Monday, January 26, 2009

Family Time with the Coon Cousins

When we arrived home, my brother was actually in China for work.  Since they were not able to make it to the airport, they ended up coming to Indiana the following weekend.  We had a great time hanging out at our house with four kids playing all day long.  The kids were adorable.  

Life is good.  Being a parent has changed our lives.  We look forward to the time that we get to spend with Tegegn.  His laugh is contagious.  His smile melts our hearts.  We are forever grateful that God had a plan because we would not have it any other way.  Tegegn knows we are his parents.  He looks to us for comfort.  He knows he is safe with us.  He loves to be held.  He hates peas.  He likes cheerios.  He can wave.  Children are amazing.  I am happy that I am a mom.  God is good!

Friday, January 23, 2009


I'm sure much to Kevin's surprise I am going to do this.

Three jobs I have had in my life: Landscaping, McDonald's (for a month), College Admissions

Three movies I would watch over and over: Man on Fire, Emelle, Knights Tale

Shows that I watch: Big Bang Theory, Dirty Jobs, PTI

Three places I have been: Ethiopia, Greece, New York

Three of my favorite foods: Cheeseburger, Filet, Ethiopian Tebs

Three places I'd rather be right now: home, out on a boat anywhere, Sarasota, FL

Three things I am looking forward to this year: Watching Tegegn grow up, the start of the NFL and MLB seasons (I know the NFL season isn't over but it is for me), all our friends children coming home for the first time from Ethiopia

Three jobs I would love to have: Missionary, beer taster (I have to stick with Kevin on this one), rock star

Everything has been going well. We are both exhausted hence the lack of updates, hope to put more pics up soon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Reading some books

We were fortunate to have Zac and Laura come visit this weekend with all the cousins. We all had a great time. Tegegn played well with all the cousin and the cousins played AMAZINGLY with him. They were so loving and fun with him. It was great. We are in the process of reading some books on the sleep issues. Not much has changed as he still wakes up 3 or 4 times a night. So we are looking for different methods to help him and us out. He is doing great with each grandma. He is starting to crawl more raised up off the ground and is pulling himself up, standing up, and climbing all over us. He is doing really good. And likes to feed himself now. We figured this out after grabbing spoons full of food! Yay! Sarah was really sick Sunday night so I am running on empty. I traded time with Sarah being sick and Tegegn waking up in between so this has been the reason for the delay in blogging.

This is a priest at one of the churches. Ty carry a cross around and people will come up to him and kiss the cross and he touches them on the cheek with it. It is a form of respect for the priest and a way of blessing. This is at an Orthodox Church.

We had amazingly generous friends and family who donated money and supplies to take to the Orphanage. Here is a picture of the CWA staff in Ethiopia with the donations at the CWA office.

Here is a pic from one of the local markets. All the food is organic and has so much more flavor than our food. And it's a lot cheaper. We wanted to get some Papaya from Miejer last night. $3 here, $.60 there.

Lamb is the main meat in Ethiopia. As you can imagine, they are sold everywhere. Most of the time they are being herded through town. When you need one let them know and they will bring one to your house.

A pic from the weekend. Looks like he is ready to starting climbing.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A couple better nights sleeping.  Starting to get filled up during the day and taking very little milk at night, which is the direction the Dr. said we should be heading.  We had the opportunity to visit with our friends David and Abbe and there wonderful twins.  They are all doing great.  We had a nice dinner and a chance to talk for a while.  Then all the kids, especially Tegegn decided they were getting tired and started to get restless.  Zac and Laura are coming down today with all the cousins so we are really excited for all the kids to play together and be with everyone.

This is a catholic church service and during the service while they are giving communion they hold these beautiful umbrellas over the priests.  Also while they are walking outside.  This is a picture of the head of the catholic church in Ethiopia.
This is Tegegn watching Baby Einstein for the first time.  We knew he had big eyes but my goodness we didn't know they were that big!

This is driving through Merkato.  Merkato is the largest market in Ethiopia and VERY overwhelming.  We didn't get out as it is well known for thieves and pickpockets.  So we just drove through and it was quite an experience just driving through.

This is the helper making Injera for us.  She makes it about every four days.  She is actually making a special one with Berbere and butter that was very good.  I can't remember the name.
This is a mini bus kind of like a taxi.  These mini buses go up and down the same road stopping several times.  What they do is the guy hangs out the window yelling where the next stop is and you flag them down if that's where you are going.  

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Some more pics

First off, thanks for all the notes, comments, calls, food, support, emails.  We can't tell you how much it means to us.  We have an amazing groups of friends and family!  Tegegn is doing awesome.  He is playing great with both grandma's each day and we think the transition into them baby sitting is going to be good.  Knock on wood right!?  The nights are still pretty rough as he is waking up two or three times.  We switched to Vitamin D milk so he wasn't real hungry at night just needed comfort and fell right back  asleep.  

Some have asked about the picture at the top and it is one I took walking through the Eucalyptus trees at Washa Mikel.  There were some Ox roaming around.  It was by far one of favorite places in Addis Ababa.

These are the ruins of the Washa Mikel church.  It was carved out of stone.  It was bombed by the Italians when they invaded Ethiopia.  Around a hundred priests were killed when it was struck.  It is on top of a mountain so it was considered an important position in the war.

Nothing like food on the forehead, tear in the right eye, and a filthy face.  You know we had to take a picture.

Along with sheep, donkeys , dogs, there are also ox who own the roads.  This is a major road and.....a guy is herding ox right down the middle.

This is outside Trinity Orthodox church.  It is one of the most popular and important sites in Ethiopia.  We drove through the gate and were greeted by a guard running towards us asking us why we didn't pay.  We were a little upset at the idea that they were making us pay to see a church, so we just drove through.  It is interesting, the sites are always triple the cost for foreigners.  We later heard from some other tourists we met that they take you inside for five minutes and it's over.  So we were glad we didn't pay to see it.  The outside is beautiful though.

This is Kaldi's Coffee.  The Starbuck's of Ethiopia.  Very good coffee and it is also attached to a mall where we did some shopping and where I went to the internet cafe.  This is about a block from our house and we walked to this area at least once a day.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Another good day.  Both grandma's came over again and he did great.  Later in the evening we needed to do a little shopping so we took him on his first shopping trip.  He is so curious about everything he just looked around the whole time taking everything in.  Still getting used to the car seat as he has never been in one until now.  Does pretty good.  Cries a little putting him in but is fine afterwards.  We head to the pediatrician this morning for his first check up.  The only thing we are having a few problems with is the sleeping.  We are going to switch somethings around.  We think the crib is reminding him of his time at the orphanage so we are going to try some new things.  We knew this was going to be one of the hardest parts and have heard the same from many adopting families.

This is inside the Saviour Orthodox church in the Bole region of Addis Ababa.  This is the beginning of the Christmas service which begins at 8 pm and finishes at 3 am.  We didn't stay for the service but wanted to see what it was like.

Hanging outside on the porch.  We were able to get a few laughs out of him.  

This is at Maryam Church (St. Mary Church) atop Entoto Mountain.  Almost all of the older Orthodox churches look like this.  There are many throughout the city.

This was our tenth attempt to get a pic with him looking at the camera.  We were never able to. 

This is a pic of the home we stayed at.  In the pic is myself, Teddy, and the helper Genet.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Slowly catching up on sleep

Good news, Tegegn woke up yesterday using his wrist like nothing ever happened.  He was crawling around and climbing on everything like he was before.  We already had a doctor's appointment scheduled for him for tomorrow so we decided to wait and have them look at it then.  It was amazing, the first night of sleep, we all went to bed around 8:30 and he woke up at the same exact times that he did in Ethiopia but on our time.  We were a little jealous.  Because Sarah and I both woke up at 4 am and starving.  We had both grandma's hang out with us most of the day yesterday to start to get aquatinted and he did great.  Grandma Gerry even brought her new puppy over and he was making some interesting noises.  We think that he was getting a little jealous when we pet the dog because he was fine when he pet it on his own.  And ofcourse Grandma Peg was making him laugh more than ever.  We had a great time being with family.  We have really been surprised at how out going he is around new people.  He is still very clinging to us but has no problem showing off, and warming up to others.  

I know several of our friends have court dates coming up and some are getting ready to travel so I thought it might be helpful to see what the airport looks like.  Get ready to scan your luggage and carry on luggage 100 times on your way over.  All international airports we went through scanned our carry on every time we boarded a new plane.  Best to be safe I guess.

Some of the food we had from left to right, Macaroni, vegetables, Shera Watt (red) Watt is the sauce and the first word is what you put in the sauce Shera is kind of like lentils, Barley, Fish, and Sarah's favorite Sambosa which is kind of like an egg roll with different things in it such as lentils, meat.
A couple teeth coming in

There are a lot of new building going up in Addis Ababa and this is one thing that continued to blow us away.  They use wood posts for scaffolding and as you can kind of tell it's not real straight.  

This was one of the first nights, we were rolling because he was sleeping on his arms.  For some reason he loves to sleep on top of his arms.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A few pics

I think they got everything.

Atop Washa Mikel overlooking the city

With our host family buying traditional dress for the three of us at the Entoto Market

One of our favorite pics, we were getting ready and we look over and he is folded in half fast asleep on top of bunny

Meeting for the first time, we don't know what happened to that little boy who didn't say a word and had a blank stare the whole day.

Neil Diamond

Back in America!  It feels good to be home.  I had it all planned out just before we hit ground in Detroit I was planning to have America by Neil Diamond playing on the Ipod for Tegegn, well didn't happen.  Pretty rough flight.  I was letting him stretch out on the plane before we left and he was standing with my help and not sure if he slipped or what happened but his wrist popped, kind of sounded like when we pop our fingers, and it started hurting him.  Of course we felt horrible and were very worried, so we talked to the stewardess and she suggested paging a doctor.  She did and about 12 people came back, wow!  There was an incredibly nice pediatrician and a family doctor who felt like he may have just sprained it a little, but we went ahead and braced it and put a little sling around his neck.  So we plan to head into the pediatrician this morning and get it checked out.  Then we found out from Sarah's dad that we had no heat in our house.  Needles to say we were both a little emotional on the plane from Detroit to Indy.  Wonderfully her dad was able to get ahold of someone to come and fix it before we got home.  We had an amazing welcome from family and friends at the airport which felt better than we can describe.  We will get pics up soon and talk more about our journey!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tegegn's Homecoming

Good morning,
This will be our last post before we get home.  We go to the Embassey today to complete everything for Tegegn's passport and visa.  Yesterday we did a little exploring.  The Lonely Planet book talked about a church made out of rock at a top of a mountain called Washa Micheal.  So we ventured out with Kifle.  The book said you will have to ask locals how to find this place and did we.  Once we found the road that headed up we had to ask about ten people where to go.  It was up the rockiest bumpy road we have ever experienced.  And guess who slept through most of the trip up.  Tegegn!  Sarah had him wrapped in her arms and somehow he slept.  We were all laughing at how bumpy the road was but the Tracker battled through and we finally made it.  This is a diamond in the rough.  By far one of the neatest places we have visited and a perfect ending to our time here.  Once you visit the rock church ruins the guide said do you want to go over look the city?  Ofcourse!  We walk through a forest of Euculiptis trees and it opens up to overlooking Addis.  This totally blew Entoto Mountain away in my opinion.  Tegegn was awesome the whole time.  He loves being outside and we never heard a peep the whole time.  He has been really great the past few days.  Had some rough nights mainly because all the grocery stores stopped carrying formula and we found a few left at one and it was for very young children.  We think that he isn't getting filled up like he was with the previous brand.  Ouyr host family said it was common for places to just stop carrying things because of issues of importing.  So we are going to try and adjust the amount.  He was sleeping great until we had to change.  Tomorrow is Christmas here because of the difference in the calendars.  It sounds like they are preparing a feast.  Not like they haven't been already.  They bring our paperwork to us on Thursday and we leave at 11:30 Ethiopian time Saturday night.  We are scheduled to arrive in Indy at 2:30pm on Sunday.  Anyone who would like to come to the airport is welcome to.  We are a little concerned about making our flight in Detroit because we have to get our bags and go through customs before we board our flight for Indy.  We will be in contact with our family to let them know if we have any problems.  We get into Detroit at 11:30.  We will probably eat lunch at the Indy airport which is very nice if you haven't been there yet.  We are coming in on Northwest.  Again no pressure but if you are in the area we would love to see everyone.  We are excited to see everyone again!  Wendi, our USCIS took about two weeks to get our appointment for finger prints and it took about three weeks after the fingerprints to get our approval.  We emailed the contact on the website about two weeks after our finger priints explaining our situation and we got it in the mail the next week.  I don't know if it was coincidence or they actually expedited it for us.  So total it took about 5 weeks.  
Love you and can't wait to see everyone again!
Chris and Sarah