Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy 13 years!

I can't believe it has been 13 years! Javi was 20 and I was 19. He worked days and nights at a grocery and drug store- sometimes as many as 80 hours a week while I finished up college by age 20. What were we thinking? We were crazy in love and learned how to live on a super tight budget - something we are thankful for now. I know the Lord taught us so much through that. Because of having to live on little, mature together and having to wait for God to provide for everything, it grew our faith in Him. We are so thankful for 13 years of marriage and 8 children. As one elderly lady at our Spanish church told us, "All those kids are the fruit of your love" :) - too funny we still laugh about that comment. Te amo Javi!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A week in pictures

Josiah loves to give kisses - nice slobbery ones and a lot of them. The other day I had him and Jeremiah on my lap and Josiah kept kissing him and then he would put his forehead up to Jeremiah's mouth to get a kiss on it. It was too cute.

We did a night of worship/Bible time outside and finished up with roasting marshmallows

My little girls after church

She is actually trying to catch Jeremiah but he keeps squirming away.
They insisted on pictures with their brothers and this is as far as we got.

Jeremiah got 2 bites of ice cream and then I took a picture just in time to catch him grabbing the whole scoop out of her bowl - I think he likes ice cream :).

I bought eggnog for the first time ever and most of the kids love it, but especially Josiah. Look at his funny face - he makes that silly face a lot.

They are doing better, but still grab and stick their fingers in their ears. Here he is after nap even refusing a bottle or food.

We gave Mr. Pudge a haircut and he looks so cute I could eat him!

He has this big red puffy group of pimples or something that is always crusty. It is getting bigger. I have been putting Tea Tree Oil on it (supposedly good for bacterial or fungal things). None of the pictures really show it very good - any ideas what I should do or what it is? My doctor said last week she didn't want to deal with it now. HMMM. Also the big pimple things with puss or sores on his feet can not be chicken pox because they seem to come and go and reappear other places on his feet and they never scab over. I am pretty sure we need to take them to dermatologists in January.

Janae likes to carry him around on her back and he loves it too.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Days 3 and 4 in Ethiopia

Day 3 - Monday we had our embassy appointments. We had to go turn in paperwork and our $ without our babies. Then we ate lunch and went to the orphanage to pick up our babies for our actual embassy appointment. We went to pick them up and they were given to us with their bottles. This was the first time we got to take them out of the orphanage, feed them and change them. The roads are so bumpy and we were feeding our babies and poor Jeff (our traveling buddy) got vomited all over by his baby girl. Who would have thought the adults needed a change of clothes? Then we got there and waited outside for our lawyer and meanwhile Josiah started flailing and screaming. It was nap time, but all of the Ethiopians on the street didn't know that and I felt helpless while everyone looked at us with concern. Everything went pretty smoothly with the appointment, although there was a scare that the embassy did not have our traveling buddies' paperwork - so we stopped and prayed and they found it. The wait was pretty long in a hot room and then it was finally our turn. We were actually interviewed by an embassy worker who spoke a few languages and proceeded to interview us in Spanish. We then dropped our babies back at the orphanage and went back to our guest house.

No pictures are allowed at the embassy, but here are some things we saw from our car.

Day 4 - Since going out around town with your adopted children is highly discouraged, we tried to get everything done around town on Tuesday so that we could check out our boys for good on Wednesday. First we went to Kidane orphanage where my dear friend, Andrea's children are. We just loved her 4 yr old children, Biruk and Hiwot. They aren't just beautiful, but they are also so sweet - true gems. We got pictures and videos and brought them a little envelope of goodies from their mom which made their day. This orphanage was much needier than our orphanage and we did bring several bags of donations. Javier went back the next day to drop off more donations because the nun in charge explained what a blessing the first donations were since they had just gotten in 40 children from the south and were struggling to clothe all of them.

Beautiful view from Kidane Orphanage

Andrea's children
Then we did all of our shopping and came back just in time for lunch. This day we also went to the Kolfe boys orphanage which I will write about in a separate post. Finally at night, we went to an authentic Ethiopian dinner with everyone at the guest house, drivers, coordinator and lawyer. Javier wouldn't eat (it is very spicy and it is all shared food eaten with fingers which is a big "hang up" for him) but he did enjoy his coffee at the end. Janae was such a trooper. I could not believe she was trying everything! I mean most of it was pretty spicy even for me (and I love spicy) but she was such a good sport and we didn't even know what 90% of it was. I think her favorite was the lamb tibs (kind of like fajitas). Janae also looked beautiful in her new Ethiopian dress. The whole night was filled with traditional music and dancing that was so energetic and quite amazing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This explains our rough weekend

Jeremiah has an ear infection and is on more antibiotics and breathing treatments. He also has more new chicken pox (can chicken pox really keep coming after 4 weeks?). He is so cute trying to lick the vapor and eat the mask when he gets the breathing treatments.

Josiah has a double ear infection and one ear drum ruptured so he too is on antibiotics. The great news is that he gained 2 lbs. and has a 3rd tooth in the back (they are coming in all out of order)! Oh and they both got shots.

After doc appointments and filling prescriptions (yes we were quite the site with 2 shopping carts full of kids being pushed by kids), I decided to take all of them out for the first real time by myself to McDonalds. The 2 boys shared a double cheeseburger and finished the whole thing!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My failed attempt of taking pictures of the boys together

Get a basket, stick them in and distract them from climbing out with apples - simple right?

Aww - how sweet he loves his brother right? Or does he have other plans?
I want your apple too.
Owww! I think he bit me!
What a drama queen. Let me take his apple while he is distracted.
Are we done yet? Can I get out now???

Viejito no more

Javier called Josiah "viejito" - little old man - because he had no teeth. Well last week he got 1 on top and 1 on the bottom and we can see more ready to pop through. We are happy, but it makes you wonder if it is because of all the hormones/steroids in the whole milk or ???

Both boys struggled a lot this weekend with severe itching and screaming out of pain for who knows what. I did another scabies treatment on each and it seems like they both need another round of antibiotics for ear infections and nose junk. This is what happens after itching and screaming from 2 am to 7 am.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The reason I can blog

I know, I am surprised I can blog so much since I have been home but it is because. . . 1. I am homebound 2. since we have been back, Javi has been working late into the night/early morning except for a couple of nights 3. I am not a big tv watcher 4. I feel like I need to blog since this is my only form of scrapbook or memory journal that I keep.

Please pray for us that there might be some relief from these long work hours and that these times would just lead to further dependence and drawing strength from my Lord and reading His word.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pregnancy update

So many of you have emailed and asked me how my contractions/pregnancy are going (it is easier just to post than email each back). The days before we left and in the airport I had quite a few contractions, but I did get wheel chair service a couple of times in the DC airport (per doctor's orders) which helped in that big airport (oh and I wore beautiful compression hose). I was fine in Ethiopia except for when we were on all of the bumpy roads. The worst day was the day before we left Ethiopia - the day we officially got our babies full time. Of course I was carrying them constantly and trying to pack and lug around suitcases. I was in a lot of pain and struggled to walk. I prepared Javi that we might need to go to the hospital that night to stop the contractions since these were different and more painful. I was fine after sleeping that night, but my suspicions were confirmed last week at my OB appointment. The contractions were doing something because the baby has dropped. Now my contractions have been better, but I feel so much pressure especially by the end of the day. All of this is normal for me and actually being home bound because of the boys is probably best for my body too so that I don't over do it.

Doctor update on "Little Man" and "Mr. Pudge"

Who are you calling Mr. Pudge?

Our Little Man - I love this outfit - it says it all
  • gained a little weight

  • still has bad ear infection (could be reason for some of his crying and flailing)
  • his first 2 bottom teeth are so close to breaking through
  • gained 1.3 lbs in 1 week!

  • 1 ear doesn't look good

  • skin looks worse - she is not sure what all of the spots, pimples and sores are, but thinks he is still contagious with at least chicken pox that are still coming out. Because of this, we are home bound 1 more week. I need to do a second scabies treatment to be safe because his scratching is much worse.
Next step is to do a couple of different blood draws and several stool samples. The doctor has also ordered a bone scan on Josiah to check for rickets and any other affects due to his malnourishment. She is also hoping that this scan will help us figure out his age better. On various orphanage medical paperwork the different doctors estimated him to be 9 months - 12 months in July which would put him at 14-17 months now, but for some reason they assigned him a birth date of March 16, making him 20 months.

Monday, December 8, 2008

We loved her a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck

Grandmother with Jacklyn

Grandmother with Julia

Granmother with Joanna

My Grandmother passed away this afternoon. We have so many sweet memories with her and my Grandad. She was famous for her pies and jams. We especially loved everything they made out of their boysenberry patch and garden. She always told us that she loved us a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck. As a child I can remember making art and stringing them across her family room to sell them to her and my grandad for a penny a piece. Maybe that is where my love for drawing was sparked. I also remember her spanking me :) - she made us mind and she was always willing to play a game of cards with me.

As adults, we usually stayed at her cozy house. Javier and I would stay up late chatting with her watching sports while Grandad snoozed on and off and then watching channels like MSNBC and discussing world events. We also had several good talks about the gospel on those late nights. She could always stay up later than us. She loved to hold and rock our babies, but sadly I don't think she ever clearly saw Joanna's face because she became increasingly blind. She always asked me about the kids and she always wanted to make sure the girls' hair was long and Jordan's was kept short. We loved her so.

Our week

adjusting to the time change

my little "helpers"


First haircut with us

He loves his caterpillar. Isn't he handsome in orange?

Somebody gave us this bed this weekend and they enjoyed playing in it w/out the mattress. It makes a good playpen.

First of all, my grandmother fell about a week ago and is suspected to have had a couple of strokes. She was 69 lbs, blind and mostly deaf, but surprisingly strong. After this fall, she has not recovered and is not eating, drinking or doing much besides sleeping. She was suspected to die over the weekend, but she is still hanging on. The hospice crisis team is with her 24/7 as well as my dad and other family members that live near her in San Diego. We have been trying to figure out how and if it is wise to go there. I can't imagine missing her funeral and celebration of her life, yet I can not take our boys around others if they are contagious at all.

Tomorrow is the boys' next doctor's appointment. Josiah's skin is 95% better. It has healed and is so soft. He just has scars and a few bad patches. His congestion/coughing is gone and overall is feeling so much better. He does have terrible diapers and a sore raw bottom - poor guy. Hopefully soon we can figure out if it is the medicine, milk or parasites that is causing that. He eats like a champ, but purposefully gags himself on the medicine and makes himself vomit so now we try to put it in his food. Jeremiah's congestion and eye infections are better, but his skin seems worse. He is covered in small pimples and clusters of bumps that he itches constantly. We gave him a scabies treatment, so it should not be that. He ran a fever and could not keep anything down except for water and pedialite for 1 and 1/2 days after that scabies treatment, so I am afraid to repeat the treatment. This guy eats tons too.

Most of the week, they have been sleeping 10-12 hours at night! The prescription benedryl that we gave them at night for itching (also makes them drowsy) I think helped them get on schedule. Another huge praise is that Josiah literally changed from screaming in the bath, to giggling, splashing and going wild. He loves it now!

Jeremiah is the happiest, most talkative, bouncing baby. He is such a joy and so easy. Josiah is much harder, but he has attached well to me and gives me countless slobbery kisses on the mouth. He still fusses and flails a lot, but when he is happy, he is SO happy. I just try to hold him tight through the screaming and flailing, which is actually quite painful on my pregnant belly and exhausting physically, but after 5 minutes or so he quits and melts into my arms. Josiah makes noises and babbles more every day! He also loves it outside and LOVES to toss the basketball . They both love the stroller, so when we are out of ideas we either put them in the stroller or bathtub :).

I am amazed that they have really only been home for 1 week. The changes in health and personality are amazing and answers to prayer from many. Thank you!