Archive for the ‘Ethiopia Trip’ Category

So I didn’t get a post in for two days but I must say I am doing much better than the previous months, right?

Saturday I got to go out  shopping (had a few free item coupons at Bath and Body Works, and we hit the huge Scholastic Books warehouse sale, and took back a few things I bought black friday) with a friend of mine, who, by the way, is adopting from Ethiopia, through the same agency. Her little girl will even be from the same orphanage.  I am so excited that we will have another family in our little town with a child from Ethiopia.  Check out her blog ….her baby girl has a court date in Ethiopia today (they are 11 hours ahead).  This court appearance will make her officially their child and they will soon know when they can go pick her up.  Things have been changing in the Ethiopian adoption system, the government has added a few other steps and papers to the process, and so some families are not making it through courts the first time around.  So pray with Amy and her family that their sweet little baby girl would make it through court and be unite with her family soon.  The waiting is so hard.

Also, on Saturday we went to Brandon’s office Christmas party… it was fun… stayed out way too late.  Luckily, the boys were at our friends house who were also at the party, being watched by their daughter… who got them to bed and asleep by 8, so we just stayed the night there.

All in all it was a fun and busy weekend.  Brandon is out picking up some bunk beds and mattresses that I found on Craigslist.  This is our first time buying anything off of the site so keep your fingers crossed with us that it is successful.  The boys are so excited to get the bunk beds (we won’t set them up until next week when we move into our house) but Sloan has already asked if we can put Christmas lights around the bed….He said that it would be awesome if we could.  Yes, he used the word awesome….

Here are a couple pics of the boys…

november-081  Our little cheeseball.  Before hair cut.

november-109 Post haircut… if you ask Eyob where his hair is, he will say, “Heather did it!”  We cut his hair on a long awaited visit down in the Portland area with one of the couples we traveled with to Ethiopa.  They adopted a little boy one month younger then Eyob.  While we were there we decided that dealing with his hair and all the pain and stress it causes between us was not worth the cute hair do.  So Heather shaved it off.  Thanks Heather!  It has been a wonderful relief to not have the nightly screaming as I tried to comb through his hair. 

november-111  It has been so fun to see these two really start to get along.  They are so close in age that for a while there I was concerned they would spend the rest of their lives  driving each other and us crazy with their fighting, but as Eyob really begins to settle in and become part of the family, Sean is becoming so much more accepting of him.  We have been talking to him a lot about how he is Eyob’s big brother and it is his job to take care of him and protect him… all the things that we have said and still say to Sloan about Sean and Eyob. Many times over the last few weeks, Sean has referred to Eyob as his special little brother….Seany is so loving and stinky at the same time.  We have prayed and continue to pray that the Father will bind our boys together for life.  What a force they will be for Him.

november-123  Sean and Canyon Paul (my brother Brad’s son)on Thanksgiving.  They are about 4 months apart and look so much a like to me.  Both of them have the cutest shaggy hair and boy are they mischevious. 

november-115 We had 4 boys 4 and under at our little Thanksgiving partyand I’ll be honest we did resort to a little Veggie Tales that day.  We needed a little quite.


november-127 And we can’t forget the little lady of the year….Sage.  Isn’t she a doll.  Not sure why Seany is in so many of these pics… it’s weird.. although he is so darn cute I could just eat him…those cheeks….yum..

november-095 These are all the kiddos from Thanksgiving with Brandon’s family.  At one point they were all running a loop from the livingroom and around through the kitchen. I don’t know if they were playing tag or just acting crazy, but one by one, they got “hot” and took their shirts off.  Arent’ they cute. 6 boys 6 and under. 

Well, I’ll let you to… till tomorrow.


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ethiopia-trip-079  we brought this little boy home.  I remember the day like it was yesterday.

ethiopia-trip-361  He left the arms of the three people he loved most in the world …..ethiopia-trip-366  and entered the arms of strangers….  It was a rough beginning for him… for all of us.  He was sick and scared.  We were just scared.  None of us knew what we were getting into.  We all had so much to learn.  And learn we have… all of us. 


So here we are today… many lessons learned, battles fought and won, love learned and earned and a new family formed.  It is fitting that on this first day of December when we count down to the birth of our Savior that our family celebrate the “birth” of our family of five…. bound together by hope and love.

We love you Eyob Mark, Eyoba, Little Bear, son and brother, grandson, nephew and cousin!


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Again, click on the pic, find the slide show, click on that, and then click on the first picture to see my comments.

 When Almaz arrived I was surprised at how little and young she was. She immediately set us all at easy, gave us a little of what to expect and we set off on foot to HH. I must say, seeing the gate at HH for the first time brought tears to my eyes. I had seen it in pictures and it was so hard to believe that we were really there. When the gate opened and we stepped inside, things got a little crazy. Nobody was in the yard except for a short Ethiopian man holding a little boy. Brandon said, “There he is.” but I didn’t get it. Almaz said, “Here’s Eyob.” and that is when I realized that the little boy was my son. I instantly started crying… I hadn’t expected to, usually I can’t cry at times when I feel like I am expected to. Eyob looked so different then he did in the pictures. They had shaved his head and he was so much smaller than I thought he would be. I can’t really describe what I felt when I saw him, except to say that I was filled with wonder and a little fear. And then he started to cry… I think I scared him….. From that first moment he really wanted to have nothing to do with us. At that point, I didn’t care, I was just in awe of him.

After meeting Eyob, we got the wonderful priviledge of watching the Rudy’s and the Leisure’s meet their sons for the first time. What a truly bonding experience. Here you are with people you have only known for a few hours and you are watching as they experience one of the most life changing things. We cried for each other. I know that their hearts hurt for us, watching Eyob reject us and it was strangly comforting. I can not say enough how much the support of our ET family got us through that week and helped make what could have been a really disappointing and hurtful time be amazing, wonderful and life-changing. Thanks guys!
After we had a chance to meet our boys and spend a little time with them, most of us took a tour of HH and then loved on babies. 

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The Union Hotel


Click on the picture to go to flickr.  Find the slide show with this picture on it and click.  Then click on the picture as the slide show begins to see my notes on each pic.

 This is the hotel that Brandon and I stayed at while in ET.  It far exceeded my expectations on what we would be staying in.  It was clean, spacious, and the staff was amazing.  Plus it was so close to Hannah’s Hope that we could walk and be there in a matter of minutes. 

The only downsides to the hotel were the hard hard beds, which I actually go used to, and the annoying rooster outside the window. 

I thought those of you traveling soon would like to see where you might be staying.  I would highly recommend staying there.  It made Almaz’s job sooo much easier.  I would and will stay there in a heart beat when we go back.  Notice I said when not if.  Ethiopia gets in your blood.  Right now I would go back.  I miss it everyday.

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Click on the pic to go to flickr and then find the slide show to the lower right of the picture. If you click on that you can see all the pictures in this group.  When the first picture comes up click on the middle of the picture and my notes about each picture will show up.

Today begins the first of a few posts about our trip to Ethiopia. I know it has been a long time in coming, but the third child we acquired while in Ethiopia has made it much more difficult to find time on the computer. Who would have thought that one more child would change things so much. It is so surreal to look back on the trip.

ON November 24th, Thanksgiving Day) With much excitement, a lot of nerves, and a few tears (mine) we said goodbye to our little boys and headed of to the airport. At the SLC airport, we drug six suitcases and 3+ carry-ons out of the car and proceeded to check in. We had our first mini-miracle of the trip…. The skycab worker was awesome.. He didn’t charge us for one of the bags and for one of the overweight bags. We were flying high and thankful for God’s provision. When we arrived in DC we lugged all those bags to a hotel and settled in for the rest of the day. I was a little sad that we didn’t get to have Thanksgiving with our family, but we really enjoyed our day and night alone. We ate dinner in a pub at the hotel and watched a couple of movies. I was too excited to sleep very well. It was so weird to know that we would be half way around the world just the next day. 
We got up early the next morning, November 25th, Saturday, and lugged all our luggage back to Dulles. I keep mentioning this because Brandon was great about getting this done and he only complained a little. At the Ethiopian airlines check in counter we had another little miracle… the ticket agent ignored one of our bags and didn’t charge us for two of the bags being over weight. All in all we only had to pay 500 dollars extra for all the baggage.  We had exactly that amount donated by friends and my moms from MOPS.  We had a nice breakfast in the airport and headed to our gate to wait. At this point, I was so nervous I could hardly stand it. While we were waiting, we met up with one of the couples we would be traveling with, the Rudy’s. It was so nice to meet them ahead of time. They were/are easy to talk to and it was comforting to know that they were in the same boat as we were. They are experienced travelers and so I felt good following their lead. (thanks guys).
The flight was long but uneventful and we were all so excited I don’t think we really cared how long it was. For me it was all part of the adventure, an adventure I had been waiting, planning for and dreaming about for most of my life. We flew through the night and arrived in Addis around 8 in the morning. Customs was easy and we met another of our travel buddies, the Leisures, in the exchange line. We all hit it off instantly. (More on all our traveling friends later.) We collected all of our bags and headed to meet the guys from HH that were waiting at the entrance to the airport. They were holding signs that said our names, just like in the movies. I must have waved at the a dozen times, at one point Brandon siad, “What in the world are you doing Traci?” HOnestly I don’t know….. That was before he dumped all the bags off the cart in front of all the waiting Ethiopians. They thought it was pretty funny, he didn’t. Ethiopia was beautiful. Clear blue skies, trees, and really friendly people greeted us. Danny (the driver) and Johhannes took us to our hotel (more about the hotel later) where we unpacked, ate lunch and waited for Almaz to take us to our kids.

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