Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Here are some almost recent pictures! The one of Olivia dressed up is a picture I took just before she left to go to her first birthday party for a friend! She was so excited and had a great time. The picture at the bottom is of my kiddos with the kids of my friend Paula who we traveled to Ethiopia with. Her son Biruk and Leul are friends and I just love their family so much. They live a few hours away so we don't get to seem them often but every once in a while we meet up in Seattle.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

6 months and 9 days!

That's how long Leul and Hana have been home. I cannot believe it's been half a year already. The time has gone so quickly.
Things are going pretty well. Hana has really adjusted just fine. Once in awhile she gets really sad because she misses her family in Ethiopia. But then we call them and after talking she is back to being her happy self. Her and Olivia don't have any issues at all anymore, in fact Hana is the sister that everyone wants to play with because she is so nice and patient all the time! She's also doing really well with school and english. Just in the last week I've noticed her using words like usually and realized and using them correctly at that. She's probably one of the most determined people I've every known. She is sometimes shy and quiet, but if there is something she wants she goes after it without any reservation.
Leul's also doing well in school. Every week his reading is improving and he already finished his math book for the year so I have to order the next one for him. This is a good thing because he was two years behind where he should be in school so now, at least in math, he's only one year behind. His adjustment has been going okay too for the most part, although it seems like we are always taking a step forward and two steps back. One issue will come up, we make progress, and another comes up, we make progress and another comes up and that's how it's been. The past month has been so so stessful that I haven't had the mental or emotional energy to deal with anything else, and have felt like I was on the verge of a breakdown quite a few times. But alas, it was as if we turned over a new leaf today. He was back to being his normal self (actually I'm not sure if I even know who his normal self is, but he was back to acting like he did before on a good day!) and he even told me he loved me when I left to run an errand tonight. (He hasn't told me that in at least 3 weeks) I think he just may finally be getting it that 1) we will always love him no matter what he does and 2) because we will always love him, we will also always discipline him when he needs it. I think it's been really hard for him (and understandably so) to go from being very much the baby in the family in a country where males are catered to, to being a middle child in an American family where everyone is expected to pitch in. And then also to go from an orphanage where they obviously have to let a lot of bad behavior go, to a mom who doesn't put up with a lot of those behaviors!
Anyhow, I'm glad we had a good day and I'm praying the change in attitude is still there tomorrow!
The other kids are doing well too! Isabel is learning to play the violin. I am so proud of her. She is not exactly known for her perserverance so I didn't know how long she'd hold out but she has worked so hard and is progressing really well. She is also over that hump in reading where it has gone from being a chore to being enjoyable and I often find her reading for fun now!
Angelina is growing up way too fast and will be 13 soon. (Am I old enough to have a 13 year old?) She is doing great with her school and piano. Sergio and I love to go sit on the couch while she practices just to enjoy the music.
Ariana has not had a seizure for almost 4 years now and is completely off her meds! I never thought that would happen and it's been so nice not to have to crush up her pills twice a day. She really likes going to school and has very loving teachers who work with her.
Mateo is reading now and is still all boy. He is such a sweet guys, but loses his temper quickly so his new thing is to pray a verse that he recently memorized. He'll say something like, "God, please help me to stop my anger and turn from my rage." So the other day he prayed that verse to God and I told him that when you pray scripture it gives you power. I meant power to overcome our sin, but right away he prayed it again, asked me if he got some power, and when I said yes he said "Good, now I can beat up Daddy!"
Olivia is definitely the baby of a large family. She is goofy and loud and always entertaining. She's starting to write letters and she knows their sounds which makes me realize how short the time is that kids actually stay babies. I keep asking her to stop growing to which she says "After I turn 4,when I grow up, then I'm gonna be a baby again"
If it was only that easy!

Highlights from Dec. (yah, I know I'm way late)

Here are some Christmas pictues of the kids, the one with Hana on the couch was taken right after she accepted Christ on Christmas day, and the one semi decent family picture that we had taken has Olivia picking her nose! Oh well, that IS how she looks at least 40% of the time anyway!


Mateo was a ringbearer at a friend's wedding a few weeks ago and I just had to post these adorable pictures of him! He was such a good boy and stood up at the front holding the pillow completely still through the entire ceremony!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I was seventeen years old at the time of my first pregnancy and was told by almost everyone except Sergio that having a baby would ruin my life. Actually, having a baby did ruin my life and I am forever thankful for that. My life of which was taking me down the wrong path died when I got pregnant with Angelina and I have no idea, don't even want to guess where I'd be if I had made the so called "responsible" decision to abort her. Here's a picture of my beautiful girl who "ruined" my old life.And here is a video that really hit home to me because of what it stands for: