Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Yeah for Baby showers!!!

 We had our “Family/Lifelong Friends Baby Shower” this last Saturday and it was more than I could have ever imagined.  I am constantly reminded of how blessed we are by our wonderful family and friends.  One of my best friends Kerri, my mother-in-law Joy, and my two sister-in-laws Jen and Kelli did a great job making Denver’s shower the BEST ever.  I cannot wait for him to experience the love from everyone himself.  He got a ton of wonderful baby goodies!!!  I was super surprised when my family from Kentucky and Houston made a special trip to Oklahoma just for the shower.  It was one of the best gifts ever.   Thanks to everyone for everything that you have done for Denver and us, you are all such blessings.   Here are just a few pictures from the shower.
The AWESOME diaper cake that Jen made...yes I am trying to talk her into making these for a living!
My wonderful friend Kerri, she is such a blessing to me!

We didn't even have to pay them to fold the tissue paper.  My grandma would be so happy to see this.

My amazing friends Vangie & Rhianon.  These 2 know me better than I know myself and they still love me! 

Em and I, she is my little buddy!

The best hostesses ever!  Jen, Kerri, Kelli and Joy

My friend Christa, she was my saving grace in nursing school.

My mom and mother-in-law, they can't wait to get their hands on Denver!

My family that flew in for baby Denver's shower.  Cousins Becky, Alex, Mia and my Aunt Dixie...my Aunt Teresa is missing in this picture but she also made the trek to OK.  I was going to try and photoshop her in but I'm not that good.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Final Court Date

We got news from our agency today.  Our final court date is set for March 4th.  What does this mean?  This means that on March 4th Denver will officially be ours!  We do not have to be at the final court date.  It basically is the day that our court case comes back up for review and will get the final approval.  After our final court date we will then wait to get our embassy date.  They did require one more additional document to be submitted before our court date.  That is not a problem.  We are now good at getting paper work done.  Good news, it’s getting closer.  Happy Valentines Day to us!!!    

Thursday, February 10, 2011

God is Awesome!!!

We made it home safe last night and it was so wonderful to actually get some good sleep in our own bed.  I am feeling much better, just trying to get my strength back.  Thanks to everyone for the prayers, comments, texts, calls and everything else that you have done on our behalf.  I saw God at work first hand throughout our experience and he is truly an AWESOME God.  We are so blessed and thankful to have such wonderful friends and family.  I don’t know what I would have done without my amazing husband, I am so grateful to him for making sure that I was safe along the way.  He took care of everything for both of us and worked like the energizer bunny to make sure he could get me to safety. 
Denver “Waqo” is doing great, he has gained weight and seems so happy.  He is so loved by the nannies and children in the orphanage and I know he is getting great care.  I hope to be able to bring him home soon but it is a blessing to see first hand that he is truly loved where he is.  We met some amazing people through this journey that we otherwise probably never would have met.  Please continue to pray for the families and children that are in Ethiopia, either waiting to come home or, waiting to be able to take care of their children.  That’s all I have for now, I just wanted everyone to hear from me that I am doing much better and am almost fully recovered.  God bless you all!!!   

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 4? I think

We made it home!!! Back to the great state of Oklahoma.  I just wanted to give a quick update.  Vanessa is doing much better.  We appreciate all the thoughts and prayers.  And again thanks to all those who helped us get home. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ethiopia Day 2/Day 3 Germany?

Ok, we haven’t posted in two days.  I’m going to try and make this a brief summary of what has happened.  Maybe at a later time I’ll give the full story of what’s happened.  To sum up the last two days, Vanessa got a virus and got severely dehydrated.  She’s been in 3 different hospitals in 2 different countries.  She is finally getting some sleep for the first time in about 30 hours.  I’m going on 40 hours now with no sleep and I just sat down to my first real meal in 2 days.  I’ve been living off energy bars.  We are currently in Germany waiting to fly home tomorrow.  We were able to go to court and give our answers to the judge.  So we fulfilled the requirements of our court date.  However, we do not know the results of the court because we have had little contact with anyone the last few days. 

To avoid dwelling on the negatives of the last few days, I’m going to take this time to share the good in all we’ve experienced the last few days.  We have seen God at work in many different people.  Many people, most strangers to us, have gone out of their way to get us to where we are now.  Here are some of those people:

Solomon: our driver in Ethiopia.  Not only did he drive me around Addis Ababa for 4 hours trying to find a Lufthansa Airline office so I could change our flights but he also spent a lot of time taking care of Vanessa while she was in the Ethiopian hospital. 

Matt and Andrew Pirotte:  They are brothers from Kansas, I think, that were volunteering at the Ethiopian Hospital.  One of them had just arrived the day before.  They made sure they stayed at the hospital until I could return and take Vanessa to the Airport.  It even made them miss a dinner (or at least late to it) that they were supposed to attend.  They were also the ones that took care of Vanessa, got her in good enough health to travel to Germany, and told us it was imperative that we get her to a better hospital in the event she went into a crisis because of her MG.  

The Illien Adoption Staff in Ethiopia: They were able to get us into court and in to see the judge within 30 minutes of calling them to tell them Vanessa was sick.  For those that have dealt with the Ethiopian court system, this was not an easy task. 

The Ethiopian Judge: She was going to just have Vanessa sign a power of attorney but instead went ahead with our court case so I could escort Vanessa home. 

Wes and Nina: A couple adopting from Ethiopia.  They went out of their way to help me find the Lufthansa office right before I had a nervous break down. 

Amy: Another person adopting from Ethiopia who was going to take Denver his picture book that we did not have a chance to take to him. 

There are many more that have been there with encouragement and prayers.  We are thankful for all of them.  Just so you know, Vanessa is doing much better and we expect to be able to make it back in OKC by tomorrow night. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ethiopia Day 1

We made it.  After a long trip Friday and Saturday we are finally in Ethiopia.  We had a few bumps along the way, but still managed to arrive here on time.  I will try to keep the trip portion of this post short because I know most people are more interested in our first time meeting Denver. 

We flew into Chicago with no problems.  We boarded the plane in Chicago and waited.  Then we waited a little longer.  Finally 10 minutes after we were supposed to leave, someone came over the intercom and said “the pilot is stuck in downtown traffic”.  So we got to sit on the plane and wait for him.  We finally got to Frankfurt, Germany.  After going through the maze, that is the Frankfurt airport, which included having to leave the airport and re-enter to get our boarding passes, we finally got to our gate only for them to inform us that they have a full flight and had to bump us to a waiting list.  Just before I was about to lose it with this lady for bumping us, another airline employee stepped in and said “no, no, I will take care of this”.  So she took our waiting list boarding passes and went to the front desk.  She then came back and apologized for the mistake and because of it she bumped us up to Business Class.  So our flight from Frankfurt to Ethiopia turned out to be really nice.

So we finally arrive in Ethiopia and our driver picks us up.  It’s probably around 10:30 on Saturday.  We finally arrived to our guest house and they open this huge iron gate with barbed wire at the top of it.  After we got settled in, we try calling with our international calling card to let people know we made it safely.  And it doesn’t work here.  So we try getting online to Skype, and the internet is down.  We decided to give up and try to go to sleep.

So today we headed downstairs for breakfast and to wait for our driver.  While we were down there we met some people that are here adopting.  It was comforting to talk to them.  Then Wes and Nina show up with our driver.  Wes and Nina are a couple from Kentucky that are adopting twins.  Nina & Wes do photography, so they came to take pictures of our first time to meet Denver.  So we loaded up in the cars and drove down the street and we were at the orphanage.  It turns out the orphanage Denver is at is so close we can see it from our guest house.  We went into the courtyard of the orphanage and were met by some of the nannies that take care of Denver.  They told us to wait there while they go get him ready.  Five minutes later, they came out with cute little Denver.  Of course he is dressed in pink.  They handed him over to Vanessa.  He wasn’t sure about the whole situation at first.  He would just stare at us with a serious look on his face.  We were told that a lot of kids cry the first time they meet their new families.  So at least he didn’t cry.  After we passed him back and forth a couple of times and had tons of pictures taken, we got to take him inside and change him into one of the outfits we brought him.  And of course Vanessa picked out the green one that says “I Love Mom”.  We then got to feed him his bottle.  He then fell asleep while I was feeding him.  We spent the rest of the time in the courtyard with him.  All the other kids in the orphanage wanted to be held as well.  So we spent most of the time with 2 to 3 kids on our laps.  By the time we left Denver started warming up to us.  We even got him to smile and laugh at us a few times.  It was good to spend some time with Denver.  We can’t wait to go back tomorrow. 

Afterwards, we went to lunch with Wes, Nina, Nina’s parents and our driver Solomon.  We went to Cloud 9.  It was a nice restaurant with some American food.  I had a Filet Mignon and Vanessa had a Margarita Pizza.  It was the best $4 Filets I’ve ever had (Food is really cheap over here).  We were supposed to go and visit another orphanage today, but they were not accepting visitors.  So we came back to the guest house to rest.

Tomorrow we go back to see Denver.  I’m not sure what else is on the agenda tomorrow.  I guess we’ll see.  Hopefully we’ll sleep better tonight.  Last night there were some dogs that kept us up all night.  In fact as I’m writing this, they just started barking again.  Hopefully they’ll get it out of their system before tonight.      
This is the only picture we can post because it doesn't show his face

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ethiopia Here We Come!

I think the pets are on to us.  They're begging us not to go, needless to say this is the only thing they've ever agreed on.  I'm just happy they're not fighting.
Well we leave in approximately 16 hours...not that I'm counting or anything.  I've had so many people ask if I'm anxious or nervous, and I anticipated that I would be, but for some reason I have such a sense of peace about this.  I know that the Lord has always taken care of us and blessed far beyond what we deserve and because of that I have such a sense of calmness.  We get to meet our child for the first time on Sunday at 10:00...YEAH!!!  As many of you know we have been in the process for about 2 1/2 years, but now that we are finally here it doesn't seem that long at all.  We just want to say thank you to all of our wonderful friends and family for your tremendous support, prayers and care during this adventure.   We thank God for all of you. 
*Oh and don't worry about the pets, Charlies going to stay at my parents house and we have a house sitter for Bell, Grant's parents would let her stay with them but last time we left her she bit them both numerous times...bad kitty.    

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

From One Extreme to Another

Only two days until we leave!!!  At least we hope.  For those that haven't noticed, we were hit by a huge snow storm yesterday.  Here in the Oklahoma City area, we received 12 inches of snow.  Yesterday no flights were leaving Oklahoma City.  I’m sure by Friday things will be running smoothly, but the snow isn’t going anywhere because the temperature is staying around 10 degrees.  The storm that hit us also hit Chicago last night.  Chicago is the first stop on our flight schedule.  Hopefully this won’t cause any problems.  The good news that came from the snow storm is that my office closed yesterday and today so I have been able to stay home and try to get ready for our trip.  When we got up today we looked on Vanessa’s IPhone at the weather.  It was 3 degrees here in OKC.  Then we scrolled over to see what the weather is like in Ethiopia.  Today it was a nice 70 degrees.  It will be nice to have a break from this freezing weather.