Monday, February 16, 2009

We are alive.....

We are alive, it just doesn't seem like we have been the past 2 1/2 days since we got home. Things have been a blur but have been great.

First, the welecome at the airport was incredible. Many people in the adoption community have strong opinions against big welcome parties so we struggled with what to do about that. So many people wanted to see him and we wanted to see familar faces so in the end we decided to invite everyone. Every situation is different but we are 100% sure we made the right one. Thank each and every one of you that came out there and we heard from so many who couldn't make it and we missed you and hope to see everyone soon. Our friends Matt and Meredith took pictures and put together a slide show. You can view Matt's website here and our slideshow here.

Malachi has adjusted extremely well, especially considering the circumstances. For those of you at the airport he was not himself and remained in zombie stage pretty much until yesterday morning. Since then he has gone 90 mph. If we could just get these horrible diapers gone things would be great. Also he has this habit of waking up once a night, so if we could end that we would appreciate it as well:) Just kidding, we were so lucky with Leah pretty much sleeping through the night from very early on this once a night thing has been rough on us. We do know we are extremely lucky with this as well.

Leah is a great big sister. I'm off work today and when I went to get her out of her room her first words were, "Where's Malachi", not "Where's mommy" like they usually are. She loves him to death. We've experienced some slight jealousy and regression but we've been pretty lucky. We missed her so much and are so glad to be home.

Sarah and I are doing good our selves. Flyright does work for a jet lag formula so if you are traveling overseas we reccomend it. The flight back was great and Malachi was a piece of cake. He slept most of the way and the other time he just sat on our lap and played with his toys. We aren't really jetlagged too much except for going to bed early and getting up early. Hopefully as we get into a "routine" the next few days we will do better. We tried going to eat at Chilli's on Saturday, DISASTER, we tried Wal Mart today, BETTER, but not great.

We owe a ton of thanks to everyone who helped make this process possible. We appreciate each and everyone one of you. Most of all though thank you to our families. Sarah's parents gave up two weeks to come take care of Leah and watch our house. We are so thankful for that and Leah loved it, we can tell. Also thanks to my parents who left this morning. Without them yesterday we might not have made it. We pretty much hit the wall yesterday both physically and mentally. They watched the kids why we just zoned out. Thanks again to everyone.

My only complaint about the whole trip is our US Customs department. This is very arrogant of me I know but there is no reason why I should wait in line 2 hours with only 6 people ahead of me. Make the process simpler or add a line for adoptive parents or American citizens sponsoring immigrants. My wife sat covered in leaking baby diaper for 2 hours while the customs officers, who worked as fast as typical government workers, tried to assist people who could speak no english and had no idea what help the needed. So frustrating. Other than that our trip was awesome. All our suitcases made it both ways, ALL six of our flights arrived EARLY at every destination, our agency was great, and our hotel, well it was ok.

We'll post some more about our trip and our thoughts/reflections on the trip and then we'll shut down this blog and start a new blog about our family of four.


Saturday, February 14, 2009


Well we are home and doing GREAT. I'll post details yet but thought I would throw out some pics first.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Praise God, Earlier Flight!!!

Well the prayers you all lifted up yesterday must have helped.  We got moved to an earlier flight, we think, from Amsterdam to Detroit.  This does NOT put us home any earlier than scheduled but gives us 4 hours in Detroit to get through customs.  I would much rather have the 4 hour layover in Detroit than our original 6 hour layover in Amsterdam. 
I don't know that I will get a chance to blog again before we get home.  I will try and blog once we are through customs and settled in Detroit.  I am so ready for unsweet ice tea.  There is no such thing as ice tea over here but we couldn't drink with ice anyway.
Sarah and I both are experiencing minor health issues.  Nothing outside of what some in our group have had and nothing that we didn't expect.  It's still not fun though.  It's basically a stomach bug.  We either ate something we shouldn't or got some water from here in our system.  Anyway pray we make is safely home and arrive at 4:40 tomorow!!!!!!!  Let the countdown begin!!

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One Day Left

It's with very bittersweet emotions that we are down to one last day.  The trip has been incredible and life chaning on so many fronts but in so many ways we are so ready to get one.  Number one reason is to see Leah.  We can't wait to talk off the airport and see her. 
Today was a VERY emotional day.  We started out with a farewell party for all the kids at the care center.  All the parents had to take a turn saying something and as you can guess that became quite emotional.  The care center staff put together quite the part including cake, cookies, and a traditional coffee ceremony.  The care center staff clearly love the kids and it shows. 
After the farewell party we actually left the kids for a few hours while we finished up our shopping.  Sounds confusing we know!!  We got lots of great stuff.  We bought a ton of stuff to share with Malachi over the years and we so hope that we can show him how to appreciate his culture. 
After the shopping trip we had to go pick him up from the care center for the last time.  Talk about gut wrenching.  Words can't begin to express the love the nannies have for the kids and it was so hard for them to let him go and so hard for us to take him away at the same time. 
Tomorrow is a day of rest and packing and gearing up for our 20 plus hour flight home.  PLEASE pray for traveling mercies.  God has been so good to us so far on this trip and we ask that He give us another great round of flights.  Specifically pray for our flight through Detroit.  We currently only have 1 1/2 hours to get through customs and onboard our next flight.  We are trying to change it to allow us more time and still get home on schedule at 4:40.  We are scheduled to get home at 4:40.  Several of you have asked and we welcome anyone at the airport that wishes to see us home.  If for some reason we have a change in plans we will TRY and blog asap so no one goes to the airport and we aren't there.  Again, please pray that all goes well.  We so badly want to get home and want nothing to get in the way of us getting home. 
Thank you guys all for sharing this journey with us.  Hopefully soon we can put into words what this trip has meant to us and all we have learned through this whole process.  It's been amazing.   

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Hopefully this works!!

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Update

Things continue to go great over here.  It is Monday night and we have full custody of Malachi for the first time.  Yesteday the care center was closed so we had a day of relaxation.  We started the day off going to a service at the International Evangelical Church.  Very, very similar to church back home.  We even knew some of the songs.  After that we headed to a resort for some relaxation.  The spa was completely booked so we didn't get to enjoy any of their services but we did get a good lunch and a nice day of relaxation.  For part of the time we were by the pool reading magazines and books.  Probably the most relaxed we have been in quite some time. 
Today we went to the care center at 9:00.  We got to play with our kids and then it was off to do paperwork.  After the paperwork we headed to lunch at a chinese resturant.  It was very good but a little scary eating chinese in Ethiopia.  After that we headed to the Merkato which is the largest market in all of Africa.  Some people say it's a little scary but we hired a personal guide and it was fine.  We did find a lot of bargains there but we still have much to buy. 
When we got back from the Merkato we got to bring Malachi to our room.  He at dinner with use, changed clothes, and then proceeded to fall asleep why playing on the floor.  He is still soundly sleeping.  We are praying he sleeps through the night. 
Tomorrow we go to the US Embassy to get a Visa for Malachi to travel back with us.  We have legally adopted him over here but we need the US Government to give us the ok to bring him home.  We don't anticipate any problems but keep us in your prayers.
Talk to everyone later!!

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Saturday, February 7, 2009


Today (Saturday) was another great day.  After being up for several hours last night we actually slept past our alarm and didn't wake up until 9:00.  We hurried to get ready and headed over to the care center.  We only got to see Malach today until 11:30 and we don't get to see him tomorrow.  It was hard to leave today knowing that he is our son and not being able to bring him to our hotel room.  Hopefully we get custody Monday but Tuesday at the latest.
After that we had lunch and went to the National History Museum.  After that we stopped for a little shopping and then back to the hotel.  Tonight we had a traditional Ethiopian dinner.  The food was good but I would have enjoyed it more if it was lit and I knew what I was eating.  Maybe not knowing was better though!!
Tomorrow is our rest day and we are headed to a spa.  There we can kayak, swim, get a massage, or just plain relax.  We are looking forward to some relaxing.
I'll try and get some photos uploaded soon but internet is SLOW over here. 
It has been great to meet all the families in the travel group.  We also got to love on some babies that are waiting for their familes to come get them home. They are all sweet children! 

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Incredible So Far

It's 1 o'clock in the morning and I think I finally found an email account that might let me blog.  I've tried my yahoo, gmail, and hotmail accounts and none will pull up over here.  Finally I tried my work email which pulled up.  Hopefully this isn't sending some crazy security alert over there but I'm pretty sure it's ok. 
The trip so far has been incredible.  The flights were great and we actually landed early.  ALL our luggage made it which was a blessing.  We had heard stories lately of luggage not making it.  We made it in about 11 on Thursday night and were exhausted.  We didn't sleep much that night since we were to meet Malachi this morning.  Our travel group is great and we feel like we've know these people for a long time.  We did meet most online through our yahoo travel group that was a huge advantage. 
We got to meet Malachi this morning and that was truly an amazing thing.  Even though we knew God was calling us to do this and were totally confident I still had some small doubt about whether I could love a kid that we adopted as much as a biological child.  I can honestly tell you that I see no difference. Malachi is truly our and was a huge blessing the few hours we got to play with him today. 
He is HUGE.  Most of the kids over going home are 15-24 months old and Malachi is almost as big as a lot of them.  He has very chunky legs and if you see him eat you can see why.  He inhales his food.  More so than I do for those of you who think I eat fast. 
Even though I'm awake at one in the morning I do think we have beat any jet lag.  Thank you flyright and also staying awake most of the flight over there and today and so we were totally exhausted and went to bed at nine this morning. 
Today we only get to see Malachi for three hours, then we go to the museum, and then a traditional Ethiopian dinner tonight.  Tomorow we don't see him at all as they like to let the careworkers rest.  We are planning on going to church tomorrow morning and then a resort tomorrow where you can get a full hour massage for about $20. 
Talk to everyone later. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Big Blur!!

The past week, and especially the past 48 hours have been a big blur to us. I type this as we currently are sitting in the Minn aiport waiting for a connecting flight to take us to Amsterdam and then on to Ethiopia. It might sound weird but this is the first time we have been able to relax in the past few weeks.

Packing-packing was way harder than I imagined. I thought we could simply throw everything together the night before and it would nicely fit and be under the weight limit. I am a very light packer and Sarah's coming around to being a light packer so I knew it would be fine. Then along came the Vitamins. There is a need at the care center for Vitamins so we told people those would be a great item to send if they wanted to send them and we also purchased a bunch with the money people gave us to buy stufff for the orphanage. I never imagined how much they would weigh. We planned on carrying on two suitcases and checking two. We wound up checking 3 bags that are completely stuffed, one of which is over the weight limit but thankfully the check in guy at Northwest was so gracious to let it pass. At this point I don't care how heavy they are but I'm sure I will later as we will be climbing stairs to our hotel room. Our carry ons are also completely stuffed. Thankfully we are leaving a bunch of stuff over there so we will be much lighter coming back. We finished packing somewhere between one and two last night and then took a 2 hour nap and then woke up and headed to the aiport. We are taking this flyright herbal jet lag formula and it is AWFUL. I think I squirted too much into my drink but I chugged it and God allowed me to get it down. (Sound similar to our "hot dogs" in El Salvador???)

Leah-It was way harder than we imagined leaving Leah. She is in great hands and will be spoiled rotten by the time we get back but it was so hard. She knew something was up and did NOT want us to leave and threw quite a fit when we did. That made it hard on Mom. We made it though and last time we checked she is playing away. Keep her in your prayers!!

Flying-the flight from Springfield to Minn was great. Only 1 1/2 hours and it was very smooth. Right as we were getting ready to go through security some friend, Dwayne and Pam came up to send us off and pray for us. It was quite a blessing and a great surprise and a welcome distraction from thinking about the flight. Thanks guys!! In about 3 hours we head out to Amsterdam. Eight and a half hour flight:(

Keep us in your prayers. We will do our best to blog from Ethiopia but not guarantees. We are SUPPOSED to get back at 4:40 pm on Friday the 13th. Several of you have asked about meeting us at the airport and that would be great. We would love to see everyone. Thank you so much for following our journey.