Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It has been awhile...

Hey all. Wow, I didn't know it had been so long since my last post.

We all are good. Sophia is growing so quickly--she seems to have hit a growth spurt lately. Growing tall and sassy by the day.

A quick note, a group of the Ethio-families are getting together this Sunday at Shilito Park, around 4:30. Post or email for more details...

And now, some incredibly cute pics:

At Uncle Todd's 40th

Sophia's 2nd Birthday Party

Just one afternoon at Aunt Emmie's

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Blog Crossing II

It would seem that there is a group of mommas and their habesha babes converging on Louisville tomorrow for dinner. Lindsey and Ian from over at Clevinger Corner and Amy and Sophia are heading over...

That essentially means that Ian and Sophia are having their first car date. At least they will be well supervised.

p.s. I am doing the snoopy dance...details to follow.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fingers crossed...

Here's hoping for joyful news for Ms. M*

In other news...stay tuned for news of major blog crossing....there is planning afoot!

Monday, January 19, 2009

A belated Chritmas Post

Well, we just downloaded from the camera the Christmas photos. Sophia is a bit harder to get to stay still for picture these days. When she was younger and less/non-mobile, taking her picture was much easier.

Here are a few:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A WooHoo to David and Laura

A big WooHooo to David and Laura! There are in Ethiopia right now to bring their son, Jonah Zelalem home. The got through their Embassy appointment and hopefully are now just waiting for his visa to be processed.

Play Time

Last night we had pizza and spent the evening with the Clevinger's. Sophia and Ian spent the entire time chasing each other, playing, mimicking, and throwing ornaments from the Christmas tree--well, they did take a short break to eat a few bites of pizza and of course later for a cup cake. And, there was a good amount of hugging and smooching thrown in for good measure. Lindsey took some photos, so hopefully she got some good ones of the two smooching bandits!

Sophia didn't make it out of their neighborhood before she crashed out, and I think Mr. Ian was well on his way to Sleepyville when we left.

Seeing our two habesha babes together make me happy. I am extremely thankful that Ian and Sophia have each other. In a few short months, Ms. M* will be home and their group will grow to three, multiplying the fun.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One year hence...

The first day...

Halloween 2008 -- Our little Bumblebee Ballerina!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

One year ago

We landed at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with only our wits and each other, 6 bags, and the trust that a driver named Alazar would be waiting beyond the throng of people just beyond baggage claim--and, the heart-pull of a little girl who lay waiting for us in her crib, somewhere in this city we found ourselves.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fall harvest at the orchard

Swinging the day away.
Como te llama, llama?

Leopold the Llama
Swinging with Poppa!
...and Mommy.

Cousins on the hay ride.
Our little sunflower!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Get Together Update/Change in Venue

The venue has been changed for the get together. Everything else remains the same, we are now meeting at Shilito Park. Here is a map to the park--it is behind Fayette Mall.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Family Get Together -- Come one, come all

Hey all,

In a recent post, I wrote how nice it would be to get a group of us who have been blessed with children from Ethiopia together for a family outing. Well, thanks to Josa, this is firmly in the planning phase.

Here are the particulars:

When: October 11 -- Noon

Where: Jacobson Park (South east Lexington, KY)

Who: As many as we all know and can get there

What: Pizza is the food that seems the easiest...and whatever else you may want to bring (more on this will come in a future post)

So, if you are in the area/region, feel free to join us.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Circle Completed

In May of 2007, Amy and I were in the beginnings of the adoption process. As with many families, the enormity of the process had us feeling a bit overwhelmed, uninformed, and unprepared. We felt as though we were swimming in storm surf with no view of land or scrap of flotsam. To help us find our way, we started this blog in hopes of making connections with other families who were going, and had gone, through the process to ease us down the road. Along the way, we connected with the Clevingers through our families’ blogs.

We both went through the entire process in almost lockstep. We completed our home studies around the same time, we completed our dossiers around the same time, we received our referrals around the same time, and we traveled to Ethiopia around the same time. Through all our up and downs, the waiting, and the anxiety, we developed a great email and blog relationship with Lindsey and Courtney; but, even though we live in the same area, we never had the chance to meet in person. We wanted to try to meet up in Addis, but we both had our crazy schedules and illnesses to deal with, so we had to delay meeting until we were back stateside.

We finally meet the Clevinger Three (soon Four) this past Friday night for dinner. It proved to be as though we sat around a table together many times before. To start, once our little ones saw each other, their eyes and faces lit up in a deep smile. As we sat, talked, delayed ordering, talked more, our little ones played and took each other’s crackers. After dinner, Ian and Sophia were able to get down and play with toys and a rogue straw. It was a treat for them to meet and I am thrilled to think of all the play-dates, birthdays and gotcha days, and maybe even a prom date too (hey, Ian did steal a little kiss at the end of the night).

As we look forward to raising our little girl, we know making great connections with other families who have also been blessed with children from Ethiopia will support her (and her family) as she grows. We are blessed to count Lindsey, Courtney, Ian, and M* as one family we know will share our joy in seeing our Sophia grow from a beautiful little girl into beautiful young lady.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A la "Lost" -- Blog Crossing

The world of this blog will cross with the world of another...stay tuned to find out who!

Monday, August 18, 2008

It's party time here, too!

Just as our friends over at Lindsey and Courtney, it seems that the party time in the wee hours of the morning has taken root here too. It seems to hit around the 2:00 hour, and Sophia wants to jump, climb the crib, and wants everyone to be with her--or, she with us. Though, last night she slept the night through with only few cries and whimpers.

I think that she has traded that time in the morning hours for the afternoon nap without telling us. Lately, she hasn't been taking her afternoon snooze at daycare and some days she and her little friends seemingly conspire to forgo their nap--one day all six babies didn't take a nap. Wow, the young woman in the room that afternoon seemed to be feeling it, too.

In other news, she is still growing and loves pulling up and standing to play. Instead of the sitting in her little activity center, she loves holding onto and walking around it and playing with all the
toys. It will not be long until she is trying to take steps. Oh boy!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Olympic watch

Ethiopia has taken its first gold medal.

Tirunesh Dibaba has taken the gold in the women's 10000m.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

From American Life in Poetry

The US Poet Laureate, 2004-2006, Ted Kooser has a weekly column where he chooses a poem he finds that shares one poet's unique view of our American life as refracted through poetry's prism. This arrives in my inbox every Thursday; sometimes whimsical, sometimes tragic, and others, such as this poem, which are surprisingly close to my experience of watching my daughter play and eat.


To Katharine: At Fourteen Months

All morning, you've studied the laws
of spoons, the rules of books, the dynamics
of the occasional plate, observed the principles
governing objects in motion and objects
at rest. To see if it will fall, and if it does,
how far, if it will rage like a lost penny
or ring like a Chinese gong--because
it doesn't have to--you lean from your chair
and hold your cup over the floor.
It curves in your hand, it weighs in your palm,
it arches like a wave, it is a dipper
full of stars, and you're the wind timing
the pull of the moon, you're the water
measuring the distance from which we fall.

--Joelle Biele

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Where has the time gone?

First of all, my apologies the adopto-blogoshere for being entirely behind (scratch that, delinquent) on any and all posts since Fathers' Day. I was warned a while ago from one of Amy's friends that I was going to be issued a demerit for not posting and keeping Sophia's site updated.

So, here we go!

We spent our first Fourth of July in Chicago. We went with our close friends and their daughter (our goddaughter) and we all had a great time, tasty food, and beautiful weather. We shopped Michigan Ave, the four girls took a carriage ride, experiences the Taste of Chicago, and road the El. We were so surprised by the cool weather we were treated with, we had to by Sophia warmer clothes to wear.

We toured the city on a river boat (I know, kinda touristy, but very cool) on the evening of the Fourth. We headed down the river, through the Chicago Locks, and then out onto Lake Michigan for a loop around the lighthouse.

Fast forward a few weeks--

Looking back, the months that have past since we met our little girl, Ethiopia seems so long ago. It seems to soon to celebrate her first birthday. But in the same thought, she seems to be so much older with each new sound, every time she crawls a bit faster, and more independence she shows.

We had a cozy little party for Sophia--and for her great grandfather, with whom she shares a birthday--complete with burgers and hot dogs, potato salad, cake, and ice cream. And, a pink pinata, fashioned in the shape of a numeral one.

Some of her family were disappointed that there was not more cake carnage than this.

Hanging out with her Granddaddy!

Now, as we knock on the door of 13 months, we prepare for the first steps and the unstoppable walking to follow. Looking at her when she wants to get from A to B, her face tells the tale of her knowing that crawling is really inefficient and there must be a better way. Before that, her parent must finish baby-proofing the house.

Out of all the present of that day, she never let this yellow and white ribbon get too far from her sight.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Hello from Amanda

Hello, this is Amy and Dustin's niece Amanda. I took the picture of Sophia's baptism. .
I was just wanting to say hello to everyone out there! Thank You for all of the nice comments of Sophia!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers' Day!

Those Winter Sundays
--Robert Hayden

Sundays too my father got up early
And put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
about love's austere and lonely offices?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New things

Sophia started day care this week. She has been staying with Amy's mother and grandmother for the past 4 months, so there have been many folks this week adjusting to new things.

We chose a local, church-run day care that many of our friends and family have gone, including our goddaughter. It was just very tough to get a spot there...we signed on the waiting list last march when we sent the application to our adoption agency. It took longer to get into day care than our entire adoption and post-adoption leave time. Wow!

Our home study agency had their yearly, family picnic whilst we were vacationing in Florida. We hated to miss it and especially Courtney, Lindsey, and Ian.

In the past two weeks we have meet two local families who are adopting from Ethiopia. We spent a Saturday in the park with David & Laura and their daughter. There are awaiting their referral of their little boy. And, at Whole Foods this past Saturday, we meet someone else. He and his wife are traveling at the end of July to bring home their little girl. We are very pleased to know the a network, however small, is building here locally and in our region--a network for parents and one for the little ones at the grow.

Maybe these KY families should plan a little late summer, early fall get together....

Monday, June 9, 2008

Fav Foto Monday

Sophia on our first vacation. We went to Florida for a wedding and then on to Panama City Beach to see my family--they were on vacation too.

We three went to a park near downtown a few Saturdays ago to meet a family who is awaiting their referral from Ethiopia for an infant boy.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Photo Friday

Yes, I am unashamedly borrowing this from some of the other bloggers around here....

Tuesday morning -- Sophia excited about voting in the Kentucky Primary (and it counted for once)

Addis Kidan Guest House

During our 4 weeks in Addis, we stayed with the wonderful folks at the Addis Kidan Guest House. Our friend, who we met during our stay, produced this little "video" of the guest house. Check it out to see our Ethiopian home.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday Morning Musings

Sophia now has 6 teeth. Two more popped through Saturday night--and there are still more on the way. Because of that fact, she is not sleeping very well. That means, her parents have not been sleeping very well--and, her Momma has been a trooper the last few nights in getting up with her.

Even with the sleepless nights and the discomfort of teething, she is still so sweet and loving when she wakes up in the morning. She has this thing of tucking her chin into her shoulder, cutting her eyes to me, and then springing the biggest and cutest smile--it just melts me.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Catching up..

We are still here, and we are all well. Sophia has four, pronounced teeth--the front four. Those came in with only a modicum of fussiness. Now, more have set in. Four on the top at least one molar. Wow, the crossness that we missed with the first four has laid in for these that just arrived. A little Baby Oragel and Baby Tylenol really helps.

Sophia was received the Sacrament of Baptism on Sunday, March 30. Father John List, our pastor, was the officiant. For a baby who doesn't like the bath, she hung with the Holy Water fairly well.

This is Sophia waving at the congregation. First time she had really waved purposely before, and she was really waving to beat the band. Her Godfather Jim is in the middle back, and her Godmother Emilyis on the left.

Sophia had her 9-month check-up last week. She is 16 lbs., 10.5 oz and 28 inches long. Meaning, she is in the 16th percentile for weight and the 75th for height.

We learned that her lead level was 9.8 in December, with a measure of 10 being the threshold for concern. Dr. Childers allayed our trepidation by saying that her exposure was environmental and the level with drop naturally. She will have another test in 3 months, and her level should be down considerably by then.

Other than that, we are all well. Little Miss gets up most mornings at 3:00 and is awake for 2 hours or so.

Talk to you all soon!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to all. We three hope that you have had a blessed Easter Weekend!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Don't trust the DS-230, 33 a & b

When we filled out Sophia's Application for Immigration (DS-230), we checked the 'Yes' boxes for 33a and 33b. By checking these two, USCIS was supposed to share the information from our application with Social Security Administration to generate an SSN and send us her card.

Well, after two months of waiting, I gathered all our documents and headed for the local SSA field office. Needless to say, there was no record of this happening, no number generated, and no card on the way.

Has this option worked for anyone else?

We have teeth!

Sophia has two new teeth! She has been trying to cut them in for a few weeks now, and just this past Saturday one of the bottom, front two popped through. And, the other front, bottom tooth came through the next morning. She is very proud of them.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Mailbox stalking : Revisited

Hey all. I must apologize for not posting for a while; it seems lately that days quickly pass the next.

When we came home, Sophia traveled on an IR-3 visa. We arrived in Addis 2.5 days before our court hearing, so we were able to see her before the hearing. Since she traveled on an IR-3, we did not have to file a separate application for her Certificate of Citizenship. From all that we read, the C of C would be mailed no later than 45 days from date of entry. Counting the days, we have been stalking the mailbox, ala I-171H-style.

It finally arrived today! woot woot

In the interim, Sophia has been growing and thriving. We have been the International Adoption Clinic at the University of Kentucky for her post-adoption physical and evaluation, which went really well. She has started on real food....rice and oatmeal cereal, bananas, pears, applesauce, and sweet peas...she loves the peas!

She is now holding her own bottle...I still don't know how I feel about that :)

I could go on...

everyday, still, holds new looks and giggles, new discoveries, new depths of emotions, and new treasures for a lifetime....

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Thanks to Kerri for posting this link.

This gave the needed boost for my self-promise to remember all that touched my heart in Ethiopia and the profound understanding of the wealth and blessing of my life...

Doctor Visits

We had our first doctor visits during the last few weeks. We were to go to our regular pediatrician last Thursday for a check up and to start her vaccinations. But, Sophia developed a cough towards the beginning of last week. Our well visit turned into a sick visit. The cough was viral, and we found out that she had an ear infection as well.

We were supposed to have her first visit to the International Adoption Clinic at the University of Kentucky the day before that, but we had to postpone it. We just didn't think Sophia would be too keen on being poked and prodded (especially the OT exam) while having 101-102 fever.

Fast forward to this Wednesday, we had a great visit with Dr. Shawn Taylor at the IAC. She is a great doctor with tremedous wealth of knowledge about international medicine, especially internation orphans. Sophia still had the ear infection. We are on our second round of antibiotics. As for the physical, the outcome was close to our expectations. She is a bit behind in her truck muscle development and her reaching, grasping, etc. But Dr. Taylor and the OT specialist, Megan, gave us some great instruction and documentation on how to get her up to the curve.

In all other areas, Sophia is all A-pluses, with gold stars. We had our first trip to the book store tonight--she loves her books! That makes me a happy papa!

Friday, December 28, 2007

We are home..

Well, we have been home now for one week. We left for Ethiopia on 11/24 and arrived home with our little one on 12/21. Over the next few weeks I will post what one could call a wrap up of our trip. There is so much to cover day by day, so I will try to cover the highlights.

We arrived late in the evening on 11/25, minds and bodies numb from being awake almost two days. Queued for our visas, then for immigration, for our bags, and finally for customs (which was nothing but an x-ray machine). Outside we found our driver, Alazar, who proved to a trusted ally and resource on the streets of Addis, and made our way from the airport to our guest house.

The next day, we awoke, called our lawyer, Abebe, and made arrangements to meet our little one. We arrived at Toukoul Orphanage, had coffee with the director, and left there to go to Toukoul 2, where little Sophia waited for us. A short car ride down the street, around a roundabout, a left turn, right, then another left, we were there. The culmination of our journey was upon us.

Amy and Sophia --taken just after she was placed in our arms for the first time around 11:00 on 11/26. This is the first picture taken and is by far my treasure of the entire trip.

Second day, morning visit. She is just too precious.

Our first family outing--Metro Pizzeria. They make some of the best pizza you will find anywhere.

A close up on the way to Metro. Sophia loves the Snugli!

Kidist and Sophia. Kidist runs things at the Addis Kidan Guest House. I can only begin to tell you how wonderful and caring she is...

Just a happy baby hanging out, entertaining her parents.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Clearing the fog of confusion

Hey there was some confusion on our travel, etc.

We found our on Wednesday that they (out Ethiopia coordinator & domestic agent) want us there before the court date so we can see Sophia at least one day before the court date. This will change the after placement procedures when we arrived domestic readoption proceedings...

So our court date is the same, 11/28...we are going just much sooner than we expected..

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

We have our travel date

We were gobsmacked with the sooner-than-expected referral and the quick court date, but nothing compared to the news we got today.

We leave next saturday...the one just after Thanksgiving!!!!!! November 24!!!!!!!! I guess that we will be packing our bags rather than putting up the tree on the Friday after.

We have so much left to do, but we know that we will get it all done in its own time. We are just basking the cloud that has enveloped us with the thought that she will be in our arms in two Mondays from now.

We are waiting to hear how long we will be there, but our miracle-worker Carol said she wants to get us there and back quickly.

We will be posting any and all updates that come in the next few days...