Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hangin' with Santa

Joanna and Mikias squeezed in a quick visit to Santa yesterday. Mikias thought the whole thing was pretty cool, but he got fairly stoic (see pictures below) when he actually went to meet Santa. It's hard to believe that these could be the first in a long line of pictures if we follow the Karwan tradition. Every year since they were born, Joanna and her siblings have their picture with Santa. The tradition has grown to include spouses and children now so we're all part of it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sinking in

I'm sitting here listening to Mikias attempt to go to sleep on his first night without a pacifier. He's not "resting comfortably" to say the least. There are almost 20 seconds gaps without crying so we're getting there. We've got to break the habit sometime. There will be so many changes for Mikias in the coming months (new brother, new room, etc.) we though we'd start slow...turns out sleeping without a pacifier is not "starting slow" according to Mikias. We'll see how things go.

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 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

Drumroll please........

We have accepted the referral of a 2 month old baby boy named, Sintayehu. He is beautiful! We received the referral yesterday and have been staring at his pictures and thinking about him ever since.

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 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 was a "YEAH HOO" kind of day!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Two already

It's hard for us to believe but Mikias' 2nd birthday was this past Saturday. He definitely seems like he's a little boy now instead of the baby we met in June '07. We had a birthday party for him. It was nice to celebrate with a few family and friends. Unlike last year, I think Mikias was aware it was his birthday. He even sang to himself (and has done so repeatedly since). A few pictures from the day:

Mikias playing w/ his new train

Enjoying some cake!

The animal pack