Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I've been processing...

Adoption is a LOT to process both for the children, the birth family and the adoptive family. It was important for me to spend some time privately processing the different emotions and thoughts that have been running through my mind.

There isn't a day that I don't thank God from the bottom of my heart for bringing ALL of our children into our home and family. I have seen perfectly how God knew that we would be the best ones to raise our children.

I have been almost overwhelmed with emotion and feelings of where our boys came from. The extreme poverty is almost more than I can comprehend. We need to be realistic and accept that our boys "had a life" before they came home to us. A life that they lived, full of memories (both good and bad), family members, friends, traditions, experiences...all that we know very little of.

November was a hard month for us. We experienced a few "firsts" in our home and had a few changes around here that added up to a difficult month. November is also the month that the boys moved to their orphanage/transition home. Adopted children will often remember the "anniversary" of their traumatic events and process some of the feelings that come from their memories. It has all been good...but hard.

We've had really good break throughs and we've been able to get a little deeper and help Tyson work through some of his feelings and thoughts. God has been gracious and given him a tremendous ability to share what he is really feeling. And because of that, we have been able to help him work through a few of his fears and concerns.

Like I said...a LOT has happened in the past few weeks. Thank you to our friends and family that have faithfully prayed for us. We are so grateful and thankful for the continued support. And just think...it was just a year ago that God provided our financial needs to accept the referral of our boys. Feel free to visit those blog posts for some encouragement and to be reminded of God's faithfulness.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

only a few months late...Tate's birthday pictures

It seems like it was yesterday that we celebrated Tate's birthday. But...it was several months ago. And I am just now getting these pictures up. It is almost therapeutic to sit and look at these pictures. To see how much our little ones have grown. They are changing right before my very eyes.
We really did have a good time at his little party. It was a great time with just a few families who also have little ones born in other countries.

Something I have noticed since then...Tate is coming out of his shell around others. Just the other day, some friends mentioned how much their kids are enjoying Tate. He is feeling more comfortable around our friends and family and they are getting to know our little man.

These pictures also remind me...how much I would really like a new camera. My little point and shoot has official died and now I have NO camera to capture life with. These shots were all from a few friends. Man...they take some good shots.

Aside from dripping wet faces...these are some of my favorite pictures we have of Tate. It is best to capture him from afar, rather than ask him to smile for the camera.
Tate tends to be a bit more serious in his personality than Adu. He is such a little lovey one...saying "muah" as he leans in for a kiss. He talks nonstop and is still using his "special" language of his made up jibbery words. He is learning to play really well with toys and I hear him pretending as he plays. Our favorite thing he does these days...prays. It's like he is IN THE SPIRIT. =) Jibbering with a few understandable words (like mama or daddy) and then says "amen".

He has the squishiest skin and the most beautiful curls on his head. I love his big brown eyes and how he sticks out his tongue when he is concentrating on something. It is hard to resist squeezing his rolly belly and pinching his little tushy. Seriously...he is a CUTIE. It will be an absolute honor to watch him grow.

Oh...how we love you Tate...grateful for you in our lives.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

somehow tonight was different

Tonight as I tucked my "Adu" into bed, he hugged my neck so tight and held on for dear life. He always spends awhile rocking in my arms and snuggling in while I pray for him and sing to him as he settles down and starts to fall asleep. But, somehow...tonight was different. He just didn't want to let go. He held on and clung to me. The was a unique closeness that we shared as he rested in my arms.

Did it have anything to do with having a "good day" as a family...or perhaps he was attuned to the reality of orphan Sunday as we shared at church a little of our testimony of how God brought our family together...possibly it was because I had a terrible headache this afternoon and he was being extra tender with me because he knew I didn't feel well. What ever the case...and for what ever reason, he allowed me into a deeper level of the real Tyson Fikadu tonight. He felt a little more safe...a little more secure...and it was like I could almost see him opening the door and welcoming me in a little closer to his heart. A heart that has needed strong protection because he has been hurt and his trust has been broken. But, tonight, another piece of his puzzle was put in place and I'm able to see more of the whole picture. I have been able to watch as God heals and showers His loving kindness on him.

So...just as I have consistently done for the past 8 months, I prayed with him, sang to him, held him for awhile and then gently placed him on his pillow and covered him up with covers. And as I am I always do, I leaned in and kissed his cheek and whispered, "I love you". But, this time was different, he whispered back..."I love you too."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

keeping their culture alive

I am determined to keep the Ethiopian culture alive with our boys. I am always hunting for ways that we can include parts of the culture, history, language, customs, food, music...anything that helps them keep their roots.

Wanted to pass on some ideas that I have come up with that help with this. For starters our boys have lost their native language (actually English is their 3rd language). So I have hunted for some things that will help them learn Amharic. Found this blog/site here that has basic words that we can learn.

Here is a favorite music cd that we found via another adoptive mom. It is one of our favorites. The price fluctuates so watch when it goes down. It is hard to find so it can be a bit pricey.

We have done lots of research on the typical Ethiopian holidays and celebrations. As the Christmas season approaches, here is one way the people celebrate Timket.

We ordered some books from Amharic Kids. Great books for every Ethiopian adoptive family. Journey to Ethiopia is a good story book that helps kids understand more about Ethiopia as a country and the people who live there (simple pictures but good for kids). Tsion's Life is a fantastic book about what is it like to live in Addis. I wish there was a book like this about the country/rural life in Ethiopia. We also ordered a map and some other books from the Amharic Kids site.

I am still hunting for a site that can teach me about making some traditional Ethiopian clothing. I figured I can make some for the kids. I'd love to have some for when we celebrate the holidays. Until then, I found you can order from this store.

The girls just presented a display at a geography fair all about Ethiopia. I'll post pics soon. It was so neat to read and soak up all the history we could about Ethiopia. It will be easier to share with the boys what we know and have learned as we have come to really appreciate the culture, customs and history.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's been 8 months...

Seriously...can't believe it. It has been 8 months already. Some days have flown by and others have crept slowly. I love to do these posts so I can see how far we have come. It is hard to really notice how much has changed when you are in the thick of it, but stepping back, you get a better picture.

We have really seen some great improvements. Our whole family is doing really well and it continues to be a blessing. I had our follow up call with our agency the other day and was really encouraged. I was able to share some of the breakthroughs that we have had recently and our case worker shared that she thought we were doing many things right and could really take comfort and encouragement for seeing such great results for cocooning and being so intentional.

  • I have gone out for an evening or 2 and had Chuck put the boys down by himself. I am working at being able to be gone for a weekend in Feb., so I need to work on allowing Chuck to take more responsibility for the kiddos.
  • We can do more than one activity a day. Like the park and church. We still don't take the boys out to shopping much or very stimulating activities.
  • Tate seems to be more comfortable around crowds of people. Like our adoption gatherings, or church. He is also starting to eat with others around and not be on such a food strike.
  • Tyce continues to show improvement with being around other kids. He still has a hard time playing with others when we are around others. It isn't that he acts naughty, it almost seems like he struggles with social skills. He seeks out individual toys rather than group play.
  • Tyce still doesn't like toys much. BUT...he loves to draw and color. He is very creative and creates a picture almost every day that represents our family.
  • Tyce is learning to read. We are almost 2/3 of the way done with the 100 lessons book. He is catching on quickly but continues to struggle with some accent issues.
  • Tate is doing better with his language. He is finally using more new words every day. He still uses his made up jibber language and haven't seen that stop.
  • We've had some really good breakthroughs with Tyce. We have been able to identify some key triggers to pain and hurt for him and are helping him process through those feelings.
  • Tate doesn't tantrum much anymore. Instead he finds a spot to sit and be sad, but when he is over it, he comes out and can bounce back quickly.
  • Tate is still struggling with "playing nice". He can sure act like a stinker sometimes.
  • The boys are learning to "check in" when they are out playing. They come over and "check in" with me and show me some good eye contact.
  • We have been working really hard with eye contact with mom and boys. Tate's is continuing to lengthen and show good genuine connection. Tyce still has a hard time when he is being corrected to show eye contact.
  • We now have a dial with "red, yellow and green" spots to show if Tyce is struggling a little, or shutting down, or ready to listen and obey. He is learning he has some control in the situation.
  • Tyce's preschool teacher says he is still doing well and listening and obeying. I notice he doesn't take his eyes off the teacher and watches her intently. Could be a sign of being on high alert.
  • We've learned how important it is to identify with the boys pain and watch their behavior to adjust to make things easier for them to succeed.
  • Soccer season is over, Tyce did an amazing job (another post) and scored a total of 53 goals in 8 games.
  • When the boys offer to pray, Tyce has now moved to including variety in his prayers (rather than just "thank you Jesus...food...family...thank you Jesus, amen". And Tate has started to prayer jibberish and he always wants to sing after we pray.
  • Tyce called out for me one night recently because he had a bloody nose. That was his first time to call for me after I had tucked him into bed. It was a GREAT thing.
  • Still haven't recieved those birth certificates in the mail...ugh...guess I need to follow up on it.
  • I've been hunting for a picture of a mud hut that resembles the home that the boys lived in. I think I found something close. Below is the closest I have come up with.
I will hope to post again soon. Busy busy around here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

connecting with friends

This summer we were able to meet a lot of AGCI families while we gathered for the regional picnic here in our area. Even though we have a big adoption group here it was such a treat to meet some online friends face to face.

And I did what your mother would tell you NOT to do...I invited virtual strangers to our home for an overnight visit. =) It's hard to call the Pratt family strangers. We had emailed back and forth, talked on the phone, spent time getting to know each other via blogs and facebook. This was one of the families that got to spend time with our boys before we even traveled to bring them home. Actually they both "fell in love with our boys" and didn't even know they were siblings. They gave us pictures and filled us in on their visit with them way back last winter.

So...it truly was a treat to meet them in person. They drove over 10 hours to come and spend time here for the AGCI picnic. They brought their little Mekele home a few months before we did. And he is a cutie. Tyce sure took to being the "big brother" of the little guys that weekend. Now Tate...well...he wasn't so sure about having another baby around. He spent the weekend on a food strike and talked in a funny gruff voice the whole time they were here.

It will be fun to watch how God grows their family as they hope and plan to adopt again soon. We will be praying for them and supporting them as they continue to follow where God leads. Just have to say...there is just something SOOOOO special about connecting with other adoptive families. They feel like extended family to us.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

one of the reasons I DON'T cut their hair

Aside from being cute...I mean REALLY...those curls are just adorable. One of the main reasons I don't cut their hair is...it is traumatic. The boys were old enough that they remember when they were brought to the orphanage and had their hair cut (actually, shaved). Almost all of the kids get their head shaved when they enter the orphan system. Ring worm is very common and it is easy to detect if it is on their scalp when their hair is shaved.

I have trimmed Tate's hair 2 times but the last time I got out the scissors to give it a little trim, he was so emotionally upset, I just put the comb and scissors away. Here are some pics of their first hair cuts here at home.

You can tell how upset he is. He cried the whole time. And it just isn't worth it right now, so we will grow the hair nice and BIG.

Now...it is really cute when it is cut a little shorter. Oh...such big eyes our little one has. Couldn't you just eat him up???

Actually Tyce doesn't want his hair cut either. He likes big hair. He has tighter curls and it is really easy and fun to style his hair in twists. I have only cut his hair once and I regretted it as soon as I did it. One of the only hard parts of long hair is how much hair product it takes to keep it moisturized.
I might encourage any adoptive mamas out there to consider that the hair cut might trigger a negative memory for your little ones. I'm not advocating you grow it long, but consider clippers could cause some trauma. A little lolly pop and lots of hugs from mom might help soothe in the situation.


When we first came home, our boys were fascinated by the heat or air that would come out of the floor vents. In fact, that was just one of the MANY discoveries they were enthralled with. The ice that came out of the refrigerator. The buttons on the remote. The garage door that opened with a button. The loud sound of the vacuum or blender. Even the idea of putting the dishes in the dish washer and having them come out clean was interesting.

The boys had to touch and discover all of their new world for them selves. They had to investigate every button on the cell phone. And when I say EVERY button, I really mean EVERY button. They had to see what would happen if they flipped every light switch. This was all part of exploring and learning. It only became a problem when they found the switch to the air conditioner and switched it off (we had NO clue they had done this until we paid for a repair man to come and fix it...$140 later). Or when "someone" found the knob for the hot water heater and all of our showers were cold (we wised up and investigated before we called a repair man). Or how about when the little one found the bug spray...yep...we have had to baby proof the house.

Here is Tate discovering the cool air coming out of the floor vent. A perfect spot to sit on a hot summer day.

Dedication to the LORD

We had our parent child dedication on Sunday. It was an opportunity for our family to stand before our church family and share that we desire to raise our boys in a home that glorifies God. We met with our pastor earlier in the week and were able to share more about our adoption story and how God led us to our sweet peas. It was also a good reminder that these sweet children that God has allowed us to parent, really belong to Him. All of our kids are God's and we just get the blessing of being the earthy mom and dad.

As part of the dedication, they share the boys' names and meanings and pick a verse that is appropriate.

Tyson - means one who is fiery or high-spirit...um...perfect name for our explosive little guy. The director at the orphanage said he was a monsoon.

Fikadu - the name his birth mom gave him - means God's will.

We are praying that it is God's desire and will for his life that Tyson will be an explosion for the Kingdom of heaven.

Tatum - means joyful or one who brings cheer...again...perfect. Having Tate as part of our family brings much joy and blessings.

Abush - the name his birth mom gave him - means baby boy. A common name you give babies when they are first born in Ethiopia.

We are so grateful for this baby boy that God has brought into our life. He truly has brought more joy into our home.

Thank you LORD for bringing our boys into our lives and blessing us with these precious children.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Moving from Coping Skills to Family Skills

I have been reading a fantastic book that has helped put some of our boy's behaviors into perspective. If you are adopting or have adopted, make sure and check out Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child. I am learning more about why the kids respond to different situations. Learning about their coping skills (AKA survival skills).

You see...we have one child who "shuts down" when he is maxed out and another who "revs up and acts out". If you look through our pictures, it is pretty easy to see which one of our boys "shuts down". Our little guy. He doesn't like to have his picture taken. He doesn't like to eat when others are around. He can very easily be the one who looks shy or like he is pouting.

Here are some pictures from his birthday. I took the kids for ice cream. And...he was "out of sorts".
Now this was a few months ago and he has come a LONG way since then. But it is good to show how he can respond when he is having an overwhelming moment or feeling stressed.
Now our older one...he likes to act wild and get spazzy and then it is hard for him to settle down and listen and follow the instructions.
Here we are...trying to celebrate Tate's birthday with some ice cream out, and he shuts down and has a tantrum at the Sonic drive in (and no, I did not take that picture). When we first came home, we got a "baptism by fire" if you will on tantrums. Whoa...those were some powerful tantrums from our little guy. But, here we are, almost 8 months home and we haven't seen a tantrum in a while. The boys have learned to use more appropriate ways to express their disappointment or grief. Instead of tantrums, Tate will often curl up on the ground and put his head down. Then we take a moment to talk and use our words to share what he is feeling. We are working hard at moving from coping skills/survival skills to "family skills".

Everything I do with our boys in intentional. I am working hard at parenting them the best I can to build them up for success. It is really neat to see them doing better and better at stressful situations. They are using those learned skills (family skills) to handle the hard times. As their communication skills grow and their language improves, it helps the situation so much.

Now, there are times that they quickly revert back to survival skills (acting out or shutting down). Any kind of change of routine or any simple change, can bring them back to their familiar coping skills. So, we are still a bit of a "messy" family, but we are heading in the right direction.

Monday, September 20, 2010

before the judge

We stood before a judge today and promised to raise our boys just as if we had birthed them ourselves. This is the last final hoop for our adoption and it was sweet moment for our family. Special to have all of us dress up in "nice" clothes and it was too cute to have the boys wear ties for the first time (there is just something too cute about a little guy in a tie). It was special to have the girls be there for this part of the adoption process.

The judge shared what a special thing it is to have adoption hearings, but he also shared that this is a legal and binding agreement. Our boys are joint heirs with the girls. They will not be our "adopted sons" but they are our SONS. He asked if we believed if it was in the best interest of the boys to be part of our family. He asked if we were financially and emotionally able to care for them. And then he asked the girls if our world has changed since the boys came home (um...yeah...our world has changed and it has been a blessing).

We are blessed. We are grateful. We are a family of 6.
Our family with our attorney George. What a blessing for him to "help us out" (read...HERE).

Even Papa was able to be there to be part of our celebration.

Like I said...something too cute about little boys in a tie.



We love our sweet peas...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

positive reinforcement AKA...rewards for good behavior

I once thought that you could parent your newly adoptive children exactly the same as your bio children who, in our case, have lived with us for 10+ years. I have come to realize, due to the unknown circumstances and traumatic background, it is important to dip into the creative parenting idea bucket and come up with some new ideas to encourage positive behavior.

I share these kinds of posts to encourage and inspire others out there who are trying to come up with some creative ideas on how to encourage children to "do the right thing". So...I came up with the ice cream chart.

Each time I "catch" our 4 year old doing the RIGHT THING, we put a scoop on the ice cream cone. If he can make it to the top of the chart in ONE DAY (pretty challenging) then we celebrate with some kind of a treat. A goody from the dollar store, a movie with the family (at home), out for ice cream cones...that kind of reward.

I will be honest, we haven't done this reward chart for a few weeks, but at the time we started it, we really needed it. And lately, we have seen such great progress with good behavior and good choices, it isn't needed as much.

Our ice cream scoops say: good listening, right choice, obey and happy heart. All areas we needed some improvement on. There were some days that he had lots and lots of scoops on the chart, and other days...well...not so much. And to be realistic, that is normal. Some days are better than others. But now that we are 6 (almost 7) months into being home, those bad days are farther apart than they used to be.

So...that was how we did the chart...now let me share about our first time out for ice cream. TOO CUTE.

It was the first time Tyce earned his reward and the whole family plied (Tally was at karate) into the car to celebrate a job well done. We sat down at the table with our ice cream and Tyson grabbed the pepper shaker and dumped it on his ice cream. We all said NO, yuck. He had no idea you don't put pepper on ice cream, this was all so new to him (we don't keep the salt and pepper on the table at home).

There are so many moments like this where the boys are learning American culture and how things are done. It is a precious time in our family as we continue to gel together. So many moments of JOY.

And...just for the record...we don't normally go out looking all fuzzed out. But, when you have earned a reward, you throw caution to the wind. =)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Can you believe these 2 sweet peas have been with us for 6 months??

I know, I know...I am breaking the cardinal rule of blogging (post a pic of your little ones in the tub). But seriously, does it get any cuter than this? Melt my heart. It is so hard to get a picture where Tate is looking at the camera and these photos represent such a happy moment for the boys. I filled the big tub and let them both play in the water one night. Water was everywhere but so were the giggles. These two boys have such a precious bond and I want them to someday know what a deep connection they have to each other.

These 2 sweet peas have brought such JOY into our lives in the last 6 months. Each day, we laugh together over such adorable moments. I can hardly believe 6 months have already passed. For the days seem long, but when you lump them all together it really has gone by quickly. And being home 6 months is HUGE to the adoptive family. A mile stone of sorts. We are halfway done with our first year. Everyone says the first year is just full of adjustments. And we have adjusted really very well.

  • It takes us longer to get ready to go places.
  • We fill out the van and don't have room for extra riders.
  • Tally and Tissy have become experts in buckling the car seat.
  • Tyce will now respond with "yes ma'am" if you ask him something (remember, we live in the south where that is appropriate).
  • Tate is sleeping in his own crib (still co-sleeping with mom in the same room).
  • Tate is almost dry every night and is fully potty trained in the day (even naps).
  • Tate can play independently with toys, books, balls.
  • Tate continues with his own made up language for some words. (bobo - paper or coloring, day - music, yaya - hands for washing or holding his hand, bidah - sit down...)
  • Tyce has started his MDO program and had a great first day.
  • Tyce doesn't like when other kids don't follow the rules or do what's right.
  • Tyce is doing better with structure and close supervision when we are at stimulating events though we still are opting to stay home and not bring the boys to many things.
  • Tate still doesn't go to the nursery at church and we haven't left the boys with anyone as a sitter.
  • Tyce is starting the blend in with his behavior and appear to be more acclimated.
  • Tate still will shut down for meals or eating when we are around others and go on a food strike.
  • When we are outside of our routine, it continues to be a challenge.
  • Tyce still doesn't enjoy toys. He continues to struggle with finding things to do and ways to play when he has free time.
  • The tantrums continue to be less frequent. Though, both boys do not like when their behavior is curbed by either Chuck or I.
  • When my attention is diverted from the boys (like visiting with someone), Tate can last about 30 - 45 min until he starts demanding my attention with his behavior.
  • I am able to come up with quick meals for dinner each night and am able to keep a better handle on my house keeping chores.
  • Tyce still struggles with impulse control and getting really wild and silly when it is time to settle down (like at night time tuck ins).
  • Tyce is starting to make friends and seems to be playing well with others.
  • Tyce doesn't seem to be trying to control each and every situation as much.
  • The girls have learned to "hold their own" with the boys. They both have gained some much needed confidence in the conflict resolution department.

Like I said...these 2 sweet boys have brought much JOY into our lives. I keep these lists here so I can see how far we have come and hopefully be an encouragement to others. The transition is slow. The progress is slow. But...oh...look how far we have come. We have seen great strides in the boys attaching and bonding with us. God has been good. He has given us the grace that we have needed in each and every moment. We have all grown and hopefully, become more like Christ in the process.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ever heard of a "HAIR BUCKET"?

If you have a counter full of hair supplies that you use on your child, you may be like me and move them around from one room to the next. Sometimes I "do hair" in the family room if we are heading out the door to church. Or I may "do hair" in the bed room after bath at night. What ever it may be, I have my little collection of what I am currently using on their hair each day. And I would cart these items around and tend to misplace one of them. So I finally decided to put them all in one container and move it from place to place when I do their hair.

So....what's in my hair bucket???

  • hand towel (not pictured - as it is in the wash) I need a towel to wipe my hands off and I also use it to protect their clothes when I spritz with water.
  • water bottle - I moved to good one (not a cheap junky one from the dollar store). Mine is actually a garden sprayer for plants. Sometimes I fill it with water and lemon juice, other times, just water.
  • spray leave in conditioner/tonic - I have some stuff from Biolage, but once it's gone, I am going try making one from flax seeds.
  • hair butter - I like the one called Second Life (notice my little guy on their site). All natural. I have tried making my own and haven't come upon the right ratio yet.
  • tea tree oil - gives a little shine when we are all done with fixing the hair.
  • skin lotion - anything that gets the ashy look off their legs. They have some thirsty skin. I have found when I used a natural soap, we don't need as much lotion.
So....what have I learned about hair? I think every adoptive mama is on the look out for the best hair care product. We are always hopeful that something will work better than what we are currently using. I like natural products. I have a hard time putting lots of chemicals on their hair. I've also learned I will probably try more items out there and they might make their way into our hair bucket as we try them out. My boys have different textures of hair and different kinds of curls so we are still learning. I have also learned...I don't have the heart to cut their hair off short and go with the buzz yet. So...we will have the hair bucket around to keep their hair full of moisture and shine.

Friday, August 6, 2010

amazing what you can do with a baby on your hip

At first my little man was scared to death of the vacuum. Who can blame him? It is loud and sucks up little toys that have been left on the floor. So...out comes the sling and we can actually get some work done.
It's a little harder to move around when I am carrying Tate, but I am still able to get my chores done. He is 2 years old and I still "wear" him almost every day. I don't go anywhere with out my trusty sling. Baby wearing is a great way to promote bonding with your new little ones.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Finding the JOY in today

If you know me at all, you know that I try really hard to focus on the positive. I seek to search for the silver lining. I aim at dwelling on the good. The reality is, adoption is hard. It's a hard transition for a family. It's hard on the new kiddos. It's hard on the big siblings. And as hard as it is, I still find JOY in our day. It is too easy to get down or discouraged when you have a little bump in the journey. So to encourage our family to concentrate on all the good and joyful things, I am keeping a list.

Each day I jot down things that cause me to smile. Things that I want to remember. These are the blessings that I noticed yesterday. Everything from Tyson's tender heart to Tatum's made up words. These boys are precious. Absolutely precious. It is a JOY to have them as part of our family. Seeing my list made me smile yesterday and hopefully the boys are able to see what a JOY they bring to our family.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Welcoming friends home from Africa

Oh how we love our airport moments. It is so fun to gather together and welcome home a family with their new child. What makes it extra fun is when it is a family that was there for your airport homecoming.

Friday night we piled the kids in the car and welcomed home my friend Amy (filled with praise). They brought home their little man from Ethiopia. Our boys were all from the same transition home (Hannah's Hope). What a little cutie pie.

We are so fortunate to live in an area that is abundant with adoptive families. Seriously...we have it good here. I met a new friend who is also with AGCI and she was there for her first airport homecoming. Alison shared how lucky we are to have all these families around. She said they have only found about 4 adoptive families in their area. It just takes one family to cause the ripple affect. It will keep growing...and if not...why not move here. (wink wink)

I love when the Ethiopian workers come out and talk with the kids. One man said he remembers when we came home and chatted with us for a while. He commented on how big the boys are growing and even remembered that our boys are from the southern region. He told us..."they grow them tall there in the south".

Looking forward to the next airport homecoming.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Wow oh wow...what a picnic

We had a fantastic weekend celebrating our agency and all the precious children that have found their forever home. What an absolute blessing to part of such a great agency. Families drove from all around to be part of this celebration. We invited our friends the Pratts to stay with us.

They got to know our boys when they were at
HH. It was our first time having overnight company stay with us. Let's just say we were glad that it was another adoptive family that understands the dynamics of how our family functions. No judgement passed for tantrums or fussy kids. =)

I am posting pics from Sara's blog (or random pics from
fb). She took great pictures and I had my hands full. I will probably try and post some of my own pictures, but for now I want to record these for our boys to look at some day.
Let's just start off by saying...this was a HOT day. Were talking, I looked red as a beet and was so sweaty. Not to mention, I had my little man strapped to me most of the day. The kids all enjoyed the water play and the jumpy house.

My little guy still gets over stimulated in large crowds and tends to shut down. So, out comes the sling and I pop him into it and we wandered around to give him some space. Thanks again Sara for this picture.

I'm thinking there were about 200 people there. What a great group of families. I felt like it was a family reunion (the kind you WANT to go to). These dear precious families all with the passion and heartbeat for the children.

And...speaking of children. Here they are. Precious children welcomed into loving families.

My crew is in the middle. Tyson is taking care of baby
Mekele (Whitney's little one).