Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Raising Black kids - and my white umbrella

Oy. This interaction has been stewing in my thoughts for several weeks....

So I'm at the school waiting to pick up the kids and per usual a group of moms are chatting together. Usually it is just the usual mom stuff - how much homework the teacher is assigning, who's kiddos is sick with what and so on. But not this day. It starts out innocently enough a mom talking about going to walmart just before pick up.... but then she starts in on a rant about black welfare moms with like 10 kids. Ugh. My neighbor quickly tries to change the subject - but this lady was not going to be derailed. Nevermind that in order to qualify for WIC (which is what I assume she was going on about - cause food stamps are nearly impossible to qualify for these days) you really really have to have a significant need... and really does anyone want kids to go hungry? and why do we pay taxes except to help those who are in a hard spot - because but for the grace of God.... 2 things were irritating me. One - 10 kids. Ummm what is wrong with someone having 10 kids? and frankly I doubt it was 10 - probably 4 or maybe even just 3 or the person in question was simply babysitting a number of kids. Why did she assume that they were all hers? just because the other woman was black? really? As for WIC - frankly I am greatfull that there are programs like WIC and free lunch so that kids don't go hungry. Any way in the next breath she looks at me and it dawns on her that I have 8 kids, and a bunch of them are black. And she is mortified. And I am furious. Furious that in this day and age someone could continue to make such racist assumptions. And furious that I wasn't better prepared with a reasonable response. Ugh Ugh Ugh.

Then just this weekend I was running out to the store and in our neighborhood a young man was pulled over... ( I am assuming for speeding - which is a huge problem right where the traffic stop was) and the cop had the teen (probably17 , probably a friend of my sons) sitting on the curb while he went through the car and the kids backpack. And it all jumped out at me because the young man was black. I wonder had it been my white teen boys how they would have been treated....

And the thing is that when my black kids are with me they get coverage from my white umbrella. I'm white and upper middle class white too - when we are out with the kids people buy us icecream and thank us for raising them.... Ugh. makes. me. nuts. Well the kids really enjoy the ice cream... and frankly it isn't just white people, it's blacks too, and that I really don't know what to do with. And those kind of racial assumptions are why my black kids don't go out to the store or McDs looking like they just rolled out of bed (and why I don't either). Society is stacked against them enough as it is. I have seen the suspicions looks my 9 year old black son gets when he is on the toy aisle alone.... and the smiles and indulgent looks he gets when he is with me. And I have been in Walmart with 7 or 10 kids and no one looks twice but if I were black they sure would and that is wrong.

So what to do - we live in a fairly accepting community but ingrained racism is everywhere - and as my kids get older we will be bumping up against it more and more. And as they get older my umbrella won't reach over them... and that scares me to death.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Miracle

I realize that it has been forever since I updated this poor blog - life with 7 kids at home and the start of school has been over the top busy... really I had no idea how easy life with just 5 kids was!

So we have had a total miracle here - if you had been to my house in June or July you would have committed to much prayer on our behalf as things were not going very smoothly with Alem (who we have renamed Sarah - but that is a different story). She was having meltdown after meltdown and the level of rage she was exhibiting was only increasing. There would be periods of calm but they were all marked by extreme manipulation on her part trying to get her way or a reward or what ever. I can honestly tell you that it was beyond anything we had ever expected to deal with - we didn't go into this with our eyes closed - but what we were living with was beyond hard. Therapy was hard - actually harder than hard some days... when she would rage at therapy there were times I despaired of actually being able to get her home, as in would she really get in the car or not?? Finally in the end of July we simply had to decide that parenting her wasn't going to steal the joy we had in our other children - we weren't going to let her behaviors rob the others of a fun time with Mom or Dad. And I had to let go of the idea that suddenly she would be healed that her behaviors would be fixed that her heart would be whole. The trauma from her earlier life was totally driving her behavior and apart from God acting on her behalf we were doing all we could for her... and the other kids needed attention too.

And then the miracle happened... one day she just stopped fighting us - stopped fighting the feelings of love and acceptance and started to press into them, seeking love and acceptance, talking about her big feelings instead of trying to punish us all for them. Almost over night she settled down to normal - just a normal little girl with normal little girl hurts and upsets, and some really big ones too - but now she trusts us with them and by doing so we are able to help her to be more regulated in her feelings and understanding. There is alot of pain, abuse and betrayal in her story... surviving it is a miracle in and of itself - but reaching the point of emotional healing - well no one but the Father could have orchestrated it. These last 8 months with her have been harder than I could ever have imagined - but what we see in her today is more beautiful that we could have imagined... truly He gives beauty for ashes and strength for fear.

I know that God moved on her behalf and I praise Him for it... but the fertile ground of prayer and all the work we did with her paved the way. I will try and write about some of the strategies that worked for us... but if you are in the middle of the battle and want advice or someone to pray for you - leave a comment (I won't post it - but would be happy to chat about it).

For those of you who have stormed heaven on our behalf - thank you, from the bottom of my heart thank you... I cannot wait to meet some of you in heaven (if not before) so that you can see what your prayers have wrought on our behalf - a beautiful, and healed, daugter of the King.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I swear my kids have grown gills this summer! The ET kiddos all can swim now and swim quite well too! Becca came home swimming but this is the first year we have allowed her not to use floaties - seriosly folks she is only 2 inches over 3 feet tall and the shallow end of our pool is 3 feet! Alem and Estifanos had never been in the water before coming home but boy do they love it now!The kids buried Luke in the sand at the volleyball court - very little volleyball ever gets played but it is the best sand box in town.

The hard stuff

So this past week we had a visit to Children's to see our infections disease docs. The kids are doing pretty well on their meds - which is great and hopefully, pending results from the lab we won't be going back until Oct!! Which would be awesome.

Our amazing nurse practitioner there is an adoptive mom of 2 ET kiddos and really knows what is what when it comes to adoption, and the hard stuff... I filter some of what I say to the team we see because Alem is in the room with us, but I try to be as real as possible. This week the social work team asked if I'd speak to them in the hall - I sure did. And I know I gave them a fright as I shared more than usual about our challenges, but seriously how in the world are they going to help people if everyone sugar coats things? Any way at a social event later in the week our NP thanked me for being real with them... I about cracked up - because seriously how can I be totally real when I am talking to 2 young gals who have -0- kids between them? LOL - and one gal is just out of school. Anyway I guess I gave them things to talk about at the team meeting - and since more and more folks are adopting older kiddos - well maybe they will be able to put together some things that actually help.

As for our control issues - ugh. Really there is no other word for how the last weeks have been - if you pray we sure could use it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Life is...

CRAZY BUSY! I never really imagined that I would never have a moment to myself this summer - but boy oh boy I sure don't! I have tons on my mind that I'd love to get out... but I think it is going to have to wait a bit longer.... hope my brain doesn't explode.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Counseling part 2

Weeelllll - it has been several weeks and 2 more counseling visits since I last posted. All I can say is that if you are thinking counseling might be helpful - then go and commit to going for at least a month. These last 2 visits have really opened my eyes and been totally enlightening to some of the things going on with miss Alem. In fact both times our counselor has been able to get to the heart of our struggles in just a few minutes and give me pratical tips for overcoming and moving forward. The really hard part is that she has some seriously deep control issues and it is going to be challenging to overcome them. The other thing that was hard to hear is that she really isn't able to relate to people - she simply doesn't have the skills. Now those are things she can learn, and it explains why she can't really play with other kids yet - but it was hard for her to hear that she wasn't the same as the other kids in the neighborhood - but it motivates her to change and that is good.

Hang on for what promises to be a bumpy ride - we currently have to take all control away from her... ugh, not totally sure what that is going to look like, but I know she isn't going to like it....

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Well we've had several sessions with the counselor now... and the jury is still out as far as I am concerned. To be clear we are not going for attachment therapy - we really do see many positive attachment behaviors from her and while there is a long way to go neither the counselor or I think there is too much he can do to make it happen - time and prayer are what is needed. So then why are we at counseling you might wonder - Alem has some very serious fears... she is beginning to conquer them (and no the counseling has nothing to do with that, we have been working hard) but we felt that we needed some guidance in making the best choices to help her get over her fears and begin to trust that her new family was safe. This seems to be hard for her, in part because as some point in her past she was not safe. Older child adoption comes with many unknows - and trauma history is a big unknown. We have no idea what happened in her past or how it affected her, and there is no way to ask her... not because she doesn't have the language for it - she does (well at least for some of it), but because if she isn't ready to talk about it then she isn't ready. Either we aren't "safe" yet or she is choosing not to remember. It doesn't really matter.... except that we need to help her to manage her fear and conquer it so that she isn't held back in any way. So she does play therapy - she plays and interacts with the counselor and he makes observations and suggestions to me. We are going to give it a few more weeks and see if something good shakes loose.

The thing is that if she were the way she is now when she was home a month I wouldn't even think about counseling... but at a month home we were so falling apart... we have done alot of hard work to get her here and if there is any help or suggestions someone who sees traumatized kids on a regular basis can offer then we are going to take them up on it. Mostly he says that we are doing a good job - doing all the right things to help her - and that it takes time, we are expecting too much too soon. (LOL to that as seriously if he were living with her he'd be pushing her hard to get better and move foward too.)

We are believing that God will heal her heart and in the fullness of time she will learn to trust, to love with out fear, and to rest peacefully in Him.

When he calles me momma....

my heart melts.

From the beginning Estifanos has called me mom - but just mom at first. It was simply my name - not who I am to him. Little by little you can see his heart softening towards me... at first when I'd take the time to figure out why he was upset and set things to right, then when I'd make some dish for a meal that he really likes... little by little and he'd call me momma instead of mom. Now a days it is momma more often than mom... sweet.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

" I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living" Psalm 27:13

Yesterday was a tough one - some days are harder than others, but that wasn't her it was me. I was worn thin and missing my sweetie (who is traveling this week) and I had scheduled a play date for her - which was a first ... and it had it's challenges. And this week I have been reminded by my big kids that while she is doing better there is still quite a way to go and we need to not settle for better - but strive for best.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


So today I was able to rejoice with a wonderful blog friend about the growing attachment with her son. She had been running the race and is on the wonderful downhill side. And while I am so very excited for her - it feels like the uphill battle we face is unending. sigh. I love Alem and am totally commited to her.. but it is so very very hard. She is difficult on her best days and horrid on her worst and often I wonder if things will ever ever change? Will she ever stop demanding all the attention be focused on her? will she ever stop trying to control my every waking moment? will she ever just relax and not worry about whether or not she has more than everyone else? will she ever stop acting like each bump is the end of the world? and on and on and on.....

I know that she has made tremendous progress she no longer keeps herself (and me) up all night. She no longer has raging fits every day, not even every week. She no longer tries to run away. She finally is eating healthy meals. She is nice to her brothers and sisters. She gets ready for school and church without a fuss.

Of course then just now she refused to come to the dinner table then flipped out because we prayed and began eating with out her - really?! I simply took her aside and said you may want to control when we all eat but it isn't going to work... we pray and eat when mom and dad sit down not when you finish playing. Ugh.

I lost my mind

I lost my mind when I thought letting Alem and Emma have a friend over for the afternoon might let me get some paperwork done.... instead we have been to the park, done crafts and painted nails. Fun for them - but my todo list is getting longer....

Monday, June 7, 2010


Well I have to admit that each and every night I am beat to the ground tired. I'm not at all sure if it is just getting used to managing such a large family or still adjusting to the new kids or what but I am so ready to get some energy back. I realized that somewhere along the way of the last few months I quit eating all the veggies that I used to eat - salads especially. I think I gave them up in favor of quicker meals where I ate what they ate - but I think it might be affecting my energy level too - so this week I am back to tons of veggies and way less of what the kids are eating. That is actually going to be hard to manage with Alem who prefers to eat whatever I eat, and like most kids she isn't the biggest fan of veggies... but I imagine eventually her hunger will win out. I am also going to get more sleep each night. Sadly right now 8 hours just isn't enough - which kinda cracks me up as I used to exist on less than 6 without any problems - but I am not at my best any longer without a really good nights sleep!! And to a certian extent I have to admit that parenting the new kids is still stressful. Estifanos is just now beginning to trust us with his hurts - both real and emotional and always being on the lookout for that is hard work. And Alem continues to be challenging. She would really like to run the show. LOL. and that so isn't going to happen, although to a certian extent she has been driving things, and we are cracking down on that pretty hard. She also begins therapy this week - stay tuned for a report on that.

So if anyone has a magic energy pill they would like to share - then I might be able to get caught up with the house and the paperwork... otherwise all that is going to have to wait.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

my first ....

"I love you" that is! So last night was the very first time Estifanos said I love you to me - so very sweet.


On paper it seems as if we created artifical triplets - our bio girl Emma is 8 (9 in Sept), Estifanos is 8 (9 in Aug) and Alem is 7 (8 in Aug). Currently the reality is that we created 2 sets of twins - Emma and Estifanos are very close in age - and in personality which is nice. It also works well because they are boy/girl and thus into different things so at least so far we haven't had any difficulities there.

The second set of "twins" would be Becca (who on paper is 4 - but most likely is at least 6 months older) and Alem (who on paper is 7 but emotionally is 4 or 5). This presents many challenges as it is hard to explain to Becca why Alem doesn't treat her the same way as Emma and Estifanos do. Or how to handle the envitable fights over Barbie and Polly Pocket since neither of them is really capapble of negotiation yet... I am hopefuly that Alem will emotionally mature faster than Becca and this set of twins will naturally go away...

I can understand why social workers are hesitant to allow families to artifically twin - it is hard work to make sure that no one gets lost in the shuffle.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Wow - time sure flies by!!!

Truthfully though it is alittle hard to know how much to put out there on a public blog. I keep the blog so that I will have some record of life during this crazy time... and I know that I learn so much from others both stuggles and victories. Anyway - that is why lately I have had alot of posts in my mind that never made it to the computer!

Estifanos is doing amazingly well. Poor kid has been home less than 2 months and has had the mumps and then a ton of dental work done (crowns, extractions, and cavities) and started school. All this on top of a big new family and amazingly he is cheerful, obedient and happy. Some kids are very resilent and he is one of them. His adoption has been amazingly simple in terms of adjustment. We have to be very careful to draw him out when he get quiet, because that usually means that something has happened that upset him. But he is learning to come to me when he is upset and that means the world to me. He is just all around a great kid.

Alem - well she gives us a run for our money. I was joking with another mom that I know we are the family God meant for her - in part because I know my Fathers voice and I heard it clearly about her - but also because we are experienced parents, and experienced adoptive parents with lots of tools in our parenting tool box and a really strong marriage. Because parenting her some days is not a picnic. Some nights find me sitting on the top of the stairs crying because I am not sure how in the world I am going to face another day with her drama. But then there are other times when I know that we have made so much progress. One night this month she was in trouble for something - and having a big fit about it - and I thought Oh Lord not again, I can't do this again (2 nights in a row of drama do not make for a happy mom). So I am sitting on the stairs crying and she comes out and gives me a note that says I love you but it feels like you don't love me. Well holy cow - that is huge. Huge that she was able to admit that she loved me even when she was mad (and boy was she mad) and that she could identify that she didn't think I loved her. We talked about it and she was able to see all the ways that I showed her I loved her each day - which of course is alot, she just is frustrated that she doesn't get her way. Then tonight - she was in the hot tub with some of the other kids, and yelling for me - which isn't allowed. I was ignoring her. Dad went out to tell her it was time to come in and she refused to get out. Really?? So I had to go out - and gave her another chance, actually 2 more chances and the pulled her out and deposited her inside. I'm not at all sure what she thought would happen - that we would stand there and wait for her? who knows, but she was almighty ticked off about it. Yelling and crying all the way up to her room. A few minutes later I go up to talk to her - she starts threatening not to go to school in the morn and I thought - ummm don't go there honey cause I will drop you at school in your jammies and leave. But I went through the process of naming her emotions for her - which is really important because sometimes she is so mad she doesn't know what she feels. Finally she says this isn't easy - being a family girl. Yeah no kidding I said back - it sure isn't easy to be your mom. LOL totally shocked her. It isn't easy - it doesn't mean that I don't love her - I do and I explained all that to her again. but she wants to be in control of me - and that isn't ever going to happen - which I explained, again. And then she apologized and we moved on. Now tomorrow when she doesn't get the hot tub - it will be a different fight, but oh well.

3 days left of school - the kids are all excited about it. I'm just happy the weather is warm and the sun is shining so hopefully we will be able to use the pool this summer.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

sleep begets sleep

Sleep issues are always huge on the adoption radar. When we brought Becca home we struggled for many months with sleep - as in she wasn't getting enough of it and neither were we. One of the adoption groups I keep up with has had many discussions of sleep and how to get more of it for you baby and toddler. I tried those time tested techniques and lo and behold - they worked. It turns out that Miss B needs to go to bed around 630pm and then she happily sleeps until about 7am. Putting her to bed at 7pm did not have the cooresponding effect of causeing her to sleep until 730 but rather woke her earlier at 630 and then put her an hour behind for the day. Happily a few months home we had that problem worked out.

No one ever mentioned the same cause and effect for older children. HOWEVER LET ME THE FIRST TO SAY even with older children SLEEP BEGETS SLEEP. Alemtsehay has had major sleep issues from the beginning. They have gotten better since she moved into the floor of our room - but she was still awake for long periods each and every night (though finally not waking us up - just laying there fretting.... which isn't really a solution). So on Wed - after she didn't hardly sleep a wink Tues at 830 I said - that is it - time for sleep. Previously we had been allowing her to choose when to settle for sleep - bedtime was 8 (and still is) but she could look at books or play quietly with dolls until she was tired, usually around 9 or so. And then she would sleep for about 2 hours and wake up frightened or grumpy for hours each night. So Wed night time for sleep at 830 - and lo and behold she went right to sleep - slept all night and woke around 730 happily.... hmmmm. Well I'm not an idiot so again on Thurs we try again and the same result and again and again. Thank goodness she is finally sleeping without fear and sleeping well - it makes a huge difference in her and in me.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Our neighborhood

Our neighborhood is really an amazing place... It struck me tonight just how amazingly lucky we are to be living here. Our street is full of kids and families and all of them have been so amazingly suppportive and accepting of our new kids. We are the only adoptive family on the street, and the only family with sooooo many kids - but it is no big deal to anyone - and boy oh boy does it help the newbies to feel welcome.

Today I took our 5 youngest to the park down the street - and along the way picked up 6 more kids so by the time we arrived there were 11 kids on bikes racing around the park - there must be something magic about that number of kids - does it go out on some secret kid radar?? with in about 10 minutes there were 10 more kids - the perfect number of kids for games of tag and bike races and an all around good time. An hour later when I gathered the 11 I needed to take home... the whole park emptied.. kinda funny. Then tonight after dinner the kids went out to play for a few minutes and suddenly everyone is out running up and down the street playing hide and seek in everyone's yard and having a great time - much like I remember playing as a kid. And not at all like any other neighborhood we have recently lived in. It just brought such joy to my heart to see how easily Alem and Estifanos fit in.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Today something amazing happened....

Alem and Estifanos were home this afternoon due to various appts. They were playing in the front yard and garage with Becca. They both wanted to play with the same ball - and Estifanos got it first... Alem was being quite difficult with him about it. I was just watching to see what would happen - now as you might imagine often the kids give in to her just to get some peace - eventhough I encourage them not to... so after a few moments of "discussion" Estifanos looks at me and says "Mom, my turn". And it was - but the really cool part is that he trusted I would intervene on his behalf. The other cool part is that I was able to take Alem to the side and talk to her about her behavior and how she was being mean to Estifanos... she agreed and said she'd try to be nicer - which is huge - both her agreeing to be nicer and admiting that she was being mean, and there was no fit involved - not even a scream or tear.... progress.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Attachment is a process - a life long process. With bio kids it usually flows pretty naturally a tiny baby cries and mom and dad jump to meet the need expressed - the baby learns to trust that it is loved and cared for and attaches to mom and dad.

When you adopt older children the dance of attachment is very different. No bottles, no diapers, no rocking to sleep.... so the question becomes how do you know that they are attaching? that you are attaching? (cause both are important).

I don't know what it looks like for everyone - but for us we know that she is attaching because she leaves us notes about how much she loves us and thanks us for giving her a family (oh boy she is so older than 7), her hugs have lost the desperate quality and have become gentle snuggles (for the most part), she is beginning to care what is happening with her sisters and even steps aside when the littlest one needs something - trusting that her need will be met after the 3 year old, he melts more into hugs - it isn't like hugging a stick figure (though we do need to get some meat on his bones quick), he looks for ways to help mom - opening and holding the door, carrying in the groceries grinning the whole time, and finally feeling like he doesn't have to eat something he doesn't like - trusting that we will provide something else, that he won't have to go hungry.

Each day we dance closer to them - sometimes it is an easy waltz, sometimes a complicted tango - but each day a dance.

How do I know I am attaching to them? Simple things mostly - thinking of them brings a smile to my face, when I'm shopping for groceries I look for things I know they will like and be happy to have in the house, bed time isn't wiping me out any more (and seriously that is a biggie - at first I dreaded bed time it was so intense so exhausting so overwhelming that I wanted to go to bed myself rather than cope with it) when they wake early and come down during my alone time I am able to just grin and start the day rather than have my whole day ruined.

And so we dance - sometimes stepping on toes, sometimes closer, sometimes farther apart - but the dance looks better each and every day, and honestly if feels more natural each and every day.

Monday, April 19, 2010


I almost hesitate to put this into print .... but we have had some amazing breakthroughs lately.

Estifanos continues to settle in and do well - his ESL evaluation - his reading ability almost disqualified him from services. LOL what a riot. The boy can read like you would not believe, but the understanding isn't there yet - happily they realized that on thier own. He has tremendous phonics skills and can read anything in front of him but doesn't alway understand it. However - once his understanding kicks in I think he may need to jump up a grade. He can do all the math that the second grade is doing without any struggle whatso ever.... really kind of surprising.

Alemtsehay - has been really settled this last week+ She has been sleeping on the floor in our room - which I wish we had done from the beginning. We didn't because she seemed so happy to sleep in a room with her sister... but it wasn't helping her to be more secure. Once we told her she would have to sleep with us until she was ready to sleep all night in her own bed - well we thought she'd flip, but instead she was totally excited about it. Now tonight she announced she'd sleep in her own room again - we'll see. She is taking her meds without a fight - I told her she needed to take them to stay healthy and grow up to be a teacher (the current career of choice) and so now she does. Of course it helps that Estifanos and Daddy take meds every morning too. And really big deal I was able to go out shopping on Sat with out her having a total and complete meltdown at being left at home with Dad and the rest of the kids. As soon as I told her I was going out she wanted to come and when I told her no - it was apparent that her stress level was ramping up. And it doesn't go up slowly it goes from 1 to meltdown in 10 seconds flat - but we were able to stop it simply by getting down to her level and saying Mommy always comes back and Daddy will do a good job of taking care of you until I do. (and making her repeat it) Then on sunday we were able to go to Walmart - the kids needed new bikes - so yes she was getting something, but even when she has gotten something before the store has provoked meltdowns, but she did amazing this time. And at the Drs on Thursday she was able to pick from the prize box - and she choose a "magic wand" like in Cinderella - and the first thing she thought of was the Becca would want one too (not something she could get 2 of), so she instead gave Becca a pink one that she already had at home... amazing. And Daddy had to travel this week - and while she was not happy about it she didn't fall apart and isn't punishing me for it either. The best thing about all this progress is that it has been a gift in stress reduction for me. I am not so foolish to think that everything is solved - because it isn't... but we are moving foward. There will be times of moving backward too - but today I will take the gift I have been given, a glimpse of what healing looks like for this precious child - what hope and a future are. Praise God.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


The truth about adoption is that it will probably totally rock your world. You think you know what you are getting into - but you don't.

We have been adoptive parents for 14 years - our first adoption was a 16 year old girl when we had 2 baby boys and were only 27 and 28 years old ourselves. If you read any adoption literature you know we were set up for failure - funny thing though - when you are set up for failure sometimes you still succeed. It isn't that we were amazing people or that we didn't make mistakes (oh boy did we) but we did the best we could to love her and help her to become all that God had in store for her. And it was an amazing adventure, it really couldn't have gone any easier (well except for the car accidents - ask me about it if you are considering a 16 year old).

Our next adoption was Miss B - a toddler/preschooler. Probably the adoption that most turned my world upside down for alot of reasons. But she is an amazing little girl who really couldn't be better attached or better settled in our family. Have the recent additions affected her - of course, anytime you add a child to the family everyone has to settle down to the new situation, but she has handled it pretty well.

Now the 2 newest ones - Estifanos is probably the easiest child in the world - so sweet and anxious to fit in. He is one smart cookie as well and a total joy to parent. Alemtsehay is the most challenging child we have adopted - not however the most challenging child we have parented... Just because a child is born to you doesn't mean they will be easy. We have a couple of boys that at various times have really put us through our paces.... Anyway - is little miss hard - yep she is. BUT and here is the big thing - she is learning to have hope for her future, she is learning to accomidate alot of family all at once, she is learning to trust and love - things that haven't worked out so well for her in the past. Is it going to take time and skill to help her to heal and attach yep it is - but she wants it, and she wants it pretty badly so I think the future for her is really bright. (In case anyone is wondering - she loves me pretty desperately, but aside from her sisters she could take or leave the rest of the family - the day is on the horizon when she will love us all until then we celebrate every step foward)

The truth is that adoption is hard work - it is challenging and most of the time it doesn't come naturally (at least to me). But I am always reminded what love the Father has for us that despite everyting wrong with us he chose to adopt us - to call us coheirs with Christ, I will always be humbled by that - would that I never get over being adopted by God and that I would never lose His eyes for my kids, adopted or not.

Monday, April 12, 2010

colds, puking, mumps? and breakthrough - oh my

What a weekend we had. Estifanos has had a cold since arriving home - but he woke up Sat. with what certianly looked like mumps... (happily it isn't - but boy oh boy did we give the Dr. at the urgent care a fright). He has a raging infection in his glands at the back of his mouth and it looks like mumps - and it hurts and he is running a fever, and occasionally puking... like this morn - ugh. However - the great thing is that he is turning to us for care - friday night when he started to feel bad he let me rub his back while he fell asleep and didn't even try to hide that he was crying... it must be so hard to be in a new family in a new house in a new country and then feel horrible, and not know what these new parents are going to do about it. The funny things is that at lunch on Thurs Scott and I were talking about how easy a kiddo he is - so sweet and funny and quick to listen, and how since he was so much older and self possessed that it might really take and event to get him to really begin to rely on us - an event like being sick. LOL. Then - bam - he is sick and sure enough it is turning out like we expected. (Not that we wanted him to be sick mind you).

I think we are also on the verge of some breakthrough with little miss too - almost hate to put that out there.... but through a variety of reading this weekend and some events on Sat... we will just have to see.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

ages and adoption

Funny thing - all of our ET kids have ages that are off by at least a year - maybe even two. When we got Becca's referral she was sooo tiny - reportedly 2 years old and 15 lbs (scary). But the reality is that she is at least a year if not 18 months older than that. So while her birth certificate has her turning 4 in just a little bit I am really sure she is turning 5 - and is still very tiny, even for a 4 year old. How do we know - well there are so many developmental tasks that she has totally mastered - that she shouldn't even have begun yet - for example she has taught herself to tie a bow. By itself really no big deal - but she is also beginning to read and is easily the smartest kid in her preschool class - this for a child who never heard english or saw a book until 18 months ago. Even when first home and we had her developmentally tested she scored right at her age, and advanced in some areas.... really amazing for a malnourished toddler. Does it matter? not to us of course we love her regardless - it is just something that we will have to remember when the teen age drama stuff flares up early! LOL!

Estifanos is a different story - he really seems to think he is 8 - Ethiopians really don't keep track of age the way we do in the west so that isn't surprising. But upon meeting with his uncle and recounting a timeline of events all the adults were in agreement that he is about 10 years old. Gulp, it isn't that we didn't know it was a possiblility - we sure did, but a number of folks who had met him over the years and spent time with him felt like 8 was really quite close to correct for him and maybe even a bit younger - i think because there is really something very gentle about him. Right now he is barely the size of an American 6/7 year old - once he hits a grown spurt I imagine he will shoot up - but since ETiopians tend to be smaller he will probably fit right in with his peers until they outdistance him. Again we will just have to keep it in mind when the teen years strike - but he really seems to think he is 8 so no real problem.

Alemtsehay is a way different story. Reportedly she is 7 - when we were considering her file another mom emailed me and said no way is she 6 (what she was at the time) maybe more like 8. Well I am pretty sure she is at least 9 if not 10 and I am very sure she has been told to lie about it.Now her everyday behavior is much closer to 5 years old... but eventually she will catch up and settle in and then big dilema for her will she be able to trust us with the truth... and how hard it is for a child to be told to lie. I have no way of knowing who told her to lie - the aunt, the social worker or the nuns.... I suppose when she is ready to tell us then we will find out.

But my frustration with a system that doesn't seek the truth and is content to believe the lie ... well it is hard to handle - hard to even know what to do about it. We didn't adopt looking for healthy babies - we wanted to provide a home a family for kids who really needed one, and we are blessed by all of our kids - it is just that in the long run it would be better for them if they knew the truth - if they could really own the details of thier lives instead of us having to guess about them.

Settling in - older child adoption

Estifanos has been home over a week now and we are seeing his personality emerge a bit more each day. He is still pretty quiet - but does have a sense of humor that fits right in with the other kids. He is such an easy going guy, and what a gift that is. Tomorrow he starts school which should be really great for him as he is going to need a bit of ESL support - his english is pretty good - but he does the smile and nod quite a bit. He loves and I mean loves riding his bike - and he is very very good at it. He also really loves hanging out with the big brothers - it is so sweet to see.

People always say there are reasons for various delays in adoptions - I wasn't sure we would ever understand why they came home seperately - but of course now we do. It is because girlfriend is waaay the heck harder than he is. If they had come home together I am not sure how well we could have coped. I hesitate to say that Alemtsehay is hard - when I know lots of folks have had it way harder. When you contemplate older child adoption it is very important to read and know all the challenges you could face and the fact that your child could have all the challenges. She doesn't have all of them - she has a few meltdowns each week - which are exhausting but understandable. The harder part about her is the needy-ness. Now if you haven't adopted a challenging child you have no idea what I am talking about - but there is a needy part of her that theatens to overwhelm us at times. She knows what love is and wants it but often becomes very frantic over it. Her biggest drama revolves around feeling like I love the other kids more than her. Tell her no to something and boom - there you are I love the other kids more. Before she had her dental work taken care of every time she was upset about not getting enough - she would cause her mouth to bleed so that we would have to drop everything and take care of her. Ummm yeah - it worked at first until we got wise to her and then we would just give her some papertowels to take care of it and walk away - but even that was a victory for her. Sigh. She also used to be anemic to her nose would bleed fairly easily when she was upset - but then we figured out she was deliberately making it bleed to get attention.... sigh. Yeah cleaning all that up wasn't fun. Once her dental work was done and the anemia cleared she didn't have the usual things to resort to - both of which probably really provoked reactions from the orphanage staff. So then she resorted to delibertly vomiting - LOL by this time I was totally wise to her tricks. One time she did it and then had to clean it up - which totally did her in. The other time she did it was over taking her meds - which have to be taken every 12 hours. Sooo she doesn't want to take the pills and is trying to find out what I will do about it - she takes them and then makes herself throw them up....sooooo then I make her take them again (same pills mind you). I know it seems tough - but this is not an area we can have any give in... needless to say we haven't had a single problem with meds since, or throwing up for that matter. She is getting better - and I have to remind myself that it has only been 2 months...hopefully the next 2 months see even more improvement.

Adoption is....

Adoption is permanent - it is the same as giving birth to the kids - just at a bigger size. My adopted kids are no different than my bio kids. I really wish certian folks we are related to could figure that out. UGH!!!!!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

under one roof

As I sit here and contemplate how much different my life is than I ever imagined it to be - I am grateful to be able to say that my whole family is under one roof tonight. (Well except Kathleen - but since she is married and has her own roof now that is to be expected) The guys made it home on time and we had quite the reunion at the airport. Estifanos is soooo quiet - though I imagine that will change in a few days, and he is way tinier than I remembered. Tonight I am thankful for the easy way that kids of all ages fit together - it sure makes the beginning of family easier. I am grateful that injera comes in the mail and that I know how to make shiro. I am grateful for air travel and how it has played such a big part in the making of our family. I am grateful for a full fridge and clean water and medicine and how that is going to make a difference in our kids lives.

But most of all I am thankful for my savior - who died that I might be adopted and then changed my life beyond all imagining. There have been hard days behind us and there will be hard days ahead of us - but I can do all things through Christ who strengths me, and tonight I am just enjoying having all my little chicks under one roof. Thanks be to God.

In the air

happily the guys are in the air on thier way home!! They boarded the 2nd of 3 flights last night and should hopefully be sleeping in the air right now as the plane speeds towards LA. They got through the embassy quickly on Wed. and then had a chance to visit with Estifanos' uncle. The farewell party was on Thurs and Friday was packing up and getting ready to head home.

We can't wait to have our whole family home!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tuesday in Ethiopia

Scott arrived in ET on Monday midday and happily for me was able to do the shopping that I wasn't!! Gotta love a man who will shop - and bargain too! He was able to go get Estifanos on Monday late afternoon. When he arrived at AHOPE the children had just returned from school - Estifanos very shyly said hi and then ran off to wash his face and change his shirt. Then they hung out for a few minutes before heading to the guest house for dinner. Things seem to be going really well for them - Estifanos was running a fever last night and seems congested so if you all would pray for him to get better quickly as traveling with a cold is never fun. Continued prayers for Estifanos as he embarks on this journey to become a Grover - that his heart would be encouraged and that he would draw close to Scott. Please pray that everything is in order for the embassy appt on Wed - it should be, but prayer always helps!!!

On the home front we are all doing well - very glad that Nana arrived to help out. We somewhat foolishly went to the zoo today with all of Colorado Springs - oy! The boys couldn't even find a place to park thier car after driving around the parking lot for 30 minutes they gave up and went home. Then I managed to set our grill on fire trying to heat it up to cook dinner - even had to get out the fire extinguisher... always exciting at our house!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

On his way....

This morning Scott left for Ethiopia - it is finally time for Estifanos to come home and our family to be complete.

Please join our family in praying for an easy journey with good connections for Scott and for the blessing of Estifanos bonding quickly to him!

Keep checking in to see what happens along the way.

And for those of you wondering - the girls are all a mess crying and carrying on about his departure.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

rough day

Suffice it to say that being up half the night mixed with sedation for the dentist appointment this morning has made for a very difficult day. Mix that in with her not sleeping the night for a week - thus my not sleeping.... and I am tired.

Just yesterday I reminded a dear friend that attachment was a marathon not a sprint. Today was like running a few miles barefoot over broken glass - ick. Hopefully tomorrow will be more like running downhill in the sunshine.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Last nights heartbreak

Soooooo last night our social worker came for a post placement visit. Which we didn't consider to be a big deal at all, so we didn't talk to Alemtsehay about it before hand. After all our social worker seems to be more like a friend and we didn't think Alem would even give any attention to her.

So she arrives and askes her questions and makes some notes, takes her pictures and leaves. For the most part Alem just ignores her - which is her coping stragety for strangers - so that is fine. She answers questions when asked and cuddles on my lap most of the time. Our SW leaves and it is obvious something is way wrong. Alem is verging on a meltdown the rest of the night.... finally when she is getting her PJ's on and crying about it , it all comes pouring out. Apparently after her parents died she went to her aunt's house and then one night an italian lady comes and askes her some questions, takes a few pictures and then the next day she goes to KM. UUGGHHH!! she never knew what was coming, and of course she thought it was happening all over again. Which just goes to show how far we have come and how far we have to go. Happily I was able to reassure her that she was my girl and not going anywhere - which I don't think she totally believed until this morning when everything was the same. And how far we have to go until she knows we are forever....

Monday, March 8, 2010

dental surprises

Oh how I hate the dentist.

When we first took Alemtsehay to the doctor they said be sure and see a dentist right away. gulp - knew that was a bad sign.
Our regular dentist said - you need and oral surgeon. The oral surgeon said - you really need a pediatric dentist.
I said - our dental insurance isn't that great.
Finally saw the pediatric dentist today - she was lovely. We need another appointment next week after they talk to our insurance company. Hopefully our insurance will cover half of it - which will max her benefits this year, but limit our out of pocket.

Who knew how much it costs to have broken teeth taken out - let me tell you it isn't free, but it wasn't as bad as some of the stories I have heard.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

the easy and the hard

With older child adoption you really don't have any idea what will be easy or hard - I've read and read and somethings still surprised me.

The easy:
School - she loves school, and while getting her up in the morning is a challenge school is not.
Food - we really thought there would be food issues and there are surprisingly few of them. She is picky - but compared to our other picky eater not so much.
Siblings - we expected some trouble as she settled in between the girls - but it is going surprisingly well. Becca has some trouble - mostly because Alem doesn't share like Emma does.

The hard:
Bedtime - now our bedtime issues aren't too bad - mostly just drama (which our other girls give us too) but by 8pm I am done and I want everyone to stay in bed...which right now isn't happening.
Stores - take my advice folks do not take you newly home older child to a store - even the grocery store- if you don't intend on purchasing them something. Do you realize how much crap is for sale at the grocery???
Tantrums - now this could also be in the easy catagory since she has relatively few and so far one one that I would count as hard - but it was hard....then it led into grief which is necessary but oh so hard to watch her go through.

If you are considering older child adoption and have questions - drop me a comment and I'll be happy to email you back.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

travel confirmation

Well we finally got travel confirmation - now the challenge is actually getting out of the Springs since our travel lines up with spring break.... honestly not the drama I need.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

home one month

Well we are home almost a month now - it is hard to believe that much time has gone by. WOW!

So you may be wondering how it is going after a month home - the truthful answer is really pretty well! We have had a handful of meltdowns/tantrums - truth be told if I were picked up and moved to ET I'd would have had many more than she has had! I think it helps tremendously that she understands so much of what has happened and it helps even more that she has such a wonderful grasp of english. Her vocabulary is improving as is her usage of sentances rather than just words. I need to be better at reflecting correct grammer back to her rather than ignoring it - but that is my job. There is sooo much talking in our house that I am sure by summer she will be totally fluent! Sleep is majorly important - she still needs more than she is getting, but she is beginning to sleep in more and isn't up at 5 or 6 am with the big boys - which is a big relief for me as an hour to myself in the morning makes a much happier mom! And I think it means that she is really relaxing more and not waking at every noise in the house. Food is way less of an issue than we expected - the first week or 2 home I thought she would burst at the seams for all she ate. But that has calmed down. She still eats alot - way more than Emma, but it is normalizing. One hard thing we have encountered is that Scott has had to travel alot with work lately and it has been challenging for her - both in terms of bonding with him, and in terms of trusting that we really are a family. We really haven't had any choice in the travel and it isn't going to get better anytime soon so we just have to figure out how to move through it.

The most stressful thing right now is me - LOL what a surprise! But I like having my kids mostly figured out - and with Alemtsehay is it a bit like standing on a cliff waiting to see what happens. Most of the time everything is just fine....and then every once in a while we fall off.

Travel dates

Well tenative travel dates have been set for the week of March 24. Which is a bit later than I expected but AAI didn't get the extra embassy dates they asked for in March which is backing things up a bit. It actually is a great week for Scott to travel and then I think he will take the whole next week off to recover (at least I hope so). Both of those weeks are the kids spring break - should be lots of fun!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Happy Dance!!!

We just got word that the court decree was issued!!! wooohooo!!!

Now we should get travel dates soon (of course my idea of soon is in about 2 minutes! - I'll wait until Monday to call - and believe me that is going to take some patience on my part!)

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Alemtsehay is adjusting pretty well to school - she likes to do her "homework" most nights - though I think homework in 1st grade is nuts.

A few years ago we tried our local school for a year - but were less than impressed. So we choiced Emma and Luke to other schools, but with the new kids coming home this year I couldn't manage the commute so back we went. And thus far we have been very impressed. Alemtsehay's teacher is lovely and her room is right next to Emma's. Then today - her teacher is out for a few days of training so there is a sub in the room (could be a reciepe for disaster) but today lo and behold I found out the sub has 3 Ethiopian sisters adopted 14 years ago - how cool is that!!! She was amazed that Alemtsehay is in school already - as when her sisters came home they knew no english at all. Alemtsehay knows lots of english - I will be very interested to see her ESL results (of course those will depend on if she felt comfortable with the ESL teacher)

File found / note to self

We got an email first thing this morn that the lawyer in ET found the file at the court house - PRAISE GOD. We still don't have the court decree - but hopefully they will now issue it in the next few days.


Alemtsehay needs to go to be by 7 at the very latest (maybe 630).... not enough sleep = morning meltdown - yeeshhh not what I needed today. Though - only 3 meltdowns in 4 weeks - all brought on by lack of sleep, really not too bad.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Well here is the news of the day - still no court decree. The lawyer in ET thinks perhaps our case has been misfiled somewhere in the court - really????? How many things can go wrong with one case?????

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

waitng for Estifanos

We are still waiting to hear about travel - sadly I think that means that so far they haven't recieved our court decree - and folks this is bad news, it should have been in last week. I really don't know what to think at this point. We so enjoy having Alemtsehay home, but it isn't enough- we need our boy home too. Sometimes I just want to scream enough it enough!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Adoption and Childbirth

When I had our first I thought I'd never forget what it was like to be in labor and what it was like to be up night after night with a crying baby. but of course I did. (each and every time I forgot - I mean I sort of remembered but not really)

Well adoption is no different - you forget about all the work involved in blending a new family member in. You forget about the challenges of attachement, the tears and the grief. It is more than worth all the work - but it is probably a very good thing that this mommy's brain is more prone to remember the joys - the snuggles - the kisses and the hugs.

Couple of things I never want to forget - In ET one night we were out to dinner at one of those cultural resturants and Alemtsehay looks at me with surprise in her eyes and says "I think I like you!" ( now she had been telling me I love you all week - but those were just words - this was real feeling and it meant way more to me than the empty I love yous). The last week or so at night when she kisses me good night she kisses my head, my nose, both cheeks, my chin and then lips - totally her own thing and so very cute!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

7 to 2 and back again

Just a reminder to myself - 7 year old body - 2 year old impulse control, 2 year old emotions.

LOL - I totally forgot that today and we tried to hurry out for lunch and a run to the park before the snow sets in - ummmm not so much. Total meltdown. She was tired (got up waaayyyy to early - but how in the world do you make them sleep???) and didn't understand it was a fun trip and just didn't want to go. Dad set off with the other kids while I managed the meltdown. Once she calmed down and agreed to get in the car we met up with them and she was totally excited and on board with it all.

Lesson learned - we need to give her lots of warning before making any transitions.

Now for the big question of the day - she announced that she wants her haircut. What in the world to do - she was pretty clear about it, and her hair is very very damaged and dried out, but it isn't all that long to start with - barely to her shoulders when wet and then shrinks waaayy up when dry. I still need to experiment with product as I don't think I have just the right thing yet - or maybe I'm not using enough of it - but cut it??? I just don't know...... Tonight after bath is was beautiful - finally curling a bit and we put tons of stuff in .... we'll see in the morning - but she really dislikes it when it bushes out and isn't a fan of anykind of braid at all. YIKES I need to see if joyful mom over at HappyGirlHair gives online consults!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

2 weeks home

Well we have been home for 2 weeks now - and boy has time just "poof" disappeared. The first week home I had a cold and the jet lag wow oh wow - I was just done by about 5 pm each night. YIKES! but things are going amazingly well with Alemtsehay. The advantage of older child adoption is that they can tell you what they want, at least some of the time. She definitely has some food concerns - but it all relates to picky ness - as in yesterday I ate a ton of that, but today I'm not eating any of it. Thus far she doesn't seem to have any hoarding issues and is happy to share any treats she has - which is very sweet to see. She sleeps like a log - which is also great because getting up at night isn't fun for me! She has been waking very early - to play with her Polly pocket dolls - finally I just asked her to stay in bed and play as getting up with the teens at 6 am really isn't the greatest idea.

She started school this week and so far seems to really enjoy going (okay I typed that and did myself in this morning - as she decided that she didn't like any of her shoes or her hair - LOL)

Anyway older child adoption thus far has been much easier than I anticipated - there really haven't been any tantrums. She certainly is grieving and willing to cry and get it out - though she really can't talk about it - I don't think she had the English to convey it to me and mostly I imagine that she just feels sad inside.

Probably the biggest challenge for me is exhaustion - this is very tiring and stressful as you never know how she will react in a new situation - we are learning but these first few weeks are stressful. And there are many times I have to say to myself 7 year old body 2 year old mind - and boy oh boy is that true.

So far the best part is that she really seems to be fitting in - she definitely loves having brothers and sisters and at least most of the time she loves having a mom and a dad too.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pictures To Share

Here are some pictures of Bonnie and the kids from Ethiopia. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Home Safe and Sound

Bonnie and Alemtsehay are home safe and sound. Alemtsehay is beautiful
and extremely sweet. We had quite the welcoming committee at the
airport. She enjoyed meeting her siblings and gave them all hugs. When
we put her to bed she was asleep in about 2 minutes. She was one
tired, beautiful pumpkin.

Thank you Lord for my tears of joy as I held this gift for the first
time. Thank you for this incredible blessing on our family.


In Houston

Well after a short 17 hour flight, Bonnie and Alemtsehay are in Houston. The great news is that they are at the gate for Colorado Springs! Immigration was a breeze, and while Bonnie was dragging a tired little girl through the airport, they got to the gate with plenty of time. With enough time to spare for an ice cream for Alemtsehay. We are excited that the whole family will be at the airport and we will have a dear friend videotaping. We will post pictures soon. Thank you all again for walking this journey with us, and we look forward to you joining us for Estifanos' journey.



Thursday, January 28, 2010

On Their Way Soon

Well we are in the final stretch. Bonnie and Alemtsehay will be boarding their flight in the morning. We are so excited to have them coming home. I am so thankful that the trip has gone so smoothly and cant wait our new daughter to be home. Thank you all for your prayers and uplifiting comments.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More Great News

Embassy visit was today and it went great. Alemtsehay's visa is in process!

Bonnie had dinner with both kids and had a great time...Chinese Italian was a big hit!

Estifanos handled going back to AHOPE very easily which was a huge answer to prayer.

Thank you Jesus for your provision, protection, and grace for our family!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Special Day #2

Today Bonnie got to spend time with both kids. They are both very sweet. Estifanos was a bit nervous at first but warmed up as the day when by. We are so thankful that they both seem to be doing so well.

She is taking them other to dinner at the Chinese restaurant that apparently serves Italian food (only in Addis!) then will be saying goodbye to Estifanos.

Please pray with us that this goes well and that he understands that I will be there in a few weeks to bring him home for good. Also please pray that everything is in order for the embassy visit.

Thank you all for sharing this adventure with us!


Monday, January 25, 2010

WooHoo x 2

Today is a special day in the Grover family. Bonnie met our latest beautiful daughter for the first time and is sharing big hugs with her. She is a very sweet and shy little girl and seems to be enjoying time with her new mom.

Additionally, Bonnie was able to be at court today for Estifanos' case and was there to see the case pass! We are so excited that his adoption is finally moving forward. Bonnie will get visit with him tonight and we are hoping praying that it will go well.

Please join us today in offering special praises to our Lord for His goodness and faithfulness in blessing our family!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

In Addis

Bonnie made it to Addis. She is settled in at the guest house and is waiting to hear when she can see the kids.

For those of you who are praying with us please pray over the following:

That Bonnie will get good rest tonight and will be at her emotional best to meet the kids and attend court.

That Estifanos will handle that Bonnie is only bringing Alemtsehay this week and that he will understand that I will be there as soon as I can.

That Alemtsehay will bond quickly and that she is ready for a new family.

That court is succesful tomorrow (tonight in the us). That all barriers will be moved and that there will be no reason that the case will not be passed.



Friday, January 22, 2010

Into the wild blue yonder

WooHoo off to Africa she goes! Bonnie is in the air and about a quarter the way to Dubai. As much as I thought I was prepared for her to go, my heart already aches wishing I was with her and that I would get to meet our kids on Monday with her. Wow this is going to be tougher than I imagined.

Next stop Ethiopia

WoooHooo the day has finally arrived! In a very short time I will be able to give our new kids big hugs. Wow - it is hard to believe.....

I'm nervous and excited and happy and sad all rolled up into one - wow I think it will be an emotional morning saying good bye to the kids will be hard - especially the little girls. The last week has been so frantic and busy that I imagine I will get on the plane and go right to sleep!!!

So off I go on the next step of this adventure.

Monday, January 18, 2010


7 days until Estifaons's 9th court try
6 days until I meet Alemtsehaye for the very first time
5 days until I am overnighting it in Dubai
4 days until I am on a plane taking off!! (YIKES how did that get soooo close)
3 days until the last packing frenzy
2 days until the last shopping trip
1 day until my mom gets here

Seems like the next week is going to be waaayyyy full!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

lots to do

So I'm leaving in just a week to go get our girl!!! BUT the last thing I needed was 4 puking kids for a whole week. I've pretty much lost a week of prep time to sick kids. AHHHHH my poor mom - I'm so not going to be as prepared for her arrival as I would like to be!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010


Boy of boy do I have a case of the nerves - it is a bit nerve wracking to think that in 2 weeks I will be leaving to meet our newest kids.

When we went to get Becca I was nervous too - but it centerend more around going back to parent a 2 year old again and remembering all the needs that babies have (cause 2 is just a baby). And I was way nervous about meeting her - the idea that she might run screaming away from us - well it was a real possiblility and not one I wanted to encounter. She didn't - she was quite happy to have a large group of people to play with and follow her every move (smart girl!) I also figured that she was still so young that she would adapt well and we would adapt well too - and we all did. There were some ups and downs of course but mostly ups.

This time - wow the nerves are way higher. These kids have fully developed personalities and interestes and are probably way nervous about it all too. I have read until my brain is ready to explode so I think I am as prepared as can be for the good and the bad - but imagining meeting them - well I can't sleep at night wondering how it is going to go. Will they want a hug? will they be shy or demanding? Will they talk nonstop or not talk at all. Will be able to find common ground - soccer, jumprope, books .... Will she understand that we are leaving ET forever... will he understand that we will be back for him as soon as possible (and that one really makes me worried).

It is soooo exciting and nervewracking at the same time - and in 14 short days I will be on a plane.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tickets purchased

Wooohooo we actually got to purchase tickets to go get our girl!!! Alemtsehaye - we can hardly wait to see you! I will be on my way in just over 2 weeks - it is going to take 2 days to get there - LOL. I'm flying Emirates - which was wonderful last year, and will be staying a night in Dubai. Which really works out well as you get to sleep a few hours then shower and feel refreshed and land in Ethiopia around 1130 in the morning and then go get our girl!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Nope, failed again

Well I know that you are all waiting to hear - but we failed again. This time apparently the uncle showed up and so did the orphanage person, but the judge wants a background piece of paper updated. The new court date is Jan 25. What a nightmare.

Currently the plan is for me to travel to bring home Alemtsehaye the week of Jan 25 - so hopefully there will be good news while I am there and then Scott will travel to bring him home - but sadly it won't be until March - ugh.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Try again tuesday

At first they told us they would try court again on Monday - but it seems the Uncle will be unavailable as he is out of town, so they are going to try and get the judge to hear it on Tues - hopefully.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Nope , failed again

Nope we failed again. There are no words, except I think we hired a bunch of totally incompetant people to get our kids home, now mind you we had no choice in the matter really and we have had alot - alot of grace for the situation but when we should be there right now getting him and she should have been home for a month.