets, the model railway, and the fact that the boys passed out before we even got out of OKC and slept most of the way home!

We only managed to see what was on the ground level. And even there, we could have very happily spent several more hours. We'll just have to go back another day to see what's upstairs.
The following picture has absolutely nothing to do with the Omniplex. These are the cupcakes that Granny and I made for Gareth's party on Saturday night. They turned out rather well, if I do say so myself.

Sorry, this has been a terrible hodge-podge. But, hopefully it will give you an idea of some of what we've been doing.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday's Post-My Current Favorite Photos

The week is winding to a close, and I have been painfully absent from my computer for most of it. Still, I did get lots of work accomplished and was all ready to celebrate Gareth's 40th birthday today. Sorry, no mushy, soppy, lovey-dovey posts here (well, at least not today). I saved that to give to Gareth in person in private.
Instead, I want to show you my current favorite pictures of Nathan. He might hate me one day, but I love them. As previously mentioned, Nathan is really into pretending currently. On this particular morning, he woke up and went into full cowboy mode before he could even get dressed or have some breakfast.
I never really "had a thing" for cowboys, but I've definitely fallen for this one!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Favor To Ask

I'm taking a break today from "normal" family stuff to ask a favor from you. If you haven't already, please go check out Or, just click on Abby's button on the right-hand side of this blog. And then, for those of you who are Christians, would you commit to pray this week for Abby?

I won't try to tell her story for them, but would encourage you to check out their blog. Her story is heartbreaking, but the ability of this family to walk in faith down the path that God has chosen for them is humbling and convicting and inspiring all at the same time.

Monday, February 16, 2009

What love looks like

If you were to ask me what love "looks like", my response would vary depending on what the day was like. But, for now, love looks like a Hershey's kiss. To be more specific, a squished up, melted Hershey's kiss that is oozing out of its' tin foil. (I tried to get a picture of it, but couldn't get a decent one.)

You see, overall it's been a pretty miserable week-end. I've been sick and really miserable. So, by last night, I was feeling pretty fed up. I still didn't feel good, my normally tidy house has been turned into a disaster zone over the 4 days I've been out of commission the kids left for church with Gareth wearing outfits that I would never take them out in, the guys hadn't eaten a healthy meal since the last one I fed them on Wednesday, and even though I still felt rotten I needed to face up to a busy week with Gareth's birthday party to take care of, adoption paperwork to take care of, in-laws arriving for a visit, and the need to keep up with schooling the boys. All I really wanted was for someone to tell me to go back to bed and that they would take care of it, but as that wasn't happening, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself.

So, when the guys arrived home from church, I was feeling sad. Until, Noah came in. Hands behind his back, he came over and presented me with his gift," Here, Mommy. I saved it just for you ". And there it was, the nastiest looking Hershey's kiss you've ever seen. Melted, oozing out of the wrapper, its' little paper squished down in melting chocolate, which was also all over his hands.

There had been a Valentine's meal at church after service was over, and the tables had Hershey's kisses on them. Noah had eaten his dinner, eaten his Hershey's kisses, but had saved the last one for Mommy. He fell asleep in the van on the way home, but didn't drop his kiss, hence the melted mess.

Call me a sap, but it was the best Hershey's kiss ever, made even sweeter by the statement to his Daddy, "You know, Daddy, I didn't just bring her a Hershey's kiss. I was showing her how much I love her".

It made me think. On different days, love can "look" like lots of different things. Sometimes I get stuck in my busy life and forget to show my husband, kids, and friends how much I love them. After all, I spend my whole life "loving" them by cooking, cleaning, playing, cleaning up after them, etc.... But, do they feel loved? So, my challenge for this week: find one specific way each day to love each of the men in my life so that they feel it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Look, Ma, No Training Wheels!

Hurrah for Daddy and Noah! Daddy has used his week-end with the boys (thanks to Dr. Hunter for
prescribing codeine and lots of rest for Mommy) to good effect, and Noah took his first ride without training wheels yesterday. And today, he's a regular speed demon. Like he's been doing it for years. He's so proud of himself, and I'm pretty proud of him, too. He's been really afraid of learning to ride without training wheels (we never could figure out why), but with a little bit of encouragement from Daddy he picked it up really quick. I asked Gareth to get this picture for me and just wanted to pass it on so you could enjoy the fun, too.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Is there a Dr. in the house?

I love babies. I miss having babies. Well, I miss parts of it. But, I don't wish my boys were babies again. This part of life is just too much fun. Okay, there are days when it's just a whole lot like hard work, but overall, it's great. Nathan will be 4 next month, and he is really into imaginative play at the minute. One minute he'll be a panther and the next he may be a pirate, a soldier, a cat, Ally's (one of his best friends) dog, or a doctor.

I think the Doctor is my personal favorite. He takes himself so seriously. Checking his beeper every few minutes, checking my temperature and blood pressure, putting on band-aids, holding very serious conversations on his cell phone, listening to my heart, and then giving his diagnosis. It's always the same. "You're awful sick. Your blood pressure is 37/194 (or some such crazy number) and you have a fever. You're 387. I'm afraid I'm going to have to give you some medicine". When asked what's wrong with me, his response is always the same: Well, you have a bad cough, and your ears are full of gunk.

Thanksfully, having ears full of gunk does not seem to be life-threatening. However, the shock I get when he sneaks up behind me and stabs me in the posterior with his syringe may well prove fatal for me one of these days.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Adoption Update

For those of you who might be wondering, here's the latest adoption news. Our court date is scheduled for April 10 (Good Friday, or now potentially Great Friday!). Court takes place in Ethiopia. We have signed power of attorney to an Ethiopian attorney who will take all of our paperwork, all of Rosie's paperwork, and an approval letter from the government agency that oversees international adoptions before a judge who will ensure that everything is in order. If he feels that it is, then he will declare Rosie to be legally our daughter. Approximately 30% of families do not pass court the first time, so we are attempting to prepare ourselves for that. For me, the underlying theme in this adoption has been learning to rest in the sovereignty of God. Not just to acknowledge it, but to actually let go and to rest in it. It's not easy. The struggle to get there isn't pretty, but oh, the release and peace when I do. So, as much as I hope and pray that we pass court on our first attempt, my bigger prayer is that I will truly let go and rest in the truth that God is in control, and He will work all things for my good.

If we pass court, then our travel dates will be April 25-May 2. My Mom is going to travel with me. I am currently working on travel logistics and trying to find the best prices and options for travel. Not that there are that many options! Addis Ababa, Ethiopia doesn't seem to be one of the tourist hotspots!

For this week, adoption "jobs" are: to get all of the travel paperwork faxed to our agency, to make a final decision about which airline to use, and to get an appointment for more of my travel vaccinations.

Anyhow, that's where we are. I know that the international adoption process is somewhat of a mystery for those who aren't fully involved in it, so if you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a comment, and I'll try to answer them.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

From the mouth of Nathan

Okay, more than one post a day is not going to be a regular occurence, but I wanted to share my favorite interactions with Nathan so far today:

1. At about 3:30 this morning, I became aware of little feet pitter pattering into our bedroom. What do you want Nathan? To which, the response was: I have a problem. Something's wrong with me. Neither one of my nostrils is working.

2. Thanks to the pink eye infections, we are using some homeopathic drops in the boys' eyes. Now, putting eye drops in the boys' eyes is harder than trying to herd snakes and not nearly as fun. You would think there was murder about to happen. Anyhow, after lunch I called them into the living room to lay down and have drops put in. After some brief reasoning with Noah, he complied nicely, and we were done. I was going to wait to dose Nathan, as all previous attempts to reason with him have failed completely, and we have previously had to resort to hog-tying him to get the job done. But, he had a new plan for this time. Walking up to me very somberly, he says, "No thank you, Mommy. I've been thinking about it, and I've decided that I really don't care for any eye-drops this time". Nice manners, nice try, but no luck for Nathan.


Hello Family and Friends!

If you've found your way here, then you must have some interest in following the goings-on in our neck of the woods. I hope that having this blog will help me do a better job keeping in touch with you and keeping you up-to-date with the kids' crazy antics and the adoption process.

Life is busy, so I won't be blogging every day, (besides, I'm not so pretentious as to think that anyone really cares what I eat for lunch every day or other such stuff) but I will try to post as we have news, the boys do/say something that the aunts, uncles, and grandparents would get a kick out of, or I just need to find a place to journal those thoughts that are racing round in my head.

Enjoy! And, if you don't enjoy, then don't worry, I won't know if you don't come back again!



Saturday, February 7, 2009

Testing, testing, 1,2,3

Okay, here goes. My first attempt at blogging. For someone who's not terribly computer literate, this feels really momentous. I guess it shouldn't though. After all, I'm only testing to see if I have done this right! Hello. Is anyone there? Can you see me?