Sunday, January 31, 2010

our FIRST week

I don't seem to have enough time in the day to get on here and document our journey like I would love to. I will soon. Here's a quick look at our first week in pictures.

Bekeh and Caleb's first step on American Soil First Bath time at home. Bekeh sang loudly in Kembataan and would splash Dereje and giggle, and then he would begin speaking Kembataan back to her. It was our first chance to hear them babbling back and forth in their native tongue.

First time to meet Great Grandma, or Gigi! They thought her wrinkly skin was cool. They'll get to meet their other Great Grandma this July when she comes down from Wisconsin. They can't wait!

I've made Bekeh a fashionista already. She especially loves all of her shoes and accessories. Every girl should have a pair of calf-high purple patent boots! Can I get an Amen?

Mimi's not afraid to be silly, and Bekeh has taken to her quickly because she loves to sing and dance around the living room with her. Mimi had her speaking and talking English back and forth all morning.
Later that day Nana came out and brought their cousin Carson to play. They love babies. Good thing, we've got several in the family! Mommy's the worst daughter in law, because Nana, Grandpa, Uncle David, Aunt Becky, and Uncle Kevin have all been out to meet them, and I don't have a picture of it anywhere! We'll fix that next time.
Papa, Grammy, and Aunt Kelly came out bearing gifts. Their first experience with opening presents. They caught on quickly. They loved their little people farm, giant my little pony, leap frog dogs, and blankets. Thanks guys! They were in need of some toys!
After dinner tonight, Brooklyn and Bekeh disappeared for awhile, and came out later all dressed up. Bekeh loved playing Fairy Princess dress up with her big sister. Brooklyn has been an absolute dream this first week home. Despite being exhausted and sick, she's gotten up with them in the middle of the night, in the mornings, and taken charge throughout the day without ever letting me know they needed something! I've had to assure her she doesn't have to do so much, but she doesn't seem to mind, for now.
Bekeh and Caleb sleep well at night as long as they can touch each other. Anytime she pulls away to turn over or reposition, he seeks out her arm or leg or whatever is close, and grabs hold again. He loves his sissy! More to follow at some point, I promise, but for now, Jason's calling me out of the office! The kids are all asleep and we're not, it's a rare moment this week! Gotta Go!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

We're Home!

We survived the long trek home and were greeted by a large host of our friends and family. It was wonderful to be back among loved ones. The best was seeing my boys again though! I missed them so much. And finally being together as a family of SEVEN! Priceless! The tears were holding back until I saw my sister in law Amy. It's been a long journey together on this adoption road throughout the year. It was like seeing the one person in the world who actually knows what you're feeling at that exact moment, and knowing how they are feeling too. Thank You God for putting us on this path together. I couldn't have made it without her, atleast I'm glad I didn't have to. Thank you Dear friends and family for welcoming us home! It wouldn't have been the same without each and everyone of you who were there!!!!
  • Mom and Bill (Mimi and Hobby)
  • Dad, Linda, Kelly and your friend (Grammy and Papa)
  • Ruth and David (Nana)
  • Brian, Amy, Emily, Natalie, Ridgedon, Adiah and Rhett
  • Emily Melson and Julie Newman
  • Debra, Brian, Madison, Peyton, and Brianne Morel
  • Kristi, Ricky, Josie, Lauren, and Merrit Lee
  • Sarah and Christian Schultz
  • Jennifer and Jordan Tarbett
  • Susie and Madeline Grant
  • Cindi, Matt, Madison, Abby and Max Koceich
We barely made it home without falling asleep and enjoyed takeout Mexican Food and homeade chocolate chip cookies, (thanks mom!) Apparently Jason and I fell asleep around 8:30pm, and when we woke up several hours later Brooklyn had changed everyone into pj's, and sung them to sleep, never trying to wake us or get our help. How did I get the best daughter on the planet? It's Sunday now, and we've had a great morning listening to the kids all play together. Until the newness wears off, the boys are enchanted with their new siblings and I'm hardly having to do anything!
Love yall, don't stop the prayers!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

In the Air on our way!

I was having such withdrawals from blogging and checking email that Jason agreed to pay for in flight wifi so I could get on! He's such as sweetheart! The 17 hour flight went really well all things considered. The kids slept for a good 8 hours and then Jason was the trooper with Dereje the second half of the flight keeping a two year old occupied in his little seat. We are on our flight to Atlanta and looking forward to seeing all of our friends and family at baggage claim E14 at 4:40pm!
We're almost home Nathan and Corban! I can't wait to see you! I miss you desperately!

Friday, January 22, 2010

On their way!!

This is Emily again just letting you all know that the newly expanded Root family is in the air and on their way home!

If all goes according to schedule they should arrive into DFW at 4:40pm Saturday, January 23rd on Delta flight 1923 from Atlanta. Right now they are scheduled to be coming in to gate/baggage claim E14. This could change, so, make sure you check it before you arrive at the airport.

Praise God for bringing them this far already and let's pray them on home!!

**ETA: Carol checked their flight info leaving Ethiopia and their flight has been delayed until 3:30am Ethiopian time (6:30pm our time), however they had a 6 hour lay-over at WASH/DULLES so now it will just be 3, allowing them to HOPEFULLY still arrive on time at DFW!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Embassy Appointments

From Jason's Facebook page: "passed successfully through the American Embassy so we will be getting their Visas on Friday and coming home on time!!!!!"
We were 10 for 10 today at the Embassy. All 10 families passed the lady at the window and will be receiving their visas! Praise God!
After our long morning of waiting in line at the Embassy we headed over to lunch at the Lucy, we ate there our first meal in Addis, but does that seem like forever ago, whew!
Afterward we took them shopping with us in town, and bought a few things for them and for our loved ones back at home. By the end of the day we were all exhausted and ready to get home and chill.
Back in the room Caleb once again found the bubbles and tried so hard to blow them himself. But as you can see, he wound up spitting all over the place rather than blowing air!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Gotcha Day!

Today was the day we've been working all year towards. They are in our care, our kids from now on and forever. We had such a wonderful time giving out care packages to five families who are waiting to come to Ethiopia and bring home their children. I cried especially over the precious babies whose moms I've gotten to know well here in Fort Worth.
Once again when it was time to leave, and the nannies came out to this time say Good-bye to the kids, Bekelech's silent tears began rolling. But then, Jason picked her up and turned to walk to the gate, away from the transistion home. She immediately broke out into the biggest smile. She knew that she knew that she knew she was leaving with us. You are an orphan no longer sweet baby girl, you are our daughter.
This is one of the kids favorite nannies and when they see this picture they get very excited and scream out her name. She stopped us to let us know that Bekelech loves to sing, we can't wait to hear her sweet voice.
As soon as we got back to the guest house it was time to play with our new toys and to grab dinner. They immediately recognized all the duplicates of the toys we had sent in their care packages. Bekelech plopped that My Little Pony between her legs and began braiding its mane! Caleb grabbed his Elmo car, a favorite obviously and began driving it all around the room. He loves cars!!!! We then began the long process of bathing them for the first time. They absolutely loved the water and laughed and giggled the entire time. We had to change the bath water repeatedly, they were dirty little boogers. The Transistion Home does an amazing job of keeping them clean, but Addis is a dirty city and we were all filthy by the end of each day!
They both fell asleep quickly without much of a peep, it was an easier day than I was expecting, but I'm sure the challenges will increase in the days to come! Thank you Lord for this blessing!


This is Gina's friend, Emily. I just wanted to log in to let you know that Gina is having trouble getting blog posts up or email out which is why she hasn't updated the blog.

If you aren't on Facebook her latest update just about an hour ago was:

"We have them! They are sleeping upstairs with Jason and Brooklyn and the evening could not have been more perfect! They are happy and so far - adjusting superbly! We're having so much fun!"

Just wanted you to know that Gina hasn't forgotten about her loyal family, friends and prayer partners. Keep those prayers coming as they finish up their time in Ethiopia and travel HOME!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Meetcha Day!

We met our beautiful, smiley, adorable, and precious Ethiopian babies today! The Transistion Home staff calls out your family name, you come to the bottom of the steps and they bring your children out the door to your waiting arms. We were #5 in line, thankful our last name wasn't Vowels, (wink wink Mark and Shannon). Waiting there is a crazy mix of emotion, and then suddenly it happens, they're there! From the moment they saw us from the top of the steps they were already smiling and reaching for us! We went off to a place in the garden to play with them and couldn't believe they were in our arms. Brooklyn especially could not stop crying. Even while blowing bubbles, squishing playdough, tickling them, and chasing them around the yard, the tears were streaming down her sweet cheeks. We were all just giggling and laughing through them!

We first pulled out the exact fruit snacks we had sent in all of our care packages and immediately they recognized them and their faces lit up! Next came the bubbles and Bekelech was absolutely precious with them. It is obvious that she is extremely independent. She watched Brooklyn blow them for awhile and then took the bubbles from her, grabbed the stick, and attempted to make it happen. Jason had to mimick blowing for her a couple of times, and she had it down. She was so proud of herself.

Dereje is full of energy! He loved the playdough especially! After only one time of telling him not to eat it and showing him how to squish and roll it in his palms he was set too! He was making snakes, opening the cans and putting it back in, and taking it out again like a pro!
They were great at throwing, catching, and kicking the ball. By the end we could even say, "Throw it to Daddy!" or "Throw it to Brooklyn" and they would sail it in the right direction. At one point, one of the nannies brought out the photo album book we had sent them, and again they lit up with delight. They began pointing at the pictures and saying "Mommy" and "Daddy." Bekelech first pointed at the cover and said, "Dereje." After a few prompts we would point to the pictures of us and motion, "Who's that?" and they would look up at either Jason, Brooklyn, or I correctly. I grabbed Bekelech by the cheeks at one point and very slowly said, "I Love You," and she looked at me for a second, and very quietly whispered back, "I love you." I screamed outloud I was so excited!!!
We wore them out chasing them around the yard playing, and at the end of our time Dereje began yawning and swaying a bit. I picked him up and began to sing to him the lullaby my mom had sung to me, and that I had sung to all my three children before, and within a minute he was sleeping in my arms. Amazing and precious! At that point, Jason was holding Bekelech, and noticed she had two big tears streaming down her face, our first sadness. She was watching the other parents take their kids back to the nannies, and knew it was time for us to leave. We thought it would be easier for Brooklyn to walk her back inside, but she pulled away and held onto Jason. Exactly what we want to see!!! Thankfully Dereje was asleep when I handed him off, so I only had to cry over one heartbroken child. Tomorrow sweet Bekeh! Tomorrow you can come with us forever, and I can brush your teeth and bathe your sweet body, and put you in cozy pajamas for the night.
We were all emotionally exhausted following, but we were in for a treat later that night! We attended a Traditional Ethiopian dinner and dance show. It was the most incredible, amazing, unbelievable moving I have ever seen. At one point a woman swings her head around so fast you literally can not see her face or hands anymore. It's was EXACTLY like in a cartoon where it simply becomes a blur. We all had our mouths gaped wide open. It didn't even seem humanly or biologically possible. It was one of the most entertaining 3 hours I have ever sat through. Brooklyn even tried a bit of the injera and beef!

It has been a perfect day, and it's well into the morning now, and we simply can't wait to go back and get our kids. Although, now that I think about it, that three hours was exhausting! Toddlers! Again! Whew, I'm in for it!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 3 - Meeting the Birth Family

The children, most likely cousins of Bekeh and Caleb, were beautiful, happy, and so loving. I know that our kids village believes in God, and Jesus Christ. I know He is looking after them. Everything else broke my heart. To see the tiny hut our children were born into, to see the saddness on their father's face as he explained that it was because of his "beloved wife's death" that he could not care for them. That to keep them with him, "was to kill them with his poverty." He told us he had nothing in this world except his children and so he had to give them to us and to God. Our day traveling to meet Lapresso, their ET father and Askelech their 9 year old sister, was, life changing. Brooklyn broke down sobbing when we got back in the van to leave. We were all changed by the poverty, by the conditions, and by the love and joy that grew in the midst of it all.

They had not seen the kids in many months, and as soon as we brought out pictures the entire village began laughing, smiling, and of course kissing their pictures.

God chose this man to be our children's first father. He will be loved and respected, talked about and honored in our home for the rest of Bekeh and Caleb's life. He made the ultimate sacrifice so that they could have life. Thank you Father for teaching us how to do the impossible.