Wednesday, April 29, 2009

1 Day til Travel

Our last official family picture!!
We had a great evening with the Sanders who had us over for dinner! It was a fun way to fellowship with them before leaving for Africa! We began this journey with them 2 years ago "un-officially" when we began discussing adoption with them on a boat trip! One year later we put our wheels in motion and BAM here we are!! The rest of my evening was pretty much this......

I have been a bit emotion-less over the last couple of weeks. It is the weirdest can picture the boys in your arms and the softness of their hair against your chin ..yet at the same time it is a complete unknown. I am SO excited about meeting 2 of my children yet sad for leaving the other 3. Well tonight at Wal-mart it hit me! I told Carson he could pick a fruit snack out for the boys and BAM...waterworks!!! Right in the Wally World aisle! It has hit a few more times sporadically since too!
Signing off......

2 Days Til Travel !

Our day consisted of crazed madness...last minute errands.....packing...more packing and a ballgame!
The day also held a few surprises! My super duper friend Teaque dropped in with LOTS of goodies for our family! Fun magazine for Paul and I on the airplane, 2 Mancala games (which we already LOVE Teaqe!!) and several prefect storybooks! Thank you so much!!! Later tonight when I arrived at my homeschool meeting, I found this waiting for me (& my friend April!). All of the mommies brought a fun book for the was so sweet to be remembered for children #4 and #5!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

3 Days Til Travel

Here is a picture of our family on the day we passed court! One week from today we will meet our boys!!!

Carson was holding Yesak's picture tonight talking to him in a baby voice and tickling him! He said " I just want to take him to our room!" sweet!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

4 Days Til Travel

Today the focus was all on the kids.

We started off eating doughnuts at the ballpark...yummy!

Next we watched Madelyn play ball....exciting!

For lunch was Culvers.....delish!

On to a park for outdoor park, but a hike was fun!

We offer a movie to the kids but they want to come home and play!

Mommy ends up cleaning and packing a bit, while the kids play with all the neighbors!

Quotes of the day:
Annie " Momma its too much.....five weeks until we get owr brodders....that's too many!"

Annie "It keeps taking too much....its not fawr"(fair)

Annie" My brodders like to swim, cuz when they hewr the pools gonna be open"

Carson " My brothers rock because they are the best brothers in the world"

Carson "I can't wait until my brothers are here...I am gonna teach them how to have a light saber battle"

Carson (he loves finding rocks and the ones with crystals he swears are diamonds)-on a rock he found and cannot wait to get rich off of. " Where is the donation bag? I want to put this rock in for the orphanage." (SOOO stinkin sweet!)

Madelyn was a bit exausted her comments were not quite fun to re-live!!

Oh we did end up measuring Carson today and he is 50 1/6th inches..I am serious folks! So when I tell him that he no longer needs a booster seat (I did check the laws prior!) he is ecstatic! He hoops and hollers, jumps up and down...had the cutest smirk on his face.... was walking 10 feet was great! Paul told him he could officially remove his booster from the van, he was crazed! I am so happy he will not be in a booster when he is nine!! It is weird enough to have a kid in braces in a booster!! My poor little short thing!!

We were actually measuring Madelyn for her graduation (which led to measuring Carson) anyhow Maddie came in and said "Can I graduate?" I was confused and she said " Am I tall enough? Can I graduate?" I kept a straight face and said "Yeap, your tall enough!"

5 Days Til Travel

So another biggie that has been on the list is the CARRIER dilemmia! I have been on the search for the best baby or well...uh toddler carrier on the market! I know that many families recommend carriers while in ET for bonding as well as ease (no paved sidewalks for strollers!). I spent an entire afternoon trying on carriers at a local shop.
The store owner could sense my crazed non-decision making self and actually allowed me to bring home a Moby to try-out. I really liked the idea of Lincoln snuggled up against me in the Moby...I try it with Annie okay.
Carson says" Mom you look like a mummy, all wrapped up?"
Paul "Says it is fine, if you like it" (remember ADD...doesn't even know we are having a conversation)
Annie says" makes your boobies look weird?"
Oh my goodness she IS right! When you do the back carry it criss-crosses on your chest and oh my NOT a pretty sight.
So I instantly knew that there would be NO Moby, oh wait did I forget to mention that byt his time Annie was sagging down to about my knees!!!
Sometimes I glance around to look for hidden joke!

So I get online and check out a carrier recommended by a fellow homeschooler. It is called a Mei Tai carrier. She recommended the Mei Tais made by BabyHawk. I love the designs, I love the style. I call the phone number and the lady answers. I explain my time crunch issue...I need the ASAP for Africa but I do not want a pre-made...she is a DOLL and says she will have it made and sent out in 3 days!!
Well today was arrival day...YEAH!!
This is the carrier I designed...I know MORE green! I am on a green kick for some all started with the green paint...oh well!
I love it I tried it with Annie and she hung out for an hour! Another mark off the list!

6 Days Til Travel

Todays big highlight other than really getting some cleaning done is attending our adoption meeting!
It is called "While You Are Waiting" and it started off as a coffee in coffee shops but as our group grows we have had to move it to the church!! How exciting!
Tera is the "Adoption Specialist" at our church...and she is growing our ministry like crazy!
This is another family adopting from our church. They are also adopting from Ethiopia ! I stay way too late...but I enjoy the conversation SO much!

Yesak and Yohannis....mommy is busy asking questions about what to pack in your bag , learning some Amharic and preparing to touch you and hold you for the first time ever! It is un-fathomable to love two little people that I have never touched, never held, never felt kick inside my womb. I do not know what makes you smile, I do not know what makes you cry, I do not know how you like to be held, I do not know how to comfort you, I do not know how to cradle you to sleep, I do not know what size clothes or shoes or diapers you wear, I do not truly even know how to pronounce your names....but know this my boys...I am your MOTHER and I love you as much as any mother can love any child and that is all that matters.

7 Days Til Travel

Today is our wedding anniversary AND hubby remembered!!
Oh and then get this.....he brought me a few treats from Archivers. This is extra special because I know his blood pressure rises when he gets near the place!
He found adoption paper...AHHHH
stickers of Italy.....OOOOHHHHH
and boy stickers......AAAHHHHH!!!

What a sweetie. And then we are off to Maddie's game. She is hitting those pitches and she bats lefty...daddy is SO proud!!
I see the 4 year olds playing and tear up, thinking that in the fall Annie and Yesak can play!!!

8 Days Til Travel

Wow I am feelin' a bit GREEN today.
I visited the Inernational Health Clinic and received the remainder of my shots for the trip. I was given the Polio, TDAP, Meneginitis, Yellow Fever, Typhoid today. I was very nervous, not because of getting shots (He said I was the first person to laugh while getting a shot...which I can then blame on the kids because they were watching with huge grins, and the girls were covering their ears..guess they thought I was a screamer!!) but because of the damage it does to your system...possibility of side effects...etc.....etc......
So we leave the office and head to Babies R Us.....I was so overwhelmed that I was in there for about 2 hours scratching my head!
First thing on the list was car seats. I wanted the same style for both boys and I wanted a seat that would eventually be a booster. The biggest problem was cost...GEESH...those seats are expensive!!! The second problem is width....we will have 5 kids in car seats so I need the most narrow style available...which coincedently are the more pricey ones!
So I let Annie be my guinea pig and have her set in every seat in the store. She is loving it but wait a minute....she thinks this is her new seat. I tell her she already has a beautiful seat with pink flowers....nope she wants this one. Oh the fun we will be having soon......
Anyhow...width....I drag a very unhappy sales girl, three exhausted children and a car seat to the van to see how it fits. Did I metion it is raining and I am beginning to feel GREEN from the shots. Hmmm car seats will not fit in the pack....great we will take two!
Carson says "Guess we need to get a new van. One of the those big kind."
Mommy informs him " THIS is the new van, honey...don't think daddy will go for that!"
Sales girl snickers.....

So upon getting home I begin to think maybe Carson is old enough to lose the booster.....what is wrong with sacrificing one childs safety for anothers??
Okay so the seats are not green but the pads that go under them are!! Okay phase two....the highchair! Yes, I know the "baby" is 2 years old so why are we messing with a high chair. We are short a chair at the kinda sorta new he gets a special seat. Oh and I did have Maddie try it out for size just so I knew how long poor Yohannis would have a seat. And before you ask I DID get some weird looks as we try the seat out and Maddie's legs touch the floor!! Love the matches my walls...can you tell???

So the last part is just for FUN! I love bags and it has been a while since I got to pick out an ultra cute dipaer bag! Love the GREEN... don't you??? This bag is the best size is in between those ridiculously large bags and the too teeny is just right!

Oh and the green did not stop there! I came home...blacked chills..ran a fever....had a stiff neck.....arms throbbed.....had brian pains......had irregular heart beating....
I told Paul I had Yellow Fever and was dying...he said "That stinks".....I said "I Know"
(that is life married to a very successful bussinessman with ADD....he responds all the time and never even knows what he said...oh well).
So that was all of my GREEN day!!

Oh wait no it isn't. After my crazy attack I get online and the Hep A and Yellow Fever may not even have time to protect me (things that would have been nice to know PRIOR to getting them) and kids no longer need boosters at 50 inches....hmmm wonder how tall Carson is???

9 Days Til Travel

So today was our last day of co-op. It is always sad to see the session end but today it was a huge relief. I needed to be done with it so I could focus on my ever growing list of things to do!
I did accomplish a trip to the doctor for a couple shots...Hep A and Hep B.
I also acquired a little medicine that should help me with the flying issues I have!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

10 Days til travel

So here is baby boy...the pics are backward in time, the last pic is our 2nd referral pic(believe it or not the first one was worse!!)
I figured it was time to introduce him officially as :
Lincoln !!

We are about 99% sure this will be his name. Big brothers is still being decided....

11 Days til Travel

Just in case you need a reminder of the cutie patooties waiting for this ole girl who is TERRIFIED of flying ......and HEARTBROKEN about leaving these 3 kids in here for 11 days......or BROKE from all these last minute ya go! This is pic of the boys getting their "referral" of us. The first time they saw us in pictures...well not sure what they think of us but the lollies were a hit!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

12 Days Til Travel

We met a handful of other families at the local Ethiopian restaurant for an adoption social. It was complete entertainment watching Mickey eat! Madelyn inspects her injera!
This was the dish Paul and I ordered...meat and chicken bascially! The chicken was very yummy! There are no forks....everyone eats off the same plate by tearing a piece of injera off and then pinching off the portion that you want to eat.

The Shipps and Sanders had this....

The girl were speechless as they watched Mickey devour his meal!

Mickey was intense...he cleared this plate in minutes! Paul said he sucked the bone marrow off the chicken!!

Annie, Carson, Mickey and Ellie!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

13 Days til Travel

Well things are coming off the list little by little! Annie and I had spent our date night at "The Wal-mart" picking up items for the trip. I had to grab all kinds of fun Gerber Graduates goodies, wipes, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, Pepto-tablets, lotion, Tums, tylenol, and so much more. I spent 1 1/2 hours in the beauty section alone!! Sad part is I only wiped out half the list! I did get the boys a brush too! Paul asked if I got any weird looks and I said not for the brush but while I was looking in that particular section, Annie was saying "We got that and we got that and I love that..." pointing to all of the African hair lotions and cremes etc....and fortunate for me the aisle was full and yes we got some weird looks!

Did I mention that our airline tickets arrived!!! This is getting "REAL" feeling......

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

14 Days to Travel

Nothing much going on over other than the news that the boys tested
NEGATIVE for TB !!!!
Woohoo....praise the Lord!!!
For those of you who do not know what than means we are free to TRAVEL!!

15 Days til Travel

So my entire goal this week has been to get the house in order and then next week will be shopping and packing (yes I know I live in a dream world!!) So I spent 2 hours in the boys closet tonight. Organizing each boys clothes, section for matching clothes (hehe), toys etc. We still are lacking an extra dresser so pjs, shoes, undies etc are in the toy shelf for now!! I eventually ran out of hangers....for some reason I have LOTS of fall/winter clothes and nearly no summer....hmmm go figure!! So one thing on the list to bring for kiddos in diapers is rubber pants, because many of the babes have some tummy issues that result in 24/7 diahrea. So we do not want leakage!!! Sorry for my poor Yohannis but all we have is pink, pink, pink...but he should be used to it! Most of the pictures we have of him he is wearing pink!

TB UPDATE: NO..still waiting!

16 Days til Travel

So today was a big off the list for me. We have had the boys beds for months but we still needed a second mattress. I had been worrying myself to a frizzy over finding a truck to borrow and finding a good deal etc. So when I show Paul my gianormous to-do list, he said "Oh I will go get a mattress tonight"...yeah evidently twins fit into mini-vans. That is information that would have been nice days, no weeks, no months ago!! Oh and the "good deal" part was taken care of too...the salesman goes to our church which they figured out once adoption was brought up (we have a great adoption ministry!)
So here is my "Pottery Barn " design on my "Target" budget. Now the little nightstand still has to be stripped and painted and new hardware put on. It was the kids great-grandmas, I forgot it was in the not sure if that will happen B.B. (Before Boys) or A.B. (After Boys). I still have my cool Pottern Barn shelf (that I nearly stole it was so cheap on clearance!) and their names above their beds (although we need to name Yesak before ordering those!).
Photo disclaimer:This picture is taken on "Green" . This picture is taken on "P". The colors are different in each one..not sure which I like better...not sure which is most accurate???

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

17 Days to Travel

Christ is RISEN!!
We had a beautiful Easter Sunday! The children enjoyed seeing the gifts the Easter bunny had left for them (they left Yesak and Yohannis gifts too!). Next was an egg hunt and then it was time to dress-up and head out to church! We were so happy to see Granny, mamaw and Doe at church too! Our good friends daughter was baptized and then it was back to the house for lunch!

Sorry the pictures are in backwards order....ya'd think I would remember how they load...DUH!!
So here is Annie Pouty Pants...she is mad because she says she is always in the middle for pictures??? (She is NOT usually in the middle!?!??!)
Now look how sick it is ..she jsut turned it back on for this pic?!? Oh how I dread the teenage years!

The race is on for the eggs.....

Annie was hysterical! She ran full force knocking things over and dropping her bucket, she was a wild woman! Please ignore all of those nasty wires form the tv....long story and well an axtra long cord...its on the to-do list!

Daddy put the children in line and Annie went first, 5 seconds later Madelyn went and then Carson. I must admit I got a bit teary eyed thinking that this time next year the line will be 5 deep! This year the bunny had to put money in the eggs rather than candy, because Carson can not eat candy with his braces. Carson was so sweet he was caught in 3 random acts of kindness first he found an egg handed it to Annie, next he gave Madelyn some of his money because he felt like he had more then her, and lastly he said "I really think I need to save this and share it with my brothers when they get here". That's my boy!

18 Days to travel

Madelyn was SOO excited to ride on top of a firetruck in the opening day parade for baseball! She talked about it for days...she called family and told them ....she told her soon as she woke up she would say "How many days until I ride on the firetruck?"......
So we show up and here is her ride...... ....this is the confusion that occurs when dad attends the practice and team meeting!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

19 days til travel

Please pray for the boys today. They were given the TB skin test which could very likely come back positive (if they have had the vaccine or immunity toward TB it would test positive). If it comes back positive they will then be given an x-ray, which if it is positive they then are administered a sputnum test which takes 8 weeks to culture.
So lets pray for negative skin tests and if necessary quick x-rays and results!

We have 2 sick girls with strep so not much happening other than that!

20 days til travel

So you guessed we pay for our airline tickets!!! WooHoo

Post-court Day 14

Today I got my PASSPORT!!! (well ordered it)

Post-Court Day 13

Today we got our quotes for our airline tickets, we made sure our fingerprints were still current, called the doctor about shots etc.
We are using Susan Parr travel agency. The trip to Addis stops in Rome for re-fueling so we are choosing to stay there for 3 days and then finish the trip to Addis. We figured with 5 children under 8 years old we will not get the oppurtunity to visit Rome for a long, long while!

We attended our adoption agency monthly meeting and learned a bit more of the changes that are being made to the Ethiopian adoption program. We also learn that our boys need to be tested for TB to abide by new rules set forth by the CDC. We pray that this does not affect our travel.

The highlights of the day were talking to two more people who have spent time with my boys! An Ethiopian woman from Louisville just returned with 2 girls from Ethiopia. She said "Oh your Yesak's parents! He is very talkative and he runs from one end to the other and talks, talks, talks!" She said Yohannis is "mild". Our agency directors husband met Yesak and said he had fallen asleep in his lap while visiting at the orphanage. He said he calls the orphanage director Papa! Talking to those who have held my boys or played with my boys makes it seem SO REAL!!

Post-court Day 12

My goal was to get my passport today but after co-op, feeding the dogs and getting stuck behind a 13 minute train....I arrived at the post office at 3:59....I wait in the line until 4:15 (still 12 people in front of me) when I ask a worker and she says "No they leave at 4pm".....frustrated!!

Post-court Day 11

Today we attended our Sunday School class and church. My grandma came to church which was exciting. Afterward we ate lunch at went to Uncle Bubbys and played with the dogs and she spent a bit of time in his house. Next we went to the cemetery to mess with the flowers....
we accomplished absolutely nothing adoption related today!

Post-court Day 10

Um well....bought some African hair care products....not sure if choosing by the best smell is the best method...but well, they will smell delicious!!
Oh and the girls helped me choose and they want to use it too! We were in the store so the conversation went a bit like this " I want to use this shampoo like smells yummy I want some mommy" so I reply with "Well girls this is shampoo for different hair girls..not for your hair" they reply " why mommy"...... I reply "it is for brown hair"......they reply "like grannys??"..I reply "no like your brothers"......they reply "oh its shampoo for brown people"...... subject changes..end of story!
I would love to have been someone on the next aisle listening to that!!

Also grabbed a car seat pad seat protector...still no seats.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Post-court Day 9

Today was a long hard day as we buried Uncle Bubby. The service was sweet and we all held up great until the end when my girls lost broke out hearts. After several days in the hospital and then funeral plans and funerals...this ole' girl is TIRED!!!

However we do have more infomation on the fun stuff...we have an embassy date!! We will leave the end of this month to pick up our precious boys!! So I feel like the countdown is on now!! Here are things I KNOW needs to be done:
1.) Send off for a passport (I know, I know...but I just decided to go...I think they have an express option!)
2.) Get shots (again, I know, I know....gotta get on this!)
3.) Research and buy 2 car seats.
4.) Buy Yesak a twin mattress (those bed rails do NOT look comfy!)
5.) Name my children !!hehe
6.) Get our donations together for the orphanage.
7.) Order airline tickets.
8.) Begin packing. (for us, the boys, the kids we are dipsersing here)
9.) Figure out the schedule for childcare for these 3 while we are gone.
10.) Shop for meds to take.
11.) Begin lifebooks (yeah right!)
12.) Prepare video camera and cameras.
13.) Learn at least some Ahmaric!
14.) Find a sling for Yohannis.
15.) Find some African haircare product.
16.) Find small dresser for the boys room.
17.) Find nightstand for the boys room.
18.) Meet with the agency for more paperwork fun!!
19.)..............I KNOW there are more things??

Okay so that is about 1 a day huh!?!??!
(Ps Hubby and I are both procrstinators so I am guessing most of this will happen the last week!LOL)

Post-court Day 5, 6, 7. 8

Sorry no fun adoption information....these days were consumed with funeral plans and the arrangements!