Friday, March 28, 2008
Our first Easter as a family of 8!
It was great as usual and everyone enjoyed the annual egg hunt at Grandma's house. Myli was not real sure what to think of all of the crazy kids running around but she got used to it and joined right in looking for eggs with Tay-Tay and Tommy!
Saturday, March 22, 2008
It's been about 12 years since we've had a baby in our household, therefore, we can safely say that we were not prepared AT ALL!!!
We made a trip to Target to find a baby gate right away! Daddy does not like to read directions but after some prodding from mom, he decided to read a bit and then I found out why daddy doesn't read directions! The template was wrong and just added more work to get the brackets in the right place for installing! As you can see, Daddy had more than enough help putting things together and testing his work out! For a couple of days, Myliah continued to test Daddy's workmanship by ramming her head into the netting of the gate! I am proud to say that it still stands and the screws are still securely in the wall! Way to go Daddy!!
We have had a great first week home! I know I already wrote a post on this but I will say that everyone is adjusting very well and we are all getting along great! We were afraid that our Sophi may have some issues with not being the baby anymore but she has taken on the role of big sister so well! She makes sure that Myliah has her blanket and binkie when needed and that there are toys everywhere we go! Taylor has blown us away with her ability to help with ALL areas of being the oldest big sister! She loves to dress her, change diapers, help with baths, and feed Myliah! She has been a lifesaver to mommy!! Tommy is doing great too! He's a great big brother and likes to carry Myliah because she gets the attention of the girls!!! He's 17, what do you expect!! Blake and Leyla are doing well, they have been the least affected by the changes! They have each other to play with and things are running smoothly for them too! They like to play with Myliah and help too!
I can't tell you how wonderful it was to see all of our children at the end of the VERY LONG walkway at the airport! I could hear our oldest daughter, Taylor, saying "walk faster mom"!!! I couldn't, I was so tired! Our wonderful friends, Frank and Kim Farley along with 16 of their 20 children made sure that our children were at the airport to greet us!! THANK YOU is not enough but they know how much we love and appreciate them! Myliah took right to everyone and of course started making all of her funny faces entertaining everyone! She did amazingly well on the plane rides home and we really could not have asked for anything more!!
Meet BeBe! When asked what his title was for America World, he replied with "I don't really have a title, I just do what needs to be done". Well, after our week with BeBe, we chose to give him the title of "THE MAN!" I don't remember if he added it or someone else, "The Man With The Plan"! He has a heart of gold and makes sure that if there is something that you need or want, you have it! If he hears you say something like, "Oh we need to get some formula today", the next thing you know, we are parked outside of a supermarket and he is saying, let's go! He goes out of his way to make sure that your time in Ethiopia is amazing! We had a blast with BeBe and can't say enough about him! Of course, Mark found out that he loves to surf so he invited him to visit FL to come surfing and to go to Disney World!! He has never been to the states! Oh, just so you know, one interesting fact about BeBe is he is a gymnast! Not just a gymnast but he is one of the best in Addis! He helps his brother teach gymnastics in his down time!! This sort of blew me away because he looks and acts WAY TO COOL to be a gymnast!
Meet Girmachew! Talk about a workhorse! This man is amazing! He has been dubbed "Superman" and he definately wears this well! He is in charge of getting all of our paperwork to the courts, securing court appointments, attending the hearings as our POA and then while in country, helps families with the paperwork to secure the children's Visas and Passports. We did not see him very much while we were there but knew that he was busily working to help all the families in different stages of their process. We caught up with him on Saturday afternoon before heading up to the room to pack and he was paying for our hotel rooms. He is a very humble man and we appreciate all he does! One interesting fact about Girmachew is that he is a US Citizen!
Meet Barrett and Rachel! They are newlweds and just moved to Addis Ababa this past January! Rachel works for America World and is currently running the Transition Home alongside of the nurse, Fortuna. She will be implementing new systems to help things run more smoothly. Barrett (I can't remember who he works for or what he does at this very moment) is a wonderful help to his wife and supports her 100% in her efforts! He's also a pretty funny guy! He kept us laughing and helped keep things calm in times of stress! One good thing to know about Rachel & Barrett is that they are both huge fans of Hummus and will eat it at each meal if the restaraunt has it! They also appreciate if you let them take your leftovers home to eat if you go out to dinner with them! They live at the Transition Home and say that the children get up all hours of the night and wake really early and are ready to play! They are very happy to have ear plugs!!! They are such a sweet couple and are open to any and all suggestions that families feel may help make things run smoother for all involved.
BeBe, Girmachew, Rachel & Barrett were wonderful to be with on our trip! They made sure that we had everything we needed and were so laid back about the schedule, etc. It made things so nice! We were in great hands!
This was Myli's first bath in the Hilton sink! She loved it!
Last dinner together with our travel group! We went to Zebra Grill on the way to the airport.
These are two of the teachers at the Kids Care Orphanage
These are the schedules posted above the cribs at the Kids Care Orphanage. I thought it would be nice for those waiting to see how they keep track of what,when,and how much the babies eat and their weight and med checks.
This woman worked tirelessly the entire time we were at Kids Care on the laundry! I can't imagine doing this everyday with a water hose and a stone for 50+ children!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Over all, it has been really great! Myliah is adjusting very well and has just found her little place in our family! She has such an amazing spirit and loves to be the center of attention! She is still not sleeping very well but I'm sure that will come with time! After all, it's only been a week!
She has about a dozen different faces that she makes and she gets lots of laughs from them!! I think that's the idea! She also claps, blows and gives kisses! Her kisses are still the wide open mouth and slobbery ones but those are the best ones! She started waving goodbye on Sunday at church and now waves at everyone that passes by! And, if you dare not speak to her, she will let you know how unacceptable that really is!
I'm beginning to wonder if she will ever get a chance to learn to walk though due to her brother and sister carrying her around so much! We have her first head to toe well baby check on Friday so we will see how the ears are coming along! We are also beginning to wonder if she may be a little lactose intolerant due to the amound of spitting up she does! We'll see!
So, in a nutshell, we are doing great! Bonding and attaching is going much better than we could have asked for and life is sweet!!
P.S. - All of our pictures are still on the little laptop that we took to Ethiopia so I still have to get Mark to help me access them and I promise pics will come soon!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Our flight arrived almost two hours late into DC which put us WAY behind! The travel agent only gave us two hours and 30 minutes to make our connection and to make a long story short, we missed our flight b/c it LEFT EARLY!!! We raced through immigration, baggage claim, customs, rechecked our baggage, got our boarding passes, took the shuttle to another concourse, and when we got to the gate, the plane was gone! Mark got in the customer service line of about 50 people and I went to the front of the line and caught the eye of an attendant and told her that we were at the gate before the plane was scheduled to take off and she needed to fix the problem immediately, she put us on the next flight out which was at 12:40!
We had a wonderful flight into Orlando, Myli slept the entire time and so did I!
I will post pics of our sweet homecoming party which consisted of the Farley family and our children! It was so sweet to see familiar smiling faces! They had posters to welcome Myli home and she took very well to everyone!
Thanks again for all of your prayers! Myli is doing a little better. We took her to our pediatrician on Monday and she still has double ear infections and a sinus infection that the meds in ET just didn't take care of so we are starting on new antibiotics and we are confident that she will be healthy in no time!
We are sooooo happy to be home but most definately have left a HUGE piece of our hearts in Ethiopia!
Love to you all!
Friday, March 07, 2008
WE LOADED UP ON THE BUS TO GRAB SOME LUNCH AT BLUE TOPS AND IT WAS GREAT! MYLI WAS A GOOD GIRL AND MARK AND I SHARED A BURGER AND FRIES!
I DIDNT KNO HOW HONORED AND BLESSED WE WOULD BE AT OUR NEXT STOP. WE WENT TO THE ADDIS ABABA FISTULA HOSPITAL. THE HOSPITAL WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1974 AND THEY ARE DOING A MIRACULOUS WORK FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN OF ALL AGES. THEY SPECIALIZE IN TREATING THOSE WITH CHILDBIRTH INJURIES AND VICTIMS OF RAPE. PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO RESEARCH THIS SUBJECT AND FIND OUT WHAT GOD IS DOING FOR THESE WOMEN AND CHILDREN. IT IS TRULY AMAZING!!
AFTER RETURNING FROM OUR LONG DAY OF VISITS, WE HAD A NICE BBQ DINNER AT THE OUTSIDE DINING AREA AT THE HILTON.
P.S.- YOUR PRAYERS ARE WORKING, MYLI IS RECOVERING NICELY AND WE THINK SHE WILL BE READY FOR TAKEOFF ON SATURDAY.
MYLIAH HAS BEEN SICK SINCE WE PICKED HER UP AND WE DECIDED THAT SHE NEEDED TO SEE A DOCTOR FIRST THING SO WE CALLED THE HOTEL NURSE AND THE DR CAME TO OUR ROOM WITHIN THE HOUR. HE WAS WONDERFUL WITH MYLI AND CHECKED HER FROM HEAD TO TOE AND HE FOUND HER TO HAVE TWO EAR INFECTIONS, DOUBLE EYE INFECTIONS, UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTION AND SINUS INFECTION AND ALL OF THIS HAS CAUSED DIARRHEA CONTINUOUSLY. DR PRESCRIBED AND ANTIBIOTIC FOR THE EARS,SINUS,AND COUGH, ANTIBIOTIC EYE DROPS, AND SOME LEM-LEM WHICH IS A ORAL HYDRATION SALTS, MUCH LIKE PEDIALYTE IN THE STATES. THE DR TOOK HER PRESCRIPTIONS TO THE FRONT DESK AND WE RECEIVED ALL OF HER MEDS IN LESS THAN AN HOUR DELIVERED TO OUR ROOM!! NOW THAT'S SERVICE!! WE ARE PRAYING FOR A QUICK RECOVERY FOR THE FLIGHT HOME!
WEDNESDAY WAS ALSO OUR EMBASSY APPOINTMENT TO GET MYLI'S VISA. AFTER HAVING OUR BUS CHASED DOWN AND STOPPED BY ARMED SECURITY GUARDS, ONE OF OUR SWEET NEW FRIENDS MICHAEL WAS USHERED OFF OF OUR BUS BY SECURITY FOR VIDEO TAPING THE EMBASSY BUILDING, AFTER DELETING HIS FOOTAGE, WE MET UP AGAIN AND WERE USHERED INTO A SMALL SECURITY ROOM TO GO THROUGH METAL DETECTORS AND HAVE OUR BAGS SEARCHED, THEN WE WERE OFF TO A WAITING AREA OUTSIDE UNTIL WE WERE CALLED TO ANOTHER WAITING ROOM WHERE YOU WAIT TO BE CALLED UP TO SPEAK WITH AN OFFICIAL THROUGH A GLASS WINDOW. WE WERE ASKED A FEW QUESTIONS AND WERE APPROVED WITHOUT ANY DELAY. THAT WAS SUCH A GOOD FEELING AND WE ARE ALL CLEAR TO BRING OUR SWEET MYLI HOME WITH US!
SOME OF THE OTHER FAMILIES WERE NOT SO LUCKY B/C THEY WERE TOLD THAT THEY DID NOT NEED TO BRING TAX RETURNS AND IT TURNS OUT YOU DO TO COMPLETE THE PROCESS! SO AFTER MUCH FRUSTRATION AND SCRAMBLING TO GET TAX FORMS EMAILED AND/OR FAXED OVER, ALL OF THE OTHER FAMILIES RECEIVED THE GO AHEAD AND OUR BABIES ARE ALL COMING HOME!
WE HAD DINNER AT NEW YORK NEW YORK AND THE PIZZA WAS GREAT! THE RESTARAUNT WAS LOUD AND A BIT OVERWHELMING FOR ALL OF THE BABIES. WE SEEM TO BE RUNNING INTO LATE DINNERS AND THAT'S NOT SO GOOD WITH LITTLE ONES THAT ARE WORN OUT AND READY TO GO TO BED. I'LL SPARE YOU THE GORY DETAILS BUT MYLI DECIDED TO HAVE ANOTHER BLOWOUT RIGHT BEFORE LEAVING THE RESTARAUNT AND THERE WAS NOWHERE TO CHANGE HER SO SHE AND DADDY STUNK UP THE BUS ON THE RIDE BACK TO THE HILTON!! OH THE JOYS OF PARENTING BABIES. IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME AND THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT YOU FORGET ABOUT AND NOW I REMEMBER WHY!!!
HERE'S A QUICK RUN DOWN OF THE PICS, HOPE THEY SHOW UP!
MYLIAH AND GUARD FROM THE TRANSITIONAL HOME, SHOPPING EXCURSION, WHAT WE ATE FOR LUNCH AT ABESHA, INCUDES A BEFORE AND AFTER PICTURE. IT WAS QUITE TASTY THOUGH I WAS VERY HESITANT TO TRY IT, STILL NOT EXACTLY SURE WHAT IT ALL WAS BUT FROM WHAT WE WERE TOLD, IT WAS A SAMPLER PLATTER OF MEATS, CHEESES, VEGGIES THAT YOU USE INJERA TO SCOOP IT UP WITH. INJERA IS LIKE A PANCAKE ONLY ALOT MORE SPONGY AND SOUR AND IT COMES ROLLED UP. INJERA IS YOUR UTENSIL!
THE LAST PICTURE IS OF MARK AND MYLI CATCHING A LITTLE NAP ON ONE OF OUR OUTINGS
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Sorry about the updates or the lack of! We just realized today that I was e-mailing the wrong place! oopss!
So, anyways, here's a quick run down of our time so far!
The flights were pretty daunting just due to the length of them! We arrived in DC and the computers were down at ET Air so they were reticketing and boarding everyone by hand and we were the lucky ones to have only waited about 2.5 hours! At one point, the doors were closed and locked and we thought we were going to be in the Dulles airport for the night! After much prayer and pleading with the Man upstairs, we were given seats and took off an hour and a half late!
Good news is we made it and were off running to the transition home Monday morning to meet our sweet babies! What an amazing experience that was! Myliah was very apprehensive at first and cried a bit but we were able to walk around with her and feed her some cereal and rock her to sleep before leaving. I can't say enough about the staff at the home! They love the children as their own and it is very evident! Myliah's nanny was very helpful in showing us how to calm her crying and what noises she uses to soothe her! It was hard to leave her but knowing that the next day would be for forever was an amazing feeling!
This morning (Tuesday) we loaded up to go back to the home one last time. Myliah was sleeping when we got there so we asked her nanny to let her sleep and we took the next hour or so to play and hold the other babies and children at the home! (note to these families, i will try to email your pictures very soon!) All of the children are precious and love the attention!!
Myliah woke up and was changed and handed over to us by her nanny whose heart was visibly breaking! She watched our every move to make sure that we knew exactly what to do and then stood at a distance as Myliah became more familiar with us! There has been a huge change in that Monday, she was more comfortable with Mark and today she has totally taken to her mommy and even cries when I leave the room!
Saying goodbye to the nannies was very emotional for me! Several of the nannies were wiping their tears away as they kept kissing Mylliah goodbye for the last time! As we were walking out the gate, we were called back by one of the nannies and the Director because the guard wanted to say a special goodbye to Myliah. He said he was like her daddy and he loved her and it hurt to see her go! The flood gates were opened!!! She was so loved and it shows!!!!
We have had an awesome day with her! After saying our goodbyes, she has only cried maybe two times and she was just hungry! She is adjusting beautifully and is one of the most mellow babies I have ever been around! We all met for dinner and a paperwork party tonight and we got to meet Girmachew! All I have to say is that Girmachew and Bebe are two amazing men and work so very hard to make things happen on this end!! It's an eye opener to see what happens on this side of the world!
I think I have covered everything up to this point only leaving out some touring, shopping and paperwork drama but all is good and we are just so excited about having this sweet little girl in our lives! It has been an amazing journey and we have fallen in love with the people of Ethiopia and the culture here!
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