Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Army Crawl

Thanks for the Colts updates.  That is refreshing and exciting news.  Quick update.  Tegegn has had a great couple days.  Starting to army crawl around everywhere and try to climb on our legs.  He is actually sitting up on his own and standing with a little help ;-) The change in the routine has helped a lot and still wakes up a few times in the night but not as bad as before.  We have been doing some shopping.  The best place we have found is around the post office.  A lot of people have said the prices are fixed but definitely not the case.  We are glad to have our host family with us to help us bargain.  Went to Gullit today the local market and bought a few things to bring home such as Masheela, kind of like popcorn but not, coffee, and some spices.  I hope everyone is doing well and we can't wait to see you!
Love Chris and Sarah

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Good morning,
Yay! Internet that is almost as fast as dial up!  Which is good.  Merry Christmas to everyone.  We had a good Christmas although it felt a little diffierent without the snow.  We heard it was pretty cold in the midwest.  Tegegn had a rough Christmas, he was very grouchy all day.  He likes to yell when he's not happy, and he did that for about 2 hours in the morning, then he had a rough night waking up about every hour.  We got through it though.  We think he might be waking up and getting scared and also teething.  We changed the routine a little last night and he slept all through the night exept to wake up hungry.  He is very happy this morning.  We gave him a bath before bed and put him to sleep a little later.  We are all learning what works best. We took him back to the pediatrition for a follow up visit.  He gained about .4 lbs and the ear infection was gone.  We have mentioned to our families but I don't think anyone else but we think he is younger than the birth certificate.  The pediatrition guessed about 10 - 11 months old right now.  He eats great, and the doctor said the weight gain was good.  He is a little under weight 9.1 kg now.  Yesterday we went to St. George Church.  All the church's are beautiful and we have been doing a little more shopping.  We try to go somewhere different each day.  The weather is great.  It is about 50 in the morning and around 80 mid/late afternoon.  It gets very hot in the sun, and we usually don't do a lot around that time.  We usually wear jackets and long sleeves most of the day as there is no humidy.  No one wears shorts, I have not seen anyone yet that is wearing shorts.  We usually go on a walk  every afternoon as Tegegn LOVES riding in the backpack carrier.  He also loves being outside!  We also went to Tomoca coffee yesterday as it is one of the more famour coffee places.  Very neat shop.  Sarah and I were jking that we felt like celebrities after leaving the coffee shop because we literally had 5 beggers and 3 people trying to sell things to us as we left and up against the car windows as we were trying to leave.  We joked with our host family that it felt lile poperatzie.  I plan to put together a long list of things to know while you are here for the families getting ready to travel.  We read about it from someone else before we left and it was very helpful.  We are located in the Bole region of Addis Ababa which is about 5 minutes from the airport.  Proably the region with the most foreigners that we have been able to tell.  We might go to Bole Mini which Duress suggested which is kind of like a diner in the US.  The have hamburgers and french fries.  We have been really good to stick with the tradional food which has been great.  And Duress we also bought some Mortabella last night which Sarah and I plan to have soon.  Everyone has been so interested in why we have a baby that's not like us.  Our host family says a lot of people say he is so they don't understand there is adoption here and then comment on how lucky he is to be with us.  We plan on donating the money we were given to either AHOPE orphanage which is a place that takes orphaned children with AIDS or a Hope charities, which feeds hungery children a meal every day.  We will also be taking all the supplies to CWA on Jan 5th when we go to fill out our paper work for the Embassy visit.  As you may or may not have heard Somomlia is very volitile right now so security is very tight in Addis.  Alomst everywhere you go there is security that search you and check you car.  We feel very safe though and our host family is whith us at all times.  I hope everyone is doding well and had a Merry Christmas.  It's crazy but I don't even know if the Colts are going to be in the playoffs.  I hope!
Love Chris and Sarah

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Entoto Mountain

Sorry we haven't been able to respond to emails.  It literaly took me 20 minutes to get to this point.  And you have to pay per minute.  If there is something urgent please put that in the subject and we will make sure we try to read it.  We are doing good.  Tegegn has been fussy the past two days.  He is in to screaming and fighting naps big time.  It probably a combination of getting over his sickness and being placed in a new world.  He is still cutier than ever though.  Yesterday we went to Entoto Mountain, which for those getting ready to come here, this is one place you can't miss,  There is a beautiful church at the top and it over looks the city, and it is one of the most beautiful drives.  Tall Euchaliptis trees cover the road as you drive up.  We try to do something different each day.  We also DROVE through Murcoto.  Wow, kind of glad we just drove.  Very overwhelming.  We decided to stop and shop a little on the way to Entoto Mountain in a place called Entota Market.  Very nice and clean.  We bought tradition closthing for all of us, and something called a Gabi which is like a big blanket.  It sounds like thingsare going well back in the US and the Colts keep winning.  They were getting ready to show highlights of the game on TV but the satalite went out right at that moment.  That was painful.  We hope to update more when the internet is a little faster.  Ha!

Love Chris and Sarah

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It Begins...

First Email From Sarah & Chris: 


I wanted to give everyone an update.  I am at an internet cafe that doesn't have a good connection.  We picked Tegegn up yesterday.  We don't think that he was out the of crib much as they said he was crawling which is clearly not the case.  His back and leg muscles are pretty weak and can't really sit up straight on his own.  We have already seen improvement just in the day we were working with him.  It was a rough night as he has a lot of mucus in his chest.  Woke himself up coughing several times and scarey himself.  We saw this morning that he had drainage in his ears so our host mother went with us to take him to the doctor.  Doctor said other than the ear drainage he is in good heatlth.  Gave us a  script for amoxacylin(sp) and tylenol.  He is at home sleeping now.  The hospital was for children only and the doctor was very nice.  Our host family is incedibly kind and very protective of us.  We are very tired because neither one of us slept because we were worried about Tegegn.  Right now he is very warming to Sarah and still hesitant about me.  We knew would be the case because he is only cared for by women in the orphanage.  I can't get my blog to load so please pass this on to anyone who you think would like to see it.  Zac can you pass this on to your mom and dad.  I didn't have their address in my hotmail and sarah isn't with me.  Wendi please feel free to pass this onto the yahoo group and I couldn't get it to load either.  I will try to send updates again and hopefully post pictures sometime but not sure because it is very slow.  The flight was long but on-time every stop.  Thanks for all the prayers and support, we can defintely feel it.


Chris and Sarah

Email #2

Hello again,

 Ethiopia will change our lives for sure.  It is pretty incredible here to say the least.  I tink that Zac is going to update ourblog for us.  Tegegn is much better since we took him to the hospital, we were having trouble getting him to settle down last night.  He wanted to play and play and play. We think he may have been in some pain for a while and was enjoying feeling better.  CWA picked us up today and took us to the Embassy for blood work, they couldn't find a vien so we felt pretty bad for him, just like his mom, and then to a clinic to have the medical exam required for the Visa.  They were very kind in coming to the home of the host family to get us and bring us back.  There were two boys with us also going age 4 and 6 and they clung to us the whole time.  They adorable!  Wanted to hold our hands everywhere we went.  I wish we could get pictures to load but internet is very slow and they don't have wireless where we are, that we have been able to find yet.  Our host family again is very protective o us and won't let us leave their site, which we appreciate.  We are going to a market this afternoon to look at the foods that they have been preparing for us.  The maleria medicine was making us feel pretty lowsy and our host mom called a doctor and he said we shouldn't be taking it because melaria is not an issue in the capital.  we already feel so much better and finally have an appetite.  They prepare ethiopia food for every meal and it is great.  they also made french fries for us today which we devoured in out 2 minutes.  Tegegn has come so far already, he is saying momma and ababa (dad) bouncing up and down like crazy, waving his arms and legs like crazy.  The doctor at the clinic today said he was healthy but a little under weight for his age but we kind knew that. He is also very close to being able to sit up on his own.  we are starting to get a lot of laughs and smiles after getting stares and no emotion on the first day.  My hope is to get him crawling before we leave.  We were having a little trouble get him to go poop and our host mom said do you mind if I try what I used to do for my children.  She cut off a little piece of soap and put it up his bottom, ummmm he was going to two minutes and I am not exagerating, it was incredible, and he has been going regularly since.  She has given us so many tips and been such a blessing.  The blog should be updating soon with the help of my brother in law.  Thanks ZAC!  Like always please pass this on to those that we have missed.
Love Chris and Sarah

Email #3

Dec 17 - We had a great day.  Tegegn is officially one!  Tegegn slept well for the second night.  He only woke up once and that is because he was hungry.  Mama and Baba (Mom and Dad in Amharic)  were happy.  He took a 2.5 hour nap in the morning and in the afternoon.  He really loves his mama now.  He is reaching for Sarah and always wants to cuddle.  Chris is the one that feeds him so that he can get used to being with a man.  He finally smiled and laughed with us last night.  It was precious.  
Dec 18 - Today we had to wake up and go to the Embassy for a medical appointment.  We went there with a few other children from CWA that will be leaving to go to the states soon.  There were two boys, ages 4 & 6, that loved us.  They wanted to sit by us, hold our hands, read to them and even one boy read to us in English!  We have no idea what families will be picking these two boys, but they will always hold a special place in our hearts.  They were so loving and it makes us happy to know that they will be surrounded by love soon. 
We are going to the market this afternoon.  We are excited to go out and about and experience the culture a bit more.  We have tried to lay low for a bit since Tegegn has been sick.  Since he is doing so much better we will be seeing more of Addis Ababa.  
This experience makes us realize a lot about ourselves.  We have so much and often take it for granted.  The Ethiopian people are so kind.  When we went to the hospital for Tegegn, the women that passed him would kiss his hand as they passed.  It is a way to show affection.  When people shake hands, it is a sign of respect to hold your elbow and bow.  
Our host family continues to be so kind.  They have made sure that we do not go hungry.  There is always plenty of food on the table and they insist that we eat more all of the time.  Chris and I had the opportunity to try to make injera (served with every meal) with the assistance of the helper.  I have to say, you know our host family is nice when they eat what we made.  It is supposed to be real thin - they considered ours to be double the size of what it should be.  They called it farmer's injera.  Today Teddy and her helper made us some potato chips (french fries).  I had ketchup!  It was so good!  
We will have to go to our agency on January 5 and then the Embassy on January 6.  We plan to see more of the city.  Captain Kifle and Teddy (our hosts) want to make sure that we do and see everything that we can while we are here.  It has been so nice not to be rushed.  Teddy has taught us a lot of parenting secrets.  We cannot thank her enough for her knowledge and "tricks."  All of the food here is organic and she is teaching me what to do to make my own baby food.  Again, they have been such a blessing to us and for that we are so grateful.  As Teddy would say, "Thanks God."
We will continue to update everyone as we get an opportunity.  Thanks for the continued prayers.  Tegegn is adjusting well and we are so thankful.

Friday, December 12, 2008

And were off!

We can't thank you enough for all the well wishes and support! We are headed out today. We are currently scheduled to arrive in Ethiopia around 2 pm eastern time on Saturday. Hopefully we will be able to continue to provide updates.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock

A quick update.  As you can imagine we have been a little busy since our court date.  Pack, pack, pack, double check everything we need to take, pack for a little one, buy airline tickets, wrap up work needs, double check the packing.  To say the least, it's been a bit crazy here at the Ponsler household.  We are leaving Indiana on Friday with stops in Detroit, Amsterdam, Sudan and our final destination - Ethiopia.  We are scheduled to arrive in Addis Ababa at 10 pm their time.  Our current plan is to let our bodies and minds adjust as much as possible on Sunday and get acquainted with our wonderful host family. Monday is the big day for both of us and our son.  We will meet him for the first time.  Poor thing, he won't have a clue that we are coming and all the love that we have for him.  Our hope is to continue to update our blog with pictures and details of the journey depending on how well the internet connection is while we are there.  The amount of prayers, donations for the orphanage, support have been overwhelming, we are truly blessed with an amazing group of family and friends, we can't thank you enough!