Sunday, November 28, 2010

Turkey Award

Cal's teacher gave each of her students an assignment - they must decorate the paper turkey she provided with their family. The class was going to vote on who had the best turkey.

A few days after Cal had taken his turkey back to school, I asked him if his turkey won. Real nonchalantly, he said, "Why yeah" (his new phrase of the month "why yes" "why no" "why ok"). I said, "Really? The class thought you had the best one?" Again, without any emotion, "yep".

We had pretty much the exact same conversation a few days after that. I told Adam that it is cute that he thought he won. I assumed that if Calvin had actually won the award, he would have come home so excited and wanted to tell me all about it.

Sure enough, last Tuesday he brought home his turkey and the award for "most happy and creative". I felt horrible that I hadn't believed him. I acted super excited for Calvin, and I said, "I didn't know you won the award!" He said, "I told you that I did already!" Well yeah, he did. But at least he was acting super excited about the award now. Go Calvin!!

Another lost tooth!

A few weeks ago (Nov. 6th) - Wes lost his first tooth! Adam and Calvin were brushing teeth in the bathroom while I secretly pulled Wes' tooth. Adam heard Wes say "Ouch", and so Adam yelled from the bathroom "Sabrina - stay away from that kid's tooth!" But seriously, it was such a quiet "ouch". Wes wasn't hurt that bad. After Adam yelled, I whispered to Wes "Do you want me to try again?" He nodded yes, and the tooth was out within a matter of seconds -- no "ouch" at all. A few minutes later, Adam and Calvin came back into the room, and Adam is just talking up a storm about how I need to stop getting in Wes' mouth and stop torturing our kids through manipulation of the teeth pulling process! (joking of course) I said, "okay, I won't." With a big smile Wes showed his daddy that his tooth was already gone. Shh -- it was our secret. :-)

Just last Sunday, Wes lost his second tooth. He woke me up in the morning and said, "Mom my tooth is really loose." Half asleep, I asked if he wanted me to pull it. He said yes. So there I was, barely awake, and I pulled Wes' tooth out quickly. No "ouch" at all. Now both boys have 2 missing bottom teeth. It seems like the only one squeamish about pulling teeth is daddy!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Court Date!

Our agency called us yesterday with great news -- we have a court date on January 25, 2011!!!

Next week, we should find out if this trip is a 3 day or 5 day trip, and then we can book our tickets. Right now we are talking with travel agencies and trying to make airline and guest house arrangements. There are 10 other families from our agency that have the same court date, and so we will be traveling with a big group.

We are so excited to finally have a date! Once we appear in court, we should be able to bring Allie home 4-6 weeks later. Until then, we keep watching her videos and looking at her new photographs. I see something new each time I watch the videos, and I feel like I am already starting to bond with her.

We would like to take a suitcase full of donations to our agency's House of Hope. Right now they are in need of baby/child vitamins; playtex drop-in bottles and drop-in; and children's clothing for ages 5-12. If you would like to help, we would certainly appreciate it (as would the House of Hope).

Friday, November 19, 2010

Love from Ethiopia!

Another adopting couple went to Ethiopia on November 9th to see their son and appear in court. They were so gracious to offer to take pictures and video of Allie. I wasn't expecting to see anything until after Thanksgiving, and so I was shocked when I got a CD of pictures, video, and a letter in the mail today. Before I even opened the envelope, my eyes just welled up with tears.

We got 11 new pictures, and 2 videos!!! We had also sent (with the adopting couple) a new outfit for Allie and a little blanket that Grandma Sherree picked up for us. The above picture shows her holding onto the blanket. The outfit, size 3-6 months, is still a little big. Allie just turned 5 months last week.

Allie continues to look so healthy. She has big, beautiful brown eyes. Everyone always talks about her big eyes. In our first pictures she didn't have any hair. It is customary for the orphanage to shave their heads, but our agency's House of Hope lets the hair grow. In these pictures, she has quite a bit of tight, curly hair. It is great to be able to see how she has changed!!

Anyway, I will leave you with the letter we received:

Your kiddo is super cute! She seems to be doing great from all I can tell. In fact, she is in the same room as our son, just one crib between them. She loved the blanket and outfit. They will keep the blanket with her, and I think she will have to grow into the outfit. :) We loved the caretaker in that room. She smiles often with her caretaker. Her nurse is doing a great job at caring for her, so be assured that she is in great hands while you are waiting! It was a privilege to take photos and video for you. I apologize for any quality issues. The light was low and we have a new camera. But I think we got some super cute pictures in here! May God Bless you on your journey!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Update on Allie

While we don't know any new information concerning Allie, I have received quite a few questions from friends and family about when we will travel.

In May, Ethiopia passed a new law that states families must appear in the Ethiopian federal court personally stating that they would like to adopt the child. While I don't like the idea of having to go twice within a short period of time, I do understand the need for the law. Prior to May, a representative from our agency would appear on our behalf, and the only time the family would travel to Ethiopia was to pick up their child.

So right now we are simply waiting on our court date. It appears that it takes 6-8 weeks to get a court date from acceptance of referral. We are on week 4 right now. Our agency is estimating that our court date will be in January because their most recent date given was already December 20th. You normally receive a court date several weeks before you travel. When traveling for court, we will stay in Ethiopia for approximately 3 days (5 days totals for trip). During this visit, we will get to meet our daughter and spend lots of time with her. Once we appear in court, she will be ours (assuming all other required persons and documents appear), and unfortunately, we will then have to leave her there. That is not going to be easy. While she will officially be our daughter, the US will not allow her entry just yet. It takes them approximately 4-6 weeks to process her visa and citizenship documents.

Once those documents are complete (4-6 weeks after first trip), we will travel to Ethiopia again to meet with the embassy and then bring our daughter back home. During this trip, we will be there 5 full days (7 days total for trip), and we will be able to see some of the sights. We will also get a chance to visit the orphanage. You normally only have about a week's notice (sometimes a few days) before traveling for this trip.

In the meantime, we are getting vaccinations, getting Allie's room ready, getting more documentation ready -- and just patiently waiting. :-)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


My newest niece, Chloe Kathleen Batsche, was born this afternoon. Wes was too nervous to get close, but Calvin was really curious about her. He asked if he could touch her. Then he started lightly poking her in the nose. He told me later that he just loves touching Chloe's nose. He was just really inspecting her all over. We are so happy for Jenna & Zach!!!!