Sunday, December 28, 2008

Slide Show

I finally put together a slide show of my Journey to Sabah. I'll do another one (sometime) of pictures of Ethiopia and of our day trip outside of Addis.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I know, I'm a terrible blogger

I so didn't want to be one of THOSE bloggers who disappear after they bring their children home. I know what it is like to constantly click on someone's blog and see that they haven't updated (and most importantly, posted PICTURES) in weeks and think "come on people, update your blog". Sooooo frustrating. And now, here I am, one of THOSE. I will try to do better.

Of course, the big thing around here is, like just about everyone else, we celebrated Christmas. It was a bit different this year. Not only because I had Sabah, but because we got snowed in and couldn't make the 2 hour drive down to Eugene to spend Christmas with my parents and other family members. So, on Christmas Eve Sabah and I walked to the grocery store and bought food for Christmas dinner. Tina and her boys (her husband had to work), took the max train over to my house and we had a very small, very special Christmas. Because Ron (Tina's husband) had to work on Christmas day, they told the boys that Friday was Christmas and that Santa would bring presents on Thursday night, so all day Thursday they thought it was Christmas Eve. Ethan (he's three), thought it was hilarious that the people on the train all thought it was Christmas....he thought they were pretty misinformed. So cute.

Sabah, being 7 months old, wasn't that thrilled with the big day. She opened presents, but of course she was more interested in the wrapping paper rather than with what was wrapped. She sure looked cute in her Christmas dress though.

Since the snow finally melted, today we were able to go down to Eugene and spend the day there celebrating. The boys loved it because they got three days in a row of opening presents.

Anyway, blah blah blah.....I know the real reason you are all here is to see, here you go:Such a big girl....she can now sit up on her own (sorry about the blurr)

She LOVES her bath time

Sabah in her Snow Suit (don't let the grin fool you....she wasn't happy in this outfit)

Sabah and Santa Clause (they even match)

Sabah, Christmas morning waiting for her cousins to come over
Ethan, Sabah and Eli (cousin love)Lookin all cute in her new dressTrying to eat the wrapping paperFinally interested in a present.....of course, only because we got rid of the wrapping paper

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Life with Baby

Well, it's been 11 days since we've been home, and we're finally settling in with a routine and feeling like there is some normalcy to life. It was a very hectic crazy week trying to get use to this time zone, and trying to get well.

Sabah is finally on a decent sleep schedule. She goes to bed around 5:30 at night and I don't hear a peep from her until about 5:30 in the morning. I'm trying to get her to a 7pm to 6am schedule, but I'm in no hurry. We just try to add 10 minutes to each night.

I no longer need to give her a bottle in the middle of the night. I do however, usually have to change a poopy diaper around midnight. There were times there in the beginning that I wanted to just let her sleep through without changing her, I was soooo tired....but don't worry, I NEVER did that. I'm also very happy to report that the blowouts have stopped and we are both thrilled about that.

Sabah is a very happy baby. She is so serious though, and tends to be a bit stingy with her smiles. She'll smile, but then she will get all serious again. And so far, I have yet to hear this girl giggle. She's gotten close a few times, but no actual giggles yet. How my heart will smile when I hear her giggle for the first time.

Her first pediatric appointment was last Thursday and the pediatrician was very pleased at how healthy she was. She is 50th percentile for height and weight (which means by Ethiopian standards she was closer to 95%.....she was the chubbiest baby at the orphanage....followed close behind by Rebecca F's baby girl) :)

Her extra finger is not going to be a serious removal as there is no bone connecting it to her hand. Her pediatrician didn't feel comfortable tying it off (and just have it fall off) because of her age (she's only done it on newborns), so she referred us to a pediatric surgeon, who she ways will probably just tie it off. I'm just glad it isn't going to require surgery.

We've been homebound since Sunday (with only a couple VERY SHORT outings) because of the snow, and we are both getting cabin fever. Sabah loves to be out and about and I can't wait for this freaky weather to leave us so we can go on some adventures.

Well, that's about it for an update on me and Sabah. I'll update more about the Ethiopia trip tonight (or tomorrow night).Such a happy girl (and slobbery)

Eli Lovin on Sabah

She rolls around like CRAZY.....she's going to be crawling soon.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Snow Day

Sabah and I spent the day snuggled up in our jammies watching the snow fall. It doesn't snow that often here in Portland, and if it does, it rarely sticks, but today we got an arctic blast and it's been snowing since about 6am.

I took Sabah out in the snow for about 2 minutes, so that she could experience her first Oregon "snow storm". I can tell you this....the girl was NOT impressed. Check out the pics....

Is she glaring at me?

We are in for a week of below freezing temperatures (that's our HIGH temperature). That is pretty unheard of here in the great Pacific Northwest. We are going to be freezing our little booties off! Good thing I'm pretty stocked up on food. I may have to walk to the store to get some milk. Oh, and some diapers. This girl is still having blowouts like crazy. I go through 4 outfits a day at least, and over 10 diapers. UGH, how much longer?????

Friday, December 12, 2008

Alright Alright. I'm Posting. I'm posting

OK, ok, I can take the hint. You guys want to hear about the trip and see pics. Well, here is a short post to tide you over.

First off.....Sabah and I have both been a bit sick, so it has made our transition home a bit rough. We are muddling through it, and I think we are both on the upswing.

So, where to start.....

We arrived in Addis Saturday night after a very long flight. We got through the crazy Visa line (it is soooo unorganized and crazy, but I would do it all over again rather than pay $70 to get a Visa in advance in the U.S.), changed some money at the airport (wow, after exchanging $500, I had a wad so thick it wouldn't all fit in my wallet, and made it through immigration with realative ease. THEN the fun began. All our bags came out (they were actually waiting for us) and we collected them and headed to customs. They made us unload all the bags and put them through the scanner. the funny thing was, we didn't see anyone actually looking at the monitor to see what was being scanned!!! Oh only wasted about 20 minutes. We then enter the waiting area, where there are throngs of people with signs waving around at us. We looked up and down the line and didn't see anything that matched my name our adoption agency. Hmmmmm, I was starting to have a bad feeling. I went through the line again, and still, nothing for me. After about 20 minutes of just "waiting" I realize that our lawyer was not there to pick us up. I had his phone number, but I had no idea how to use the pay phones. I asked the guy at the Sheraton counter if he could teach me how to use the phones so I could call our driver. The sweet man took his cell phone out of his pocket and dialed for me.

After telling our lawyer where we were, we proceeded to wait for about 20 more minutes for him. He finally shows up and we are on our way to the guesthouse. It's almost 10pm by now and we really just would like to go to bed. BUT, the guesthouse has dinner ready for, dazed and tired, we sat through dinner, trying to make conversation with the lawyer. We finally excused ourselves and headed to bed. The next morning I was going to meet my daughter and I wanted to be well rested.

We got up the next morning and had a lovely breakfast and met some of the other families....some with Adoption Avenues and some with Dove. I also got to meet my board buddy Leah, who I had been conversing with for about 4 months (ever since we got our referrals). It was so nice to finally meet her in person.

After breakfast, our lawyer stopped by to have us fill out paperwork. This took quite a while. A lot longer than we expected. You can only visit the babies at Toukoul from 9-12 and then 3-6, and it was already 11:00. We rushed to the orphanage, and the car was filled with excitement and apprehension. We'd all been waiting so long for this moment, and we couldn't believe we were so close.

We turned the corner, and there they were.....the blue gates that have been housing my daughter for the last 5 months. I couldn't believe I was there and soon she would be in my arms.

We all piled out of the van, and waited for the nannies to bring out the babies. The first to arrive was little Weredesh. The nannies handed her to Lisa and we were all crying. Then came little Sabah and Aslynn (Leah's daughter). In a split second I was holding her and it was amazing. The nannies had put her hair in three little puffs, and she was just adorable. She was perfect. Everything about her was perfect.

We all went into the meeting room to bond with our babies. Sabah just sat and stared and stared at me, my sister and my mom. She was so quiet, so intense, so serious, and only cracked a few smiles. But oh how precious she was.

Before we even knew it, our time was up (we had only about a half an hour) and the nannies whisked in and took our babies back. We were all a little numb by the whole experience and the care ride back to the guesthouse was very quiet. The moment we had waited for had come and was now over. We didn't really know what to think.

Back at the guesthouse we had lunch and rested and then headed back to the orphanage at 3pm to spend the afternoon with the babies. It was so much fun. Sabah is such a good baby and rarely fusses. I held her while we walked around Toukoul and played with the older kids. The kids are all so beautiful and precious and both Tina and I had fun playing with them. A couple of the girls tried to teach me a hand game/rhyme, but no matter how hard I tried, I kept messing up. The girls (about 7 years old) would just giggle and giggle, and then push me out of the way so that they could show me again with each other. I would then try it again, and of course mess up, which of course would lead to fits of giggling again. Oh, how each of those children touched my heart. You can not go there and not want to take them all home.

At 6pm, the nannies once again swept in and stole my baby. I gave her a kiss goodbye and told her I would see her in the morning.

to be continued.....

Here are some of my favorite photos of me and Sabah:

At the guesthouse laying out in the sun (kisses for mommy)

Leah and I and our two girls
Meeting Sabah for the first time
More sun at the guesthouse (she had the chickenpox, that is what those marks on her face are)

Monday, December 8, 2008


WOW!!!! There is simply no other word that encompasses the last week of my life. Ethiopia......WOW. My daughter.....WOW WOW WOW. The plane ride.....WOW!!!!!

We made it home last night (Sunday) about 8:30 and though I loved Ethiopia I am soooo glad to be home to start our life together. I have to keep this short because I've been up for over 40 hours (ahhhh, a mother's job.....nothing like jumping right in) and really can't think too clearly. Plus, Sabah just went down for a nap (she's still on ET time) and so I'm going to take advantage and try and catch a few minutes of sleep while I can. I just wanted everyone to know we are home and to oexpect a FULL update soon.

I took literally 50 pictures of the entire trip, so I don't have many to share right now. My mom and sister had camera duty, so when I get the pics from them, I will share more. Here are two of my precious precious little girl who I LOVE more than anything in this world.

More to come (when the brain starts working again).