How Long We Have Been A Family!

Count Down To Nate's 4th Birthday!

Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers

Monday, June 30, 2008

A day in the life of little Nathaniel...

After a weekend of recouping from the hospital, today (Monday) was a busy day.

We began with a Memorial service for a dear church member, George Hill. George and his wife Phyllis have been such a wonderful support to Paul & I here. I truly value the friendship we have with them.

Nathaniel did really good and loved the attention everyone gave him. It was so wonderful to see our church family lovin' on my little boy! These people have prayed fervently for us and Nathaniel.

Right after the service we rushed over to Medford for the follow up blood tests. We spent several hours running errands afterward, praying that the results were good.

The doctor's office called to let us know that his lab results were GREAT! So GREAT that they rescheduled our doctor's appointment for Thursday afternoon, to allow for a repeat lab in the morning. Paul & I are so relieved with this outcome! We are praying for more good news on Thursday!

Nathaniel was quite cranky this afternoon, due to the fact that his "schedule" was a little messed up. Not so much the feeding schedule, but the napping schedule. Trust me, boy needs his naps and bottles or he is NOT happy! :-)

Now on to the pictures:

I have been very anxious to introduce rice cereal to Nathaniel...not sure why, but I really wanted to start it. I have tried twice before tonight and he has NOT liked it at all!

After his last bottle of the night, I decided to try again. This time he LOVED it! The proof is in the pictures!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Weekend Pictures

Just chillin' with daddy

Meeting his other Great-Grandma for the first time. (I promise she isn't pinching him!) :-)

Bathtime with momma!

Friday, June 27, 2008

One more thing...

I almost forgot to mention. He weighed in at 15 lbs 1 oz on Monday evening when we checked in. This morning he weighed in at 16 lbs 13 oz! He is definitly feeling better and eating better!!!

Home Sweet Home

I have never been more happy to be home as I am today! As you can see I am not the only one!!!

This mornings blood draw showed the potassium level right about 1/2 in the middle of the normal range! His carbon dioxide level made it into the 20s, so on the low end of normal, but normal enough for us to go home!

We have follow up labs and appointment with the doctor on Monday to make sure everything is still going in the right direction.
Have I mentioned how glad I am to be home?!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I Love Ya! Tomorrow! You're Only A Day Away! (Maybe?!)

The Good News: Nathaniel's Carbon Dioxide levels are up 2 points.
The Bad News: They are still several points under normal. (Normal is in the 20s, his are at 18)

The Good News: The Doctor said we possibly could go home tomorrow.
The Bad News: This will be the 3rd time we have been told this. All depends on if his levels continue to rise.

The Good News: After over 2 weeks of changing horrible blow out diapers, my son's diapers are almost "normal".
The Bad News: My son LOVES to fill them there diapers! Whew!
The Good News: We continue to bond and fall more and more in love with the most adorable little boy ever.
The Bad News: Uh...hmm can't think of anything bad about that! :-)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More Information

So, the doctor has started Nathaniel on Sodium Bicarbonate to fight the acidosis. It is a 4 dose treatment and he has already finished 2 doses tonight.
They will be taking more blood tomorrow to see the results. It is *very possible* that we could go home tomorrow as long as his levels cooperate, and he is able to maintain the levels without the IV.
Meanwhile, I am seeing my happy, smiley, silly little boy come back to life! We can tell he is feeling better and it is so encouraging so see his face light up.

This picture was taken after we discovered a rash around his next. We think it was the fire retardent that is on the hospital gown. We gave him a bath to clean any off his skin and are now swaddling him tightly in warm blankets.

Update from the Pediatric Ward

Thank you for all your prayers and comments! It has been so encouraging to read!

This morning's blood draw was about 50% good. The potassium level continues to rise higher into the normal range! We are very happy about this. On the other hand, the carbon dioxide level is still the same. :-( This means he will stay on the IV for now and we just have to wait.

This afternoon we had the Respiratory Therapist come and do a blood gas test. The results determined Acidosis (click on the word to read a definition). The next plan is to give him sodium bicarbonate (orally). We have yet to have that happen, but are hoping they will do it soon. Afterwards they plan to just monitor him and hopefully his levels will go back to normal.

Until then, we are still here at the hospital. *sigh*

Please pray with us for our little boy. We love him SOOOO much and the last thing we want is for him to be sick.

I will update more later.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nathaniel's in the hospital...please pray

Yesterday afternoon, after the lab drew blood, the doctor's office called to let us know that the doctor wanted to see him ASAP because of a test result having to do with Potassium.

I was concerned by the urgency of the doctors office, in fact, we were about 10 minutes from home and they asked us to take the next exit, turn around and come back.
The doctor said that his Potassium level was low and she was concerned by his lethargy due to dehydration. This was enough of a concern that they decided to admit him into the hospital.

I have to tell you, I was in shock. It all happened so fast and I was absolutely scared to death.

They started him on an IV immediately and then switched to an IV with more Potassium. After drawing blood at 6PM, Midnight and 6AM, the level rose a little, but not significantly.

Surprisingly he slept pretty well last night except for the blood draws.

Today was pretty up and down. Probably the most frustrating part was when it was time for the blood draw this afternoon. The person who came in for the blood draw was lucky they didn't get a couple of hits in the head. He seemed very unsure of what he was doing and spent WAY too much time trying to find the vein once the needle was already inside my son's arm! I was so upset! Everyone before him who has done the same job has been amazing! After deciding to not try poking again, the guy decided to poke his heal and try to get it that way. The nurse was unhappy with this choice and decided to leave. Paul couldn't handle anymore either.
The guy pokes his heal and proceeded to squeeze the heck out of his foot for a good 5 minutes. It was a nightmare! The worst part: the blood sample wasn't accurate enough so it had to be redone anyway! Needless to say, this will NEVER happen again! My little Nathaniel is already having a tough time.
The redone blood draw showed the Potassium level on the low end of normal. A small miracle, but there is more...his Carbon Dioxide level/PH level/acidosis (please forgive me for not quite understanding all the medical lingo) has actually gone down. This is a concern, as it has been rising, like it should and then suddenly dropped.
At this point, the doctor said we *might* be able to go home tomorrow as long as everything turns out "normal" in the morning and he can maintain without the IV throughout the day. It looks more like we could be here longer...
I am so thankful for all the help people have given us! We haven't been home since Monday morning!

Thank you to Melisma for helping us so much for Chewy, packing us clothes, making sure we are eating and watering our flowers :-). Thank you to Paul's parents and sister, Brian, Vicki & Shelli for bringing us supplies, more clothes and caring for details at our house. We are so thankful for you all! Not having to worry about these things have given us the ability to truly care for Nathaniel the best we can.
Thank you also to my dear family who long so to be here, but are with us in prayer during this time.

It is wonderful to have such an amazing group of family, friends and acquaintances all over the world praying for our family. We are truly blessed.
Please continue to pray.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday's hearing test and more labs

Today was Nathaniel's hearing test. He was SO good and mellow while they hooked him up with all these crazy things attached to him! He passed with flying colors in both ears!

Unfortunately, we had to go in for some more blood tests today too. He isn't happy about being poked with a needle.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Nathaniel is feeling better! :-) 6-21-08

We can tell that he is on the mend.
Side note: Chewy LOVES Nathaniel! He just licks and licks and licks and licks! He is very protective of him and is noticeably upset when he cries. Nathaniel is very interested in Chewy and doesn't seem quite sure what to make of this strange animal. It will be fun to watch their relationship progress as time goes on!

Nathaniel's got a fever :-( :-(...Third Doctor's Appointment 6-20-08

Thursday was relatively uneventful. The doctor allowed for us to slowly introduce formula again (we begged him after your lack of sleep the night before). I cared for Nathaniel while Paul worked hard to get the insurance figured out, since the medication was almost $100! We did, however, have to get an eye drop for Nathaniel...he has pink eye...ugh!!

Thursday night and Friday morning Nathaniel was running around 101 degree temperature. After calling the doctor, again, they had us come in, especially because the weekend was coming up.

Since Wednesday, Nathaniel has gone from 14lbs 9oz - to - 15lbs 1oz. I was very happy to see him gaining weight, even if it was just a little bit!

The doctor didn't think there was a bacteria infection causing the fever, but probably just Nathaniel's little body reacting to new surroundings and new germs. We are just to keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't get too high (103 -105).

The medication that were are giving Nathaniel for the parasite is really strong and could be hard on his stomach (not so good since his tummy is already not happy). It also makes him REALLY drowsy. The little happy, silly boy has disappeared for a short time.

I feel so helpless not being able to make my son better...

Nathaniel's sick :-(...Second Doctor's Appointment 6-18-08

We had a tough night with Nathaniel, Tuesday, on into Wednesday morning. He stopped holding anything down and was continuing to have blowout diapers. We could tell something was very wrong and began realizing that he was becoming dehydrated.

Paul called the doctor first thing in the morning and took Nathaniel in. (I was dealing for a really bad head cold and fever, and some really bad stomach issues.)

Probably the most frightening part was discovering that since Tuesday's doctor appointment, he had lost over a pound. He went from 16lbs 1oz - to - 14lbs 9oz. The doctor immediatly put him on a Pedialyte regimen.

When Paul took him to the lab to draw blood for the tests, they had a hard time, mainly because he was dehydrated. He was not happy at all about being poked and threw up the Pedialyte.

After they were finished at the lab, Paul headed on back to the doctor. For the next 1+ hours it was .5 ounces of Pedialtye every 5 minutes, and no formula until Friday. While in the office, there was a parasite discovered in one of the stool samples turned into the lab. It was a parasite called "Cryptosporidium". The parasite is something that normal adults can pass on their own, however, a little baby with a not so good immune system cannot. This would explain a lot (i.e. blow out diapers, not holding down formula, etc.).

The doctor got on the phone with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss treatment and was able to find a liquid medication for it. It wasn't something common so it would take until Thursday to get the medication.

After holding down the Pedialyte, Paul brought Nathaniel home. We were in for a night of little sleep. The Pedialyte is not as filling as formula so he was up about every 2 hours...the joys of parenthood!

First Doctors Appointment 6-17-2008

Before we left for Ethiopia, we had scheduled a doctors appointment for the first full day we were home. After spending hours with our chosen Pediatrician before we left, we found out that he was going to be gone for the first 4 weeks that we were home...UGH!!!

So after consulting with another family in our town who adopted from China, we ended up at a place called Southern Oregon Pediatrics. The specific doctor we are seeing has experience with Internationally adopted children. Plus they are open on evenings and weekends (which we have been told is usually when you need them the most!).

Of course, I had to photograph Nathaniel's first official weighing and measuring in the US.

This is my long 26.8 inch baby boy!!!

Yes, you are reading right! He is 16 pounds, 1 ounce! He is a healthy baby boy!

**Note to future families: The last update I received from Rachel at the Transition Home (the first week of June) his length was listed as 22.5 inches. The weight of our son that we have received every month since April was 16 pounds. Just FYI to not rely 100% on the measurements that are taken.**

The doctor was WONDERFUL! I have so much confidence in him! He ordered several tests and set us as ease saying that the developmental delays right now are things that Nathaniel will quickly catch up on with the TLC he receives from us! :-)

There were 3 tests ordered that required stool samples (lovely, huh?). What we learned, when you need your kid to poop he won't! We tried hanging around town (about 20 miles from our home) and finally decided to go back for the lab tests the next day with all the necessary "stuff".

Going Home 6-16-08

Monday we all woke up early to hit the road to go home. It takes between 7-8 hours from where we were staying to our home in Southern Oregon.

After an emotional good bye with my mom, we took off.
I was very happy to find that Nathaniel loves his car seat. He is quick to go to sleep when the car is moving. I noticed that in Ethiopia. We stopped at Ray & Teresa Vanwetten's on the way home to drop off some pictures and foot tracings of your little girl.
When we pulled into our driveway around 7 PM, we were surprised by this

While we were gone, some of our close friends built this fence, planted new, beautiful flowers and mowed our lawn. We are overwhelmed by their kindness and generousity!

Inside the house was a group of our friends and Paul's family waiting to meet Nathaniel for the first time. It was so wonderful for all these people to see our son! They have prayed for him for months and love him already.

There really is no place like home! :-)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Father's Day 6-15-2008

We had the incredible privilege of spending some time with my dad on Father's Day last Sunday. My aunt & uncle had a get together at their house, just a short distance from the hotel we were staying at.

Nathaniel is the first grandson/great-grandson on my side of the family, and it seemed like such an important time to be with my family. Enjoy the pictures!
Grandpa and Nathaniel
Great Grandparents and Nathaniel
My sister, Auntie Heather, and Nathaniel
Great aunt Barb and Nathaniel (Nathaniel was loving the bright colors on her dress!)
My dad, his 2 Daughters and grandson.

Later on in the evening, we had several visitors at the hotel who were coming to meet Nathaniel. Nathaniel met his first official friend! These pictures are of our college friends from Montana, Rodney and Avrie Stock, and their 3 kids. Their youngest is just 1 month younger than Nathaniel!

This was also of course special because it was Paul's first Father's Day. It is so wonderful to see Paul with Nathaniel. He is such an amazing dad already and he has only just begun.

I snapped this picture of my two fellas taking a snooze.

Still Alive!

It has been over a week since I have posted a blog, so I have alot to catch you up on!

First of all, our travels home from Ethiopia were really ok. Nathaniel is such a trooper! The flight from Ethiopia to DC, all three of us slept majority of the time! Having the bassinet was just a lifesaver. The only snag we ran into was when we realized that the can or formula and the little Munchkin formula measurer was still in the overhead bin. ARG! We even tried to get someone to find it on the plane so our kid could such luck. Praise the Lord we had to get our bags to go through customs, and we had 4 cans in there!

We flew through customs and immigration in DC. I think it helped that we were going through at 8:30 AM and we seemed to be the only plane at the time. We didn't have to wait in line at all!

We had about an 8 hour layover in DC. At first I thought this was going to be horrible, but it was very nice to have several hours of not being on a moving vehicle!

Just like on our way to Ethiopia, our plane to Seattle was delayed about 1 hour because of a thunder and lightening storm. Strangely enough, the flight from DC to Seattle seemed SOOOO much longer than the Ethiopia to DC flight. We were all done with being on planes at that point anyway...especially Nathaniel, who threw up terribly on the plane. Poor kid.

When we began to descend into Seattle, I lost it. The thought of our travels being almost over was so overwhelming. I just cried.

My mom, dad, grandparents, sister and brother-in-law and some friends were there to meet us. These photos are courtesy of my brother-in-law, Alvin, who came to the airport to welcome us back on his 30th birthday! :-) Alvin posts all his pictures at here.

These are the proud Great-Grandparents (my grandparents)!

Nathaniel with Grandpa (my dad).

Getting to know Grandma (my mom).

Grandma & Great-Grandma

My mom and sister blessed us by putting us up in a hotel suite. It was so nice and they decorated it with pictures of Nathaniel, balloons and baby boy stuff! There were also a bunch of gifts from the people my mom works for! They threw her a baby shower for us!!! We are so blessed!

Stay tuned for more updates!



Friday, June 13, 2008

Final post from Ethiopia!

It seems so unreal that we are really leaving today!  I am SO EXCITED to go home!!!!
This morning we spent almost 3 hours at the US Embassy getting all of the proper documents and the Visa to go home!!  I am so thankful that everything worked out.  Ask me sometime about how much of a miracle it all is quite a story!
Here are some pictures of my little man!
See ya in the states!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I am absolutely weeping with joy as I write this post.
After this week of fighting so hard to make sure we get home on time, we just received confirmation that the corrected wire from the National Visa Center was received by the US Embassy!
I am overwhelmed and truly blessed!  PRAYER REALLY DOES WORK!!  If I could only express to you what Paul & I have been through this week with this extra stress, you would truly see the miracle in all of this!!  And through it all, we fall more and more in love with our son.  Nathaniel Mesfin is the reason we are here and I would do ANYTHING to make sure he is with us forever!
Again, THANK YOU for your prayers and love.  WE ARE COMING HOME TOMORROW!!!!! 

Smiley picture and bathtime!

I love my baby boy!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Thank you and more prayer requested!

I am overwhelmed by all the amazing encouragement in your comments.  I can't even begin to tell you what they have meant to us.
We are still working on the USCIS issue.  It seems that is may in fact be the National Visa Center's mistake.  Here is the email we received from our Program Director:

Dear Families,


I am working with the Congressional Coalition of Adoption Institute to resolve the issues both of you have run into. It is early in the day here so I am hopeful that it will be resolved in time for you to have what you need tomorrow. We are praying for you.


In Christ,


Duni Zenaye

Africa Program Director


Please pray with us for a miracle to happen!!!


Also, Paul is sick with a stomach bacterial infection.  He and Nathaniel Mesfin went to the hotel nurse today.  Paul was able to get a antibiotic.  She believe Mesfin has giardia.  Thankfully, we brought an antibiotic with us for him and have started him on it. I am hoping this will help him feel better.  It has been very obvious that his tummy is unhappy (diaper changes have been not to fun).


Please pray for all our health!

Love to you all!

My Smiley Boy

The best part of my day has been looking over at my son, locking eyes and seeing his smile!! He doesn't just smile with his mouth, he smiles will his whole body:  his gorgeous eyes, his beautiful mouth, his silly tongue (this is his #1 smiling tool!), his soccer kicking legs (boy has a strong kick!) and his crazy arms.  He is the silliest little boy in the world and I love him SOOO much!!!
I cherish every moment I spend with him.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I have a baby in my room!

There is nothing more precious than listening to your little baby breathe while he is sleeping.  We had a pretty good first night with our little boy.  He was asleep before 8 PM and slept until about midnight.  He woke up for a diaper change and a bottle, and went back to sleep quickly.   Then he woke up a little after 6 AM for the same thing.  He is now sleeping again.
I sure love him!

Email address for USCIS??

Does anyone know, or can anyone find out is the USCIS of Oregon has an email address?  I have searched their website and cannot seem to find anything.

Prayer Request from Ethiopia

First off, thank you all for your kind comments on my blog. It helps
to have the connection of the internet!!!

We have a prayer request: It seems that the USCIS office from Oregon
mistakenly cabled the US Embassy in Ethiopia that we are approved for a
female. Not sure why this happened since we have NEVER requested a
girl, and our original approval was fine. They made the mistake when
we updated our fingerprints in April 2008.

Because of this we are going to fratically try and get them to cable
the corrected information ASAP, but there is a real possibility that we
may have to stay here a few extra days. We are hoping that they will
take care of it immediatly because it was their if we could
just get them to pay to change the plane tickets and the extra nigths
in the hotel... :-)

We are a little frustrated (and nervous) and now that we have our son,
it would be nice to go home on schedule.

Please pray with us that this will get all worked out!
Thank you!
Paul, Holly & Nathaniel Mesfin
PS I seem to be having problems sending emails, but I can reply to them.  FYI

Our first official family picture, and my favorite picture of my son!!!!

Today is GOTCHA DAY!!!  Nathaniel Mesfin is ours forever!!!