11 Months!!

My baby boy is 11 months old today! I still can't believe it. The first time we saw his sweet little face he was two days from being 3 months old. He is such a big boy and very "plump" and outgrowing his clothes by the day! My niece Aderyn told me today that Mekonen looked like a baby sausage and my nephew Manny asked if he had a baby in his tummy because it was so big. What a riot!

Here is Mekonen Jack at 11 months.

Our little family at the Christmas tree farm. It was soooooo cold!!!Mekonen playing with Grandpa Jack.

Looking cool in his cousin's sunglasses.
And just for fun, here is me at 11 months in February of 1984! Aren't I cute? Haha.


Starting Off the Holiday!

To start off our Thanksgiving Holiday trip to Pennsylvania, we stopped at the Witmer's house for a visit. We haven't seen them since we were in Ethiopia together, but frequent blogs, emails, phone calls, and iChat with each other. Our families experienced the stories of our children together, first hand. Incredible. An experience that will never be forgotten and has linked our hearts in a very special way.

Donovan and Julie are such fun friends and we had a great time. The only problem was that our visit was too short! Due to car trouble, we didn't end up arriving until about 11pm. Julie & I were so excited for Mekonen & Sosi to reunite that Julie brought Sosi out of her crib. They were adorable! Their jammies even had matching colors, with froggy feet! It was so cute. At first they sat there, staring at each other and we wondered if they remembered each other (or maybe they were just really tired since their sleep was abruptly interrupted by us!) Then, they were off! Crawling around, babbling, and just being so cute. Then it was time for bed! So we got them all hyper and tried putting them to sleep. Poor little Sosina- she was so excited to see her boyfriend she could not fall back asleep. We stayed up till after 1am talking and laughing and catching up.

Of course we were up early with the kiddos and got them breakfast, which was hilarious. They were babbling away. Look at this cuteness...
We attempted some pictures of their coordinating jammies. Yeah right! They were all over the place. As soon as we set them down, they were off! Look at those smiles!

Sosina is very excited. She's showing off her awesome hair and Mekonen is just hammin' it up. Mekonen is protecting his girl, making sure she doesn't fall backwards off the couch.

Me & Sosina

Julie and the kiddos

I love this picture. Donovan, Sosina, & Mekonen
Again, trying to get a picture of them together. As soon as we sat them down, they launched forward and started to crawl.

Looking out the front window!! A definite favorite for Mekonen! He wanted Sosina to experience his favorite activity too!

Mekonen's face says it all. HAHA.

Apparently, according to Mekonen, something is really, really funny.

We put the kids down for a morning nap and hung out while they slept. Then we packed them up and headed into town for lunch and a walk. It was so fun. A lady at the restaurant thought Sosina & Mekonen were twins. We were thinking, "Nope, not twins. Boyfriend and girlfriend. They are going to get married." Haha. We came back to the house and hung out for a few minutes and then we had to pack up and head on to my parents house. It was sad to say goodbye, and we are already looking forward to our next visit!


Ethiopian Goodness!!!!

Last night was awesome. We went to a dinner that the Ethiopian Evangelical Church put on for families from Indy who have adopted from Ethiopia. All of the Ethiopians that put on the dinner for us are first generation immigrants and are working very hard to make a life here for their families. They served Ethiopian food (YUMMY!!!) and all wore their traditional Ethiopian outfits and did a traditional coffee ceremony as well.

It was so much fun to see so many families with Ethiopian children. The kids were running around all over the place playing with each other. It was so sweet. I really hope that Mekonen will grow up with other Ethiopians and have Ethiopian friends. There is a population of about 4,000 Ethiopians in Indianapolis!

The best part of the evening was at the very end, after most of the families had left. We got to sit and chat with many of the Ethiopians that were there. They were just lovin' all over Mekonen and the ladies were passing him all around. When they asked what his name was and we said Mekonen they all threw their heads back and with such joy laughed as they said, "ahhhh...Mekonen!!!!" It was hilarious. They were all calling him Mulk-ay (like the sound Hulk). This is the Ethiopian nickname for Mekonen. I just love Ethiopian people and was sooo happy being there. They are some of the warmest, friendliest people I have ever met, and it was so wonderful to see that they loved Jesus. We want so badly to be involved with their church, but all the church services are in Amharic. But we still want to go. It was so fun chatting with the ladies and they were giving us and our friends tips on hair care and gave my friend Corrie a number for a lady who can do their daughter's hair. So fun. Several of the girls were around my age and volunteered to babysit, help with anything cultural, etc. Soooo fun!!!! These are the days I want so badly to live downtown. One of these days we will get there!! So anyway, we had some great times and they have some big plans for adoptive families in the area. Cultural classes for kids and families that include language classes for Amharic, culture, history, dance, food, get togethers, etc. HOW FUN! The pastor of the church is so nice and we also met another man from the church who wants to have us over to hang out with him and his wife! yeah!!! Ethiopian friends!

We were served traditional Ethiopian food which was sooooo good. We haven't had any since Ethiopia and I couldn't wait for it. YUM!!!!! And Mekonen had his first taste of injera (the Ethiopian bread they serve with every meal and is used in place of a fork). So here is his first taste....

Hmmm....not so sure yet.

Just a little bite at first.
Then a squishy mouthfull!Mekonen and his friends! They were all at the same orphanage together in Ethiopia. Such sweetness.
Mekonen, Ashenafi, & Macie
(I love Mekonen is the "chunkiest" of them all. Hilarious)

Jenny & Ash, Me & Mekonen, Corrie & Macie and Caitlin


More Family Pics

Here are some more of our family pics! Enjoy!


Family Pics!

Our wonderful friend Amanda took family pictures for us back in October and did a great job! She has been following our adoption from the very beginning, donated items to the orphanage when over 70 babies were in care (even before we had our referral), and donated items again when we left for our trip to pick up Mekonen. She is such a sweet person! Thanks Amanda!


A Day of Fun at the Orchard!

We spent the day in late October at the apple orchard with some friends. It was such a beautiful day and we had a great time. Mekonen had a blast!! I couldn't believe that at this time last year we were going through our homestudy interviews and preparing our dossier. I dreamed of the next fall when he would finally be home. How good it feels..

A view of the orchard
This picture cracks me up. Jon drinking his apple cider and me kissing Mekonen...an every other minute activity of mine! I love Mekonen's facial expression on this one. Too cute.

The apple before it meets its doom...
Jon and his buddy were entertaining themselves by chucking apples at a hole in an apple tree to see who could get it in.
The tree that was getting a beating by all the apples. Notice the apples smoosh all over it. No one made the shot.
Look at that crazy hair!
Mekonen and his buddy Josiah hanging out in the pumpkin bin.
Olivia, Josiah, and Mekonen. None of them had a clue what was going on.
The mini's...such cuteness.
Gotta love teething...MMmm tastes good.
Yep...that's our boy! A whopping 22 pounds (for real)! He is huge!

Mekonen hangin' out in the apple bin.
Okay, so this apple had two little teeth marks in it. No, we didn't buy it. (Did I just admit that?) Shhh...don't tell anyone. I know, it is so bad.
Playing in the hay! Oh what fun!
Josiah and Mekonen
Having fun with Mommy!