Thursday, June 20, 2013

Embassy and the second day with our son

Jeremiah and I feel so blessed to be both Olivia and Zeri's parents. We miss our Olivia like crazy, but we are thankful for this special time with Zeri.
 Jeremiah and I are having a tough time sleeping at night (wild dogs barking, Muslim chanting throughout the night on the loud speakers, people screaming at all hours, and just the normal traffic noise outside). Luckily, Zeri did not have a tough time sleeping last night because he is used to the noise. Zeri slept from 7:30pm-7:30am! Jeremiah and I were laughing because we woke up way before he did and we were just waiting for him to get up.
 When he woke up he didn't know where he was and we think he forgot who we were. He started whimpering and it was sad to see him so scared. We fed him a bottle and then he was his happy self. Throughout the morning we played, read books, and hung out until 9:30 and then we put him down for a nap. He went right down without crying. Around 11:30 we woke hi up, fed him lunch, and then our driver picked us up to attend our Embassy appointment.
 There was a long line at the Embassy but they let us cut because we had a baby. We went through security and then waited for our names to be called. Zeri just snuggled with me the entire time. He watched everyone and was just super chill. Our appointment was at 1:00 and we were called up around then. Normally you are asked many questions, but they just asked us one and then told us we we were done. Whew!
 After the appointment we went back to the guest house, had lunch, nd then Zeri took another nap from 2-4. We had to wake him up again from his nap. He is definitely a Cox because he loves naps like we do-ha.
 When Zeri woke up we played with his little friend Bereket and his family in our room. Zeri was totally showing off for the other family. Zeri likes to make us laugh. He scrunched up his face and makes this adorable funny face when he knows he is being cute or silly.
  After Bereket's family left we ordered up spaghetti for Zeri and a small pizza for us to share. Zeri chewed down on the spaghetti. Once we were done with dinner we gave Zeri a bath, read some books, and then fed him a bottle. He started crying when we put him down for the night so I held him for a few minutes. Then we put him down and I sang him a song. Our sweet boy fell asleep within 5 min.
We had an absolutely wonderful day today! I forgot to say that Zeri started calling Jeremiah "Dada." When Jeremiah walked out of the room Zeri would look for him and say "Dada." When Jeremiah walked back in Zeri would look at him and sayit again. Precious!!
Tomorrow we are having lunch with our sponsor family (she asked if she could come have lunch with us and meet Zeri and we couldn't tell he pr no). Then we are hanging out at the guest house until about 6pm. Our flight leaves Addis around 10:00pm tomorrow night. We can't wait to be home!!!!
Please pray for a few things....
-Jeremiah and Zeri both have stomach issues. Z had really bad issues all day long.
-We requested bulkhead seats on the plane which means that we would get extra room plus a bed for Zeri to sleep in on the 17 hour flight home. We called today and they said we,don't have a bulkhead for the flight home. Ugh. We even paid a bit extra to get this seat for Zeri. We only bout a lap ticket so he doesn't have his own seat. This could be a super long flight. Please pray that we can get a bulkheads seat tomorrow.

Have great night!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Gotcha Day!

Jeremiah and I arrived in Addis on Tuesday and spent most of the day with our sponsor family. It was nice to see our friends again. I will post more about that visit another day. 

Today we woke up excited, but extremely nervous about the day. When we saw Zeri in April he cried most of the time we were with him. We were prepared for him to do the same thing today. Honestly, we had the lowest expectations possible based on our visit last time. Jeremiah and I hung out at our guest house all morning and then around 11:45 our driver picked us up to take us to the Thomas Center. We thought we were just going to meet with the doctor to Ali about Zeri's health. When we walked in the head nurse brought down 2 bouquets of flowers for Erika (mom from Indy) and me. Then a few of the other nurses walked down the stairs chanting and clapping while holding our boys (the boys were wearing matching outfits!). Zeri started crying immediately, but little Bereket did not. The nurse handed Z off to me and he screamed for about 20 min. But....then he stopped!!! He grabbed ahold of me tightly and just snuggled up with me. It's was definitely an answer to my prayers. I held him for about an hour and then they came to get us for the doctor visit. The docot said that Z is perfect and the nannies said that Z is hilarious and loves to joke around. After the visit we took him into his room for a nap.
Erika, Kirk, Jeremiah, and I went went out to lunch and then we went back to the Thomas Center for their goodbye party. The nurses brought Z down and he cried for a few minutes. Then the older kids came in dressed in their traditional Ethiopian clothing and they started singing sings for us. They sang for about 30 minutes and then Abdissa (pastor) came in and gave a brief message to all of us. Gather that we were given coffee and some treats. We ate and the older kids sang a few more songs. Then Abdissa ave us a traditional outfit for Zeri and just thanked us for allowing Zeri to be a part of our family. 
 During the coffee ceremony Zeri sniffles and cried off and on, but eventually he just laid his head on my shoulder and almost fell asleep.  Jeremiah and I went up with a nanny to change Z's diaper and then she handed him back to me. HE DID NOT CRY!!! Yay! This was huge! When we returned he was calm for the rest of the ceromony! 
 When we left the Thomas Center it was very e optional for the nannies and us. They kept kissing Zeri and hugging him. Some of them had tears in their eyes. They truly loved our little boy and he loved them. I forgot to add that during the ceremony Abdissa gave us a time to talk and we were able to talk to the nannies and tell them how wonderful they are and how much we appreciate them. 
As we drove back to the guest house Zeri just looked around and he even tried to grab some of the cars. Zeri ended up falling asleep on me and it was heavenly.
When we got back to the guest house we gave Z his first bath and he loved it. Then we fed him dinner, played for a few minutes, and then we gave him a bottle. We also had a poopy diaper that got all over his pj's and our blaket....but that was the worst thing that happened today, so we are good. Jeremiah sang Zeri a song and then we laid Z down for bed. He went right to sleep. What a good boy!!! 
We love our little boy so incredibly much! Please pray that our trip continues to go smoothly and that tomorrow he will be just as calm! 

Also, we were able to FaceTime Olivia and it made us cry to see her reaction to Zeri!,, she had th biggest grin on her face. We miss our sweet girl! She's having a great time with her Gee gee's house.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Olivia's first dance recital

  This past weekend we had Olivia's first dance recital. She had a rehearsal on Friday night and two performances on Saturday. Olivia can be very shy, but she absolutely loved being on stage. Seriously..she kept asking if she could go on again. They turned the lights off when they little girls walked out on stage and when the lights turned on Olivia had a huge grin on her face. It didn't go away the entire time she performed. While we watched the other performances Olivia stood up, danced, and clapped. We left after her performance, but she begged me to watch the rest of the dances. My parents and sisters came to the Saturday evening performance. It was so neat to watch Olivia up on stage because I used to dance when I was younger.

Tara was Olivia's dance teacher. I coached Tara's cheerleading squad when I first started teaching in Mahomet. 

Brooklyn and Olivia

We love our girl!

She was trying so hard to make me laugh with her funny expressions-it worked!

Olivia's first dance class

Olivia, Aunt Kacy, Mimi, Bapa, and Aunt Kelsy

Still waiting...

   When we were first submitted to Embassy I thought it would be 2-3 weeks before were given clearance. After talking with our case worker she said it could go really quickly and that it could be only a week before they cleared us. Therefore, I've been checking my e-mail throughout the night and just waiting for "The E-mail!" When it hits 8:00a.m. then I realize that my wait is over for the day (because Ethiopia is 8 hours ahead of us) and then I start the anticipation all over again when I go to bed that evening.

   I's so silly. Before I started this process I would probably think someone acting like me was crazy. I'm pretty sure Jeremiah thinks that.:) It really is like I'm 9 months pregnant and just waiting for labor to start. I feel the exact same way I did when I was pregnant with Olivia. You always wonder when it will happen and if you will be ready for it to happen. I'm so ready. Well, okay I still have a ton to do to prepare our home for Zeri's arrival. But, I would hop on the plane tomorrow (if I could) to pick him up. My heart is just not complete without him being here with us.

 On another note, I think my son will have more hair products and brushes then I'll ever have. I've been researching (thanks Jennifer, Brandy, and Jessi for your input!!) by talking to adoptive moms, reading numerous blogs, and researching online for the best hair products and brushes to use on Zeri's adorable curls. I still have two more products to purchase and then I'll be good to go.

  Please just pray for our case. Pray that the Embassy can get ahold of the police officer right away and that they can clear our case the same day. Please pray that airline tickets are available the day we need to leave for Ethiopia. I've been looking at airline tickets and they are SUPER expensive right now. Last time we spent around $3,000 on tickets and this time it will be at least $8,000! AH! I tried looking into other airlines and those were more expensive and one even quoted me $15,000 for our tickets. No thanks! So please just pray that it all works out!

 Even though I am a crazy woman during the night, I feel extremely blessed to have this time off with Olivia. When I told her that we were starting our "Mommy-Livi Days" this week she started dancing around the house chanting, "Mommy-Livi Days-yay!!" We've had 2 special dates this week and I just treasure this one-on-one time I have with her. I'm trying to stay home or hang out with just Olivia as much as possible because I know these Mommy-Livi days are coming to an end soon.
 We just know that God has the perfect time for us to bring Zeri home. Now that I'm done with school it's hard to wait, but I know it will be perfect because God is in control.

 I was talking to one of my friends about Zeri's room last week. On Sunday she asked me to come out to her car because she had a surprise for me. Below is what was in her car and when she handed it to me, I just started crying. Thank you Brynn for this awesome wall decoration for Zeri's room! We are SO very blessed to have MANY fabulous friends who have supported us along this journey! :)

Yesterday we received a new picture of Zeri. He is growing up so fast! He needs to come home now!