Today some of my best girlfriends came over for a Guacamole Party! We all love it, but most would prefer I make it. (they act like they don't know how!) Brandi took my recipe and has been making about once a week. She always tells me how good it is. Then, I started craving it! :) What a good reason for a party!
All the kids getting ready for lunch.
After lunch, the kids were extra wild, so we sent them outside. They were still long enough for me to snap this one shot. :)
It was great having all the girls over. We always have a good time and share lots of laughs. I know the kids had fun too. I don't think anyone wanted to leave.
I can't believe Dawit has been home for three months. Honestly, it feels like he has been here since birth! He fits in so well.
Tonight we had our post placement visit with Cindy. I am glad she came, since I know her I didn't feel that "oh my, someone is coming to my house to observe my family....ACT PERFECT" feeling. :) We talked for a while and laughed at Dawit a lot. Then it was over. Pretty painless. She wanted to hold him and love on him, but he is a mover and a shaker these days and didn't want to sit still. :) I think Ethiopia will be pleased with how Dawit is doing. January 13, 2010: 12 pounds This is the first time we met him. April 2010: 17.6 pounds!!
Can you believe how much he has changed??? Looking at those pictures like that just blow me away.
We will see Cindy again in 3 more months. After that 6 month post placement visit we will be able to file the paperwork for readoption. YEAH!
Oh, what a day!! There was so much to be thankful for. All of which deserves a shout out!
This morning at church we celebrated as Tim (my brother-in-law) and Lynn (James' mom) got baptized. We were so excited. They each had lots of family and friends there to witness it. Brother Cory baptized Tim. Rob baptized Lynn. He is our small group leader. (This was his first baptism and he was nervous! Lynn really wanted him to do it and I know he was honored.)
How awesome was that??
And if that wasn't great enough, we went to the airport this afternoon to welcome home the Brown family with their sweet little Feven! I took my camera so I could capture the moment, but I guess I got excited and totally forgot! I always get emotional at homecomings, but this one was more than usual. Maybe because I saw this little cutie and got to love on her in Ethiopia. Now, seeing her home with her mommy and daddy put me over the top! The family looked great. Feven was waving to everyone...too cute! I never get tired of going to the airport and cheering as I see a family coming down that corridor! Watching grandma's see their grand baby for the first time is so sweet!
Our day keeps getting better...My sister in law called me tonight to tell me that she stayed after at church and spoke with someone at Connection Point and got saved! She laughed and said she even prayed out loud for the first time! YOU GO AMY! I can't wait to watch Amy grow in her faith and reach others around her!
And last, but not least, James starts a new job tomorrow. We are really excited about this adventure. It is with a local company, doing statistical stuff. (way over my head) He is looking forward to the change. He is a good engineer and I know he will do good there. He works hard for his boss and even harder for our family. So, this was part of the big news I mentioned a few posts ago. The other part is that I get to be a stay at home mom next year! YEAH! I can't wait to stay home with our two little ones. (Gracie will be in Kindergarten) By the way, you guys are crazy. Several people thought I was either pregnant (no way!) or adopting again already when I said I had big news. :)
So I guess that is it. We had a wonderful day. We got to celebrate as our family became a part of God's family...we got to celebrate as an orphan was adopted into a family and was an orphan no more....
We have so much to be thankful for today! My cup runneth over!
Today our plan was to visit both HOPE houses, but yesterday Eyob said he would like us and the Shultz family to come by this morning. We got there and Eyob showed up almost an hour later! The nannies were so excited to see Dawit again. Once everyone got there Eyob asked Grant to speak. He told of our love of KVI and the nannies...without them we wouldn't have been united with our children. He said a sweet prayer. Eyob gave us each a small gift. Each of us girls got a beautiful scarf and the guys got a wallet. Then it was time for the Shultz family to head to the airport. They said their goodbyes and were off.
I could tell the nannies were preparing for another coffee ceremony. We really didn't have time for this, but it was so sweet and we just couldn't leave. They served some bread- we asked what type of bread it was. They said it was like margarita pizza. It was really good. I enjoyed my coffee and then I enjoyed James'. :) Natnael shared with us that he spent Sunday looking for Dawit's birth mom. He didn't find her, but he did talk with her aunt. She said Thursday morning Tigist packed up a box and left. It was obvious that she didn't want to meet us. Natnael found out a little more information about Dawit's family. We are so thankful for the little information we got. Like all stories from Ethiopia, Dawit's is a sad one. My heart breaks when I think about it. I love his birth mom and think about her a lot. She is a brave lady and I know she cared about Dawit. It was just unfortunate circumstances.....
We said goodbye to Sister, Natnael, all the nannies, and the kids. Man, it was hard to leave. I wanted to be home, but I wanted to take all them with me! I cried again. I am tearing up just thinking about the moment as I type this.
Next we headed to HOPE's big kid house to see Chera and Kennenisa. (also being adopted by the Brown's) I had really been looking forward to meeting these boys! Jared was always a fast driver, but this afternoon he was especially fast. Today all the Orthodox Christan's were celebrating Epiphany. It is a celebration of the day that Jesus was baptized. The priests were going to be walking the streets shortly and sprinkling Holy Water. Anyway, the streets were going to close soon, so we were high tailing it to their house! We didn't want to be walking home! It was a neat drive. Here is a picture of the streets. Banners of green, red, and yellow hung above the streets.
The boys lived on the opposite side of the city than any place else we had visited. We got to see some new sites!
Dawit's Music Shop :)
A great view.
A shot out the back window of the cab. I told you driving was crazy. Do you believe me now?
Unfortunately, we got to HOPE's house during nap time, but someone woke the boys up for us. They were so cute! Kennenisa was very quiet. Chera was very handsome. We gave them a goodie bag from Mom and Dad. They were so sweet opening them. They said, "thank you" and gave us some hugs. We only got to stay about 25 minutes. I wish we could have gotten to stay longer and be there when they were more awake!
Jared sped back to the hotel! Dawit played on the bed a bit while I packed some things up. We all layed down and the boys took a nap.
It started raining. This was the only time it rained while we were there. We ordered some room service and played for a while longer.
Our little cutie! Mommy and Daddy do love you!
Tomorrow night we leave. I can't believe it! We are definitely not looking forward to the long flight, but we are looking forward to the end of it...seeing our girls and the rest of our family!!! We are hoping Dawit is good on the plane and sleeps. Keeping our fingers crossed!
I realized sometime last week that I hadn't finished journaling about our trip. I really need to finish this, huh?
Sunday, January 17
This morning started early again. Jared picked us up at 8:30 with Samira and we headed to Beza International Church. Luckily, for us, it was in English. It was a very charismatic church. Lots of Amens and Hallelujahs. And LONG! (almost 2 hours) Most of the time was spent singing or praying. People even got out of their seat and danced. Samira asked if the service was like our church at home. My reply was "Not really." :) The sermon was about not living for the future, but living for right now. The worship leader spoke about how Jesus' name was bigger than all others....cancer...poverty. I am so glad we got to attend this service. It was really neat to be there.
After church we went back to the hotel to meet Endris, one of Susan's friends. Jared, Samira, Endris, and us all went shopping. Another adventure! We got some woven animals, a few pictures made from banana leaves, some traditional clothing for the kids, wooden statues, and Ethiopian coffee.
Next, we headed to lunch at Yasa Buna. It was a coffee house. It was really nice. There were big wooden benches with big cushions that sat around a small, short table. We sat in our own little room. Samira ordered everything for us. We got chickena tibs, which is really beef, something fer fer, and shiro- a vegetarian dish. Everything was SO good. This was my favorite meal by far. I wish I would have eaten there at the beginning of the trip so I could have gone back. Then after lunch Samira ordered us machiatos...yum again!
After a late lunch, we headed back to HOPE to see Hiwot- she had been asleep last time we went. (Remember, our friends the Brown's are adopting this sweetie!) She was asleep again, but we needed to visit with her so I woke her up. It was great because we got to spend a lot of time with her. During this visit I also got to see Feven again. (Side note: I get to see Feven on this side of the ocean in a few days! Her parents are picking her up now!) Here we are with Endris. Samira and I. I love her! During our journey that afternoon, I was talking with Samira and I asked if she had a boyfriend. I figured she did. She is so nice and stunningly beautiful. Well, she got so embarrassed! Endris said its not "if" she had a boyfriend, but "how many." We all got a good laugh out of that!
Back to the hotel, dinner, and bed. I was worn out!! I tried many times today to email, with no luck. I really wanted to let everyone back at home know how things were going.
Okay, lots happened at the Armstrong house this week, but I just haven't had time to share it all with you. So here goes.....
Last week the Gibson's came over for a play date. If you remember, Brooke and her hubby left for Ethiopia right after Christmas to get Bennett and were able to visit Dawit. Here are some pictures from their trip. Well, after three months of being home (can you believe we have been home three months!!) here are those same little boys. How cute! Did you notice the rolls on Dawit's neck and arms???
Last Saturday Lindsay was in a fashion show at Clark Memorial Hospital sporting some maternity clothes. :) Gracie was over the top excited about this and went to see it with NeNe and Sissy. After that, she has put on many fashion shows here at the house. She asked me to take some pictures of her the other day while she was modeling. She chose her outfits and the pose. :) And no, I don't have any pictures of Lindsay. Sorry, wish I did.
Several years ago James built a raised bed in the backyard for our garden. We planted asparagus, knowing that it would be three years before we could actually eat some. Well, all that waiting finally paid off. We enjoyed some asparagus a few times this week. It tasted so good! Dawit even liked it! James planted my herbs in some hanging baskets and they have started to come up. In the garden we have carrots, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, and cucumbers. We are also putting peppers on the deck. I think the next thing we have to look forward to is the cabbage. YUM! I love having the garden. James has the green thumb. I just cook it!
Well, that about sums it all up. We have another busy day tomorrow. We are going to an adoption fundraiser for our friends Natalie and JT. I can't wait! I have a few other things to share about whats going on around here. I promise to do it soon. It's BIG!
I know this post is a bit late, but give me some slack....I went back to work this week! It is taking some getting used to. :)
Last Sunday was baby dedication at church. We were excited to be able to dedicate Dawit. We had lots of family and friends there. It was a sweet day. Here is the picture the church took and put on the screen. One of my kiddos in AWANA saw me on Wednesday and couldn't wait to tell me that he saw me on stage and on the big screen! :)
Lin was able to snap some pictures while we were on stage. The kids were pretty good...if you overlook Dawit talking the entire time, Avery walking around, Gracie telling Dawit to stop talking, Dawit spitting up, and Avery picking her nose! Fun times!
The past week we have been enjoying the great weather. We spent a morning at the zoo last week. Monday we went back to the zoo since Daddy took the day off work. Then, today the girls got in the little blow up pool. I hope the weather stays this nice. ALTHOUGH I GO BACK TO WORK NEXT MONDAY AND WILL HAVE FEWER CHANCES TO ENJOY IT!! Yep, my maternity leave ends Monday morning. I am not at all excited about it. Thankfully, since I only work part time it won't be that bad. Lin and my aunt are doing most of the sitting for me. Brandi is also going to help a few days. I don't worry too much because Dawit knows them and Avery will be there too. I will miss them though! I keep telling myself...16 days...you can do it...its only 16 days...
So the point of this post was not to rant about going back to work. It was to share some cute pics we took lately.
Gracie and her cousin at Nanny's birthday party. Almost all the Osbourne cousins. You will notice that several of the kiddos are sporting UK gear. (I know, their parents are setting a bad example.) Well, Riley gave Gracie some blue pom poms and they went around yelling a CATS cheer. I sternly told her we were going to leave her there if she kept it up. Everyone thought it was so funny. (the UK fans did anyway) That only egged her on more! We went to the zoo on a day when the flowers had just bloomed. It looked so pretty and was the perfect place for a photo shoot! Now I will leave you on a funny note. This is what Dawit looks like when he doesn't get his way, ie: I put him down!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. I had intentions to post these pics last night, but after a long day I didn't get around to it. Be prepared, I went into picture overload... Our fun started Saturday night when the girls and I made rice crispy treat eggs. When I saw them on the commercial, they looked cute. The mom looked happy, the kids were having a great time, and the eggs looked like neatly decorated eggs. Unfortunately, that's not what my kitchen looked like or our eggs. The eggs we made looked nothing like eggs. But, the girls did have fun! Avery and her extreme smile.
We had a great day Sunday. We went to ABF and church. Then we headed to Mom and Dads house for lunch and an egg hunt. Moms family was there and we were happy that the Riddles came over too. Here are some pictures. Man, is it hard to get them all to look at the same time...and smile...that's asking a lot! (anybody know how to take the head from one picture an put in on another photo? That may be my only chance!) Here are the kiddos before we headed out. Here is our attempt at a family photo. Dawit is having a blast, can't you tell? James told Gracie that morning that the Easter bunny was going to NeNe and Papa's house to hide eggs. Well, when we got there he realized that the eggs still needed to be hidden. "Oh no Grace! The Easter Bunny was too busy to come. Daddy and Papa are going to have to hide the eggs" :) Well, Gracie wanted to call the Easter Bunny. Ummm...Ok??? So, the "Easter Bunny" called. She couldn't believe it! He told her that her daddy was going to hide the eggs for him. He just couldn't make it in time. Look at their faces!! (thanks uncle Gary!) So, then it was off to hunt eggs! Love this one of Gracie! :) What a cutie! Love that sweater vest! What am I going to do with this girl? The whole crew. My other attempt at a good photo of my three. My little sweeties!
Next, it was off to the Armstrong's for another egg hunt. Can anyone say SUGAR OVERLOAD?? By the end of the day, our kids were pooped and so were we. But, we had a great day! We celebrated the Resurrection. The weather was beautiful. And we got to be with family. I love days like that.
12/2008 Made the descision to adopt
1/09/2009 Sent in Arise application
2/05 1st Home study visit
2/12 Downtown for fingerprinting and turned in
our I600a forms
2/26 Final home study meeting
4/01 Turned in dossier to Arise
4/21 Dossier arrived in Ethiopia
5/2 USCIS approval
5/15-16 When Hope Has a Name, Adoption Workshop
5/27 Accepted referral for Dawit 7/7 Dawit's weight: approx.6 lbs
7/23 Race and Adoption Class at Highview
7/31 Dawit's weight: 6.6 lbs
8/3 Travel Meeting with Arise
8/25 Dawit was transferred from Narareth to Addis
8/27 Dawit's weight: 7.7 lbs
9/29 Dawit's weight:9.9 lbs
10/21 Received court date of Nov. 18
11/18 PASSED COURT!! 11/19 Got tentative travel plans to leave on Dec. 26
11/20 Booked Flights
12/8 Travel Plans changed :( no MOWA letter
12/9 Travel Meeting with Lesley
12/15 Booked new flights: leave Jan. 10
1/10 Left for ET
1/12 Arrived in ET..Dawit Day!
1/20 Home forever!