Monday, March 30, 2009

Still Here

Yes, I am still here. I have just been a little sidetracked. Unpacking, putting things away, rearranging things, arranging again, chasing down wandering children, preparing for baby girl's arrival, oh....and any number of other things you can imagine. I am feeling good though - very happy with how much I have gotten accomplished in the past two weeks. I have a few more projects I want to complete in the next two weeks but we'll see what actually gets finished.

I really need to put some photos of the kids enjoying their new outdoor fun. Which mainly consists of throwing rocks in the little creek, walking over to the wetland preservation which borders our property to see all the different wildlife, chasing the chickens around the yard (a favorite of Tristan and Eden's) and just running free after a long winter being couped up in the house.

Judah of course hunts everything that moves. He and Shane also love climbing the mountain that borders the back of our property. They had a ramp built within the first 2 days for their bikes. Getting them to take the time to put their helmets on is an ongoing battle. I shudder and send up a quick prayer for protection over them.

We can see a train track from our living room picture window. The train isn't obnoxiously loud or anything - far enough away for everyone to enjoy. Except Saturday morning when Tristan had just climbed in bed with us at 6:20 and he bailed out of bed because he heard a train coming. And another time we were eating dinner and in Eden's excitement to get into the living room to see the train dumped her entire bowl of food on the floor. Our neighbor also told us that when the Ringling Brothers circus comes to the Bryce Jordan Center in State College the circus train goes on this train track. If the day is nice they have the cars open so we will be able to see the animals. We are very excited about this since the circus usually comes in April.

I know posts without pictures are not really all the fun - especially when I get long winded. I am feeling overall very good but feeling like the time is drawing near for this baby to arrive. Although lately if I am to be honest I feel a little overwhelmed. I know some of it has to do with not sleeping very well therefore my emotions tend to get the upper hand. I also know that some of my feelings are valid. Either way we are on the final stretch and I am ready to meet our sweet baby girl! Eden loves to kiss my belly and then start pummeling it with her little fists. I guess it is fun for her. Hopefully she sticks to just kissing the baby after she comes into the world and doesn't continue to pummel her as much.

For now folks that is all I can muster. Not too exciting I know. I just wanted you to know I am still alive and kicking. Oh and the reason I haven't blogged for a while is just when our Internet was connected our computer monitor decided to die. took a few days for us to get things resolved and back up and running. But we are all good now. I have no more excuses!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Reminiscing This Day

Who could have ever known how fast a year really does go by? When I awoke this morning I couldn't help but think back to last year on this day. A very tired, jet lagged and nervous mom getting ready to meet her daughter for the first time. She had been in my heart for so long and this was the culmination of all our paperwork, prayers and loving her from a distance. Waking up that first morning in Addis is forever etched in my mind. It was beyond beautiful!! Something akin to a paradise behind the gates of our guesthouse. Warm sunshine, fragrant smells, different bird sounds than I had ever heard and the chatter of the women as they worked. I was the only guest until Mark arrived a few days later so I was well taken care of. I remember feeling like it was taking my driver forever to get there. I just wanted to see my baby girl. When the guard opened the gate and we drove out into the city I was amazed. I won't go into detail again since I have before but craziness!!!
The most important part of my day was of course seeing this sweet little face!! She didn't cry which was my biggest fear. She wasn't necessarily comfortable but she wasn't completely apprehensive either. And she soon fell asleep in my arms!
Mark and I were talking this morning before he left for work and we both said, "Who would have ever thought a year ago that this little girl would become so incredibly feisty?" Wow!!! She moves non-stop and would like to run the house. She must think she is equipped already to run the show. It creates quite a bit of stress in her life. Like right now - she wants to type the post for today and is not happy that I declined her offer.
I am in love with my little girl and even though her strong will can be exhausting I marvel at how God hand-picked her for our family. She loves girly things but is equally as happy running around outside getting in the dirt, riding on the four wheeler with her daddy (slowly and carefully of course), chasing the chickens around the yard and tormenting her brothers. Yup!! Perfect for our family! We love you Eden and celebrate this day!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

There Is No Me Without You

I'm sure most in the blogging community who have adopted from Ethiopia are aware that a dear woman who loved countless orphans and changed their lives died unexpectedly this week leaving behind a drove of children who counted on her. When we first started considering adopting from Ethiopia, a dear friend of ours who is an advocate for adoption (having adopted 3 times herself in addition to her 4 biological children) sent me a book to read. I know I have mentioned the book before but in the wake of this past week it deserves to be mentioned again. "There Is No Me Without You." Changed my life!! For anyone whose heart beats for the orphans of the world this book will solidify in your heart, mind and soul that these children have deep emotional needs regardless of their circumstances. Now that their "mother" is gone my heart aches for these children.

The irony of this all is my mother just returned my book this week. I was digging into it again and asking God to "rebreak" my heart again for these precious children. Our internet finally gets connected at our new home and now I see that this dear woman has gone from this earth. Since I still haven't figured out how to create a link (after a year of blogging) I will just post a sight that you can visit to learn more about her.

I long to see more children find homes and families to love and protect them. To feel secure in a fathers embrace, to learn about their Fathers love for them, to run and play like children should and to finally belong somewhere. I know how much I still as a 31 year old woman need to feel secure. Let's keep on loving these children from a distance until God gives you the chance to love them "hands on."

On another note, we are moved and pretty much settled in. I will try to take a moment either later today or tomorrow and update you on our past week. It felt really strange not having internet for a week. Strange but in a way really freeing! Suffice it to say we love, love, love our new home.

Friday, March 13, 2009


We are hoping to move tomorrow (Saturday) as long as we can pull everything together. I am finding it difficult to get everything done with kids roaming around and unpacking boxes right after I pack them. Boxes are to play in apparently. And why am I taking time to sit down and blog right now? I really don't know. Except that my body is tired and a little break is required. Plus, I was in the office pulling together pictures for our last post-placement report since they are due April 1st. I will post my thoughts on that whole monumental occasion after we are moved and settled. We are reaching the one year mark of being home with little pumpkin and it seems nearly impossible to be at that milestone already.

All in all we are doing well here on the home front. I am starting to feel like the transition needs to be over and done so I can get everyone settled. I have decided that transition and change of this magnitude should not be done when a woman is a hormonal 8 1/2 months pregnant. It doesn't make a real great combination. You can pray for my husband - the poor man. He seems to be getting blamed for all sorts of things that are not his fault.

I may be off the radar for a bit depending on how soon we get everything switched around and hooked up at the new house. I am loving how the basement is shaping up. Very, very pretty!! I will post pictures after the move! Until is to hoping the sun keeps shining!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Living Life

Yes...Eden found a blue marker...again! You should have seen her hands. Even though the marker was washable a good soak in the tub did not remove the blue from her hands. She wore it proudly for a few days. We are working hard at teaching her to substitute "yes" for her favorite word "no" but it doesn't seem to be penetrating the deep need within her to say no to everything. She loves wearing dresses and goes directly to Mark and says, "I pretty" with a question in her voice. It is so precious. I bought her a new shirt yesterday and after she tried it on she sought him out to make sure he approved. I continue to be amazed at how much a little girl needs to know even this young that she is beautiful in her fathers eyes. Mark does an amazing job at assuring her that she is in fact very pretty!

A bit of updating: we put our house on the market a little over a week ago. It went into the system on a Friday late afternoon, had our first showing on Saturday afternoon, had an offer Saturday evening and had a signed agreement on Sunday by noon. We are still in a bit of shock simply because we fully expected to be sitting on the house for a while. It was only on the market 24 hours before we had an interested buyer. We are still kind of holding our breath and that is why I didn't say anything sooner. We are negotiating a few things right now in regards to the inspection and the appraiser came on Friday already. They would like to close by the end of March if possible. It is all happening very fast. We are almost ready to move into the new place - just finishing up some painting and then we will be ready. I am ready since the baby's birth draws closer everyday.

Speaking of baby......she is growing nicely and so am I (smile). I had an appointment yesterday and she is head down already so hopefully she maintains that position until the end. She continues to be incredibly active as well. We are getting increasingly excited to see what she looks like and to finally meet her. I am now 33 weeks and so the countdown is on. The practice I go to has quite a few docs - I think 7. They are great and by far my favorite practice I have ever gone to. The doc I had yesterday has always been one of my least favorite doctors for some reason but he moved up the ladder considerably because he told me at least twice that I look really good. Now....he is nearing retirement and I know he was not meaning I look good as in "wowsers!!" He meant for being 33 weeks pregnant I looked really good. It is amazing how a single unexpected compliment can make a woman feel like a million dollars!

Last weekend the boys were invited to a birthday party of a friend at an indoor pool. The whole family was invited since Tori is a dear friend of mine. We went, the boys swam their hearts out, Eden shivered uncontrollably in the pool but refused to get out and Tristan wanted nothing to do with the water.
Here is Eden shivering so bad her little chin was quivering. But she didn't want to miss out on the fun.
Tristan finally got his swimming trunks on and stuck his feet in the hot tub. He has quite a mushroom top of hair at this point but we love his curls.
Eden warmed up by sitting on the steps of the hot tub. As long as her daddy was nearby and there was water to splash in I think she would be content for hours.
I know I had more to say but can't seem to remember what it was. I woke up this morning with splotchy vision and was suspicious that a headache was on its way. I took some Tylenol since that is about all I can take while pregnant and sure enough the headache found its way through. Therefore my thoughts are a bit scattered and I am feeling a little drab. Oh goes on and packing must continue.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I took these pictures two months ago to document the difference in their little bodies. Tristan is so tiny and Eden has a little wrestler body. I know she will slim down but I love it!! I don't want her to loose it too quickly. It also depicts very well what I am going to mention a little further on in my blog post.
Eden playing in the snack cupboard.
Tristan taking his turn in the cupboard.

Anything I've read says that most children do not become aware of different skin color until sometime after the age of 3. I don't know if it is because Tristan loves colors and explains everything in colors or if it is because he has a little sister with different color skin. Either way, he is already voicing that their skin is different. It really surprised me since he is only 2 1/2 and I thought he wouldn't notice for a while yet.

The first instance was a little over a week ago while I had them in the bath together. He suddenly pointed at his belly and said, "I have a white belly and Eden has a brown belly." I thought maybe it was a coincidence that he noticed that evening.

But then again last evening Mark and I were sitting at the table with Tristan and Eden and feeding them a fruit smoothie before bed. Tristan pointed at Eden and said, "Eden has a brown face." It is so sweet and innocent. I only hope that as Eden becomes aware of her different skin color that we can assure her of how perfect she is to us and that we wouldn't change her in any way. I also hope that all our children become comfortable with their differences and can be less judgemental of other people as a result. That they will learn to accept everyone - no matter if their skin looks different, if they dress different, if they have a disability, etc. I know it starts with me and I hope I can mirror to them the heart of God. That in His eyes we are all on the same "playing field". That we are all made in His image. Even with our flaws.