And....We're Off to Ethiopia!

Amazing... this day has finally come. We are on our way to finally meet our son face to face, skin to skin. What a journey this has been! What a story of God's goodness and faithfulness. In just a few long airplane rides, I will be kissing this little face!
"For I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I have asked of him." 1 Samuel 1:27.

We covet your prayers on our long journey to bring our son home. Will you pray with us?
  • Safety in flights and in country
  • Health for us and Mekonen
  • That our luggage arrives with us in Ethiopia
  • That Mekonen adjusts well to us and begins attachment
  • That Mekonen does well on the plane ride home :)

We're Finally Packed!!!!!

Wow. I can't believe it! 9 hours until we leave and 5 hours until we get up! So much for our 7:30pm bedtime. It was a good idea, but no, not happening. Hopefully we sleep on the plane. Oh my.

Suitcases are packed, small details finally in order, us finally on our way to bed! I can't wait to hold my boy in my arms!

I fit all of our stuff (me and Jon) into one suitcase and two carry-ons (along with other things). One big bag for Mekonen, 2 big bags for donations, and 1 rubbermaid tote of donations. Holy smokes! This is a lot of luggage! (Sorry the pics are blurry!)

Here are all our donations! Jammies, undies, socks, small bras, and formula! We had two suitcases (50 lbs. each) full of jammies and a whole rubbermaid tote full of formula! Thank you SO MUCH for all of you who contributed to our donation drive for Mekonen's older friends at the orphanage! What a blessing you are!


Mekonen's Place!

Introducing... Mekonen's Nursery!!! I am kind of disappointed in how the pictures turned out. They aren't doing the color justice. The colors look very dull in the pictures, and when I used the flash it was all way too bright and washed out. So, here they are (me and my bad picture lighting skills).
We made these ourselves! We loved so many things we saw in baby catalogs but refused to pay their prices. So we did it ourselves! Very fun and pretty cheap!

This is Mekonen's name in Amharic, the language in Ethiopia. Isn't it awesome! My two best friends, Rachel and Georgia, got it for Mekonen, and Jon painted it to match his room.

I also painted the picture frames. Now I'm wishing I got bigger ones. Oh well! There are no pictures in those frames yet. Oops! I'll get around to it sometime!

Isn't the rocking horse so sweet? My parents had it at their house and it was just a natural wood color and from a garage sale. So we took it and painted it and stained it. So cute! :)
Mekonen's little bookshelf and basket of toys and Jon's family's antique rocking chair. Actually, there's a huge blue ball in the basket with a few toys on top! :) Macy is very interested in the stuffed animals sitting on his bookshelf.

Here is the crib bedding. Again, my pictures look very dull. It's way cute in person. :) The brown and light blue are courderoy.

This is one of my favorite things in Mekonen's nursery. It's the rocking horse I got from my childhood friend Rachel Rowlands in 3rd grade. She passed away from cancer when we were in 4th grade. Her dad made it for me and it had a pink ribbon tied around it. Yesterday was the first time I took off the pink ribbon and I exchanged it for blue and white. I tucked the pink one safely away. It's a special reminder to me of the goodness of Jesus and that our home really isn't here on earth at all. I can't wait to see her again.

So, there it is! Mekonen's place! :) I love it. I go into it multiple times a day and just stare. I can't wait for him to be in there. I can't believe we leave in a day and a half! CRAZINESS!!!!!


It's the Rainy Season

Just because this is funny... our very non-cool rainboots for Ethiopia.It is the rainy season in Ethiopia right now and the roads are all dirt. So we have heard that when it is wet the mud is incredible! It's mostly clay and very sticky. We bought very unfashionable rubber boots to walk in the street with and will carry shoes in our bag to change when we get places. We will be doing a lot of walking between the guest house and the orphanage every day.

The little old lady at the store got a kick out of the size difference between our boots. Jon's are huge and mine are quite small. His whole boot is the length of my thigh. She asked what we needed them for and we told her we were picking up our son in Ethiopia. She was very excited. hehe. It was cute.

Another cute thing... this onesie from my friend Dani. Her little boy Phoenix was a nursery buddy with Mekonen at the orphanage.


Mekonen's Suitcase In Progress!

Whoa...Mekonen's suticase. That's all I have to say... whoa!(Macy looks absolutely thrilled doesn't she? Haha. She has no idea what's coming!) Don't call me crazy yet! There are not clothes piled that high inside the suitcase. The whole first layer or two of the suitcase is diapers, wipes, formula, and all the other baby supplies, then clothes on top.(Diapers are WAY HEAVIER than I thought). So really there are only clothes on the top! The ones set outside the suitcase are still being organized. His bag is way bigger than I imagined for a few reasons.

1. Size- I need to take 6 months mostly, but also a few 9 months. I hear he's skinny but long.
2. Weather- it's the rainy season so it'll be 50's and 60's sometimes 70's and colder at night. Therefore, I wanted to bring a few warmer outfits. So I have several of each kind of weather oufit.
3. Poop- many of the babies have giardia (from a parasite) which causes explosive poop, and explosive meaning needs a complete change of clothes every time. Some friends babies have had it and used all their clothes they brought. Other friends babies didn't have it and didn't come close to using all the clothes they brought. Better to be prepared than unprepared! We will have access to some laundry services, but no dryer, and with the rainy season we were told it can take quite awhile for things to dry.
4. We will be in Ethiopia for 10 days. That's a lot of clothes for a baby... especially one who might have explosive poop! (haha)
5. Either way we have to be within 50 lbs. Funny that a little tiny baby only 14.5 pounds gets 50 pounds of luggage!

Today I also organzied the kitchen cupboards and made one little shelf for Mekonen's stuff. I know that one shelf will quickly turn into two shelves when more sippy cups and the like come into play! But for now, here's a pic. :)


Things Are Movin' Along!!

Wow, what a crazy last couple weeks! I have been tackling my to-do list like a mad woman! My 30 hour grad. school project is complete! WAHOO!!! (Still have some reading left to do, but not due until November!). I have also completed most of my shopping for Ethiopia, although I know I'll have a few odds and ends to get once I start putting everything in the suitcases.

Our house has looked like a bomb went off for several days as we moved all Mekonen's stuff out of his nursery to paint and set it up, and cleaned out closets, cabinets, etc., in order to fit all his things. Stuff was everywhere!!! Our luggage is out sitting in the living room waiting to be filled and it's making our dog Macy quite anxious these days. Whenever she sees all this comotion and luggage she knows something is up! She has been moping all over the house. It's quite sad. Here is what she has been looking like lately. Poor baby.
The nursery is coming along and I can't wait to post pictures. We have been working all week on little odds and ends to decorate the room with. Tonight Jon finished Mekonen's rocking horse. So cute! His crib needs a few more coats of stain and that will be finished!

Tomorrow is laundry day for Mekonen's clothes so I can get them all packed! It will be interesting to see how we are going to fit all those diapers! :)

I just cannot believe it! 1 week from tomorrow!!!! 1 week from tomorrow and we are off to see this sweet baby boy face to face!


For Mekonen's Tummy!

Today was making baby food day! I have decided to make Mekonen's food as much as possible. It's healthier, I know what's in it, and it's way cheaper than buying baby food in little jars. Since blog posts are way more fun with pictures, here are some pictures of my endeavor today. It was 4 hours of food making and I have quite the stash of plums, apples, nectarines, peas, carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes. I actually had a great time making all this stuff!This book "Baby Blender Foods" by Nicole Young is awesome. It has all the info you need for making baby food. It's really way easier than I imagined it to be. The book is separated into various ages, meal plans, etc. It's a great book!

My first batch! PLUMS!!!!

Plums and sweet potatoes cooking on the stove!

Next, blend it together (Not the plums and the sweet potatoes. yuck). (FYI: those baby grinding mills are not as good as an old-fashioned blender from what I hear).

After blending the food, I put it into ice cube trays to freeze. Each ice cube is a serving size of 2 tablespoons. Perfect for sizing portions!

Yummy... peas and sweet potatoes. (I am practicing telling Mekonen how good these veggies are because I hate pease and sweet potatoes!)

After freezing, I popped them out of the trays and stored them in Ziploc freezer bags. When it's time to eat, just take out the amount of servings needed, thaw, and serve!

I am psyched about how much I made for the prices of what I bought! From what I've read, at about 6 months old, babies will eat about 4 tablespoons at a meal in addition to 2 tbsp. of iron fortified infant cereal and their formula throughout the day. The ice cube trays I used are 2 tablespoons servings each. (I realize that every baby is different and needs differing amounts of food, and Mekonen may need extra additions of various things to help his nutritional deficit).

Here are some of the items I made and how cheap it was!
12 Plums- $3.20 (yielded 21 cubes) enough for 10 meals
4 Large Sweet Potatoes- $3.23 (yielded 44 cubes) enough for 22 meals
1 Bag of Frozen Peas- $1.98 (yielded 38 cubes) enough for 19 meals