Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ciao!

Well, we've been home for a couple weeks now and had Cora in our arms for almost three!  She was a little nervous the first couple weeks, wanting to be held constantly and keeping her serious face on most of the time.  But as each day passes we're seeing more and more smiles and her true personality coming out.  She's also getting healthier.  The care center cough and perpetually runny nose (that every Ethiopian, man or woman, loved to wipe...even in the midst of taking our food order) are gone! The infamous "poop" test came back clear, much to our amazement, so it seems she's parasite free and clear.  Yay! 


We've been focusing on attachment and helping her to realize that Steve and I are mom and dad...not just 2 more nannies in her life...and we appreciate how much you all have respected this boundary.  We're definitely seeing great progress, but it'll be a long road until we're there completely.

Sleep I've come to realize is not over-rated.  The first couple weeks were very rough, to say the least...especially while we were trying to get over jet lag as well.  When we were at the care center, we had one of the English speaking guys that worked there help us ask the nannies some questions.  The question about naps was answered with a laugh and something along the lines of "most of the babies sleep, but Mekdes just likes to play all day".  Not really the answer we were looking for!  ;)  Since being home though, we've come to realize that she is surprisingly noise sensitive and when little big brother isn't purposely banging on the wall and yelling as loud as he can...she actually naps really well!  The last week, nighttime sleep has gotten much better, only getting up a couple times at night...so Steve and I are finally out of the dazed fog we were walking around in the first week home.  (Definitely praising God for this...and for the 2 amazing sleepers I haven't quite appreciated enough until now!)



Speaking of those amazing boys, the definitely love their little sister.  Brogan dotes on Cora, but has had some jealousy issues, wanting to be held more and acting out (see above!), normal new baby stuff that I'm sure will fade shortly.  Colby is nothing short of enamored with this new little princess in his life...he never had any jealousy when Brogan came along and he certainly doesn't now.  He's meant to be a big brother!


I am still amazed at what a completely smooth (albeit long) journey this has been for us.  It definitely is not that way for most.  God has blessed us with such an amazing little girl that we are all just completely head over heals for...my prayer is that we will be able to provide her with everything she needs to be a well-adjusted, happy, God-fearing woman who lacks for nothing emotionally and loves us as much as we already love her. 

Now that she's home (she is home!!!) this will be my last post on this "journey" blog and I'll return to the very, very neglected family blog.  So, as they say in Ethiopia and Italy, "Ciao" and thank you all for being an amazing support system for us...your prayers, insight, genuine curiousness, girly clothes, and now meals have meant more than we can express.  I'll leave you with a great little video Steve put together for those that didn't get to see our pics in person...

video




Saturday, March 31, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Destination Denver (aka deep thoughts by Steve)

We received Cora's visa this afternoon. This is the last document that we needed to bring her home. No more paperwork to complete, appointments to be had, fees to be paid, files to process. Nothing. All that stands between us and home is the plane ride.

As I write this, I am reminded of one of my favorite bible verses - Philippians 4:13 - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". This will be my motto, my plea, and my cry over the next thirty hours and I will probably say it in my head over a thousand times on our journey home.

I also know that once we are home, this process will seem like a distant memory but we are very thankful and humbled by our time here. The country, people, and culture have been more amazing and kinder than we could have ever imagined. We are not sure when we will be back again but we know we will be.

And with that, we are headed home. In thirty hours this journey will be over and the next chapter that God is writing with our family will begin. Thank you all for the support and prayers during this journey. See you soon.

Love and Godspeed,
Steve, Kelly, and Cora

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Greetings from Ethiopia!

It is our fourth full day here in Ethiopia and we are enjoying every minute with Cora. We are also busy trying to figure her out just as much as she is trying to figure us out. The nights so far with her have been a bit restless as she wakes up every hour or two and tries to find her bottle but as soon as she does or we find it for her, she is back to sleep. The days so far have been relaxing and we are slowly figuring out her nap schedule. We haven't ventured away from the hotel much due to the cultural sensitivities of having her in public, but having time to just be with Cora and to also to just sit and read for a while and not have something to do is a blessing in and of itself.

Today was our embassy appointment and it was a little like going to the DMV. After clearing security, we waited in a long row of chairs and waited to be called to a window. We were asked a couple of questions and were told her visa would be ready tomorrow at four (it is supposed to take 48 hours to process but the embassy guy did not seemed concerned that our return flight was a day earlier than it was supposed to be).

That all being said and God willing, tomorrow night at 11pm Ethiopian time (2pm Denver time), we will be getting on a plane and after stops in Sudan(first time visiting), changing planes in Frankfurt, getting on another plane to Chicago, clearing immigration, and then getting on another plane to Denver, we will be home! It will take a little over 24 hours and both layovers in Frankfurt and Chicago are very short (which in typical situations is a good thing) but we are trusting in God that all will go smoothly and our journey to bring our daughter home will be complete. Please pray for safe and smooth travels for us and that God's peace and warmth surround us as well. Also please pray for the lucky people who will get to sit next to us on our flights too!

Godspeed,

Steve (my first ever blog post!)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

She's Ours!

For some reason, I can't get the picture to email like it should, but here's just a quick update anyway... We picked Cora up yesterday afternoon and things are going great! We're still trying to figure each other out, but I'm sure that will take awhile. We're hoping figuring out sleeping doesn't take quite as long! ;) Embassy on Tuesday, until then we're just enjoying Ethiopia!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Best Email EVER!

Steve and I didn't sleep a wink last night.

At 7:30 this morning we got the email we've been waiting for!  The subject line read "B.. Family - Cleared Case".  With shaky hands and lots of help from 2 little boys I somehow replied to the US Embassy, requesting our visa appointment for Cora.

Tomorrow, before the sun comes up, we'll be on our way back to Ethiopia.  Saturday morning she'll be in our arms forever!

(Just got this picture a couple days ago...she looks sooooo big!!)