Saturday, March 30, 2013

An Egg-cellent Day

A few pics from my phone -- not the greatest quality but you get the idea. The girls did great coloring eggs (thanks to the tip I read about using a wire whisk to hold the egg to dip it into the dye). I'm super impressed with how well they did.

They also did great hunting for some eggs in the back yard. Faith sometimes insists on calling the eggs 'chickens' ... Too funny. Cant wait to have the 'which came first' conversation with her when she gets a little older. Ellie picked up as many eggs as her bucket would hold-- then she went over and helped Faith. Such a great big sister -- most of the time :).

Happy Easter -- One Year Home!

Video our church will use on Easter Sunday when discussing rescue and redemption . . . Happy Easter!!

A Taste of Home

We were finally able to get all six of us to the nearest Ethiopian restaurant (45 miles away) to celebrate Ellie's food culture. It was fitting that it coincided with her almost one year anniversary home.

Brad and I eat Ethiopian at least once a month at work -- since there are lots of Ethiopian restaurants in the DC area. Except for a chicken and lentil stew that I made at home (using berbere -- the ET spice) Ellie hasn't eaten Ethiopian since she's been home and the boys have only tried it once ;).

I must say, I was nervous that Ellie wouldn't like it. She refuses to eat anything that resembles a veggie (no matter how well you disguise it) and she will not eat bread, pita or anything that resembles it.

So.... Imagine our delight when she tried everything (even the collard greens, carrots and such) and loved it. She really enjoyed the beef and chicken dishes we ordered. She shoveled it in... Injera, veggies and all.

The boys ate it- Dylan wasn't crazy about it and Colt liked it a lot, but wasn't a huge fan of the injera (the sourdough pancake-type bread that you use to scoop up the yumminess).

We had a great time and Ellie really enjoyed a taste from home. We will definitely have to carve out more time to visit again soon.... Yummy!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hard to believe

It's  hard to believe that one year ago today, we left on a flight to bring our little Ellie girl home.  It was a very quick and crazy trip, and we arrived home on March 31st... so on Easter this year, Ellie will have been home for one year.  I haven't even had time to sit down and process everything that's happened in one year in our family, but we continue to be delighted to see the progress in this little shy girl, who didn't speak a word when we brought her home.  No giggles, no smiles, no words and definitely no trust in anyone.  She has come such a long way and continues to blossom as we peel back our little 'onion' girl layer by layer.  It hasn't been an easy year, by far, but I wouldn't trade those break-through moments for anything!  They are so crucial in her trust in us and critical in our understanding of how God made her.  

We love her . . . and her
Love for her little sister
Joking with her big brothers
Giggles with the wrinkling of her little nose
Shrieks of excitement
Dancing and rhythm
Take-charge attitude (with hands on her hips!)
Seriousness and 'the look' she gives us
Willingness to be a big helper
Cute-little-voice saying "I need a kiss . . ."
Beautiful lips that look painted on
Stunning Eyes that search for an answer
Sweet little singing voice
Her love of Jesus
. . . and most of all . . . 
we love that she is HOME where she belongs.

Coming home - March 2012 

Meeting Family for the first time








Monday, March 18, 2013

Popping Balloons

Here are some fun pictures from Faith's 2nd Birthday Party.  The girls had fun trying to pop a balloon.  It was quite an effort!

First, we balanced on our wand

Next, we tried sitting on it

Stop to giggle . . . 

Faith had the most difficulty . . . 

She tried everything 

Please pop! 

Maybe I'll try squeezing it! 

She finally popped it with adult assistance

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What's going on in our world . . .

I've been purposefully quiet lately trying to sort everything out in our household.

Faith is still testing positive for Giardia!  We waited 8 weeks to get into an Infectious Disease Specialist.  We were super excited to have another opinion and hopeful for a solution.  What a nightmare.  The doctor was over 1.5  hours late coming into our appointment.  [try keeping 2 toddlers in a 4 x 4 exam room for 1.5 hours at nap time -- and keeping them from licking and fingering everything in the room -- remember, we were at an infectious disease ward!!]  The doctor then proceeded to tell us that he mistakenly researched the wrong parasite and didn't really have much to tell us other than to have the girls tested again and then we'd discuss some possible solutions.  Argh!  He didn't even schedule us for a follow up!!

Luckily, I brought some 'samples' with me so it wasn't a wasted trip.  After 2 weeks of not hearing back from the doctor and several phone calls that were not returned, the doctor finally called to politely tell me that the lab had a 'problem' with our samples and were unable to process them... Seriously??  A week later we received the new 'sample jars' in the mail (because the hospital is 45 minutes away from our home) and read the instructions... I had to collect 2 samples for each girl... which had to be at least 12 hours apart.... and had to return them to the lab (which is 45 minutes away) within 72 hours... Yikes!

After about a week more, I was able to orchestrate the girls pooh schedules and get samples, although I was only able to get one sample for Ellie -- but decided to take it to the lab before Faith's 72 hour window expired. Whew!  Long story short, the lab would not accept Ellie's since I didn't have 2 samples... and then they told me the instructions that were sent to me were wrong. (The 2 samples were to be from the same 'product' -- the 12 hours apart only applied if we were taking 4 or more samples!!)  Honestly, it took all the grace in my heart to not leap over the counter and hurt someone!  I know is not the lab's fault but this situation has been horrible and I am so tired of running from appointment to appointments without any resolution.  At this point, we are waiting for results of Faith's test and will worry about getting Ellie's samples there later -- we've already had 2 negative results for Ellie -- so not really worried there.  Praying by some miracle that Faith's results come back normal!!!... and if they do, I pity the lab we used previously.

Then, on another note, Ellie had routine blood work repeated from her initial first doctor's visit.  It's routine to repeat a few of the tests a year later to make sure something wasn't hiding out.  Unfortunately, one of her tests came back abnormal and had to be repeated on a much broader scope.  So, on the same day as the  'lab' incident, I had to take Ellie to a different lab and hold her down while they poked and prodded to get 5 more tubes of blood.  The doctor thinks that perhaps it was a false-positive.  Praying that's the case too!

Next week our Social Worker comes for Ellie's one year post-adoption visit.  I can't believe it's almost been a year!  And, we also have a tour of a pre-school that the girls may be able to attend in the fall.  Faith will miss the required age by 2 months (must be 2 years 9 months).  Hoping they may  make an exception and praying they have 2 openings... not just one.  The girls are receiving wonderful care from their Nana and Meemaw, but are in some desperate need of socialization (outside of each other) and Ellie can use some practice at self-regulation without mommy assisting.

The boys are both in full swing with baseball.  Colton made the Varsity team and left today for spring training in North Carolina for a few days.  Fun stuff and wish I was going... It's cold here!  Dylan started practice this week and games are just around the corner.  

So, honestly it's been quite a trying month or so.  Mamma said there'd be days like these . . . I just hope they are over soon!  But, you know... I just have to laugh because you just can't make this stuff up!!  I don't know what the plan or purpose in all of this is, but I just feel blessed that all of these crazy appointments and such are not because the girls are necessarily ill.  They are both very healthy, and for that, I am grateful!

In the meantime, here are a few photos. I promise to post some bday pics soon!

Big Helper -- Nothing brings Ellie more joy than to be helping mommy! 

She sorts the silverware very nicely.

Finger painting

More finger painting -- this time they didn't eat it! Yay!!