Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Days!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
We hope that your family had a wonderful holiday. Diesel celebrated this holiday with eating the paper and being dazzeled by the bows. It was so much fun watching him as he didn't care about the present, but rather waited for the paper to be thrown off. He loves crinkly paper. This Christmas he was able to open a drum, a tamborine, a doll, a shopping cart cover, diapers and formula. It was a good haul for him.




This week we have off and Diesel has been enjoying time between daycare and home. We really enjoy the extra time that we get to spend with him during our time off.
He went to the doctor's on Monday and he is now on the growth chart for head circmference, but tettering on the edge of the 5th percentile for length and weight. He has made leaps and bounds improvement since he has been home. He now weighs 16.5 lbs and is 25 inches tall. He got 4 shots and spent Tuesday cuddled close to mama and the tylenol bottle. Poor boy :(

We hope that everyone has a great day and Diesel's off to play with his friends.

- Isaac if you read this, Diesel can't wait for you to come and play :)


Diesel wishes you a rockin' 2009!














Friday, December 5, 2008

Diesel's busy week


Our little one experienced snow for the first time a few days ago. We bundled him up and took him out for about 3.2 seconds. I wonder later what he will think of the white sutff that falls from the sky. (I am still wondering about it too, being a central California girl I am still not accustomed to the cold Missouri weather.)
Adam can't wait for it to snow, he loves the slippery, slushy white mess and can't wait to drive around in it. I don't understand that maddness :)

Diesel was very helpful hanging ornaments on our charlie brown looking tree. Each year my grandparents have given me a ornament, so we have a nice little collection to hang each year. Diesel has one ornament from a teacher friend of ours, but I am sure that won't be the last one he gets this year.


Tonight Diesel was ready to go for drive. He got a new truck sweatshirt(driving attire) and with keys in hand could drive away at any minute. I know that Adam can't wait to share his love of trucks and everything off-road with Diesel.


In the life of a 7 month old, this was a busy week.

oh yea.. I just had to add this picture becuase it already shows him being fed up with all the kisses and snuggles that mama loves to lavish on him. It begins all too soon. His face tells it all.
Those fat, chunky cheeks are just too irresitable.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful for...

We are so very thankful for this...
Diesel was caught eating turkey at Carol & Larry's house.Diesel's big boy Thanksgiving day outfit, shoes and all!
We hope that everyone was able to enjoy this holiday with friends and family.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

ol' buddies ol' pals


So last night we went a Welcome Home get together for Diesel and Isaac. They were the two newest members to the Adoption for Families family. There were other families there with their children that they have brought home previously. There were also families there that were in the process, just waiting for their little ones to come home. Adam and I both remember that time and it was only 1 year ago this month that we too were just starting the process. Man, how our lives have changed in the last year.

Diesel was reunited with his crib mate, Isaac and the following conversation took place. Well at least this is how I pictured it.
Diesel: "Hey, I think I know you".
Isaac: " Yeah, you do look familiar".

Diesel: "Come closer."


Isaac: " Let me turn sideways, remember we were never face on. Do you remember my profile now?"

Diesel:" Oh yeah, that's better. I do remember the side of your head."

Diesel: " So, it looks like you've gained weight. Let me feel..oh yeah look at those muscles."

Isaac: " hey, what's that in your mouth?"
Diesel: " oh it's a plug for when I cry. Do you have one?"
Isaac: "uh, no."


Isaac:" Hey, smile, so your mom will stop taking pictures of us."
Diesel & Isaac: " Cheese!"

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Good Laughs

Haven't updated in awhile. We are making it work. Things are still smoothing out and getting easier. We found a childcare provider that is going to work for us. Just in time because Katy goes back to work on Monday. She is stressed and still not at the peek of healthiness. Any prayers would be great. Other than that we are just trying to keep everything afloat. Normal stuff.

So this is the first try at a video on the blog for us. I am not sure why he thinks this is so funny, but his Grandma was shooing the dog and found that he thinks it's hilarious. Sorry it turned out so dark, but the audio is priceless.

video

Thursday, October 23, 2008

living large



post by katy-
Well, it has been a whirlwind of an adventure these last few months, but we are making it. We are a lovely family of three and we are living large. I am feeling better, but it is day by day. Thank you for all the prayers that you have been offering up for our family.

Well, the little guy went to the doctor today to check out his weight and he gained 2lbs in 4weeks. He actually has a one leg roll on each thigh. When we first got him this thigh and calf were all the same size, but now he has a little chunk to him. He also proudly sports a double chin. His fat little belly is hard to resist giving kisses too and his feet are so small and cute.
He has been working hard on getting better at his neck and head control. He practices tummy time, but doesn't really like it. He will pull up on your fingers and then stand straight legged with very stiff knees. Still really wobbly, but getting better. He will sit up for awhile, but soon end ups folding in half towards his feet. Another big accomplishment is that he will roll over from his tummy to his back. It takes him a few pumps of his legs and then slowly rolls over. He isn't a pro at it,but we make a relly big deal about it when he does do it and he just smiles.


Pep talks always help!


We are very proud of this little guy and couldn't be happier with him. His toothless smile melts your heart and all the frustrating times of no sleeping disappear when you see that smile.


Very proud to call him our son


Standing tall

Snuggle bug while mama tries to accomplish chores at home



Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Things are starting to settle down a bit at home. Katy is getting better and is almost back to normal now. Her mom has been here since Friday. We are starting to get used to the routine of having a baby at the house. Katy is going to be going back to work in a few weeks and we still need to find daycare. There are a few good leads but nothing for sure yet.

I thought that I needed to update because I keep having to explain that Katy is feeling better. I'm certainly not complaining just one more tribute to the people in our lives. I still just can't get my mind around how large our network is without us even knowing that its there at all.

One last thing for today. Over the past few weeks when school is crazy and home is crazy, I have really been blessed by my aide Mrs. E. She has been not only just an aide, but also a sounding post and someone to give reasonable advise. She has helped me remember how my faith in God used to work.

No pictures today sorry to those of you who are watching just to see Diesel get fatter. Just trust he is getting fatter.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Well we have been home for a few weeks now, and as you might imagine things are extremely busy. I have gone back to work and Katy is still home. I could never have dreamed how hard it would be to be gone from school for 2 weeks then come back. It feels a bit like starting the whole year over just with less time to get everything covered.


Now I am home with Diesel because Katy is sick. It drives me crazy that the doctors don't seem to be able to figure out what is wrong. She is in a lot of pain. She stays in bed and sleeps or if she is up she is bent over with pain. This is a person who has past kidney stones and worked right up to the day before. I have never seen her this way. I have lots of theories about whats wrong but nothing that I can do anything about. Everyone is very concerned, they ask about her, inquire to why the doctors can't get things straight. The out pouring of love from our friends family and even co workers (which we call friends) has been second to none. In the past I have really over looked the people God has put in my life.


So today I have a call in to our doctor to try again to get Katy healthy. Hopefully soon something will change. I am trying to be very careful not to complain about how hard things are because of the other people that I have been in contact with in the past 4 weeks. My life at its worst seems pretty easy in comparison.


On a brighter note, I have had a wonderful time taking care of my new son. He requires a lot of attention and he is very needy. I never knew how good it could feel to be needed, really needed, by someone. I'm sure that parents all go through that feeling but no one ever said anything about it. Everyone said it's going to be hard work, and you won't sleep for months, but never its going to be the most rewarding thing you have ever or will ever do. Those things are all true but I had no idea much fun it would all be. I am very excited to be Diesel's dad.


Katy took a picture of me and Diesel, before she started feeling bad again, that I think is maybe the best one that we have.


I am sure that there is more but I can't think of it now.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Pictures

I realized after the fact that I spent like an hour writing and didn't post any pics of Diesel. So here are a few.

One from at home

Squish
So small

Yassar Arafat impressions
Sleeping on the plane



Proud mom
Skinny legs Big belly




More

So we have been home for a few days now, and they have been some of the busiest days ever. I have been staying up all night and trying to get things organized during the day. Thus the long time between blog entries.

So after we left the orphanage we did some shopping and went home to rest and bond. We slept the first night and Diesel did the normal baby stuff. The next morning we went back to the orphanage to finish up some paper work. It was pretty routine. After the paperwork we paid more money, then they had a coffee ceremony for us.

They have a ceremony anytime something is happening. We attended a few while we were in Africa. They start by burning incense and roasting the coffee beans in front of you on a charcoal grill with out the grill. They offer everyone popcorn while the beans cook. When they finish roasting they smash the beans and put them with water in a pot. The smashed beans and water boil together for a while then they set the pot aside to let the grounds settle. Then they pour the coffee off the top. This leads to very very strong coffee with little grits floating in it. They use small cups but they feel about like a double shot of espresso. They drink 3 cups at each ceremony.


When coffee was finished we decided to take Yoesph out for lunch. We went to one of his favorites and had pizza. Everything was fine. Once home from lunch Katy started to feel under the weather. I had her lie down and rest. While she was supposed to be napping she was getting sicker and sicker. Eventually she started to throw up, a lot. When I went to check on her i asked if she wanted dinner. She said "no, but I need to go to the bathroom." She gets up walks across the room and passes out.


Tigist the girl who helps out around the guest house saw her fall. I picked her up and Tigist called for a taxi to the hospital. Tekabe and I carried her down the steps and into the taxi. Zhieed took Diesel and told me to go he would be fine. Then the driver started driving toward the hospital. I don't remember a time that I was more scared. I was very worried about Katy and the driver was driving very fast. We almost had an accident more than once. Katy was passing out and coming to and asking where she was. Very scary. We arrived at the hospital. Hospitals in Ethiopia are not the same as hospitals here. It was a little dirty but not gross. Still scary. We had to push her in to the emergency room and we had to push her up to the room she stayed in. The doctors did a good with her. They gave her fluids and antibiotics. She had to stay the night. I got her settled in and then asked Tekabe if he wanted to go and come back in the morning. He said "no, I am here to take care of her. I would not leave." The taxi driver was still there also. He did need to leave. I tried to pay him for the ride and he wouldn't have it. He told me to "Be strong" hugged me and left. I had never meet him before and will probably never see him again. After the fact I found out that he had paid 40 birr for an ID card for Katy while I was busy. I found that in Addis that this taxi was not the exception but the rule in how people cared for each other.


Tekabe and I now stand there in silence waiting to see what happens. Eventually I grew tired of standing so I asked him to sit. He declined and said that he was the host and I was the guest. He would stand and I could sit. So to put that in perspective he was planning to stand and be awake to take care of a person all night that he met the day before. Talking about compassion. I learned many lessons about people and how I treat people from Tekabe. Eventually I talked him into sitting and we chatted for about 4 hours. The next morning we took Katy home. The total bill from the medicine, the room, and doctor was 1548 birr. That's 154 dollars. Not very much.

Tekabe


Katy was still feeling weak but we had our embassy appointment that day. We went to get Diesel's visa and his other paperwork. We had to swear that we had told the truth in all of our paperwork. This was the last step in the adoption process.


We spent the next 2 days building relationships with Diesel, and the other people at the house. It was time very well spent.


Some highlights from those days:


2 boys washing our car with no water while we waited for the embassy appointment.


A guy on the street seeing Aki while we walked and saying hello. Then asking if I was a Pakistani.


Going to the bank with Yoesph and Zhieed, seeing the people on the street. They really liked my beard and tattoos. I guess they don't have those things over there.


Visiting a few orphanages. They have wonderful kids there. They are in the worst situation that I can think of yet they are so happy.


Meeting friends from Colorado who were also adopting.


I have some many things to write that it feels very long winded. I will go back now and put in a few pictures from the trip. None of the pictures we took seem to capture the way things actually are over there, but we tried.





Me and Aki





Elementary School




OSHA approved scaffolding




Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Updates Finally

I am so sorry that it has been this long since I have been able to update. We thought that the Internet in Africa might be less than reliable and we were right. It worked, but only when it wanted to and only for the websites it wanted to. Of course Blogger was not one of the websites that we could get to work.


Enough about that. Since the last update everything has happened. I don't even know how to begin. When we got on the plane in Washington DC we were very excited to say the least. The plane was very large and there were lots of people. It was very tight quarters, my knees touched the seat in front of me. The food on the plane was OK but certainly not corn dogs and Cheetos.
It took a long time. I got to see some things that I had never seen before; France, the Mediterranean Sea, Rome. I was awed by the size the the Sahara Desert. I took a picture of the sand dunes then went to sleep and woke up to find we were still over the desert more than an hour later.


When we landed we went through immigration where they gave us visas. Immediately you could see the differences between Ethiopia and USA. They hand wrote each visa. We waited on our bags and then met Aki from the guest house where we would be staying. He would help us get there.


Outside the airport it was dark and there were people swarming everywhere. Aki helped with the bags and had to tell more than one person that we didn't need help. They try to "help" then ask you to pay them. Without Aki I don't know what we would have done. He hailed a taxi and away we went.


This was our first chance to experience the driving in Addis. There are no rules. Everyone fends for them self and just does what they please. There are lanes but they seem to be just suggestions. Addis is very large and has lots of people and zero traffic lights. Very exciting.


We stayed the night and woke up the next morning. We left after breakfast to go meet Diesel. After more of the driving we got close to the orphanage. We called to get better directions and they told us to just wait. They sent a person out to "check us out." When she was satisfied that we were who we said she joined us in the car and gave directions to the house. When we went in they immediately came to greet us. I'm not sure when is the best time to say something about the hospitality. I have never been met with such open arms, ever. Anyway we went in the house and then the infant room. This is when we first got to meet Diesel. Emotions were high. After big hugs and a few tears. they put him in our arms and said "OK see you tomorrow for paper work." Insert first family photo here.
There is so much more but no time now.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

We're Off

Well, we are on our away. We left Kansas City this morning at about 11. Now we are in Washington DC waiting for our plane to Addis. It has been a long day so far and doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon. On the other hand, the DC air port has these really cool people movers that look like giant 4x4 subway cars. The airport vehicles in general have been entertaining us. From the neat little trains of bags to the biggest planes I have ever seen. I also got a chance to finish the book Dear Mr. Henshaw. It was well worth the 2 hours. Well that's it for now hopefully this won't be the last post.

Some Pictures