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Friday, August 31, 2012

Doctor visit

Monday was Sanai's visit with the International Adoption Clinic at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.  She did really great on the car ride there, she slept most of the way!  When we got there we checked in and waited to be called back.  She happily sat in her car seat in the waiting room.

I was asked a lot of questions about her behavior and sleeping habits.  She has nights where she sleeps from 8pm until 5:30-6am and then other nights where she wakes up two or three times.  I hadn't realized that perhaps when she was at the orphanage/transition house that she was woken up for a scheduled nightly feeding.  The doctor said that the bottle might be her "pacifier" and be the thing that gets her back to sleep.  I had been giving her a bottle right before bed so she suggested we do a feeding, then do bath time, then put her to sleep so she can learn to fall asleep on her own.  Since we don't really have a routine down yet this is what we have been working on the past few days.

The doctor also suggested we start her on rice cereal and slowly introduce fruits and vegetables since she's 6 months.  She's slowly learning how to swallow solids and that weird spoon in her mouth that she's not used to.  We introduced sweet potatoes on Wednesday and they've been a hit!

I was actually really proud of myself because Micah has been home sick the past few days and I was able to take care of him, keep the house clean, give Sanai a lot of attention and while she was playing/napping I whipped up a batch of homemade sweet potatoe baby food!  I made a lot of Micah's baby food when he was little because it's SOO much cheaper, really easy and you know exactly what it's got in it.  I peeled, chunked and boiled the potatoes in water on the stove.  Then put the soft potatoes in the blender along with some of the water and poured what would fit into an ice cube tray and the rest in small containers that I put in the freezer.

Consider how much food this is (ice cube tray not shown, but full in the freezer!) for $2.40.  Imagine how many jars that is!!  I'll be on the look out for peaches, carrots, squash and apples when they go on sale.  My blender doesn't blend peas, green beans or meats (when she's ready) very smoothly so I always buy those jars...with coupons of course! ha ha

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Where to begin, what an awesome week this has been.  We landed Wednesday night in Nashville and were greeted by family and friends.  I was so glad to be home, we had been flying and in airports for the past 24 hours.  We found out Tuesday morning when we went to leave Addis Ababa that Ethiopia's Prime Minister had died.  When we went to the airport his body was arriving so we had a two hour layover.  Not too bad, and Sanai was asleep.  It made our layover less in Washington.

We then flew from Washington DC to Charlotte, NC and then from Charlotte to Nashville.  And Sanai never cried ONE time on any of the flights. God knew I needed an easy child!  She's seriously so precious and so sweet.  She never stops smiling :)

First time in a car seat!

She's really adjusted well to the new time change and all the people.  She's not used to having so much attention and I was worried that she might get fussy or over stimulated but so far she has been good.  My parents leave tomorrow so I'll officially be on my own and we are headed to Nashville for her first doctors appointment at the International Adoption Clinic.

Today was a great day though, we had our baby shower at a local church and we had a great time.  We decided to bring Sanai the last 30 minutes to let everyone see her.  She did really well!  Once we got through all the gifts that we received we decided to head to dinner.  She sat in her car seat the whole time and was perfectly content.  After we got home she got a bath, lotion and pajamas.  She seems to really enjoy a warm bottle and falls right to sleep at night. I don't have to rock her or hold her, she just goes right to sleep.  At night when she wakes up I just feed her a bottle and lay her back down and she goes right back to sleep.

Taking a snooze in her crib
I think she's so used to sleeping with a blanket over her face in Ethiopia that she pulls the blanket over her face sometimes.  They put the thin blankets over babies faces in Ethiopia to keep the flies out of their eyes and mouth.  Flies commonly carry diseases so this is to help prevent that. 

More updates and pictures coming soon...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Welcome Home Party & Baby Shower Details

I'm not even exaggerating when I say we had quite a bit of homework that went along with this adoption. Shortly after we signed on with our agency we were mailed a large box with probably 20 books and workbooks in it.  We had assignments, excerpts we had to read and questions we had to answer.

The majority of this homework prepares you for the aftermath.  We get home...then what?  The books talk about bonding and behaviors.  Bringing home an adopted child is NOTHING similar to bringing home a new born - contrary to what many have expressed to me who know nothing about adoption.  She is more than likely going to experience stimulation overload, just as we would if we are all the sudden taken to a foreign country with none of our weekly tv shows and McDonald's that we are used to. 

For her, the air will be different, the sounds, the people, the smells, the language.  She'll have to adjust to new people taking care of her, a new kid running around like a Power Ranger, and a completely new time zone to get used to.  Our homework we completed has prepared us to try to make this transition as easy as possible for her.

Some of these transitions include hunkering down for a week or two in our home, not having a lot of guests/new people so she can get used to us.  She needs to learn that we are her new Mommy and Daddy and that we are there to take care of her.  The experts suggest that only Mommy and Daddy feed her a bottle or change her clothes and diaper because those are her most immediate, intimate needs and if everyone through the house is doing those will she learn who she can trust?

We want to make sure that she adjusts appropriately and that she bonds to Tommy and I as much as possible while I'm able to be off work and give her my undivided attention, so we wanted to communicate to people that we won't be in hiding but when we feel it is right, we will show her off and bring her out for everyone to see.  Specifially, we are asking for no house guests for at least two weeks after we are home.

In turn, we want to invite everyone to greet us when we land in Nashville!  Our plane will land on Wednesday, August 22nd at 4:30pm (pending no delays).  We will be flying US Airways from Charlotte, NC.  Anyone who is free and would like to come out and welcome us home is more than welcome!! 

We are also having a baby shower hosted by Tammy Young on Sunday, August 26th from 2-4pm at the Central Church of Chris Annex at 101 E Morford St in McMinnville.  EVERYONE is invited, I think they are even putting it in the paper. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Something amazing happened last Friday.  I got an email from our Director saying that we had cleared the Embassy and we could go pick up our daughter!  After I got done freaking out I called Tommy to share the news.  Neither of us expected this news at all.  The Embassy has been taking a very long time to clear cases.  We had only been submitted 1 week - did you hear me...ONE WEEK!!  GOD IS GOOD :)

Our US Embassy appointment is Tuesday Aug 14th. This is where our lawyer in Ethiopia will go sign some papers on our behalf.  We will be leaving on Saturday Aug 18th to Washington and will hop on a flight to Ethiopia on the 19th.  With such short notice, booking flights has been a nightmare but in the grand scheme of things we don't really care.  WE CAN'T WAIT TO HOLD OUR DAUGHTER AGAIN - THIS TIME FOREVER!!

I'll post more news at it comes in and some details about the "Welcome Home" party we plan to have at the Nashville aiport when we land.  I can't thank everyone enough for their love and support throughout this process.

Here's a new picture we got this past weekend.  Hold on Sanai, Mommy and Daddy are coming :)