Friday, August 28, 2009

Sweet Potatoes!

She seems to like the sweet potatoes I started a couple of days ago. She wasn't too sure what to do with the spoon at first; she kept trying to suckle it. Tears followed, complete with screaming, until I got some in her mouth and she stopped abruptly with wonderment at the new found sweetness. Today she finally figured out the spoon and actually opened for bites. Although it seemed like just as much came out that went in, I think we're on the right path.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Our Life in Pictures

Since my little one is still not napping well (think 30 minutes spells), I don't have much time for words, but I wanted to share a few pics from our life since we brought Mia home. I promise to blog more about our trip, but for now, enjoy our beautiful little girl!

At the Airport in Ethiopia, waiting to board our 16 hour flight

First Bath at Home! She loves splashing her feet in the water.

Our first cereal. She's not too sure about it...

Look at those tears! Such a drama queen already.

So we had to finish our cereal on Mommy's lap, and after our bottle of course.

Just swingin' in the morning with my Daddy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

2 Days Home & 6 Month Checkup

Well, we've been home for almost 48 hours, and it has never felt so good to be a mom. I think we're all falling into the swing of things pretty well. We still don't have a good routine down, but it will come in time. Mia is wonderful. Did I mention how darn cute this kid is? She has the brightest smile in the world, and I love making her laugh. It's infectious. She does have quite the temper, though, and can go from happy to mad in approximately 3 seconds flat. We're still not sure if her fussiness is temporary from all the changes she's been through, or just part of her strong-willed personality. We'll see.

We had our first outing (in America, that is) today to see the pediatrician. We were concerned about her very runny nose, but thankfully she is pretty healthy. She seemed to like Dr. Fox, and we found out she's gained almost a pound and a half since we got her! She's up to 14.5 pounds and 24.25 inches long. We were also encouraged to start cereal and then some vegetables; I'm pretty sure I'm more excited about this experiment than she will be. I'll try to post some pics of the first cereal tomorrow.
After the doctor, I was feeling pretty adventurous and she and I made our first trip to Target. I was a little nervous out by myself, but she was a champ. She's not so crazy about her carseat (they don't use them in Ethiopia), but does like to ride in the car so she usually calms down once we get going.
Hank (our boxer dog) is also adjusting well to Mia's arrival. We were both a little worried as he's never really been around a lot of children and is also very excitable. But he seems to like her and often lays down in front of where ever she is. Mia's not freaked out by him at all and giggles when he licks her hands or feet.
Well, I can see my little one is about to wake from her nap and is sure to be hungry. I'll leave you with a another pic from our trip.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Life in Addis

We are headed home tomorrow, and our emotions are as diverse as this country we are in.  I feel exhausted, touched, overwhelmed, and full of love for this baby girl, who without I cannot imagine life to be possible (even in her fussiest and most challenging moments).  But more than just this child, I have been touched by this country and the people in it.  First impressions are sometimes deceiving, and the more time you spend here, the more you see the beauty.  Beauty in the small children who live on the street, begging to sell you some gum or shine your shoes.  Beauty in the old woman who carries down bundles and bundles of branches down Entoto Mountain, day after day.  Beauty in the smile of the woman who passes you on the street with her child tied to her back.  Beauty in the face of the man who stops to give Mia a kiss and tell her how beautiful she is.  Beauty in the faces of countless orphans, whose expectant eyes long for someone, anyone, to take them home and call them their own.  I have been touched in a way I never thought possible, and life will never be the same again.  It is true: I need Africa more than Africa needs me. 

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

First Report

We are alive and doing great.  Ethiopia is really unlike any place I've ever been.  The poverty is astounding.  Yesterday we arrived a little late, and it took 2 hours to get through customs.  Needless to say, we were running later than expected and had to literally drop our bags in our room and go (no electricity yesterday).  Meeting Mia was surreal, partially because I couldn't believe we were actually there and partially because we were going on 30 hours without any good sleep.  Today we went shopping in the morning, and then we got to bring Mia back to the hotel with us.  We've been having lots of fun; she is a snuggle bug and a great baby so far.  We gave her her first bath in our bathroom sink and Travis has now successfully changed 2 diapers.  I'm hoping to attach a couple of pictures, but if they don't go through, sorry.  The internet is slower than dial up.  We love you all and can't wait for you to meet her!

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Our Fellow Traveling Families

We're down to counting hours at this point and furiously running errands and doing laundry/packing before our wedding tomorrow, but I wanted to drop a quick line before I forget. Here are the blog links to the other families traveling with us. Most all of them have already left, so I thought you might like to follow their journey as well. (A word of's addicting! You might find yourself thinking about adoption ;)

Gillman Family
Rogers Family
Stackler Family
Corderman Family
Garrison Family
Holland Family

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Procrastination and Butterflies

I really should be packing, or at least trying to check off something on my growing to-do lists (yes, that's plural), but instead I sit on my bed, trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I will be boarding an airplane in just 4 short days to travel halfway around the world and instantaneously become a mother. This morning I woke early with butterflies in my stomach! I feel like a little kid waiting for Christmas morning. It's hard to fall asleep, my mind just won't turn off, and I wake early, knowing each day is bringing us one day closer to Mia.

Tomorrow is my last day of work, at least until December 8th. Friday is reserved for last minute details, like having our car seat installed at the Fire Station, finishing packing, and getting the house ready for our house sitter. We are shooting an early wedding on Saturday (in Greenwood, thankfully), and then Sunday morning, Lord willing, we will be on the 6:00am flight to Dulles International Airport. After a brief layover, we'll board our 8 hour flight to Rome at 10:00am. We stop in Rome to refuel, and then spend 6 more hours heading to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We should arrive at 8:20am on Monday morning (really 1:20am here). After some paperwork and lunch, we will head to the Transition home to meet our baby girl. What a day it will be! I will try to post at least once or twice while we're gone, but I've heard the internet is really slow and we only plan to have power every other day, so we'll see how it goes.

I will try to post again before we head out, but for now, I hear my lists calling...I really should get something done tonight.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

It's Official

We received confirmation from our adoption agency today that we are good to travel! It's a good thing, too, because our plane tickets arrived yesterday from our travel agency. If you look carefully, you can see Mia's boarding pass home (she'll be Bitania until we readopt her in the U.S.).
It's really hard to believe that in just 10 days we'll be boarding a plane to finally go and bring our baby girl home. I started packing for her on Monday evening, and as I sat in the middle of her room, surrounded by sleepers, lotion, pacifiers, and all kinds of baby stuff, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. After all this time, all the pretty baby "things" we've been collecting for the past 2+ years will finally be used; they will finally have a purpose. It is an amazing feeling, but also terrifying at the same time. Our lives are about to change forever, and I, for one, can't wait.