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Thursday, April 14, 2011

let's be honest...

at this point i don't remember much of day 4 & 5. i had typed out lengthy, detailed emails to family and friends for both days, but the internet cut out when i was ready to hit send and for some reason the email didn't save to my drafts. so, i gave up. i do know that we went to the orphanage both days. thursday we had to pick up levi's passport and visa. and since the nannies are there different days, i wanted them to all have the chance to tell levi bye. and i wanted the chance to tell them thank you for taking such good care of my baby boy. i cried both days as we were leaving. jason made fun of me. but what's new? :) we did take danny out to lunch on friday at Top View. i highly recommend this restaurant if you're ever in Addis. we ate there twice. really good food with a really good view. 
with our favorite nanny

with our second favorite nanny

lunch with Danny, Levi slept the whole time!

the view from Top View

the staff at the orphanage
side note: i am a blog stalker. i usually stalk silently, meaning i read blogs and never "follow" and never comment. however, i did find a blog and emailed the girl because i thought her agency used my agency and was hoping for a chance at more pictures of Levi when she traveled for court. come to find out, her agency uses a different agency now, but we stayed in contact...and ended up having the same embassy appointments. we met at the airport in DC and saw each other at the embassy and then hung out at the airport in Addis before boarding our flight. it was such a treat to meet a blog friend and make that connection. (shout out to Lesli!!) 

anyway, back to our flight. it went as well as could be expected. levi did sleep. and he slept for a while in the bassinet, but really he preferred to be held. all in all the flight was 17 hours...with a pit stop in rome for fuel. it was pretty miserable. my entire body hurt. i was hungry. and tired from not sleeping. but we made it. our good friend nick picked us up in DC and took us back to their house for a nice hot breakfast and a wonderful visit. can i just say how much i love the Fiore's. it was nice to wash my face, change my clothes, and let Levi crawl around on the floor before heading back to the airport for two more flights. 

the next two flights went well. levi slept almost the entire second flight and stayed asleep until we boarded our final flight. that flight was miserable. levi was cranky. we were in the back. the flight attendant was cranky. levi pee'd on us. but, we made it. and were welcomed home by many friends. more on that tomorrow. this is long enough. :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 3

Hi! We had a fun night...Levi was up several times. I'm not sure what the deal was but we are very tired today. He woke up for his normal nighttime bottle and then woke up around 2. He woke up around 4 also, and it was much harder to get him to go back to sleep. I had to stand
and rock him. Every time I tried to sit on the bed he would cry. I am longing for the glider at home in the nursery!! He woke once more at 5 and finally fell asleep on mommy...and we all slept until 7:30.

Some very generous friends gave us money to use while we were here to help out where needed. Jason and I thought it best that I stay here at the guest house this morning while he and Danny, our driver did the shopping. It worked out very well. Jason left around 9 and I gave Levi a bath. The owner of the guest house gave us a baby bathtub last night...which is MUCH better than using the little bity sink we have in our bathroom. He LOVED his bath. He smiled and laughed and wiggled the whole time. After his bath, I fed him some cereal and fruit, which
he chowed down. We are determined to make him a fat baby!! The whole staff at the guest house tells us he is not strong. :) They tell us everyday that he will be better once we get him to America! After eating, Levi and I went downstairs to hang out while they cleaned our
room. Fun fact...while changing Levi's diaper in the middle of the night, our bed (on my side) became soaked with pee. YAY!!! I slept the rest of the night on top of the covers. :) The guest house has a living room and so we hung out there and chatted with a german family. They are very nice. At one point they told their 3 year old son that our baby is now a Texas boy...which is appropriate because his outfit today had a tractor on it! Once the room was clean, we went back upstairs and both us took a big nap! We woke up right before Jason and Danny got back. We went to lunch at a great restaurant with an awesome view of Addis...but of course we left our camera at the guest house. Ethiopians LOVE their babies. One of the waiters took Levi from us so that we could eat. I've learned that its typical...the staff always hold him for us at the guest house during dinner. After lunch, we stopped by the store to get a few more things for the orphanage. We were able to buy several things off the list that the staff at Hope gave us. They are sooooo grateful. They told our driver that we are awesome people...and they said to thank our friends very much. You know who you thank you!!! One of the things on their list was a vacuum, but it came without the hose. Jason and Danny went back to
get it while Levi stayed and hung out with the other babies. It has been much colder than we anticipated and has rained on and off everyday. We are now back at the guest house. We are hanging out in the room until dinner, and then I'm sure its early to bed for this tired family!!

Overall Levi has been a super great baby. I'm amazed at how calm he is and easy going. I'm so thankful for that. He is almost crawling...he kind of does an inch worm thing which is adorable. And I'm amazed at what a great daddy Jason is. He is helpful (except the time when Levi woke up at 4 and 5) which is ok...he needs his sleep too. He has changed every poopy diaper so far. And lights up when Levi smiles at him. I love watching them together. :)

Tomorrow we will pick up Levi's passport and visa. Carrie pointed out that I should have said the last biggest hurdle will be the 30 hour trip home. She was right!! I am dreading that first flight. 17.5 hours will be awful. For all three of us.

Thanks for the prayers and we're looking forward to seeing everyone soon! I heard about a little airport party...we are excited to see you all!! :)

much love,

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 2

So, first things first, there is an issue with our embassy date. please pray now that it will get resolved. A guy from our agency showed up at the guest house this morning to tell me that they took our payment to the embassy and the embassy said we weren't scheduled for today and that they never sent the email. Luckily, they've already called the director in St. Louis, and he has already emailed the proof. We plan on showing up at the embassy anyway, so pray that it gets resolved quickly.

In other news, we had a great night last night. We ate dinner and then went back upstairs and fed Levi some baby food, which he ate like a champ. We got him ready for bed and he fell asleep so easily. He did finally cry yesterday...but its the sweetest little cry you've ever heard. It was soft and sweet and he was frustrated. The nurse at the orphanage wrote his current schedule down for me and it said that they put the babies to bed at 6:30 and then they get a bottle at 10:30. He went to bed around 7:30 and woke up around 11, took a bottle, and went right back to sleep. He woke up around 6:30 this morning, happy as he could be. He is pray that he gets better. The owner of the guest house suggested we take him to a doctor before we leave. I am going to talk the nurse today. He is congested, has a little cough, and a runny nose. But, all the babies were that way yesterday at the orphanage. He was only getting 2 bottles a day at the orphanage, so we've changed that. He's still the same size as when we were here in January. But, he can put weight on his little legs now!! We gave him a bottle this morning, went to breakfast, then went back up to the room. He had a lovely poopy diaper, which Jason changed because I was gagging. Rookie mom...give me a break. We got the new diaper on, and then he pooped again. He is now sleeping. I don't think he feels well and other parents have warned me that they sense a huge change and are sometimes just this way. But, overall, he's very happy and content. Jason and I both slept well last night. We went to bed right after Levi. I got up with him at 11 and did the bottle, but went right back to sleep. I did wake up around 2 and had trouble falling back asleep. But, all in all, it was a great night. We love just staring at him, listening to his sweet baby sounds, and admiring what a precious gift God has given us. I think its safe to say we're obsessed. :)

I will try to email again tonight to let you know how the embassy turned out. I'm not super worried at this point because we have the email proving that we have a date.

Thanks for the prayers and well wishes. 

Hey! We cleared the Embassy!!! We arrived early at the embassy and our agency had already cleared things up. We were interviewed and then he said, congrats! We will pick up his passport and visa Thursday morning. We are so relieved. :) We had a great day. We took our agency rep out to lunch after the Embassy appointment and then spent some time at Hope. Jason is in dire need of diet coke, and after we left Hope, we spent an hour driving around trying to find "coca cola light" but did not find it. We came back, fed Levi and then ate dinner. We are the only americans at our guest house this time and we are enjoying talking with the germans. Jason is giving Levi a bottle and then we're all off to bed. Levi got a good nap this morning, but then never really napped this afternoon. You would think he would be fussy...but not one cry. He's such a good baby!!

Thanks for praying. The last hurdle is to actually get the passport
and visa in our hands. We are looking forward to getting home and
getting settled.

ready to head to the embassy appointment
 a series of pictures capturing Levi's personality: