Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Time to start packing!!!!!

Everything is a go!!! Tickets got booked today and we are leaving town on Feb. 17th VERY early in the morning for Ethiopia!! Woohoo! Now the REAL countdown begins! Exactly 3 weeks away and my head is still spinning!!!! Actually, it's quite literally "spinning" right now as it's completely plugged up and I'm SICK! =( Please pray that I'll be better soon b/c it is definitely slowing me down, and I don't have time for that! Thank goodness we are almost done painting...........3 weeks around paint fumes has done a number on my sinuses. I'm SO excited though, and I know 21 days will fly by!

REALLY thankful that last night I got to hang out with a wonderful group of moms who've all either adopted from ET or are in the process. They're all so sweet and it's so great to glean their "wisdom". One thing I learned is NOT to use the airline we were planning on using! (Which also HAPPENS to be the one that crashed into the Mediterranean this week!!!) (So glad I didn't book yesterday!) I guess even "small" people feel very cramped like sardines for the looooooong flight ( 17 hours straight) each way, going and coming between Ethiopia and Washington D.C. So, when I told my 6'5" not-tiny husband that, he wasn't so glad to hear! It's one thing to have your knees tucked up into your chin for a couple of hours, but for a whole day....... NOT GOOD! I'm going to need this man to be feeding/changing baby or entertaining a toddler much of the time!! =) We are so glad though that our 12 year old son will be going too, and I know he'll be a wondeful help to us. He's gotten his practice in from helping me babysit kids these past couple of years and I know it'll be a blessing for us to have his extra set of hands. We're so thankful that money was given to us for him to go along. We hadn't originally planned on him going, but I know it will be an amazing experience that he'll never forget!

I guess if there is a down side to our new travel itinerary it's that we have to stop in Sudan. Yeah.....a little scary, BUT we don't have to get off, only sit there while other people get on/off. I'll be praying the whole time!!!! My friend Michelle says we need to take pepper spray with us on our trip....... anybody got some extra on hand??? =)

Friday, January 22, 2010

ALMOST there!!!!!!

Seems like there is always ONE MORE THING you have to wait on!! Well, Edilu's Embassy physical is finished and was fine. Because Hana is older she had to have the TB skin test done (different way of testing for babies), and the results will be back on Monday! So 3 more days of waiting until we can actually purchase tickets and have them IN hand! She would've been tested for TB before, but must be tested again before leaving the country. If it would HAPPEN to be positive, I think she'd have to stay longer and have some treatments first before allowing her into the US. We're praying NOT! Will keep you posted................. =)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

One step closer to TRAVEL!!!!

We were thrilled to receive back a corrected birth certificate for Edilu today! His official birthdate is February 18, as that is what the very first physician ever to examine him after he was found wrote on his paperwork. It was just a good guess at the time, but we think it seems pretty accurate. Hana's birthday is Febrary 16, so it will be fun to celebrate them together. We will be bringing home a JUST turned 1 and 4 yr. old!!!! We'll have to take some candles with us and stick them in something yummy to have a little party for them before we bring them home! I'm pretty sure that will be something completely new to them!

We also heard today that the kids were taken for their Embassy physicals TODAY (it is evening there now), but apparently they didn't return from their appointments before the office closed for the day. Since they are 9 hours ahead of us, hopefully we'll wake up to good news in the morning! As long as everything was fine for that (please, Lord!) then we can can book our tickets TOMORROW!!! We are planning to leave around the 17th of February and will be there for 1 week.

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers. Hopefully tomorrow I will have some GREAT news on the physicals!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Waiting..........and working!

Lots of STUFF to sort through before painting can begin. It's AMAZING how many "treasures" little boys can stuff/collect under their beds and in their drawers..........rubbermaids FULL! (definitely some pack rats here!)

The boys weren't so thrilled that the red paint on the bunk beds ended up looking sort of "hot pink"! Red Gloss Spray paint to the rescue..........but that was a mistake INDOORS! MESSSSY!!!! (LOVE the color, though!)

We received birth certificates back a couple of days ago, but Edilu's birth year was wrong. (I'm trying not to grumble.....) Our case worker is hoping it can be fixed quickly, but we are waiting for word. In the mean time I got a call from our Homestudy social worker saying that the State of Illinois needs another paper showing Hana's official relinquishment! (Grrrr..........STILL trying not to grumble!) There are always these little suprises and set backs; We KNEW there would be so we just have to chill out and wait. Hopefully we'll be able to confirm travel dates and airfare SOON! Atleast it's not like we don't have TONS to do in the meantime! We're still keeping plenty busy making preparations in every way for bringing them home. It's crazy how much goes into it, and every day I think of something else to add to the list! Our parents have been a HUGE blessing in helping us get things done, and SO many people have offered help in one way or another! WE. ARE. BLESSED.!!! Hopefully more news to come...................SOON!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hana........also moved to the transition home!!

I just LOVE the suprise of getting new pictures of our kids sent over the computer every so often! It's so fun to study them and wonder about these two little people that we'll soon be holding. We're told Hana was moved last Friday to the transition center where Edilu is, and it appears from the pictures that she's doing well! We had been told that she was terrified anytime they took her out of her orphanage compound, so we were praying about this move to a new place. I have no idea what the deal is with the hospital-looking bracelets they both are wearing. Maybe they just do that while they are learning their names? And some body has brought some really CUTE little girl clothes/donations........look at those litte tennies! I wonder if she'll get to bring those home with her? I think I've heard that all clothing stays there and we have to bring our own for her, but not sure about that. I was SO happy to see that she has enough hair to put in tiny rubber bands now! There is a sweet little girl from church, a couple of years older than Hana, who has been praying that Hana will grow hair soon! She seems to take a real interest in Hana because she, herself, is in the foster care system and can relate to much of Hana's story. Her foster mom told me a couple of weeks ago that she prays every night for Hana, and that her hair will grow back. I'll have to tell her it is!! =) And I can't wait to get my hands on it! I'm studying up on that............. If she'll hold still long enough, I'm sure Alivia will be thrilled to play "beauty shop" and try all sorts of new do's on her!

No word yet on birth certificates, but hoping they come soon so we can make travel arrangements!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Edilu......transferred to the transition home

This past week Edilu was moved from the orphanage he'd been in since April, to the transition home in the capital city, Addis Ababa, where we will pick him up. I know that after 8 months, he must have been quite attatched to the nannies that took care of him every day. Hopefully, when we go to ET, we will be able to make the trek to visit the Soddo orphanage where he spent most of his first year of life. I think it's about 4-5 hours from the capital, but I've heard it can be a little scary traveling too far from the city........not like just jumping on an interstate to get there! So we'll have to see how brave we are feeling and if our agency can help us get a driver/translator to take us there. Here are some pictures of him in his new surroundings. The first few were sent to us last week as soon as he arrived (above) , and I could tell this poor boy was out of his element because he almost always smiles for the camera..........not in these. He looks so confused........"Who ARE you people? Where are my nannies and my crib?" But thankfully, today we received a few more (below) , and I think he must be warming up to the place because he is smiling again! Looks like he REALLY likes the ring toys! We've gotten some little videos of him. and hopefully can figure out how to get those posted sometime soon. Hana hasn't been moved to this transition home yet, but will be soon. Thanks for your prayers for them!

Sweet Edilu

Well, until we come up with a suitable name for this sweet boy, he'll continue to be known as Edilu or Eddy as our kids sometimes call him! Most of you have already seen these pictures of him, the first taken a month after being at the orphanage, and still looking somewhat malnourished. It's easy to see why the police gave him the name "Lucky/ Edilu" as they considered how different his fate would have been had they found him at a later hour/day. We can't wait to teach him of his story, and how his coming to us is SO much more than luck or chance! God's hand was on him even while he lay there alone, abandoned, and wasting away in front of that church building. God purposed to bring beauty from ashes.............
Isn't God good to take the difficult, ugly, and painful circumstances of life and turn them into something extraordinary and beautiful? We may not always understand this side of heaven WHY he allows the suffering, but we can be sure as believers in Christ that his promise is also true in our own lives. One of my favorite verses has always been Romans 8:28 which says that God weaves everything together for the GOOD of His children. Nothing is wasted, he uses it all! I love knowing that no matter what trials lie ahead for me in my life, God, like a tapestry designer, has the beautiful finished pattern in mind. It may look random and senseless at times, but He is a masterpiece artist and I am so thankful I can trust Him.