How Long We Have Been A Family!

Count Down To Nate's 4th Birthday!

Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers

Friday, May 30, 2008

How my doggy feels about all the packing...

...wait until he meets the new addition to our family!

Update From The Transition Home!

Here are the new pictures and what Rachel said about my son:

"Mesfin is getting really big! He loves to be held and sometimes cries when he wants to be held. The nannies have some funny observations about Mesfin..."
"First, they say he has really cute hands! His fingers and nails are long, and they love it. Second, they love his chest. They say it looks muscular."

"As for napping, Mesfin sleeps well at night but during the day he only takes very short naps."

I am just amazed that I will get to see, hold and kiss my son so soon! This is fueling the fire in me for MORE PACKING!!!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Have you seen my ticker??????

Umm, did you notice that there is less than 2 weeks until we leave for Ethiopia??? 2 weeks from tomorrow is "Gotcha Day"!!!

I have been trying to check things off my MASSIVE to-do list. Yesterday afternoon and today I scrubbed every inch of my house and vacuumed everything in sight...no, but really, EVERYTHING. Yesterday I had my husband holding the vacuum in the air while I vacuumed the ceiling fans. Today I spent over 4 hours (I am not exaggerating) vacuuming our couch...my husband says I am nesting. :-) I think I am ok with that!

What is even more exciting is that we got the plane ticket for Nathaniel Mesfin in the mail! It is amazing to see his name on a plane ticket!!!

So here is our flight itinerary:

  • Leaving SeaTac International Airport on Saturday, June 7th @ 7:20 AM
  • Arrive at Dulles International Airport on Saturday, June 7th @ 3:16 PM
  • Leaving Dulles International Airport on Saturday, June 7th @ 8:30 PM
  • Arriving in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Sunday, June 8th @ 7 PM

==========================================================

  • Leaving Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Friday, June 13th @10:15 PM
  • Arriving Dulles International Airport on Saturday, June 14th @ 7:55 AM
  • Leaving Dulles International Airport on Saturday, June 14th @ 3:36 PM
  • Arriving at SeaTac International Airport on Saturday, June 14th @ 6:12 PM

We are actually leaving our home on Wednesday afternoon, June 4th, and driving up to Washington to see my family before we leave for Ethiopia!

I promise to post pictures of the packing soon! I actually am having to constantly re-evaluate Nathaniel's luggage again for space (for donations to the Transition Home and gifts for the nannies/guides). We went from only taking 2 luggage pieces total, to taking 2 per person!

Happy week to y'all!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Video of our son!

Thanks to the Harbaugh family who were recently in Ethiopia, we have just a short video of our son!

It begins with a tour of the Transition home, where our son is staying, and then ends with 2 clips of him.

I will warn you, in the last clip, he is wearing a jean dress...not sure how I feel about that. :-)

Love,
Holly

Monday, May 19, 2008

Introducing Nathaniel Mesfin West...and my 100th post!!!!!



These top 3 were taken by a family who traveled in March.


Our referral pictures.

I will be adding the others to the layout of my blog. Happy 100th post!

WE FINALLY HAVE TRAVEL DATES!!!

We are so excited to announce that we have booked our travel for Ethiopia!

We are leaving Saturday, June 7th and returning Friday, June 13th!

I promise to have pictures posted by tonight. Check back soon....OH and my pictures will be my 100th post!!!!!!!!!! :-)

Love,
Holly

Friday, May 16, 2008

What My Car Said Today



Could summer be here finally?!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Still Waiting...

For those of you wondering where the pictures are, we are still waiting for confirmation that they received our approval document. It seems like we are once again caught up in the power shortage problem which is hindering the government agencies work and the communication back to our ageny in the states.

Please continue to pray about this. We are praying that we will know more before the weekend.

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Picture Posting Delay...Sorry!

We have not posted pictures yet (as you can see). The email from Terra said: You will need to wait until it has been verified that the approval document has been given to our staff in ET before posting pictures.

With the energy problems they are having, I am still hoping we will get confirmation today...and hopefully know our travel dates?!?!?!

Can this all be real?!? I feel like I am still dreaming!
I PROMISE to post pictures as soon as I can!
Love,
Holly

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Court Date Success!!

At about 2:30 PM this afternoon, we got the wonderful news that our court case was approved! They are waiting for documentation, which I am assuming they need to schedule an Embassy appointment (so we can book travel).

Please be patient with me, as I plan to post pictures of my little guy very soon.

In the meantime, I would like to tell you a little about my son:

He was born January 8th, 2008 -- yep that's right, he is 4 months old! The paperwork states that he was reliquished about 8 days after his birth. For the privacy of our son, the details will be confidential for him to share when he decides.

His given name is Mesfin (meaning "Duke"). We are not sure if it was given by his mother or by the orphanage.

We are naming him Nathaniel Mesfin West.

This afternoon was full of calling family, friends and church family sharing our miracle news. I uploaded pictures for 1 hour photo to make our little "brag" book. I considered sharing them with everyone in Walmart, but decided not to. :-)

We celebrated tonight at Hog Wild BBQ with a great group of friends and family.
Despite all the excitement, my heart has been hurting very much for another family who did not have a successful court date. Andrea & I have spoken a couple times on the phone, and she has been such an encouragement to me. Please pray for the Kidd family as their case is brought to court again next week.

Lots of Love and Starbucks coffee!

Holly

Monday, May 12, 2008

Court Update...

Here is the email we received from our director in Ethiopia:

Hello Families,

Girmachew has been told to appear again tomorrow at court. This is because letters of recommendations didn’t reach court from MOWA. We have followed up with MOWA and they have let us know that they weren’t able to print out letters due to power outage (power is currently rationed through out the city). They have informed us that the letters should be sent to the judge first thing tomorrow. I shall contact you as soon as we get a response tomorrow.

In Christ,

Duni Zenaye
Africa Program Director


So...1 more day. Please pray that this will be the last delay.
Love,
Holly

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Best Mother's Day Present Ever!!!

I just wanted to share something so amazing that my hubby did for me today. He had bought me 2 Mother's Day cards (this is my 1st Mother's Day!) and I thought that was strange. Although, sometimes he does this cause he can't choose. I opened the 1st one, and it was a "To My Mommy" card he bought and signed from our son! I burst into tears and was so amazed at how blessed I was to have such an incredible husband!
So, tonight is the night! Court date take 2 happens while we are sleeping. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement this week.
Love,
Holly

Monday, May 5, 2008

Taking A Break

I will be offline for several days this week...on purpose. The last several weeks of waiting I have been "addicted" to email, blogs and updates.

Paul & I are taking this opportunity to get away just the 2 of us. Despite our disappointment from today, I am excited about having some R & R with my hubby.

I will be back in full force and, hopefully, my next post will be pictures of my little boy!

Have a happy week!
Holly

Court Date Re-scheduled :-(

Here is the email we just received from our Program Director:

Dear Families-

I am disappointed to have to be sending this news, but due to two federal holidays falling in the same week, your new court date will be May 12th. Officials at court were not able to process anyone’s case. We will do everything on our part to have you travel as quickly as possible after this court date.

Blessings,

Duni Zenaye
Africa Program Director


We also received this update about why it took so long to get any information:
In an effort to conserve energy there have been power outages in Addis Ababa, where all power is turned off for certain periods of time. Due to this, communication with Duni while she is in Ethiopia has been very challenging. Emails and even phone calls have become very limited. Because of this, we are asking families to please be patient and understanding knowing that we are trying to do all that we can to relay important information.

I cannot even put into words how I am feeling right now....

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Asking for Prayer

Tonight when we are sleeping, the Ethiopia court will be deciding the fate of our little Nathaniel. I haven't been sleeping well all week thinking about this day coming. I am excited and scared, and nervous and scared, and hopeful, and scared...did I mention I was scared?! Scared of the unknown and scared of being a mom all at the same time. I am sure there are many who have felt this way...

Paul made the official announcement from the pulpit this morning and we showed the church pictures. It was exciting and scary (there's that word again!), as we have now invited our church on the emotional roller coaster with us (again, see post on October 7th). We know the risks, but really wanted to have our church interceeding on Nathaniel's and our behalf.

Can I ask you a favor? Will you please remember to pray before you go to bed tonight? We are not sure exactly what time the court date it, but we do know that Ethiopia is 10 hours ahead of us in Oregon. This means that when it is 10PM our time, it will be 8AM in Ethiopia.

If all goes well (please, Lord!) we will be updating and posting pictures in the morning.

Love you all,
Holly

1 Day and Exactly 1 Year!

So, today marks 1 Day until court and exactly 1 Year since we start the paperchase for Ethiopia!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

What I Woke Up To This Morning!

Paul & I were up late last night, he was working on the yard and burning, and I was washing and organizing Nathaniel's clothes for packing. 2 more days until Court!

At about 12:30 AM I got up to check on the fire pit, and I saw a man out there! I freaked out and woke up my hubby. He quietly looked outside, and laughed when he saw that my best friend and 2 other youth staff members had "blessed us" with toilet paper! Yes, that's right, our yard, porch and van looked like the Charmin factory blew up! We caught the culprits in the act, (well they dropped the rest of the toilet paper and ran) and Paul insisted that he clean it up. I know it sounds funny, but I look at this as a sign that these people really like us!

I didn't get any pictures of it because night pictures don't really turn out that well.

Fast forward to this morning...

Because we were up late (until about 2 AM) waiting for them to come back again, I slept in. When I came out to the living room, looked out the window and discovered this:


All the effort they put into their prank is reduced to a pile of gross toilet tissue! Luckily, we got several unused rolls out of the deal! :-)

I am not sure if you can tell, but we need a ladder to get the TP off our poor tree.