Thursday, March 26, 2009

What A Difference....3 Month Reflection

Wow- If you would have told me when we first arrived home almost three months ago that we could have come to have loved this boy so much, that he would have made such strides, that we couldn't have imagined our lives without him and that our lives would be this totally different, but in a good way....I might have not believed you :) It's just awesome!

I truly am amazed at how far we have all come. If you read my reflection after being home for one month, you might have gotten the sense that it was a tough time- and it was. The transition was especially hard for me. I wish someone would have told me (and in reality, I am sure they did) "Give it time!" For some people, all the feelings and instincts, etc. are instant....for others, like me, it took time, and that is okay (I know this now). Time....It truly makes such a difference! All the things that seemed so overwhelming and "big" when we arrived home seem so manageable and not such big deals now. That doesn't mean we don't ever have difficult times, but they seem like molehills now, instead of mountains :) Praise God!
So, what is Caleb up to? How has he changed? He is probably the happiest human being I have ever met. He just bursts out in laughter at random times. He lives to make others laugh! How does he do this? Well, he might roll his eyes back into his head (I am going to have to post a video of is hilarious!) or do his special dance move, or make his face shake all over, or he might try to sing opera. Oh, and my personal favorite, he loves to shake his head no and smile when I ask him to give me a kiss- it is so cute! But what I love more than that is when he just walks up to me so sweetly and surprises me with lots of kisses...oh, I love that! What a sweetie. Okay, so he isn't perfect.......but pretty close :) He is beginning to be much more independent and "trying", which means he likes to smile and laugh when he is told "no" and when he is told "no" he likes to throw a temper tantrum. He can get fussy anytime he wants to do something on his own that he really can't do yet. If we have to assist him to get the job done, he isn't too happy. Strong willed? yep :)

I have found myself reflecting at the 3 month mark on our time in Ethiopia. What an experience- truly, the experience of a lifetime. I can't explain the emotions that I feel now looking back at pictures of our time there, or even seeing pictures of other families time there. It just does something to moves me in way I can't explain, kind of like a part of me will forever be there. Know what I mean? And when I think that this precious child came to us from this beautiful place- it just overwhelms my heart. I don't know if this means we will adopt again or if we will ever go back or not, but I do know it means that Ethiopia will forever be in my heart in a very special way. I am excited to see what God has in mind for our family and Ethiopia. Who knows! God does :)

Well, I could go on and on, as any mom could, but most of you may not have even made it to this point....I know, you really just want the pictures :) And I don't know how to make them appear at the bottom instead of the top :) Lucky you! No, lucky us. No, blessed us. We are truly blessed.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Beautiful Video....

A very sweet family in the AWAA Ethiopia program recently made a video collage of many of the AWAA families now at home with their precious children from Ethiopia. They showed the collage at their baby shower...what a great idea! As I watched it for the first time, I stood in awe of God's goodness and the miracle of adoption. Praise him that there truly are no orphans of God. The Video is below....oh, and grab some tissues :)

The Vandruff Family has their day in court next Friday. Please keep them and their two precious children in your prayers as they seek to be united as a forever family.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Bowman's Passed (and so did I :)

Our sweet friends from Lexington, Chad & Karen Bowman, found out this morning that they passed court! Praise the Lord! Their sweet daughter Natalie is now officially theirs! We met the Bowman's toward the beginning of our adoption journey and have been friends ever since. Honestly, we thought we might travel together, as our dossiers were submitted to Ethiopia only a couple weeks apart. Unfortuntaley, that wasn't the case, but we did get to meet precious Natalie while we were in Ethiopia. To see a video of their beautiful new daughter, click here.

Also, I was very suprised today to find something in the mail from my graduate school. It was my test results for the comprehensive exam I took this past weekend....I passed! Praise the Lord! I am finally finished!

What does Caleb think about all this great news???

He is very excited, of course :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Swim & Snow In the Same Week?

This past week Caleb had his first experience in the pool and the snow....the pool was indoor, of course....Kentucky weather is crazy, but not that crazy :)

We thought he would love the pool, because he loves his bath time so very much. He splashes and splashes and loves the water. So, we got him all suited up, put on his baby life vest, but before we could actually get him in the water....catastrophe! He slipped on the wet tile and hit his head....there were lots of tears! Poor guy!!! First parent mistake, big time! We took of the life vest and I held him for a few minutes until he felt better. Then, we put the life vest back on and carried him over to the edge of the pool. The teenage daughter of the owner of the home was in the pool with the kids, so we helped Caleb get into the water with her. He seemed to like it at first, and let her move away from the edge and take him into the water. Everything was going great until we asked her to let go of him to see how he would do with his life vest. Catastrophe again!!! The life vest apparently was a little too big, and he went face down into the water! Oh no!! That ended the pool experience- needless to say, it was not a success. Better luck next time :)

So, then a few days later we got about three inches of snow overnight. This was the first snow since Caleb had been home that he was actually healthy enough to go out and play in it, so we weren't passing this chance up! We got him all bundled up- it reminded me of the scene from the movie A Christmas Story where the little brother is all bundled up for school, so much so that he can't move- Caleb wasn't bundled up that much, but from the way he was acting, you would have thought he couldn't move :) It was very cute- he just stood there with his arms out, like he was saying, "Help me!!". Anyway, we took him outside and at first, he was not very impressed with the snow. He wouldn't walk on it, and he really didn't even want to touch it. Then we got him on the sleigh and pulled him around, and he liked it a bit more. By the end of his snow experience, he was especially interested in eating the snow. So, all in all, the snow experience was much better than the pool!

At the end of last week, we discovered from some lab work that my Vitamin b12 levels were quite low- this, along with Lupus, was no doubt at the root of my fatigue issues. I was so thankful to find out this information! So, this past week, I have gotten an injection everyday, and I will continue to receive injections periodically for several months. I don't want to be overly hopeful, but I do feel better, praise the Lord! Today I completed (prayerfully) the last step to receiving my master degree- I took the comprehensive exam for my master program.That probably was weighing me down as well, and it feels great to get that over with! I will find out how I did in 2-3 weeks, but I think I did well enough to at least pass.....which at this point, is all I am concerned with! I really love being a student, but now that I am a mommy, there are more important things :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Caleb's First Haircut

Today Caleb had his first haircut by his 2nd cousin Kelly, or as I have always called her, Keke. She has been doing my hair for a long time now, and she has always been a very special cousing to me, so it was really cool that she got to give him his first haircut.
He was fascinated at first by the sound of the clippers, but that soon gave way to fear or something else....see for yourself in the pics above :) His new haircut looks so adorable, and he looks so grown up now- doesn't look much like a baby anymore. Isn't he a handsome little guy?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Home 2 Months!

Saturday marked the two month anniversary of Caleb being home with us- it is beginning to feel like he has been with us forever! He is such a part of our family now, we can't imagine him not being with us. He is loved by everyone who knows him, and it is easy to understand why. He lights up the room as soon as he enters. I remeber when we had just received our referral, our program director, Duni, had emailed me about a paperwork issue. At the end of her email she added, "I have never met a baby that can capture your attention from across the room with just a smile." Now we know what she meant! He truly has a joyous spirit!

As most children do, he is learning so much with each day- it is truly amazing. New sounds, new movements, new games, each day is a new learning adventure. Never could we have hoped that he would be doing so well after only being home for two months. In some ways, he seems like such a different little boy than the tiny and scared child we met in Ethiopia. God has removed the fear in his eyes and replaced it with love and happiness. We give him all the glory for that!

Zack and I are continuing to learn the joys and challenges of being parents. I am still struggling with fatigue, mostly due to Lupus, I feel sure. We rely on God for strength for each day, and he is faithful. The love he has placed in our hearts for Caleb grows with each day- we are so blessed.

Well, that is all for now- this is one tired momma :) More to come next week, including Caleb's first haircut :) Should be fun :)