Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Remember this?

And this?
And this?
How about this?
And this?
And this?

The habit that used to define our daughter . . . is gone! It's been over a month now and she hasn't had her fingers in her mouth - not even once. And it happened just like that - she quit cold turkey. One day she was sucking her fingers and the next day she wasn't.

The dentist will probably be happy but let me tell you, it was a little brutal at first around here. Samara is the kind of girl that can wake up a few times at night (and other nights we don't hear her at all). But she was in the habit of putting her fingers in her mouth and putting herself back to sleep. It was great. But once the self-soothing was gone, we would have to go into her room to get her back to sleep. It was a rough couple of weeks but it's getting easier now. She's starting to put herself back to sleep without the fingers. And I think we're starting to get used to the new look - you know, the one without the fingers attached to the face.

I don't know what the reason is. We tried to figure it out - sore throat, bad taste on her fingers, sore in her mouth, on her tongue etc, etc. etc. And we actually thought the habit would come back after the issue was resolved (ie: healed sore throat). But that doesn't seem to be the case. I guess the good thing is that we won't have to try to break her of it when she gets a little older.

Here's the new look:

Still pretty cute eh???

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thank you Secret Pal!

About a month ago, I was invited to join a secret pal gift exchange for families adopting from Ethiopia. I was so excited because when we were in the process of adopting Samara, I always heard and read about people having secret pals and it looked like so much fun. I never knew how to get involved in one and was secretly jealous of everyone else who had a secret pal. So now I have one! Here’s how it works. There’s someone who organizes the whole thing (thank you Sandi!) and when you agree to join the exchange, you give your mailing address and a bit of info about yourself and your family. Then she lets everyone know who their secret pal is. Every month there’s a different theme and you have to buy and send a gift to your secret pal relating to that theme. It’s so fun. It goes for six months (April – September) and then in October we find out who our secret pal is.

Two days ago, when I was down and out with the flu, I went to check for mail and there was an envelope addressed to me. It was from my secret pal! Perfect timing to brighten my day. In the envelope was a book called “E is for Ethiopia”. It’s a great rhyming kids book that goes through the Alphabet and for every letter, it discusses something in the Ethiopian culture. What a great way to help our little one learn more about the country he was born in.

Thank you secret pal!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Blogger Friends

When I first started this blog (well, actually Mike started the blog and hasn't posted on it since!), I had no idea how many people I would meet. It's been really neat to meet people who have all been on different journeys but all end up on the path to adoption. I have been able to meet some of them at the Waiting Mommies Dinners every other month. This past Saturday Catherine, who I met through our blog, came over to spend the day with us. When she finally arrived (I knew we were kindred spirits when she got lost and had to call twice before arriving - I get lost all the time too!), we had a great day together. The kids were so excited to have Miss Catherine come over (especially when she brought them a fun game) and Austin even held her hand when we were crossing the road to go for a walk (for those of you who know Austin . . . that's huge!) Thanks again for coming Catherine. I hope it wasn't too crazy with three loud monkeys running around and being hyper. I'm sure you slept good that night. :) I can't wait until it's me coming to visit you and your little monkey Hannah!

Here's a picture of Catherine (well, actually Catherine's back) doing a puzzle with Austin and Samara. Notice the outstreched leg to make sure Samara didn't steal anymore of Austin's puzzle pieces. :)

Over the past few weeks I had the pleasure of meeting some more bloggers. Lori and one of her sons came over for coffee one morning. Lori and I actually met through a few mutual friends and we ended up having the same social worker for our homestudy. We have emailed back and forth for probably a year or so and finally met in person. Her and her husband adopted two precious boys last summer and have recently found out they are expecting twins! Yay!

Then on another evening we had Mike and Tammy over for a visit. Tammy and I have met on several occasions. We always drive to the Waiting Mommies Dinners together and often end up getting lost because we're talking too much. Actually the last two times we made it there with no detours. Anyway, I had never met her husband Mike so it was nice to get together with the four of us. The plan was to show them some of our video from China but we sat in the livingroom talking and talking and talking . . . by the time we looked at the clock, it was after midnight! So needless to say, we had a great time visiting with them too.

So as you can see, this blog has been so much more than a tool to keep family and friends informed and updated on our adoption journey.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

You know you're an adoptive parent if:

1. The fact that there are 143 million children without a parent to kiss them goodnight has made you lose sleep.

2. You realize DNA has nothing to do with love and family.

3. You can't watch Adoption Stories on TLC without sobbing.

4. The fact that, if 7% of Christians adopted 1 child there would be no orphans in the world, is convicting to you.

5. You spend free time surfing blogs about families who have experienced the blessing of adoption.

6. It drives you crazy when people ask you about adopted child's "real" parents.

7. You have ever been "pregnant" with your adoptive child longer than it takes an elephant to give birth. (2 years!)

8. You had no idea how you would afford to adopt but stepped out in faith anyway, knowing where God calls you He will provide.

9. You have ever taken an airplane ride halfway around the world with a child you just met.

10. You believe God's heart is for adoption.

11. You realize that welcoming a child into your heart and family is one of the most important legacies you could ever leave on this earth.

12. You know what the word "Dossier" means, and you can actually pronounce it!

13. You have welcomed a social worker into the most private parts of your life.

14. You shudder when people say your child is so lucky that you adopted them, knowing full well you are the blessed one to have him or her in your life.

Author Unknown

I got this list from this blog as I was going from blog to blog to blog one day . . . not sure how I even ended up there but I loved the post.