Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Photo troubles

Sorry I haven't been able to post pics onto the blog but my computer is doing something strange. When I upload a pic from my computer a totally different picutres shows up then the one I selected. I don't know what's going on but it's super frustrating. I'll have to figure it out later when I'm feeling better. Per the new doctor I have RSV NOT the flu. She gave me a shot and some more meds, so we'll see. I did eat today and only feel moderately nauseated. I bought some anti-nausea meds from the store since she didn't Rx anything so we'll see if they do anything. Michael is feeling really crummy today. I think since I am able to get around a bit the exhaustion has just hit him hard. He's taking a nap now. All of our family have left the house so now it's just us sickies on our own :( Luckily Ezra is a really easy baby thus far and entertains himself a lot. I woke up at 4am and he was just content to sit on my lap this am while I checked e-mail and watched TV shows online since we don't have cable :) He didn't fuss a bit. We put rice cereal in his bottle today and he wolfed it down luckily. I'm anxious to weigh him at his doctors appointment b/c he seems to have really filled our already. His lungs sound really crummy but he's still eating and playful so my doctor said to just wait and keep his pediatricians appointment and not reschedule for earlier. That's pretty much it for now. I'm looking forward to having my voice back and not having to constantly blow my nose :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Combating the flu

Well I've been out of commission for almost 2 days now. I already felt sickly but then got hit hard and the doc says it's the flu. My fever started to rise pretty rapidly and I could not move. I kept telling my body to move and it just wouldn't - really scary. But I'm on bed rest and doing much much much better after some meds. I still don't have my voice back yet and still have GI issues but overall compared to where I was I'm feeling chipper. Not seeing Ezra for that time was killer. But I am with him now and changing and feeding him. I don't want to get him sicker but I also don't want him to think that someone else is his mommy. He's LOVING the Dr. Browns bottles and his exercauser! I wish I'd taken them with me to Addis instead of the Even flows. Now I have oodles of drop ins and no need for them. Michael's mom and sister and my mom and sister were here to help thank goodness but they are going home today which is VERY lucky for me that I'm doing better! Poor Michael has been thrown into this whole dad thing really fast and hard but he's doing a great job. The dogs also have been a dream with Ezra. Especially Herman who we were worried about the most. Herman wakes up before we do when Ezra cries and jumps off the bed and runs to his crib then when I pick him up and sit on the couch with him Herman jumps onto the couch and will lick his hands or try to lick his face. He's a great big brother! Clovis still looks at Ezra as a new toy and is a bit too rough with him but he's learning. I love my little boy and I am so excited for everyone about to take this journey or those contemplating adoption. It's such a blessing and I just couldn't be happier.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

We're HOME!!! Praise the Lord!

Well I will have to get back to the days that I couldn't post b/c the internet is down in Addis but for now we're HOME! I think psychologically even though we're still pretty sick, I feel much better just b/c of my mind set. Both of our families are here so we've got lots of baby sitters :) I didn't have to do a thing last night really and Ezra is loving all the attention. We got to see the dogs after 10 days and my heart was healed! I missed my little Herman soooooo much. Some people just don't understand how I can be so attached to a dog but to me he's my first born! I loved being able to sleep with him in our bed and have our little Herman/mommy routine this morning :) Thanks again Missy for loving on and taking care of my boys this whole time. Herman did really well with meeting Ezra for the first time. I was sooo relieved. But back to our trip home...
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

trial by fire

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

Burks are WELL, Internet is down

Hey All~
This is Becky's friend Kim. I am posting a little message for Becky as the internet is down in ET. She called this morning and said they're doing great with Ezra and Ezra is perfectly healthy other than a little diarrhea. They're getting a crash course in parenting!
Michael and Becky have a bit of the ET funk but are loving their son! Overall, they're doing pretty well though and are loving Ethiopia.

The flight home is a full day, so please pray for their health while in the air.

Much love to you all from them in ET!!

Kim

Monday, December 22, 2008

Today was heaven sent!!!

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 Italy for Christmas break with Barrett so she will not be in the office. We left lunch and literally the minute I got on the van I started feeling VERY sick! Rumbly tummy and extreme nausea. I hadn't gotten car sick yet so I started to worry if it was the food or the ET funk. I prayed the entire ride to the new TH that God would at least let me meet Ezra and enjoy a few moments with him before I was out of commission. The buses are stuffy, the air pollution is sickening, and the roads to the new TH are nearly impassable. I seriously wanted to hurl myself from the van at times b/c I was just getting sicker and sicker. When we were leaving the hotel, Duni got a call from a tearful Furtuna (head nurse at the TH) that Million Stager was in the hospital. He had started vomiting/diarrhea last night and they brought him to the clinic this am. So we had to drop off the Stagers at the hospital so they could be with him – VERY sad and let me just say those two are amazing!!!!! What troopers… the sheer grace with which they handled the entire situation was very inspiring. After dropping them off we went through the silver and black gates and Michael and I were the first family to meet our kids. It was really surreal. I couldn't believe that he was real and that this was actually happening. Ezra is more then I could have ever imagined or prayed for. He did not cry or fuss ONE time while we were there. He immediately took to Michael and would lye on his chest. One of the most heartwarming experiences of my life has been to witness the man I adore holding this immense blessing from God. They are going to be BEST friends I can tell. The Caldwells went after us and Caleb was very scared at first and cried a bit. The gate guard tried his best to speak to him in Amharic and console him. After an hour or so he was fine and loving to be with his family. The Sloniger's did great and their baby was giggling and loving on his dad shortly. Samara Witter was woken up to take to Elaine so at first she was quite groggy/catatonic but still held close to Elaine. After she began to wake up some and played with Elaine she was great. The hardest part was leaving the kids for sure. Samara cried when Elaine tried to put her down and was just clinging for dear life for her not to leave. HEARTWRENCHING! I couldn't help buy cry. So even though it was a very sad thing it was very encouraging b/c she did NOT want her mama to leave J All of the kids bonded quickly and I can't wait to pick them up tomorrow. The new transition home is HUGE. It really is a compound which a huge house and large school with more rooms for the older kids and offices for the staff. While I was in the office there were at least 5 people working diligently. Also America World just hired a physician on Friday and makes daily rounds after 5pm. YEA!!! Kim, I weighed Micah and he weighs more than Ezra. Ezra was 6.6 kg. I have pictures/video of ~98% of all the kids, 100% of the babies. The older kids were in school so we didn't get to take many pics of them obviously. I took 363 photos today and hopefully will take more tomorrow. We have to leave the hotel at 8:30am to meet at the TH to get our kids at 9am and then our embassy appointment is at 10am.. We may go back to the TH, drop the kids off and then go shopping and then come back and take more pics then since we're soooo rushed and have so little time there. I can honestly say that I am completely exhausted from today. I spent little time with Ezra b/c I was trying to get photos and video. I had plans to do Christmas crafts, etc. but I literally was taking pics and stuff until the minute before we left! I was feeling SO crummy while I was there I had to run to the bathroom twice. Not fun at all when you want to enjoy your new baby. I think I have stress colitis. I haven't eaten/drank anything bad but I haven't been able to sleep and with all the anxiety these last few days, I think my body is fighting back. I really felt like I may die on the way back to the hotel. Tonight everyone went to a traditional ET restaurant for a show but I had to stay at the hotel b/c I'm so sick and I want to be healthy by tomorrow b/c I have to now learn how to be a mom. We had a quick introduction at the TH b/c Ezra had pooped while he was in the baby bjorn and Michael didn't notice so when I went to take him I felt his back was wet and very stinky so the poop had actually come up to his neck and covered his back! He didn't even fuss once. We changed him and bathed him and he was fine. I have the bjorn soaking in my bathtub now. I can tell you that the other families were not too pleased with us on the ride back in a hot stuffy van J

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 America – YES! (very excited and w/o hesitation)

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 NAN 2 from the TH to change him over slowly. The Stager baby is to stay in the hospital overnight for IV fluids and antibiotics and should be back to the TH tomorrow morning.

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

Overview of Sunday

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

Our first day in Ethiopia!!!

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

Sitting in the hotel in D.C

Hey guys! Well we're sitting in the hotel in Washington D.C now. We left Dallas at noon and got to our hotel here at 6:30pm. Unfortunately we didn't have enough time to explore the city b/c we have to meet the shuttle at 5:20am tomorrow morning to head off to Ethiopia!!! We did NOT have a luggage friendly United employee. :(
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

We leave TOMORROW!!!!

I can't sleep this morning... I'm soooo super anxious to get on that plane. The worst thing though is that we fly to Washington D.C, spend the night and then fly to Addis Friday morning soooooo that means that we have to check ALL 7 of our bags and rubbermaids then claim them in D.C and then check them all again the next morning. I'm soooo super dreading lugging these big totes around the city and into and out of taxis. BUT we only have to do it on the way there thank goodness. We also found out that we will be having our embassy appointment early since it's closed on Christmas Day which means we'll be really pressed for time at the transitional home and they've cut down our time to visit there significantly - yuck! My plan is to leave Ezra with Michael on Wednesday and go back to the home to get more pictures, video, and cuddle time with the kiddos there. Then Thursday we'll go to the orphanage where Ezra lived. Since we have 2 whole days in Addis to blow before we meet Ezra I'm thinking of going to the Mercado and the Fistula Hospital. These are 2 places that children aren't really good to have with you. It will be miserable knowing that Ezra is only miles away and we can't meet him, but I know it will happen eventually. Michael spent like 2 hours working on getting the camcorder to download onto our PC and thank goodness he got it to work so hopefully there are no glitches in ET. I also brought like a gazillion batteries for the camera and spent $100 for an extra camcorder battery. I think we're ready tech wise. I have to drop the dogs off with Missy today :( I'm sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo going to miss Herman. Michael and I were loving on him alot last night since he won't be getting that much attention when Ezra comes home. Of course we'll miss Clovis as well, but Herman is our first born ;) I'm going to try to post a video of us trying to practice with the camcorder using Clovis in Ezra's swing outside. Keep us in your prayers that all goes off without a hitch. I'm really really nervous and I'm just trying to "rest in the Lord" knowing that he will be by my side throughout this whole trip and that he won't give me anything I can't handle. I can't wait to post daily (hopefully) and tell you all about your kids!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

We leave in 6 days!!!!





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

New Pics...



Well today I got some new pics of our little man from a family that traveled last week. It looks like they trimmed off some of his fro :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What you've all been waiting for.....

WE PASSED!!!!!

Ezra is now a BURK!!! We will be traveling to get out little man December 18-27. We have to leave a little later then expected but who's counting :) This truely is bittersweet b/c 4 of the families in our travel group did NOT pass court. They are now in a state of limbo waiting and praying to get their babies. They are in our prayers and in my heart. I can now post pictures of our man to my blog since he's OURS!!! We just thank the Lord for blessing us greatly today and continue to ask for his mercy and his grace and we become parents to his amazing little boy! God is GREAT!
Here are the blogs for the other families we're traveling with:

www.ethiopianadoptionspot.blogspot.com
www.faceoflove.blogspot.com
www.beBOLDjen.blogspot.com
www.teamstager.blogspot.com
www.thefifthsparr.blogspot.com

Monday, December 1, 2008

Busy Work

This week I've busied myself with decorating the house for Christmas. If we pass court and we get to celebrate Ezra's first Christmas I want it to be fantastic! Here are some pics of the tree and mantle, etc. Just the stuff I've gotten done thus far. I LOVE this time of year! I don't want to take down the decorations. Maybe tomorrow will be OUR day. I'm praying for good news only for all the families.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Monday, Monday!!!

Well we think that Monday is THE day that we have court. Duni told us that we should hear "early next week" about whether or not we passed court. I'm DYING over here just waiting and waiting. I'm sooooo scared that we won't pass then we won't travel until like February!!! That would be devastating, but I'm trying to stay positive and think happy thoughts. We got some more new pics of our man and let me just say..... he's going to be a ladies man :) We feel soooo very blessed to be his parents.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Impatiently waiting...

Well yesterday Michael and I were blessed with some AMAZING photos of our boy from the Juvinall family! He's laughing and giggling and just loooks sooooo happy. These were the first photos we've seen of him smiling. I was so touched and it just made the wait that much harder. I want my little man!!! He's just so adorable and we feel so blessed that God chose to place him in our family. Kim Kulp and I are praying to hear something about court on Wednesday but we'll see. At least we know that we will know something by Dec. 2nd so not much longer to wait. I'm really praying that we pass. I don't know if I can deal with more disappointment.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's official!!!

Well our tentative travel dates are CORRECT! If we pass court by December 2nd then we will be traveling December 13th to get Ezra!!! Exciting and scary news all at the same time. There's a lot to do in 3 weeks to prepare for a baby. Plus I'm going to work right up until we leave since I don't get maternity pay (bummer) so that's not much time :) I tried to spruce up the old blog with a slideshow and such b/c the milisecond that we pass court I'm going to post tons of pics of Ezra for all the world to see our little man. This whole journey has kept my stomach in knots, ie. waiting for confirmation that our dossier was safely in the hands of the staff in Ethiopia, then waiting for a referral, then waiting for travel dates, now waiting to pass court, THEN waiting to actually travel to get him. I'm just soooooo anxious for this to be over with. I suppose then my stomach will be in knots hoping that he doesn't get sick or injured :) Maybe it just never ends. I'm going to just enjoy the moment and try to rest in the Lord.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

WE MAY TRAVEL IN DECEMBER!!!!

Okay, well I'm trying NOT to get too excited but we just got an e-mail saying that our tentative travel dates are December 13-20th!!! These were our original dates but then we got bumped to January (or so we thought) and this afternooon I got an e-mail with the December dates, so I don't know WHAT to think, but I'm pleading with the lord for it to be December so then I could make it to Sarah's wedding! I would LOVE to have our little man before Christmas. I hope to find out for sure tomorrow. Us, the Kulp family, the Tennants, and Semlow's all received the December dates. I'm just remaining optimistic but we'll see what tomorrow brings. It's soooo hard not to let my heart get too happy :(

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Photos

Well we got some new photos today of our boy!!! I'm still waiting for the Terwilligers to send us their pics and video but at least we have at least 5 or so good pics of him at the transition home. He's got a bit of a runny nose so now I'm paranoid about that turning into pneumonia - yikes! I can't wait to pass court so I can start posting some of them for everyone to see here. Still no word on travel dates yet. Soooooooo frustrating... all we can do is hope and wait for more pics to come rolling in so we can watch our baby grow that way.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Waiting for next week!!

So the traveling families are on their way home today!!! YEA! The Terwilliger's took both photos and video of our Ezra in Ethiopia! I can't wait to see him "in motion"! I'm so excited. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long to see our little man. Still no word about tentative travel dates so I don't know what to think. Part of me holds out hope that it will be before January but I don't want to be naive either. I'm dying over here. I want him NOW!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Sad news for us today

Well looks like our travel plans for having Ezra before Christmas aren't going to be happening. A WHOLE group of families did not pass court this week so their new court date is December 2 and their travel will be during our old travel dates of Dec. 13-20. SOOOO we got bumped to January. Because of all the holidays, etc. we'll have to wait until January 9th to travel. And that's if we actually pass court on our first try. The Ministry of Women's Affairs is having paperwork issues lately and things are getting forgotten or mixed up so the courts can't approve the adoptions. Lots of drama. I'm Mrs. Type A so I just wish I could go over there and get a system going and process these adoptions myself :) SOOO frustrating and heartbreaking. I really thought we'd have him before Christmas, PLUS with our new travel dates I'd be gone for my sister's wedding and I'm her maid of honor. We can still hope and pray for a miracle b/c I know that the Lord can make it happen but if it's not in his plan then what can you do.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Families have their babies!!!

Well all of the traveling families now how custody of their little ones! I'm so excited for them and also super jealous. Still no tentative travel dates for us yet but per the agency they still expect us to travel in December. I'm pulling for around the 13th. That would be AMAZING!
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

First families to travel are leaving soon!!!

Well the family taking our little "happy" to Ezra are leaving Oct. 23rd!!! I'm sending onesies, vitamins, eczema cream, and a rattle. I can NOT wait to see new photos and hopefully some video of him. Still no word as to when our court date will be :( and no tentative travel dates but I'm still hoping for mid-December. I was doing really good with the whole patience thing but it's starting to be more difficult. I think if we had more photos or at least could see him growing while we can't be together it would be easier.
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

Prayers are needed...

Hey everyone... well the newest drama with the adoption is the increased fees that the agency has recently imposed. Though the need for the increase is vital to the future of the program and I can empathize with the agency, it still hurts for those of us who are so close to travel and already strapped for cash. I just pray that the Lord will provide for all of the families in unexpected ways. I went to the Planned Parenthood this morning for my few hours vigil and I just kept telling the Lord, "look, I want to help, I want to adopt again, and I really want for there to be an end to abortion... but you have to help us. Please put it in more people's hearts to want to adopt and PLEASE make the adoption process easier and less costly. Or provide the necessary funds through agents of your grace"... I was just pleading with him as I was pacing back and forth in front of the clinic. I know that the Lord loves all his children, especially orphans and wants the best for them... I just feel so strongly that I am to be an advocate for these children, but I don't know what to do. I just don't know how to go about it.... so please keep me in your prayers that I may come to know how exactly my role is to be played out so I can take all of this passion and hopefully make it contagious and really provide as is requested in Matthew. I know that "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak"; however, I know many families who are stronger then most and are willing to be warriors for the Lord and will exhaust themselves doing the right thing.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

First day of court....

Well today was the first time that any of our AWAA families appeared at court to get full custody of their referred children. Luckily all of the babies passed and those families will be traveling October 25th!!! So I'm excited to expect lots more pictures of our darling Ezra. Sad news is that the courts changed a rule about older children's paper work and of course once again didn't actually tell the adoption agencies so they went to court with the wrong paperwork - arrrggghhh. So several families will have a rescheduled court date some time next month. So more time to wait :( Also one of the family's baby girl is in the hospital in Addis w/ pneumonia so please keep her in your prayers as well. Still no word on our court date, but I did speak with our coordinator and she said she was 80% sure we'd be back in the U.S by Jan. 16th (my sister's wedding).

Friday, September 26, 2008

HIP HIP HORRAY for the Kulps!!

I just wanted to post that my fellow adoptive mom, Kim Kulp got a referral for a 4 month old baby boy! YEA! Hopefully we'll get to travel together since she's got a 3 year old and knows what to do unlike, me, the novice who will be trying my best not to go into "freak out" mode!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

WE GOT OUR BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry I didn't post this yesterday since that's when I got "THE CALL" from Duni, our adoption coordinator. She called at around 4:30 or so which is really quite late for a referral call so I honestly thought she was calling with some sad news and not calling to tell me that I was a mom! So of course I was ELATED (screaming/jumping up and down/shaking) when she said, "it's good news, you have a baby!" WOW! So, they think he's nearly 3 months old, and he's a HUNK! He's got "melt me" eyes and these "dreamy" lips! I wish I could just reach through his picture and hold him and kiss him! Michael was also thrilled of course but he's not handleing the NEW wait that we have ahead of us very well. He's SOOO anxious to get over to Ethiopia and pick him up! I think we just sat and stared at his picture for an hour, then went and made lots of copies to mail to everyone (we can't post any on the blog until we pass court) then we went to dinner and afterwards stared at his pic for another hour or so. Then even though I'm off today, we woke up early and stared at his beautiful face some more! So I Fed-Exed our referral acceptance letter this afternoon so now we just wait for a successful court date and then we're OFF TO AFRICA! We tried showing Herman and Clovis (our dogs) his picture but they didn't seem to want anything to do with him, I think they're just jealous b/c he's so dreamy :)
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

Sad News....

Well guys it looks like we may not be getting our referral in September afterall. :( I'm soooo devastated and just sad. I'm still cautiously optimistic (which according to this book I'm reading is part of my Catholic upbringing) and I still trust in the goodness and miraculousness of the Lord that he can work miracles and make this happen for us.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A sign from above, thank you Jesus!

Okay, so Michael and I were driving to go and check out the progress on our new church which is in the early building stages and I was just sitting and thinking about the Tennant referral and wondering what I would do if we didn't get a call next week, and we passed the local baptist church which usually has a sign out in front with a quote or psalm. WELL the sign today said,

"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

More of the same...

Well I hope you guys like our updated blog, I'm just so proud of myself for learning how to apply a background other then the ones they offer you. Still NO NEWS on our end :( I'm soooooo tired of waiting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know that I have no other option but to wait but it doesn't make it any easier. At least I'm off work tomorrow, that always makes me happy :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Feeling down...

So Friday came and went w/o THE CALL. Several people thought that it was going to be THE day but no good news. I'm pretty bummed b/c the adoption agency said that they think the August referral families will travel in late Nov. or December but there will only be one travel group for December, soooooo... that meanst that we may not travel until JANUARY! What a nightmare! I never in a million years thought we'd have to wait this long to be with our son. So I'm just feeling really depressed and wanting to eat EVERYTHING in sight. I need some carbohydrate comfort :) Maybe next week will be our week, who knows. My mood matches this hurricane weather we're having. BUT one good thing is that I'm going to see TINA TURNER with my mom on October 26th! yea!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

No news...

Well we've officially begun the start of our EIGHTH month waiting for a match after having our paperwork in Ethiopia. Michael had a "feeling" that Monday would be the day, alas obviously his feeling wasn't correct :( I still haven't had that "feeling" yet and I don't think it will be this week even though I'm begging and pleading with God to let it be so. I also found out today that we're not #2 like we thought we're likely in the top 5 but I'm not sure where we sit b/c there are supposedly some mystery families ahead of us. BUT our adoption coordinator did tell me that it would be THIS month so I'm focusing on that and just living every day (just with a bit more anxiety with every phone call). I know that one day the phone will ring and it WILL be the agency calling to tell my about my baby boy! Isn't that so exciting! I can't wait!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Shoes for Orphan Souls....

Well I'm very excited about this new service project I've taken on on behalf of our Young Adults Ministry at our church. I'm collecting new shoes for orphans at various locations around Aledo. I started small thinking that I'd just involve the church community, and then the organization that this project is through sent me a great "kit" with signs, a DVD, posters, etc. and I started thinking BIG! So I got Brookshires, 2 local schools, and the library to agree to be drop off locations! YEA! Once I pick my exact dates I'm going to send press releases to the local paper and another to the town next to us, and hopefully rouse some interest. Prayerfully, this will be very fruitful and will help orphans both here and abroad! It's super easy and I would recommend it to anyone interested. You can go to www.shoesfororphansouls.org to find out more and maybe start up your own shoe drive! This has been a really good way for me to take my mind off of "the wait" for our baby boy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Feeling down in the dumps.....

Well I have to admit that I'm feeling really down today. I thought for sure when I woke up that there would be some referral action but nothing so far. It's almost September and still no news!!! That just means that we definitly won't be traveling until December :( Also one family that got a referral for a baby girl in July found out that she was taken to the hospital for pneumonia but died overnight. SO SAD! So now I'm trying to get antibiotics together to take to the transition home in the hopes that a tragedy like this may be prevented in the future. Please keep the Joner family in your prayers.
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

Some referrals came today!

Well at least 2 different families got referrals today for 2 children each! Great news for our group but it doesn't really help us to move up in line :( I am THRILLED for these families though as they've been waiting longer then us for our referral and any good news is greatly appreciated! Hopefully referral calls will keep rolling in and we'll be one of them!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Another Monday...

Well so far there's no news of any referrals. It's now 6 months 11 days that we've been waiting for our referral - bummer! We're getting awful close to the 7 month mark. I spent all weekend at a conference for starting up a young adults ministry at our church. I created a blog site and yahoo group for that yesterday so at least I feel like I'm doing something beneficial with my time. The blog is holyredeemeryam.blogspot.com if anyone is interested in checking that out. It's really raw and hopefully at our next "get together" I'll be able to post more photos. The weather is very dreary as is my attitude today :( A bit batch of referrals is just what I need!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Yet ANOTHER weekend to wait...

So obviously no news of referrals or I would have let EVERYONE know. I actually am going to a Catholic conference this weekend so hopefully that will keep my mind off of the wait. YUCK!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

No referrals but some good news...

So like I mentioned above, still no referrals yet this week - BUMMER! But one of the traveling families did say that there will be about 50 kids in the transition home soon and only 25 are spoken for that we know of so hopefully 26 people will be getting referrals w/in the next month or so. So even though I'm still SUPER sad that I may not make it in the August referral group, at least I feel pretty confident to be in the September group. Still praying fervently for August though. Also I got good news today. It's my birthday and my girlfriend Mary Katherine called to tell me that she's PREGNANT!!! YEA! Baby Bertrand number 2 is on the way!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Another weekend to wait...

Well it's Friday afternoon so the chance of there being any referrals this late in the day are VERY slim. Bummer. Also there were 4 families waiting for court today and none of them passed b/c of some reason or another. This was their SEVENTH time going to court. So now they have to wait until October 8th for another chance at passing. :( Please keep them and all waiting families in your prayers. My birthday is next week, YEA!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Donation Day

Well I've spent most of my day off getting all of our donations organized into little "goodie bags". My big order from Oriental Trading came in so I've been having fun imagining the kids faces when they see their little surprises! I can't wait! There was another referral for a sibling group but no new boy referrals :( Knowing we're so close is super exciting but now the anxiety is at an all time high! I just can't wait for OUR phone to ring!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Yea!! I did it!!

Well I FINALLY figured out how to post photos to this blog but I'm doing it at work sooooooo I'm sure my boss isn't too happy about me taking time out to do that. But other GREAT news is that the Juvinall family got a referral for a 2 month old baby girl today!! YEA! They've been waiting over NINE months for their baby girl. Hopefully the referrals will continue to roll on in! I'm going to continue to think that THIS is our month! Stay tuned for lots more photos in the future! Hopefully not too long from now I'll be posting a photo of baby Ezra.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Getting a hang of this!

Well I think my blogging skills are improving, I actually figured out how to add a little tape ticker thingy w/ our time waiting for Ezra! YEA! Last night Michael and I discussed possible middle names for what felt like HOURS, so please so and VOTE for your favorite so we can put the debate to an end! I'll try to get some pictures up as soon as I can figure that part out. I've been dreaming of Africa and baby boys a lot lately so hopefully that's a good sign!

Friday, August 1, 2008

First time blogger

Okay well I have NO idea what I'm doing making this blog so I appologize for the elementary quality. I am determined to figure out how to post photos, etc. Today is August 1st!!! Yea! I am hoping and praying that we get a referral (a match with a child in Ethiopia) this month. Since things seem to be moving more quickly I can only pray that we are one of the lucky August families that will hear good news. :)

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 :)