Saturday, August 30, 2008


ok, here is a fair warning, do not ever go to Joe's Crab Shack on your birthday!  Well, you can go, but don't tell them that you are there for a celebration. ;o)
They do more than just try to embarrass you by singing obnoxiously over you, ...oh no, there's no hiding in your napkin and enduring the torture.
They actually get you up OUT of your seat, and make you write your name with your hips while they sing Happy Birthday.  
I kid you not!!!
I am not an overly shy person, so I didn't have too much of an issue, but can I just tell you that if you are ever at Joe's and it's someone else's birthday, you could at least clap and smile sympathetically... not stare as if this person is a complete moron. ;o)

Fun at the hospital

Little E seems to be feeling better.  Which is a HUGE praise!  His personality is coming out so much more, both the good and the bad.  ;o)  And we are getting to see a bit of the spirit that has kept this little guy alive.
Here are a few from the hospital... check out the smile on this kid... so amazing!  In the last picture he was trying to make fish face, but he had food in his mouth.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A few pics

Here are a few of Little E, he has some molluscum which is what the spots are... but he sure is pretty daggon handsome huh??!!
The first 2 are of the day we met him, the next is he and I lounging.  D making Injera at Layla house and Little E eating Injera.

Cool huh?! ;o)

Not much to report

Little E is still in the hospital and we still don't know a whole lot.
We should have some results back tomorrow to verify what we pretty much already know...that he doesn't need to be in isolation.
The knot on his head that has been a concern to us is growing "a garden" of things as the Dr said this morning.  He has staff/mersa as well as some crazy fungi... so they are treating him for both as of today.  Looks like we will be in the hospital for at least a few more days.
We are very thankful that he's where he can get the medicine that he needs but hate that he's not home in the house with us all.
Tonight is D's night to stay at the hospital, and he's just called me to try to calm Little E who's been crying and calling my name for the last 30 mins.   So hard on us all.
Today was so fun with him though.  He's got a great personality. He was playing with some large legos and put 2 of them up to his eyes like binoculars and began singing.
Then he got mad at me about something, I think he wanted a piece of D's gum that was sitting on the windowsill and was yelling this word at me.  His little face was so serious, and funny that it got me tickled so I started laughing, which eventually got him laughing so then we were yelling the word at each other and laughing.  He forgot about the gum. ;o)
This kid is so great!

Thank you all for your prayers and support.
We will be home soon... We hope!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Home again Home again

So we are home!!!
Sorry I haven't had time to post but it's been he&* of a week.
We had a whirlwind trip, very emotional and very difficult week, and it's not gotten a ton better.
We have seen God's hand in so much of what we have experienced though so we know that He is working and taking care of everything even though we have moments of despair.

The Friday before we left we were given medical information that was kinda scary and could have meant we couldn't bring Little E home.  We ran around, prayed hard, got some stuff together, and decided that we were traveling anyway.

So Sunday we left.  Arrived Monday mid morning and Little was dropped off at our guest house about 3 hours later.  We jumped into new parenting with both feet.

Monday night was suprisingly uneventful and easy.

Tuesday we had to go to the embassy for our blood work.  Then we were dealt another blow... more medical information, potentially devastating that had not been disclosed to our agency until that day.  We struggled so much that day.  We honestly just kind of wept the whole day thinking about all the information, the implications and our kids at home.  Such an emotional day.  I will be honest in saying we had moments of thinking this was so much more that we could handle.  We asked God what in the world he was thinking and told him we weren't strong enough for this.

I then emailed some dear friends and asked for prayer and was reminded that many times medical info given isn't 100% accurate and that possibly some of it is incorrect.

So we prayed, cried, and tried to love on this sweet little boy that didn't deserve the hand he was dealt.  

Wednesday we had our embassy appointment and then decided due to our emotional state that we would move to a hotel with other families.  We had started in a lovely comfortable well run guest house, but we were the only ones there and there wasn't much in walking distance and we needed to get out some.  We had also decided at this point that while we hadn't been prepared for the hand dealt us, we weren't willing to back out now.  If we left this little man that was our son behind, he would surely die there, and that wasn't something we were even remotely willing to see happen.  So while we had...have... no idea how we will make this work, we know God does.

The hotel was very comfortable, even with the crazy hard mattresses.  

Thursday we spent most of the day at the orphanage and played with the kids.  That was great fun, the kids at Layla house are so great, they speak amazing english, and had a blast taking care of Little E.

Friday we went for a walk back to Little E's place and played with the kids and spoke to his nurses.  

We then got word that a miracle had occured.  Our Visa was DONE!  in a day and a half!!!! Praises to Project HOPEFUL and EACH  who moved mountains and got this done.  Little E and I went to Layla house to hang out while D went to the Hilton to see how soon we could get home.  We were told we could leave Saturday night on business class for an extra 3300.00  I will be honest that were seriously considering it.  But then as we were discussing where we might find this money the rep said to my husband that he had 3 seats left on the flight out that night!!!!!!!  Do you see God's hand here?

We arrived home on Saturday morning, drove the 4 hours home, hugged our kids took a shower and left for the local Children's Hospital.  This is where our little guy is currently.  He is in isolation, and we are still waiting on so many tests to come back.  Many should be done tomorrow, Wednesday... although NOTHING has been done quickly in this hospital process.  SO frustrating!!!

In all of this our sweet little guy tries so hard to remain in a good mood, he's sweet and so smart!  He's still learning to trust us, and this process while very hard I think is helping to jump start the bonding process.  We are the only ones to devote constant care to him and the only ones not poking, prodding or otherwise hurting him.

Tomorrow he has a small surgery and we hope to have him home by this coming Saturday.  I am not sure if he can handle too much more of that.  He's so sad in that little room. He constantly wants to be held by the window to see the Makina's and look at the trees.

So.... there you have it the last week or so.

I will try to post pics soon.  I am exhausted.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Anything else?

So today was one of those days that the old meanie Satan decided to rear his head BIG!!!

We got word early this morning that there may be a reason medically to delay our trip.  Turns out E was put on meds for something about a month or so ago that weren't told to our agency and this issue could cause us to delay travel.

It was weird.  This morning I began to feel sick.  Like something was terribly wrong, I thought it was because I was going to miss my kids but I felt so overwhelmed with grief and was a bundle of nerves.  I could not relax.  I then realized it was this medical issue and about noon had to scramble to decide if we were going to travel as planned or not.

D and I prayed, talked about it and decided that if we could get some paperwork together today, after noon on a Friday that we were going regardless. 

So to the phone I went. I made about 2 dozen phone calls and received about that many.  God set all the things we needed in order and we have the paperwork. 

So... we leave Sunday as planned.  We may have to stay an additional week, which will stink HUGE but we are giving it to Him.

As soon as we made the decision that we were going to go ahead with the travel as planned, and had the paperwork together I have been at peace.

I am still going to miss my kids HUGE, but I know that there are so many reasons we are supposed to leave now and we never would have been able to get that paperwork together if this weren't what we are to do.

I tell you what though, it's been a
D received a devotion today that spoke about hurdles and that when we are given hurdles in life we are supposed to step over them.
So we are stepping over... and preparing for rain Cindy!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


So the antibiotics are working.  I feel so much better!  
We have been steadily packing and cleaning and preparing for our trip and I still feel SO unprepared for it all.
We have S and N taken care of.  All the schedules are arranged, and what isn't arranged can get done.
Z will actually be gone for a good bit of the time but he is rather self sufficient so nothing to worry about there.
D and I have all our papers in order and all things typed and packaged.
We are SO ready to go!
We have airlines tickets and our guest house is ready for us.  
I think I have my list about done.  Now all we have to do is get gone. ;o)

I will try to get S to update from my email so there is some communication.  If not... well check back after September 1 for the rest of the

Monday, August 11, 2008

good grief

We leave on Saturday night to drive to DC to catch our flight out on Sunday morning!!!  WOOHOOO
And today I am diagnosed with pneumonia.  WHAT?!  Not to be all completely gross, but I have had some post nasal stuff and a worsening cough... but pneumonia?! I have had no fever and don't feel great ... but it sure doesn't feel like pneumonia. But there it was on the xray. At least we caught it today, I am on antibiotics and cough meds.  But who the heck has time for pneumonia?!!!  The dr said he's not giving me any restrictions and I will be done with my antibiotics before we leave.  Guess it's a light case of pneumonia?  
Nothing is keeping me from my Little E... so pneumonia shomonia... I am going to Ethiopia!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Joys of teens

Our S is 14 yrs old, going on 21.

What an age!
She begins High School in a few weeks.  It's a not the school she's zoned for because she is attending a special academy for Legal Studies.  She wants to be a juvenile lawyer when she grows up. She wants to be a defender of the defenseless.  What a girl!

This summer has been a testing of the boundaries, there's a boy in her life and she's made some unwise choices so she's been restricted from several fun activities.  

I tell you what as the parent of a teenager and a 4 yr old I am not sure who's whining is worse. She whines and argues, she doesn't clean her room, and thinks she's right all the time.  She will argue the point to death, and then come back for more.  She breaks the rules and talks back.

But the thing about my S is that she's still such an amazing kid.  She is smart, and funny and loving and has a huge heart.  She still loves to go shopping with mom, and not just cause I will buy her something.  She will still hold my hand in public, she loves her little brother and loves to go to church.  She has one of the most forgiving hearts I have ever seen.  She's not afraid to been seen with her parents in public, which totally makes me sad for my mom because at her age I so wanted to act as though I were brought by the stork, never actually had 'real' parents.  She's also beautiful, inside and out.  This morning at church she raised her hand at prayer time to offer a prayer for D and I and our travels.  Then she and I went out to brunch and school clothes shopping.  She and daddy were to go parasailing today, but it's rainy and windy.

I really have great kids.  I will miss her a TON while we are in ET.  

Teens... the joys and the pain... the times when they are flexing their adult muscles and learning who they are... with hormones thrown in the bunch.  I sure wouldn't want to go back to that age!  

I love you S!!

Friday, August 8, 2008


Last night I watched Larry King Live with the Chapman family.  They were discussing the tragic death of their daughter Maria.
One of their son's accidentally hit her with his vehicle.  They talked about the other 2 little girls witnessing it... what a lot to have to handle in one family.  
But what a faith they have.  It felt like there honest about their pain.  Mary Beth talked about the fact that there were very good days and very bad days.  They asked the "why" questions and they have sought help from professionals to help them cope.  I felt like it was a REALLY well done program.  They said they wanted to talk about it because they wanted to let people know without being showy about it, that they still loved God they still held their faith and they know they will see Maria again.
Even the son who was involved in the accident was present and spoke.  When I first heard of this accident I immediately began to pray for him.  I could just imagine that being my Z and the toll this could take on a young man of this age.  He too was honest in his pain.  

They are obviously all in such pain, but what a picture of what faith in a family can do.  How it should be done... how they rallied around and with each other instead of placing blame and separating.

I think it's so easy to think about the sadness but I also think there is a huge praise to be seen. Not in her death, but in her life.  The fact that she was given the chance at life in a family.  She was shown love and joy and support and taught to love Jesus.  How is that not a gift?  She was taken from obscurity in an orphanage and give hope, and joy and a life. For those brief years she knew what family meant.  There are hundreds of thousands of children that never know that feeling.  

I have a friend who just brought home a daughter that is right now fighting for her life in a hospital.  This child has only been home less than a week, but has been showered in love and care and given hope.  I choose to believe that she will go home to her new home and live a full life and a boundless future.  But just this short time with her new family has shown her that she is worthy, she has a purpose and she is loved so much more than she can imagine by both her family and by her Father in heaven.  Again how is that not a gift.

Nothing in life is permanent, nothing but the love of our God.  It's what we do with it here that makes the difference.  It's how we respond to it.  

I have not had to deal with the tragedy that the Chapman's have, and other than E's scare in May I have never worried about losing a child.  But I pray that my faith would reflect the Glory of my Lord.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Why I love my N

So I got to thinking about N and him turning 4 and how many things have changed since he got home and I wanted to share a few things about why I love him so much.

I will admit to being totally afraid of being able to love him like my 2 bio children.  I was confident that God would give me what I needed but, I tend to get in the way so I was a bit worried.

I will also admit that those first few months home I was more afraid my fears would come to fruition.  Think toddler on steroids.  Our N has a huge personality, and a stubborn streak a mile wide, and a killer toddler defiant stare that would cause a saint to wanna curse. He was a favorite at his orphanage so he was very much catered to, and when we didn't cater he wasn't a happy boy.

There were many nights that rocked him to sleep that I would just cry and pray for God to give me the heart to love N like He did.

And as usual He is a God that answers prayers in ways that sometimes we can't even imagine.  My N is not only the most stubborn but has the biggest clown streak.  At the dinner table he would just randomly start making faces at us.  I can't tell you how many times I would think "I have GOT to set up a camera and film him during a meal"  I still think it... hhhmm maybe I should just do it.  He has SUCH a zest for life. He never walks anywhere, and hardly ever speaks in an "inside voice"  not because of hearing issues but because everything excites him. He will say "Mommy I love you" one thousand times a day ... at random times. ( I almost feel badly about this because I get the I love you's the most)  ;o)
He comes up with the most random pieces of wisdom, I really wish I were the kind that could remember them all, but there are so many. 
We look at each other many times a day and just marvel at how we were SO blessed to get this little guy in our lives.
He has NO fear of water, he loves the pool and the beach.  The beach gives him a plae to exercise the imagination that has no bounds.  
He loves to sing "Blessed be the Name" and even will perform "concerts".  He is so musically gifted.  
My N is a gift.  I don't have a clue what I did to deserve him, and many days I feel sad that I am not the best mother I could be.  But God answered my prayer, I love this kid.  With all that I have. I wouldn't know what to do without him.  Just like I have no idea what I would do without either of my other 2.
I am prepared for the feelings I may have for E when he gets home.  But I also feel as though I will see him a bit differently.  Not because he's better in any sense, but because I have grown with my N, I have become a better person because I know him, and because I had to learn things about me that I wasn't ready to learn, but am glad I did.  I have SO much more to learn and I look forward to the lessons.

Thank you N for loving mommy and for being in our lives.  


We have tickets, YAY!
They are paid for and confirmed and we have guest house reservations.
Several times today I had to almost pinch myself because I am so excited that in less than 2 weeks we will be meeting our son, and he will finally be ours.

We leave on the morning of the 17th and get home September 1.
We have great friends coming to stay at the house the whole time.  How cool is that?! 
We will be gone for my 38th birthday.  What kind of cake do you think I will get?  :o)

It's been such a long haul, so full of ups and downs, and waiting.  But I see the hand of God in so many places.  Thank you God for guiding these steps and giving us the opportunity to become parent's again.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

N turned 4 today!!!

August 2nd is a busy day in our family.
August 2 is my brother's anniversary, his daughter's birthday and N's birthday.
We had my niece's party this morning at a local farm, that was fun.  Then this afternoon was N's party here at the house.
We have very dear friends that gave us a huge wooden play set and the kids had a blast on it. Climbing on that and running through the yard, I know they are ALL sleeping well tonight.  
N got his first big boy bike and got to feed goats and a cow and a llama.
I thought alot about Little E and wishing he were here.  N was opening his presents and I thought about Little E and his loves for cars, and how much fun he would have had today with the other boys.  I wonder if he would have been running at top speed with them.  Or hang out with our friend LaLa in the sand box?  Would he have tried to play baseball with the golf set or tried to pull a Tiger woods and launch the ball?
Oh I can't wait until we are home with him and our family is complete.
Soon...very soon!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Funny how things work out

So about a month or so ago D bought a Jeep Laredo.  He had a pick up but we decided after my van had to be in  the shop for a few days there was no way that we were going to be able to make do with just one vehicle after E came home.  

The Jeep is a used one and has a blemish on the back bumper.  Not a big deal he works construction so he's kind of hard on vehicles.  

The funny story is that last Thursday we were passing his truck and we said "All we need is for someone to run into the back of you so we can get a new bumper." Not being serious, TOTALLY in jest.

So what happens on Friday?  D is sitting at a light, it was red and the guy behind him decided to try to push him through the light.  

I kid you not!

So since it's a plastic bumper and the damage from the accident was enough to replace the bumper, we get a new one.  

Crazy huh?!