May 27, 2010

Ethiopia and Current happenings

Well, I missed blogging yesterday so I decided to post the link to my blog journal that I did shorty after coming home from Ethiopia. This will account for yesterday and today's events: click here

That was my last blog entry about our trip so I will be busy the next few days telling you all about my amazing visit to the orphanage and our journey back home with Nathan! 2 exhausted parents + a baby + 16 hour flight = no fun at all

Current Events:

Tomorrow is the last day of school, where did the year go??? Olivia had her kindergarten graduation program yesterday. They performed several songs, announced each child, and then served refreshments. I loved watching my little superstar steal the stage. Olivia was dead center on the front row, of course, and was so animated the entire time. She has the most outgoing personality ever, I don't know where she gets it from but I hope she never changes. Austin is going into the 5th grade which means in a year I will have a kid in middle school AHHHHHHHH! Now that is crazy. Austin had a great teacher this year who has been a huge blessing. Austin is already asking to be in clubs, band, hall monitor(do they even do that anymore?), tv broadcast team, etc, etc. This will be fun! Next year will be a lot of work...

I recently decided to go back to school. I am attending online classes with South University in Savannah to officially get my paralegal degree. It is going great so far. I am able to get my work done once the kids are in bed each night. Half way through my first class and I have a 95. Hope I can keep it up! Next term I have 2 classes so things will get a little more difficult for sure. It is really exciting though and I enjoy it. I feel like I am accomplishing something that will make me feel better about myself and better my career. It has been difficult for me to realize that my dreams of being at stay at home mom were never going to come true. Since I support my family financially I have to make sure that I can continue to be successful in my career and I need a degree to back up my experience. I am on track to graduate in about 2 years. :)

May 25, 2010

Ethiopia Day 1 - Meeting Nathan!

Over the next week I will recap the events of our week in Ethiopia. Since I never finished my blog journal after we got home my plan is to do it now.

As we circled over Addis Ababa I could not help but get all choked up looking out the window, knowing Nathan was out there somewhere. We were there!!! We were in Ethiopia!!! I was pretty nervous going through the airport. I knew little Amharic and was armed with my translation book. We made it through the process of getting our visa and exchanged money. When we entered the room to get our luggage it was very crowded and busy! The owner of the guest house we were staying at was going to be there to pick us up, I had only corresponded with him through email and had no clue what he looked like. As we walked out people flocked to us and thankfully we quickly found Zeyede's smiling face holding a sign with our name on it. He took our luggage to his van and we were off. Driving through the streets of Addis is quite an experience. There is no method to the madness. Cars and people are everywhere! There are goats in the medians, donkeys walking down the road, everyone honking and yelling. People walk so close to vehicles as they cross the street and you think for sure they will get run over. It makes New York traffic look like a piece of cake in comparison.

The guesthouse was nice and the staff was amazing! It was a large house surrounded by a huge gated wall and barbed wire. Sounds odd right? That is standard in Ethiopia. UN officials were staying at the house next door and there were several armed guards at all times. Our room was small with a balcony overlooking the garden area and quiet little dirt road. We walked with Zeyede to a small shop and he treated us to a cup of Ethiopian coffee YUM! We LOVE Zeyede! He owns and operates the guest house as well as a touring service and made the BEST honey ever. We received a call that our driver from the House of Hope would be picking us up soon to go meet Nathan! We freshened up and before we knew it a little red car pulled up at the gates.

I am so nervous...just didn't know what to expect. We pull into the gates of the House of Hope. It is an amazing sight! Rows of childrens clothing and cloth diapers are strung up to dry. Everyone is peering over the balcony and through the windows at us. We are led into the office where we meet Teseguy, the director. We speak to him briefly and he tells us his wife has gone to get Nathan ready for us! Right Now?!?!? Suddenly she walks in the door and everything becomes a blur. Nick grabs the camera and thinks he is tapping but he forgot to push record... I try to push back the tears as I hold him, cuddle him, and check him out from head to toe. AMAZING! He is plump, healthy, and breath taking beautiful! A few minutes after Nathan was placed in my arms we were handed a bottle, brief feeding instructions, and back in the car we went. That was IT?!?! Like, I don't need to sign him out or something? We were taken to the guest house part of the HOH and given a room to relax in and spend some time with Nathan. I had worried about him possibly crying, being scared of us, or how well he would bond to me but God's hand was surely at work. He went to us willingly and bonded almost immediately. Not long after we settled into the room he fell asleep in Nick's arms. So sweet! It was like Nathan had been waiting on us and we were finally there and he was exhausted and at peace. He knew that was were he belonged. We ate dinner with another family that had arrived earlier in the day and then headed back to our guesthouse. Once in the room I changed Nathans clothes and finally got a good look at him. His cute personality really came out then as he cooed, smiled, and stretched out on the bed. By this point we had not slept or showered in days. Unfortunately we got very little sleep that night. Every move Nathan made I was jumping up; trying to figure out his schedule and getting to know his signs and what he needed when. You would think Addis would be quiet at night, wrong. There was a night club down the street that played loud music ALL night EVERY night. There were people moving about the guesthouse at all hours making loud noises. UGGGG Now I knew why people recommended we pack ear plugs!

May 24, 2010

A year ago today...

A year ago today Nick and I arrived at the Atlanta Airport at 4:00 am to begin our journey half way around the world to be united with our baby boy. It is hard to believe it has been that long. That morning we were so excited and nervous, it was all very surreal that we were actually going to Ethiopia and would soon be meeting our son we had only known through pictures. Neither of us had ever been out of the country before. We had more suitcases than I can remember; stuffed with a few of our clothes, lots of baby clothes/supplies, and donations for the orphanage. Our first flight was on a tiny plane to Washington DC. A few hours after arriving in DC we were boarding the plane to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; which was approx a 16 hour flight. We stopped briefly in Rome for fuel. Unfortunately it was dark outside so we could not see anything. By that point I had no concept of time, whether it was day or night, or what day it even was. I felt like a time traveler.

will continue tomorrow...

April 11, 2010

Nathan - Baby Idol 2009

Nathan - Baby Idol 2009

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Vote for Nathan in the Star 94 baby Idol Atlanta's Cutest Baby Contest!

April 04, 2010

Easter Pics