Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Week

We have one week until we take the greatest trip of our lives to bring home our son. It is so exciting but at the same time there are so many other emotions.

For me, Adam, the actual travel part will be a blast. I love being in different airports, flying on different planes, and seeing different places. Sarah on the other hand hates flying and would rather avoid it all together. That being said she'll have to adjust because we have 20 hours of fly time each way. She actually did get a prescription for Valium so hopefully she'll do ok.

We had a travel call today with our agency. They went over the schedule for the week and a few details that needed to be gone over before we head out. Even though we knew most of the details it was still fun to listen in. It is really happening.

We've had a major winter storm here. Tonight we ventured out to Wal Mart in the hardest snow I have seen in some time. The store was dead and we were able to get all the final things, we think, for the trip. It was neat to see Leah witness her first real snow. When we got home she wanted to play outside in the snow in the dark. We gave her a few minutes but then to her dismay brought her in. She is such an amazing kid and it will be so neat to see her interact with Malachi. We are excited to see that.

We don't really have much to post at this point. So many last minute details to work out but then it will all be here before we know it!

Pray for us!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Test Post

This is a test post to see if I can post through my email.  If I can it will be much easier to post from Ethiopia. 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Eleven Days

Eleven days until we are on the way to meet our son. It's still amazing how much love a person can have for someone they have never met. We can't wait to get over there, hold him, experience his culture, and then bring him home to our house.

As far as packing and getting ready to leave goes we are probably behind schedule but we will get there and everything will get done. It always does. We have purchased about everything we need for the trip. Now it's just a matter of getting it all in the suitcases. We are going to try 3 suitcases on the way over and pack a duffel bag and use it for additional space on the way back. We want to bring plenty back to have for Malachi and to be able to bring whatever part of his culture we can back with us.

Leaving Leah behind for 10 days will no doubt be the hardest thing about the entire process. The waiting and unknowns have been hard but to be apart for 10 days will be incredibly hard. We always knew it would be hard but the closer we get to lift off the more of a reality it becomes. She is staying with her Nana and will be in great hands but still the thought of not being with her is hard to imagine. Another couple traveling is bringing a satelite phone that we will use to have contact with our family back home. We've got lots of new toys and cool stuff for Leah to have while we are gone so hopefully that will keep her busy. We do think she is starting to grasp the idea that she is getting a brother. She talks about him and knows where his room and toys are. I'm sure she has no idea though what it's going to be like to share Mommy and Daddy!! She'll be a great big sister and we can't wait to see them interact.

Pray for us the 11 days that we get everything we need to done. Work is incredibly busy for both of us right now. I'm trying to get some projects done before I head out and Sarah is trying to work all her clients in before she leaves.

Several people have given us donations and cash for the orphanage. Thank you so much!! The people over there will greatly appreciate it. The need is great.

We got a health update and pictures yesterday on Malachi. He is starting to come down on the growth charts some. He might not be quite the giant we though, hopefully though big enough to play basketball for the MSU Bears. He is very healthy and doing very well.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Orphanage Donations Needs

Several people the past few weeks have inquired about sending donations for the orphanage and if there was anything specific they needed. Sarah and I are gathering up donations to take over to the orphange so if you would like to participate we would love to take additional stuff over there and help out any way we can. Listed below are some of the needs our agency has mentioned. Also if you would rather just donate money you can give that to us and we will purchase the items either over here depending on our luggage space availability or just purchase the items over there. Some specific needs:

  • Cloth Diapers and Plastic Covers (currently at times they are using plastic bags in place of the plastic covers.
  • Infant/Toddler Vitamins-Very much needed
  • Diaper Wipes
  • Clothing-specifically boy clothing as every picture of our little guy has been in pink!
  • Childrens Books and DVDs
  • Cash

If you would liike to send anything please get it to us by February 1st so we can make sure we have enough luggage. If you are a church member and want to send something just get it to us at church. If not contact us and we will come get it from you!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Plane Tickets-Check

Plane tickets are purchased. We are flying from Springfied, to Minn. to Amsterdam, to Sudan, to Ethiopia. On the way back we go from Ethiopia, to Sudan, to Amsterdam, to Detroit, to Springfield. We leave at 7:40 am on Wednesday the 4th and return at 4:40 pm on Friday the 13th. We are SO excited. One neat thing about our plane tickets is that we meet up with 3 other families in Amsterdam. We'll all arrive within an hour of each other and go from there. Some we've exchanged emails with so it's like we already know then.

One prayer request with our tickets, please pray for good weather. We have to travel up north and we all know how the winter has been. Please pray for easy travels and no interruptions due to weather.

16 days left till we leave!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Still On Cloud Nine

We are still on cloud nine from passing court this morning.

It goes without saying that we were shocked to hear that we had passed court today. We had been scheduled for tomorrow, the 16th. Yesterday I had several people comment about tomorrow, (Thursday) being the big day. Even Sarah early in the week had it in her head that the court date was the 15th. I had to go back to the original email with the re schedule date and see that it clearly said we were scheduled for the 16th, which would have meant sometime this night in Ethiopia. I had checked the yahoo group at lunch to see what was going on and saw that one of our fellow families with the same court date had passed. I quickly checked my email to see if I had anything. Nothing. Fear slowly crept in that we had not passed. Then I checked a second email account that I quit using a few months ago and sure enough we had an email in there that we had passed court. We are so excited.

We leave on Wednesday the 4th and come back on Friday the 13th. It will truly be a trip of a lifetime. There is so much to do. Priority one is to secure airline tickets. That is the task for tomorrow. It's down to flying through Amsterdam or Instabul. Either one will be great. Can you tell we are excited??

We passed!!!!!!

We passed court a day early!!! We are so excited. I'm at work now and it's very hard to work but have stuff I have to get done. Will blog more tonight. We leave February 4th!!!


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Six Days

Six days until our court date. We are cautiously optimistic. It's hard after not passing court the first time to get your hopes up but we are very hopeful that we will pass next week. The court system is slowing down dramatically in Ethiopia so if we don't pass this time we likely won't get a court date until the end of March. God is good and knows when the time is for us to meet our child so we wait, not patiently, but we wait.

The Christmas decorations are almost all down and our house is almost back to normal. Some of you know that I am a neat freak about our house. Before kids we would have our house "perfect" every night. People told me I'd have to give that up when we had kids and to some degree I have but I still like everything in its place. It's been months since we've been there but we are hoping to get there this week and then be ready to start packing to Ethiopia. If we do pass court we likely will be in Ethiopia a month from now or on our way home by now. That is so cool but also very odd to think about.

Please pray for us to pass court!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Lots Going On, Little Time To Blog

In an earlier blog entry where I was counting down the days until we went to court I was hopeful that with Christmas and everything going on that the time would fly by until it was time to go to court. Well here we are only 13 days left until court.

First and adoption update. Nothing really new as of late. Our last set of pictures and measurements was early December and everything was going well. We did get word that he has been moved to the capital city of Addis Abba a couple of weeks ago so that was welcome news. Hopefully that is in preparation of us traveling soon. Things in the Ethiopia adoption world continue to be crazy. Just the other day an incident happened where the person who signs off on the adoption paperwork was out of pocket. As a result numerous court cases didn't pass that week. Hopefully the issue is resolved. There are constant rumblings about new law changes and such but nothing concrete so at this point we go with the flow. 13 days left!! If we pass on the 16th when will we travel? Well it's anyones guess but the new Holt timeline seems to be 2-3 weeks after passing court. The typical timeline would have us leave on February 5th. Again that is subject to many items the most important being clearing court. Pray that all goes well.

Things on the home front are good. We had an awesome Christmas which included extended visits with both sets of our families coming to our town. When the parents travel here it makes it much easier on us, but probably not on then:) Thanks parents! We scaled back our Christmas exchanging on a lot of fronts this year and that made it much easier on all. We also talked about scaling back even more this year and possible scaling back on some birthday exchanges. It allows us to have much more time for our families and not have to be out shopping and wrapping tons at the last minute. We did get some goods though. Adam got a new Bible, Guitar Hero World Tour Guitar set and with Christmas money purchased the complete band set, and some clothes. Sarah got a sewing machine, clothes, gift cards to go purchase clothes and several other items. Sarah purchased fabric and patterns to start sewing some clothes. Adam is not holding his breath. He does think the dress pattern she picked out will look wonderful on Leah's daughter!! Leah got toys, toys, and more toys. She never has and never will hurt for toys. Malachi got several things, the neatest one being a donation made to Heifer International. Heifer International provides livestock and training to remote poor parts of the world in hopes that the people will raise and reproduce the livestock. They have many projects in Ethiopia so it's quite possible that the donation made in his name is actually helping a family member of his or someone close by.

Possibly the best present was Sarah's parents agreeing to take the cats. As most of you know we've struggled with allergies/asthma for Leah and what was causing the pneumonia. The doctor did an allergy test the week of Christmas and diagnosed her with asthma officially but no allergies. At that point we resigned ourselves to keeping the cats. Sarah's parents agreed to take them and they are now out of our house. We have mixed emotions on the issue. We are sad to have them leave us. Those of you who have known us for a while know what those cats meant to us pre kids. (All you people who don't have kids now and swear that you will still love your pets as much when you have kids, WRONG). Knowing that they are going to a good home and we can still see them makes us feel much better. As they were loaded up Leah went to the car and went to each side where each cat was and said "Bye Titus, it will be ok" and Bye Ruthie, it will be ok". Don't know that she got what she said but it was pretty awesome.

Hope everyone had a great holiday and has a great start to the new year. My New Years Resolutions include giving up diet coke (at least not keeping it in the house, occasionally when I got out is ok), eating right, regular exercise (for those of you that don't know I agreed and have already registered and paid to run a 1/2 marathon in St. Louis in April, I am NOT a runner but many co workers are doing it and I felt the peer pressure) and finally, giving up the ridiculous purchases that we make. We, ok mostly Adam, has a tendancy to buy ridiculous stuff that I don't need. I'm going to try and give up those purchases. Disclaimer though, we already have gift cards to purchase new cell phones on January 17th when our current contract expires and I did buy Guitar Hero World Tour Band set with my Christmas money, and our treadmill was purchased on 12/31.