Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Anyway, I wanted to pass along some info about Sintayehu's name that my mom came across last week:
Sintayehu is a poetic name. The literal meaning is "how much have I seen"! It is a kind of expressive name that leaves new mothers wondering when they see their newborn baby. It is a very beautiful name.
It is pronounced Sin - TIE - u.
I actually confirmed the pronunciation when I spoke to the owner of Taste of Ethiopia as I was picking up dinner for us on Friday night. She said I had it right.
Needless to say, we are still super excited (of course) about our new boy. It was a bit of a whirlwind week last week and things are really starting to sink in. We're realizing that there is a ton of work to do get ready for the baby. Most importantly, we need to prepare Mikias' room so he can move and Sintayehu can get the crib. It feels like there is an endless list of things to accomplish before we even get to that...one day at a time. Also, we're trying to work out arrangements with Joanna's work schedule and my work schedule and how it is going to fit with travel and having two children. I think we've got a pretty good plan, it's just a matter of getting it work for us and our family.
As for the adoption process itself, we're now waiting to hear about a date for Sintayehu's court case in Ethiopia. This is the day when the adoption is actually final. I wouldn't anticipate this will happen until at least a month from now...could be longer of course. After that's all final we'll be able to make travel arrangements.
Finally, I want to mention what an awesome age Mikias is at right now. Of course I've thought this every step along the way! He's absorbing (and repeating) so much information. He's really into singing Happy Birthday probably because there are so many birthdays in our family in November & December. I think he assumes that when there are a bunch of people together now that it must be someone's birthday. He even gathers his toys together sometimes to do this...hilarious. But, the best thing by far is something he's only been doing for a few days now. He'll be playing and then totally unsolicited he'll come up to me, hug my leg, and say "I love you, daddy!". I say "I love you too, Mikias" and then he rushes back to playing. There's probably not a better feeling in the world.
Speaking of Mikias, he's finally asleep...and the house is quiet again.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
We have been in this process for over a year and you never quite know what your reaction will be when the time comes. We knew this day would come, but it is still very overwhelming to look at every possible detail of your new child, yearn to touch him and then anticipate all that is to come.
We were so excited to bring Mikias upstairs to open the email with Sintayehu's picture and information. However, Mikias had other plans...the CD's really needed to be pulled off the shelf, the tin box which holds archaic maps surely needed reorganizing, and he would not have a chair on wheels stay in one place! As Benjamin and I read about and stared at our new son, I am pretty sure Mikias looked hilarious running around behind us knowing we weren't paying one lick of attention to him.
We did print off pictures and gave one to Mikias to hold. He said "Oh, Wow!" for one second and threw it back on the coffee table as if he was trying to appease us. We did keep repeating Sintayehu's name and he could only get out the last bit which amounted to "YEAH HOO!!!" So, loving your brother is a learned trait. We've got time for that...in fact, a life time!
We asked our parents to come over late last night for the news and pictures. We didn't tell them anything before they arrived. However, my Mom and Dad brought wine and Jill and Scott brought comfort food. Hmm...have we done this before?
And as if all of that isn't enough...our referral came on the same day as me accepting a new position as Curriculum Director of my school district. You know how you have one of those moments in your life where everything seemingly falls in to place...and then you wake up the next morning with fear in your eyes and an ache in your stomach. One day at a time....
Benjamin has this saying he has used with me repeatedly during the past couple of years..."Is it an Ortonville Day or Africa Day?" Ortonville is the "ville" I work in and when my response is Ortonville it usually means I have had some great moment with my students or feel challenged by my profession in a positive way. When my answer is Africa it usually means my mind was preoccupied with thoughts of a continent for which I feel called to and a country I feel deeply committed to in some strange way.
Yesterday was an "Africanville" day.... Who am I kidding...it was a "YEAH HOO" kind of day!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Mikias playing w/ his new train
Enjoying some cake!
The animal pack
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The summer of 2008 came and went so fast that I hardly remember particular days. However, I sure do remember many moments. For the most part, the summer was great. I loved having day in and day out with Mikias. Each morning he would wake up saying "outside?" in this voice that made you think he had thought about it all night long. As we opened the blinds to reveal this mysterious place, his excitement grew as if he knew what waited would be the source of entertainment until naptime in which we began the aforementioned routine all over. "Outside" was clearly the winning word for him and would easily sum up his summer happenings.
Through my eyes, summer is where we had time. Time that is difficult to find now that the school year has started. We had time to visit with old friends and meet new friends. Time to be around family often, even sometimes unexpectedly. Time to run, walk, explore, go to the park and bike ride all in the same day. Now that school has started we have adjusted our routine to include work and jam packed fun weekends, all the while wondering when our new little one will enter our lives. More on that later....
In a photo glimpe, here is how our we spent our time.
Playing frisbee at his Gotcha Day Party!
Splashing at a spray park!
Watching a 4th of July parade in Harbor Springs.
Hanging out with his oldest pal, Seth!
Sitting in tractors with Daddy.
Waiting for Daddy to get home from work for more playtime!
Now that the school year has started, Mikias is enjoying his daycare day with all his new friends. Robin is awesome and has aided us tremendoulsy on this work/home/parent balance thing. We have been able to sneak in two fall weekends. The hayride where the familiy picture was taken was 2.5 weeks ago. The pumpkin shot was last weekend. Can you just feel the weather change?
Speaking of changes, you may have noticed a new look to our blog. Perhaps, this is a prelude to a new look our family will be having as soon as this second adoption is complete. After many months of what appeared as no movement or action, our agency has gained some momentum. For the most part, waiting hasn't been as hard because Mikias has filled our time so generoulsy. However, our 2nd adoption's timeline will soon pass our total timeline of our 1st. This is difficult to swallow, but as it did with Mikias, I am sure all of these feelings will erase as soon as we welcome our new little one.
As it stands, when asked, Mikias now responds to the question "do you want a brother or sister?" with "sister" or "do you want a sister or brother?" with "brother".
Either way, we are excited for what is to come...
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
Mikias was given his first hair cut. Or should I say, buzz? As you can see, the popsicle did not win him over. He did find it hilarious when he was staring at himself later in the mirror.
We also went to the beach where he enjoyed swimming, eating dirt and climbing on the playscape.
We ended the day by giving Mikias one of the 18 gifts we purchased for him while we were in Ethiopia. These animals have sat on his shelf, but he has never actually played with them before.
It was a pretty low key, yet fun, celebratory day. It is amazing to think one whole year has gone by since he joined our family. It's been said before, by others, but we have no idea what we did before we had him in our lives. (okay, maybe the house was cleaner)
That is a small price to pay for a large part of our hearts full.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
We visited the Detroit Zoo where Ben and Mikias spent some time exploring the polar bear exhibit.
We celebrated Mother's Day with the grandmothers.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
In an ironic twist, we met Karen and Patrick soon after receiving our pictures of Mikias. They are in Ethiopia meeting their daughter right now....just as our packet arrives!
I have tried to talk with Mikias about bringing another child to the US from his home country. I explain that he will have a brother or a sister to play with. So far, his only response is "apple". (Sorry, Gwyneth, we will not be following your lead...)
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Hopefully, at this time next week the completed dossier will be back in our agency's possession and will soon be off to Ethiopia! Then the wait begins. It's strange how it seems like everything is moving so fast this time around but in reality the process is slower. It must be because Mikias is distracting us from obsessing over this adoption.
This afternoon the three of us headed to the Earth Day Expo at Oakland University. It was pretty cool. Joanna and I have been there the past few years and really enjoy it. Mikias' favorite part was definitely the African dancers that performed. He was totally entranced for about 20 minutes.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
In other news: Joanna and I are close to sending our completed dossier off to Washington DC. Tomorrow I'm going to the Office of the Great Seal (not to Lansing this time) to get all of our documents authenticated. Now they do document authentication at some Secretary of State offices and luckily there's one two miles from my work that offers the service. For Mikias' adoption I drove (twice) to Lansing to get this done. Anyway, if everything goes well our dossier will be in the mail on Saturday.
Other than that...just enjoying the nice warm weather and looking forward to the weekend.
Friday, April 11, 2008
We took advantage of the great weather and I was reminded of how much Mikias loves the outdoors. Good times!
On Wednesday, we received our I-171H for the second adoption. This is known as the golden ticket in the adoption world. It does not get us a trip to a Chocolate Factory. In fact, it is a stamp of approval that says the US gov't feels we are able to "furnish proper care to an orphan as defined by section 101(b)(1)(F) of the immigration and nationality act". I feel so much better knowing that we have this declaration. We needed this same paper for Mikias...so I am guessing this time was just a double check. :)
What this does allow us to do is move forward with the second adoption. I am excited. We are taking the next couple of days to finalize our dossier and off it goes. At that point, our hands are off and we will be back to waiting for a referral. WOW!
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Monday, March 3, 2008
Aside form hibernating in this winter wonderland, things have been well. Christmas was wonderful. The highlight being my niece, who was 3.5 at the time, taking Mikias and introducing him to Santa as "her new baby cousin who came all the way from Africa!" This was a totally unprompted comment. So cute!
We have been enjoying winter. Mikias has gone snowshoeing, downhill sledding, on a toboggan ride on a frozen lake. We participated in a library program. He has visited Gigglebeans (a huge playroom for toddlers), been to Chicago (where he watched traffic for at least 20 minutes) and has seemed to enjoy his daycare. His latest tricks include repeating everything we say, sticking his hands in toilets, screaming at the top of his lungs while folding in half when he is doing something he is not supposed to be doing (aka...sticking his hands in the VCR door and getting stuck...often). Life is good.
We are STILL trying to balance the work, home, kid, life thing. Some days are good...some days...well you know. All in all, these months have been good.
Our adoption 2.0 (Thanks, Kubiks) has been moving along as well. We decided to adopt again through Ethiopia as we caught wind of some rule changes that might affect us. It is interesting how life takes you on a path in which you might not have "planned". It has been exciting to watch the developments in the Ethiopia program as many more families have brought their children home.
We are at the point where we are collecting our documents for the dossier and waiting for the golden ticket. The adoption world knows this as the I-171H!
Included are some snapshots of Mikias enjoying the last couple of months.