Friday, August 31, 2012

Being Submitted to Embassy

We just heard from our adoption agency that our file is complete and they will be submitting us to Embassy, Tuesday, September 4!!!!  Please pray that the embassy will clear our case quickly so we can bring our little boy home.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Our weekly stats

Today we finally received our weekly update from the foster home, dated a week after we had left.  The good news is Kefyalew is gaining weight.  He went from 12.83 lbs to 13.21 lbs and is still 24.02 inches.  The bad news is our poor little guy has diarrhea.  Thankfully, the foster home has lactose free formula and they are going to give this a try and see if this will help. While we were there visiting him, we discussed our concerns with the Sister, that his stool seemed really loose and he spit up a lot. What a blessing that it sounds like they did listen to us when we asked if he could be lactose intolerant.  It is never easy to be so far away when you know your child doesn't feel his best.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Where in the world has Flat Grandpa Stanley been?

I thought I would throw in a quick post on what Flat Grandpa Stanley has been up to since the main focus has been the adoption.  Around the end of July Russ flew to the Czech Republic and Flat Grandpa Stanley went with him.  They toured Prague, Amsterdam and then flew to Ethiopia where Grandpa Flat Stanley was able to be the first relative Kef met.  Here are some photos of their travels.  Unfortunately, it was too hard for Russ to take very many pictures of Flat Grandpa Stanley as Russ had to man the camera and Grandpa Stanley didn't want to be the only one in the pictures.  As soon as they arrived home we spent that Saturday at the Hillsboro Airshow with our good friends the Aubrys.

Hanging at the airshow

Russ relaxing at the guest house

Kef's first relative

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Foster home

I thought I would write a little bit about our agency's foster home where Kefyalew is being taken care of.  First I have to say the Sister that runs it and the nannies are superb.  They truly love the children and it shows.  It is amazing to see how much they are able to do with so little.  The foster home was immaculate and every time we visited our child (two times per day for 7 days) he was always wearing a different outfit and smelled like he had just been bathed.  According to Russ there are about 45 children currently at the foster home ranging in age from a couple of months old to around 7 years old. 

On Russ' first trip he learned that the nannies were carrying bottles of filtered water upstairs all the time for the babies because the second floor had no running water.  The nannies would then take this filtered water and boil it for 20 minutes to purify it before making all the bottle for the infants there.  These were stored in one refrigerator to be used as needed.  Upon, learning this Russ and other families were able to donate money to purchase a pump and water reservoir.  It was amazing to be able to witness the delivery of it while we were there.  (Scroll down to see a picture of it under the post our day with Kefyalew) We are hoping when we fly back that the owner of the building would have given his permission so it could be installed making the nannies' job a little easier.  On our second trip we also learned that the foster home frequently loses power.  We were so blessed we were able to purchase a generator for the foster home so they didn't have to worry about losing all the bottles they have made up at one time and run a few lights.

At this time the foster home's most pressing need is diaper covers to use over cloth diaper prefolds.  The Sister informed us that the quality of the ones they can get in Ethiopia are really poor and they only last a week.  Therefore, she is using more of her budget than she needs to in frequently purchasing new ones.  Russ and my goal are to bring over good diaper covers that will last a long time.  The ones we would like to purchase are called LiteWrap diaper covers and are $8 a cover.  I have debated whether to write this entry or not but have decided to leave it in God's hand.  If anyone feels the desire to contribute to this we would be greatly humbled and I promise to post all receipts and pictures of the goods to account for what we buy if you send money for this project.

Other needs we have noticed at the foster care are just toys, wooden puzzles, board books, bumbo seats and a johnny jump up.  Toys for infants through 8 year olds.  The toys would need to be plastic, no batteries, easy to clean and can take a beating. In the foster home they are currently using cardboard boxes for the children to sit in and they have one walker for children to develop leg strength.   Delta allows Russ to take over 4 suitcases for free and I'm allowed 2.  We would love to take as much stuff over as needed as they are grateful for any donation they receive.

Outside of foster home.

Fridge upstairs for babies
water filter with jugs of water nannies were carrying upstairs

Kef's room door at the end of the hall

Kef's bed

downstairs bathroom for older kids

bathroom for babies

visiting room for parents

Friday, August 17, 2012

One heart, divided between two continents

On Friday we had to say good bye to Kef.  It is amazing how fast time flies.  Time seemed to stand still until after court and then it was over in the blink of an eye.  As much as my heart is broken there is great comfort in knowing the nannies and the Sister are amazing.  They give those children so much love and treat them as their own.  We were so blessed in how many amazing people we have met on our journey.  Hareg runs the guest house and travels by two buses and over an hour of time to arrive at the guest house each morning to make our stay as comfortable as possible.  The cook made three meals a day and each one was superb.  The greatest treat was our AA driver Estachu.  Like Hareg it took him two taxis and around an hour a day one way to reach us.  He went out of his way to answer all of our questions, try to teach us some Amarhic and made us feel at home.  We arrived in Ethiopia as strangers but have been blessed to leave with friends and so much love.  We can't wait until we can go back.  Even though the Ethiopian people have a rough life, with little of the things we take for granted, they are such a happy and thankful people.

Last picture of our little guy before we had to say good bye

Hareg, myself, our cook and Russ

myself, Estachu and Russ

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Kef, Shopping and rain

What a long day today.  We spent the morning visiting with Kefyalew.  He is still amazing.  Every time the nanny brings him to us his face just lights up when he sees us.  After our visit we met with the investigator we hired to start the process in documenting Kef's life for us and him.  We followed that up with a trip to the Piatssa to do some shopping for our kids.  What a heart breaking experience as everywhere we went we were approached by people begging for money.  Russ spent the afternoon with the adoption coordinator and the lawyer purchasing a generator for the foster home while I was able to love on Kef for our afternoon visit. Just as a foot note our foster home has a visiting room for families so that is the room you see in all the photos.

You just have to love tummy time

Yes, my lovie does taste good

Boys can be cute in purple flowers too!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Our day with Kefyalew

1st family photo

Such a happy boy

Kefyalew's bed in the infant 3-6 month old room

such a sweet sleepy baby

water reservoir for the foster home so the nannies don't have to cart water up the stairs for the babies.