Sunday, January 30, 2011

Support Adoption!

Back when we first started the adoption process, we were invited to an Ethiopian restaurant in Oklahoma City called the Queen of Sheba. Once a month, a group of families from the Oklahoma City area who have adopted or are in the process of adopting get together.  We have loved being able to go and meet other families who are or have been in the same shoes that we are in.  We also love the fact that Tate will grow up having friends from Ethiopia!:)

A few weeks ago, we went back to the Queen for the first time since we have brought Tate home. It was so neat to be able to introduce everyone to Tate!  We were also very excited to  meet a lot of new families in the adoption process!  These families are so much fun and are doing a lot of great fundraisers to help with their adoption expenses!

The Andrews' are "Recycling Love" highlighting many adoptive families until February the 18th and helping them raise money by selling some really great t-shirts.  Families earn $10 for every t-shirt sold!  We were able to meet the Linck's, Habuda's and Ellis' at the Queen! So check it out and buy a shirt!

 The Linck's are also making some yummy cupcakes for Valentine's Day.  We ordered some of the red velvet and they were delicious!

The Ellis's also have a really cute etsy store!  Clutches, key rings, coozies, t-shirts, and some other super cute stuff!  You must go check it out! I ordered Tate the robot shirt for Valentine's Day!  I can't wait to see him in it!

We also got to meet Lindsay and Brian who have some really great fundraising stuff going on!  Lindsay also has an etsy store where she is selling some adorable scarfs and headbands!  They are also selling some opened eyes t-shirts but you better hurry! The deadline to order those is tomorrow! My friend Laura already ordered hers! (Laura, you are the best!) 

Please go and check out these blogs and support their adoptions! 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My new favorite book....

Sunday was baby Sunday at our church.  I can remember last year seeing all the new babies and thinking about how we would be up there the next year!  I love those full circle moments.

As a gift,  the children's minister gave Tate a Bible and the book, God Found Us You.

Now I have seen and heard about this book a couple of times, just never got around to getting it. Tonight I read the book to Tate before bedtime.  Let me just say that I should not have read this to Tate without reading it first.  Tate even laughed at me a couple of time when my voice went up a couple of octaves as I tried to fight back the tears, unsuccessfully I might add.

If you are an adoptive parent or soon to be adoptive parent, you must get this book.

It really took back to all those emotions that you go through during the process.

"I started seeing you everywhere, in the leaves of the giant oak in the bark of the pine.  Even in the stars!  How I longed for the day that you would arrive, when God would  find us you."

  I was talking to Jennifer yesterday who is in the paperwork stage of their Ethiopian adoption when she delivered some of her oh so yummy cupcakes. We were talking about the wait and about how sometimes it does feel like the wait will last forever. 

"No matter how much I prayed it would happen, I still had to wait."
"You waited and waited and waited?"
"And waited.  But I knew that someday you'd arrive when God would find us you."

I rocked Tate to sleep with tears in my eyes.  I remember thinking on some days that he would never get here.  I would imagine a little boy's toys all over the place, his laughter filling the house, and it just felt like a dream. 

But tonight I sat there with a little Ethiopian boy in my arms and as he sucked on his little fingers and patted my arm, I knew it was not a dream.  I pray that I NEVER forget that longing we experienced as we waited because as we were waiting God found us him. 

"When God found us made me the happiest mama in the world."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bath Time = Fun Time!

  Tate LOVES bath time. 

When we walk into the bathroom and pull back the shower curtain, he starts laughing and trying to wiggle out of our arms. 

We have to wrestle with him in order to take off his clothes as he continually lunges for the water.  When we finally get him in, he squeals and splashes up a storm. 

He loves the water! 

He will stick his face in it and blow bubbles and loves it when it's hair washing day which means we pour water on his head.

We've learned our lesson about how to end bath time.  Instead of just taking him out, which use to cause him to cry, we have learned to drain the water.  The only thing is that when he realizes the water is going down he he sticks his face in it until he can't reach it anymore. 

What a funny little guy!

"Okay Mom, no more pictures!":)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ethiopia- Part One: On Our Way!

It is so hard for me to believe that it was over 3 months ago that we were beginning our trip to Ethiopia!  In some ways, it feels like it was yesterday. 

Our flight left Oklahoma City at 1:15 pm  on October 8, 2010 via Delta with our first stop in Atlanta.  My plan was to be completely packed and ready to go by 2pm on the 7th.   Well, needless to say, that did not happen.   We had been "packing"  for the past 3 weeks.  By "packing"I mean throwing everything that we think we may possibnly need for a 3-6 week stay in a foreign country into our spare bedroom.  Packing was something that  had really intimidated me.  I had read my packet from Gladney telling us what to take and I had printed off every list and suggestion from blogland.  I just felt like I was out of my league.  I will admit I had 2 meltdowns that day.  One becasue I was so unsue of what to take for Tate to eat, that I was sure he was going to starve.  The other, I had bought over 300 size 3 daipers to take and we got an update from Gladney at 4pm that said he was wearing size 4's.  So he had to make a last minute stop to exchange diapers.  (Come to find out, 3's would have worked.)

When we woke up travel morning, it felt like Christmas.  Brian and I just sat in the living room trying to wrap out brains around the fact that it would be the last time our house would only have 2 people living there.   We left for the airport 3 hours early, which was a good thing too because we had to turn around twice because I left my iphone and then camera cord.:)

 We ended up taking 5 bags, 2 backpacks, and 2 small carry-ons.  We did have to pay $250 for the extra bag, but I have no idea how we could have downsized.  We ended up staying for 5 weeks, but prepared for 6.

We checked our bags, said our goodbye's, and got through security in about 30 minutes

Brian even got a little nap in while getting creative with the travel pillows!

Our plane took off and we were on our way. First stop Atalanta, then Amsterdam, then Ethiopia!
We were lucky in the fact that our trip went smoothly and quickly. We slept a lot and watched a lot of movies.  We kept commenting on the fact that on the way home we would have a son, and we had no idea where he was going to fit!

We landed in Ethiopia after midnight on the 10th of October. We got through the visa line where we were denied a 60 day visa, so we would have to renew that later.  We grabbed our bags and found our driver, Hennock, waiting for us. Hennock was also the owner of the BNB guesthouse where we stayed which was actually very convenient for us.  He took us straight to the guesthouse.  The BNB is located about 5 minutes from the Gladney care center.  The first week we stayed in the larger apartment until the Lovin's and Capps' arrived.  There were two rooms, a kitchen, a bathroom with shower, and a large living room/dining room area.  There was actually a  lot more room than I had expected.

We settled in and went to bed.  Trying to sleep knowing that your son is only 5 minutes from where you are  was difficult!