Friday, August 31, 2007

The Zoo

Today we went to the zoo with some friends - including our new friends who have children from Ethiopia as well. Since I have left my camera at a friend's house (who is out of town), I did not take any pictures of Micah's first visit to the zoo. Luckily, one of our new friends loves to take pictures and was nice enough to send it to us (thanks Dawn!) so here is Micah on his first trip to the zoo!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Busy Man

Sorry I've been quiet for a bit... This boy keeps me BUSY! He is not one to be happy sitting in a bouncy seat, swing, or on the floor surrounded by toys. Nope. He would much rather you be holding him... but don't sit down! He wants to walk around, see the sights! Needless to say, my arms and legs are tired, but I've recently talked him into liking the carrier - we have both the ergo and the maya wrap and he's happy in those for about 15 minutes at least! He loves to ride in the ergo while I vacuum - good thing since we have 3 dogs. :)

So, since my little man is a busy-body, I have lots of field-trips planned. We have visited the Grandmas at Mimi's house and then Grandma K's work, we have gone to Target, Old Navy, you name it (I'm spending too much money!), and in the morning, before it is soo hot, we go for walks. Today we met two other Ethiopia families in the area - that was a lot of fun and so good to meet other moms and hear their experiences. We tried to get a picture, but we did it at the end when two of the three little ones were having melt-downs (mine included) so it probably won't turn out that great. (I've also left my camera at a friend's house, so I don't have any recent pictures :( Tomorrow we are going to CHI to visit and then Friday to the zoo with the
boys from down the street. I know it sounds crazy, but he really likes to be out- he is all smiles when we're out seeing things and meeting people. Of course, we are also having very sweet moments at home too - getting into a schedule is helping. My favorite time is getting up at night (I know- I'm crazy) and feeding him - he puts his tiny hands around the bottle and almost always falls asleep while he's eating. He is also so cute in the morning - Kevin and I go in when he wakes up and he is all smiles for us.

Okay, enough rambling - I'm trying to be quick so I hope that all made some sense!! :) Here's a picture of him asleep on his tummy time mat (yes, he's on his back - he's a not a fan of tummy time, but we keep trying!). This was when he was still on Ethiopia time and we were trying to wake him up - we were not successful. Thankfully, he is on our time now and no longer wants to go to bed at 5 p.m. :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Orphanage

I thought I'd write about this as a highlight in a list, but it is weighing on me, so I figured I'd write about it now...The day we went to the orphanage, we fully expected to meet Micah Yabsira's birth mom. She had agreed to meet us and we were nervous and apprehensive, but also very curious and excited that we would have this experience to share with him later. Unfortunately, his birthmom did not make it. We were told that she had to work, but we both feel that wasn't it - we both feel that it was just too hard for her. We learned that she came to visit her son every day at the orphanage until he moved to the House of Hope. Every day. Knowing that, we know there is no way that she missed seeing him again because of work. We both felt separately that she may have been on the street, watching us as we went into the orphanage. That is probably our fantasy, but we both felt it very strongly.

I am incredibly sad that we did not get to meet her. Not for us, obviously, but for Micah. The things we hoped to learn from her, and the pictures we hoped to have for him to see have all been lost. We completely honor her decision not to be there - I cannot imagine the difficulty of that moment for her - but I still grieve the missed opportunity. It is especially hard reading of other families who have met birthmoms - I feel envious when I know I shouldn't. (I also feel very happy for them - I'm just being honest here.)

One wonderful thing about that day at the orphanage is that we were able to see where Micah Y. spent much of his time before coming to the HOH. We saw his crib...

We met the amazing woman who is the orphanage director and the nannies who loved Yabsira so much. When they heard he was there they all yelled out his name and came running to hold him. There is no doubt in our hearts that he was LOVED while he was there.

As we were leaving I started to cry and the orphanage director (I don't know how to spell her name or else I would use it) told me not to cry. I told her they were happy tears (although in truth mixed with sadness) and she came over and hugged me and kissed Micah Yabsira goodbye. It was an amazing, and very emotional day that we will carry in our hearts forever.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Formula, Dogs & Dad

So, my first day home alone (Monday) with the babe did not go all that well. I'm not complaining - I'm just telling it like it is. First, he had to get blood drawn for some tests and that DID NOT make him happy. In fact, it made him pretty mad. I felt terrible. We've also been switching his formula over and I think that was causing some problems because he just could not get comfortable at all Monday (I think the cough adds to that). I decided to switch to Nestle's brand b/c the formula he was on in Ethiopia (NAN 1) is made by Nestle. So far, so good - he slept much better the last two nights and is taking longer naps during the day.

The dogs are home and they have been very good with Micah. Two of them don't really pay much attention to him, but when they do, they are very gentle. The other one feels it is her duty to protect him and will not let him out of her sight without protesting. She wants to follow us everywhere. But, she is also very gentle with him when she is on her protection duty. Very cute. And, Micah is such a deep sleeper that he hasn't really woken up when they bark (I should watch what I say here just in case it changes!) so we're all pretty happy about that. The dogs also haven't been barking as much inside, which is great. Everyone is working together! :)

Also, Jenni & Jim are in Ethiopia right now with their new boy, Mamush. We met him while we were there and we're so excited for their family right now!

Here is Kevin with his biggest fan (I think the feeling is mutual :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Stuffy Boy

Just before we left, Micah started to cough. Now it is a full-fledged cough and he is often stuffy so that he gets frustrated while he eats. Last night we were up from 1 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. because poor thing couldn't get comfortable. I have bought a warm-mist vaporizer and gave him some tylenol last night (trying not to overdo it) but I'm wishing there was more I could do for him. Any good mom-advice out there?

BTW - we found out at the doctor last week that he weighs 15.6 lbs and is 26 inches long! Big boy! He is 40% for height and 20% for weight for a 6 month old (on the American scale). His head is 50%. :) (Oh, and the doctor said not to worry about the cough, just to let it run it's course, in case you were wondering why I haven't talked to the doctor about it - I have.)

Here he is sleeping. I know you're not supposed to use blankets before a certain age, but you should see the amount of blankets they use in Ethiopia - three, yes three, layered on him and then a quilt around his head! This blanket is named Stinky b/c we couldn't wash it in Ethiopia and he LOVES it (it's very soft and he likes to feel soft things) so we had to take it on the plane with us even though it was very smelly (spit-up being the main culprit there).

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Meeting Micah Yabsira

Okay, here we go... We arrived in Addis around 7 p.m. last Sunday (right on time) and were both very excited and nervous. First we got in the wrong line for a visa, but we ended up okay. Tsegay (our awesome in-country rep) and his wife Almas, along with Sharon (the CHI Ethiopia program director) met us at the airport. Almas was wearing a traditional dress and had flowers for me - so sweet. Sharon asked us if we would like to meet Yabsira that night - OF COURSE!!!

We pulled up to the House of Hope- put our luggage in our room and then walked down the outdoor hall to the baby & toddler room. I walked in first and saw these huge brown eyes looking right at me. I grabbed Kevin's arm. Micah Yabsira came right to me and just kept looking around with those big eyes. I handed him to Kevin and we were laughing and crying all together. We took him to our room and suddenly there were people rolling a crib into the bedroom and someone handed me a bottle and I fed him. He was so sweet. We also took some pictures and video (which we can't upload yet - still working on that). It was a surreal moment - especially after such a long flight, but I remember feeling such peace looking in those eyes. Everyone else seemed to disappear but the three of us.

He slept in our room that night and woke up twice for a bottle then woke up for the day at a bright and early 5:30 a.m. I had no idea what I was doing - but I just went on instinct and it seemed to work out.

Monday was pretty chilly and the women all kept insisting that I keep him bundled up with his head covered. I learned that he does not like the blanket on his head so I put him in the only hat I had brought (it didn't match at all, but I quickly learned to not worry about him being in the perfect outfit all the time - it just wasn't going to happen in Ethiopia!) and wrapped him in two quilts. He also does not like his arms to be wrapped up - as you can see.

I'll post more about the trip later - I don't have a day-by-day account, but there are a few highlights.

And, a note from the homefront- lately he has been wanting to go to bed at 5 pm and then wake up for the day at 4 am. Last night he tried to go to sleep again, but we woke him up for a bath and then put him down for the night at 8:45 p.m. He slept until 1:30 a.m. - had a bottle, went back to sleep and then woke up at 4:21 a.m. I thought for sure he was up, but I tried to lay him back down anyway. Guess what? It worked!! He slept until 6:45 a.m!!! Big deal around here.

Grandma D. is also in town to help - and she has done all of our laundry, made us dinner and gone shopping. Aren't Grandmas great? His other G'mas are out in Oregon for my sister's wedding, which, so sadly, I am missing. I really wish I was there for her (my sister) today - it's hard not to be, but I know Micah (and Kevin & I) really needed to stay home and adjust. (Not to mention Kevin and I would have lied on the floor and cried if we had to get on another long flight with the baby - the flight home was not so much fun... more on that later!)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

New Friends and a Frog

Micah has met his friends from down the street. The pic above is of Chuck & Micah - Chuck was not too happy with Micah at first because I usually walk in and pick him up - he was a wee bit mad that I had another baby in my arms. It was very funny - but you can see he got over it.
This next picture is of George, Micah and Chuck. George LOVES Micah. Today we were waiting for Kevin & Micah to get there (they went to get swim diapers) and we asked George where Micah was and he answered, "Ethiopia" :) We've been asking him all summer, so he's used to giving us that answer.

Okay, this next one is just so sweet. I love Micah's face in it and you can see that George just loves this kid.

In an effort to tire Micah out for a longer afternoon nap (so he doesn't want to go to bed for the night at 5 pm and then wake up for the morning at 4 am :) we took a short swim with George. Micah LOVED the water and was trying to put his face in! I had to hold him back! Kevin was putting little handfuls of water over his back & head and he was cracking up. This is him getting dried off in his frog towel.

Okay, so the afternoon nap has so far lasted 1 hour - much longer than yesterday already!! :) Let's hope for one more hour so he might get on our time zone soon!

I promise to post about our trip soon - right now I am just living in the moment! :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Our Little Cutie

Okay - I only have a limited amount of time, but I wanted to jump on and share some pics. First, this is Micah sleeping at the House of Hope - he sleeps with his eyes open! It took a bit to get used to, but now I think it's cute :)

Here he is in his Bumbo - notice the excessive amount of drool - he is constantly eating his hands and drooling! He is definitely teething!

Here he is in his glider - he had some surprises waiting for him when he got home from his grandparents. Our friends also decorated the house - all the kids made posters to welcome baby Micah - one had a map of the US and a map of Africa with a plane in the middle with 3 stick figures- very cute!

We're starting to feel better - getting a schedule going. He still wakes up about 3 times a night and, this is so sad - last night he had a nightmare! Kevin woke up with him that time, but he wasn't awake- he was asleep and just crying. Poor little guy! He is pretty happy - he smiles a lot, but his teeth are bothering him, and he has a cough. He also doesn't like to be put down too often - he likes to be held, and held standing up, so I don't get to sit down too much. I've been taking him for walks in the morning and he loves that - he falls asleep towards the end and then I'm able to lie him down for morning nap. (I usually try to rush through a shower at that point and try to get more laundry done - we had lots from the trip!!)

Today we are off to the doctor - I'm excited to see how much he weighs and get some advice on the feeding and sleeping. :) Kevin has been wonderful - he is such a big help and Micah adores him. I'm going to miss him next week when he goes back to work!!

I thought I had a picture of the three of us, but it must be on Sharon's camera (our CHI Ethiopia program director). She is still in Addis so I will get it from her later. I'll try to remember to take one soon to share. :)

Monday, August 13, 2007


We are home - safe & sound!! I cannot lie - we are so happy to be home! We loved Ethiopia, but we are both ready to start getting used to Micah Yabsira here at home and getting his schedule going. Not to mention that the flight was VERY long with a teething baby... more on that later :)

There is a slideshow of our homecoming at the CHI blog - our social worker Erin and Jennifer from CHI came to help welcome us home and the pics are up already! :) (Oh - in case you haven't heard- we had to postpone our departure from Saturday to Sunday b/c Kevin got very SICK! We even went to the clinic in Addis! Crazy stuff - again more later!)

Okay - I'm tired. I need to wake up Micah (so he's not up all night) and we're going for a family walk - something about re-setting our internal clocks by being out in the daylight. Glad to be home!!

Friday, August 10, 2007


Okay - I think I have FINALLY figured out how to show off some pictures! Try the following link: - there should be two web albums to view. The first one has the first pics of mom and dad (that's us :) with Micah Yabsira (please note that these were after 25 hours of travel!) and one that I just think is cute. The second album is of Micah- some with the nannies from HOH and others from his orphanage and some with his new BFF - Jenni & Jim's son - he and Micah were at the same orphanage and are now at HOH together. They're leaving next week to come and meet him! I hope this works - I am so excited to be posting pictures! YAY!! (I'm sure it is obvious I'm excited about this - I'm not making any sense - oh well!)

Feeling Emotional

Hi Again -

I know, two posts in one day- crazy! The thing is, the last time I was on felt like days ago- time moves very slowly here and one day seems like 3. It also takes forever to do one thing - like go to the store. We just keep laughing about "Ethiopian time" and reminding ourselves that TIA (this is Africa :) and we love it.

We are at the Hilton tonight - no worries - nothing wrong at the House of Hope, we just ended up staying the night here. We were going to bring Yabbie (his new nickname) but at the last minute we decided to let the nannies have a last night with him before we go. It is AMAZING how much they love him - they are already crying about us leaving tomorrow. And, it's not only the nannies - the cook Rahel (we love her) and Tsegay's wife Almas (we love her too - we love everyone :) have also been crying. It is going to be very, very hard to take Micah Yabsira away from all of this tomorrow. Even when we went to the orphanage - all of the nannies and the director yelled - Yabsira!! and grabbed him from us to give him kisses and take him around. He is our little superstar. :) I don't know if we'll ever be able to explain to him how much he was loved, but I hope to be able to give him some idea.

We both agree that we will never be the same after this trip. It is not just becoming new parents that is life-changing (although that is HUGE) but it is also this place, the people, the amazing things you see. It has changed us.

Oh, and thanks for the tips on the teethers - another mom with CHI gave me some homeopathic teething gel and that seems to help him, and we're going to run by the Shoa Market tomorrow - I think I remember some teethers there. I will check on the carrot after we get home- great idea! We're flying Ethiopian and we're scheduled for a bassinet- we're arriving early and we're in Cloud 9 so hopefully that will work out! We're hoping he's not hurting too bad.

Well, I miss my little cutie, but I'm going to go to sleep - hopefully through the whole night - knowing that he is in more than capable hands with his nannies. :)

What a week!

Hi All - I'm actually finally able to log onto blogger! Yay! But, no pics b/c I'm not on my own computer :( Don't worry - first thing next week I will show off our little cutie.

This has been an amazing, emotional week. I am drained. I am ready to come home, but also a little sad to leave (OH - I forget what I said last time so if I'm repeating myself- sorry!). Yesterday was the hardest day - we went to the orphanage where Micah was until he moved to the House of Hope. His birthmom was supposed to come meet us, but didn't come in the end. It's weird, but I kind of had that feeling from the beginning. I am very sad about it because I won't have a picture or anything for Micah (and we wanted to meet her), but I understand that it was probably too hard for her to come.

Micah Yabsira is teething!!! He wants to chomp on everything and is a teeny bit crabby because his mouth is hurting him. Last night was a little rough but we both pitched in - taking turns with him, so we all made it through. :) Needless to say, I'm a little worried about the flight. I've got Motrin and we're trying to find teethers (been to 3 stores today so far...) so hopefully we'll make it through.

I'm off to do more shopping at the Hilton. YES YES I KNOW - WAY TOO EXPENSIVE!!!! But, I'm really tired, dirty (we couldn't take a shower this morning) and I don't care about it. I just didn't think I could handle the Mercado today. :) This afternnoon we're going to the museum to see Lucy and then dinner at the House of Hope.

Pray for safe travels for us as we leave tomorrow night (tomorrow afternoon back home). Look for pictures next week!!!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

A Little More News from Ethiopia

Hello! Still no way to attach pictures around here, so it looks like we'll have to wait until Monday of next week. Just wanted to pop in and say that the embassy appt. went very well and we got Micah's visa today!!

We are having a great time - I wish I had more time to say more but we are rushed today.

I can't wait to get home (although we're going to be sad to leave too). We're scheduled to leave Saturday and get home Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

"Smiley Boy" "Micah Yabsira is Wonderful" -- (of course!!!!)

Hi everyone - so sorry for the lack of posting, but we are having a terrible time with the internet. Even at the Hilton I cannot access this blog - if you are reading this then Jenni was able to post for me. :)

Micah Yabsira is wonderful. He is a smiley boy! I wish I could post pictures - but that is definitely not working! He is so sweet- all of the nannies LOVE him. He has been in our room since the first night and I would love to report that he sleeps through the night, but he is getting up 2-3 times per night for a bottle. He goes right back to sleep though, so that is a blessing. We're both getting used to getting up - last night we both got up for a 4 a.m. feeding and then watched some BBC television and had tea. (We're still a little off on time - we did go back to sleep!)

Oh - big news - Micah has a new date of birth! We saw his passport yesterday and his DOB was a month earlier than we had originally thought. So, now he is 5 1/2 months old. Well, maybe... in Ethiopia the DOBs are estimated because they do not celebrate them like we do. So - he's around 5 months. :) He is a bit bigger than I thought and I wish I had brought warmer clothes for him - we're constantly layering him with clothes b/c it is chilly here. For those of you coming soon (Jenni) bring lots of hats - the nannies like their heads covered. :)

Okay - that's all for now... We will try again on the pictures later this week. :)

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Update From Washington D.C.

Kevin Here -making my debut at blogging!!

We have made it to Washington and have about four hours left to kill before we take off to Rome. Stacie and I are both so excited that we can hardly sit still. By this time tomorrow we will have our son in our arms!!
We had a close call fitting all of the luggage into the car. We somehow pulled it off though.
This is right after we checked our bags and checked in for our flight to D.C.

This is a picture of the "Cloud Nine" lounge that we are hanging in. This has been a nice suprise because we are away from the noise and traffic of the terminal and they have all kinds of complimentary food and beverages.

Stacie reading.....imagine that.

I always let Stacie do all the blogging, but I just wanted to post today and thank everyone who has been following our journey. I read all the comments, and I am so greatful for all of your support and love you have shown us along the way.

Thanks again and I am sure Stacie will be updating soon.


Friday, August 3, 2007


First, I just had to share this - my mom came over yesterday and gave me this pendant. It was my Grandma's and it is two hands praying - on the back it says "God Answers Prayers" I have been wearing ever since. I love it.

Here's the status right now- bags are packed and all are under 50 lbs! YAY!!! (I'm pretty proud of myself here. :) Dogs are moping because bags are packed. I'm feeling fairly calm and READY TO GO!!! I wish I had more time to write about how I'm feeling - all of the emotions. I will say this- I've been busy packing and focusing on that, then I'll pick up a baby sun-hat, or a onesie to fold, and suddenly it hits me - we are going to meet our baby, our son. Amazing. That's the only word that comes to mind.

Please say prayers for a safe journey for us and for all the other families traveling to meet their little ones. I feel so blessed to have you all following on our journey - I am really hoping we are able to post while we're there!

Here's a picture of us taken last night- just for fun. The next one we post should be of a family of three!!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Update from Ethiopia

Crazy busy here getting ready, but just wanted to pop on and say that we received an update today from our program director, Sharon, who is in Ethiopia (she arrived on Tuesday). She says that Micah Yabsira is, and I quote, "soooo cute" ;) and that he is a really good baby - not fussy at all. (Hopefully that stays the same when we get there :) And she said that the nannies are always holding him and he barely cries. CUTIE!! I can't wait to get there and hold him and kiss him!!!

Sharon also mentioned that the power goes out frequently in the area of Addis Ababa that the House of Hope is in. We're hoping to be able to post from Addis, but we may have to hit up the internet cafes....

more later!