Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Update on the Boys!

Baby "D"


Taken on: December 6,2010
Weight: 10.6 kg
Height: 73 cm
Head Circumference: 48 cm


He eats well
He is healthy


He has good development
He can play by using different playing tools
He can climb to beds, kick balls push things etc

Personality/Other Comments:

He likes to be embraced
He is explorative


1. What is my child's sleeping schedule: Bed time/wake up time and routine? Nap time: what
time and how long? Does he lay down and go to sleep easily? Is he rocked? Does He cry it
out? Does he have a favorite blanket or lovey for bed?

 To fall sleep it will take time for him: He wake up at 6 am in the morning and bottle fed
and at four will have meal and at 12 am. After having meal (lunch),he will have nap till 3 pm
,when he wake up he will have bottle feeding and then go to sleep, then at 10 the nannies will
wake up him for bottle feeding

2. Is my child compliant or strong-willed? Does he hit, bite, kick, or throw a fit? How is discipline

 He is compliant most of the time as long as he is given enough attention otherwise he
may become resistance: he can hit, kick and throw well

3. Does he have a best friend he plays with? What is his favorite type of play / favorite toys?

 He doesn’t have a friend but he is highly attached to his caretakers (he needs to be
held close and embrace): his favorite types of playing tools are balls, cars and books with

4. How many teeth does he have? Are his teeth decayed? Does someone brush his teeth daily?

 He has 16 teeth 8 in upper jaw and 8 in lower jaw that are white and not decayed: his
teeth are not currently brushed but the caretakers are planning to

5. Does he like to be read to and rocked?

 He likes both but impossible to do it always 

G's update!


Taken on: December 12, 2010
Weight: 20 kg
Height: 118 cm
Head Circumference:


He eats well


His physical development is good to his age
He perform physical activities at school

Personality/Other Comments:

He is content and happy
He is understanding and caring


1. Does my child enjoy school? What is his favorite subject? Can he read? Write? What English words
does he know?

 He love school and he is below the average according to his teacher: he knows and can
write English alphabets, numbers, and call some pictures, he understands common instruction

3. When asking my child how does he answer a question about what he is most afraid of or worried

 He said nothing

4. Does he have a best friend he hangs with/plays with? What is his favorite type of play / favorite

 He doesn’t have but he plays with all children: he loves to play with car toys and football

5. Does my child have trouble going to bed? What is a normal bed time and wake up time?

 He has no problem his normal bed time : He wakes up at 6:30 am and will have breakfast from
7:00-8:00, from 9:00 – 10:30 will attend class then he will have break and snack for 30 minute ,
at 11:00 will back to class till 12:00, from 12:00-1:00 he will have lunch, 1:00-2:30 will have rest
and nap, 2:30 -4:00 outdoor play/ film, at 4 will have snack, playing till dinner time that is at
7:00 and will go to sleep at 7:30-8:00 in the evening


Monday, December 13, 2010

Getting Ready to Go! What's Coming, What's to Be Expected?

Well we are getting ready to go to Ethiopia!  5 weeks from today we will be in the air and heading that way.  I will say that I am not looking forward to the flights!  Wow!  22+ hours each way.  My back always hurts after a couple of hours on a plane...so, this should be fun!

We will leave on the 17th of January and court will be on the 24th.  Darren will remain in Ethiopia with us until the evening of the 26th.  I will be sad to see him go.  It's just so very far away from us :(  Our plan after that?

We are so excited to be staying with the Fortner's!  They are BBFI Missionaries to Ethiopia.  We were so excited when the offered for us to stay with them.  We have been told that our Embassy date should be March 2...unless we have paper problems, don't pass court the 1st time or any other thing that can happen with the courts.  So, as of now we will be staying until March 5 and flying out that evening...myself and 4 kids! Yes, that freaks me out a bit!  We are thinking that Darren will fly to Frankfurt, Germany and meet us for the 2nd flight home and for customs.  I will need support at that point, I believe!

The end of February we will probably stay that last week with the Dyson's...also BBFI Missionaries to Ethiopia, (the Fortner's have a group from their church coming in that week).  We are just excited to get to know both the Fortner's and Dyson's, get to know the culture of our boys and serve on the mission field of where our boys were born! 

For the 1st couple of weeks after court we plan on having the boys remain in the Transition Home they are in now with our agency.  They are in great hands and are being well taken care of.  The reason for leaving them there?  As hard as it will be...we want "G" to have time to get to know us and for us to get to know him.  We just think going and visiting over those weeks will be so good for all of us.  We want him to build some trust with us before we take him to stay with us.  After that...we will see when...but, we will have the boys, if healthy, come and stay with us.  We want to make sure they are healthy so the Fortner's or the Dyson's little guys don't catch anything that could be hard to recover from.

So, we are packing for 2 months in Ethiopia.  We know we have to take enough clothes for the time there... and have enough while the others are drying on the line, etc.  It's a big undertaking packing for all of us & 2 boy's we've never met.  We do have adoptee friends there now who will be tracing our boy's feet so we can find out their shoe sizes.  We really want them to have comfy shoes when they come home.  The difference with making the normal 2 trips and only making 1 is these types of things.  Not seeing our boys for ourselves and "sizing" them up, etc.  It makes it a bit more difficult for sure.  Also...having to pack a lot more because of the stay and we're packing for 2 more and having to have bottles, diapers, etc.!

Once we are home:

I was reading another adoption mom's blog and I loved what she said...I'm gonna' use part of what she said and insert my own plans...but, I wanted to give her credit for her great words to the experience and what is to come once we are home!  I'll share that in just a second!

1st of all I want to say...I will post our return flights and I hope that all of you here in the Springfield area will come and greet the boys at the airport, (many have asked if we will post so they can come...and yes, we will)!  I think this will be awesome for them.  It's great for them to see just how loved and wanted they are!!!  What a great celebration!  Signs in Amharic, (researching can be fun), welcoming the boy's will be great!!!!  We will also be able to post the boy's names after court so you can put them on signs also!

What else...meals.  Some have asked about meals!  D. Parker used an online meal calendar when they brought Ronel home from Haiti.  I have told some that I think that will be the best for friends wanting to bring us meals for the 1st couple of weeks after we are home, (we will be cocooned in our home for several weeks...that is the info. I'm typing about next).  Meals will be awesome after jet lag and trying to help the boys adjust to the time difference and just our new norm...thanks for those who have asked!  Here's the sight: http://mealbaby.com/  If anyone wants to organize it and be in charge of setting it up...that would be great! Let me know and we can post that on my facebook page and tell others as the time gets closer (I think this will help since there are church friends, other friends, and co-op friends...it's a great way to plan with so many different friends who don't know each other).

Moving on:  Here's where part of my adoption friends blog will come in!

Our at home plans:

America is so rich compared to Ethiopia.  And yet in some ways Ethiopian mothers may know more about what babies need than we Americans do.  We in America focus so much on getting babies independent.  If an American mom carried a baby as much as Ethiopian moms do, people would probably tell her she was spoiling her child.  The pressure on American babies is always to grow up faster.
When groups of American mothers get chatting, talk can sometimes sound like a competition.  The faster a baby sleeps all night, loses the binky, gets rid of the bottle, walks alone, soothes himself to sleep, the more competent a mother is seen, (personally...I see a lot of it as selfishness...and wanting "me" time...so, the baby needs to do it for "me"...it's what "I" want, I have a life besides this baby).  The push is always towards independence and maturity.  I think this push is sad--it robs babies of the chance to simply be babies.  But especially it is sad for newly adopted infants and toddlers, because it is exactly the opposite of what a newly arrived adopted child really needs to become well attached.  It is a wise parent who resists the pressure, and simply allows the baby to be a baby.

Here are six simple things you can do every day to help your new child become well attached.

1.  CARRY your child on your hip or in a baby carrier as much as possible each day.
2.  ROCK your child several times a day, very close and cuddly.  A child newly home may resist at first.  You may have to rock facing outward for a few days.  But gradually work towards a face-to-face intimate cuddle.  And a bottle or two a day during rocking time is great, even for toddlers.
3.  FEED him at mealtime.  Even preschoolers can get little morsels from your hand every now and then during a meal.  In fact, in Ethiopia, feeding each other choice bites is something Ethiopian adults do quite often.
4.  SLEEP or nap with your child if you feel comfortable doing so.  Some parents bring a child into their bed.  Others lay a big mattress on the floor of the child's room and lie with the child to get him to sleep, then sneak off to their own bed once the child is asleep.
5.  PLAY on the floor with him.  Play this-little-piggie or peekaboo.  Roll a ball back and forth.  Play chase.  make dolls talk to each other.  Look at story books together.  Build block towers and laugh together when your baby knocks them down.
6.  LAUGH and be silly with your child every day!  Laughter has tremendous healing power.  Tickle him, dance with him, be goofy and have fun!

So here is the plan (much information for us has came from online courses we have been required to take, from adopting the older child books, and adoption books in general, along with suggestions from who we are working with and other adoption families):

1.  We'll be on lockdown for the first 2-3 weeks.  We won't be inviting people to come over to see the boy's (although we will be posting photos, etc. for you).  Even meals being dropped off will have to be a quick thing at the door...we will be so appreciative though!  Family visits will even be short...an introduction and then back to our immediate family.

2.  In an effort to maintain routines, we won't be as quick to answer the phone (or the door) for awhile.  Kinda' like my norm when homeschooling during the day...I try to stay off the phone! That's a good habit to break anyway!  We'll need to focus not only on the boys, but on our other kids as well.  

3.  We won't be going out much, especially to events with lots of poeple, noise and stimuli, for 2-3 months.  This means birthday parties, church, the mall and other functions, (it's gonna be so hard...but, it's needed).  It doesn't mean indoors all the time, but we have to pick and choose our outings carefully.  Again, predictability and comfort are important here.  We'll ease back into the craziness soon enough.

4.  We will need to be the only people holding Baby "D" for the first few months.  This might be the hardest one, as it's typically the most natural way to bring family and friends into the life of your child.  However, this is also one of the most critical aspects of bonding and attachment and it's important not to confuse that process.  Think about that our boys have had many care givers, they have felt abandoned and they don't know who is taking care of them and will they be there tomorrow?  They seek attention from whoever will give it to them and as of now will go to anyone who will show them affection. Because of this we want them to attach to us as their caregivers as their parents...and they have to know that "we are it". So, bear with us because they will have a lifetime of loving you.  We don't know how long this process will take...we may have to extend these times if we feel like we need more time for the bonding process.

5. "D" will be taking a bottle...so, "don't freak out" :) This will probably continue until he is 2.  Why? Malnutrition for one.  He needs the nutrients.  2nd, it's a GREAT time for us to bond with him.  He has to rely on us and spend that one on one time with us.  Yes, he is eating table food as well!   

6.  Another tidbit: They might be sleeping with us, or in the same room...who knows (it depends on what they need).  Our kids do that now...a lot less than they use to, (they seem to venture in...or dad is traveling and they want to slumber party, or they just want to camp out).  We will play it by ear.  I'm excited to bond and snuggle with our kids.  You know...we are one of the very few countries who have huge homes and many bedrooms.  I saw that in Norway...all of these wealthy families still have small apartments and little bitty bedrooms (or they all sleep in the living room together).  If you think back to bible times...I'm sure they didn't have 5 bedroom tents, lol...and for sure my grandparents didn't.  And they still managed to have multiple children without all the privacy, and had long, long marriages and were happy!  Imagine that!  If we were raised anywhere else in the world...there's a chance we would be sharing a small one room hut with our families...it's all good, it all works!!!

For some of you, these steps seem natural and understandable.  For others, it feels like you are being shut out from someone you have been supporting, praying for and looking forward to meeting.  Please trust us in this process and know that all of you are very important parts of the friends that love us and love our children. You are a huge part of our lives...so, please support us with prayer :)

Please pray for us.  This will all be new, beautiful, wonderful, but also inconvenient, awkward, difficult, and stressful too.  We have to remember however that it would be silly to bring them home and not work on the important parts of making us a family.  I know we would reap so many things later if we just "didn't do it".  I'd rather it be a bit tough now then really, really tough later on down the line.  It's so important to establish this family now...

We are so excited!  I'm a bit scared.  Our lives are about to change.  I'm about to become a mom of 4.  I will be boarding a plane with 3 sons and a daughter.  That's a bit wild, huh?!  We know that God has totally orchestrated this whole thing...and we know He will continue.  He had this planned way back before I was even knitted in my birth mother's womb. :)  He's got this...and I'm gonna' trust Him!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Boy's Monthly Update!

Boy's Monthly Update!

It's so awesome to get an update on the boy's.  It doesn't replace holding them...but, it helps us learn a little more about them.  Many things this time made me laugh (about Baby D)...and a few things broke my heart.  Here is some of the update:

Baby D:

Measurements: He now weighs: 22.9 pounds

Eating/health: He takes 5-6 ounces of formula seven times per day. He eats solid foods like porridge, pasta, macaroni, rice, injera, vegetables, fruit juices, etc. (I was a bit surprised that he was taking a bottle...wasn't planning on taking bottles with us...but, I totally understand the malnutrition issues and that it is very much needed.  This will give us a great time to bond with him for sure).

Development/physical: He has good physical development appropriate to his age. He is babbling much.

Personality/Other Comments: He is very active and restless. He is lovable. He seeks the attention of adults all the time. He is highly explorative.

We get to ask 5 questions per month and the staff at the THome will answer those questions.  Here is some of the questions and answers:

Does he know his name and respond to it? He knows his name and responds very well when he is called.

Is he fussy? What seems to trigger unhappiness? How is he comforted? He is happy usually. Things that makes him unhappy: being jealous of looking at other children hug or when he is forced to stop climbing to the window or trying to get out of the room. He is comforted when he is held close, when he gets attention, and when someone plays with him.

G's update:

Measurements:  45.3 lbs.

Eating/health: He eats well. He had an accidental fall and had a small laceration on his scalp. It was treated.

Development/physical: He is doing fine in his physical and social development. He has progressed in school.

Personality/Other Comments: He is happy. He is moderately active. He can play in collaboration with other kids. He tries to create social interaction.

One of the 5 questions we were allowed to ask:

What foods does he eat? What is a normal serving size? Is he a good eater? He eats all kinds food like Injera, bread, meat, fish, vegetables, fruits etc. Concerning the serving size, a reasonable amount of food will be offered for all the children, then they can ask for more until they are satisfied.

G also said in one of the questions that He wanted to know, "When we were coming to see him."  I know that this loooong unusual wait is hard on him.  I'm sure he wonders if "it's real".  If we are really coming.  Sigghh.

Please keep praying for us and all the many others that are going through this wait.  It is tough.  I've explained it as giving birth to your baby and never seeing him and then him being whisked away to another country and you are waiting for the courts to give you a date to go and hold them.  Birth or Adoption...I've did both. There's no difference.  With one you give birth physically...with the other you give birth in your heart.  I could never imagine giving birth to Corbin or Lauren and not being able to see them/hold them for 3 + months.  All in God's timing, all in God's timing :)

We're excited to bring our HenderSON's HOME!