It is estimated that there are 5 million orphans in Ethiopia. Soon it will be 5 million minus ONE!

Monday, January 31, 2011

"Gotcha" Day - January 8, 2011

"Gotcha" Day - January 8, 2011

We flew into Addis Ababa, Ethiopia around 9AM. We didn't think we would be able to see our daughter until the following day in the afternoon. We were so suprised when we received our agenda upon checking into the hotel. It stated that we would be picked up at 2pm to go to Hannah's Hope and be being our daughter back to the hotel with us! YAY!!!!

We had 4 hours to burn. We ate lunch/breakfast, then C took a nap. I was so excited I couldn't sleep, so I started to set out bottles, get outfits ready, and pack the diaper bag to take with us to HH. I couldn't believe that in just 4 short hours our daughter would finally be in my arms again! There would be no more goodbyes!!!! I was so thankful.

When we arrived at HH, Baby E was sleeping. :( Suble, her special mother (nanny), had fixed her hair. She looked so cute with all of the ponytails in. Even though she was sleeping C and I both took turns holding her. She woke up when C was holding her. We were worried that she may be freightened when she woke up, but she looked at us and immediately smiled. I know it is probably impossible, but it was like she remembered us. Baby E is such a happy and smiley girl.

Before we knew it we were on our way back to the hotel. We ate supper and Baby E was sleeping by 7pm. She was up twice for a bottle only to go immediately back to sleep. Thank goodness, because I had only slept about 3 hours on the flight.

This trip was such a peaceful trip. It was so comforting knowing our baby was coming home with us.
I will try to update from our first trip in a chronological order for the full story of both trips soon.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Three weeks ago today

Three weeks ago today we received confirmation that we had a confirmed embassy date for Monday, December 10th. We would be leaving the following day. It was one of the happiest days of my life! We celebrated by having a dance party in my son's room while listening to "It's time for Africa." I danced, cried, and laughed all at the same time; I didn't know it was even possible to have this many emotions at once. What a spectacular day!

I have heard that one's life is made up of 7 to 10 significant or life changing days. Here are mine so far: 1. my wedding day, 2. the day I found out I was pregnant, 3. the day I became a mother, 4. seeing my daughter's face for the first time, 5. the confirmation call to go and bring by daughter home. I can't imagine what could possible be better than the days I have listed so far.

I will update our how our lives have changed from being a family of three to a family of four, but I am too tired tonight and have to go to bed.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Why WON'T they let us HOLD HER!!!!!??????

Our precious daughter is finally home! Because you care for her and our family, we want to share some information with you that will help you understand why we have set boundaries with this child that differ from the boundaries with our son.

Now that E is home, she is understandably overwhelmed. Her entire world is so very different than it was just a week ago. She is experiencing all new tastes, smells, sounds, language, basically her entire enviornment has changed. Due to living in a transition home (orphange) for 4 months she does not know what living with a family is like. Basically, we need to let E know that we are her parents. It is so important that she understands and feels love from us and can develop a reciprocal love for us. The best way to form a parent/child bond is for C and K to be the only ones to hold, feed, change, bath, snuggle, instruct, and soothe her. After this process is repeated many, many times, Baby E will realize that we are her parents, she can trust us, and we will be there to protect her forever. We are essentially recreating the parent/newborn connection, which was broken very early in E's life.

Many children who have been at an orphanage for a significant amount of time trust anyone to meet their physical and emotional needs due to the many caretakers they have had while at the orphange. Orphans have so many caretakers that they, as a survival mechanism, will become overly charming toward adults. Baby E seems to display this characteristic very strongly.They will be willing to let anyone hold them, smile, or coo at anyone to get their attention. For all the child knows they may be the next caretaker. A child struggling with attachment may display indiscrimate affection outside their parents. It may appear harmless like they are just "very friendly", but this is quite dangerous for the child. This shows that she has NOT established a secure bond with her parents yet, so we will need to keep trying.

To share this is difficult for us because we know you all love our baby so much and just want to hold her and snuggle her. Please understand we want nothing more than Baby E to be hugged, kissed, and snuggled by all of you (I mean she is totally irresistable!), but until E has established a strong bond with us, we will need to be the only ones to hold her.

We have heard the phrase, "All she needs is love." As this statement is true, she also needs to develop a safe and secure bond with us first as newborn babies do with their parents from the start.

If we seem too focused on this, you are right. This is one area that we can't let E down. Children who fail to establish a healthy bond with their parents may struggle the rest of their lives with Reactive Attachment Disorder, which causes severe impersonal and behavioral difficulties into adulthood. 1 and 10 adopted children statistically will develop this disorder. While we want to let you hold her, the risk is too great at this time. We hope you will support us in making these tough decisions for E's well being. Thank you for respecting our decisions through this entire process.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Now introducting Baby E!!!!

We are home! The trip went very well. Edil slept well and her transition so far has been great. I will update when I have more time, but I thought you would all enjoy a photo of our newest addition.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bringing Our Baby Home!

Hello! This is K's sister, and I will be updating her blog while she and her husband are in Ethiopia bringing Baby E home! They received the phone call last Wednesday that told them they would be leaving the next day to bring E home! As you can imagine, it was somewhat of a whirlwind to prepare for the next day trip! Here are some updates I have received about their trip from Karmen.

"We got into Ethiopia on Saturday morning thinking that we had to wait a day and a half before we got E. But when we got to the hotel and checked our schedule, we found that we would be able to pick her up after lunch! Man, how much she has changed in 5 weeks! And that hair just keeps getting longer and curlier! When we got to Hannah's Hope, they had it up in 9 pigtails - adorable! It is crazy to think that is it long enough to do that already! Baby E is still just as smiley and happy as ever! She has just fallen asleep when we got there, but when she woke up she was just as smiley and happy as when we left. She has been an excellent sleeper, and a very happy baby these last few days with us! She seems to be adjusting very well! We have been having so much fun just playing with her and trying to make her laugh, which is pretty effortless.

Today, we had our embassy appointment, which was completely painless. Baby E is 100% our child legally! We will receive her passport and clearance papers on Wednesday morning! Yesterday, we spent most of the day playing with the babies and older children at Hannah's Hope. C had a line of kids waiting and fighting over who would the next in line to be thrown up in the air or tickled. We had a great day!"