Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Showers of blessings

W have some of the most amazing friends and church family! On Sunday, my Adult Bible Class passed around a sign-up sheet for people to provide meals for our family. We are covered for the next TWO WEEKS! I am in awe of their thoughtfulness. It has been so nice to spend the day focusing on the kids without worrying about grocery shopping or what to make for dinner. (Added bonus - a break from the same 6 recipes I make all of the time.) On top of that, the boys have had special outings everyday with friends so they can have a break from their sister as she adjusts to life in a family.

We are making progress everyday as far as communication and tantrums go. We are learning some of her words and she is learning some of ours. She uses hand gestures (not really sign language) to show us what she wants sometimes and we do a lot of pointing.

This morning Shurabe and I went to Super Wal-mart to do some school supply shopping. I wasn't sure how she would do in a big place like that but she did amazingly. She just sat wide-eyed in the cart and took it all in. One of the Wal-mart stockers approached me and said she looked Ethiopian. I told him that we just got back from going to get her from Addis Ababa. He said that was his country and asked her name and what Agency we used to adopt her. I was shocked that he could tell she was Ethiopian. It was a really cool thing!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Adjusting to the new life

We are home from Ethiopia with our new daughter. The trip was truly a journey- physically and emotionally. I've never been so "spent" in all my life. There were lots of laughs and lots of tears (some hers and lots of them mine). It's really nice to be home where there is fresh air, safe food to eat and ice in my drinks.

I wouldn't trade the chance to see Shurabe's birth country for anything. The people were very kind and gracious. Every where I turned there was someone trying to speak to and comfort Shurabe. The scenery is breath-takingly beautiful in contrast to the hungry and handicapped beggars roaming the streets.

We are blessed to have Brian home this week as Shurabe learns what home and family means. She is fond of her brothers and they are even more fond of her. She is becoming more and more interested in Daddy as she sees how fun he is. But Mommy is at the top of her list (both flattering and draining). I only wish I knew what was going through her head when she gets quiet and contemplative or begins to scream at the smallest disappointment. I try to be understanding and comforting and at the same time discern when she is being manipulative to gain control of all those around her. Three is a rough age even without the grief, language barrier, and homesickness. We would really appreciate your prayers as we help her through this uncertain time of adjusting.

This morning was especially hard. There was a horrendous thunderstorm that set off our security alarm at 3:30 a.m. Needless to say, we were all jolted awake with hearts racing. The thunder and lightning were relentless for about 30 minutes. I layed down with Shurabe in our bed and hugged her tight. She fidgeted nervously for about an hour until it was clear she was finished sleeping for the night. She and I got up and watched a Praise Baby video in the dark living room. It calmed her for awhile until she began crying for her special care-giver from the Transition Home. She was clearly grieving the loss of her special friend/mother-figure. It was heart breaking to say the least. When she was done, she led me to the kitchen and pointed at the cabinet where we keep her favorite food, peanut butter crackers. She seems to be a comfort eater, a boredom eater, and an all-around BIG EATER. We'll work on that when there aren't so many other issues at hand!
As I type this she is playing happily by herself. I'll leave you with some happy pictures of our first days at home together.She loves baths. I bet she dumped water on her head 30 times!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

It's a GIRL!


Peek-a-booTwo tiny feet.

We found out this afternoon that this sweet baby inside of me is a little girl. Brian is going to have two little princesses and I will no longer be outnumbered in this Testosterone-heavy household. I'm trying really hard to keep myself away from the sewing machine. It keeps calling to me saying, "Come sew tiny things with flowery fabric!" But I must ignore it and finish packing for our trip to go get our oldest daughter.

Here is the PROOF.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The home stretch...

This adoption is feeling more and more real with each passing day. We leave for Ethiopia in just a few days and there is lots to do before our flight leaves. Our friends and family have all been so kind and generous. Thankfully, we have everything we need to start out life with Shurabe. I am really looking forward to the next couple of weeks. Just meeting our daughter is reason enough but we will also find out this week the gender of our baby. Brian is blessed to be able to take some paternity leave and so the whole family will be home to bond with Shurabe. Brian is such a great husband and dad that we all look forward to spending time at home with him. I'm really excited to see how Shurabe reacts to him. I have a feeling they will have a very special relationship. Hopefully next post I will have some photos.