Thursday, May 21, 2009

These Incredible Babies!

So we've been home with Ruby and Roman for almost 16 weeks!!!! That is FOUR MONTHS!!!! The time has absolutely flown by and it's like these children have always been ours. Well, spiritually speaking, they have. I truly believe that.

Since this is my blog, I will brag about my children for you all to read!!!
(I'd post some recent pics, but my finepix keeps freezing up and won't allow it right now! Bummer!)
Roman has 5 teeth and is working on the 6th. They all popped out in JUST the last month! Whew! He was a busy boy! He is rolling from tummy to back and sometimes visa versa. He doesn't like to stay on his tummy, and therefore is not attempting to crawl yet, either. Always happy, this beautiful child is saying "Da Da Da" and will grin from ear to ear and even giggle when I say "MAMA!!!!" He thinks that is great fun. He loves attention and can be quite loud when he's not getting it. Roman is eating finger foods with a passion. It's like he's a little robot when I put food on his tray...he is very coordinated and even grabs up the morsels that drop down into his clothing! This boy has come so far, even in just the last month! He is really starting to act like a 10 month old. He's gained weight and is totally on target in every way except crawling...but his legs are very, very strong. I'm sure he'll attempt walking before crawling.

Ruby is an incredible little girl. In so many ways, she is way ahead of a lot of 14 month olds. She is the queen of mimic! She is studious and will 'count' how many times you clap your hands and then she will copy you. We first discovered this a few nights ago. My mom is here visiting (and meeting the babies for the first time) and patted her hands together once. Ruby did the same. My mom did it twice, Ruby did the same. Then three times, four and then five. Ruby could not keep up at six. We were amazed.
Ruby is a great little "mommy". She pats Roman on the back and says "Baby!!" She also is a great kisser, keeping her lips all puckered up and dry...not slobbery at all. She is quick to wave bye bye when we get in the car as well as say "Bye" with a wave when she thinks somebody is leaving. She also waves and says "Hi" when we see friends or she she's her big brother and sister after school. Her favorite word is "Uh Ooooh!" And uses it appropriately when she drops a toy or spoon, etc. She's also been known to use it when she thinks someone else did something 'wrong'.
Ruby is very good at telling the dog to go "OUT!!". Recently, she kept telling my parents poodle OUT when it jumped on Papa's lap. She did not like that at all!
A very happy baby, Ruby has started getting an attitude. When told "no", she will point her finger at me and say "Whoa!! Whoa!!" (I'm sure her version of "No"). She then will get a very mischievous grin and keep doing what she's not supposed to! She will also tell us off in her own gibberish when she doesn't like something. You can see it all on her face, too! She has already gotten scolded for not talking nice. I'm not sure what she's saying, but the tone is enough to know it wasn't nice! This girl is already one step ahead of her old parents so I'm sure she'll either age us quickly or keep us young.

Chloe continues to adore and love her baby siblings. She is an awesome sitter when I need it, although she still has yet to change a diaper. She will, however, get the babies undressed and ready for bath time and bring them in to me to bathe. Chloe is almost an 8th grader! In another week, she will be out of school and enjoying the summer.

Elliot is just as wonderful and enjoys playing "kitchen" with Ruby. He has taught her how to open all the drawers on her little kitchen set and also how to pour pretend juice from the pitcher! He is a good dancer and daily holds her hands while they slow dance around the living room. Elliot is also looking forward to summer and then starting next year as a sixth grader. He will have the same teacher, as she teaches 5/6. She's been great for him this year and he enjoys her humor, too.

Well, I have a movie that I've been trying to watch all week...Babes are all sleeping so it's mommy time!


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Chapter Six: Coming Home

We arrived in Frankfurt, Germany. In our sleep deprived and spit up covered states, we managed to pass the hour or so we had there before boarding the next flight to Chicago. We were very thankful for our status with United and were able to relax in the Red Carpet Club. We quenched our thirst and fed and changed the babies before heading to the gate.
When we arrived at our gate, there was already a long line forming. Chaos was abundant and it seemed that most people there wanted to be the first to board.
Chloe had still been very sick throughout our flights and she basically collapsed on the floor, about ready to throw up at any moment. I got her out a gallon sized ziplock bag as it was the only thing I had for her. She promptly used it. None of us cared anymore...we were exhausted. I was holding Ruby and Andrew was at the counter, holding Roman. He seemed to be taking so long. Too long. I kept looking over, trying to get an indication of what was the hold up. Finally he motioned me over, a very worried, tense look on his face.
When I stepped up, he explained that the ticket agent was not going to let us on because we had used points for our first class tickets and the babies needed to sit in coach. Well, that is certainly absurd!!! We explained our entire process, how we had these tickets fair and square like anyone else, but this cranky, irrational agent would not budge!!! The plane started filling...soon we were the very last passengers at the gate. This woman was beyond belief. She said that passengers "pay good money to sit in first class and they don't want to be bothered by crying babies"!!! No matter what we said, she kept to her opinion. But, we had our tickets so WHAT WAS HER PROBLEM!!!????
She finally said she would allow us on, but if "those babies" cry once, we would have to take them to coach! AMAZING!!! She then make us wait some more, went down and got the head honcho guy from the plane and brought him back to talk to us. He was very nice. He did not have a problem with us in first class. He said he loved children and hoped to have his own some day.
Meanwhile, Chloe is throwing up again. The agent then looked at her and asked what was wrong with "Her!!" I quickly motioned to my low stomach and mouthed the words "female issues" so they would think my 13 year old was having her time of the month. At that point, I didn't care if I lied. We had to get on that plane!! I probably would have said just about anything!
We were the very last ones on, but we made it. I can only hope that the ticket agent there will someday understand others better and have some kind of revelation to change her attitude.
We were so happy to land at O'Hare...although, it being a strange city, it still seemed like a foreign land. We had a two hour lay over, again, taking advantage of the Red Carpet Club. We met a wonderful woman there who works in the club. I don't remember her name now, but Andrew has since flown through several times and has stopped in and said hello to her. She enjoyed seeing the babies and hearing our story of adoption so much. We also met another lady who was on her way to a funeral. Her flight had been cancelled so she gave us the very delicious cookies she made. None of us were really interested in eating, but we brought them a long and nibbled a bit on them anyway.
We had called ahead and Stan, Andy's dad, was bringing us groceries, building a cozy fire in the stove and getting the house ready a bit for us to come home. At that point, nothing sounded better to us than grilled cheese sandwiches and Campbell's tomato soup!!! Even by then, Chloe thought this sounded like food straight from heaven! And pickles, we were craving pickles! Here we were in Chicago and deep dish didn't even sound good!
Stan even brought us potato chips and dip. Yummmy! We were having some serious food craving issues by this time! LOL!
We boarded our Portland flight with no hassles whatsoever. We were headed HOME. Our babies were almost done being juggled back and forth between mommy and daddy. Our arms were tired, our brains were exhausted, we were drained...but we were so close. The flight seemed endless...
As the plane neared the ground, I got more and more emotional. I looked like hell, was a mess. Spit up was on my clothing, on Andy's too. Chloe had barf in her hair and I'm sure Elliot wasn't smelling like roses, either! On our descent, Roman had one of his many, many blowouts!!! I couldn't get up as we were in the process of landing. So, I changed him right on my lap...poo was everywhere...his neck, his feet...and now on me. Oh well. We were HOME!!!

As we carried our new little angels for the first time on Pacific NW soil, my emotions overcame me and I couldn't stop crying. Part joy, part exhaustion and a whole lot of gratitude to the amazing group of friends we found welcoming us home. Friends and family cried with us and delighted in seeing our whole family for the first time, all together!

With help from many friends, we got our luggage, piled everything into our truck and came home. The dogs were so excited to see us. The cats were nonchalant, as usual. The potato chips were wonderful and we were too tired to make grilled cheese sandwiches!
That first night, Ruby slept she's done every single night since. She knows she is HOME. Roman has had a few more complicated nights, but he is four months younger...much more of a baby, too. Roman has popped four teeth through in the last four weeks...Ruby has just gotten her two bottom teeth through today.

At this writing, Ruby can say Mama, Daddy, Bye, Hi, I love you (in her own version, but we know that's what it is), kitty, Uh Oh!!!, and something that sounds a lot like "Bye Bye Brother" while waving. Hmmmm. She waves, blows kisses, puckers up and gives beautiful, dry kisses, giggles loudly, shrugs her shoulders when asking a Ruby the other day she looked at daddy's side of the bed and she said (while shrugging her shoulders and holding her palms up) "Daddy????" She was asking where he was. She's a climber, crawler, cruiser...she's a bit deviant and a whole lotta wonderment!!! She rarely cries, often disobeys and always, always has a big smile and amazing personality!

Roman, at this writing, is saying Da da da da da, making all sorts of other sounds, giggling, shrieking in delight, especially when he's talked to, and just starting to roll from back to tummy. He loves his excersaucer, especially to bounce. In fact, this boy cannot get enough of bouncing!!! Roman goes to bed with a smile and wakes up with a smile. He has started wanting whatever you have in your hand...the phone, the remote, a pen, etc. He is intrigued with earrings and bluetoothes. He will take his little hands and turn my face this way and that, searching for earrings. He will notice my bluetooth and turn my head to see if the other ear has one, too! All the while, a look of wonder on his face. He looks at us as if he's saying we are the most amazing people on earth. He truly has come so far from the little featherless sparrow in our first referral photos!
Each and every day I am in awe of these incredible blessings from God. Each of us could not love these babies more. It would be impossible.

So, where do I go from here? Well, I will continue to update as often as possible our lives now. The dear people of Ethiopia will be forever in our hearts. Someday we will return. We have learned so much...we will continue to learn and teach Ruby and Roman about their first country and the first mama's that loved them so much that they allowed a second mama and daddy to love them, too.

Welcome to our site! We hope you enjoy the information we share during our adoption journey. As we document this wild ride to bringing home our Ethiopian children, we hope you'll fall in love with this beautiful country as we have.

Washington State, USA

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Africa