Yesterday we had a good time playing in the snow! Last night, I got together with my girlfriends to celebrate Shelly's birthday! My friend Shelly is so sweet talented- I had given her Jillian's stocking to transform from a blond caucasian girl into a darker skinned Ethiopian girl- which she did beautifully! We may have to darken her up a little bit, but we will wait and see! So when I got home I went in to check on Harrison and he had thrown up in his bed and didn't wake up.... So I moved him to our bed in which he proceded to puke on me and our bed! Then onto the dry clean only bed skirt- So into the bath at 1:00AM he went and then the diarrhea started.......and it continues on with a fever- He says "Where's my pyark bowl?"- it's so cute how he says pyark. I feel bad for him- hopefully it will pass quickly! So Craig and Isabelle got up to go to church- our times are changing, we thought today was the first day of the new times, well they got there and it doesn't start until the 14th- so back home! So we are kind of off kilter today- maybe we won't do much else besides rest and play in the snow a little- well Craig and Isabelle at least.... I did do some organizing yesterday of Jillian's closet- it was a wreck- now its ready to hold Jillian's stuff, at least when we know who she is and how big she is. I also shoveled a WHOLE bunch of snow yesterday and pulled the kids and the neighbor girl on the sled- so I am sore today! I may need a nap!
These cats of ours act like they have never been fed before! They sit lurking at the window staring at the bird feeder with ears flattened! How do they know that they like birds? It is so funny! On another note, the 6 inches of snow they forecast didn't arrive- just a teaser. I also had a dream last night that we got our referral: I saw her face in my dream and her name was Martha Brown- isn't that funny! She was a little older and had a beautiful smile and eyes that smiled.... It came in an envelope and I just had to open it.... kind of strange. I guess I am just being hopeful!
Our weekend started very busily last Friday night with celebrating Harrison's 4th birthday. My parents came over and Harrison got to pick where we went to eat, he picked Steak and Shake.... "because they have white shakes" (according to Harrison). Also on Friday, in our little town something horrible happened. A woman and her son were violently killed by the father as to what seems to be over money..... This woman happens to be one of my neighbors best friends. I watched people come and go all day, including highway patrolmen, protecting the little brother who was left behind in the house unharmed. It was the saddest thing. It still is. The father was later found dead, apparent suicide. Tomorrow are the mother and son's funerals, together. My heart is so sad. I can't understand. One thing I read and that I am trying to focus on and remember is this: Heaven is real and Relationships are the only thing that matter here on Earth. We are supposed to be the hands of Jesus.... I can only hope that God wrapped his loving arms around that momma and her sweet little boy as they entered his gates.... It's hard not to think about what happened.
On Saturday, we went to Kansas City to have a long weekend.... I was glad to get away. We started off spending the afternoon with some great friends! We had lunch and visited with Craig's roommate from Pharmacy school and his wife and their 3 kids. It was so good to catch up with them, we had a wonderful visit! Then we went down to The Plaza. All the kids cared about was swimming.... which they did a lot of! Sunday, more swimming and some shopping- Birthday stop at Build-a-Bear of course. We also experienced Ethiopian food for the first time at The Blue Nile restaurant. Here's how it went: Harrison fell asleep and Isabelle started crying because she was afraid of trying something new- she ended up liking it! We had the Sampler Platter and they brought it out and there were no utensils! You use the Injera (Ethiopian National Bread) to scoop it up and eat it. It was all pretty good actually. Injera has a funny smell to it- It reminded me of a pancake that was kind of sour dough-y. Monday, we messed around and came on home- Isabelle brought some Injera to take to school, she said only one person in her class liked it- hmmmmm we are going to have to work on them! Anyway, if you are reading this, add this family to your prayer list please- they need your prayers! Especially the little boy that was left behind.
As of yesterday, we are now THIRD in line for our daughter, UNofficially of course- I feel like I need to DO something- like get her room ready or something. We had to wait until the first of the year to get Isabelle's furniture situation "situated" and then we can move her old dresser into Jillian's room and I can actually set some things up and decorate. I will post pictures when I do something- maybe that will make me feel like I am doing something!!! I am getting SUPER excited about trying authentic Ethiopian food this weekend. Craig looked up online the place where we are going- if you have time, they have a sample menu online- it's interesting. Look it up at: www.bluenilekc.com
My friends who have gone through this told me it would be hard..... to wait. I never knew HOW hard! Every beautiful face I see coming home from Ethiopia- makes me want to see Jillian's face even more- don't get me wrong, I am soooo happy for these families, it's just really hard, wondering how old, how big, her history, etc....
My little boy, the baby right now- will turn 4 years old on Monday! I remember when I was pregnant with him and they told me after my ultrasound that he was a boy--- I think I was in shock, my daughter, 3 at the time cried, because she wanted a sister, I just thought what in the world am I going to do with a boy!! Now, I can't imagine how boring life would be without that :smiling, funny, happy, caring little boy- who loves me sooo much! This weekend we are going to celebrate his birthday- Starting with a family party on Friday night and then we will take off to Kansas City for a long weekend- We are going to an authentic Ethiopian restaurant downtown and I am so excited to try it and see if my kids like it- I thought I might try some authentic recipes, maybe this will help me compare. We are going to stay on The Plaza, Craig and I love it there- and the hotel has an indoor pool for us to play! A little January getaway to maybe distract us from "wondering and waiting"- maybe it will help.
Some of my anxiety is over something I read on the America World blog- that the Tax Credit for when you finalize your adoption is going from 12,000 in 2010 to 5,000 for 2011- unless we can get the government to change that- write your representative!!! This is important, it could make the difference in whether or not a family decides to adopt! Needless to say, I am hoping and praying that we get finished in 2010 for sure!!! I wish I could
Ok- the good news: we can now flush all of our toilets! bad news: $192.50 later- a toothless plumber tells me not to flush certain things down the toilet! Yes- it is MY fault- not the freezing weather, or a child's toy- but me, the adult! Needless to say- I have learned my lesson and as I speak my sweet husband is sanitizing the bathrooms because they smelled like Mexico to me when I arrived home today! That's all I will say about that! Hopefully ever! We had a conference call today with AWAA: No big news, I was a little bummed..... looks like it could be at least 3 months after we get our referral before we can go get our daughter, that is IF we pass court the first time- which is not a sure thing. So- I will be happy if we get to go get her before school starts next year! That is a lot more waiting! I am so thankful there are other people experiencing the exact same thing- through our chat group with our agency! We can support each other and pray for each other and that is so reassuring!
Today it got above freezing! YAYYYY- School resumed! YAYYYY! We hopefully can get back in our routine now- well at least part of it- Only 3 out of our 4 toilets are "not working". We originally thought something was frozen- after today, I am beginning to wonder if we will need professional help for our problems! My husband is going to get the ole "snake" out tonight and see if he can fix it himself and if not- well, tomorrow I am calling the plumber! Oh, Winter- day upon day of family togetherness,why is it that whenever I go into another room, everyone follows? Am I really that popular? Needless to say I am jumping for joy over the forecast this week- above freezing EVERY day! That means outside time after school and a happier momma! Hopefully by midweek all of our toilets will work, too! Tomorrow we have a conference call with America World, our adoption agency- hopefully they will have a tidbit or two of interesting info- ready for some kind of action on the adoption front- at least an "on deck" or something for "baby girl waiters" 1-3 (we are #4)- anything would be great news- This time of year is always hard for me- after Christmas/before Spring- I am totally "Seasonally Affected"- happens every time- My soul needs sunlight and warmth and nature- I think I really need to plan a trip towards the end of Jan. or Feb. sometime. I think my family would be much happier! That just may be a goal for next year/post adoption of course- For now I will just look forward to my toilets working!
Tuesday nights are our crazy night because Isabelle has Dance when I would normally cook dinner so we ran through Wendy's tonight.... when we got home, Harrison-age 3 was helping me carry the drinks in. He had gotten a junior sized Frosty- he said, "Awww, that's Jillian sized"- it was so cute! It means a lot to me that in his little 3 year old heart and mind, she is already real to him and to our family! Now, all we need is some action on the list! Come on referrals!
Charlie Brown says that you have to wait until January for the really good snow- well, it's here! Woke up this morning and it has been snowing all day! You can still see certain blades of grass- but we probably have 3 inches or so- probably enough to cancel school for a few days, but they can't give you notice in advance! We had a good day- we got our kitchen chairs painted black- one big thing we can check off the "to do" list- and then this afternoon we all went sledding- first in the back yard and up the street behind our house until the neighbor dog wouldn't stop bothering us, so we decided to head to the park- there are some really good hills by the ball fields! It was so fun! Both kids stacked themselves onto Craig's back, like turtles. Harrison fell off the first time- I couldn't stop laughing! It was a lot of fun! One of the sled's the kids got for Christmas was called the "Snow Snake"! It was more like a rocket! We stayed until our faces were frozen and then we came home and had some hot cocoa! What a great day! Next, I asked Craig if he would pull me behind our vehicle down our street- we will see....... I think an adult should try it out first! I don't think that is legal- but it would be a fun ride! Happy Winter! I am trying to add pictures, but it won't let me. I will keep trying....
1. Ethiopia has approx. 4.3 MILLION orphans and the country is only twice the size of Texas.
2. 82% of the population survives on less than 1$ a day.
3. Only 24% of households have access to safe water.
4. 1 in 10 children die before their first birthday.
5. 1 in 6 children die before their fifth birthday.
6. 44% of the population in Ethiopia is under 15 years old.
7. Ethiopia's Doctor to Child ratio is 1 to 24,000.
8. Per Capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any other country in Africa.
9. HALF of all children will never attend school.
10. Because of this : James 1:27 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: To look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
I am Erin, follower of Christ, a wife to Craig, and a mother of three amazing kids, Isabelle, age 8, Harrison, age 5, and Jillian, 1. I spend my days loving amd taking care of my family and longing for Ethiopia.