Ethiopian Outfit Photo Shoot!!

While we were here in PA, our great friend Joanna did a photo shoot of Mekonen in his traditional Ethiopian outfit. Too bad Daddy missed the photo shoot. He is at home in Indiana because of work. Mekonen can finally fit into the outfits we bought in Ethiopia and he looked so cute!  I also have a cream colored outfit with dark red designs, but I liked the blue one best. Here are some of the pics! (There are A LOT). Thank you Jo! You are amazing!!! (I guess there are so many pics on here you have to click "read more" at the bottom of the last picture. Weird).


One Year Ago Today...

we got a call at 7:39pm that changed our lives forever. It was the call telling us about our son! It's a day we will never forget and one that will remain very special to us. To read the original post of our referral, including some funny and excited videos of us telling our families, click here.

That Thursday night we opened our email to the first glimpse of our teeny tiny boy, just 6 lbs at 3 1/2 months.

And here he is today...one year later... 26.13 lbs. and 31 inches long. 
 I can't believe how much he has changed! 
He has grown so much and is learning new things by the day! 

It was a long 5 months before bringing Mekonen home in August of 2009. For the first 8 months of his life, our son's care was entrusted to others. We had no control over his well-being or his care. From that, I think we learned early on how much our children are not our own, biological or adopted. They are "on loan" to us from God to love, nurture, and raise to serve and worship Jesus. We pray daily for our son, that he will grow up to love Jesus, to be a leader, a protector, and a courageous fighter. 

We love you Mekonen and can't imagine our lives without you!


I Guess I'm Funny

On March 14th I celebrated my 27th birthday! Whoa! I feel old. I think I'm no longer in my mid-twenties but cruisin' in the fast lane to 30! So weird. It was a fun day spending time with Jon. We went to dinner and a movie! He asked what I was hungry for and I said ribs!!! YUMMY! We went to this great ribs place and then went to see the movie Dear John. I LOVE all the books by Nicholas Sparks so of course I will see all his movies. Isn't Jon such a nice guy?!

Another thing I love... homemade, personal gifts. Over the years, Jon has made some really great ones. This year he made me a book titled, "The 27 Funniest Things Rachael Has Said." I was literally laughing hysterically reading them. Many of them will probably not be funny to most people, even though I explain them. But I guess that's what makes it special. :)

(A horrible pic of me on my birthday. This was late at night and I was clearly exhausted).

Some of the "27 of the Funniest Things Rachael Has Said"
  • What's yours is mine, what's mine is mine. (My thoughts on my marriage to Jon. haha). 
  • Babe, you're learning (when he has figured something out about me) (to which Jon responded, "why is it that I'm always learning, but you already know everything).
  • How do I get back to my parents house? (I am HORRIBLE with directions. I lived in the same area my whole life. Jon and I spent the first three years of marriage in that area and I would often call Jon and ask him how to get places in the town where he had never before lived and where I lived my whole life! Even my directionally challenged friends would call him for directions. Pretty bad huh?).
  • People hit those poles at the bank all the time! (I frequent hitting the poles at the bank with our car. I don't know why, I just do. And, it's not usually the front driver's side mirror, it's the back tire on the passenger side! How is this possible? I don't know. But my explanation to Jon is that people hit them all the time because there are always scuff marks on the poles and/or fresh white paint. See! It's not just me!) 
  • My stomach is literally eating itself. (I get dramatic when I am really hungry).
  • Macy Marie (I added the middle name "Marie" to our dog just because it is absolutely ridiculous. Most people who have dogs usually adopt a different voice when talking to their dog and our voice makes the name "Macy Marie" even funnier).
  • I don't know, it's a blue car or something. (What I said when someone asked what kind of car we had. I was dead serious).
  • Jon, that is so disgusting! (I say this one about 10 times a day. Haha. Okay, that is an exaggeration but still, I say it a lot). 
  • I love "Love" (meaning I love anything to do with "love"- hugs, kisses, cuddling, romantic movies, love letters, and everything else in between. So sometimes when Jon gives me a hug I say, "I love Love." He usually rolls his eyes and laughs). 
  • I didn't see that stone wall. (Something else I hit with our car).
  • My Dad is always right.
  • It's either a truck, a car, or a motorcycle (my explanation of vehicle categories. I wouldn't be a good crime witness b/c my description of the car would be something like, "a red car").


    We Have a Walker!!

    Wow!! My baby is walking!! I can't believe it! I am here in PA with Mekonen to visit my family and Jon had to stay in Indy because of work. I feel so bad that Mekonen learned to walk without Daddy here. He has taken a few steps between Jon and I, but today he has been walking across the whole room by himself. We got on iChat and showed Daddy though! He's been so close for days and finally took off! I'm so glad we caught it all on video. Check it out!


    These Are The Days...

    ...I am going to miss the most when he's grown. 
    As I put my sweet little babe to bed at his Grandma's house the other night, he fell asleep so quickly and looked so peaceful. His face was so tender and his breathing soft and steady. I laid there and stared at him for the longest time (before falling asleep for a few minutes myself). I kept thinking back to his life before us, to Ethiopia, to his birth family, to the tragedy he experienced at such a young age. My mind was flooded yet again with questions and concerns about how to raise our son to be confident, to understand the sorrow of life in light of Jesus. It seems like an impossible task. I often ask myself, "Will he be able to stare his tragedy in the face and embrace it as his story? Will he filter it all through the love of Jesus and boldy and confidently stand strong in who he is?" So many thoughts, so many questions. So many things I simply cannot protect him from no matter how hard I try. So my solution to all of this? Jesus. We will constantly and continually strive to show him Jesus: who Jesus is, what He has done for us, what He means to our everyday life, what He means to who we are individually, what He means to our everyday life, complete with its joys and sorrows. That is the answer to it all... the solution we find comfort and rest in... Jesus.


    A Day at the Park!

    March is the month of cousins!!!! For a week and a half, Owen, Mekonen's cousin on Jon's side is here visiting! Then, Mekonen and I will be headed to PA for two weeks and Meko will get to hang out with his cousins on my side. Much cousin love! 

    We enjoyed the first "warm" day since last fall by bundling up the boys and heading to the park! It was in the 50's but it felt like the 70's since it's been so cold!
    Here's Mekonen sportin' his red sunglasses. Doesn't he look tough! 

    Mekonen and Grandma Magz lookin' cool in their shades. 

    Mommy showing Mekonen how to walk on the balance beam. He's a natural! 

     This little red spinning thing was so funny! Mekonen didn't know what to think of it.

    Looks like he might be ready for a nap. 

    Here's Mekonen and Grandma on the teeter-totter...

     and Aunt Martha and Owen on the other side.
     Mekonen & Owen about to have the time of their lives on the slides!

    Mekonen starin' it down before the big ride.

      And he's off!! This picture cracks me up! It looks like quite an intense slide, but realy it wasn't dangerous at all. Mekonen was very confused though. He didn't understand why I was chuckin' him down all these slides. Haha. 

     They were also very confused by the swings.

     One little chubby smile. 

    Mommy & Meko swingin' away.

     He was a little frightened by how high I was swinging and preferred to sit facing me. He kept laying his head down, picking it up, and kissing me. It was so cute. 

     Me & Mekonen with Aunt Meghan & cousin Owen

    Mekonen & Aunt Lindsay (too bad his eyes are closed).

    The boys!

     Grandma Magz, Owen & Mekonen
    Linds, Me, and Meghan

    The gang.


    A Winter Card from Mekonen!

    Grandma and Grandpa Jack got A LOT of snow the past several weeks in PA, so Mekonen made them a special winter card. He can't wait to see them in just a couple weeks!!! 
    Here's Mekonen coloring the card with his special crayons: Crayola TaDoodles Crayon Buddies (click below).
    Crayola 3ct. Washable TaDoodles Crayon Buddies 
    This facial expression cracks me up. 

    Here's Mekonen saying he's "all done!" with his card making.

    The finished product!


     All proud of himself for the great card he made.


    More Mekonen Tricks

    Here is a little video of Mekonen. He LOVES to play, "Where's Mekonen?" When you say it, he puts his hands on his head instead of his eyes. Once in awhile, he'll get one hand on his eyes. It's hilarious. He's also starting to copy all sorts of noises we make which is funny too. The best is how he starts moving his tongue around when it gets to about 33 seconds on the video. Haha!!

    This version of "where's Mekonen?" he was only using one hand. Usually when we do this, he uses both hands, and then he takes my hands and put them on my face.

    (Excuse the oatmeal all over his face. It was breakfast time! Haha. Oh yeah, and excuse how annoying my voice sounds. Do I really sound like that?)