Aidan Birhanu Miller Robinson

Monday, January 31, 2011

Lessons learned from George Clooney...

Don't get Malaria!

I went today to get my prescription for the Malaria vaccine. We were originally going to go without since we were planning to stay in Addis the whole trip. With the new requirement that we travel south, it became clear that we would need to plan to get immunized for Malaria too (Addis has an extremely high elevation, but once you leave that area, the elevation drops). I was warned to get the daily dose prescription and NOT the one that you take once a week. From what I've heard that medication can cause night terrors, hallucinations, and anxiety attacks. Not fun! Hopefully, I won't have any problems. I start taking the medication 2 days before we leave, so it may be a good idea to avoid me (especially if you see me foaming from the mouth). LOL.

On an interesting note, the doctor that I saw is from Ghana. Liam was very impressed with this and asked if she was taking new patients, could she be Aidan's primary doctor even if she's not a pediatrician. She agreed. I feel good about it because there are pediatricians in the office with her. Plus, she's aware of the different parasites and diseases that are prevalent in Africa, so she'll be able to address these needs should Aidan have medical issues when he comes home. Finally, it's one more African person, one more black face, for Aidan to know. The more that I look at our world, the more that I'm aware that Liam and I need to add diversity. It's too important for Aidan's identity to take lightly.

Happy Birthday, Aidan

Aidan was 6 months on Saturday (January 29th). It's hard to believe that our little boy is half a year old already and we've never met. We love you sweet baby boy and can't wait to spend MANY more birthdays together.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Health Update on our sweet baby boy!

We just got another health update on Aidan! Still no new pictures :(. It was taken on December 3rd, so he would have been 18 weeks old at the time (he’ll be 26 weeks tomorrow). He was 23.6 inches, and weighed 11.7 pounds. It still seems like his weight is a little lower than average, but he’s made gains from his 8.2 pounds at 6 weeks. Any mamas want to weigh in on their experience? I looked at the baby growth chart for boys and he's in the 10th percentile for height and not quite the fifth percentile for weight. As milestones, it was listed that he laughs during play (made me cry when I read that), brings objects to mouth and bears some weight on foot. He can also roll from his stomach to back. The only thing that his assessment said that he wasn’t doing yet was reaching for objects (the assessment was for a child 3-5 months, so I think that’s not developmentally appropriate yet, right?). Anyway, excited for some new news!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This is Aidan's full name in Amharic (Aidan B_______ Miller Robinson). If you're interested, you can find how to write your child's name in Amharic at

Monday, January 24, 2011

Every Child Deserves a Home

Another moving video from our adoption agency, Holt International.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Visas~ CHECK

We mailed our visa applications today. We should have them back (along with our passports) within the next couple of weeks. Yay, just one step closer to Aidan!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

So, where are we at?...

We booked our airline tickets!

We leave Springfield on Friday, March 4th. Our first layover will be in Chicago (let's pray for good weather) and then from there we will fly onto Frankfurt, Germany on Saturday, March 5. We have a 2-hour layover in Germany and then we'll fly onto Addis Ababa from there. We should arrive in Ethiopia on that same day, March 5th. Of course, the flight will be MUCH longer when you take in account the time change.

On Sunday, we're supposed to meet with the other families traveling for court and have an orientation where we'll learn the dos and don'ts while in Ethiopia. They'll go over our legal documents at that time too and prepare us for the court process. We'll have a traditional Ethiopian dinner that evening with our group.

On Monday, we'll travel to meet Aidan! The trip is between 6-7 hours. We'll have about 2-3 hours with Aidan. Then we'll eat lunch and make the journey back to Addis.

Sometime during our trip we're also supposed to meet with the pediatrician to discuss any questions we might have about Aidan's health reports. We don't, but it's great to have this assurance.

On Tuesday, we'll have a brief tour and do some shopping. Eat lunch and then appear for our court date. We hope to hear the words, "He is yours". The whole process at court is only supposed to take 5 minutes or so. From there, we will board a plane back home WITHOUT Aidan. This is going to be the toughest part. :(

We leave Ethiopia on Tuesday evening, March 8th and arrive in Germany on March 9th. We'll have a 6-hour layover (yuck) and then fly into Denver. From there we'll fly home to Springfield and should arrive at 11:00pm on Wednesday, March 9th.

Exciting, huh?!?

I've also scheduled the appointments for our immunizations. This is a lovely list of the vaccines that we'll be receiving (all well worth it to bring our baby home):
Yellow Fever
Hepititis A and B

I have to go to two different clinics, because the malaria vaccine requires a physician's approval. It's a bit of a pain, but it feels great to have it scheduled and "on the books". Yay, one more step done!

So, last, we're getting everything ready to send off for our Visas. We hope to have that done and ready to mail off tomorrow or on Friday.

I think that's about it. We have a conference call with Holt on February 18th. This will be a time for them to tell us more news and for us to ask even more questions. Whew!

It's starting to feel VERY real now!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Just because...

they're the cutest kids EVER. Along with Aidan, we have one adorable family!

Jake Brower

Ella Alese

Ava Rose

New Update from Holt

Well, we received some news this week. To tell the truth, I haven't really had a great deal of time to digest everything, so I'm not sure if it's good news or bad. Any change is difficult, and we've been through A LOT of change with the Ethiopian Adoption Program. By far, the biggest change was going from one trip to two, then we dealt with court closings during the rainy months of August and September. Though our referral for Little A came within the estimated time frame, we had a delay with the courts assigning us a court date. This whole process is new for us (and since there is now a requirement to travel twice, all of the adoptive families), so anything that rocks the boat, throws all of us into momentary panic.

I never know how much information is too much to share or what Holt would prefer that we not post on our blogs, so I'm going to just summarize a few of the changes.

Since the two-trip requirement became required, children have traveled from whatever rural area they are from (most are from Durame-the southern region, like Aidan) to the capital city of Addis Ababa before their parents make the first trip for court. From what we have been told, this will no longer be the case. Children will remain in the initial care center while their parent attends court. We will travel 6 hours to Durame (the southern region of Ethiopia) to see Aidan (not sure yet whether this will be before or after our court session on March 8th, though I suspect before). We've been told that we will have about two hours to spend with Aidan on this trip.

Okay, so what are my feelings? Honestly, I'm not concerned that we'll have to travel further to see our child. In fact, for Aidan it will probably be better. He's been at one orphanage thus far and has no doubt bonded to most of the caregivers there. He's had enough transition and upheaval in his short life. Yes, he will still be transferred from Durame to Addis Ababa, but not until right before we go over to pick him up on our second trip. I feel more at ease knowing that he'll be in the same care center for the majority of the time now...the same faces, smells, sounds, sights, etc. that he's become used to. Liam and I also LOVE to travel. We would have seen Durame on our second trip, but now we'll not only see it then, but on our first trip too. Best of all, we'll see the region that Aidan is from and get to take pictures of him there.

Now, only seeing him for two hours on that first trip will be hard. However, from what I've read of other's that have already traveled and met their children in Addis, this is common. Yes, they got to see their children twice, but the second visit was usually for only 30-40 minutes, just to say good-bye. So, all and all, I'm okay with this change.

There has also been a change in some of the testing that Aidan will receive before our court date. Because he'll remain in the rural area of Durame longer, and the medical care is far less sophisticated, he will not receive some of the more advanced testing for infectious diseases until after our court date. This, I don't feel as comfortable talking about in such a public forum. Thus far we have been so blessed. Aidan is healthy and has tested negative for everything, that's all that matters. In the only photos that we have of him (taken when he was about 6 weeks old), he is alert, with a healthy glow and looks very strong! We trust that God will provide us with the information that He wants us to have, when He wants us to have it. We have faith in our adoption agency that they are looking into a solution to this issue. As one of our new blog friends wrote, "He is ours and we are his and that is that. Test or no test, he is our son."

In other news, we've mailed off our travel release forms to Holt. We're looking into plane tickets to Ethiopia now. More than likely, with the new changes, our trip will be a bit longer than we previously planned for. How long, we're not quite sure yet.

Our next steps are:
1. Secure airline tickets
2. Apply for a VISA to enter Ethiopia
3. Get all of our immunizations- OUCH! (and expensive)

Hope this fills everyone in on where we are at currently. Still so thrilled to be seeing our little boy in exactly 2 months! Please, oh please, let the time fly between now and then.

Merry Christmas, Aidan!

No, I've not gone batty. It's Christmas Day in Ethiopia. Here's wishing our little guy a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS. We love you sweet boy! Melkam Genna, Aidan.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

More Good News...

Our I-171H paperwork (approval to bring an orphan into the United States) is in Ethiopia. This is a necessary form that must be at the U.S Embassy in Ethiopia before we can travel a second time to bring Aidan home. Yay!!! One less thing to worry about.

Monday, January 3, 2011

I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears (Isaiah 38:5)

We have a court date!!!!!!

March 8th

I can't believe that we finally know the date when we'll meet our little boy for the first time (March 7th). I'm so glad that I wrote my earlier post, because now I know what that "feeling of peace" was. Liam and I are so overjoyed and excited! It's amazing to think that in 2 short months, 8 weeks, 61 days we'll board a plane and travel across the world to meet our baby boy. How can someone so small, inspire a love this big?!?

We're coming to you, Little A. Mommy and Daddy will be there before you know it!

So thankful...

No, this is the not the post that I was hoping to write about news of your court date, but it's still praiseworthy.

I love my church family! Yesterday Liam and I stood up to announce our anniversary. It's something fun our church does for birthdays and anniversaries and then the congregation sings to the person or couple celebrating. Anyway, as we were returning back to our seats, our pastor asked us to share what news we had about our adoption. If you've been reading my blog, then you know that I'm really frustrated that we do not have a court date yet. My pastor asked the whole congregation to be praying for us and Aidan (he also joked a bit with Liam about Aidan's Irish funny). After the service, so many of our friends approached us with well wishes and hugs. It was so comforting. Marc and Staci Baker (who adopted a little girl this past year from Napal) gave us a candle that someone had given them when they were going through the adoption process. It says, "Be still and know that I am God (Psalms 46:10)." What a reminder of His Mighty Sovernty over our lives and one that I desparately need. Last night as I was praying, a peace came over me. I still don't know when we'll have news of a court date, but I trust that God is in control. It's in His timing and since I know that His timing is better than any plans that I may have, I know that Aidan will come home when he's meant to be here. Please keep us and our little boy in your prayers. 2011 is going to be an awesome year for us!