Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
We we didn't fly out of Addis until 10:50pm so the whole day we just stayed at the hotel b/c Michael's fever was subsiding and mine had just started, so we just tried to keep Ezra entertained and free from whatever we have. I went downstairs to check my e-mail and luckily it worked after about 35 minutes and the first e-mail I saw was "urgent news regarding Father Bob"... (Father Robert Wilson was the priest at our church and like a grandfather figure to me) I immediately opened the e-mail and was DEVASTATED to read that he'd died on Christmas unexpectedly from a heart attack. I immediatly ran upstairs to tell Michael and was just sobbing. Still to think of Ezra being baptised by someone else seems surreal. Ft. Bob has been with us during this entire adoption journey and even attended my baby shower. So to know that he will never meet Ezra in person was just too much. Then when we got home from the airport I was going through all of my back mail and I opened up a Christmas card from him... very very sad.
So we just kept plugging along until 6pm when we went to the airport. I didn't tell anyone in the travel group about the loss of my priest b/c I didn't want to have to think about it and take the chance that I would lose it again. When we got to the airport my stomach starting REALLY hurting so I knew what that meant. FYI the bathrooms at the airport have NO TP. This is a time when creativity is a blessing :) You have to go through about 5 different security checkpoints at the airport in Addis. The last one you go through puts you in a large "holding room" that has no trashcans and NO bathroom. I really needed to go but they would NOT let me out. I first tried begging nicely then I was a bit$# about it but they would not budge! So I had to wait about 40 minutes or so and then just ran to the bathroom on the plane. So for future families. If you have to go, GO BEFORE you go through the last security people. Ezra was a dream on the long flight to the states, he barely cried at all. The next leg of the trip however was a nightmare from hell. We had to wait at the airport from 8am until 5pm and at first he did well, then he started being really fussy and nothing would console him (which was a first for him). So I noticed that he was feeling REALLY hot and his face was beet red. Luckily I'd brought a thermometer and his temp was 103.5!!! For a new mommy this sent me right into freak out mode. Michael went to find some baby tylenol and I was stripping him of his clothes and trying to console him. There was a very nice woman who I guess noticed me freaking out a bit and came over and asked to pray over him with me. She then found someone with tylenol and gave him a dose b/c I didn't even know how much to give. I just kept calculating a dog dose but I didn't know how close that would be to a baby dose :) Then another woman with her 2 kids started helping us as well just trying to console me more then him I think, while another man started playing with him and trying to get him to giggle. Almost within 10 minutes Ezra calmed down and started laughing. His fever slowly fell and we decided to get on the plane b/c he was still wanting a bottle. One the plane after about 20 minutes Ezra started wailing! Like something was stabbing him and NOTHING would make him stop. So they let me sit with him in the first class bathroom for about 45 minutes trying to get him calm down. Michael and I just stood there in the bathroom looking at each other like... what do we do???? I was praying my rosary and praying to Father Bob the entire time, saying, please Father Bob, please give Ezra peace and heal him... shortly afterwards he calmed down enough for us to take him back to our seats with a bottle and he slept the entire time even through the worst turbulence I've ever experienced. I couldn't believe how BAD a little 2 hour and 55 minute plane ride could be. I was so shaken and physically exhausted that I literally had spagetti legs getting off the plane. I felt like I may collapse. But then we got off the plane and could see our families waiting as well as 2 of the Texas America World families and that was just such an uplifting feeling. The Lord truly was with us on that plane and I'm soooo grateful that he's been with us every step of the way. We gave Ezra another dose of Tylenol and so far his fever hasn't returned. Also a big thanks to my fellow veterinarian and experienced mom, Dr. Cyndi Davis for being there for me while I had my freak out moment in the airport. I'm going to upload my pics to picassa now. It will probably take a while since there are so many so guys just bare with me please. :) I love you all and can't wait to hear lots of good referral news next week.
P.S the internet is down every where in Addis so referrals are coming I KNOW we just have to pray for the Lord to intervene for them to get some kind of connection there.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
|this may not work so I won't be long. First off, Merry Christmas to everyone at home and from my YG! It's so odd to think that it's Christmas here. We went to a service at Robel's church last night but the power went out so it was by candle light and we were trying to change diapers in pitch black... not fun :) The power has actually gone out several times here so bring flashlights for sure. I have a little pocket light that I keep in my purse and it came in really handy. I'm still feeling really sick/nauseous. I haven't really eaten a meal in like 3 days so I feel really weak and tired but I love being a mom and I love my boy! Michael is a great dad and is very helpful. Ezra has bonded to us really well and wakes up about 2-3 times during the night but is easy to put back to sleep. All of the babies at the TH can hold their own bottles so it makes it easy to put them to sleep. I love it here and wish I could just stay and work at the TH or Kids Care and be with them all the time, but I think I would weigh 100 pounds if I did! BRING NAUSEA meds!!! I only brought dramamine and it just makes me WAY too drowsy. The kids are wonderful and all the nannies/gate guards have such wonderful hearts. There are 35 babies at KC (I'd say 60% boys and 40% girls), 7 toddlers 2 boys and 5 girls, 15 older kids. A few of the babies are sick but they are all gorgeous! The toddler girls are also all beautiful! It's amazing! KC is actually smaller then the new TH compound!!! I was really surprised. Baby Stager is doing much better but still vomited a few times. Ezra's diarrhea is firming up some thank goodness, he also hasn't vomited since yesterday morning thank God! He hardly cries and when he does it's either he's hungry/wet/or is fighting off sleep. Semlows - your kids are amazing! They are just sooooo sweet and affectionate. K tried to climb onto our bus as a stowaway, A - kept calling me "mama" :( She is very jealous if another child wants to be on my lap! hahahaha She's definitly the boss of the toddlers! Chans - your man reminds me so much of Ezra, he's just sooo happy and loveable. Always smiling! Kulps and Martins- your men like to eat! They are rarely without a bottle in their mouths! Howleys and Joners - your girls are like little celebrities there. The nannies all want to have their pictures taken with them! S. is very quick to smile and giggle but once she sees the camera she looks confused. Sapps - your girl is amazing. She really just stole my heart. She's soooo affectionate, I told Meti to tell her that you are coming soon and that you are so excited to be her parents.|
Sparrs - your girl is a dream, she showed me her photo book and pointed out and said "Isabella" to me several times. She will melt your heart. She's got on this little angelic dress and she totally fits the part.
Hall's your man is a real ham! he's such a treat and like to play outside a lot! Forrests - both of your kids just love to be loved. E is a prankster. He loves to play and be on your lap. He also wanted for me to read him a book. He plays well with the other kids. Savages - E was asleep every time we were there :( So I can't say too much about his personality. Blackwells - R. is such a treat. She's so smiley and want to play with the big kids but gets her feelings hurt easily when they want to take her toys or they won't share. She's a cuddle bug. There's a 3 year old toddler girl that will make some family very happy! she totally stole my heart! She's got an amazing smile and a wonderful spirit. She literally could be the Blackwell's daughter's sister. They look much the same. The 5 kids that were brought in the last time families were there are completely adjusted. The oldest (a boy) about 6 years maybe is usually the first to run to the other kids and tell them that we have arrived then they all run out to greet us with hugs and kisses.
The first night we changed Ezra's diaper he had projectile diarrhea onto Michael! Then later he vomited all over him! hahahaha so far I have been spared. I have to get back to the room. The embassy appt. went well w/o a hitch. We have all of our paperwork in order and are already all confirmed for our flights home.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Today was truly heaven sent! I can't even begin to express in words what it was to see our son for the first time in "real life". Even though I'd seen his photo a million times, nothing could have prepared me for the flesh and blood version. The day started with breakfast at the hotel and then an orientation at the Hilton (let me just say that the Hilton compound is like an island resort! Beautiful landscaping and lots of little shops. There's a gate guard that you have to go through just to enter. The Addis View is only 6 stories with maybe 4 rooms on each floor, very intimate and the staff is amazing. Anything you want you can call and get and if they don't have it they will sent a bellman out to the store for you! So I'm not complaining about the Addis View at all, but when you see the Hilton you know why it's so expensive. ) Anyway… so we were supposed to eat at the garden restaurant near the pool but they don't start serving until noon. That meant we left the hotel at 9am with this nervous energy and extreme anxiety and had to hold it in for 4 hours while waiting for after lunch to meet our kids. I had the chicken nuggets and I DO NOT recommend them. They tasted just like fried alligator. Very greasy and rubbery, but the fries are great and the Michael's hamburger was quite good. While we were at lunch I asked Duni about Enf*** and the Kulp's and Semlow's court cases. She told me that she actually sent some America World staff down to Awassa and they are staying there to go through all of the paperwork with the orphanage to make sure that they have everything done properly by court! I know this bit of info put my heart at ease and I hope it does the same for you guys. I stressed Kim and Sherrie just how devastated you guys were and she is WELL aware that this is unacceptable. I know she felt terrible already but I really make it a point to say how devastating it is to know that failed court can add 3 months onto a wait time. We also found our at the paperwork party that Ezra is ONE MONTH older then we thought. On our referral information it says birth date 07/06/08 so we were thinking July BUT in ET the way it works is that the day of the month is first then the month meaning that Ezra was born 06/07/08 for us! So June 7th is his new birthday!!!!! I highly recommend everyone check their dates. Rachel was very sweet and LOVES these kids. She's actually flying to
I'm going to try to say a little something about each of the kids now: When you see the pics and notice that your child is in a bumbo or laying down it's only because I was on my own to take pics and couldn't hold the child and take a photo at the same time though I tried. But know that your kids were held and passed around the group and kissed and hugged the ENTIRE time! I personally hugged/kissed/held EVERY child that I saw. Makes for very exhausting work.
Semlows – Ay** is almost impossible to photograph, she's like a bee, buzzing everywhere nonstop. She is very loveable and wanted to be held and hugged but she's also quite independent. Kas***- while we were waiting for Ezra outside the front of the home he literally walked right up to me with his arms out for a hug! I immediately bend down and started loving in him. He LOVE to take pictures and see himself in them. He also loves to give kisses J He was smiling the WHOLE time and loved playing with Robel and his brother. I've got lots of really cute pics of them horsing around. Fa*** – also loves to take and be in pictures! He definitely needs a digital kids'camera! Robel loves these boys and rough houses with them a lot. F*** likes to hang out in the "guys' room" with the older kids.
All of your kids were total hams and were VERY happy. You just say "cheese" and they immediately start waving and smiling!
Halls – your boy is VERY smiley! I didn't get many pics of him but I did get video. He was like an addict for skittles J He seems quite healthy.
Chans – I got loads of video and pictures of your boy. He was sleeping most of the time but I played your little cell phone message for him a few times and the nannies loved it! They were taking it around and showing people your photos and letting them hear the message. There is one nanny who speaks great English and she would translate what you were saying for them. He's very tiny but doesn't seem malnourished. I think his nanny is in love with him b/c she held him constantly and kissed him many many times.
Kulps – We kept Micah with us as much as possible. He actually cried when Michael put him down b/c we had to leave L We would get quick little smiles out of him but once you show him the camera he would get serious again and stop smiling. So I think it's a camera thing and not a personality thing. Granted he wasn't giggling, he would still smile. He doesn't seem to have changed much physically. I played him your card with the message but will have to take pics of him in his Christmas outfit tomorrow b/c we ran out of time. He is held often by the nannies (he and Ezra have the same main nanny… the one with light skin and lots of freckles).
Howleys – Sarah is such a happy girl! She is very easy to make smile and she's such a chunk. The only time she cried was when I put her down. She loved being held and wanted to pull on my hair J I took pics of her in her hat and told the nannies that it was homemade. They liked it a lot. As you will see we tried to take pics of her with her cards while she was laying down and she did NOT like that. When I would try to leave her she would get very upset.
Joners – I took lots of pics and some video of Jayleen (spelling?). She hasn't changed much in appearance. Still beautiful and very contemplantive. She was quite amiable and content.
Sapp – I'm in love with Y***! She was a real treat and was very sweet and loving. I think she hugged and kissed me like 6 times! When I went to leave she kept coming up to me and would hug and love on me.
Forrest – your baby girl is definitely a snuggler! She LOVES being held and HATES being put down. Literally the entire time we were there she was held by Elaine's friend Amanda. I held her first then put her down and she'd cry so later Amanda got her and that was that. She was happy as a lark to be in someone's arms. Your son was asleep right up to when we had to leave so I didn't get to interact with him much L
Blackwells – your girl is a hoot. She also is very animated and on the go so it's hard to get a picture of her with her in constant motion. Her smile is killer and I just adore her. She played with the families the entire time. She actually was awake when we got there and I walked into the toddler room, she immediately put her arms out to be picked up. She would crawl into people's laps and set up shop J
Black – your girl was easy to get a smile out of! She's did not like being put down in her bed. She wanted to be held and wanted to see the action. Rachel I think has taken a special liking to her b/c she was carrying her around most of the time J Her hair really is amazing… It's super soft and beautiful. You're gonna love putting bows in it.
Violette – what can I say about M***, I mean there are no words. She is a blessing. She understands English VERY well and was my little interpreter and if I was looking for a kid she knew just where to go and find them. She wants to be helpful and loves the other kids! I know she's yours and all but I really wish I could take her. She's so easy to love and is truly remarkable. I asked her a few questions these are her answers:
Favorite color – yellow
Favorite kid at the orphanage – all of them
Was she ready to go to
What is the first thing you want to do when you get to the U.S – this answer I didn't really understand but it was either to play with your family cat or to get a cat… I'm not sure J
There are several yet to be referred older kids/toddlers which I have video and pics of. There's an ADORABLE little girl, maybe 3 or 4 years old that is just a doll! I think Dustin Sloniger held her for like an hour! She's very amiable. There was also a little boy maybe 5 or so that was very shy at first but then he wanted to give me hugs and kisses like crazy. Also another boy about 6 I think would very animated and happy and just very charismatic. He wasn't shy at ALL and kissed me lots and lots! There were more toddlers/older kids but honestly at this point they all kind of run together. I have pics of most of them.
Everyone else I either didn't know who your kids were OR they were in school OR I just don't know who they belonged to. I brought glow bracelets and they were a HIT. Of course Me** Girl knew right away how to make them work and she was in charge of distribution to the nannies and kids.
I told Duni that people were excited that they went back to giving court dates. She said that by withholding court information they thought it would decrease anxiety but effectively the opposite happened so in order the stop the high number of calls they changed it. She did also tell us that there was a video of Kids Care posted on youtube and the orphanage found out about it and were VERY upset. So now I think they are planning to limit the time families have at the TH and also limit the photos to either no photos or the families will ONLY photo the kids they are taking care packages for. They're having to put the smack down basically. Honestly that would be great b/c I am exhausted from trying to be thorough and get everyone. There is NO time for spy work. It is like running a marathon. I told her that I would only limit photos IF they had more monthly updates. We only got 2 updates in 4 months! I stressed that that is unacceptable especially for traveling families who don't know what size clothes to bring and what kind of formula their child is eating. So be prepared for some new regulations to come regarding that. I'm not saying that there will be no photos taken I'm just saying that each family will be responsible for only certain families which is a great idea. I hardly saw Ezra at all the entire time L The new TH is very nice! It's huge and still it seems like there are a million kids there. I didn't count the number of baby beds but there are a lot! Each room has specific nurses that deal with those kids only. It's really much more like a day care now and the nurses keep written daily reports on each child kind of like a day care. The nannies really do love on these kids! Before any child gets put down they smother them in kisses! There was a room that had a mountain of formula in it but Ezra is still on some strange formulas that comes in a red/yellow box! I don't understand why that is but oh well. He also was not on any solids yet at 7 months old! So I'll try to start changing him tomorrow. I'll have to take some of their
I am exhausted and will shut up now. I can't wait for you guys to meet Ezra. He's just perfect!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I have been trying to attach photos forever now. I waited 40 minutes for them to upload earlier and now it won't even go to that screen. So I will first post a message and then try again to add pics so I don't lose my whole e-mail like last time.
So with that being said. It's 11:15pm here in Addis and of course I can't sleep. We spent all day with Robel and had lots of fun. I love it here and don't want to leave. The people are all VERY nice! They enjoy teaching us their language and about their culture. A lot of the staff at Addis View speak little English so be aware when you're at the restaurant to keep it simple :) We haven't had any illness in our group yet except for the occasional vertigo from the altitude. I had awful heart burn earlier because we had pizza for lunch (it was awesome but more on that later) but luckily I brought Famotidine and Tums so that quelched that.
The day started out with us going to church with Robel at in international evangelical church. When they say international they totally mean it! I saw probably every nationality there and the entire service was in English. There was a Christmas play and also a little demonstration put on by a group of Chinese Chrisitans that spoke on some Chinese Christmas traditions then we all sang a Christmas song in Chinese! I have most of it on video I think. The church was very nice and very welcoming. We plan to go back on Wednesday at 6:30 for Christmas Eve service. There were several families with their babies so that was encouraging. A word of caution, the bathrooms at the church had like one roll of toilet paper to share b/w them so be prepared. Also to flush the toilets in some places you'll see little buckets on the ground with water in them. I thought it was for mopping but it's actually what you use to flush. You pour the bucket into the bowl and that pushes the waste out. There are also stand up toilets at the church! I THOUGHT THEY WERE SHOWERS!!! hahahaha but Anna Stager quickly corrected me b/c she'd seen them in France before. Apparently you squat standing up??? I didn't even attempt it :)
After church Robel took us to a lovely little bistro called The Lime Tree. It's attached to a very modern/Western type day spa. We got pizza and it was delicious! I also got the chocolate cake and it was yummy! For a pizza, 2 liters of water, chocolate cake and carrot cake it was $7.80. There's a little book store attached with some small fairy tales in amharic. I bought one even though I have no idea what it says just b/c I thought it was cool and it was $0.70. Most of the books there were more expensive then what you'd get off of Amazon so I wouldn't really recommend buying things there. The bathrooms there also used the "bucket system" in the bathrooms but have lots of TP. There was a large mix of nationalities there as well. Ironically at church Michael and I saw someone from our plane ride from Washington D.C, then at the bistro we saw ANOTHER person from our plane! What are the chances. The Caldwells had an interesting flight let me tell you. I'm sure Rebecca has or will post about it later. If not you'll have to ask her! After lunch we went to a market to buy water in bulk and formula, etc. For 6 two liter bottles of water it was $3.50! GREAT price! BUT the NAN 2 formula was $10.40!!! And it was a smaller sized container. We actually didn't buy any just b/c we still don't know what Ezra's eating and I didn't want to waste 10 bucks on the wrong thing. They say that a lot of mothers b/c of malnutrition and stress that their breast milk will try up by 2 months, and after seeing the price for formula I think that may be one reason that so many babies are abandoned around 2 months of age, b/c they just can't afford it. The market is in a really busy area with LOTS of beggars. Many of them kids and it's so hard to say no no no no no... over and over... they are relentless. But I can see why if you give one money there would be a MOB of people b/c they will surround the car and put their hands in the windows and give you these sad little faces... it's killer. After that we came back to the hotel b/c it was around 4:30pm and most of us were exhausted. I spent most of the afternoon talking with Daniel the bell boy at the hotel. He was telling me that he makes 250 birr a month... that's $25.00! The left side of his face is very swollen and I noticed it but thought it was an old injury or something. Come to find out he's actually got some kind of infection and it's very painful when he eats. It's likely a tooth root abcess but he's only on Cephalexin which likely won't do a thing for it, so I said for him to go to get an x-ray to r/o abcess or osteomyelitis... anyway.. he said an x-ray is about 200birr and he can't afford it. I gave him 400 birr to get it taken care of to get the proper medications. You can imagine his shock when he got 2 months salary in a blink, but what's $40.00 to me?? That's a steak dinner in Fort Worth. So hopefully he'll get the care he needs. Robel was telling me that the low income housing (condo type apartments with 2 bedrooms) are $7000.00 US. You can pay monthly but I think the payment is like $300 so that would be Daniel's ENTIRE paycheck. This is why many people had a communal living type life style to share costs. Also foreigners are not allowed to buy real estate here, they can only lease. The citizens also can not own guns, it's forbidden but the police carry AK 47's. That's why there's little crime Robel says b/c they can shoot to kill. You can take NO pictures of any government buildings/grounds. Also we saw a lovely playground/park today but no children were playing at it. It's very large with wonderful toys/equiptment. Robel said that it was constructed over 5 years ago and has NEVER been opened! soooooo sad..... he doesn't know the reason for that. About the hot pots... I thought a hot pot would be like a crock pot. Well it's actually just a large pitcher that can be plugged in to boil water like you would for tea or coffee. So definitly do like Mel suggested and bring a plastic container to put the boiled water in b/c there's no way you're getting a bottle in there. At the hotel the Machiatos upstairs in the restaurant are twice as much as in the cafe downstairs attached to the hotel. They are only $0.25 in the cafe! And soooo worth it. And I'm not at all a coffee person. So tomorrow is THE day! We will meet at the hotel at 9am then off to the Hilton to meet Rachel and Duni for the paperwork party, then lunch, then FINALLY to the TH. I keep begging Robel to make it 8am but he's a stickler :) He's very easy to talk to and we get along quite well. I keep pressing him for info but honestly he knows nothing about the office side of things. He really is mainly a tour guide and the host. He doesn't know which kids go with which families. Not that I'm complaining or anything, I just wanted to tell you guys so you'll know in the future that spy work is best left for Rachel and Duni. My connection just dropped so I don't know if I will be able to send this through tonight or not :(
Saturday, December 20, 2008
This is my second attempt to post to the blog. Sorry guys. My first try I waited 45 minutes for it to bring up yahoo.... then I gave up. This time there was a French woman already online so I was like stalking her... saying whatever you do... don't sign out of yahoo when you're done PLEASE. So after only a 25 minute wait, here I am. I think it's 7:45pm ET time. I can't sleep. When we got to the airport we met up with Elaine Witter and her mom (also Elaine) and friend (Amanda). Elaine is drop dead gorgeous guys! I'm like, honey if I looked like you I would so have a blog to post lots of pics :) She's very very sweet and we got along great immediately PLUS Susan Parr had managed to get us seats right next to each other! The flight was LONG to say the LEAST. We were fed 3 meals and all were quite impressive for air plane food. If any of you are vegetarians I would let ET Airlines know b/c everything has some type of meat. I also would stock up on water b/c we went through our 2 bottles on the plane really quickly and even though I kept requesting water constantly I still got a bag dehydration headache and did experience altitude sickness once we got to the hotel - yuck! The plane was FULL and very close quarters. If I had to do it again I would try to save more money to be able to afford buisness class seats just for comfort. Everyone was very pleasant, I just have back and knee issues and from being so crammed up they were KILLING me. We were delayed an hour leaving from Washington D.C. So we woke up at 4am landed in Rome at 1am (their time of course) then sat there for an hour while they gased up, then landed in ET at 9:40am. The weather is beautiful here. They're not kidding about the temperature change. During the day it's really warm, then like right now if you were to go outside you'd need to be bundled up... it's no wonder our kids always have colds here. The weather is not health friendly. Robel was late meeting us at the airport b/c I think they had just gotten back to the hotel with the Caldwell's when we landed so we did have to wait a little while but not bad. Customs was a breeze, the Visa office was easy to find since someone had posted a pic of what the sign looked like. There are NO instructions so luckily we have people who have gone before us who can tell us these things. We waited about 8-10 minutes in the Visa line then just sped through the customs. Robel is everything people say, very gregarious, and charismatic.... you immediately want to hang out with him. Which I did while Michael was sleeping earlier today. I tried to be spy girl and asked him lots of questions in a round-about way but honestly I don't think he knows too much - bummer. He did tell me that he misses the oldest Wistrom boy a lot. He said he was such a brilliant boy and will do amazingly well in the U.S. So as we were driving up to the hotel I started to get dizzy but nothing major, I was so enamored with the city and just seeing free range donkeys and cattle just lazing their way across the road next to the hussle and bussle of the market place. The juxtaposition was very impressive. When we got to the hotel the Stagers were waiting to meet us and we unloaded our bags. Everyone wanted to visit but I was feeling so faint I kind of had to be rude and excuse myself to I could check in to lay down. We got in our room and I requested a safe, hot pot, and crib and w/in an hour and a half they were all brought up to us. There were only 2 towels and 1 roll of toilet paper so luckily I'd brought one with me from the hotel in Washington b/c even though they will bring you more if you request they bring you only one of each thing. I asked for more toilet paper and towels and we got one of each :( -greedy American that I am. So our room actually is 3 rooms, a bathroom with NO outlets (FYI) our bedroom with one outlet that works and luckily a full length mirror. I need a mirror to blow dry my hair so fortunately they had a large moveable one. And another sort of sitting room with TV and 3 couches and a fridge. The converters barely give off any power. My blow dryer took me like 3-4 x's as long to dry my hair as it does in the states so be prepared to wake up earlier. The showers are great and don't run out of hot water! The staff are wonderful and are very hardworking! Everyone here that we've meet is a hard worker and are also very accomodating. We couldn't sleep on the plane so we immediately fell asleep after a shower and a meal ( I had chicken curry and Michael had beef shishkabobs - both were better then what I expected) 2 Liters of water and one 1/2 liter were $4.50 US at the hotel FYI. I immediately started chugging and I think just after being here for a while my body adjusted so I'm still a bit loopy but at least not sick. Robel is going to pick us up tomorrow at 10am to go to church then we'll got to shops for water, etc. and to change our money. He actually took some money from me today to change since I wasn't feeling well and will bring it back to me in the morning in birr. The airport change rate is like 9.1birr to every US dollar but at the Addis View it's 10/1, Robel says the place he usually goes is like 10.2/1 so we'll see what kind of rate I can get. Most of the entrees at the hotel are 45 birr or $4.50. The fistula hospital is closed to the public on Sundays so I may try to go to the Ethnographic museum or to see the grand palace or go visit some of the historic orthodox churches. I definitly want to do something to be out and about in the city. Also bring snacks for on the plane. It's a long flight and even though they feed you 3 meals you go long periods without and if you don't like what they have your stuck. The bulk head bassinets are cool. They are put right in front of you and you can literally reach out and touch/soothe the baby but also have room for your legs. The hotel is loud b/c of where it is but honestly it didn't stop us from falling asleep yet but I can see how that would happen. I think that's about it for now. I just didn't want to forget to mention anything that I thought might be important. Also once we got to the airport I went outside to shoot some video and you have to go through security again to be readmitted into the airport, not bad, just a hassle so if you walk through the exit doors just be aware of that. Zack Caldwell came down and needs the only working computer now. I will have to post pictures later when there isn't a line.
love you guys
Thursday, December 18, 2008
We had to pay $375.00 for our extra luggage and for being over the weight limit. I'm not sure if we'll have to pay again for Ethiopian Airlines or not but I really really hope NOT. I was begging the guy, saying....but this is for orphans... and he didn't budge :( - boooooo
Lugging the bags/totes around has been easier then we expected though which is a lucky thing since Michael and I have been trying to stay positive and not take our frustrations out on each other. I'm bummed to see that there were no referrals today. You guys are in my prayers. I'm so ready to get this leg of our trip out of the way! I just want to be there.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Well we leave in just 6 days to get this little hunk! Isn't he just the cutest! We can't wait! My mommy nerves are starting to kick in though. I'm just so worried that I'll forget to pack something important or that he'll be sick when we get there and need to go to the doctor. I couldn't make a pediatrician appt. until 10 days after we get back! YUCK! So we're just leaving it in God's hands and trusting in HIM. Enjoy the new pics!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Here are the blogs for the other families we're traveling with:
Monday, December 1, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I also have never listed a monetary number for the donations that we received toward Kids Care orphanage and the Transition home. I just wanted to say that because of you guys generosity we raised $1460.00!!! What a blessing to us and the kids and their caretakers. I'm still working on how to get the antibiotics to Ethiopia but I know that God will find a way.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Also our shoe drive for "orphan souls" was a SUCCESS! We gathered 71 pair of shoes and 12 pair of socks. We also got a donation of $75 to give to Buckner International. Hopefully this will become an annual or semi-annual thing and we'll continue to grow and eventually get in the hundreds!!!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
The other families that are sooooo close are very much in our prayers. I also am so thankful for all the lovely people that have been praying for us and have been following our adoption journey these many months. Our prayers have been answered!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
"You will be heard this week." Ezra, 3
EZRA is the name we've chosen for our baby boy!!! If that alone isn't wild enough, the first line of Ezra, 3 is
"And when the SEVENTH month was come,......." Well according to Duni we are in our 7th month!
Lastly, the entire passage is about the building of the foundation for the temple, and we were on our way to see the foundation that's being laid for OUR church! I just really feel encouraged and refueled with this little "revelation" and I just hope that it may do the same for some of you waiting families.
We don't have a digital camera b/c Michael left ours at Wrigley Field in Chicago, BUT I will get a little disposable one and post a pic on our blog of our "sign".
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
I started fasting last week and plan to continue until we get a referral. I keep having to remind myself that it's nothing compared to the sacrafice that Jesus made for us but it's HARD! I'm committed to doing all that I possibly can to get our baby boy! I'm also starting a shoe drive at our church to save "orphan soles" :) You should be able to read about it on my other blog for Holy Redeemer's young adults ministry holyredeemeryam.blogspot.com
Prayerfully my spirits will be lifted this week with some movement up the boy line.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
On another note, I recently returned from a veterinary conference in New Orleans and let me just say it was good to be home. I'm really encouraged by how good the city looked just since the last time I was there. I was able to see Stephen, Meena, Maile, and my dad which was just great! I have to get back to work but I will try to post regularly and create at least a middle school worthy blog :)