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Two Months Home- 18 August 2017

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Where has this month gone? This month has been huge, and we are so proud of all the progress you have made.

You have conquered all your colors thanks to our daily multiple walks around the neighborhood. You point at cars and trucks and tell us their colors. You can even tell us the cars that should be there when they are gone. You are so observant to the world around you, and you soak up all the new information and experiences like a little sponge. 
Daily you impress me with new vocabulary. Some are words we have intentionally tried to teach you while others you have just picked up on your own. You get very frustrated when we can't understand you, and you do such an amazing job trying to let us know what you need, want, or just want to share with us. We ask you to use your words (Amharic or English) because last month you liked to point and whine. Now you are using words like crazy, and we hate when we can't get what you are saying. I would love for you to keep your sweet acce…

2017/2018 School Year

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Many of you know that I am a teacher. Several of you have asked if I am returning to work.  Yes, I will be going back to work, but thankfully I will not be going back until November. Although Zane came home a month ago, we knew he would not be ready for me to go back to work at the beginning of the school year.
We have some awesome people lined up to watch him, and we are so thankful he will be with people he already knows. Our plan is to basically start preparing Zane for what life with momma working will look like. He will be dropped off and spending time at the places he will be going. We will try riding in the car to these places (Zane still gets carsick, so besides naptime this is what I am most worried about when I go back to work).
Zane is learning to trust us, and he is starting to understand that when we leave, we will return. He was really struggling with Jeffrey leaving for working, and thankfully his anxiety and meltdowns have really lessened. Today, Zane asked if he could…

Reminders of Ethiopia

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I am struggling to find time to write, but I wanted to write a short post. 
Ethiopia is so very different than everything here. The smells, the food, the sounds, the weather, the culture, the people- you get it! 
It is not any easy task to keep Ethiopia evident in our home all the time. We have to be really intentional. Some people don't quite understand why this is so important to us, but we feel that although Zane is now an American citizen, he is also still Ethiopian. We don't know if Zane will want to know more of Ethiopia or even care to know more of Ethiopia when he gets older, but until he is old enough to decide, we feel it is our responsibility to always keep Ethiopia in our conversations. It isn't something hushed or unspoken. Several people have asked us when we were going to start talking to Zane about adoption.  This is something that is just natural and a part of our family. No, we don't say, "This is our adopted son." That's weird.  Zane i…

One Month

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In one month, you have turned our world upside down. This one month has been the happiest, most difficult, emotional, tiring, and sweetest experience. I can't even imagine what this month has been like for you.

You have shown us so much more of who you are than we ever could have discovered through videos, pictures, and monthly updates.

You are unique and special, and there are many days that we are still in awe that you are home.

You are funny and silly, but try to keep it cool around most people. We were always told you were very serious, so we feel quite special to see you laughing, relaxing, and just enjoying yourself.

You are so very brave. You have been thrown into this new place that is completely different from everything that is familiar to you. Your curiosity has opened lots of new doors literally and figuratively. You have discovered so many new and exciting things this month. You have given experiences second chances when you were afraid the first time, and you have so…

A Few Requests to Help Zane's Transition Home

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Parting the Sea Walking on Dry Land Kind of Prayers

Most of you who follow our story have seen that I have slowly been sharing about the trip. I have told many of you that it was the best and worst trip of my entire life. It truly was an emotional rollercoaster.

Many of you have been private messaging us, calling us, and texting us and asking us, "What is next? How do we pray? When are you going back? What is the timeline?"

First of all, I have to stop and say once again we are so blessed to have such faithful, loving, and supportive friends and family. Seriously, you have no idea what you all have meant to us and how you have truly impacted our lives and this process. I know many of you have been so sensitive and cautious of how to approach us and love us, and we want you to know that everything you have done has not been overlooked, and we are sorry if we haven't truly expressed our gratitude in ways that confirm our love and appreciation to you.

I am a woman, so I am guilty of spider webbing (going off on another point…

Ethiopia, Welcome to the Family

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Dear Ethiopia,

I had ideas and expectations of what I would encounter when we met. You see this was not my first trip to Africa; be slow to judge me, Ethiopia. I am not the white American girl who thinks that all of Africa is one country.  No, I knew you would be different, but I wasn't quite sure how.  My husband and I have both been to several third world countries, so we were preparing ourselves for the extreme conditions we would see.

Ethiopia, like many of the other places I have traveled, your living conditions for so many people broke my heart. To see young boys (some probably not 5 years old) living on the streets and working as shoe shiners and doing other little jobs to make it day to day is something I hope never becomes normal or acceptable in my eyes. Unclean water for people to drink is clearly a huge world problem and is no different for you. We visited a church that is home to many HIV positive, mentally disabled, and physically disabled. These people are the outc…