Friday, June 29, 2007

Awassa Weavers

On our last day in Ethiopia, we got the opportunity to visit the weavers from Awassa. It was amazing to see how much work that goes into making a scarf or a wall hanging. Some of these scarves take days to make. So much work and time and they only get a small amount of money for them. They don't use fancy machines for any of it. It's all done by hand, string by string. It was very cool to get to see how it is all done. The best part is that these weavers were from Awassa which is the same area of Ethiopia that Durant is from!!! Like I've said before, in the world of adoption any information you can get about your child is priceless. Since I didn't get the opportunity to meet any of Durant's relatives, it was really great to get the chance to meet people that live where he was born.
It was the perfect last thing to do while in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Seattle SuperSonics: My new favorite team!!

Congratulations to Kevin Durant!! He is now a SuperSonic. You know we'll be buying that jersey as soon as it's available!!!!
Now if we could just get Vince Carter to play for the Sonics........

Shaq and our family!!!

Shaquille O'Neal has a new reality show that just aired called "Shaq's Big Challenge" and it is really good. (Please save your comments on how cool I am until later)
Anyway the show is about childhood obesity, one of the country's fastest-growing epidemics. Shaq has taken six very overweight children in hopes to help them become healthy and active. He seems to really care about this topic and about these kids! Way to go Shaq!!!
It's sad to Matt and I to see so many children starting out life already overweight. So much of it can be avoided with cutting out all the TV watching, video game playing, and constant eating. I do realize some weight issues are unavoidable. But getting kids up off the couch, playing outside, or just being active is something we can all do something about! Matt and I have always wanted active children. Thankfully, we don't have to try to motivate our kids too much yet. All three of them are all about running and playing outside. While they are young, we are trying to set a good foundation in them of wanting to be active and healthy. Someday they might not be so motivated, so hopefully what we've been doing while they were young will make a difference. Sometimes it can be tough to find a lot of activities to do all together with a 6 year old, 2 year old, and 1 1/2 year old. But the other day, we've just discovered a new one. All five of us went to the middle school's track and ran around. It was great. It gives Ana and Durant room to run without us having to worry about them and Carter a huge area to play football or kickball with Mom and Dad.
But, first we had to have a family race.......

Carter and Matt are a little bit ahead....

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Crazy Fun Kids!!

There is no doubt that we have the children we are meant to have.
Days like these it's just confirmed even more. Carter, Ana, and Durant spent 45 minutes playing a fun game together. Durant put a blanket over his head and was chasing Carter and Ana like he was a monster. It was so cute to watch!! All three of them were laughing so hard and having so much fun.

Matt and I are so thankful that God has allowed us to be parents of crazy, fun, loving children. We couldn't ask for more!!!!

Baby Shower!!

Last night we had a shower given to us by our lead pastor and his wife. It was so thoughtful of them and a lot of fun!! We got a lot of great things.... a double stroller, diapers, little swimmers, clothes, toys, and more!!!
I know I've said it before, but we really do feel so loved. Who gets a shower for their third child???? We are very blessed.
Thank you everyone!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The First Day Alone...

Today was the first day that Matt has gone to work since I've been home. So it was just me and the three kids all by ourselves!! It was a really good day. I got everyone ready and out the door to Carter's swimming lessons by 9am!! And we even went to Target and ran some other errands. Carter is an awesome big brother and a huge help to me!! He's awesome!!

Now we'll see how tomorrow goes...... swimming, t-ball, and tennis... yikes!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's day to all the great fathers and fathers-to-be out there. We had a good Father's day just hanging out at home. Matt spent a few hours of the day putting together his new grill!!! For those of you who know what happened to our last grill, it is now safe to eat at our house again!!!!
Having grown up without a dad, Father's day wasn't really a celebrated day, but since being married to Matt and getting the awesome privilege of watching him be a dad, the day now has a lot more meaning for me. So it probably sounds kind of silly, but I never really knew what a dad did or was supposed to do (beside the negative stuff) so getting to watch Matt and having him show me what a dad is all about has been life-changing. Matt is an amazing dad. I am so thankful my children have the opportunity to know what it's like to have a dad who loves them and is so proud of them.
Thank you Matt for being a wonderful, loving, and kind Daddy! Our children are forever changed because of it!

Friday, June 15, 2007

This week in pictures.....

We had a really great first week home! It went by so quickly.

Durant got a chance to experience McDonald's, our city's carnival, playing at the park, swimming, and being a part of a family.

Thank you to everyone who has emailed, called, and stopped by! Thank you for all the presents and food! We feel so loved and cared about!!! Thank you so much!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Flight Home

Many of you asked how Durant did on the plane ride home. I wanted to let you know that he did awesome. The first flight left Ethiopia at 11pm so he just slept all the way until Frankfurt at 5am. We had a short layover there. Time to change a diaper, have a snack, and walk around a little bit. The next flight from Frankfurt to Chicago was 9 hours. I was worried how he would do, but he was great. He took a couple of naps, had snacks, and played with toys. Of course we left our area of the plane a complete disaster, but he was happy. We didn't even have to walk around the plane and he hardly even cried. The passengers around me we're very impressed with his behavior.

In Chicago, after customs and immigration, we had some time to change clothes, eat a snack, and walk around some more. The last flight to MSP was super quick and Durant did great on that as well.
So thank you to all who were praying specifically for a great flight! Not that I'm ready to hop on a plane anytime soon, but at least I know we have children that can handle it!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Summer Fun!

We're still here!! Sorry I haven't blogged for awhile. Life is a little bit busier now with three kids!! Things are still going really well. Durant is sleeping really good and eating all the time. He seems to be getting used to his new life and enjoying it. He's learning how to share with his sister, which is probably our biggest issue. But even that isn't anything out of the ordinary for a 2 year old and 1 1/2 year old. Durant has a doctor appointment this week. I am excited to know his birthdate, but I know that will be a little while yet. But at least we'll find out how he's doing health wise.

Today we had a great day just being a family of five. We played outside in the water for hours. It was so much fun.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

We're home!

Yesterday afternoon we landed at MSP airport and finally we were home!! It was so great to see Matt, Carter, and Ana and to have them meet Durant. It was a long journey home...27 hours! But we did it and Durant did awesome on all three of the flights. When we got to the airport we were met by several family members! That was so fun to have them all there!! Thanks for the presents, balloons, and awesome signs!!

It just feels to good to have our family of five together!!
I will write more later, but for now this will have to do. Besides my house being a mess of bags and souvenirs, I'm really tired. After I catch up on both, I'll make sure to post some pictures!!!
Durant's first night home went really well. He went to bed great at about 9pm. I can't image what he's thinking with this new life he has been taken too, but he's handling it very well.
Thank you everyone!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

We're coming home!

Today we leave at 11pm!! Friday at 4:05pm we will be landing in MSP! I am so excited. The time here has been wonderful. I've experienced a lot of the culture and learned a lot about the wonderful people of Ethiopia. But now it's time for our family to be complete. All five of us together. I just can't hardly wait at all.
Just wanted to say thank you again to everyone for all your thoughts, prayers, and emails before we left and during my trip! It's been so fun reading emails from my friends and family while I'm so far away.
Thank you!!! Thank you!! Thank you!!
See you all soon......

Ethiopian Resturant

Tonight our agency, CWA, took all of the adoptive parents out to eat at traditional Ethiopian restaurant. The experience was really cool. It was fun to see how a meal is done. First they bring out a basin with water to wash your hands, then they bring out the food, everyone just shares from the same plate without utensils. Music was playing and the waitresses were dressed in traditional Ethiopian dress and they were beautiful.

The food was not my favorite, no surprise there, but Durant just loved it and couldn't get enough. He kept eating and eating and eating!! It was fun to watch him enjoy his food so much. It was almost like he knew that he needed to stock up because it will be awhile until he gets it again.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Embassy Appointment!

Today was Durant's Embassy Appointment. It went quick and smooth. The lady only asked a couple of questions and that was it!! It feels great to have that last step completed. Now I just need his visa, which I will get tomorrow and also we are being taken out to an authentic Ethiopian restaurant for supper. Should be interesting! Durant will love it, I'm sure. That boy loves to eat!!
Thanks again for all your prayers. Now we just wait until we can board our plane to come home. I can't wait!!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Life with a toddler...

Today was another fun day with Durant! He didn't waste anytime showing me what he is capable of doing!!! He was throwing things out of the patio door and he before I knew it, he threw a glass cup right onto the cement.

A little later, he went into the bathroom to tear a bunch of toilet paper off and throw it into the garbage along with some of his toys!!

It's been fun and I'm so glad he feels comfortable enough around me to do those things. I'm sure Carter, Ana, and Durant will keep me plenty busy this summer!!!

Also want to say thanks so much for all of the emails. I'm trying to keep up with them all. Thanks for making me feel so loved and cared about!!

The First Night

Well it's been a night and part of another day with Durant (Nati) and things are going really well! He's a good eater and sleeper!! First time I've had a child that sleeps so well all night long in his own crib!! I gave him a bath, but he didn't like that at all. So it was a quick one. The first time he cried though, so that's good.
We've just been playing in the hotel room and getting to know each other. Later today we are going to walk around the Hilton just to get out of the room.
He's such a great kid!! Thank you all so much for all the prayers. I'm confident that is why things are going so well. Please continue with the prayers!!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Durant is here

Today at 4:30pm I got to meet Durant for the first time ever. It was the end of nap time, but he was still sleeping. They told me to just pick him up. So I did! He is so beautiful and super tiny. When he woke up, he didn't cry. He was a little hesitant, but he handled it well. By the time we left, he was laughing and feeling good. So it went really really well. It's such an amazing experience seeing your child for the first time. Their are no words to describe it.
Tonight has gone well. We got him some food which was so cute to watch him eat. We got him spaghetti cause that's what they said he liked. But when the meal came, all he did was rip tiny pieces of a bun off and dipped it in the sauce. Then he wanted my sandwich, but all he wanted was the bread so he could dip it! It was too cute!
He really likes to play with the cars I brought and he ate up all the cheerios right away. He can say Mama and Dada and throw a ball really well.
Thanks everyone for your prayers. It has gone really well.

Saturday, June 2, 2007


Today was a full day! I couldn't image doing all of these things while having Durant. It was a very good idea to have a few days before I picked him up. I'm so glad I've done and seen all that I have. Today we did some more shopping and got even more wonderful things that I am going to have to be creative with packing them all. We also visited a museum/church and got a good history lesson about Ethiopia's religion. We also got to visit an orphanage where we delivered lots of our donations. I had heard that the babies at this orphanage were only in plastic bags for diapers. So we bought several diapers, wipes, formula, and baby food to bring. Thank you to many of you who donated money. Much of that money was used for these things for the orphanage as well as the meal tickets I purchased. Your money made a huge impact on Ethiopia!
Visiting an orphanage was another dream I've always had so it was great to be able to do that. This is a government run one so they do get some support, but are still in so much need. We got a tour of the entire place, school, and hospital. But of course my favorite place was the baby room. So many babies, about 14 in two tiny rooms. I got to play with them and I made sure to touch each one of them just in case they didn't get a chance to be touched very much today. I was also praying with each touch they could feel that there loved and very special. You know if they would have let me walk out of there with a baby, I would have done so in a heart beat! It was an experience I will not forget.
I plan on continuing to support this orphanage so if you are interested in hearing more, please talk to me when I return. Thanks again for your donations of items and money for these precious children!! So many of you have been to generous!!


Shopping at the Merkato was an adventure! There is absolutely anything you could image wanting. Very very crowded!! There is no way we could have done it without our driver Alazar along with us. He helped us with the language, help negotiate prices, and helped keep the brokers away from us. People would just follow us around trying to sell us things without Alazar around cause they knew he would make them charge us less. It was really fun watching Alazar and the merchants going back in forth in Amharic negotiating a price for me!! I felt very special. I knew that if I waited long enough, he would make sure I got a fair price. I bought a lot of great things!! Some clothes for the kids (all three of them)which are so adorable. Many scarves, jewelry, and some other things I can't mention because they are gifts for people!!
I've also seen so many sights that have made me rethink everything about life and the way we all live. It's just something you have to see for yourselr. I can try to explain and show pictures, but it just wont do it justice.