Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Traditioinal Dinner and Dancing

Tonight we went to Habasha 2000 - a traditional Ethiopian Restaurant with music and dancing.  When we adopted Daniel it was one of my favorite moments.  The food is so good and the music and dancing is so fun.  It is a night of community with the other families in the group.  I couldn't tell you all the names of the food from the picture.  Some of it is spicy and some mild.  The beef was excellend as was the doro wat.  The food is put in the middle of everyone and you use the Injera to scoop up the other items, no silverware.

Here is what Daniel thought of the experience:
"I liked the food but it was hot and spicy. I liked the injera. I liked the music especially the person playing the drums and the flute. I liked when daddy danced."

Mark finally got to try the raw meat. Even though it is raw it is very seasoned. He said it was really good, he had to get up and move because he would have eaten more than he should have!  

The music and dancing is so beautiful.  Each dance tells a story and means a different thing.  At one point they go out and pick people out of the crowd to dance with them.  Mark was one of the lucky ones in our group, they tried to get Daniel to dance but he would not (it was way past bedtime and he was done). Here is the video of Mark dancing:


Tonight was a great way to celebrate Matthew being part of our family forever! Here are some more pictures of the evening:

Coffee Tour

After court today we all went to Robera's and took a coffee tour.  Mark and I had done this tour 5 years ago when we picked Daniel up.  It was fun to go back and see how things have changed and evolved.  This time we heard from the owners son, who the coffee house is named after, Robera.  It was fun to listen to his dreams to not only grow the coffee business but also help support his workers. Daniel seemed to take it all in as he was talking.  He will randomly mention some kind of fact about the coffee.  This is Daniel with Robera after the tour:

They have a system that no part of the coffee bean goes to waste.  It is so fascinating and they make great coffee (we may have bought about 30 pounds to bring home).  They roast all the beans on this one machine.

Here are a few more pictures from the tour.  We can't wait to stock up on some more when we return to bring Matthew home.

Introducing Matthew Tesfahun Heddleson

It’s official he is ours!  Meet Matthew Tesfahun Heddleson.

 We had our court date today (and of course Daniel chose today to have his meltdowns). It is always nerve racking when you go to a different country and have to go before a judge!  It was pretty simple though, we got called into a small room, he asked us a series of questions, the best being “Do you like him” (who would say NO) and asked Daniel if he was happy about the adoption, to which Daniel replied “I am happy” and that was all he said.  We were nervous about what would come out of his mouth since he was in quite a mood today.  Then the judge asked if we knew it was final and said ok I will finish the paperwork and it was done.  Really kind of anticlimactic but it is over and he is officially ours. 

After court we went on the coffee tour and bought all of our coffee to take home. 
Then we had lunch at the Amsterdam restaurant and went shopping.  Shopping always puts my anxiety on edge, I don’t like to barter and I don’t like the people coming up to sell me other things.  As soon as you get there you are attacked by people wanting to sell you things.  We got the boys both matching soccer jerseys and traditional shirts. 

Then we got a great surprise, we got to go to the transition home for about ½ hour.  Daniel was so excited because he was really sad we would not see Matthew today or tomorrow.  He ran right in to get him and as soon as Matthew saw Daniel he got the biggest smile on his face.  Daniel had a hard time leaving him today.  Please pray with us that Daniel will do ok when we leave on Thursday to come home.  He will understand but he keeps saying “I miss Matthew”. 

Tonight is the night we go for traditional dinner with all the music and dancing.   I am so interested to see what Daniel thinks about all of that.  We can’t wait for the food it is so good. Hopefully Daniel will eat some and Mark won’t try to much raw meat.   I will update you more tomorrow on tonights adventures and our trip to the Gorge.  In the mean time enjoy some more pictures of Matthew.


Ethiopia Day 2

We spent all day today with Matthew.  He started reaching out for Mark and I and we got a lot of smiles.  He is so happy, calm and laid back.  He eats non-stop, I think we feed him at least 4 times in the few hours we were there.  We met with the doctor also, they have no concerns and he is healthy.  They did reveal that he loves his bottles.  When he is finished with his he will reach over and take the child’s bottle beside him.  He loves to watch people playing ball, any kind. 

It is so hard to leave him there when it is time to go.  I took him in to his nannies when it was time to leave for lunch and he clung to me.  While that is a good sign, it completely broke my heart.  So the rest of the trip Mark will have to take him back.  The nannies are still loving on Daniel and the ladies in the medical office remembered him also.  He is doing so great with just letting them hug and kiss him and not complaining.  He just stands there and smiles.

Here are Daniels thoughts on today (he’s a man of few words today):
Matthew was happier today.  He really liked the cars and his surprise from Kiesha, the little blankie.

Tomorrow we go to court.  Please pray with us because after this day Matthew will officially be a Heddleson.  We can then share pictures. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Meetcha Day - Matthew

Today was a very long day!  We arrived in Ethiopia at 7:30. By the time we got out of the airport (was pretty sure for about 45 minutes they lost one of our bags) and to the Guest House it was 9:30.  Our guide asked if we wanted to go to church, which was one of our favorite moments of coming to get Daniel in 2010, but we opted to settle in, take showers and put Daniel down for a much needed nap.  Unfortunately, after I took a shower I fell asleep and woke up at 11:55 which they were coming to get us for lunch at 12, so we hurried to pack our bag for today and get ready.  We meet up with 4 other families and had lunch (really good hamburgers) before heading to meet Matthew. We were the only family who wasn’t here yesterday so we were the only ones who still had to meet our child. 

They brought him down those steps and all the exhaustion of 2 days of travelling and not sleeping since Thursday night melted away.  He is sooooo cute and big.  He is adorable even more so than his pictures.  He is so even tempered and didn’t cry at all.  It did take awhile to get a smile out of him though.  Good news too, he liked the cars Daniel brought for him (Daniel was worried what we would do if he didn’t like cars) and he loves any kind of ball.  He looks like he would make a good football player!  He is a nosy rosy and kept looking everywhere and anywhere there was some action happening, even when he was trying to eat.  Matthew loves Daniel, he would smile and laugh when he saw him and when Daniel wasn’t near Matthew kept looking around trying to find him, Daniel thinks it is cute now we will see in 5 years or so! I can't wait to share pictures we got so many cute ones of the boys but I can't share until we pass court on Tuesday (praying we will pass so I can share).

Here are Daniels thoughts on meeting Matthew (word for word no editing):

It was fun and cool. I liked that I got to see my brother and that I liked when I got to see my brother play with my cars.  I was excited to meet my baby brother.  It felt good to go back to the Transition home where I stayed before my mom and dad came and got me.  I was surprised that Matthew got a lot bigger. I was happy to see Matthew.  I am sad that Matthew didn’t get to leave with us today. I am excited I get to see him tomorrow though. 

One cool thing about today was Daniel got to go back to the Transition Home where he spent the first year of his life.  So many of the nannies remembered him and he even got this picture taken with the nanny he bonded to 5 years ago.  

She recognized him instantly.  They were all so excited to see him and he ate all the attention up.  Our driver even remembers driving us around when were were here for Daniel.  It is cool for him to realize where he came from.  On our way in from the airport I asked him what he thought about Ethiopia he said “What this is my country”.  I am so glad he got to come and experience it for himself and be involved in this process.  He loved playing at the Transition home with the other boys, playing soccer and football and jumping rope.  It is definitely an eye opening experience for Daniel and one that hopefully will stay with him forever. 

Tonight we ordered dinner in and are going to watch a movie and hit the bed early!  We are all so exhausted Mark fell asleep eating lunch!  Tomorrow we spend more time at the Transition home bright and early which I can’t wait for, I couldn’t even take Matthew back to the nannies Mark had to.  It was so hard to leave him but helpful to know the same nannies who took care of Daniel are the ones that are there with Matthew.  

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Passport is Here

Daniels passport was delivered today!  Praise God, Daniel can go to Ethiopia with us. Daniel is so excited he is telling everyone.  We are so excited to meet Matthew as an entire family and for Daniel to see the country he is from.  What a lesson in prayer for this little 6 year old.  Praying relentlessly and God answered his prayers.  Thank you God!  Now on to finishing packing, I had already been packing like Daniel was going with us all along. Donation bags are packed, carry on bags are packed, now on to packing clothes.  Ethiopia here we come!

Please pray for safe and calm travels (especially with a 6 year old on a 13 hour flight).

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Prayer by Daniel

In Sunday school today Daniel wrote this prayer:

Be still my heart!  Please pray for his passport.  I can't even imagine what he will go through if we don't get to take him with us.  We went to the cross outside at church today just him and I to pray for God to help us get his passport and to help keep Matthew safe.   Here was his prayer

"For nothing will be impossible with God" - Luke 1:37

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Daniels Passport

Please pray for Daniels passport.  We received a request for more information last night.  It is being overnighted for delivery first thing Friday morning.  Please pray that they receive the information and they process it quickly.  We are running out of time.  Daniel knows that if we don't get that passport he can't go with us.  How am I going to leave him behind?  He is so excited and praying for this passport.  Please pray with us.

"The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him" - Nahum 1:7
"The Lord will fight for you, you only need be still" - Exodus 14:14

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Pray for Matthew

Please pray for Matthew we just got word that he is not feeling well.  He has tonsilitis, upper respiratory, ear infection and bronchitis.  Please pray that he gets better soon and the antibiotics work.  We will be there before we know it and want to keep him healthy until we get to bring him home.

"Let us then approach Gods throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." - Hebrews 4:16

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Court Date Received - Oh My we are moving fast now!

Oh my goodness, we have a court date!  June 16th we will go before the judge in Ethiopia.  I was so shocked when she called.  We had just turned in our Pair approval letter at 9:00 am and at 10:30 Lauren called me with the news only an hour and a half later. We were told it would take 2-5 days to get the court date so we were not expecting to hear this news today.  We are so excited and anxious.  They wanted us to leave a day earlier than we are, we can't have Daniel miss his trophy game.  So we will leave bright and early the next day.   Oh my we have a lot of planning to do.

Also, please pray for Daniels passport. We still don't have it and there is no movement on where it stands right now.  If we don't have his passport in the next week Daniel will not travel with us.  This will crush him. Please pray I can get some answers and get it moving in the next day or so.

Matthew here we come!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Pair Letter Received

We got it.  Just under 2 months we received our Pair approval letter. This is the last piece we have been waiting on and it is here.  We can apply for our adoptive family court date.  It will take 2-5 days to get our court date but we will know when we are meeting our baby boy within the next week!

Please pray for Daniels passport.  Now that we are even closer we really need that to get here.  We were told to plan to travel the end of the month, which is still 2-3 weeks away but his passport has been in process for 4 weeks already.  I have called to check on it but all I get is it is in processing.  I have added the expedited processing so hopefully he has the passport in time.  He will be crushed if he can't go to Ethiopia.