Thursday, December 27, 2007
Day 8 was the first our first Christmas Eve as a whole family!!!! It
was such a great day! We got up, played with the world's cutest baby
and thanked God that we could be together on this very special day! We
watched a couple of Christmas movies, and went to lunch with all of the
departing families. Everyone was headed home and a new group was
arriving. Jennifer (Ethiopia Mama) arrived on this day and had dinner with
us all. We said our final good byes to some very wonderful people and
headed off to the older kids foster center. I got to take some
wonderful pictures of some wonderful little ones to send home to their
families on Christmas Eve! The older kids foster center was great! We got to
see a ton of smiling faces and happy smiles. We found out that not
all of the children here have been matched with families. That is sooo
sad because they are all wonderful! We headed back to the hotel. Ian
had been so sick the previous days and so had I. We used this time to
rest and enjoy our new family on this wonderful holiday!
Day 9 was CHRISTMAS DAY!!! We hung out all day and had lunch at the
Hilton! It was so crazy to be sitting outside in the beautiful weather
eating lunch on Christmas Day! We loved it but missed the cold dreary
weather of the KY Christmas. We met everyone for dinner at Top View in
the evening and had a great Christmas dinner! When we got back to the
hotel Renee and Geert had arrived and we got to meet them for the first
time!! I was so excited!
Monday, December 24, 2007
He slept very well the night before, it was nice. We called our
driver and went to the Mercato. There are a bunch of outdoor shops there
that sell souvenirs. We got some really beautiful things for us and for
our family and friends. It was so hot out in the sun and the baby
fell straight over asleep in the Bjorn! We got back in the car...bought a
last minute map (for those of you who have been or will go to the
Mercato..you will likely buy a map also!), and headed back toward the
hotel. I had wanted a watch for Christmas so Cortney asked the driver to
take us somewhere to get a watch. We went to a very nice little shop and
I picked out my watch! I love it! We came back to the hotel and took
a little nap. We were supposed to meet Belay at 4 in the lobby to go
to Dreamland. At 4:00 on the nose, my eyes sprang open and I
frantically got Cortney and the baby up! We ran downstairs and they were
waiting on us. I'm sure we looked like we had just gotten up! So Belay
drove us and another couple in one car up to Dreamland. It was amazing up
there, I couldn't believe something that beautiful was hidden behind
the roadside shops and people. We all sat down to have dinner and Ian
became very fussy...time for a bottle, right? I get the bottle of water
out of my bag and start searching for the powder formula to pour
in....AHHHHHHHHHHHH I had made a bottle before we napped and didn't put it
back in the bag!!! So here we were 1 hour away from the hotel, no
driver of our own, with zero formula for our very hungry baby!!! I did what
any new mother would do...cry. LOL Another family had some baby food
that we tried. He liked it a little but it was not about to be his
whole meal. Then we tried just water...'no thank you' he said. So then we
tried to get him to sleep, he was having none of that! Then a
gentleman came into the restaurant with a can of formula!!!!!!!!!! I grabbed
the formula, hugged him, and told Cortney to pay him! Then I ran off
to make the bottle. Ahh, instant gratification for Ian! He was very
happy again. Belay had sent the man to get us some formula. How nice
was that?? I felt like a negligent mother but I'm pretty sure that will
never happen again. All I could think was, how are we ever going to
make it back to the hotel with him?
Sunday morning really early Ian started to get sick. I think it was a
stomach virus because I had it a couple days earlier. He would cry and
want a bottle then when he got it, he vomited the whole thing straight
up. It was terrible. As the day went on he refused to take a bottle
or drink any water. I started to panic. I called the hotel dr who was
out because it was Sunday. He said he would have someone take us to
the clinic in town. That made me scared so I called Belay. I told him
that Ian was running a fever and he would take a bottle, he hadn't had
a wet diaper all day and they he was very lifeless. He said that we
should keep his fever down and wait until morning and take him to the the
pediatrician who has been seeing him all along. He wouldn't drink
anything...I was soooo scared. I know that babies dehydrate so much
faster than adults and that no wet diapers was not good. So my sister
recommended getting a medicine dropper and filling it with water and giving
it to him that way. She said that her pediatrician said that if he got
an ounce an hour that he wouldn't dehydrate. So, we did that. With a
1ml medicine dropper I gave him 2 or 3 ounces so that he would not get
dehydrated. He got up 3 times during the night and gradually started
taking very diluted bottles. He drank 3 or so ounces at a time, had a
wet diaper and we kept his fever down with Tylenol. I had a bunch of
fears when we set out on this journey but being here, 9000 miles away
from my family, with a sick baby was among the greatest. On Monday
morning Belay called to check on us and we apologized for calling him on
Sunday and for being typical new parents. He laughed and said that he
would send over the Ethiopian version of Pedialyte and we began our first
Christmas Eve together.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Gladney foster center. This is when I had a chance to meet and take
pictures of all of the babies who had referrals this week!! How exciting
that so many babies got referred to their families. And it was also on
this day that Renee and Geert Loeffen officially became Maryn and
Keller's parents!!! Congrats!! Can't wait until you all are here!!!
After the coffee ceremony we went to an Italian restaurant with the best
view. We had lunch with all of the other families, Belay, and Travis.
After we got back to the Hilton, we took Ian down to the pool and let
him splash his feet around in the really warm water. I got some
beautiful pics of him and his dad!! I started feeling bad around then and we
came back to the room. Then I was completely out of commission for
about 24 hours!! Cortney stepped up, took over and managed me and the baby
all by himself. Ian has had a nasty cough and some other issues since
we have been here and Cortney handled everything like a pro. I can't
believe how his instincts kicked in and he became superdad so
quickly!!! We missed the authentic Ethiopian night because I was not able to go
out but we will get another chance at it next week when Renee and
Geert are here!!
This morning was our appointment at the US embassy. Still feeling
poorly, Cortney got the baby dressed and ready to go! He got all of our
things together and helped me out the door! I don't know if I could have
not gone but not going was not an option for me! We saw the embassy
dr who gave Ian a clean bill of heath and then we went for the blood
test. Blood test?? AHH, I wasn't ready to see him cry like that!!!
Cortney held him and did his very best to distract him but he screamed and
we cried. He was so brave though. He only cried for a minute and then
he was back to his smiley self!!! I can't believe how amazing he is.
He keeps us cracking up!! We came back to the room and he is napping
now with Cortney. I am finally feeling like I may make it now, so I
am catching up on some emails. We may go back out and do something
tonight if my stomach will stay steady!! I want some American food so much
right now! I would love to have some Baked Lays and a sub from
Subway!!! And I would do anything for a Diet Dr. Pepper!!! Oh well, just
over a week and we will be on the plane home.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Lindsey wanted me to share some more pictures of her journey. I put together this montage for her, she hasn't seen it yet, but I think she will approve.
Please pray for Lindsey, Cort and Baby Ian. Lindsey's had a really, really rough day. (Not feeling well at all) and Baby Ian's cough is getting worse. I hate that they are so far away and I can't help them, but I know that God is taking care of them. (Big sister complex, ugh)
Anyway, I hope to send out some pics of beautiful baby at sometime today or tomorrow. The chat we're using allows us to send pictures immediately to each other without waiting on email. It's instant and I can talk to her constantly. You can download it at www.hello.com then you just invite the people you want to. It's really nice and I couldn't have stood not talking to her without it, lol. Anyway, just an idea =)
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
I spoke with Lindsey tonight on "HELLO" it's a chat forum that lets you swap pictures. We didn't know if it would work or not, but so far it's a dream for keeping in contact. Something to think about for future travelers.
Posted by Jamie/written by Lindsey
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Take care everyone!!!
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
(The most beautiful smile I have ever seen!)
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Lots of love,
aka Ian's Sissy
(A title I've wanted my whole life)
BTW, Lindsey.... "Happy Birthday Mommy"
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Ahh as the time dwindles down and court rapidly approaches we are still trying to get the ground to steady under our feet! The house is nearing completion and so many things have to be picked out and picked up. I am working long days so that I can take time off from work for the trip and the time after the trip! Cortney has recovered from the appendectomy and we are trying so hard to get caught up before we leave. I am so hopeful that court goes well next week and Ian will be officially ours without a hitch. We are packing for so many different reasons that I can't find anything and maybe never will! All bags headed to Ethiopia are packed except the one for our clothes. We have 7 suitcases brimming over with donations and gifts. I agree with Renee that it isn't the space that has hindered us as much as the weight. We have lots of extra things to take since we will be in Ethiopia for 23 days. The diapers/formula/wipes alone take up 2 pieces of luggage! Needless to say we will be re-wearing many things while in Ethiopia!
I am trying to wrap my mind around the notion that (unless there is a disaster with the court date) I will be holding Ian in just a little over two weeks! Holding him, in my arms..kissing his sweet cheeks!! I am a little sad that we won't be with our families for Christmas and that they will not be spending Christmas with Ian. I wish that we could have all been home by then but my only comfort in this time of complete chaos is knowing that I will be snuggling him before I know it.
Hope everyone has a great weekend. Only 10 more days of work before we leave for Africa!!!!!
Friday, November 23, 2007
If meeting my son for the first time isn't enough...we will also be having Christmas with the Loeffens!!! I am so excited to meet Renee, Geert, Maryn and Keller in person!!!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
The diaper cake made by my mom!!!
Dorky hat but they tell me it is a shower must!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Our nursery furniture arrived today and is sitting in a boxes in the middle of the living room floor along with luggage for the trip and all the boxes for moving! AHH, it is a good thing I handle stress well or else today would have been the day that took me out!!
Have a good night and keep my pitiful patient in your prayers!!!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
We have some more we will send in a few days when we get home...wetook a ton of pics for alot of families and are trying to get off afew to everyone here from ethiopia....
FYI...you're little guy is doing very well...very alert and happy andhe says to tell you he can't wait to meet you. Carey says he looksbigger in person than in pics and he feels and looks very substantialand healthy...
P.s. He also told me he is a Lakers fan....just so you know:)
Also...he loves to flash the "number #1" sign over and over
Ian with his first gifts from Mommy and Daddy!!! We love you sweetie!!!
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Proud daddy and Uncle David stuffing baby shower invites!!! Of course it was a race and of course David won!!! Thank guys!!!
Poppy, Ganny and Daddy putting the swing, jump-a-roo and high chair together! They just couldn't wait till the shower!! (Thank goodness for Poppy's expertise in putting stuff together!)
Cortney and my sister Jamie put this one together. Very little assembly required! Thank you to Nana and Papaw who also couldn't wait for the shower!!!
Can you tell how excited they are about what they got baby Ian??? He is so lucky to have the best cousins ever!!!
The final product...a little more assembly than the travel system!!!
Friday, November 2, 2007
Thank God that Renee and Geert received news of their court date today. Their children need them so much and I can't wait until they are all together.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Yesterday I got the call I've been waiting (not always) patiently for 5 months now. I had a feeling this would be the week, but never did I expect yesterday to be the day. Lindsey called and told me that there is a little baby boy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that is waiting for us to be his family.
His given name is Surafel and it means Seraphin or cherub. And to my sister and brother-in-law he is so much more than an angel... He is their hearts personified. We learned that he is 5 months old, which just happens to be around the time they began this process. She filed the paper work with her agency on May 21, approx 1 day after baby Ian was born. The night before we talked for hours about how drawn she felt to go with this country and how in love she fell with the idea of it. Neither of us knew that some where thousands of miles away a precious little cry was being heard for the first time. Thousands of miles, oceans and hours away, my sister's baby was born not only into this world, but into her heart. How WONDERFUL is GOD'S work that he brought a life and heart together across so many obstacles. My sister dealt with the initial skepticism of "why Africa" comments and "are you sure this is a good idea?" questions while miles away Ian waited. Lindsey and Cortney prepared and scrambled around trying to make things perfect for a tiny person that they didn't know and Ian waited... Lindsey's held fast to the notion that God knew Ian and that he was created only for her arms to hold and her heart to love, little did she know that all that time ago... The plan was all ready in place. Praise God for his Goodness!!! Praise God that the angel he sent us didn't have wings and words, but only a need for love.
I love you, Lindsey, Cort and Baby Ian and I will be forever blessed to have witnessed God's power through you...
Monday, October 22, 2007
Ahh, this day is here and nearly gone. I am trying to take it all in and process that I am a MOMMY!!! A mother to a human person and Cortney the DADDY of that same human person!!! WE ARE PARENTS!!! Our God is soooo good!!
First I want to say thank you to our extended blog family. I promise that this day is extra special because I know that each of you were looking and waiting hopefully alongside us for this picture to appear on the Clevinger blog. I was so excited when Natalie called but all I could think was, "How am I gonna let everyone know that I have the referral??" So this is how the day went...
We got up this morning and we were having a house crisis so I knew that I had lots of calls to make when I got to work. We left this morning and honestly the referral has never been further from my mind. Work was crazy busy and I made a call to the drywall contractor and I was expecting a call back from him. I had only spoken with Cortney once today and we never mentioned Natalie or the referral (very rare!). The day dragged on I called my mom around 1pm to see if she had Cortney's sunglasses in her car. I even joked before I called her that she would think I was calling with referral news since I never call her at work!!! Then I called and left Cort a message to tell him to stop by and get the glasses. We got really busy at work and I was just checking prescriptions like mad. Then one of the girls who hasn't been working with us long answers the phone. She asked who was calling and put them on hold. She turned to me and said..."It's Natalie". She had no idea that Natalie would be delivering the news of our baby!!! I got weak, I started shaking and sweating and the girls and the customers flocked around me to see what the heck was wrong!!! I was crying and shrieking, "the referral"!! Then I finally made my way to the phone and answered. Natalie said, "Lindsey, I have some good news to share with you. I know that you have been so anxious." She told us that we had a referral and wanted to know when Cortney and I could be together. Before we hung up I asked if we had a boy or a girl!!!! I can't believe I had forgotten to ask all the way through the conversation!!!! So Cortney and I talked to her together and got the details about our sweet boy! Then both of our families came to our house and we saw him together for the first time!!!
He is 5 months old, 11 lbs and 24 in long. He is healthy and happy and beautiful!!! As a matter of fact he is the most beautiful baby my eyes have ever seen! He is my SON!! We have a son!!! We love him soooo much!!!
More to come soon!
Friday, October 19, 2007
Our contractor says that we will be ready to move into the house in roughly 4 to 5 weeks. Everything seems on schedule but who knows when we will actually be ready to go. I love to see progress on the house. My poor contractor has had to endure my "type A" personality the whole time and since I can't control a single thing about the adoption I have bugged him to death trying to control that situation. He has been a good sport about it!!!
Ok, so pray that the referral flood will start today and we all get a quick call!!! YAY FREY'S!!!
Have a great one!!
Monday, October 15, 2007
We had hoped that the referral would come on or before tomorrow but I guess we will be celebrating another milestone without knowing our precious child. Hopefully it will come soon. I pray that the end of the wait is near, and I can't wait to see the look on his face when he sees the most beautiful sight of all...our baby.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
On a lighter note...I have been tagged by Jocelyn. It was so nice to read every one's posts!!
Jobs I've Had
1. Rite Aid intern then pharmacist
2. UK Medical center pharmacy tech
3. Nichol's Apothecary
4. Velocity Market cashier
Places I've Lived
1. Pikeville, KY
2. Lexington, KY
3. Winchester, VA
Food I love
1. vanilla ice cream with little chocolate chips
2. mexican food
Places I would rather be
1. Ethiopia for sure
2. if not there somewhere sunny
Movies I love
1. Dirty Dancing
2. Save the last Dance
3. Happy Gilmore
4. Christmas Vacation
TV Shows I watch
1. Grey's Anatomy
3. CSI (Miami and Vegas)
4. the Real World
5. Prison Break
6. The Unit
The list goes on and on because I am a tv junkie. You will see this when you see my book list.
Books I love
1. the two books my sister has published "Happiness Against All Odds" and "He Shall be Called Wonderful"
2. Black Baby White Hands a view from the crib
I'm tagging The Bakers and Renee and Geert
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Mountain Lake Resort
The Beautiful Bride!
My cutie hubby!!!
My Pharmacy School BFFs Gretchen and Jessica!!
Thursday, October 4, 2007
We are heading out of town tomorrow to my friend's wedding at Mountain Lake in VA. For all of you Dirty Dancing lovers, it is the place where Dirty Dancing was filmed. I am excited to see it, from the pics on the internet...and the movie, it looks beautiful.
We are giving up this being the week, even though tomorrow is friday I have decided to put the hope away for a few more weeks. Cortney is working on accepting that it could take a while longer but I think that I have come to terms with it. My co-workers will be so excited for my new found patience because I have taken off more than one head over the phone not being answered. I am sure that Natalie will not give up and go on to the next family if she doesn't get in touch with us on the first call so that is a goal for me to work on .
Hope everyone has a great weekend!!
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
My other small project that occupies a little of my time is coming right along. Here are some pics of it.
Check out Pacey in full sprint by the port-a-potty!! He is so excited about his new yard!!!
This is a pic of the upstairs. We haven't decided where Ian's nursery will be but either way our master bedroom is plenty big enough for a bassinet/co-sleeper/or a couch for Cortney to sleep on!!!
This is a picture of the living room from upstairs. Cortney is liking this wall for the big screen!!
Ok, that is all I have people! Other than work, sewing, and making decisions for the house I have about 24 hours a day that I am concentrating on the referral. Pray it will be soon, please!!!