Friday, September 28, 2007

The many faces of TN

Our daughter has discovered a new feeling: Silly. I wish I had a thousand more pictures of her silly faces and keep TRYING to capture the moment but, alas, they are fleeting! But, here's a taste.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

8, 13, 12

No, I haven't lost my ability to count linearly. These numbers represent the amount of time, in minutes, for Nerys to fall asleep yesterday. We've tried the gammet of techniques for falling asleep... including ignoring, which got us up to 1.5 hours to go to sleep on her own. Super. Ugh. So, we are back to touching her and sitting next to her crib, which has greatly enforced the concept of sleeptime. With any luck, we can begin to withdraw our hand sometime this week and still have her go to sleep on her own.

Here are are some of the latest and greatest stats on Ms. TN.

1) She can pull herself from sitting to kneeling and kneeling to standing-- against an object.
2) She can stand, supporting herself with an object, for a very long period of time now!
3) She has discovered silly faces!

So, the next few blogs will serve as a representation of Ms. TN and her forays into toddlerdom.

You too can crawl through the cat's toy box...

You can even get to the middle...

And through to the second hole...

You can even get through the second hole...

but then something happens. Something totally unexplainable.

You get stuck. You can't back up and you can't move forward. Your mommy is laughing at you (not very nice, Mommy!). But then, mommy puts down that darn camera, picks you and the box up and delicately extricates you from your inexplicable predicament. Ahh, relief.
Can I do it again?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Sixth Week

We are now in our sixth week home. I can't believe where the time went. I can't believe our little girl has changed so much, grown, adapted, learned, and developed. Of course, then we have all of the changing, developing, adapting, growing and learning her parents have done. So, here's celebrating week 5 with a list of, Who Woulda Thought:

Who Woulda Thought:

1) I would be catching poo as it came shooting out of a bottom?
2) I would be demonstrating "chewing" as a new skill?
3) We would have been scheduling our whole lives over sleep: first nap, second nap, bedtime?
4) I would cry the first time my daughter spontaneously hugged me?
5) We would teach things unexpected; who knew we hummed (mmmmm) or said "oooohhhh" each time we hugged her and that this is what she now does to us with each spontaneous hug?
6) We would spend hours of our day "waiting" for sleep to come to our little one?
7) A child could find the smallest speck of lint on the cleanest possible carpet?
8) That the inside of our mouths is the perfect spot for our baby's whole entire hand?
9) That spitting is so much fun?!
10) That we could love someone as much as we love her?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Friday in Addis. The Departure.

On Friday there was a new feeling in the air at the guesthouse. This marked our third full day with Terefech Nerys and the day we were to leave Ethiopia. Our last breakfast, lunch and dinner at the guesthouse, the last with our new friends and their amazing children. The house was filled with the buzz of packing and exchanging. Soy formula for regular formula, larger and smaller diapers and clothes big and small all milling about the house. What should we put in the carry on? Do we have all of our documents? Where did you put...?

At noon, everyone was out of their rooms and wandering about. We had a delightful lunch and then families loaded up to go to the CHS ET office, where our childrens passports, visas and lifebooks would be picked up. A little over an hour later we had all arrived back at the guesthouse and celebrated with dinner and a coffee ceremony. One of the housekeepers brought their daughter (age 6?), who came upstairs to sing us a few songs. What a cutie! We saw Injera, which is the bread of choice in Ethiopia, and used to eat meals, being made. It take a certain kind of deftness to accomplish the making of this 16" diameter bread.

At 7:00 pm, we all loaded onto the buses. We fussed over our children, made sure our luggage was all there and headed out on the 45 minute, super-bumpy drive to the airport. We all said hasty good-byes as we rushed to our ticketing counters, accounted for our visa paperwork, and hoped we'd get through the whole process by the time our flight left at 10:30. Hugs were exchanged, well-wishes and promises to write were spread about.

Our plane actually left an hour and a half late. We all stared at each other through the glass partitions separating our gates. We waved and then talked loudly over the glass. Looks from other traveling families let us know we were being wierd! :) Such is life. To share so much with such an amazing group in a short amount of time creates a certain bond that overcomes the stares of strangers.

So, there it is. Our 12 day journey of a lifetime to Ethiopia. We'll go back. We'll go back as a family of 3 instead of a family of 2. We'll share our memories, photos and videos with TN as she grows. She'll know we are in love with her country of origin. She'll know we felt heartache at leaving as much as we felt elation at going to Ethiopia. Everyone asks: Will we adopt another child from Ethiopia? Only time knows. But, if we do decide on a little brother or sister for TN, our hearts will guide us back to Ethiopia, the country that has already given us the most precious gift possible.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Thursday in Addis...

On Thursday we woke up at 7:00 am with the little buckaroo snuggled up between us. We had experienced the first night of being: kicked in the face, smacked with the back of hands, inched out of bed by a 14 month old. But, all is forgiven when we look into the peaceful face of the bambino.

We spent the day with our group, oohing some more over everyone's babies. Terefech blessed us with a few smiles and, while I was shopping, she entertained everyone by putting her toe in her ear and cleaning that puppy out. Then, everyone else ALSO realized how incredibly flexible our munchkin really is. The day went smoothly, although naps were a bit tenuous (some things never change!). In the evening we packed our bags and prepared to depart on Friday evening. By now, must of use were decidedly tired. Although we were mourning leaving Ethiopia, I at least was dying to sleep in my own bed.

No pictures from this day... sorry! But, i promise to post bleary-eyed parent pictures for tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Wednesday in Addis (2 days before leaving!)

We took Terefech Nerys fulltime into our care on Wednesday. What a joy as we all crowded into the van with our babies for a ride from the care center to the guest house. For the first time, our 7 adult-only families (and one pre-teen!), were combined with all of our new babies and toddlers. It was so very exciting to see everyone gleaming and glowing over their baby boys and girls. Suddenly our conversations went from politics, religion, Ethiopian culture and economics, to goo's and gah's and gazing intently at our babies. We were taking pictures of each other, capturing moments, then exchanging formula, diapers and clothes instead of playing cards and teasing poor Dani (age 12).

Here's pics of our first full-time day with Terefech Nerys, our greatest joy.
Terefech likes to put her fingers-- or whole hand-- into our mouths... yummy! This is our first sippy bottle with Terefech.

Here is TN's first real bottle. We were SOOOOO excited that she would take a bottle. Being able to feed her like this is an excellent way to achieve attachment. Before she used to stare into space while drinking milk. Now, she cuddles into me or Terry and gazes into our eyes. Now, she knows that we are mommy and daddy.

TN's first sleepy-sleep with us. I think we probably gazed ourselves to sleep. She, on the other hand, drifted off and didn't wake up for 12 hours. Wohoo!!

This is our first "hmmm...." moment. That moment when you wonder, "how do they do that?!" But, she does it just fine, thank you. Flexibility, I've determined, is an art form as well as great skill. Sometimes, TN holds both feet, or sleeps completely spread eagle. And, we mean legs completely perpendicular to the vertical body. Scary.

Tuesday in Addis

On Tuesday, we went to Embassy and got the official GO AHEAD to bring Nerys to the United States. The day seemed long, as each family was individually called up the stairs to answer questions: Why was your child relinquished? Are the biological parents still alive? Is this the child that was referred to you? All in all, it was painless and we all crowded back onto the buses to travel back to the care center. For security reasons, no one is allowed to take pictures at, inside or outside of embassy, so there are no pictures to celebrate the occassion. We left Ms. Terefech for the evening and spent an evening at the Crown Hotel with dinner, drinks, music and regional dancing. Here are a few pics:

Three men chatting as part of the dance:

Sunday, September 2, 2007

A nice day to play...

It was such a beautiful day here... Daddy and Terefech played in the sun.

Addis Ababa Time