Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I'm Gonna Miss This Face

Today after we did hair. I'm gonna miss you baby! But, I'm bringing you back the best present I can think of ........your baby sister.

Well, we leave for the airport in the morning. It's ET or bust!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Last Pic as a Family of 3

So, we took a couple of family pictures a family of three. It's funny we never had a family picture taken of just the three of us professionally. That's terrible! We definately need to get a new family picture taken soon!

Blessed in ways we would have never guessed

I have come to realize in the last few days how truly blessed we are, especially because of adopting our girls. I take for granted the incredible families that we have, until I hear stories of families who disown or no longer speak to family members because of their decision to adopt (especially transracially). I can't imagine how that feels because we have been so fully supported by our families that we couldn't ask for more. It's a blessing I don't realize, because it's always there. It's a blessing we are so thankful for and don't ever want to take for granted.

But, the most incredible blessing is the people we've met. Because of the road that we have chosed to travel, we have been introduced and have come to meet people I know we would not have otherwise met. And, each one of those people are part of who we are now, and the journey that we have taken to become a family. I think of how different our lives would be without the friendships and commonality and I don't want to imagine that life. Here's an example of what I mean: We went to dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant in the cities that we go to 6 or 7 times a year. The same young Ethiopian woman is usually working and has become a familiar acquaintance to us. She has watched Makenna grow up and has always been incredibly sweet to us. When she found out that we were travelling this week, she instantly offered to give us her parents ph # in ET so that we could call them if we needed anything. She said they would take us around, pick us up from the airport, help us, etc if we just called them. It was an incredibly kind offer, and we were taken aback. This young woman was willing to put this offer on the table, not because of us, but because of Makenna and Abaynesh. They are Ethiopian, so they are family to her. She never flinched. Incredible

Another standout experience for us is having been welcomed into a family of Ethiopian and Eritrean people wholeheartedly. We met them last summer just briefly, and then earlier this summer. We invited them to our house for dinner, and 15 family members drove 1 1/2 hours to our house to come and spend time with us. We were blown away! At one point I walked into my living room, full of beautiful people, and heard 3 different languages being spoken. And, it was funny, because it didn't seem strange to me--I felt so happy and really peaceful. This family has a lot in common with us, so we truly are like family. They adore Makenna and can't wait to meet Abaynesh. They want to have us over when we all get home. Would we have met and become the friends we are now? Maybe, but I doubt it.

It is strange to have gained so much, when already adoption is a selfish act. We just wanted to be parents, and knew that there were kids who needed to be loved. Why have we been blessed by so many? How did we get so lucky? I just hope that I can give back to my kiddos in a way similar to the ways that we have been blessed. I want them to grow with an appreciation for the people who love them unconditionally, and for the people who want them to have pride and knowledge of who they are and where they come from. And, I can't wait to continue watching those two worlds mold into one! It's already happening in our family.

Only 3 more days

Wow, time is flying by! We will be on the plane in just 3 more days. I am so excited, but as it is getting closer, I am very nervous about leaving Makenna. I am going to miss her so much while we are gone--just thinking about it makes me feel like I can't breathe.

It's a funny feeling to have your kids on seperate continents. I feel torn between being excited and wanting to go and see and meet Abaynesh, and feeling really anxious and sad about leaving Makenna. It's like a part of my heart is with each of them. Crazy!

We set up the crib today and put all the baby clothes in the dresser and closet. It's starting to feel a little more real now and I can't wait until we are all home together!

I can't wait to see both of my girls together--what could be better!?!? :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

My Brain is Mush

Ok, so I obviously have been slacking on the blogging the last week or so. But, the two donation bags are packed (yes, we have 100lbs worth of donations!) and all of the baby clothes are packed as well. Most of the baby "stuff" will go in one of our carry-ons, just in case our suitcases don't make it to Ethiopia with us. So, we have two more suitcases and one carry on to get a few more donations, and all the rest of our stuff into. Oh, and we are bringing a few things that some special friends in ET can't get, so we need to figure that into our luggage equation as well. Ron swears he can get all of his clothes for 11 days into a carryon. I am half tempted to let him do it. ;)

I am SO excited to go, and a little anxious at the same time. I can't wait to go back to Ethiopia. It is such a beautiful place and has such beautiful people, both inside and out. It's such a land of contradictions and you see breathtakingly beautiful scenery alongside heartbreaking poverty. I want so badly for my girls to understand their complicated homeland and the beauty that lies within it. I hope that we are able to instill that appreciation into them.

So, it's 9 days and counting at this point. 9 more days and we will be on our way to Ethiopia. 9 more days until we will be on a plane back to where I left a piece of my heart almost 2 1/2 years ago. 9 more days until we will be on the same continent as Abaynesh......I can't wait! :)

Friday, August 10, 2007

OMG! We leave in under 3 weeks

Okay, so we had confirmed tickets to leave on September 12th and we fine with that. We were excited and starting to get ready to go.

But, today all of that changed! Our agency contact Jan called with the greatest suprise. She asked if we would still be willing to travel early because we had been moved to a travel date of the 31st of August. Umm...yeah!!! We aren't going to mess around, we will be there when you say----happily!:)

So, we will get to our little girl 2 weeks earlier. We will leave here on the 29th and will meet Abeynesh on the 31st! We can't wait!!!!

So, our lives are in fast forward now--majorly! We have only about 2 weeks of work left before we go, and under 3 weeks to pull everything else together. We will be busy! But, she's coming home!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

WE MADE IT!!! Here's OUR girl!

Well, we finally have what we have been waiting for....court approval from Ethiopia and a travel date! We heard yesterday that our case was heard in Ethiopia and we were approved! What a huge relief. The courts are supposed to close today, so we cut it close! Too close if you ask me. But, in the end it all worked out. So, now we can officially post a picture of our girl! Here's our sweet girl looking a little startled--remember this is her first time seeing a flash and having her picture taken.

We also have tentative plans for being in Addis Ababa by September 14th. We have started to look for tickets, and I am already losing sleep. We have never left Makenna for this long (I think the longest was 5 days), so I am worried about how she will do. Ahh, being a mom, isn't it great to worry all of the time!?!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

It can change in a minute

The bridge collapse in Minneapolis is really hitting us tonight. We have family and friends who drive it everyday. Not knowing if they are ok and not being able to get through on cell phones is really making us take a step back. We are watching all of this on TV tonight and are reminded of how quickly things can change. It is so surreal to watch.

Also, Makenna got sick this afternoon and had a REALLY high fever. Like 105+ degrees with Tylenol! Ron took her to the ER and I met them there. On the way, all I could think about is that I take time with my family for granted. If something were to change today, I would not be able to change what we did. So, I held her a little closer and kissed her cheeks a little more tonight. She is SUCH a good kid. A truly happy girl who is almost always a trooper with whatever we make her do. I was reminded of that when I got to the hospital and saw her sad face--it didn't fit her. She rarely looks like that, and she almost looks like a different kid without that 1000 watt smile across her face. They ran a bunch of tests, and can't figure it out. But, they helped us get the fever under control because 105+ is just too high! So, we assume it's a virus and ride it out. No complaints here-just happy that we are all safe, sound and together tonight.