Next stop China

Next stop China
Next Stop China!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Got Up Early

Ok, since Ethan insists upon waking up around 6am each morning, I finally did it! I went to bed at 9:30 last night. Woke up at 1 when Seth was crying. Then, went back to sleep. Woke up with Aaron at 5:30. Got up, tiptoed into the kitchen and cooked breakfast for us as quietly as possible, and guess who slept until almost 7am. The little stinker!

Oh well, it was great to get up and eat breakfast with Aaron, and I need to get up early and get on this schedule so we can start school when the girls get back from camp.

Now, we don't normally have a "get up" time when we do school. Just when everyone gets up we start. Or whoever is up early, I might get them started on their part, just to get done. But I think this year, we will have to stick more to a schedule. Getting as much done as we can in the morning while the boys are awake, then finishing during naptime.

Ethan has come so far since we picked him up 4 weeks ago. When we got him in ET, he was unwilling/unable to put weight on his legs. He kicked all the time, but when you would try to stand him up in your lap, his legs just collapsed. Well, within a week, he was putting weight on his legs. Also, he was unable to sit up, just fell right over (he was 6 months) Well, now he has been sitting up for a few weeks and just this week has learned to go from lying on his belly to a sitting position. Getting back down to a lying position most of the time involves just falling over on his head. Thankfully, he has a hard head.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I haven't gotten a good nights sleep all week, but I guess I can't complain because I have been able to take a nap daily. I am in the habit of staying up later than the family, but I think I am going to have to start going to bed early because Ethan has chosen 5:30-6:00 am as his rise and shine time. Ugh! that feels awful if you didn't go to bed until 11:30pm.
Last night I took a benedryl so I might fall asleep earlier. Well, at 10:30 I couldn't keep my eyes open so I went to bed. At 12:45am, Seth was crying because he had pooped and peed and soaked his diaper, clothes, and bed. So while Madelyn was helping me fix this problem (he sleeps in her room and woke her up) Ethan who appears to be a light sleeper, woke up from the crying. So once I was done with Seth, I went and changed Ethan's full diaper and then went and fed him a bottle.
The whole time I was hoping that the bottle would help him sleep in a little more than 6. And really, I can go real well on 5-6 hours of sleep IF I am fully awake when I start the day. In other words, if I were to set the alarm for 5:30 am, get up and get dressed, and get alert before the baby wakes me up, I would tolerate it a lot better. So, I am going to have to get myself on his schedule or be sleepy a lot.
Unlucky for me, Ethan was awake by about 6:15.
However, I can't complain... They are doing wonderful!
Madleyn and Natalie are going to camp next week with my brother Eric's 2 oldest kids. Then Hannah is going to stay with Aaron's parents possibly the whole week. They are taking her camping in the RV. If she gets homesick, they will bring her home early. So it is just going to be me and the boys again next week. I told the girls they either had to ride the bus to camp with their cousins or from camp with their cousins. Madelyn wants us to drive them to camp so we can help find their cabins, get them settled etc. We are planning to go up Sat. night, spend the night with Aaron's parents, leave Hannah with them, then go to camp, drop the girls off, then come home. It will be a long day of travel on Sunday. It takes 2-3 hours to get to the camp from Aaron's parents, then I think it took us 4-5 hours to get home from the camp last year. Then they will take the bus to my brother's church and Aaron will probably go and pick them up there, which is only 2 1/2 hours away.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I had a wish...

This past week, I have looked at our budget and our debt snowball and yikes! We owe a lot of money. Three days last week, Aaron came home with a box of size 3 diapers. Ethan wears size 3 and I hope he stays in them a long time because I have a lot of them.

The minimum payment each month on all of our loans for our adoptions is over $100 more than our house payment. OUCH!!

When Aaron would bring in diapers from coworkers, I would secretly think about how it would help so much if we could have diapers, formula, baby food, and wipes to last us this next year until our tax return comes in.

We have gotten enough baby clothes that I haven't had to buy any since I went to a thrift store before our court date in March. And I don't think I will have to buy any for a very long time. And I am blessed to have a 2 year old nephew who now hands down all of his clothes to our boys.

I know we will make it this next year, but things will be real tight!

Back to my wishing for a years' worth of baby necessities....

I got back from town today and had a message from someone at church. Back in April, a ton of stuff had been donated to our church. The church had saved it all in one of those PODS. Well, apparently, they had a ton of stuff left over and needed the POD cleaned out. The elders decided that we would be welcome to as much of the baby stuff as we could use. I was so excited. I emailed Aaron at work to let him know.

I was planning on taking the kids to VBS by myself, but they wanted us to get the stuff tonight, so Aaron drove a separate vehicle. There was so much leftovers that we put the back seat down in the Montero and filled it up, plus we put some stuff in the back of the van. There were so many boxes of wipes, diapers, baby food, formula, that we had to take a bunch over to Mom's to store because our house is packed tight with people!

I seriously doubt if I will need to buy another can of baby food. we got over 300 jars.

I doubt I will use all of the size 3 diapers before Ethan outgrows them.

I guess I won't have to buy formula for months either. Ethan will only be on formula for 5 more months!

Also, wipes, won't be buyng those for a long time either.

I don't think I will need diapers for Seth for months.

Thank You God for answering a prayer that I thought was so "out there" that I didn't even consider praying it!!!!!!!

I am still in disbelief that just last week I was wishing for this very thing. The above pictures are about 1/10 of the stuff we got.

I LOVE the song "Great is Thy Faithfulness" But noone ever leads it at our church. I am sure I could put in a request, but it isn't the same. So, I was telling God when I first got home with the boys, that I would love to hear that song and please prompt the songleader to sing it...

Well, I have been home 3 weeks now and I still haven't heard that song.

Instead of singing the song for me, God SHOWED the song to me!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weekend recap

Friday, I got a call from Michael saying that he was bringing the girls home. They weren't supposed to leave until Saturday, but decided to go home a day early. That was around lunchtime and I expected to meet them at the interstate around supper.
Last month, while I was in Ethiopia, I got a card in the mail from my chiropractor office, saying that I had won the monthly massage giveaway. So what better way to celebrate my birthday.
I went for my 30 min. massage and it was so nice.
As soon as I was finished, I called Aaron and let him know I was done and he said Michael had just called. So I picked up Mom and we drove 30 min. to the interstate to meet the girls. I was so happy to see them. They were disappointed that the boys weren't with us, but they were home with Aaron and Ethan was already in bed. I ordered pizza from Pizza hut in our town. We got there (30 min. later) and they lady working there said "you know you are 20 min. early don't you?" I thought the lady on the phone had said 15 min., but apparently, she had said 50 min. Oh well, we drove to CVS and I did 15 min. of shopping with Hannah while Mom, Madelyn and Natalie sat in the car, then drove back to Pizza Hut to be told that our pizza was "just coming out of the oven" And she would bring it out to us if we would pull over. 15 min. later, no pizza, but there were about 5 other cars waiting for pizza too. Mom offered to go in and get it, since the lady working the drivethrough was also the one bringing pizzas to the cars, we figured it might go faster if we didn't have to wait for her break in the drivethrough. Sure enough, took Mom about 2 min. and they gave us free cinammon sticks for the wait.
We got home and Seth had been asleep in the recliner for 10 min. He promptly woke up and was very happy to see the girls and stayed up another hour.
Aaron and I stayed up late watching 17 Again, which is a cute movie. Then Ethan woke us up real early. I went back to bed until 9 am . Then got up and began cleaning the house. My brother Eric was closeby for work with his family and he was planning on coming over. I found out later, he was coming over in the afternoon, I misunderstood and thought he said morning.
Aaron and Seth took an afternoon nap and Eric brought his boys over. They had fund playing with their cousins. It was good to see them.
I took the girls and Seth over to Mom's for showers and Aaron kept Ethan home with him, since he had a bath the day before. While the girls showered, I went to the grocery for a quick trip. Left the groceries in the car, took a quick 2 min. shower, then we all went home and went to bed.
We got to class this morning at church and found out that the boys' teacher wasn't going to be there. So Aaron and I just sat in the baby class with Seth and Ethan. There were no other kids in that class today. This morning in services the boys were so good. Mom held Ethan and he ended up sleeping 1/2 the service. Seth was a little squirmy, but he was good, didn't make too much noise.
Then tonight, I was afraid they wouldn't be good because the girls have classes to go to. I was so shocked. I had to wrestle Ethan the entire time because he is sooooo squirmy. Other than that, he was pleasant and smiley. Aaron held Seth and he was so quiet and sweet. He looked at books and barely made a peep.

Friday, June 24, 2011

It's My Birthday!

Today I am 36 years old. Or as Aaron likes tease me, I can now round up to 40.

The first two years I worked as a nurse, I worked oncology (cancer). Wow, that was hard. I was 22 when I started, newly married, etc. I ended up deciding not to continue working oncology when we moved to NC because it was beginning to mess with my mind. In my "world" back then, 95% of the people I met had cancer. Since I saw the sickest cancer patients, I saw many pass away. By the time we moved to NC I was having nightmares all the time that I had cancer. Almost every time I went to work, I would find out another one of our regular patients had passed away. It was really really getting to me.

Something good came out of me working oncology for so long. I appreciate growing older. Here is a story that I remember to this day. I even remember the patient's name 13 years later. He was around 33. He was married and had two little boys. He had hodgkins disease, which is very curable, but not 100% curable and he was one of the unlucky few that was not. One day, because of some equipment hooked up to him, I had to accompany him to xray. His wife went too. I couldn't help but hear their conversation. His wife said "you know, I used to dread growing older, but now I would give anything to grow older with you" He died within 6 months of diagnosis.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

adoption is great!

Adjustment is going well.
Better than I expected. I am thankful.
I am missing the girls a lot. I call them every night at the condo where they are staying with Michael's family. Hannah is getting homesick. That doesn't surprise me because she almost didn't stay when we left on Sunday. She even asked me to come and get her, but I told her by the time we got there, it would be almost time for them to come home. Plus, we do not want to have to drive 9 hours there and back again. UGH!
I am ready for them to be home though. And Madelyn and Natalie will only be home for 1 week before they leave again for Church camp with Eric's two oldest boys. They went last year and loved it.
Madelyn and Natalie were wanting to go to SMBC, the camp I worked at for so many years. But I don't know if they will want to be away for 3 weeks this summer. We'll see how they feel in a few weeks.
I still need to order curriculum. The last two years, I have gone real cheap and just supplemented with going to the library 1-2 times per week. However, this year, I think I am splurging on Winter Promise, which I have used before. It is nice in that every book you will need during the year comes with the program. The bad thing have to pay for every book you will use this year in the program. I just think this year will be hard enough without frequent trips to the library with 5 kids.
I was also looking at our budget and our debt snowball the other day. So depressing. We owe so much money it makes me sick. Especially being debt free except for home and land last year. However, just like Aaron said the other day "it was worth it, adopting them, I hardly ever think about the money any more"
But it is a reality. So, even though I really don't want to, I think I will have to go back to work next month. I am going to really try to limit myself to the minimum I have to work which is 32 hours a month. Next year, we should get back a huge tax refund for the adoptions, and that will pay off a lot of our debt, but not all. I would LOVE to be able to pay enough down on debt each month so that we would have it paid off when tax time came and we got our refund. However, I don't think that will happen unless Aaron gets to go on a few details this year. We will hope for some. Now that we have paid most of our adoption fees (we still will have 3-4 social worker visits this year) We can start paying down the debt instead of accumulating more.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Life is Easier with 5 Kids Around

Seriously, my title is true.
My brother Michael and SIL Leigh Anne offered to let the girls spend their vacation with them at the beach. So our whole family drove down there last Friday and Aaron and I brought Seth and Ethan back with us and left the girls.
I had all these plans this week because I was only going to have 2 kids with me.
Duh! I wasn't remembering that I would have the 2 most needy kids with me.
So, lets see.... Monday we made it to the garden. Once...
Tuesday...We made it to Mom's to take showers...
Wednesday...We'll see what I get done today. Both boys got up at 6:30 which is very early for Seth who normally wakes up at 8-8:30..
Don't get me wrong, I can get stuff done...if it is inside the house. But going outside is a big chore. With an 18 month old that would break something if I let him walk down steps alone and a 20lb 7 month old who still likes to flip backward while you are holding him upright..... it is hard. , I have been here before, it is just a different role. One I have done before, but am now making myself slow down again and enjoy doing a very important, very time consuming job.
In praise of my wonderful daughters... They help so much. They entertain the boys almost constantly. I can walk trash to the trash cans down the driveway because one of them will be pushing the stroller, one will be holding Seth's hand and I have two hands free. Can't wait for the girls to be home! Plus, I just plain miss them. Even if they aren't helping, they are wonderful to be around.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pick up Trip in detail - Longest post ever

Let's see... I feel like I should at least write about our pickup trip for the boys before I forget some of it.
Sunday May 29th.
Aaron and the girls drove me to the Huntsville airport where we met Blake and Leigh Anne around 1000 am for our flight. We flew from Huntsville to Dallas. At Dallas, we had a 40 minute window to get from one plane to another and our plane was a little late. However, since we didn't have the boys, we made it to our next gate while the plane was still boarding. Near miss. Then we flew from Dallas to Houston in a very short flight. Seems like we got in the air, seat belt lights went off for about 15 min., then time to sit back down again for landing. In Houston we had about 2 hours to wait for our trip to Dubai.
While boarding our Emirates plane, we stood in line for the airplane and a man with a very large Dutch Shepard dog was walking up and down the line while the dog sniffed for Drugs? explosives? not sure, but he apparently he didn't smell anything. The flight to Dubai was around 12 hours long. It was pretty nice because even though we didn't have the boys yet, they put us in bassinet seating, which is on a front row with plenty of leg room. I think I actually slept a total of 7 hours on that flight. Even though I woke up every hour or so. However, that meant that I was very rested when we arrived in Dubai around 7pm Dubai time. We made it through customs pretty easily and I didn't have to pay the $100 each for VISAs for some reason. We grabbed a cab and told him what hotel we were in. He had never heard of it and had to pull over and call the number on our itinarary and thankfully the lady at the hotel was able to direct him to it. We didn't know that the hotel we chose had only been open a few weeks...AND you had to drive through construction, making the roads as bad and bumpy as Ethiopian backroads to get to it.
We got checked in by some very polite people, a rarity while there, we were all wide awake and decided to take the free hotel shuttle to the Dubai Mall, the biggest mall in the world. We were assured it was safe to go there at night. Unlike malls in the US, where most of the people roaming around after dark are teenagers, there were mostly adults and families there. We at supper there. I ate cheese pizza at Pizza Hut and Blake and Leigh Anne ate at a KFC. We all had enough food left over for breakfast the next morning. We didn't get the rooms with the $30 breakfast included, so we had to improvise.
Tuesday May 31
My alarm didn't go off this morning, so we ended up getting up later than we wanted and getting a late start. We took the shuttle to the mall and then paid for the Hop On Hop Off Bus tour. It was a nice way to get around Dubai and we stayed with the tour until after 5pm. Met someone from close to where I was born in IN on the bus. We only saw probably 1/3 of the things on the tour. We ended it at the mall and called our hotel to tell them we needed the shuttle to pick us up. We were told he was already on his way and would be there in 10 min. 45 min later he pulls up, drops someone off and starts to drive off. We run out there in the road and he stops for us. The driver is friendly, but his passenger, who we think may have been a friend of his, hitching a ride, was ANGRY. He was yelling on the phone and finally yelled at our driver to just stop the vehicle and let him out. So he got out on the side of the highway, ready to walk to his destination rather than ride with us? We figured that our driver had told the hotel he was on his way to the mall, picked up a buddy, and he apparently was never told we were there waiting, he just happened to drop someone else off. Anyway, we finally made it back and decided to go for a swim. That was nice and we made it back up to our room on the 18th floor and about 2 min. later the lights went out. Soooo lucky we made it to the room and weren't stuck on the elevator. It was off for over an hour. We stood in the hall and talked to people on different floors. We met a man from AL probably a couple of hours from here. He said he worked for the govt. but wasn't able to elaborate. He was real full of himself and we finally made excuses to go sit in the dark. We decided to go back to the mall for supper, since there was nothing else to do. After walking down about 15 flights of stairs with charlie horses in our calves, the power came back and the elevators started working.
June 1.
The night before, we all slept terrible. I was terrified that we would miss our flight. It was at 8:30 which meant leaving for the airport at 6am. Even though I tested my alarm clock and ordered 2 wakeup calls. We got to the airport in plenty of time. We checked in and then sat in a room waiting for our flights. It was time to board, but it was weird because there was no door in the wall leading to an airplane. We ended up getting in line for an escalator and riding down to what seemed like a parking garage. We then got herded into a bunch of busses that you stood up in holding on to a handle hanging from the ceiling. After about a 15 min. drive, we made it to our plane and had to climb the steps into the plane. I was going to take a picture of the plane, but the man scolded me and told me no pictures allowed for whatever reason. However, Leigh Anne was behind me filming, so she got pictures on tape before he was able to tell her no also.
We only had a 4 hour flight this time and we arrived in Ethiopia around 11:30. We were first in line for VISAs which are $20 each. Then got our VISAs stamped then Blake and Leigh Anne found our bags, while I changed some money over to Ethiopian Birr. LeighAnne wasn't allowed to change much money over because the lady claimed to have run out of Birr. Anyway, we got our bags and then this man working at the airport took them and put them on his cart, then demanded $5 US. This is the frustrating part. Because we would have gladly taken our own bags, we already had them on a cart, he just rearranged them> But he acted all official and told wanted to see our baggage tags...anyway, we gave him the $5, then his boss comes by and tells us to pay them $10 US. At this point, our bags had only moved about 10 more feet. Leigh Anne tells him that we have already paid for this and he questions us again, then moves on. After going through customs, we went outside and Aggie was there from the guest house waiting for us. She had us a cab ready and we stuffed our bags and ourselves in it for the wild ride to the guest house. The cab was in horrible shape. I sat up front and my chair rocked back and forth the entire time. But everyone was real friendly, like usual, in Ethiopia.
After they drug all of our bags to the 4th floor of the guest house, we went upstairs and gathered all of the donations I had brought. Then Alazar showed up to take us to get the boys. They knew we were coming because it was naptime, but they had our boys dressed, awake and ready. Seth was walking out all dressed up, with his nanny. He immediately started crying when he saw me. He wanted that nanny and Alazar said Seth was very attached to her. Then Ethan's nanny brought him down the steps. He was looking so much older. They had shaved the sides of his head and he of course was all smiles, like usual. The nannies showed us Seth's room and then we got back in the van. Alazar had disappeared inside. Well, Seth is crying this whole time, obviously knowing something is up. So we sat in the van with crying Seth until finally , since it was dragging out forever, we gave him back to the nanny and went in to Ethan's room and finally Alazar came out to leave. As soon as we were out of the transition house gate, Seth stopped crying and just looked around. We stopped at a store on the way back because the nannies said that Seth was no longer drinking formula, but was drinking cow's milk. Alazar argued with them and said no, but they insisted. (However, he would never drink the cow's milk at the guest house and I ended up giving it to the guest house cooks, so I think Alazar was correct, maybe they had misunderstood my question)
We picked up a lady who was there alone with her little adopted daughter who was leaving that night to take her home. We talked a little to her, but I never got a good look at her daughter. Now I wish I had because when I thought about her daughter's name later, it was the same name as a little baby that had been on the waiting list. I wish I had looked at her. It is really exciting to see children on the waiting list that have families, even if they aren't home yet.
Leigh Anne and Blake slept most of the afternoon and I took the boys to the living room of the guest house and hung out with the families from Germany, Wisconsin and Tennessee who were also adopting.
Finally went to bed around 10pm that night. Since Leigh Anne and Blake had taken naps, they were able to get up with the babies that night and I got a great nights' sleep with my earplugs in. It is very loud there at night. Babies crying in the neighbors' houses, dogs fighting and the muslim call to prayer over the loudspeakers.
June 2
Got up this morning and I got ready to go to embassy. We had decided that Leigh Anne and Blake would stay with the boys. I had misunderstood and didn't realize the babies had to go. So I got the van and Alazar was like "where are the children" I told him and he said "no, no, they have to come". So I trudged up the 4 flights of stairs, did I mention the 8000 ft above sea level altitude of Addis? So I finally got upstairs, caught my breath enough to eeek out "" So we threw together diaper bag stuff and ran back down to the van. We picked up a very sweet girl who had our paperwork and was the CCI secretary in Addis. She didn't speak a lot of English, but she was real nice. Seth loved her and sat in her lap the whole way there.
We didn't have to wait too awful long for our turn. I met a couple from Dallas while there, taking their baby home. I answered a few questions from the US worker from Rhode Island. She was real nice and not intimidating at all. I would guess her age around 25-30. Then we had to wait a few more minutes and then we were ready to leave. Alazar picked us back up, dropped off the girl, then dropped us off.
That afternoon, we were very brave and decided to do like all the other visitors at the guest house and catch a cab to the Friendship mall. We took a card from the guest house with a map on the back. We walked to the main road and stood there. Finally, a cab that was almost full stopped, and this real nice man, who was getting into the cab asked if we needed a cab. We told him yes, so he said he would tell this cabdriver to come back for us. So he relayed to the cabdriver where we wanted to go and sure enough a few minutes later, he was back. He offered to stay at the mall and wait for us. We told him no, since we had no idea how long we would be there. We shopped a while and I found the same blankets they had at the guest house for sale. They are so thick. Anyway, we finally found the pizza place in the mall and I ate my 4th order of pizza for the trip. (#1pizza on Emirates plane, #2 pizza at Pizza Hut in Dubai, #3 pizza at guest house) We made it back to the guest house and spent the evening chatting with other guests.
June 3
We spent the morning at the guest house. We thought about trying to leave a day early, but couldn't get the computer to work well enough to do it. So we called Daniel, our driver from last trip, to get him to take us shopping. We went to this place called The Postoffice. I have no idea why because it is a bunch of shops in tents on the side of a street. We shopped there for a long time. After Daniel took us to the coffee shop where I bought a huge bunch of coffee for gifts. After we finished shopping we wanted to eat. Daniel took us to a nice restaurant called Island Breeze. There were other white, English speaking people there, and a US embassy car there, AND Daniel assured us that the food was safe for us to eat. It was so good. We bought 3 pizzas (pizza #5) and 6 bottles of cokes for probably $20. After that it was getting late and Daniel took us home. Daniel was a lot more outgoing this trip and pretty funny. I thought he walked to the guest house, but then we found out he lives 9 miles away. He has to catch a bus.
June 4
While talking to another adopting mom at the guest house, she told us about this place they had shopped where women with HIV make jewelry, some of it out of coffee beans to sell for a living. So we had them call Daniel for us again and he found out where this place was after some phone calls. Leigh Anne wanted to stop by the orphanage, so we went to the Resurrection Orphanage where Seth lived and where Ethan had spent some time. That story I have blogged on a few posts back. After we left there, we made it to the HIV jewelry store. That was nice and we bought a lot of stuff. I bought more coffee that they ladies had ground. The HIV ladies were not there. They actually lived up on some mountain close by. There were lots of English speaking missionaries there playing with the HIV ladies children in the courtyard. The worker told us that the bus the kids in a few times a week for school. After we left there, it was lunch time. I kept asking Daniel if different places were "close" I was lost and didn't know if we were close to some landmarks I knew. He kept saying "no" like it was crazy question. FINALLY, we realized that he thought I was asking if these places were "Closed" not "Close"by like I meant. When we realized the error, the restaurant Antika that I wanted to go to was closeby and we ate lunch there. Pizza #6.
After this, Daniel dropped us off and we said goodbye. We then went and finished packing and they had about 2 hours to hang out while waiting for our ride to the airport.
Zebene, the owner of the guest house, came to tell us goodbye and take a picture with me and the boys. He was so nice. He sent us off to the airport in an extended cab pickup truck. Which was the nicest car I rode in there. As soon as we got on the road, the traffic stopped and our driver told us the Prime Minister was in town and traffic would be stopped for a long time. Thank goodness for the 4 wheel drive truck. He put it in 4 wheel drive and drove over the median, and took us the back way to the airport. This time a nice young man put our bags on the carts and pushed our bags up hill to the airport. He helped us all the way through and didn't "demand" money like the other guy. I really don't think we could have made it up the hill with 5 carryons, 5 heavy bags, and 2 babies. So, we gave the guy extra money because he was so sweet, didn't demand it and after we saw how hard he was working to get the bags up that hill, we appreciated him so much more.
We finally got on the plane for the 4 hour flight back to Dubai. That wasn't too bad. Of course, the boys had diarrhea this entire trip. We had 2 hours in Dubai. Whew, it was so hot in the Dubai airport. Maybe it was humidty that made it so bad. But we were all sweating like crazy. After a 2 hour layover, we headed out on our 16 hour flight to Houston. The boys were really wonderful. But 16 hours on a plane with to babies in diapers with diarrhea is not fun. I kept Ethan with me since I was sitting in a separate section. We were all on the same row, but I was alone on the other side of the aisle. Leigh Anne and Blake kept Seth with them. We got into Houston with less than 2 hours before our next flight. Our plane in Dubai had left about 30 min. late. We went through customs with 5 bags and 2 babies and no strollers. They had put them on as baggage and not Valet, so that was a mess. By the time the Barry White lookalike customs man slowly opened the boys packages and looked at them I was getting antsy> Then we found out we weren't done. I was "escorted" to another room by a lady who wouldn't let Leigh Anne or Blake come in the room with me, but I had to take the boys. Both boys had dirty diaper and the diaper bags were not with me. So the lady told me to go out and get them and change the boys. So I had to lie Ethan down on a blanket in the bathroom so I could change Seth. Yuck! That took time and delayed us even more. She finished her part and sent me on my way. At this time, Leigh Anne had already called Michael to see what other flights we might get on. We made it to our terminal about 5 minutes late. Which was so maddening, but the plane was gone.
This put us in Houston for a 3 hour layover.
By this time, Seth had pooped through all of his clothes and was walking around the airport in a tshirt, diaper and socks. When I called Aaron to tell him of our missed flight, I started to describe our trip and broke out into hysterical laughing/crying that Leigh Anne had to take the phone and let him know that she didn't know if I was laughing or crying, but I couldn't talk at that time. I finally composed myself enough to talk.
We ended up having to fly to Chicago. Well our plane leaving Houston left late, so we were eventually scheduled to land at the same time the last flight of the night was scheduled to fly to Huntsville. I was talking to the flight attendant, who had told us he was on the flight to Huntsville too. He didn't think we would make it.; I told him that if we missed that last flight, I was going to cry. He said "don't cry" I however affirmed to him that I WOULD surely cry if we missed that last flight and had to spend the night in Chicago. At this point we were already getting home 5 hours later than planned. And it didn't help that we had been counting down the hours the whole time and had to add more hours on to the end. As we were getting off the plane I begged the flight attendant to do something to stall the next plane. I was towards the front of the plane with Ethan, and Leigh Anne and Blake were on the last row, so I took off out of the plane, in hopes to run to the next gate and beg them to hold the plane for us. But when I looked up at the screen with flight info, I saw that our flight home had been delayed and we had 20 min. to spare. So I stopped and waited for Leigh Anne and Blake to give them the good news. What a blessing, the pilot for our last flight was running late. Thank God. So we made it on that last flight, all 5 of us on the last row. Leigh Anne was sick to her stomach, thankfully this flight was only 1 hr 15 min. She took some zofran and felt a lot better by the time we landed.
We got off the plane and picked up our strollers. It felt so wonderful to walk down the hall and see my family standing there with welcome home signs. My mom and Sandra Burch were also there to welcome us. But the drama wasn't over. Our bags were still in Dallas. So after making arrangements for that, we finally got in the car and headed home. What a trip. I don't think I would climb into an airplane right now if you paid me.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Embassy Trip Pictures

Blake, Daniel, Leigh Anne & me. Daniel took us where we needed to go.
Resurrection Orphanage courtyard
Ethan chilling out at the guest house
Seth, wanting to be a good big brother and push Ethan around in the stroller.
Ethan posing for the camera.
Milk face Seth
Seth being silly.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Home since Sunday!

Leigh Anne and Blake with the Ethiopia Airport in background.
Our luggage precariously tied on with a thin green string for the bumpy ride to the guest house. It made it intact, so I guess I shouldn't question the green string.
Leigh Anne, sorting through carryons under Blake's legs on the planeOur travel party ready for adventure
We made it home around 10pm Sunday night. What a journey. At some point I will write about our trip. But for now, the boys are doing Great! They are fitting in wonderfully.
I was expecting them to stay on the Ethiopian schedule for a while. Sleeping during the day here and being awake at night, but that just hasn't happened. Each night, Seth goes to bed around 8:30pm and sleeps until around 8am. Then he goes down for a nap around noon and sleeps 3-4 hours. He sleeps a lot. But he did this in Ethiopia on our court trip and embassy trip, so maybe that is just him?
Ethan goes to bed around 9:30pm and sleeps to around 5am. Then he takes about 3 naps during the day around 1 hour each, then back to bed. He sleeps good for a 7 month old. He has been eating lots of baby food and formula.
The girls are loving having their brothers home. Madelyn made it to Ethan this morning before me and brought him to me to be changed and fed. Then she and Natalie took him into the living room to lie on a blanket on the floor and play for a while. Hannah loves them too, but I can tell she is really struggling with the attention they are getting. However, she is so sweet with them and I give her hugs all the time and try to involve her in their care.
Yesterday we were talking about how we were glad that the boys do not have to grow up in an orphanage and that they have a family now. She said that she felt bad for this boy she heard me telling Aaron about...
Here is his story...
Our plane didn't fly out of Ethiopia until 7:30 Saturday night, so we had all day Saturday to hang out. We ended up paying Daniel, our driver to come and take us shopping. Leigh Anne expressed interest in going to the orphanage that Seth had lived since it was so close. So we drove over there and met the children there. Only about 20 kids at the time. Same older kids that were there when we were there for court, so I knew that the kids all had homes except these 3 little boys. There were only 2 little girls there and one made me carry her around the whole time, the other one clung to Blake and called her Mama. Anyway, these little brothers were so cute. Probably ages 5, 7. and 9. The older one just loved all over Leigh Anne, sat in her lap, etc. At one point, the 9 year old went out to the courtyard and sat by Daniel our driver. As we got in the car to leave, Daniel told us that the 9 year old came out to ask him.. "why doesn't anyone come to take our family away? " Sooo sad. Then as we drove off, he came out and just stood in this sad position watching us leave. I wish I could post his picture, but I am not allowed. I pray that they get a family soon.
We have been walking each night after supper around our property. It has been unusually hot, so we put Seth in the backpack on Aaron's back and he loves it. Then Ethan gets to ride in the new stroller.