Wednesday, November 28, 2012

6 weeks home

It has been a busy couple of weeks.  During this time Kefyalew has been growing by leaps and bounds.  He now sits up perfectly with no worries of him falling over.  Due to this he has graduated to taking baths without his bath seat.  He has found he can now make huge splashes as his arms have free access to the water.  Let's just say I really should wear a poncho while bathing him.  He has finally learned that he is in control of his environment and can manipulate it so he is finally army crawling and getting faster by the day.  He has found the water dish for the kitties and loves to play in it.  You turn around for a moment and the next thing you know he is there.  He also is in love with the vacuum cleaner.  For some reason he will crawl after it while I am vacuuming and then complain loudly when it is turned off.  Kef can also stand up holding on to items.  It is amazing his progress as the little boy we picked up in Ethiopia turned to jello if you tried standing him on your legs and could sit up but was not stable.  It feels like he gains a pound a day and his hair is getting so long.  Yesterday when I picked Allison up from school one of the boys in her class asked me if that was the same baby we had before Thanksgiving.  He is changing that fast.

For Thanksgiving we went home to Coos Bay.  The 4 hours car ride went really well.  He mostly slept with a brief period of complaining in between.  He seems to have accepted the car seat is a fact of life.  He handled meeting all the new relatives fairly well.  We kept him with us and took our lead from him.  On Saturday we drove up to Corvallis for the Civil War game and Kef's first Beaver game.  He was a real trooper and handled it well.  His only complaint was he didn't like being under the poncho during the rain.

We finished off the weekend by going out and cutting down our Christmas tree with our friends at a u-cut tree farm we visit every year.  He thought we were all crazy and didn't understand why he couldn't have the saw.

I am so humbled and blessed to see God's love expressed through our two older children.  They have embraced Kef and love him with a pure heart.  They never tire of playing with him, holding him, playing pick up over and over again when he drops his toys, they love to make him laugh and have extreme patience when he is fussing.  Even though they are not receiving as much attention as before they are so happy he is home.  The first thing they do when they see him after school is immediately go to him and give him kisses.  If Russ picks Allison up from school for me she will walk in the door, drop her book bag and make a bee line for Kef.  She will then pick him up and say, "Kef I'm home from school now. Did you miss me?".

Overall, I think we are doing well.  We are slowly figuring out his eating (let's say he dislikes a lot more things than he likes) and he is sleeping about 4 hours at a time during the night.  He has learned the sign language for milk (bottle) and all done.  He will tell us all done anytime we do something he doesn't care for like diaper changes and wiping his nose.  He prefers myself and Russ over anybody else so we are taking that as a good sign.  At this time he is definitely a momma's boy.
Hanging out with my brother

I'm taking you down

Yep, we are crazy

Loving my tea party

Papa makes me silly

sad the beavers lost

but the yummy food made up for it

tailgating in the van with our friends
playing outside

Really, I can't have the saw.  That is no fair.
One tree in two more to go. Hmm will we all still fit?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Three weeks home

Wow, we have been home for three weeks.  Unfortunately, Kef has been sick for 90% of it.  After surviving the stomach bug that went around the house Kefyalew and Allison came down with Russ' nasty cold and have been fighting thick mucus and a bad cough.

Our little guy seems to be bonding well.  He prefers myself or Russ over anyone else even with my Mom who was here for three weeks.  The kids are still completely in love with him.  Tyler has been a big help holding him or bringing him to us when he starts fussing while playing.  Allison loves to play with him and even though she is missing her mommy and I can tell she feels she isn't getting enough time with me she is still so happy her brother is home and has shown him nothing but love.

Kef is really starting to thrive.  He seems to be getting heavier by the day even though he isn't eating as much as before due to the nasty cold.  We've decided to completely stop the solid foods and wait until he is fully recovered to try again.  The foster home said they were feeding him solid food three times a day but at this time he does not love it and makes the funniest faces when he is given it.  He also has a very sensitive gag reflex.  Russ gave him one dissolving teething tablet and he choked on it so I have a feeling we will be in stage one baby food for awhile.  He loves his bath with out the bath seat as he can splash so much more effectively.  He loves splashing so much I now have to hold a towel in front of myself so I'm not taking a bath with him.  He can scoot backwards and is trying to crawl when motivated.  He also is starting to stand when holding on the couch when we place him there and stand behind him. Once things settle down it looks like he is going to fit perfectly into our crazy family.  He loves to make lots of noise and be loud.  I have a feeling he will keep us on our toes once he becomes mobile.

A few things we have noticed is that he has no patience when it comes to food.  Instead of the normal minor fussing a child will do when they start to become hungry for him it is a full out scream.  We are sure this is probably due to him being deprived of enough food due to his background circumstances.  He also has no patience.  If a toy falls out to his reach it is immediate frustration and screaming.  He has found that he has a voice and that we listen to it. It didn't take him long to make use of it. :)  As for sleep he sleeps for about 4 hours at a time before waking up for another bottle.  Hoping once he is completely well we can increase it to 6 hours at a stretch.

Now, we just need a bigger bed as 5 in our queen bed last night plus a cat was quite entertaining.  After the kids fell asleep Russ snuck out to find more comfortable accommodations in Tyler's bed.  It seems that Kef knows a good thing when he has found it.  I don't think he is going to give up co-sleeping any time soon. :)

5 in the bed and the little one said

Still loving my Jumper-roo

Yep, that sums up the OSU loss to Stanford

Sporting my Ethiopian shirt

Playing kitchen with my Sister!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Home two weeks

We've been home two weeks now.  Kefyalew has made great progress in some areas and is struggling in others.  He is able to sit up really well, loves to splash his legs in the bath, play peek a boo, stands up with us holding him and his brother and sister adore him.  He also loves his fuzzy bunz diapers.  At his doctor appointment on Tuesday he was deemed to be in good health and was at 16.2 lbs.

Unfortunately, Russ brought a nasty bug into the house at the end of last week that has been making its way around the family.  I'm not sure if Kefyalew being sick has made things regress or if it a combination effect.  At this time he always wants to be held and only by me, he freaks out if you lay him down asleep, is no longer happy playing on the floor with his toys, fusses all day long and is back to sobbing at night.  He is also teething like crazy.  He is our little drooling chew monster. :) I know with the sickness that has been going around our house we are not meeting his needs to the best of our ability as at times I have had to put him down while I go help Allison throw up in the bathroom.

I'm longing for the day when we can be a happy household again with a workable schedule.  I'm just thankful that my Mom has been able to stay with us all this time so I haven't completely lost my mind.  It is amazing how helpful an extra pair of hands can be.

Monday, October 29, 2012

One week home

Kefyalew has been home a week.  Wow, what a fun and exhausting week.  The first two days were really hard.  We were all exhausted from the long flights home and adjusting off of Ethiopian time.  For the most part Kefyalew is really happy.  Night times and sleeping are our hardest issue right now.  The first night home he cried deep heart wrenching sobs.  The second night he slept if he was on my chest and by the third night he would sleep if he was snuggled next to us in bed.  At this time he is sleeping his best if he co-sleeps with us.  We figure he is processing a lot of grief while he sleeps.

He adores his brother and sister and they adore him.  The poor guy is probably overwhelmed by how much love he receives. :)  He transitioned over to our formula with little issues but is still trying to decide if he likes our solid food.  We have jumped right into the kids' schedule and activities hoping it will help us transition him over to our time schedule.  So far he has been handling it really well.  His biggest complaint is the car seat.

We are so thankful that my Mom is able to stay with us.  Having an extra hand has been a huge blessing.  She's taken him early in the morning so Russ and I can catch up on some much needed sleep.  At this time we have not seen any signs that it is negatively impacting our attachment with Kef.

Kef can: Sit up, roll over, now stand up on his legs when we hold him, jump like a crazy man in his jump-a-roo and has pretty good hand eye coordination.  He can say da da and Russ taught him to blow raspberries.  It is amazing how much progress he has made in a week.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

New Exit interview

Our new exit interview is scheduled for Thursday, October 18.  Russ and I will fly out on Sat.  My sinus infection is not as bad, but it is still far from perfect.  We are going to need a ton of prayer that we will have a safe trip over there and back and that my health will remain stable.  We just need to get this little guy home.

Russ and I are taking over 4 suitcases, with 3 of them filled with donations.  We ended up purchasing 81 diaper covers, I knitted 48 hats and we have clothes, books and toys to add to our donation list.  Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to this project.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Weekly update and stats

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us.  We received an exit interview for Thursday, October 11.  Unfortunately, with very heavy hearts Russ and I had to send an email to Embassy today asking for it to be rescheduled.  I am being treated for a severe sinus infection and haven't made the progress I needed to for us to feel it would be safe for me health wise to fly over there.  Our adoption agency's director is a doctor and he also feels it is prudent for us to reschedule for a later date.  We will post when we find out what our new date is.

The good news is Kef is doing wonderful.  He is 14.33 lbs and still 24 inches long.  Our little man has grown so much since we have last seen him.  The big surprise is it looks like he is sitting up now. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

We Cleared

Woke up this morning to an email from Embassy letting us know we cleared.  We are now working out the details for when they can schedule our exit interview.  Our little boy will finally be coming home soon.  Thank you for all your prayers.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Weekly update

At the present time in Ethiopia they are celebrating the Holy Cross, one of the biggest celebrations of the year.  We were only able to receive 2 pictures for our weekly updates but we will take anything we can get.  Kefyalew looks happy and healthy.  Please pray for Kefyalew's finder.  She will be traveling from Hawassa to Addis Ababa, a 4-5 hour drive for the Embassy interview.  Please pray she will be able to remain calm, composed and be able to articulate her information clearly.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Update on Embassy

We were able to find out from our adoption agency that Kefyalew's finder interview is scheduled for October 3.  We should know by the end of that week whether we have been cleared and can leave to pick him up or if our case file is being sent to Nairobi.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Weekly update and stats

Our little boy is growing by leaps and bounds while we are having to witness it through pictures. He is starting to look nothing like the little guy we visited with and said good bye to 5 weeks ago.   The good news is he is healthy.  He gained over 1/2 a pound this week.  He went from 13.89 to 14.46 and is still 24.01 inches long.  Please embassy hurry up and schedule that finder interview.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


The latest update on the status of our case is not looking good.  We were submitted September 4th to embassy and they finished screening our file September 17.  That same morning we found out that Embassy wants to interview Kef's finder.  This is concerning to us as we had hired a private investigator to document and interview Kef's history, the police officer he was turned into and the person who found him.  Our investigator turned his report into embassy so it has been sitting in our file.  The reason we are concerned is that two other families moving through the process with us hired the same investigator and their files had basically the same information as ours, private investigation report, children from the same area and orphanage, and they all cleared in two days with no further request of information.  We are bewildered at what the Embassy feels they will gain from interviewing our finder that wasn't already addressed in the report.  To make things worse the Embassy hasn't had the common courtesy to reply to our Agency's email request for our finder interview to be on September 24.  At this time we are left in limbo while our hearts are breaking as a severe upper respiratory infection has been going around the foster home.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

First Day of School

Tuesday September 11 was Tyler's first day of 2nd grade and Wednesday September 12 was Allison's first day of Kindergarten.  Both kids love their teachers and classmates.  Tyler was able to identify a mysterious bug his teacher found on her patio after researching with his Uncle Dave after school.  He was able to tell her it was a cucumber bug and how it was bad for the garden.  Allison enjoyed her first week of Kindergarten learning about nursery rhymes.  One day they made the old woman who lived in a shoe and the next they made wishing stars that are hanging up in her classroom.  Allison's wish is for Kefyalew to come home as soon as possible.

We finished off the week by harvesting some of our garden.  The kids were able to pick their pumpkins.  We are not sure if Tyler is going to be allowed to grow pumpkins again though? See picture below if you think you can handle it. :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Weekly updates and Stats

Kef is doing well.  He is healthy and is continuing to gain weight.  It looks like the lactose free formula is working.  He went from 13.71 lbs to 13.89 lbs and is still 24 inches long.