Monday, March 15, 2010

Quick be followed SOON by pics of our trip!!

It's hard to believe we've been home over 2 weeks now! Every minute at our house is busy, but we are definitely starting to fall into a routine as a family of 7! Overall, we are really doing well. I think partly we had SO prepared ourselves for the WORST that we are really thankful for the MANY things that have gone better than expected. The past two weeks have been full of Dr. appointments, blood draws, stool samples, LOTS of baths and laundry, teaching baby to sleep without a bottle constantly in his mouth, training Hanna in the ways of our household, and just having fun getting to build relationships with these two new ones!

We've found that despite the challenges, we are really enjoying the kids and have found so much to thank God for! Hanna is doing VERY well with English and is understanding so much more than she is even able to speak, yet she is saying new words and phrases each day. Today, she kept saying with her thick accent, "Thank you SO much!" She is a smart little thing and a very quick learner! She often catches onto what I am doing right away and takes action to help finish the task such as bringing me the diaper and wipes when she sees me lay Edilu on the floor to change him. For the most part she is so obedient and takes joy in doing what I've asked her to. She LOVES to do everything for baby, and I sometimes have to tell her "No, this time you CAN"T feed him.......Mommy's turn!" She LOVES to vacuum, do dishes, fold clothes and mop floors.......maybe just because everything is novel and new, but I sure hope it lasts. Even though it's quicker to do it myself, I've been trying to let her help with all these things and she just puts her whole self into it! It's so cute. Another great thing..... she eats ANYTHING we give her for meals! Tonight she gulped down 2 tacos without batting an eye, even though I KNOW she'd never seen one of those before in Ethiopia! The other day I left kidney beans to drain in the colander for making chili and she kept eating and eating them! The first week we were home, she was in the kitchen asking for food ALL the time. Now I think she realizes the food is always there and there's always plenty, and it has leveled off. She's not asking for food nearly as often.

Edilu is a sweetie, but we've figured out that he was definitely handed bottles ALL through nap/bedtime to keep him quiet and asleep in his crib at the orphanage. At first he would wake every 3 hours throughout the night and cry (scream!)for a bottle. We've been giving him much more solid food than he was getting and are weaning him off all those bottles. He's doing pretty well now at night, but does not really nap at ALL during the day..........We're working on that! He's a pretty typical one year old........into EVERYTHING, including the toilet water! We're learning to stay on our toes because you never know what he's going to get into or pull off or find to put in his mouth! Despite that, he's a pretty precious guy and the kids all love to carry him around the house.

Both of the kids had NASTY colds when they came to us and we are still constantly wiping noses. We're waiting on the blood work and stool samples to come back but are pretty sure our little guy has Giardia/parasites because of his recurring diarrhea/messy diapers. Edilu has been eating well for us, but at this time is only in the 5th percentile for his weight. (50 for height) The Dr. thinks he will catch up quite a bit, but is way behind because he started off so malnourished. His head and belly are pretty good sized, but his arms and legs are SO tiny!!! Hanna had scalp fungus from the orphanage that had to be treated, but we are hoping her other tests all come back okay. We should know soon.

As much as I love being with both of the kids all day they are not good nappers (working on it!) and I am lucky to get a few minutes to get anything outside of dishes and laundry done before we have to rush off to pick up the kids from school and start the whole homework/dinner/evening thing. That's probably been the hardest thing for me is feeling like I'm not able to get much else accomplished during the day..... But hopefully we'll get a better routine for nap/rest time established so I can have a little more time for things such as.........Blog updates!! =)

Our oldest three have truly been amazing helps! We've been trying to take little moments of one-on-one time here and there for them, because I know that it's still hard having to share mom and dad with TWO more people.....especially when those two people need lots of time in the beginning. We have had some really fun moments of just laughing and laughing at silly things altogether and that has been fun! Hanna has had us all cracking up a few times.

Tomorrow I'm planning to start posting pictures/maybe some video of our trip to ET. I think we've finally gotten everything downloaded/saved to our computer. Thanks again for ALL the support, prayers and encouragement along this continues to mean so much to us!



  1. You all are doing a great job! Thanks for posting the cute pics!! It makes me want to stop by for some hugs and kisses :)

  2. Hanna and Edilu are so unbelievably beautiful! It looks like the transition is going so well for you all! I loved reading the part about Edilu and his bottles - I'm going to make a mental note of what you're doing for when our baby girl comes! Can't wait to read more about your journey!

  3. what a wonderful and beautiful family! it was so wonderful to see you all at church on sunday, and i am so glad you are doing well!

  4. So fun to see pics and hear about life at the Ham house! Glad things are going well. The kids are beautiful!

  5. It's too bad that your two new kidlets aren't getting loved on at all!!! ;) It looks and sounds like you are all adjusting well. (Bronwen was looking at the pictures w/ me and said "Oh! Hana looks so happy now!") :) And let me tell you, having 5 kids is a lot of work. I am lucky to get a few loads of laundry washed/folded, empty dishwasher, clean up, etc.....and I don't have all the issues to deal with that you do! You are doing GREAT! Can't wait to meet the little ones in person some day...


  6. So glad things are going well for you all! It was good to give you a hug Sunday at church! Sounds like the kids are all settling in so far. That's great news! Keep depending on God and all will be well! Love you all!

  7. Love the pics. Thanks for the update. I miss you!