Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Embassy Appointment - Done!

Well our first night was a success.  Matthew slept all night and woke up happy.  Yes we have another child who is a morning person (for those of you that know me know how funny this is as I am definitely not a morning person).  He is such a happy little boy, really only fussy anad cranky when it is time to eat, and I am pretty sure he would eat anything you give him!  He does not like to go to sleep either, when he is tired he will fight it to the end.  He is so nosy he doesn't want to miss anything.  

This morning we had our Embassy appointment. This was pretty simple and straightforward.  There was a lot of waiting, which all the kids in our group did great while we waited.  Matthew seems to only want to be held, and mostly by me.  I joked about having to hit the gym before we brought him home, I should have taken that joke seriously!  I may lose 10 pounds this trip just holding him.

After the Embassy appointment we went back to the Transition home for a farewell coffee ceremony. This is so fun to experience and I am glad we got to this time.  Here are some pictures of what the coffee ceremony looks like.

The coffee beans are roasted right in front of you and the coffee is made over a small fire.  It tastes so good.  Along with the coffee they serve popcorn.  While we were there we got to say goodbye to the nannies that have taken such great care of Matthew.  These women are truly amazing.  They truly love and care for these kids, which is evident in the way the children light up when they talk with them.  This is one of the hardest parts of this process, leaving the Transition home the final day.  You know that you will most likely not see these nannies again but know they hold a very special part of my heart.  They will always remember each of these children, which was proven when we brought Daniel back last trip.  You can see the love in some of these pictures:

After the party we went to Amsterdam for lunch.  This was a favorite last time, great food in a open out door restaurant.  Next up was shopping.  We went to a new place this time to shop, it was nice that there wasn't a ton of people and no street kids surrounding you as you tried to look.  The strangest thing was there were 3 men in 3 different parts of the store laying on mats sleeping.  We didn't see them until we almost stepped on them.  We were told they were in a season of fasting so they were sleeping.  It was interesting to say the least!

When we came back we were all beat and decided it best to take naps.  We almost slept through dinner.  With all the running around we did today Matthew did great.  We found out that he is extremely ticklish on his hip bones and has a great belly laugh.  He loves music and loves to dance, does well in car rides and can sleep just about anywhere (but not without a fight). He also loves bread and pasta just like Daniel.  

Tomorrow we have a free day and we are going to go to Kaldi's (Starbucks of Ethiopia).  Since I am a complete Starbucks addict I can't wait!  

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Together Forever!

We are here!  We made it safely to Ethiopia.  It was definitely an interesting trip with the strangest breakfast experience and a plane ride that we thought would never end. Daniel did great when he dropped us off at the airport, I was worried he would completely meltdown but he is having his own adventure this week.  I can't thank everyone enough who is helping keep him busy.  It is truly a blessing to not have to worry how he is doing while we are over here adjusting with Matthew.  

When we got to Dulles airport, we decided to try and have a nice breakfast since the next 24 hours would be the plane food that is not the greatest.  So Carrabba's was open, we decided to give it a try.  We sat down and they gave us a menu with about 6 things on it for breakfast.  Mark orders a coffee and a Veggie Frittata (remember there are only 6 items on the menu and it was early) and the waitress says "I don't know if we have that".  So she goes and asks the chef, comes back and we are good they have them.  I order a latte and breakfast plate.  She says "do you want ice?"  I said no and didn't think anything of it since you can order iced lattes everywhere.  She brings our drinks out and hands me a water with no ice.  I look at Mark and was like that is odd, well maybe they are still making the latte.  She comes back and Mark says my wife wanted a latte also (I never ordered a water). The waitress laughs and says oh I am sorry and the latte machine is broken.  OK fine I will get one after.  The strangest part was after they brought our food and we ate the waitress takes our cups (no refills) and plates away and walks away.  We think she is going to get the check and she sits down at another table with a cup of coffee and just sat there! They just opened so it wasn't break time and there wasn't many other people in the restaurant.  It took a good 15 minutes for her to come back and give us the check.  Needless to say we won't be eating at Carrabbas in Dulles airport anytime soon.

The plane ride was so long this time.  We had seats in one of the front rows of our section which was nice, no one leaning their seats back into our laps and lots of leg room.  Bad part, there was a family that was a mom and 5 kids ranging in age from about 14 to 3 sitting behind us.  The mom I am pretty sure went to sleep and her kids were just running around the plane everywhere, the little girl Mark is pretty sure had at least 2 2liters of Fanta every time you turned around she was coming out of the stewardess prep area with another glass of pop.  And they kicked my seat the entire time.  We were happy to arrive in Ethiopia, made it through the mad house of the VISA line and went to get out bags.  2 of them came out pretty quickly, then we were like where is our last bag.  The other 2 families with us had all there stuff and we were still waiting.  Mark decided to go and look around at the bags people had pulled off the conveyor and someone else had taken our bag off.  So good thing is we had all 3 bags!

When we got to the guest house we only had about an hour to settle in and change and it was time to go and get Matthew.  The day I have waited 4 long years for, he was finally going to be in our arms and we wouldn't have to let him go.  We went into his room at the TH and he was in another room getting changed.  When they set him down on the floor and I held out my arms he smiled and crawled right over.  He let me hold him for awhile and then reached for Daddy.  As soon as Mark held him and hugged him he fell asleep in his lap.

When it was time to leave we said goodbye to the nannies and Matthew only started to cry a little bit.  As soon as we got into the van he was so curious and calm, just sitting there looking out the window taking in all the cars and sights on the road.  First we went to lunch at Makush, the art gallery.  It was so good.  We sat down and Matthew just sat on my lap, he slept through most of the lunch.

When he did wake up he grabbed the spoon and started banging it on the table with a big smile on his face and singing.  Looks like we may have another drummer on our hands.

After lunch we went back to the Guest House.  First thing up eating lunch for Matthew, he loved the chicken and rice baby food.  Although, I don't think there is much this kid won't eat.  Then it was bath time.  He did not like the bath and would not sit down.  Mark had to hold him standing up in the bathtub while I have him a bath.  Hopefully this gets better! After bath time we played a little bit and then all laid down for much needed nap.  

Matthew is so good, he loves to play and cuddle.  His favorite toy right now seems to be the mini soccer ball.  But of course at this stage everything is going right to his mouth.  He does have a cold, all the kids at the TH were sick with flu and runny noses.  

Around 8:00 he was sitting on my lap skyping back home and just fell asleep.  He woke up when we tried to lay him down long enough for a bottle and then went right back to sleep.  He so far has slept through the night.  It is about 4:30 am here right now and I am the only one awake.  

Matthew seems to have started attaching very well.  He is always looking to make sure we are right there with him.  He reminds me a lot of Daniel when we first got him.  

The best part of the night was when we skyped Daniel back home.  Matthew was trying to go through the computer to get to him.  He loves his big brother.  Every time we show him a picture of Daniel he starts giggling.  I can't wait to see the 2 of them together!

Tomorrow is our Embassy appointment and then a farewell party at the Transition Home.  2 more days and we will all be boarding that plane together to come home and start our life as a family of 4.  We can't wait to have all 4 of us back together again.  God is so good and he has perfectly put together our little family.

Here are some more pictures from today:

Daniel we love you and we miss you.  See you in a few days.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Cleared Embassy

We received the email today that we have cleared the Embassy!  That means Matthew is coming home. Our embassy appointment is Monday July 13th and we should be home with him by Thursday. We have waited so long and he is finally coming home.  We are almost ready I think. I don't think I will sleep until we have him in our arms on Sunday.  Time to get packing again.  So ready to start our new normal as a family of 4.

Matthew here we come!