Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Tenaye is just plain funny! Her language skills improve everyday and sadly she is starting to lose her accent. I think there are only about 5 Amharic sayings/words that she uses regularly, the rest is all English. That is bittersweet for us, I hate that she is losing that part of her heritage, but proud that she has picked up her 3rd language so quickly. She is one smart little girl. Here are some of the things she says regularly that make us double over with laughter.
1. Each night before going to sleep she always wants to know what will be happening the next morning so she asks "After wake up, and brush your teeth, and pee pee, and t-shirt on, where you going?"
2. When she wants to tell us something and Jason and I are having a conversation, she will put her hand up (like telling someone to stop) and say "hang on a second (or sometimes it will be hang on tight) I'm talking."
3. When she spots a question mark in a book she calls it Mystery Mouseka-tools. Can you tell she is a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse fan??
4. She says "I want Mommy's la-lap" when she wants to sit on my lap.
5. When we do something she doesn't like she says "Mommy, Daddy not good job"
6. She refers to McDonald's as "E-I-E-I-O"
7. On the way to KC a couple of weekends ago, she was tired of sitting in the car and informed us that her "booty was full, no more sit down."
8. One day when she passed gas she told us her "booty burped!"
Monday, November 9, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
One year ago today, we brought you home to the United States to begin life as a family of three. Looking back these last two weeks at how far you have come is truly overwhelming. I can still remember walking into the hospital room in Ethiopia on Sept. 7, 2008 and seeing this tiny baby, hooked up to all kinds of tubes, laying in an adult sized hospital bed. You looked so frail and helpless. I just wanted to scoop you up right then and tell you that everything will be ok now because mommy is here. As the doctors and nurses kept reassuring us that you were looking good and everything would be alright, your daddy and I were scared out of our minds. I don't think we have ever prayed so hard in our lives for God to protect you and give you strength to get better. Our prayers were answered on Sept. 12, 2008, we expected to see the same feeding tubes, oxygen tubes, IV's, etc. when we walked into your room, instead you were laying there completely free! Breathing on your own, drinking only .5-1 oz. of formula at a time but eating on your own, and all IV's were out. You still looked so frail to us, but we were told we could take you back to the Addis Guest House with us. Your daddy and I were terrified! I think we slept a total of 7 minutes that night because we kept checking to see if you were still breathing. Four days later, we left Ethiopia to travel 24+ hours home. We couldn't wait to introduce you to Memaw, Boppa, Paw Paw, and Grandma along with your aunts, uncles, and cousins. You have and will always be our little miracle. Daddy and I are so lucky to call you our son and feel so blessed to have you in our lives.
The day we decided to adopt and start a family, I never imagined us traveling to Ethiopia and meeting you, laying in a hospital bed only days removed from almost losing your battle with pneumonia and a bacterial infection. The mere thought of you not being a part of this family makes me start to tear up and there is not a day that goes by that I don't thank God for the miracle that you are. You are the happiest, smiliest, most handsome boy that I have ever met. Just being around you brightens up my most miserable days. I can't believe that it has been one year since you landed in St. Louis and rode for the first time in a car seat (which you absolutely HATED for the first two weeks) to our home in Nixa. Your grandparents couldn't believe how tiny you were at 6 pounds, 20 inches and 4 months old. And now look at you. 20+ pounds, 30 inches, a full head of hair and a mouth full of teeth. Walking and almost running all over the place, babbling up a storm, and laughing and playing with your sister just as if you were always meant to be here. Most people said that you were so lucky to have survived and to be the newest member of our family. But it is mommy and daddy that are the lucky ones.
We love you! Daddy
*posted a day late...life is busy!
Friday, September 11, 2009
Enkutatash or Ethiopian New Year is celebrated on September 11th according to the Western or Gregorian calendar. Ethiopia still follows the Orthodox Julian calendar which consists of 12 months of 30 days and a 13th month, Pagume, of five or six days, depending on whether or not it is a leap year. The Ethiopian calendar is seven years and eight months behind the Gregorian calendar, so September 2009 is Meskerem 2002 in Ethiopia.
Last year Jason and I were in Ethiopia picking up Isaac during this time. We actually got to celebrate the New Year at the orphanage on a day that we were visiting Tenaye. They had a special celebration for the kids. There was music and dancing and a festive atmosphere. All of the nannies were wearing beautiful traditional Ethiopian dresses and the cook had fixed a special bread, popcorn, and lots of traditional Ethiopian dishes. There was also a coffee ceremony. Something we noticed on this day was that the streets of Ethiopia which are normally bumper to bumper traffic and crowded with people were virtually bare. When we visited Isaac in the hospital the morning of New Years we were basically the only ones there. On previous days the waiting areas were full of people waiting to be seen by doctors or visiting patients. Also, the hundreds of goats and sheep that we had witnessed being herded through the streets earlier in the week were no longer there, just the hides. Sad, but a fact of life and at least the people got to eat a special meal. We will post much more next week on the official one year anniversary of Isaac becoming a member of the family. It is so hard to believe that it has been a year! It went so fast and he has changed so much!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tenaye loves to play with her baby (Mimi) and likes it when Isaac gets in on the action too. (No, we haven't pierced her ears. She takes the links that hook things on to Isaac's car seat and wears them like earrings. A diva in the making!)
New dress and new 'do.
She loves her brother and he loves her too!
Mommy's little helper!
Tenaye loves to help with feeding Isaac. It is so cute to watch them interact. She is a great big sister, Isaac is lucky to have her.
Monday, July 27, 2009
I was really amazed that she knew just what to do at the park. It is like she had been sliding and swinging for her entire life. I never saw anything like a park while we were in Ethiopia, but who knows they could have slides and swings there. If not, I guess it is just natural kid instinct! She is a good big sister to Isaac. I think he is enjoying having a play mate as well.
Tenaye went to the doctor last Friday. What an adventure! Since I didn't want the doctor's office to be a place of trauma and fear, we are holding off on blood work and vaccinations for a couple of weeks. She just had a once over by the doctor and everything looks great! She weighs 31 pounds and is 38 inches tall. That puts her in the 17th percentile for 4 year olds. Developmentally she seems right on track as well. All of that is good news. She has some scarring on her back that the doctor thinks is from the chicken pox and we know she also had the mumps earlier this year. But as of now she is healthy and well.
As for Isaac, he is walking! We will try and upload of video soon. While crawling is still faster, he is choosing to walk more and more. He has also started making the funniest face. (As you can see in the picture below.)
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Here are some pictures of our first few days together. She is a happy, energetic kid when it is just us at home believe it or not!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Our sweet Tenaye
Isaac (in his manly pink blanket) with his crib mate and BFF Diesel
The rest is history. Isaac came home in mid-September. We waited and waited for a court date to be scheduled for Tenaye as they continued to get paperwork in order. She FINALLY had a court date on May 18th and passed. Now we are anxiously awaiting our trip to bring her home forever. We were originally scheduled to leave Sat. July 4th, but were told today that our wait will continue and we will now be leaving on July 11th. Hopefully this is the last delay and we can finally become a family of four!
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Speaking of big and strong he now weighs 18 pounds and is 28 inches tall. At 4 months old when we brought him home he was 6 pounds and 20 inches so what great progress he's made over 8 months. In recent days he's been getting more and more mobile. Scooting backwards, turning circles while he's playing, going from his tummy laying all the way to sitting up. And tonight he waved back to Great-Great (Laura's grandpa)! It was a definite wave and he didn't do it again but his mimicking is really picking up. He can make baskets now when he plays with daddy, something that is VERY important in our household.
We did have a birthday barbecue with some friends on his big day and his buddy for life Diesel came over with Adam and Katy. Here are the fellas partying it up! Diesel will be the fullback and Isaac the wide receiver one of these years...
Monday, May 18, 2009
She will be four years old in mid-June and we speculate that travel to Ethiopia would be in mid-July. As we know more information we will be sure to post it. Thanks for all the prayers and thoughtful words from all of you!
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Thankfully they really do help his breathing and his lungs and hopefully will help stave off colds in the future. He'll be on these for a while and will probably have some asthma but at least we now know how to help him when he has a cough and is all stopped up! He also has learned to enjoy bath time and splashes around and plays and hates getting out of the tub after about 15 minutes of playing. These pictures are from right after he got sick this last time and as you can see, he wasn't liking the water too much then but since he loves it!!
Laura celebrated her first Mother's day and it was a very special day for all of us. Our thoughts turned to Isaac's birth mother and father during both the recent Mother's day and his birthday celebration. We feel so lucky to have Isaac as our son and hope that they are proud that we are raising such a wonderful little boy. He is so loved by his family and our friends and he had so much fun playing and hanging out with everyone during his parties.
Isaac also had his first real haircut today. When we first brought him home he got a haircut because his hair was so patchy from all the tubes he had in his nose in the hospital. But this was a full blown haircut and while we hated to cut all those wonderful curls off his head, his scalp was getting very dry and he's so hot natured that we knew this summer he'd be sweating profusely! So with mixed emotion we cut his hair and he looks like such a big boy!!
We can't wait for our school years to be over so we can spend even more time with our precious little boy!!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
All are doing just great. Isaac's cousins J & A LOVE to show him their toys, feed him his bottle, and be in his face whenever they can. They are really cute with him, and just want to be close to him. We visited Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead which was really fun. There were lots of animals to get up close and see, and even though it's for kids the adults really enjoyed it as well. Plus, it was FREE!!!
This summer will likely be hectic as well with Laura teaching summer school, basketball camps, and a trip to Anaheim, CA with two of my students who are competing at FBLA nationals. Oh well, if we weren't going 90 miles per hour we would go insane!
Finally, it is just two weeks from Tenaye's court date! We are anxiously waiting for that but are realistic that there is a 50/50 chance that she will pass the first time.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
On a side note, Isaac rolled over from back to tummy today for the first time! Finally!! I guess he must of heard about his appointment with a physical therapist from the First Steps program this week. These appointments will help him catch up on his motor skills. (Not that we want to rush things, we just don't want him to fall too far behind in his physical development.)
Friday, April 24, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Also within the past week came word that we have an actual court date now for Tenaye!! May 18 we will be represented in Ethiopia along with 10 other families with Hope Adoption Agency. We are SO relieved that progress is being made and are thinking good thoughts as we wait another 2 months and PRAY that we pass court on the first try. This would mean travelling in late June or early July...right about the time Laura will be finishing summer school. Tenaye's room has been completely cleaned out and we bought a bed for it. How wonderful it will be to see her sleeping in her bed and hold her in our arms.
After another round of a cough and cold, Isaac is back to being his happy self once again. We hope this is the last one for the season, but with this crazy weather you never know. He is REALLY starting to enjoy eating his baby food and gets pretty cranky if he doesn't get a spoonful fast enough. He loves his food (just like his mom)! Favorites include applesauce, pears, sweet potatoes, and carrots.We can tell he's growing but aren't sure of his weight. He's 26 inches now and we're guessing he's skipped the 15's and is in the 16 pound range. He LOVES sitting now and can do so for quite some time and is starting to stand (with minimal support) while holding on to furniture and his exer-saucer. No crawling yet, but we're patient with this and other parts of his development that we know may be a little slow.
He took his first trip to the zoo with his cousins Kaleb and Kyle and sported a new STL Cardinals hat that he got from one of the teachers at Jason's school. He wore it well and had a good time looking at the animals.
Isaac's top two teeth should be popping through any day as his gums and bumpy and swollen and he's gnawing on everything in sight and drooling at an impressive rate. Also growing is his hair. Just look at the curly Q's on top of his head!
Friday, February 13, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
Right before he got sick he had his infant dedication at River Bluff Fellowship Church in Springfield where we have been attending since last summer. It is the perfect church home for our family and the pastor there, Scott Watson, is an absolutely wonderful man. Isaac was a pretty handsome little man in his khaki pants and blue shirt; he didn't wear the hat to church.
Tomorrow it's off to daycare and Miss Becki's house, where Isaac hasn't been in two weeks because of the winter weather and his illness. I'm sure she has missed him and he has missed watching the big kids play. It looks like things are back to normal around here. We continue to pray that the adoption agency and orphanage are able to secure the proper paperwork for Tenaye, but we know everything is in God's hands and it is his timing as to when she comes home.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Playing Hungry, Hungry Hippos with Cousin Kyle