What a true joy this child is!
Glory Be! She's FREE! We have a new Daughter!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
What a true joy this child is!
Monday, July 27, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009
**** CANNOT UPLOAD PHOTOS---the connections is soooo slow today! I will try again before I go to bed ****
OH MY GOSH!!!
What an experience this has been. Let me update from where I left off. I have so much to share. Please forgive if I am random in my thoughts.
We went to a traditional Ethiopian dinner on Monday evening that featured great food that Tulio and I both enjoyed. Then came the dancing…something I have never seen! I The moves they made! WOW! I think Abby and Ben would have sat with their mouths wide open. Simply Amazing.
The guest home that we are staying at is wonderful. Great food, friendly staff. We only have electricity every other day. This is why it has been hard to post updates for those of you following at home. Speaking of which, I miss. I miss my home, my children, my pets, the smell of America. We are soaking up as much culture as possible so we may be prepared in future years to tell our precious Berhanesh of her birth land.
Tuesday was an exciting and difficult day. We shopped in the morning in the post office district. We bought many items, mostly traditional Ethiopian. We then headed to lunch at a local café. I was not feeling well but Tulio said the lasagna tasted wonderful. We are both feeling pretty good but I am dealing with nauseusy off and on throughout most of the day. It is probably a mixture of the smells that are so strong EVERYWHERE you go and just the fact that I am in Africa. After lunch we headed to the Transition Home to pick up our children and bring them home with us to the guest home. Upon arrival, we gave our donations and Tulio and I managed to take photos for seven families and deliver care packages. To these families, your children are precious. They were gracious and cuddly. We prayed special blessings over each one and held them all for awhile. Thank you for that opportunity!
Do you remember how on Monday, we asked the nannies to check on Berhanesh about her cough and wheezing? While at the transition home on Tuesday, we got to talk to the head nurse about Berhanesh, she informed us that Berhanesh was taken to the hospital on Monday evening because she was having difficulty breathing. She was on an IV and oxygen. Apparently she has brionchial ashthma. She was released Tuesday am and brought back to the transition home just before we arrived. Needless to say, we were very concerned. It was very hard to understand the nurse because of the obvious language barrier. The nurse also informed us that Berhanesh would need to be given an antibiotic shot every morning until we leave for home. She also has 3 oral medications. At this point; I was spent, just emotionally empty. A short while later it was time to go back to the guest home. As soon as we began loading up the van, Berhanesh began to cry. We totally expected this. For the entire 30 minutes van ride back to the guest home, she cried and wailed the most pitiful cry. She said the same word over and over. Our guide said she was crying out for her nanny. As you can imagine, Tulio and I were both in tears, joining our daughter in the grieving process. Our hearts were breaking for her, not knowing exactly all she has lost. When we got to our room, we pulled out every toy and piece of food we could to help distract and begin to build some trust. Playing worked for awhile, then the grieving would began again. A deep, wounded cry…none I have ever seen or heard. After about an hour, Tulio and I just continued praying over her and we put her in between us and just hugged. She fought and cried as we told her over and over that we loved her and we would never leave her. We made a major breakthrough! Praise the Lord! I asked God to let me see this child through his eyes and it is by the grace of God that we made it through the day! We are only asking God for enough strength for one day at a time. Berhanesh is still very timid and reserved. She checks out everything and everyone around her. She is so observant. She ate well at dinner, sitting in my lap. She feeds herself and drinks from a regular, big girl cup. No sippy! She is also completely potty trained. We expected accidents but the pull-ups remain dry. Major bladder control!
Bedtime was pretty simple. After bathing with a little fuss (she was fascinated with the shower head), we read a story and put her straight to bed in the crib. She fell asleep immediately.
It is now Wednesday afternoon and things are progressing slowly, as expected. We have not fully earned her trust, but we are progressing in the right direction. Just when she starts feeling comfortable and playing, she begins to close up again. We are willing to take all the time she needs. She is a sweet child, she likes to touch us, rubbing our faces or our arm. She has a soft giggle. She is warming up to her daddy but prefers mommy. We had a slow morning, just getting to know each other. A nurse came this morning and gave her another shot. The nurse said the shot was very painful. She cried for a little but let daddy comfort her. She had scrambled eggs and a chocolate donut (not Shipley's) for breakfast. Berhanesh is a good eater. At noon we headed to the US Embassy for our appointment. I was very scared. I am not sure of what, but I was scared. We waited for 2 hours and then our name was called. Berhanesh is ours, officially! She did great at the embassy! 2 families had some paperwork issues and have to return tomorrow, please pray for them!
It is now 5:00 pm, ET time, and Tulio is sleeping and Berhanesh is resting in her bed. We have not begun to call her Ava yet, it just doesn't feel right. We are so happy to be here and are thrilled at what the future holds for our daughter. However, we miss home. I miss my Abby and my Ben. My love for you has grown stronger than I ever thought possible through this journey. I always knew, but never truly grasped the fact that I am one lucky woman. I have an incredible life partner and three beautiful children. We love you! We are going to try and call today! Pray that we can!
Just a few more days until we are home! I am excited!
ABBY----she wore her bow ALL DAY!!! Never tried taking it off. She also likes all her babies NAKED!!! Typical 2 yr. old.
P.S. Could someone PLEASE bring me a LARGE CHICK-FIL-A Sweet Tea to the airport? I am having total withdrawl!
Love to you all!
Tulio, Kara and Berhanesh
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Monday, July 20, 2009
What an amazing day!
We first started out in our guest home, filling out the necessary documents for the embassy appointment on Wednesday. It was funny—people messing up, including me, because we were so nervous!
We then headed off for lunch at Lucy's. It was very tasty. I had ravioli and Tulio had a curry chicken lunch. He also had a strong Ethiopian beer. It begin raining during lunch.
Off we were to meet our kids. I felt giddy, not too nervous! The roads were bumpy, due to the rain mud was every. After traveling awhile, on of our guides said, "We are almost there." That is when I became a bundle of nerves and fear. The moment had finally come! After 17 ½ longs months, we were about to be united with our child. VERY SURREAL moment!
We turned the last corner and there we saw "the sign" that said America World and the big silver gate! We filed off the van and immediately the children began being brought to us in alphabetical order. We were next to last. Out walks little Berhanesh holding a nanny's hand. I bent down and she WENT TO ME! She held on to her mommy like it was the most natural moment. She let me hold her, talking to her softly. Tulio and were able to trade and he held her for a while. SHE IS PERFECT!!!! We walked into the home and sat on the couch, Berhanesh never let go. We played bubbles and with an inflatable Disney ball (which she loved). She did not like playdough—maybe the texture. She ate a couple of Gerber puffs but did not know what to do with the Tic Tac I pulled out. Berhanesh did not make too much eye contact, which is normal. About an hour into our visit the nanny came and said it was time for lunch. She became very clingy at this point. She did not want to get down, nor did she want to eat. The nannies spoke to her and she sorta wimpered. I just held her. She seemed unhappy while back in "her" room. We could not get her to eat or drink but that was fine. We went from there to play outside a bit. She wobbles from side to side, it must be from the HUGE belly. I mean it is really BIG! So Precious! After playing outside, we went back to the couch were we played some more and she ate a few more Gerber puffs. When it was time to leave, she looked so sad. She did not cry, just sort of accepted that we were leaving. I am not sure if she knew we were coming back or we were just another nice white couple who played with her for awhile.
Tulio and I are over the moon with joy! The first visit went way better than we ever dreamed. PLEASE pray for Berhansh today—she had a terrible cough and runny nose. The doctor is going to take a look at her before we come. PLEASE pray for her heart to adjust to the huge transition that will occur today.
Tulio and I are feeling fine.
ABBY AND BEN—Ava Joy is Precious—she has the most adorable little laugh. She raises her eyebrows a lot too. Her hair is soft and she is DELICIOUS! We miss you!
I will write later about my massage and our traditional ET dinner! SUPER FUN and yummy!
Love you all,
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Sunday, July 19, 2009
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Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
My only son: Proud, strong, funny, sensitive to others. That is you Benjamin! Can you believe that you are going to be a big brother, finally. You have longed for this day for a long time! I have many memories of you but the ones that have made me the proudest have occurred over this adoption journey. Daddy and I knew going into this process, that we were in for a roller coaster ride. We were aware of the need to support each other. I was not prepared for the amount of support you have shown. At times, I would find myself staring at you, wondering how my little boy could have just said such a profound statement. Do you remember when we had to drive to Austin, again, for more paperwork. I was crying and acting silly and YOU, my baby, grabbed my hands, looked me in the eyes and spoke these words, "Mom, it is going to be okay, look at me mom. Just like God rescued Noah after he obeyed, God will rescue Ava. We have obeyed him and she will be okay." You reminded me of Daniel in the Lion's Den and various bible stories that spoke of God's saving grace. I will never forget that trip you and I took, we did have fun, huh.? Thank you Benjamin, for being sensitive to the Lord. You are great! I love the song you wrote and dedicated to Ava. I love how you have carried her picture in your pocket for weeks, showing anyone just how proud you are! Your daddy and I are honored to be your parents and proud of the young man you are turning into. I want you to know that we will be safe and we will be okay! You and Abby are in great hands and you will have a blast with your cousins! Be obedient and helpful. Remember to brush your teeth and change your underwear!