Aidan Birhanu Miller Robinson

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Aidan Birhanu Miller Robinson

Birhanu = bir-hahn-you


I know that this post is WAY overdue. If you've been waiting anxiously for pics of our little guy, then I apologize and I'm also a bit impressed that you're still checking in with us. I know now why so many of the blogs that I follow only have one or two posts a month after the kids arrive. Finding time to shower or eat is hard, let alone blog. As we settle down into a routine (hah, what's that?!?), I'm going to try to update more often. For now, though here's some things about Aidan.

  • Aidan's 11 months old (he'll be one year on the 29th of this month)

  • He's a happy baby who normally wakes up with a smile on his face first thing in the morning

  • He loves his mommy and daddy, but mostly daddy. They're the best of buds.

  • He has a belly laugh that will make you want to eat him up.

  • He's extremely ticklish, which usually is how we get him to do the belly laugh. :)

  • He's a good sleeper. He falls asleep usually between 8 and 9pm, wakes up at around 4am for a diaper change and bottle and then falls back asleep until around 7am.

  • He LOVES to eat. He eats 5-6 containers of baby food a day (1-2 fruits mixed with cereal for breakfast, a veggie mixed with cereal and fruit for lunch, and veggie with cereal and fruit for dinner) along with 20-28 ounces of formula per day. He'll eat anything, but his favorite is sweet potatoes and pears with cinnamon.

  • Until about a week ago, he did not like table food AT ALL, but he's slowly learning that it's pretty good. He now loves pizza, Gerber puffs (eats these all the time), and cheese.

  • He loves bath time and swimming, actually he just loves the water in general. He splashes and tries to put his face in. He laughs hysterically everytime that he splashes himself in the face. He's fearless in the water. We took him to the pool and he tried to crawl out until the water was neck deep. Crazy!

  • He will wave at everyone, and is learning to blow kisses, but he only wants to be held by Mommy and Daddy. When we leave the room- even for a second-he starts to cry.

  • He's started screaming when he wants something, usually food. I'm teaching him sign-language. He knows the sign for "more" and "all done". We're working on "food" and "milk" now.

  • He says "mama", "dada" (I believe he's starting to associate these with Liam and me), "baba", "nana".

  • He mimics EVERYTHING!

  • He likes his stroller and ergo, but mostly just wants to be on Mom or Dad's hip.

  • He reaches for Liam and I to pick him up.

  • He's crawling all over the place, can pull himself up, and stand with one hand anchoring him. The other day, he actually stood all on his own for about 10 seconds. He cruises all around the livingroom.

  • He's starting to get brave and will crawl out of the room that Liam and/or I am in, turn around to smile at us, and crawl back.

  • He claps at random things. :)

  • He has two teeth on the bottom, three on top, with one more coming through on the top.

  • He gums most everything.

  • He has the most beautiful, smooth skin; bright brown eyes; delicious, kissable lips; soft ringlets; and little button nose. He's perfect!

  • In the last month, I have laughed more than I have in my entire life. He's a complete blessing and has captured not only mine and Liam's hearts, but everyone that has met him. We love you, Aidan!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

One more thing...

Happy Birthday sweet Aidan. You're 10 months old today!

Days 2 and 3 back in Ethiopia...

I slept well my first night in Ethiopia. I think it really helped to divide up the trip with layovers in New York and Dubai. Liam said that he woke up about every 2 hours, but for the most part he slept well too. Part of the issue is that Ethiopian beds are EXTREMELY hard. We were kind of used to this because Korean beds are similar in that they don't give very much. However, Ethiopian beds don't give AT ALL. It's like sleeping on a hard wood floor with a rug on top.

I ate a bit of breakfast and then since we were up so early, we got a fresh start on the day. We didn't get to adventure out of the guesthouse on our last trip (mainly because we had spent most of our time traveling south to the Durame), so this time Liam and I decided to walk around Addis a bit to "see what we could see".

Addis is very safe, but the one thing that you have to worry about is panhandlers and pick-pocketing. It's understandable in a third-world country, and honestly, the little children that approach you for money, break my heart. It's dangerous, however, to give them any, because a few children crowded around can quickly escalate into a mob situation.

We visited the largest church in Africa, an Eastern Orthadox Cathedral. We were able to take pictures and tour the inside. It was awe-inspiring. I don't know about you, but I love old churches. This one was only about 6 years old, but the feel of it was old. The stain glass windows showed scenes depicting Christ's life and several of the painting were of the disciples and stories from the Old Testament. Up front there was an altar that led to a room of the back that was called the "Holy of Holies". Only the priests were allowed in the room. The scenes above the alter were that of Christ's birth, the Holy Trinity, and Christ's transfiguration and ascension into heaven.

After our tour- our guide turned out to be a runner, so as you can imagine, he and Liam had quite a bit to talk about- we found a little shopping center to browse around. We wanted to visit the National Museum, and since we had no idea where it was, we flagged down a cab.

The National Museum of Ethiopia is quite large (about 4 stories) and it's biggest boast is that it contains the skeleton of Lucy- the oldest "person" whose remains have been uncovered. She's estimated to be around 3.3 million years old. The rest of the museum was interesting too. Ethiopians are very proud of their history, mainly that of prehistoric times.

Terry, our cab driver, had waited for us while we were in the museum. He next took us to do some shopping.

The first place was in a traditional Ethiopian market with little huts housing goods of all kinds, especially Ethiopian clothing. I bought my nephew and nieces all traditional outfits. It's hard to choose, because their are no sizes, so you have to guesstimate how big or little you need to buy. I know the one that I bought Ava is too big, but that was the smallest they had. After getting it back to our hotel, I think Ella's might be too small. So, I hoping that at least Jake's is the right size.

After, we went to the Friendship Center which is their equivalency of a shopping mall. We just browsed the stores, but didn't buy anything.

We had Terry return us to our hotel, ate dinner- where we met Jennifer and Aaron who are here for court, and just "laid-low" a bit.

I thought I'd get some sleep, so I laid down at around 4:30pm and my 2 hour catnap turned into 5 hours. I woke at 9:30pm and was up until 4:30am and slept until 8:30am. I had been so proud of myself that I had accustomed myself to Ethiopian time, but clearly I was wrong.

We met SEVERAL families here for court in the morning and planned an impromptu lunch and shopping get together. Since Liam and I had already experienced Ethiopia we gave several suggestions for things to do. Liam had also made plans to meet with an Ethiopian man that ran track and field for Liam's old coach in Ireland. After asking the front desk to make arrangements for a taxi, all 9 of us (with 2 more meeting us at the restaurant) piled into the taxi.

After our lunch at Top View Restaurant we had thought to go to Entoto Mountain, but it had been raining, so we knew that we wouldn't have a very good view. Instead we made plans to return to the two places that we had gone shopping the day before. I bought Aidan two traditional Ethiopian outfits in different sizes, Kirk and Joy and Nichole and Jason Ethiopian crosses, and Lindsey an Ethiopian shawl.

We returned to the guest house and some of the friends that we had met the day before (from the yahoo board) had returned from making the journey down south to Durame, so we decided to eat at Yod Abyssinia- a traditional Ethiopian restaurant that we ate at on our first trip. I sat NOT watching the dancing and listening to the music, because all I could think about is that I'M GETTING MY SON TOMORROW!!!

Now, it's nearly 10pm and I'm experiencing a mixture of excitement and feeling like I'm going to throw-up. Earlier I returned to find a crib in our room, so it's all seeming very real now. This is my last night without my son!

Please pray that Aidan accepts Liam and I and has an "easy" transition. I'm off to bed now, but will try to post pictures tomorrow. Love you all!

Friday, May 27, 2011

We're Back!!!!

No place will ever mean as much to me (besides home, of course) or hold as many fond memories as Ethiopia. I'm so excited that we're back. This journey of our story is nearly over and a whole new adventure will soon begin.

We arrived yesterday morning around 11:00am (it's now 5:00am on Saturday morning). But let me begin with Tuesday, May 24th.

We arrived at the airport at around 9:30am just to discover that our flight had been postponed for an hour. Jake, Ella, Ava and Nichole were there to see us off. As much as I was looking forward to seeing my sweet little man again, it was so sad saying goodbye to "second babies", though Jake would take great offense to me calling him a baby.

We checked in all of our luggage and luckily everything weighed in under or around the 50 pound mark. We took one huge suitcase of donations for the orphanage, 2 large suitcases of Aidan's things, and then one suitcase of Liam's and my belongings (Aidan's spill-over items managed to find their way to this bag). Our carry-ons consisted of a small suitcase and bag each of things that we considered necessities (one outfit each, some items for Aidan, our adoption notebook full of all of the important paperwork over the last year, etc.).

Our flight left at 12:30pm and flew into Atlanta, Georgia. From there we had a couple of hours to kill, so we had dinner. Note to self: when ordering a chicken sandwich in Atlanta, expect to receive fried chicken still on the bone, 2 slices of bread, lettuce and tomatoes.

After Atlanta, we flew on to New York. When we boarded the plane we discovered that we had been upgraded to First Class. This was my first time ever riding in First Class (I know, pathetic). Let me tell you there is NO COMPARISON! I had a lovely woman who popped by every 5 minutes to ask me if I needed anything. The chairs were made of leather and nearly folded all the way back into a bed. Even though the flight was only an hour and a half, I slept nearly all of it.

Since we spent the night in New York, we collected all of our baggage and rode the airport shuttle to the hotel we had already booked. The rooms were very small; only about the size of a walk-in closet. I'm exaggerating here, but you get the picture. There was enough room for a full-size bed, small dresser and table. We literally had to crawl over our suitcases to get into bed. I couldn't help but think that some poor chap was probably renting the same size apartment for around $1500 in New York. Made me thankful for my spacious-in-comparison, yet cozy home with a mortgage about half the price.

The next morning, we got up early (5am!). Our flight was leaving at 11:30am, but Liam insisted that we arrived no later than 6:30. :) Delta and Emirates' scales are a bit off of each other, so we had to maneuver some of the donations around so that the bags met their weight requirements. Once checked in, we ate breakfast (McDonalds!) and waited about 2 and a half hours to board our flight. Imagine that. :)

The flight to Dubai is 12 hours from New York and there was no First Class this time. I was sardined (and when I say sardined, I'm not exaggerating) between Liam and a very nice Nigerian woman. Our new friend apparently loves Ballywood movies. She watched about 4 during the flight and each time a song would come on (these movies are all musicals) she would say, "Oh, my G-" in her lovely accent, clap her hands and start dancing from side to side, singing along. This, unfortunately, made sleep rather impossible. She really was very friendly and my only other chief complaint is that low-rise jeans and an undone belt when you are rather voluptuous is perhaps not the best fashion choice. Each time that she got up, which was quite frequent, NOTHING was left to the imagination. Oh, my poor hubby.

The staff at Emirates is so friendly. We met a nice young man named Sam, originally from Syria, but had spent most of his life in England. He currently lives in Dubai and answered all of our questions and gave us great tips on what to do while we were in the city.

Dubai is like no city that I have ever seen or experienced. It's in the middle of a desert, but it's immaculate. The buildings literally gleam in the desert sun. We rode the metro to our hotel and their was not even a gum wrapper on the ground. Nothing was out of place. It was really amazing. The staff at the airport are so helpful too. When we approached one man to ask for help, he took us on a two hours Odyssey around the airport, taking us to the money exchange, the ticket booth, found us internet service, the baggage check office, and finally to the metro station to help us buy tickets. All of the information staff were men and their uniforms are (and forgive me Chugthai, because I do not have the right terminology) full white Muslim attire from head to toe. Around the top of their head scarves, they wore a black tassel that hung down their backs. It's really a very crisp and clean uniform and looked like it would keep then cool in the heat. Aw, the heat. I've never experienced anything close to the heat of Dubai. Imagine a blow dryer set on hot, blowing merely inches from your face and you would begin to get the picture of how hot Dubai is in the summer. Liam did the conversion math for me, and it was about 125 degrees. This poor little gal from Missouri was nearly cooked alive!

After checking into our hotel, which was VERY NICE, I slept for about 3 hours and then we ventured out into the city. We spent less than 24 hours in the city, so there wasn't a whole lot that we could do. We went to the Dubai Mall, which is the largest mall in the world and saw the Burj Kaliffa (the largest building in the world). There's no way to even describe the enormous size of this thing. I imagined that the Tower of Babble looked very much like it, with it's spire stretching into the clouds. All of the architecture in Dubai was impressive. No two buildings look the same and shapes of every imagination are on display. Pyramids, upside-down cones, ones that resemble boat sales. You name it and Dubai has it! I imagine that the world's most talented architects make Dubai their home. With over 80% of the population living in Dubai being foreign, this is very likely true.

The greatest part of Dubai was meeting some of Liam's former neighbors from Ireland. Elaine and Amanda had the best stories to tell about Liam. They both work for Emirates airlines and their stories of traveling all over the world were so fascinating. We went out to dinner and had a great time. The musical fountain show outside of the mall, is truly amazing (I'm using that word a lot, heh?). Don't worry, I promise pictures are soon to follow this post, because words just do not adequately describe the beauty.

So, that brings us to Ethiopia. Our flight left at 8:30am, so it was another early wake-up call for us. One of the great things about Emirates Airlines, though is that we were able to re-check our baggage the day before. So, other than our carry-ons we had no baggage to worry about. When we boarded the plane, we discovered that we were once again bumped to First Class. I'm not sure what Airline gods shined down on us during this trip, but it was wonderful. Liam and I were like two kids in a candy store. The chairs reclined all the way down into a bed, complete with foot rest and massager. And of course, complimentary drinks were served and a very nice breakfast. I felt like a queen! The only disappointment? The flight was only 3 hours long.

Our first day in Ethiopia was like coming home. There's no better way to describe it, and all of my fellow adoptive parents most likely will concur. We met up with Erin Sibley, who's also here for embassy, Cami Brudenthal and Autumn Perkins, both here for court dates. We all know each other from the Yahoo forum. We decided to go to the leprosy hospital together. The main reason that foreigners go to the hospital is to buy things that the patients and nurses sale. We bought a traditional coffee set, salt and pepper set, and sugar bowl all carved out of wood. Everything together cost us about $15-20. I only ever thought of leprosy as an old biblical disease. The fact that there are still people in 2011 suffering from this curable infliction is really heartbreaking. We also visited AHOPE, which is a wonderful organization that cares for HIV+ children. I read about it in There Is No Me Without You. We brought a few donations and learned more about the program and the services they supply. From there we toured the facility and visited with some of the kids. There's no more humble experience than sitting on the floor putting together jigsaw puzzles with sick, and in some cases (though far less, with programs like AHOPE) dying children and seeing them smile up at you. It puts all the small problems that you may experience in you life, into true prospective. We visited the baby room and saw a little boy that had been brought to AHOPE nearly dead 3 months earlier, but that under their care, was flourishing. On our way home, we stopped off at the coffee shop and I bought my parents, Des, Andy and Megs some good, Ethiopian coffee. I'm not much of a coffee drinker, but since coffee originated in Ethiopia, how could I leave without buying some?

We ended our day with dinner at Advante, a lovely Italian restaurant a couple of blocks from Jemimah Guesthouse, with our group. It was the perfect end to a beautiful day.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Less than 24 hours...

Until we leave to go get our son. I can't believe it!!!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Packing, packing, and still more packing...

So, as you can imagine the last few days have been filled with TONS OF PACKING. Not only am I packing for our trip, but with it being the end of the school year, I'm also packing up my classroom and tearing it down for summer. UGH. Major. Stress.

I think it's kind of comical that I'm trying to fit Liam's and my belongings into one suitcase, while Aidan's things already take up two suitcases and are flowing into our carry-ons. How can one little guy require so much stuff. I guess this is an omen of what's to come, right? The largest suitcase is for the donations that I was unable to fit into our baggage on our last trip. Everyone has been so generous in their giving. I'm truly blown away.

Only six days to go, and then we'll be on the plane (well, really many planes) that will take us back to our son. So stinking excited!!!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Travel Dates!!!

Got the confirmation email at around 3:30 this afternoon that we have an Embassy appointment for Aidan on May 31st!!!! After calling my dad, sister and of course, Liam in stunned excitement, Liam came to my work so that we could book our flights. We were told that we had to be in Addis by May 29th, so that would have us leaving on or around May 27th. Unfortunately, with our short notice, all flights were booked from May 25th-28th. So, we're leaving May 24th from Springfield, Missouri. Since my last day of school is also the 24th, this should be interesting. :)

We fly into New York, but because the next flight does not leave until early the morning of the 25th, we'll spend the night in the city. From there, we fly to Dubai and then onto Addis, arriving on May 27th!

I'm not sure yet whether we'll take custody of Aidan on May 29th or 30th. Normally, families take custody of their adopted child on the Sunday before the Monday Embassy date. However, since Monday is Memorial Day, our Embassy date has been set for Tuesday, May 31st. I'm really hoping that we'll still take custody of him on the 29th.

After a seven day stay in Ethiopia, we'll leave the morning of Friday, June 3rd and arrive in Springfield the evening of Saturday, June 4th (around 8:30pm) WITH OUR SON!!!! We'd love for everyone to come and welcome Aidan home, so if you are able, we'll see you there. :)

I can't believe that we're only a week from making the journey to bring our son home!!!!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Embassy Clearance!!!!

The news that we have been hoping and praying for is finally here and it came in the form of a very short email waiting for me when I awoke this morning...We're approved by the U.S Embassy to travel to bring Aidan home!!!!!!

I immediately called my parents and emailed some friends and, of course, posted it on Facebook for my 500 nearest and dearest. I emailed Jenn and Stephanie when I got to school to see when our appointment date might be. Jenn emailed me back to say that May 23rd is full, but they are trying to get us an appointment for May 30th. This would mean that we'd be leaving sometime the week of May 22nd- two weeks!!!!!

I'm so thrilled and happy and nervous and overwhelmed and FREAKED OUT! Finally, what we have wanted more than anything for the past year and a half (and in truth, for the past 5+ years since we began trying to have a child) is here! We're going to bring our child home in 2-3 weeks! Aidan is coming home, finally, he's coming home! I can't believe it!!!!!

Praise God!!!!!! Aidan we're coming with all the love in the world guiding us on our way! Mommy and Daddy are finally on our way to bring you home!!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

Mother's Day wasn't nearly the day of dread that I had been expecting. I think it really helped hearing the news of our embassy submission last week, but also I just kind of realized that this is my first Mother's Day...Aidan here, or not here, I'm still a mommy and I'm not going to let ANYTHING spoil my first official Mother's Day. Sure, next year will be better, but I'm excited that we're so close to bringing our little boy home.

How did I spend the day?
I went to church and then out to eat with my family. Unfortunately, Liam's sick right now and stressed with finals, so he stayed home to study. After lunch, my sister and I decided to go see a movie (Something Borrowed) and then went out to dinner. It was a great day!

Here's my post on Facebook:
Happy Mother's Day to my incredible mom and beautiful sister. I hope that I can be half as successful at this motherhood thing as you both. I love you. Praying for my grandmother on the first Mother's Day after losing my aunt. Thinking of my mother-in-law, who is responsible for raising the most amazing man and my best friend. We love and miss you, Marie. Longing for my little A. In such a short time, you have already brought me the most immense joy and have finally made me a mommy after so many years of heartbreak. Thinking of the woman that made it possible for you to be ours and praying for her happiness and health. We are eternally grateful. Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies in my life.

And finally, in honor of Aidan's birthmother this Mother's Day, a poem that I'm borrowing from the Holt yahoo group:

Once there were two women who never knew each other.
One you do not remember, the other you call mother.
Two different lives, shaped to make your one...
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.
The first gave you life and the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love, and the second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name.
One gave you a seed of talent, the other gave you an aim.
One gave you emotions, the other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried your tears.
One gave you up ... that's all she could do.
The other prayed for a child and God led her straight to you.
And now you ask me, through your fears,
the age old question unanswered throughout the years...
Heredity or environment, which are you the product of?
Neither, my darling angel¦ neither.
Just two different kinds of love.
~ Author Unknown ~

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I still can't believe in (hopefully) less than a month we'll be in Ethiopia with our child. The whole day has been so surreal. Aidan will be with us, and then forever ours, in a matter of weeks. The last year of waiting, and longing, and praying comes down to this moment...Aidan is ours! I just can't believe that it's finally here! Nor do I have any real comprehension of how this little boy is going to change our lives completely.

Please pray that our case will be approved quickly and easily. I'm thinking that we'll receive travel dates in the next week or two, but with all the recent delays, it's hard to predict. One thing is for sure, though. We're finally on our way the bringing our sweet boy home.

FINALLY (Oh, Happy Day)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We've been submitted to the U.S embassy!!!!!

Based on other's experiences/timeframes, we should hear sometime next week that we've been approved. From there our agency will request an interview and let us know our travel dates. We could travel as soon as 2-4 weeks from now! Oh, happy day, Aidan. Mommy and Daddy are coming to bring you home!!!!!!

For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!
Isaiah 64:4

Friday, April 29, 2011

9 months old...

Guess who's another month old? Our little prince!

Our little man shares his special day with another prince and now princess that got married today. They're in good company on this beautiful day!

Happy Birthday, Aidan. Mommy is praying hard that you'll be home with us before you turn another month old. :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Another Holt International Ethiopia video

Just in case you thought I had neglected my promise to post videos sharing the important work that Holt International is doing around the world, here's another one...and look! It's from my favorite child's homeland. :)

Blah, blah, blah...

I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but no new exciting news to report today. We had paperwork to fill out last week that our embassy is requiring for any families submitted after April 25th (yesterday). We overnighted this as soon as we got it finished, and the staff in Eugene received it yesterday. However, since our agency submits new cases for embassy on Tuesdays, and there is no way that the paperwork can get from Oregon to Ethiopia in one night, we have been told that there is no way that we will be submitted this week.

I was disappointed, of course, but at the same time, it's good knowing ahead of time. Now, I won't be checking my email every 5 minutes praying for word from Holt of our embassy submission. I'm not too hopeful about next week either, since Jenn at Holt told us that it usually take 5-7 days for paperwork to be expressed mailed from Oregon to Ethiopia. If my math is right, then the earliest that it will be in Ethiopia is next Monday.

Of course, anything is possible with God, so...

Friday, April 22, 2011

What's in a name? Everything!

We got a copy of Aidan's birth certificate and our court decree yesterday. We've known that we are legally his parents for the last month and a half, but it's nice to finally see it in writing. He also has a new name (well, until we officially change it again *LOL*)! Our son is now B(Ethiopian name) Mark Robinson. Too funny! It's traditional for children in Ethiopia to be given their father's names. There's something about this step that makes it all seem more real. He's ours and we are his. He has our last name. We're imprinted upon each others' hearts.

As I was feeling out more paperwork last night (changes to the embassy requirements = more paperwork for the parents), it struck me that this is the first set of forms that I've filled out where I've written his last name the same as our's. It was a really special moment.

Well, off to get more paperwork notarized and overnighted before the bank and post office closes. We're one step closer...maybe baby steps, but we're on our way to bringing our little guy home.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Onto next week...

Well, for my five faithful readers *LOL*, as you may have already suspected, we were not submitted to embassy yesterday. We still have nothing specific about our case, but there were a couple of cases similar to ours that were submitted. These cases have also gone through the added scrutiny and extra paperwork that I have mentioned. So, there is hope that we will be submitted soon.

As I suspected, we have been told not to rely on the previous timeline, because so many changes have gone into effect recently. This is doubly frustrating, because we have no idea when we'll move forward or what specifically is causing our case to not be submitted.

We continue to put our faith in God's judgement and feel that the changes being made to the Ethiopian program are positive. I'm sure once we have our son home, we'll feel even more convicted that these changes are for the best, not only for our children, but for the continuation of adoptions in Ethiopia. Right now, however, it's hard to think beyond our heartache. We want our little boy home so badly and every day that passes is one more reminder that he's not with us. I wonder what he's doing now. My niece is starting to crawl. Is he? Oh, how I love my baby boy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Praying Hard...

that we'll hear the news that we've been longing to hear, "You've been submitted to the US embassy". It's been 6 weeks since our court date and Holt has said that 6-8 weeks is the "normal" time to wait before your case is submitted. Of course, with the unknown delays, we just don't know.

I'm trying not to get my hopes up today. Last week I felt so sure that it was OUR WEEK and so deflated when we got the news that we had not been submitted. Those that have traveled this two-trip road before us have said that the time between court and embassy is the longest, hardest, most emotional time, and BOY, have they been right. I want my baby home so badly!

If we don't hear news today, then we'll have to wait until next Tuesday, since Tuesdays are the day that our agency receives update information from Ethiopia. Come on embassy submission! Our little boy needs us.

The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD will answer my prayer.
Psalms 6:9

But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears.
Psalms 18:6

Friday, April 15, 2011

In Loving Memory

To my three beautiful babies born with wings
4/14/09, 5/6/09, 4/16/10

You will never be forgotten.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Okay, time to snap out of it!

The song "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to" keeps playing in my head, except this is NOT a party. I've been feeling so whiney lately, but enough's enough! This is NOT about me. My little boy is healthy and we got word yesterday afternoon that he's been moved to Addis. This is fabulous news for us, because he's one step closer now to coming home. However, can you imagine how scary this new transition must be for him? Other than his birthmother, the caregivers at the Durame Care Center have been his only family. He's been with them since he was 6 weeks old and now, just like when he was taken from his birthmother, he's forced to leave them. My heart breaks for my little boy. So many traumatic changes in such a short time, and here I am feeling sorry for myself. My little baby is already teaching me and he's not even home yet.

Our social worker contacted me yesterday to tell me that we would need to update our homestudy since it will expire in May. She asked if we thought we would travel before May 10th, because if we did, there will be no need to update it. "Uh, don't know." I really hate this wait!

When I emailed Stephanie to ask if there was any new news, she gently (gotta love Steph) reminded me that we are well within the 6-8 week time frame between court and embassy submission that Holt quotes. I needed to be reminded of this. These "unknown" delays have me frazzled, but it's only been 5 weeks since we passed court. There are others that passed court in January and have not been submitted to embassy yet. So, I've officially been chastised.

It's been 6 months since we got the referral for the most special little boy imaginable. We don't know when he's coming home, but at least we know that he IS coming home. For that, we are supremely thankful.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Just got word from Holt that there are no new embassy submissions this week. I was really counting on this being the week. Tomorrow marks 6 months since our referral. Thursday will be two years since our first miscarriage, and Saturday is a year from our 3rd miscarriage. It's going to be a tough week.

I'm heartbroken and missing my little boy so much.

Trusting In God while I wait (day 8)...

So today's the day...

Today's the day that our adoption agency sends out the family updates to let us know where we are in the process. If we've been submitted to embassy, more than likely, we'll hear something today.

God has already been faithful to so many prayers. For one thing, the government has avoided the shut down that many called unavoidable. Because of this, many families will be able to bring their children home from Ethiopia. My friend, Cerise, is one of those families. Her little boy, T, will be in her arms in only a few short hours. Praise God!

I had a dream last night. We were in Ethiopia with Aidan. I'm not sure the circumstances, but the staff there told us that we would be leaving in a week to bring Aidan home. I woke up with the happiest feeling of peace and joy, and that feeling has not left me yet. I'm very hopeful that we will hear something today.

In my dream, a close family member was also in Ethiopia with his wife to adopt a child. I remember feeling so excited for them and proud to have been a catalyst for the decision to adopt. This is a dream for Liam and me- to inspire others to adopt.

There are 147 million orphans around the world. God calls us to be their protectors. There is a real need for Christian families to come forward and take in these children. AND, just so that we are clear, because we've been asked MANY times why we're not adopting "our own" or an American child- they are ALL our OWN, because they are all God's. Aidan is no less mine than an American child and no less mine than if he were my biological child. If you are comtemplating a calling to adopt and would like to talk to someone, please know that I'm here to answer any questions. It's a LONG journey and at times very daunting, but even now, with the uncertainty of delays, I can honestly say I would do it all over again. Looking at my sweet baby boy, there isn't a moment of doubt. He's worth it!

But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive everything promised to us who are right with God through faith.
Galations 5:5

Monday, April 11, 2011

Trusting in God while I wait (day 7)...

Liam and I were running about all weekend long, so I didn't have a chance to write anything new.

I am VERY hopeful that we will hear something this week. I don't have any new information, so I'm completely walking by faith, but I just feel optimistic that this will be the week that we hear something. I believe that part of faith is giving a request over to God and then being confident that He will answer that prayer. So, I'm being bold and choosing to believe that God will answer our prayer very soon.

This is a week of anniversaries. One is that on the 13th it will be 6 months since we received our referral for the most amazing, curly-haired little boy. He never is far from my thoughts. Liam and I will both find ourselves daydreaming throughout the day. When the other asks what we're thinking about, our answer is always "Aidan". This journey has single-handedly been the most rewarding and difficult thing that I've ever gone through, with the last month bringing the most intense longing. It's different that the pain that I felt with our miscarriages. I had no hope then. Now I am filled with the promise that God is bringing our little boy home to us. Oh, how I wish it was today. :)

Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
Psalms 5:3

Friday, April 8, 2011

Trusting God while I wait (day 4) and one month update...

So, as I was saying, I'm not feeling the most optimistic lately. In fact, I feel pretty defeated at times.

There is now a very good probability that the US Government will shut down, which means that when we get submitted to embassy, nothing will happen. Should the proposed shut down occur, they will not be processing adoption visas. This means that anyone in Ethiopia during this time for their embassy date will not be able to bring their child home and will therefore be stranded there until the government shut down is over. It also means that anyone who has been given an embassy date and has not traveled, will more than likely be asked not to travel until after this craziness is over. And for us? Our paperwork will sit at an empty desk, since no one will be there to review and approve it. This will affect countless families and children.

This past month has been the most difficult yet. It's been one month since we passed court. I remember one month ago, I felt such excitement and euphoria at the news that we had passed and Aidan was legally our child. Since then, we have endured a seige of rumors and speculations, followed by bad news and delays. It's exhausting!

When we first came home, we were bombarded about reports that MOWCYA (Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs) was going through some major changes and that they were proposing to reduce their case load to 5 a day. Since they currently process 50+ cases daily now, this would mean a reduction of 90%. We had been told that we could expect to travel back to Ethiopia in 2 months to bring Aidan home, but with this latest news, we (and others) were speculating that it might be a year before we would travel. Our adoption agency and countless others sent emails warning of this possibility, but cautioning everyone to stay positive. Well, so far, the proposed reduction has not taken place, though there are still rumors circulating that once MOWCYA clears its case load of around 800, they will begin processing only 5 cases a day.

Don't get me wrong, I'm very supportive of added scrutiny to ensure that a more transparent, ethical process for international adoptions takes place in Ethiopia. I'm just frustrated that it would mean our children may have to spend an extra year in an orphanage. I fully believe that Aidan is receiving the best care possible and am eternally grateful to the wonderful nannies that care for him and love him, but it's not a home.

Our heads were still reeling with the news of the changes with MOWCYA when we got the news that specific cases (Aidan's included) would not be submitted to embassy until the Ethiopian government and our agency could come to a compromise with the U.S embassy over new paperwork that the embassy is requiring. This was a HUGE blow! I know that everyone at Holt is working around the clock to come to a quick agreement, but its still beyond frustrating. We were in hopes that we would be over there in a we have no clue when we might travel.

Now, there's the government shut down.

I know that all of this is the devil trying to discourage and defeat us. My eyes are focused on God. He is the source of my hope and strength. I'm worried, but I'm not without faith. God, who has seen us through countless trials, will see us through this.

I had a dream last night about Aidan. We were home with him and the love that I felt for my baby was so immense. I hold to that feeling of complete joy. I KNOW that Aidan will be home with us someday. I pray that it's soon, but if not, I will continue to praise the name of God who brought him to us in the first place. It is because of Our Heavenly Father's steadfast love, that we are parents. I trust him to bring our little prince home safely. The most powerful governments on earth are no match for the awesome majesty of our Lord.

But if we look forward to something we don't have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently.
Romans 8:25

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Trusting God while I wait (day 3)...

No new news today.

The update email from our adoption agency yesterday was positive, but we have no specific day yet for when our case (and other's like it) will be submitted to the US embassy. I go from feeling pretty optimistic to feeling completely heartbroken and frustrated.

I knew going into April that it would be a difficult month, but with the added uncertainty of when we will be able to bring Aidan home, I'm a basket case of emotions. I'm still trying to look for the positive, but I feel that the adversary is doing his best to lead me down the path of self-pity and hopelessness.

April always reminds me of pregnancy. April is Infertility Awareness Month. For years, April was a reminder of the children that Liam and I may never have. For the last two years, I have also discovered that I was pregnant in the month of April, only to have our dreams squashed once more when I miscarried. April no longer holds the promise of renewal to me. Instead, it just reminds me once more of the deep loss that infertility and miscarriage brings.

Worst of all, jealousy has reared it's ugly head. I REALLY hate feeling envious. It's not a pleasant emotion, nor am I a very nice person to be around lately. I'm jealous of those with children. I'm jealous of women who have found out they're pregnant and still have the joy and wonderment that only innocence can bring; innocence in believing that everything will be fine and nothing bad could possibly happen to steal that excitement. I'm jealous of those that have received embassy dates and will soon be bringing their children home. I know, UGLY!!!!!!!!!!!

Now there is talk of a government shutdown, which will further complicate and delay us. I just feel that everywhere I look, the news is depressing. I really pray that all of this gets resolved quickly, but with every day that goes by with no real news, my hope is deminishing.

Heavenly Father,
Please work all of the chaos to Your Glory and bring our son home to us quickly. Please take this stupid, ugly, pathetic feeling of jealousy and cast it far, far away from me, Lord. Give Liam and I (especially me) the peace that surpasses understanding, Father.

But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Trusting God while I wait (day 2)...

I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him.
Psalms 62:5

This is very similar to yesterday's verse and is also found in the book of Psalms. I would like to think that I'm good at waiting patiently, but in truth, I must admit that God has convicted me during our adoption journey that I am not a very patient person. The word "quietly" really stands out to me here, because I have been anything but quiet in my wait. I've complained, cried, argued, felt sorry for myself- just about anything to get God's attention. As Dr. Phil would say, "How's that working for ya?" Uh, not very well. So, in my pursuit of finding sense out of this Adoption Roller Coaster, I am challenged to just be still and trust in My Heavenly Father. Trust that He has control where I feel as though I have no control. Trust that He is working all of this to His glory. Trust that He has a watchful eye on Aidan and is keeping him safe.

Heavenly Father,
I do trust in You. I trust that You will sort out this mess and that You will bring our son home to us. I know that You have guided us every step of the way along this journey, and I know that Aidan is the child that You have chosen for us. I trust that You will keep him safe while we wait. My hope rests in Your assurance to us that Aidan in ours and that he is coming home to us. I may not understand, but I'm not promised complete understanding. As hard as it is, I will wait patiently on You. Please give me the peace of mind that I need during this difficult waiting time. Please use this time to draw Liam and I closer to you.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New Challenge...

So, along with my new perspective, I thought I'd challenge myself to spend more time in His Word. Therefore, I am studying passages which reference God's command for patience. My challenge is this- while I am waiting for news of our embassy submission, I am going to study and memorize a verse a day. Did you know that there are over twenty references to waiting on the Lord in Psalms alone? Seems to me this must be pretty important to our Heavenly Father. Today's verse is one of my all-time favorites.

I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
Psalms 130:5

Grant me patience, Lord, in my time of waiting for You to bring our son home.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A new perspective...

So, over the weekend I had a "Come to Jesus" moment and realized how selfish I am being. I know it's completely normal to feel frustrated at the prospect of not seeing our son for...well, we don't know how long. But, there is NO reason for me to feel the deep despair and gloom that I've felt this past week.

I have so much to be thankful for. Aidan is OUR son! He's healthy and after watching how his nannies interact with him, I know he's being well taken care of. He's happy and gorgeous and everything that I prayed for. All those tears and prayers and darkest moments have led me here- to the most amazing child. I am blessed! I have a wonderful husband, who has put up with my moods and being the "door mat" for my emotions. He's healthy. I'm healthy. I have a wonderful family and amazing friends who support and love us. Most of all, I have my Father in Heaven, who has promised to love me and never leave my side. He has walked through the darkest valleys of this journey with me and no matter how many times I have pulled away and grown angry with Him, He still loves me and never gives up on me. I have so much!

I had the opportunity to attend Winter Jam (hence the additions to my playlist- already LOVED Kutless, but Francesca Bastistelli was there and cool) this past weekend and volunteer by helping sign people up to sponsor children through our adoption agency, Holt International. Talk about a humbling experience. I've been dwelling in my own pain and misery and have only wanted to see one small corner of the picture that God has painted for us. I've been stuck in my own gloom and haven't wanted to see any other perspective...not even Liam's.

But, there is a much bigger picture. Only God knows why we're experiencing these delays now. I have to trust that He knows what he's doing. That's hard to do, because I don't like feeling powerless. I want to be able to make things happen, but that's not how this process works. God who sees all and knows all, has chosen to delay Aidan's homecoming for a bit. I don't know why, but I know that He would never put us through added pain, if it were not for a VERY good reason. So, that's it. I'm letting go and putting my full faith in God and in our incredible adoption agency who has an excellent reputation and has done so much good for thousands of orphans and children at risk around the world.

It's not easy, but it's worth it.

I love you SO much, sweet Aidan.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Children Of God" Video

Thanks to my awesome sister (and many others) for emailing me this video. I've been a fan of the song since I first heard it, but seeing the video for the first time brought tears to my eye. I'm so thankful for a God that adopted me and thus provided the example for us in adopting our own son. Miss and love you little guy.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My baby is 8 months today

HaPpY BiRtHdAy, AiDaN!!!!
I'm having a really hard time lately. I miss my little guy SO much! I knew that coming home without him would be difficult, but I thought that knowing that we're one step closer to bringing him home would help soften the blow. I feel like a huge hole has been torn from my chest. My little boy is on the other side of the world and there's nothing that I can do about it. I'm not there to cuddle with him, or sing him lullabies. I can't even comfort him when he's crying. Worst yet, is the uncertainty of this new change with the embassy. At least before I had the hope of returning to Ethiopia in a month. Now, I have nothing. We're in limbo. STUCK! I'm frustrated and heartbroken and stressed all at the same time. My baby is so far away and I don't know when we're going to bring him home. I'm trying desperately to cling to God during this time, but I'll be honest, it's hard. How can God who loves us so much, keep our son from us?

I had such hopes for bringing him home by Mother's Day and now that looks more and more like it's not going to happen. We lost our first baby on April 14th, 2009 and our third April 16th of the following year. Our second, we lost on May 6th of 2009. Needless to say, this time of year is REALLY difficult. I wanted to finally have some good memories to fill the deep gash that the pain of the past has caused. Instead, it looks like I'll be spending another Mother's Day without my child. Please, oh please, God bring our son home to us.

Our layover in Germany...

Liam and I had an AMAZING time in Ethiopia. We had mixed feelings about leaving. On one hand, we knew we were leaving Aidan behind, but we knew that this was an inevitable step to bringing him home. At one point, I told Liam that I felt like with every second we were getting further and further from our son, but he reminded me that we were actually closer to bringing him home now. We were feeling pretty down about leaving and were NOT looking forward to the 10 hour layover in Frankfurt, Germany. They have a nice airport there, but there's only so much time that we can waste between flights. We checked and since American citizens are not required to have a visa to visit Germany, we decided to do a bit of sightseeing. Here's some pictures we took. Oh, funny story, Liam is usually warm by nature and since we were visiting Ethiopia during their summer, he only packed shorts and t-shirts (with a pair of pants for court). We packed all of our clothes that we weren't wearing in our checked luggage on the way home. So, Liam had to buy a sweater at the airport to avoid freezing in the winter air of Germany. I think he was the only person walking around the city in shorts! If Germans didn't think Americans were crazy before, they definitely do now. I tried to tell them that Liam is Irish (sorry all our Irish friends and relatives), but I don't think it helped. :)

Isn't my hair gorgeous? What can I say, it was windy and COLD!!!!!!