Friday, May 31, 2013

Requested info. was sent!

Yesterday the Embassy requested the phone number of the police officer who found Zeri. Our Ethiopia rep. sent his number to the Embassy today. The Embassy just needs to get ahold of the police officer and talk to him about when/where he found Zeri. If all of that goes smoothly then they should clear our case!

*Please pray that the Embassy can get ahold of the police officer quickly and the phone interview doesn't reveal any red flags.
*Please pray for our family. I read a blog post the other day and a mom talked about how this part in the adoption process is like being 9 months pregnant and ready to go into labor any second. We could get clearance on Monday (unlikely) or it could be months. You just never know and it's really tough to be patient/not stressed out! We can hop on a plane right after we receive clearance!!!!
*Please pray for our little Zerihun. He is going to leave the place he has known for many months and the nannies he loves. Please pray that he can attach to us and realize how much we love him.
*Please pray for Olivia. She is excited about Zerihun coming home, but I know (just like any older sibling) it will be a big transition to have a little brother in our house.

Thanks for your support! Hopefully the next time I blog it will be to announce our Embassy Clearance. This is THE LAST step before bringing Zeri home!!!:)

*Zerihun David Cox-you are worth the wait. Daddy, mommy, and Olivia can not wait to receive the e-mail saying that we have cleared Embassy. We've been waiting for this day for over 2 years and it's almost here! Yippee! We love you sweet boy!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

3rd e-mail from the Embassy

Yesterday we received a second e-mail saying that the first step in the Embassy process was complete. Today we received our third e-mail asking for a little more information from our agency. We get the e-mails in the early morning hours, so I am constantly waking up to check my e-mail throughout the night! We are praying that very soon we wake up to see that we have been cleared and can bring Zeri home! Can you pray this with me please?

I hope to post the last couple of days of our 1st trip to Ethiopia (yah..probably should do that before our 2nd trip, huh!?:)). Here are a few pics. to hold you over until I can post about our last few days.

This is what we saw when we looked out our Guest House window.

Another view from our Guest House.

Meeting our sweet Z for the first time!!

He doesn't know what to think of us!:)

Daddy holding Zeri for the first time.

Bless his sweet little heart!

We love you so much Zerihun David Cox!!!

I told you that I kissed his face quite a bit while we were there!

This is one of Z's nannies and he absolutely adores her! 

On another note...our little Livi girl is finished with her first year of pre-school! I was able to attend her end-of-the-year party and it was fabulous!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


We were submitted to Embassy early this morning in Ethiopia!! Praise God! Play join with us and pray that the investigation goes smoothly and that there are no delays in our case. Please pray that they (people doing the investigation-don't know what they are called!:)) can get ahold of the police officer right away and they can confirm that Zeri is an orphan.
 If all goes smoothly, we could possible bring him home in just 2 or 3 weeks!!!! But..I know that sometimes it takes much longer than this. Pray that our little buddy comes home very soon!
 Today is my last day of school and I would love nothing more than to hop on the plane today to bring Zeri home forever!!!!!!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Embassy submission on Tuesday (we hope!)!!

Please join us in prayer this weekend! We are supposed to be submitted to Embassy on Tuesday!!!!!! Our agency can only submit paperwork between 11:00a.m.-11:30a.m. on Tuesday mornings. I'm nervous that all of the paperwork won't be ready to be submitted by then (their part, not our part). Our case worker said it should take about 2-3 weeks for our case to clear and then we can bring sweet Zeri home!

Please pray that Zeri's medical evals go smoothly and that all the paperwork comes together by Tuesday morning before 11:00a.m.:) We are so excited to think that we could possibly bring Zeri home in June!

Thank you for supporting us and praying for our little buddy!

Monday, May 13, 2013

2nd visit with Zeri-Ethiopia Trip Part #3

On Saturday morning we woke up early and headed to the Thomas Center around 9:45a.m. They brought Zeri down to us. The head nurse wasn't there and the nurse this day didn't speak great English. As soon as she handed Zeri to us he lost it. We tried calming him down but nothing worked. Two nannies came and comforted him and he was fine. Then they got him up and walked him around. He was fine until they had Jeremiah walk him around. Bless his heart...he hated it. Jeremiah is an AMAZING and calm Daddy. I picked Zeri up and we took him outside. We showed him around the yard. We were able to get him to calm down for about 2 minutes and then the crying began again. Jeremiah took him and walked him around. Jeremiah was singing to our boy and our Zeri didn't stop crying. Jeremiah was so patient. They had Jer feed him a bottle, but Z didn't want it. He was just so scared. I had been asking the nurse if we could go upstairs because he was comfortable up there the day before. She couldn't really understand me. Finally, after literally an hour of crying I basically told her we had to go upstairs.

They put a mat down and little Z just kept crying. The nurse brought in a bottle and I gave it to him. I rocked him in my arms, sang him the same song I used to sing to Livi, and fed him. He fell asleep drinking his bottle. When he woke up he looked at me and smiled. He was a TOTALLY different child! He was fine!!!!! He let me cuddle him and just love all over him. I just kept praising God!!! As I'm typing this now, I have tears in my eyes as I remember how joyful this moment was for Jeremiah and me.

I held on to Zeri for a bit, hugged him, played with his little curls, and kissed all over him. He was just content being with his mommy. Then I put him on the ground and we just played for over an hour with him. It was perfect. We made him laugh and smile numerous times. He loved watching Daddy stack balls and act goofy. He tried to imitate Jer stacking and even put the ball on his head like Jer did. Zeri let me lay next to him and just his side while he played. I also made him laugh when I blew on his belly and tickled him.

Jeremiah showed Zeri the video of Olivia talking to him. Zeri smiles, tried to talk a bit, and waved his arms up and down with excitement. He already loves his sister! We had THE BEST TIME with Zeri this day. We both were just loving on Zeri and could not stop smiling. Zeri warmed up to us and it was then that we knew everything would be okay. We heard Zeri babble, laugh, and try to communicate with others. He was just a doll. I can't describe how adorable he is and we are just so thankful that we get to be his parents!!!

Our hearts were full as we left that day. We DID NOT want to leave our boy and especially didn't want to leave because he was sooooo happy. He crawled after us and sat up on his mat while we packed up. We gave him lots of kisses and then said goodbye. We had an amazing hour with our boy and felt hope that he will gro to love us. I can't describe how much love we felt when we made Zeri laugh and he wanted to be near us. We left his room with huge smiles on our faces.

Then we went downstairs and played with the older kids. They craved our attention. We played soccer and basketball with him. Around 12:30 they went inside to eat and we followed them. A sweet little boy was refusing to eat and just stood up at his seat. The nanny said that the little boy was refusing to eat because he wanted to play soccer with me. Sweet little kid!! We left because we wanted them to eat.

We went back to the Guest House and then went to a yummy restaurant called Antica. Jeremiah woke up feeling pretty crummy and had awful stomach issues this day. He was a trooper and still went out to lunch with me. We saw outside and just enjoyed the perfect weather.

After lunch we went to Trinity Church and took a tour. Our tour guide was pumped to show us this church and again, it was nice to learn about the Ethiopian culture. After that we visited the Sole Rebel store.

We drove through different parts of the city and then just went back to our Guest House. It was a long, but amazing day visiting our Z and seeing the city.

The Day We Met Zeri--Ethiopia Trip Part #2!

As you saw in my last post, we woke up bright and early the morning of April 19. We were so pumped to meet our little Zeri! The driver came to pick us up at 9:20a.m. and we headed over to the Thomas Center. As we pulled in we saw the nurse come out to greet us. She told us, "You are Zerihun's parents. I have seen your picture many times. He is one lucky boy." I immediately started tearing up. Before we went inside we asked Daniel to take video and the driver to take our pictures.

The nurse told us to follow her and we walked up two flights of stairs into one of the baby rooms. As we walked in we saw our sweet little Zerihun. He was standing up in his crib and all we wanted to do was rush over to him, pick him up, and just hug him forever. We both knew that we couldn't do that. We both were crying because THERE HE WAS! It was like a dream come true to actually see him in person. We slowly walked over to him and he just looked confused. Zeri was just fine in his crib when we were smiling at him. Then the nurse picked him up and handed him off to Jeremiah. Zeri looked at Jeremiah and immediately started crying. We felt so bad for our little Zeri! 

The nurse took him and he calmed down. He just kept looking at us like, "Who are you people? Why are you here?" They fed Zeri and Jeremiah and I talked with all of the other babies. There were many cribs in Zeri's room and throughout the time we were there many of the babies cried. Jeremiah and I would put our hands on their tummies or just stand over their cribs and they would stop crying. These little kids just needed attention. *Sidenote--the nannies are absolutely wonderful! They are doing an amazing job taking care of these little ones! They just can't pick up all of the babies at one time. We are beyond grateful for their love for Zeri!*

After they fed Zeri the nurse picked him up and told us to follow her downstairs. We went down to this carpeted room that had huge windows overlooking the entrance area. The nurse put Zeri down on the ground and more tears were shed. Then she gave him a ball and he played ball with us on the ground for a bit. He even let me kiss his face. The moment we tried to hold him he burst into tears. It was heartbreaking. We knew he would be scared and we knew it would not go smoothly. However, we weren't prepared to feel so helpless. There was nothing we could say or do to comfort Zeri. The nurse left us alone for a bit so that we could have alone time with Zeri. He just sat there and cried. He was terrified..bless his sweet heart. The nurse came back and took us upstairs into his room. She put a mat down on the floor and handed him some toys to play with on the mat. Then Jeremiah fed him a bottle. He let Jeremiah feed him a bottle, but then he cried when he was finished. Finally, the nurses calmed him down and we played with him on the floor. We were able to get one or two smiles out of him, but it was obvious that he didn't really want us near him. He would purposely scoot away from us. 

One of his nannies tickled him and she made him crack up. He likes to rough house. Zeri wouldn't let us hold him without crying this terrifying cry. We tried to console him but no success. It was fun to watch him play by himself. The nurse said that Zeri is usually a happy, chilled out baby who likes to play in his crib. She said that he sleeps from 7p.m.-6a.m. with a bottle at 4:00a.m. The nurse said that we are lucky because Zeri is a special baby. We did get to see Zeri's personality when he was playing with his nanny. It's clear that Zeri has a special bond with this specific nanny. She knew exactly what to do to comfort our boy. 

About an hour into our visit we saw another American couple come into the room. They were there to see Zeri's "best friend", B. B and Zeri came from their previous orphanage together and have been in the same room since December. The nurse said they are best friends. B's family lives in Indy!! What a blessing. We will be able to get our little boys together! One thing that calmed Zeri down was when B's family came into the room and they held B. These parents had been there for 4 days and this was their last day visiting B. I think it showed Zeri that it was okay to be around us because B was with other people too. 

We had to leave at noon. Zeri was about to take a nap, so we told him we would be back the next day. We went downstairs with the nurse and gave her the donations we brought. Her eyes filled with tears as she told us how much she appreciated us bringing all of the supplies. 

While we loved meeting our son, it was also an incredibly stressful experience. There are NO words to describe the feeling parents et when we see our children for the first time. As parents we want to be able to comfort and console our children at all times. It was just so sad for us to see our little Z so scared and worked up. It's obvious that the nannies and nurse absolutely adore Zeri. He loves them too. His little face just lit up when he saw his special nanny or the head nurse. 

After we left we went back to our hotel to rest for a bit and then we went to a restaurant called Lime Tree. It was good. Then we went to the Post Office shop area. We bought a few things for Zeri and Olivia. Then we went to the Sheraton Hotel. We walked around with Daniel and then we went back to our hotel. This hotel was beautiful, but it also made me sick to my stomach to be there. This hotel was probably the nicest hotel I'd ever been to, but then right outside there were people living in stick houses.   It was an odd feeling being there.

Later that night we went to Habesha 2000, a traditional Ethiopian Restaurant. We ate injera and other Ethiopian foods. Then we watched fabulous traditional dancers. We went back to our Guest House and were just exhausted. Throughout the night we heard loud speakers shouting Muslim chants from the nearby Mosque. That night we could barely sleep again, but we woke up excited to see Zeri again. 

Ethiopia Trip Part #1

I have been SO busy since we returned from Ethiopia. Two weddings to prepare for (and my sister's is in just two weeks!), three showers to plan, a bachelorette party to plan, school projects to grade, my mom's retiring, and we had a bit of paperwork to do for our adoption. Most of these things are taking place in less than three weeks. Whew! It's been crazy around here. I thought I would take a few minutes to write about our trip...otherwise, I will never do it.

On our way home from Ethiopia I spent about an hour writing down exactly what we did in Ethiopia for Zeri. I knew I would forget bits and pieces if I didn't write it down on the plane. I'm going to break this down into a couple of parts because it's too much to write in one post. Happy reading!:)

On Tuesday, April 16 Jeremiah and I went to work like normal. That night my parents came over, ate dinner with us, and then took Olivia to their house. Jeremiah and I rarely leave Olivia. We just love being with her and it was very hard telling her goodbye! We knew that she was in good hands, but we also knew how much we would miss her. After they left, we finished packing our bags and we headed to Indy. We could barely sleep this night! We woke up at 3:15a.m. and left for the airport at 3:45a.m. Jeremiah checked himself in, but we had problems checking me in. For some reason they did not have a ticket for me! You know me...I stress way too easily, so I just started praying right away. Jeremiah confessed later that he was pretty nervous too. It took the United workers over an hour to find my ticket! They finally found issued me a ticket and told us to check in right away when we got to Washington D.C. The workers told us they were *pretty sure* Ethiopian airlines would have a ticket for me. We just prayed again that everything would go smoothly and it did!

Before we packed our bags for this trip we bought special carry-on bags. We measured our bags to make sure they were the correct dimensions because we heard that sometimes Ethiopian airlines misplaces bags during flights. So, Jeremiah and I both packed every piece of our clothing for the trip in our carry-on bags. We also took 3 suit cases full of donations and we each took a small bag for items we wanted to use on the plane. After we checked in (and finally got my ticket) the clerk said that our bags were a little too big for carry-on. The lady told us she would let us slide this time because of what we just went through-whew!

By the time Jeremiah and I entered the waiting area we only had about a 1/2 hour before we boarded the plane. This is when reality set in that we were actually going to Ethiopia to meet our baby boy!! Jeremiah and I left Indy around 6:00a.m. and landed in Washington D.C. around 8:00 a.m. We immediately went to Ethiopian airlines to check in (and there were already at least 20 people in line ahead of us!) and thankfully they had a ticket for me. But...when we got to the desk we saw they were weighing the carry-on bags and I just knew they were going to take our bags. We got up to the desk and they weighed my bag and it was fine!! It was one pound over, but they told me it was fine. Jeremiah's was about three pounds over so they told him to check it. We quickly transferred Jeremiah's cameras, lenses, and a few other things over to my bag, checked his bag, and prayed that we would see it in Africa.

We had a nice time just hanging out at the airport and then boarded the plane for Ethiopia around 11:00a.m. We left at 11:30a.m. and the flight was fine. Jeremiah and I ended up moving up to seats that had quite a big of leg room and it was much nicer than our other seats. The flight was about 13 1/2 hours and it seemed like it was longer  (the flight home actually went much faster to us!). I think the anticipation made it seem longer. As we flew into Ethiopia I started to become antsy. I kept telling Jeremiah, "Oh my gosh..we are in the SAME city as our boy!!!" It was seriously like a dream.

When we landed in Ethiopia is was Thursday morning in Ethiopia. After we went through Customs, we converted our money to Birr and then got our bags. We went to find our driver and we couldn't find him. Finally, after about 30 minutes of looking for him we saw a van drive by and they asked us if we were from CHI. They were our drivers. The entire time we were there we had the same guide named Daniel. He was AMAZING and really took care of us (way beyond what we thought he would do!).

As we drove through Addis we just took in the sights. I love to people watch and it was fun for me to watch everyone as we drove through the city. It only took about 20 minutes and we were at our Guest House. We stayed at the Addis Guest House. The Guest House owner lived in America for over 15 years and he was just wonderful. They took such great care of us and we look forward to staying there again!

After settling in to our room we told our tour guide that we wanted to go to Mt. Entoto. We saw some breathtaking views of the city as we made our way up to Mt. Entoto. Here we visited an Orthodox Church and the Emperor's house. We also went to a museum. It was interesting to learn a little about Ethiopia's culture. When we were finished our driver took us to the bottom of the mountain so that we could shop a little. To be honest, this was a very stressful situation for me. I've been to Mexico and bartered with people. This was different. The people in the shops were extremely helpful, but then there were people from the streets trying to sell us items as well. I told Daniel that we needed to leave. As we left people kept asking us for money and they were literally holding on to our van as we drove away.

Then we went to a place called Avanti for lunch. Daniel had lunch with us and it was fabulous time. We asked Daniel questions about Ethiopia and all of our food was delicious. We left there and went back to our room. We really wanted to Facetime Olivia and it was good for this mommy's heart to see her sweet little face.

About an hour later, we were just exhausted. We knew if we went to bed at 4:30p.m. we would wake up super early the next morning. So, we decided to call our driver and ask him to take us to a little shop.   We went to this shop called Salem's and it was really neat. There was a group of American people from North Carolina there. They were beyond thrilled when they asked us why we were there and we told them we were adopting. It was just what we needed that day. We picked up a few baskets and some linens from this shop. We saw the workers weaving the baskets and it was just a cool experience.

We ended up going back to the Guest House about 6:00p.m. and we tried to go to sleep around 7:30p.m. We wanted to be rested to meet our son the next day. We both ended up waking up around 1:00a.m. and we couldn't go back to sleep. The time change and altitude difference really messed with us! But..we were running on adrenaline and we didn't care. We couldn't stop smiling because today was the day we were going to meet Zeri!!!!!!!!!!! We could not believe it!!!!