April 29, 2009

Prayers Please...

Ok, we really need a lot of prayers you guys! I spoke to our social worker with our adoption agency today. They are unsure if we will be able to travel May 24 or not. We won't really know until the last minute. It is really hard to explain, especially to someone that is not familiar with the international adoption process, but I will try.

There are currently 14 families including us scheduled for court in Ethiopia for May 8th. (We do not have to appear in the Ethiopian court. Our agency rep will be there) Once we pass court Nathen is officially and legally our son. This is the largest group they have ever had at one time. Usually there are only 3-5 cases at a time. There are also several families that just passed court currently waiting to travel. They are trying to pack every one in before the courts close for the rainy season.

The next step after court is the Visa Appt at the US Embassy in Ethiopia. This appt clears Nathen to leave Ethiopia and enter the US and determines our travel dates. There is a lot of paperwork that must be completed between court and Visa appt. Well, the Visa appt schedule has JUST changed from every Thursday to every other Thursday. Plus they will now only schedule 10 appts at a time! Do the math, when you schedule 14 families for court the same day and only have 10 spots open for Visa appts there are 4 families NOT GOING. Plus there are several families that just passed court that will get first dibs on the May 28th visa date. Meaning even more from the May 8th group will have to wait. We are praying we will get the May 28th Visa appt but if we don't we will have to wait until the next appt day which is June 11th. Or worse the next which is June 25th! OMG I don't even want to think about that!

Ok, so some of you are thinking big deal right? Only 2 week difference. Well we have plane tickets on hold that must be booked or we loose our great price. Plus we have a guesthouse on hold and if we have to change our dates they may already be booked. Plus we are trying to make arrangements for people to take care of Austin and Olivia while we are gone and let our jobs know travel dates. UGGGGGG!

Also, there are 2 very special families with the same court date. (You know who you are) The 3 of us are determined we are traveling together to bring our boys home. If we get separated someone is going to have a nervous breakdown... We are like sisters and have been a huge support for each other. We stay up till late emailing each other travel plans, packing lists, fears, worries, excitement, encouragement, and baby tips. We look forward to the long plane ride together, getting that priceless picture of all 3 boys, shopping at the market, taking tours of the country, and just being there to support each other during this journey. :) We are a team! They just can't split us up...

I am so ready to meet Nathen, hold him, kiss him, see that big smile and introduce him to his very excited big brother and big sister. :)

So PLEASE pray for us and the other families. We MUST pass court next Friday, we REALLY need the May 28th Visa appt, and we JUST HAVE to travel together as a team.

April 28, 2009

Weekend in Hiawassee

This past weekend we went to my cousin's wedding in Hiawassee. It was so beautiful! The reception was at a place right on the river, it was picture perfect. Everyone had a great time dancing, playing football, eating, and hanging out. I did not want to leave... It is my dream to live somewhere like that one day.

Olivia is my dancing queen! She loved the DJ and danced all night. She knows the dance moves to the party songs. She got up in front of everyone and did the chicken song dance and even joined in on the conga line! :) I wish I had her personality, she is so outgoing. At the end of the day the DJ offered me his lake front property, his truck, and all of his equipment for Olivia!!! Then later that night at the hotel pool a couple that was there swimming tried to take her home with them, I asked them what they had to offer. Ha! Ha! She really is a cool kid and has a one of a kind personality.

So, we can officially say our court date is NEXT WEEK!!! I am so excited! I can't wait to show off Nathen's beautiful pictures. A family that also lives in the ATL area is in Ethiopia right now bringing home their baby boy. She will get to love on him for me. :) I am determined to get Nathen's room finished this week. I am picking up various baby items each time I go to the store. Today I got a pack of burp cloths and a powdered formula dispenser. I am kind of bummed that no one will be giving me a shower. I don't want to sound selfish or greedy but if I was pregnant I would have had like 3 showers by now. I hate to admit it but I get jealous when I see that others have had baby showers. I hate that people view adoption so different. That is what really bugs me about the issue. Not that I want gifts but that adoption is viewed and treated different. It is hard buying ALL the baby gear and trying to finish paying for the adoption all at once though. My aunt brought me the orphanage donations to the wedding which was awesome! I have a huge box of stuff which really helped a lot. I am trying to not stress though, I am really trying hard. Before I know it the day to leave will be here and before I know it we will be back home and settled into the everyday routine of life. I want to savor every minute of this awesome experience. I just can't wait to finally hold Nathen in my arms...

April 24, 2009

2 WEEKS!!!!!

Our last family picture before adding our new addition!!! :)

2 WEEKS until court!!! Hopefully 4 WEEKS until we leave!!!!

Lord, please help court on May 8th to be successful and for us to have the May 28th Visa appt. Please keep us safe during our trip and help Nathen to continue to grow strong and healthy. Give me the strength to not be stressful and fearful as we prepare to make this journey. Please keep Austin and Olivia safe and happy while we are gone to bring home their baby brother. You are blessing our family in so many ways, please help me to keep my focus on that. Amen

Ok, so I am stressing. Yes, I am a worry wort and stress often but wow! There is so much to do, so much to buy and not enough time or money to do it all. I really need to finish Nathen's room. I have started packing but it is really stressful trying to figure out what to take and what to leave. Every one's advice is to travel LIGHT! Take more stuff for Nathen than us. Babies need A LOT of stuff! 10 days without my hairdryer though??? I know it will probably blow up the first time I plug it in anyway, that would be my luck. I have gained so much weight I hardly have any clothes that fit, I will probably end up having to re wear dirty clothes. :( I will make sure to take lots of deodorant and body spray! I know, I just need to diet and exercise right? That is easier said than done when you are a "stress eater", are never home forcing you to live off the baseball field concession and fast food, and no time or energy to exercise. I am a little confused on what is appropriate to wear in Ethiopia. I get mixed info from different families. Ethiopia is very conservative, the opposite of what most people think. It is questionable at this point if open toed sandals and short sleeves are ok for me to wear. Capri's and pants or long skirts only. Plus the temperature there is not what you would think. It gets cold at night and only warms up to the 70's maybe low 80's during the day. So we need cool stuff for during the day and warm stuff at night. The power goes out for days and we will not have the luxury of heat or air so layering clothing is a must. For Nathen I am taking a mixture of stuff. For Nick he can wear shorts, jeans, t-shirts or whatever so it won't be as difficult to pack for him. We need to take a lot of medications for both us and Nathen "just in case". Plus the orphanage donations... I hope we get though customs with everything and I hope all of our luggage gets there ok. I am worried if my "Global Ready" phone will actually work like I hope it does while there. And what if I am unable to charge my phone??? Then how do I contact the kids at home??? I have my phone set up to blog from it while there, so as long as it works like it should, I will be able to keep everyone up to date while we are gone. I am confused on travel converters and adapters. I don't have a clue what to get! I am SCARED of flying!!! I will be a nervous wreck. That is really my biggest fear other than something happening to the kids while we are gone. Plus several families that traveled recently have had nothing but bad stuff to say about Ethiopia Airlines. Now I am nervous, the other airlines are way more expensive so we just can't afford to change our flight plans to a different airline. I really need to get busy learning Amharic. I bought an Amharic computer program, which is crappy, but I really have not had the time to sit and do it. Ok, have I covered everything now??? I will think of more stuff in a little while. :)

Yes, my blog template totally freaked out on me. I tried downloading other cool templates and finally gave up. I know this black one is kind of dull but it is easy to do and clutter free. I am trying to minimize and declutter EVERYTHING right now so I am just going to leave it like this until I have more time to mess with it. :)

April 20, 2009

Updated Info on Nathen :)

I got an update from Hollie today who was just in Ethiopia to bring home her little boy Amani. Here is what she said about Nathen:

I wanted to let you know that I was able to see your little guy twice. One time was in his room and the other was when he was taking a sunbath with all the babies. Too, cute! In the baby room, he was in a crib next to the Adams twins. He is VERY light complected and very smiley. He seemed very happy and Tsegay was able to get him to do big smiles. He was also very happy when I saw him getting his sunbath.

I could not help but cry reading this. I can just imagine him laying there smiling in the sun! FYI all the babies get a daily sun bath. I can't wait to see that in person, so cute. It is so awesome to have these little stories about him. I can't wait to see his beautiful smile! :) THANK YOU HOLLIE!!!!

Oh, my blog is a mess right now. Something went really wrong with my template so I am in the process of trying to get everything switched which is a pain... So some link may not work and some stuff is missing. I still can't figure out how to get the date to show on my posts.

April 17, 2009

3 WEEKS!!!!

Only 3 weeks from today is our court date!!!! AHHHHH! I am getting so nervous. If all goes well we hopefully leave in 5 weeks to bring Nathen home. Oh my, so much to do... We are praying that court is successful on May 8th and that our travel dates will stick so we don't have to run around crazy re booking flights and guest house etc. There is a family traveling the same week as our court date that will be taking pics of Nathen for us. I can't wait! Another family that lives close by is leaving in a week to bring home their precious little boy and although she won't be taking pics she will hopefully get to hold him, give him lots of kisses, and tell us more about him. It is so exciting!!! :) Please continue to keep Nathen and us in your prayers.

April 15, 2009

Happy Belated Easter!

Hope everyone had a great Easter! Our weekend was full of one Easter egg hunt after another. Saturday Olivia went to the party at our church where she had her face painted like a butterfly. She was upset when we had to wash it off in the bath that night. It really was beautiful. Both Austin and Olivia participated in the egg hunt at the baseball fields later that day. Then we had our family party Sunday after church. Everyone had a great time playing baseball, riding bikes, eating of course, and just enjoying each others company. The weather was perfect, windy, but nice. We have had nothing but rain for weeks so the timing was great for sunny mid 70's weather. :)

We have 23 days until our court date!!!! AHHHH! I can't wait. My aunt Cindy, who is a nurse, is able to get medicine and medical supplies at cost for us to donate to the orphanage. She made a really nice letter and passed out to the family at Easter and gathered money to purchase the supplies. It was so cool! It sure helps us out a lot and the discounted prices will able us to take more stuff. We still have so much to buy and get done to be ready for Nathen's arrival!

April 06, 2009

New Pictures!!!

We did get our updated pictures of Nathen today. He is AMAZING! She said he is "strong, healthy and very smiley". I wish I could post the pictures... He has the cutest grin ever. He has changed so much and gotten so big. I can not wait to finally hold him and love on him and give him lots of kisses! :)

on pins and needles...

Another adopting family traveled last week to bring home their 4 year old twin girls. They were supposed to check on Nathen for us and take pictures. They came home yesterday!!! I am on pins and needles just waiting for pictures to appear in my inbox. I am trying to not get so anxious, I know they are VERY busy getting the girls settled in, but it has been 2 months since we have seen Nathen. It drives me nuts to think about how much he has changed and grown since then, we are missing so much! I am praying they were able to hold him an love on him for me. I can't wait to hear details about him! :)

Nick and I worked our booties off this weekend. We painted the bonus room and Austin's room. We then moved Austin's room into the bonus room so we can put Nathen in Austin's old room. :) Austin now has the coolest room ever! It is the biggest room in the house complete with a foosball table, computer desk, couch, tv, wii, etc. It is so weird seeing Nathen's room with all the baby stuff in there. It makes it all seem so real now. I will post pics of the room once I get it completed.

April 03, 2009

5 Weeks!!!

5 weeks from today until our court date on May 8th!!!!! :)