Monday, January 31, 2011

 January 31
I have learned how to make coffee on the stove. It is strong with some grains and “syrup” left in the bottom of the cup...yum! If I don't make it...Blake has left me a cup every morning to heat up! I love my morning coffee!!

We went out to eat at the Family Restaurant for lunch. Eating lunch out is pretty cheap and easier than eating at home. There isn't your “typical” lunch things available in Ethiopia. No real lunch meat,etc.!

After lunch we were dropped off to see the boys. We were dropped off early to see the boys and D had not went down for his nap yet. YAY! When they told him Mommy was here he came running from the back of the room and laughed and jumped into my arms. Does a mom good :) Lauren took him to the Merry Go Round and he was so tired. He wanted me right there when she pushed him around (she set on his seat with him)...he slowly started to drift off to sleep. It was so cute.
We had Corbin watch him for a few minutes while Lauren and I went down to get G at the other Thome. We picked him up and walked him back up to the main THome. When we got there he started playing his leapster and Lauren and I took D back to the Merry Go Round. He did finally drift off and I picked him up and he layed on my shoulder and fell asleep...precious. I love that he feels comfortable with me and can fall asleep in my arms. We took him to the couch and layed him down. He was out!

Later the Embassy group showed up to get their was nice having them there. It got a bit wild with them and when the older kids showed up for their school/play time. It's always chaos when they come :) I enjoyed having “friends” to hang with!!!
G is still having problems with pouting if we put his game away. Today it was all about pouting because Corbin & Lauren had their games and he wanted theirs instead of his. Oh, the drama. He's just going to have to learn. He even sat on the step with his friends and spoke in Amharic and the only word I could understand in his grumbly voice was...”Mommy”. LOL!!! I think he was letting his friends know what he thought of my decision.

D did good today when I had to give him back to the Nannies. G did better when I sent him back to his Thome with his friends instead of walking him down. He didn't get so sad.

Lauren had such a hard time today with missing dad...lots of tears...siggh. I miss him too.

January 30

Today Corbin is not feeling great. He has had a sore throat and it continues this morning. We are staying home from church :(

Our time at home was good. We lounged in bed and just relaxed all day. Blake and Meagan didn't get home until after 2:30. We watched a lot of movies and just hung out together. I can't wait to go see the boys tomorrow.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

January 29

My Devotion this morning...”Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible. --Corrie ten Boom What is impossible with men is possible with God. Luke 18:27
In my devotion it says: “You long for an escape of a soothing bath of a cappuccino that hasn't grown cold, but there isn't time for that (or it's not the norm in Africa). God knows all about what you are facing this week, and he cares. Think about what you know is true about him. He is powerful. He is consistent. That applies to his words and his actions: What he says, he will do—powerfully.
Now trust his words and put yourself into God's loving arms. Mary did. Say as she did, “I am your daughter who longs to serve you. I trust your words. Do your work, for I have confidence that it is good.”
Here are two of God's powerful assurances from the Bible: He will be with you, and he will not leave you. Believe them. They're for you.”
Lord...I'm gonna believe that you have me on this journey for a bigger reason than I can see. I pray that I make you proud. I pray that you guide me and show me what you want me to see.

We got up this morning and had Banana pancakes that Blake made and then the girls went to a Bizarre at IEC. I found a cute blanket for D and some scarves for Lauren and me and then Lauren got a purse and wallet. After that we did some grocery shopping and met the guys for lunch. We stopped for more groceries on the way home and got some soft serve ice cream...really good. I miss the boys today and can't wait to go see them :) Tonight the Dyson's came over and we had dinner and then played PIT. We had a great night and then we headed to bed.

Friday, January 28, 2011

January 28

I never thought that I would have such mixed feelings about my life, my self and everything going on at this time. The view out my window is beautiful...mountains and hillsides. We are about 1,000 ft. higher than Denver and it really is a site from the Fortner's home.
Last night we went Hyena watching...lots of laughs and fun looking for little green eyes...we did spot some.

My feelings...I don't even like to touch them right now...(I know it's a mixture of sickness, worry, and missing Darren and home). This is not even what I expected it would be like. I guess I thought...”Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows...” you know how the song goes. Instead I've been recovering from being sick...and am worried because Corbin has not felt great and praying he or Lauren does not get sick. I feel like the “hand wipes” patrol...but, I'm so concerned about health. Sigh. Missionaries do this all the time and bring their children. Would I cut it moving here? Possibly if Darren was here...okay here are the tears again.

I never thought I would miss him so much. It's stressful with him not's stressful with going to visit the boys...G got so sad when we had to leave and hours at the Thome w/out anyone who speaks English and eyes on us just seems so weird. It's like visiting your kids at a detention center or something where they aren't allowed to leave. Sigh again.
So, today...I decided to stay “home”...oh, how I miss my home. Don't get me wrong. Blake and Meagan's house is WONDERFUL and they are super great and fun! But, it's not's not all of us together under one roof. I'm gonna' work on taking this all day by day...I know one day this will just be something we are talking about and it will be but a distant memory. Right's a bit tough.

I just don't like the feelings creeping in about, “Have we made the right decision?”. It was God's calling and God's decision and so I know it's right. These boys need a home, our home...and God chose us before I was even in my mother's womb. I know once we are under one roof and in our will feel right. Right now it's all a bit scary, a lot different, and overwhelming.

God never said that the path He chooses will be easy. I can't imagine how Paul felt being in prisons over and over and He still praised His Savior. I want to praise my Lord as well and I'm gonna! I have to snap out of it and toughen up! I have to count it all joy and remember to enjoy the journey and not stress!!!

The Evening: Things are looking up...I'm sure it will be a roller coaster. What a fun night! We played hands down and enjoyed the evening together. We also got to skype Darren on his cell phone and talk to him...J O Y!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

January 24-26

Darren woke up not feeling well.  I pray he gets better.  Today is court. These few days have been a blur.  Darren was sick...thank goodness someone gave him cipro.  We did not pass court :(
Darren had to say goodbye to the boys...G had a horrible time with this...I had to climb out of the van and go and hold him on the curb.  He already loves his daddy.
We moved all of our things to the Fortner's.
I ended up very sick...again...thank the Lord for those who left us their cipro...I needed it.  How can Darren be leaving when I am sick.  I have cried all evening with the thoughts of him leaving and me not feeling's not a good combination.
Seeing him walk out the door was about the worst.  I've never been so far away from him for so long...and really sick.  Lord, give me strength.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

January 23

Today we went to church at the International Evangelical Church. The Pastor is Southern Baptist and he speaks in English. The church had about 30 different nationalities all under one roof. It was a GREAT service.
After church we ate at Island Breeze restaurant. This restaurant is ran by the Fortner's friends. The ones who run it are from America...the food is really good!
After lunch we went to see the boys again...I love them so much.

January 22

Today we are touring the Holy Trinity Church. It was very interesting and pretty. We also went to a museum and learned a lot about Ethiopia. We saw a lot of crowns and things like that.

We ate at the Family Restaurant today and then we went to see the boys.
Every day is more and more precious...we are seeing their personalities come's so incredible.

Friday, January 21, 2011

January 21

Today we were going to go visit 2 Orphanages. We went to Kingdom Vision. This orphanage is the one that we were told of all of their needs. Much supplies was delivered here. We had about an hour and a half to play with and hold babies. Darren and Corbin spent time playing soccer with an older child and Lauren and I even joined in. We really enjoyed handing out toys to all of the children and having a chance to love on so many.
Next we went to Kids Care. This is the orphanage that our boys were brought too. There wasn't as many kids to love on...a lot were in school. While there we had a Traditional Tea Ceremony and popcorn. The coffee served is super strong and super good.
After this we went and had lunch at Blue Tops Restaurant and then went to the Transition Home.
I LOVE spending time with my boys. D is attaching more every day. He runs to me and wants me more than the rest of the family...I will not's pretty cute. Today he threw a fit when I took him back to his room and his nannies. It was sad to see him throw himself on the floor...but, it made me feel pretty good to know how much he wants me :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

January 20

Lauren woke up this morning and was quite sick (throwing up). Oh, Lord please let it be nothing serious. Darren sent Corbin and I ahead to go shopping and to lunch. If they are feeling better...the driver will pick them up for the transition home. I don't see this happening...she was really not doing well.
Shopping was good. It was so hard having so many kids come up that were begging. Oh, why is there so many street kids? It just breaks me. It's just not right. We did manage to pick up several souvenirs. I purchased 2 Ethiopian key chains for when the boys turn 16. I also purchased 2 metal crosses for the boys weddings one day, a scarf to use as a table runner, a nativity made of wood and a few things for myself. We will be getting an Amharic bible and some coffee before we leave. I was glad for others who traveled before us mentioning making a list of things to buy for the boy's future and for helped a lot.

We went to Lucy's Restaurant for lunch. Surprisingly we found out that Darren and Lauren were coming to lunch. We believe she just had altitude sickness. The food was great and Lauren scarfed down her stir-fry and loved it.

After lunch we were off to the Thome again. Today we did Photo Releases and gave out care packages. It was a highlight to love on others children :) The moments that stand out from this time is one of the Grant boy's repeating after Lauren, “Mommy, Daddy, Sister, Sister, Sister, Sister.” Over and over. And then one other sweet little girl so excited to see photos of her Mommy and Daddy and she was a “wild child”...yelling, “MOMMY, DADDY!” It's so awesome knowing these kids have homes!!! Melts my heart to see their excitement.

D was asleep when we got to the TH and so we hung out with G. It was a good day. We just all wished that our babies would wake up sooner...just not enough time with them. Words G has said, “Mommy, may I please?” “Mommy, will you color with me?” Sister, Brother, Daddy. He is doing quite well. What we have noticed is he seems to loose focus of us...frustrated Lauren a bit, “He's not playing with us.” I had to remind her that this is his turf, his home, his friends...we are new. When he's home it will be very different. He sees a friend or thinks of something he wants to do...and he goes!

Tonight we went to the Ethiopian Traditional Dinner at Habesha 2000 Restaurant. It was so awesome to experience the Traditional Food of Ethiopia and to watch some Traditional dances. It was a late night however and Lauren fell asleep and Corbin was exhausted.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January 19

We landed in Ethiopia around 5:30 am and made it to our Guest House around 6:00ish. We were exhausted but we only had time to shower and get ready for our 1st day.
We went downstairs and joined others from our group for Breakfast. The Breakfasts were really good at the Guest House.

Today we went to eat at Makush Restaurant and then it was time to go to the Thome to meet our boys.
How exciting. Lunch was a blur because we just wanted to “hurry up” and get there already. When we arrived at the Transition Home we were told we would meet our kids in alphabetical order of families. It was so emotional watching our new friends meet their kids for the 1st time. Overwhelming for sure. I was already crying for them and their “Meetcha' Day” then it was our time.

It was surreal. I had seen the videos and the photos of “The Porch” so many times...were we really standing there staring at this closed door? Behind it was our children really there? When the door opened and G came running out and almost plowed me off of the was AMAZING. Him running into my arms with no hesitation was the most awesome thing ever. You could tell how much he had been waiting, dreaming of this day.
After holding him I looked up and there was little “D”. He is just the most beautiful sweet baby. Everyone says that he is a gentleman...that he is! I love my new sons!!!
For the next 3 hrs. we played with our kids and got to know them. Saying goodbye was quite hard.

Monday, January 17, 2011

January 16 -18

Continuation from the last Post: 

Right before bed around 9:00 we got a text that said that our flight had been canceled. They had rescheduled us for the afternoon which changed all of our flights. There was weather in Chicago that was causing the problems. We really wanted to get into Ethiopia on Tuesday night so that we could get a good nights rest and be fresh to go meet our boys. Darren got on the phone with United to see if there was any other options. Between 11:00 and Midnight they said that we could fly out on the 6:00 am flight so we could get into Chicago before the weather started. That meant only about 2 hours of sleep.

So we were up at 3:00 am, the kids were a bit surprised, getting ready to head to the Springfield Airport. Excitement was keeping us awake. We had an uneventful flight and made it to Chicago. Snowy Chicago. Our flight out of Chicago was not scheduled to leave until late afternoon. That meant hours at the airport. We ate breakfast, played some games, ate lunch and did a lot of waiting. Finally we got on our flight. We were off to Frankfurt...about a 9 hour flight. The flight went well.
In Frankfurt we had about a 5 hour layover. By this time Corbin & Lauren were exhausted and so we found an area for them to lay down. Actually mom laid down for a bit also. We were off 1st thing in the morning on our Lufthansa flight...which was evening for us!

About 2 hours into our flight to Ethiopia we were being served our meals and all of a sudden the flight attendants came through telling us we were going to have to make an emergency landing in Croatia. They started pulling all of our trays and taking drinks out of peoples hands. Everyone asked what was wrong and they would not say. After circling over the Adriatic sea for about a half hour dumping all of our fuel we landed in Croatia. The pilot told us they thought there was a fire but, it was just the air conditioning, (later we read that 2 of our 3 engines blew). They decided not to fly us on and we waited for about 6 hours for them to bring another plane from Frankfurt. So, much for getting in in the evening and getting a good nights sleep. Most of us laid down on hard seats and slept. When I got up from sleeping my back gave out...muscle spasms and a lot of pain. I didn't know if I would be able to even walk to the plane. I took a muscle relaxer and had a man help me with my carry on (Darren & the kids already had their hands full). I made it on the plane and the flight attendants gave me a seat in Business Class so I could rest my back. My back actually did get much better by the end of the flight...I was thankful for a seat that reclined so my back could rest.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Finally it's here!

I can hardly believe that in the morning we will be heading to Ethiopia!!!  In 3 days we will be hugging our boys for the 1st time.

We will be leaving from Springfield Airport Monday morning and flying to Chicago (please pray for the weather...there is gonna' be snow in Chicago).  From Chicago we leave Monday afternoon for Frankfurt, Germany and then on to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  We will get there Tuesday evening (Tuesday morning in the USA).

Once we get there we will be able to skip the line for Visa's because we got a 2-year visa.  We will head to baggage claim and look for our AWAA representative to pick us up!  We will get our bags (all 11 plus carry on's) and head to our Guest House.  We will be staying at the Yebsabi  guest house.
The guest house looks really nice!  We will stay there until the 25th of January. 

We will get there in the evening and hopefully be tired enough to go to bed (9 hour time difference).  The next day (the 19th) we will go to AWAA Transition Home and meet our sweet boys!!!  I can't wait to drive through the gates and stand on the all to familiar porch and have our boys brought out to us...WOW!

Our court date is the 24th which is overnight the 23rd for all of you!  Please pray that our court date goes well.  We are already approved to adopt.  They just need our consent and in order to pass they need a letter from MOWA (Ministry of Womens Affairs).  Right now, MOWA is very hit or miss in writing these letters.  Sometimes they are there...sometimes they are not.  We right now are planning on not passing court the 1st time...but, are praying that we do.  If we do not pass the 1st time they will re-schedule a court date (we do not have to be at) and will see if the letter is there then.  Once we pass court we will wait for an Embassy date.

Embassy:  The Embassy date is when we will get the boy's passports and visa's.  If we pass court on the 24th it could be within 3 weeks.  If we don''s up in the air.  AWAA has given us a tentative date of March 2 for our Embassy date.  We have tickets booked to leave ET March 5 and arrive home the evening of March 6.  But, all of that is up in the air as of now.  Please pray that if we have to change tickets that there will not be a huge increase in price for our tickets!

On the 25th of January Darren will help us move all of our stuff to the Fortner's home (BBFI Missionaries in Ethiopia).  We are so thankful for this sweet family.  We are excited to get to know them better when we are there.  This will be our home while there!!!  We also might spend a few nights with the Dyson's towards the end...the Fortner's have a group from their church coming in the last part of February!  The Dyson's are also BBFI Missionaries and live very close to the Fortner's...we will be hanging out with them a lot while there!!!

Blake, Meagan and Ben!

The Dyson's

Darren will fly home on January 26th and the kids and I will remain in ET!  Depending on when we pass court will decide when we bring our 2 boy's to stay with us.  We want at least a week or 2 of just visiting them so they get used to us.  We think it will be the best for all of us.  Then if we've passed court and we feel it's ready we will bring them to stay with us at our friends home. This will be all too exciting!!!! :)'

From the 15th of February to the 18th Darren's sister, Shelly, will be stopping in Addis to see us.  She is heading back to the states from her home in Tanzania and will have a layover in Addis to hang with her niece and 3 nephews!!  This will be a great is always good!!!

Aunt Shelly

Please pray for us as we remain in Ethiopia without Darren.  Being apart from him will be hard!  But, we are excited for this African adventure and getting to know our boys/brothers!!!  The kids are just so excited!  Darren plans to fly to Germany and fly the rest of the way home with us...this will help tremendously!!! 

I will be having Darren update our blog while we are gone.  So, check back often and see what we are up to in Ethiopia!  We hope to update you as to when we will be flying in...we are excited to have an airport gathering for our boys!!!  It will be great for them to see how welcomed they are!!!  We'll let you know when!

Things you can pray for:

1.  Safe flights and no major delays.
2.  No sickness.
3. Our court date...pray on the 23rd...because we will be at court while you are sleeping!  Pray that our letter is there and that we pass the 1st time.
4.  Our stay away from Darren and Darren's safe return home.
5.  Our time bonding with these incredible boys!
6.  Darren' flight to Germany to meet us and that that will work out.
7.  Our flight home with a not quite 2 year old...YIKES! lol!
8.  All of us adjusting.

Thanks for all of the support and love.  Thanks for all of the prayers and tears.  Thank you, Thank you!!!