February 26, 2009

We're home!

Here's our first family photo taken on the day we met Moses.

(click on it to make it big)

I'll post more pictures and details of our trip after the laundry is done and we get some much needed rest!!!

It feels so good to be home. Thanks for all your encouraging comments and emails.


mike, emily, and moses.

February 20, 2009

Another update!

Just got another update from the happy family in Ethiopia!

I think Mike and I are finally adjusting and getting a bit of a routine now. I still get bits of nausea and feeling sick if I climb stairs too fast but I am basically on the mends. I now just have a sore throat. But I'm pretty sure it is from the pollution, as I feel fine.

We are starting to really fall in love with Ethiopia, the people, the coffee, the food, and the list goes on. We had a rough night last night with Moses (he woke up at 3am and decided it was morning) but we're managing! We took it easy today and went swimming at the Hilton. It was strange being around so many foreigners! Mosey was super cute sitting in a lounge chair. Many pictures to come when we are home.

I can't believe we only have four may days left Our time is booked up with visiting the famous fistula hospital in Addis, visiting our sponsor child, going to an Orthodox church service (starts at 6:30am!!!) and a few other last minute shopping trips I'm sure.

I'm going to miss drinking the best coffee in the world every morning.

I'll end with a few more details in point form..... this is easier when you are tired:

-I find myself saying "come to auntie" and then realizing I'm his mom

-Mike and I enjoy saying "Holy Moses"

-Mosey is definitely teething.... fingers constantly in his mouth

-he's spitting up a lot... not sure what to do about that

-he's definitely poo-ing now

-we also call Moses "Mu-say" as it is pronounced in Amharic

-he's definitely not attached to us yet, he'd go with anyone on the street and be just as happy/charming

-driving in Addis feels safer than driving in Abbotsford despite its craziness

-Mike is adjusting super well, probably better than me! But that is to be expected. He's he super relaxed person, I'm the anxious one.

-We got to visit the orphanage where he came from, but the whereabouts of his birth mom is unknown


February 15, 2009

Update from Ethiopia =)

I received another e-mail from Em today that she asked me to post. Sounds like everything is going super well! I can't wait to see pictures of the new family!!!

So we got to take our sweet Mosey home on valentines as we had hoped. He fell asleep on the car ride home in the ergo with mike. When he woke up in our room you could just see the panic on his face. He is so wide-eyed right now. You can tell that all the new stimulus is really tiring for him. But after a brief cry we were able to calm him down with a bottle and i think he is enjoying our company!!!

It definitely feels more real now, especially after he puked up his entire bottle on me a couple of times. It was a very tiring night as well. I think Moses did really well, we are the one's having a hard time adjusting. He woke up exactly on the schedule that his care takers gave us (10pm, 2am, 6am...). He would go back to sleep quite easily after his bottle, it was just mike and I that couldn't fall back asleep. It's pretty noisy here: dogs barking, roosters, cars, birds, etc etc. Reminds me so much of sleeping in the Philippines. Plus the jet lag has us up super early and very hungry and then ready for bed at around 4pm every night.

This morning we took him to his first Ethiopian church service. It was really good, but he slept through the whole thing! It was a protestant church that our driver Solomon goes to. Next Sunday we are going to hopefully go to an Orthodox church service.

When we got back to the guesthouse we were thankfully able to switch rooms with a couple who just went back home. This room is way bigger, has a balcony, huge windows and a bigger bed. I think i would have lost my mind if i had stayed in the other room any longer. It was a tiny box with basically no windows. This room feels much more comfortable.

Hm.... what else do my blogstalkers want to know....


-He is gorgeous. You will all freak out when you see him. Seriously.

-He has gorgeous little curls

-Sorry, i can't send any pictures.

-He makes the cutest sound after he finishes his bottle

-he loves pulling on my hair and necklace

-he can't sit up

-mike saw him roll over once

-he fits his 3-6 month clothes well

-still waiting for the first poo

-I miss you guys!

-I am realizing now the truth of how a mother's job is never ending!

Thanks for all the comments! I am able to read them in my email, i just can't get onto my blog from here.

February 13, 2009

Gotcha Moses!!!

So I (Dana) just received an e-mail from Em and Mike and ... they got Moses!!! According to Em, they have "the best baby ever!" Here's a little of what they had to say:

So we met our son today. He is cuter and more amazing than we ever could of imagined. It went so well. We got to spend the entire day at the transition house... mike's dream came true and he slept on his chest, we got to feed him a bottle, change his diaper, and play with him for a few hours. He is SUPER CHILL. I don't think we heard one fussy sound or one cry in 5 hours. I'm sure that will change though. The social worker was unable to come but the staff said they would pass on that we all were very comfortable so tomorrow we should be able to take him home forever.

I'll post more when I get another update!

February 10, 2009

We're off to Ethiopia!

I can't believe that this time has finally come. This past week has been so so busy. We thankfully managed to get the baby's room complete, the bathroom reno is not quite so lucky but oh well. Our bags are packed, and the electronics are all currently charging.

We're going to meet our son! Thank you to everyone for all your prayers and support throughout this entire process. We feel so loved by all of you! And thank you to all my adoption friends too! I will do my best to check in on your babes if I can. I'm praying for your court date D and for others who are waiting and waiting and waiting....

It's so strange, I almost forget that we are going to Africa tomorrow. I am so preoccupied with thinking about Moses that I forget that this lifelong dream is coming true. And then I realize that I have been so preoccupied with adopting that I have to switch my brain and focus over into motherhood now. I keep thinking that there is some other step in the process that I am waiting for. But there's not. Well, there's just a really really long plane ride and a lot of jet leg and then he will be in our arms.

Anyways, I have a guest blogger while we're gone... my good friend Dana will be trying to post a few updates on here while we're gone. So check back!


mike & em

February 4, 2009

Tickets booked!

So the fastest we could leave (and not pay an extra grand per ticket) is February 11th. So that's when we're going, Wednesday morning!!! We're going to have our baby for Valentine's day. I could cry just thinking about it : )

We fly back home to Vancouver on Feb.25th at 4:30pm (in case you want to come and meet us!!!). Things are definitely feeling more real but there is still a surreal quality to it all.

I've been super busy trying to find accomodations and I've finally booked us in for the first week at the Weygoss guest house and the last few days at the Oziopia guest house (www.oziopia.org). I'm so excited and I think staying at two different places will be great, hopefully we get two unique experiences that will both teach us about Ethiopian culture. The oziopia sounds more like a "homestay" which I really like and there may be drumming involved. My husband is a drummer so I am really hoping we can take part in the drumming party that their website says they have. And they only take one family at a time so we will have lots of time to chat with the family and get to know more about the culture, language, etc.

Staying at the Weygoss for the first week also sounds great though, because I believe I may bump into Ricki & Bruce who are picking up their baby Yonnas! And who knows what other Canadians will be there. I think it may be nice to have the support of other people going through the same thing as us. Plus, I may have questions in the middle of the night. Such as, "How do I heat up his bottle" or "What do I do if he won't stop screaming?"

We're also hoping to be able to connect with our sponsor child so I have been filling out paperwork to be able to arrange a visit. It's really short notice so they can't guarantee anything, but I'm hoping something can work out. We've been writing letters throughout the past year and a half and it would be so cool to meet him!

My head still feels like it is spinning. Partly from the wretched yellow fever vaccine that has left me feeling horrible the past few days, and partly from stress and excitement. I officially feel like I have checked out at work. People ask me questions, I hear them, but I can't quite seem to care enough to properly answer. Good thing Friday is my last day.

Anyways, I will leave you with what you all are hoping for..... more pictures of Moses right???
We got his update on Tuesday and our little boy has only gained one pound since the December update. He now weighs 13 pounds 9 ounces. My caseworker gave me these words:
"I was able to see Samuel and he is a precious little boy. He is very content and happy with lots of smiles. I gave him a few hugs from you and our update representative was able to get some pictures for your update coming out next week. I am certain Samuel will give you much joy and happiness when you are able to finally bring him home."

Still no photos of him smiling but it looks like he may be trying to say something. We asked my niece what Mosey was saying and she told us: Da Da.

February 2, 2009

Moses' visa is in!!!!

We can travel!

I just woke up and checked the CIC website and read: Decision Made. I could not believe it! This means that the visa was issued for his passport from then office in Kenya. But it doesn't mean you can travel....yet. Our agency requires us to wait for confirmation that the visa has been sent from Kenya and arrived safely in Ethiopia.

And then the phone rang......... and our agency said they had it in hand. They were shocked at how fast it went as well! 2 weeks! We got confirmation that our documents arrived Jan.19th and now on Feb.2nd we have the go ahead to hop on a plane.

So... off to the travel agent we go! Pray for some good seat sales!!! yeah right!

I can't believe this little boy is going to be in our arms forever sometime very very soon!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got one photo from my caseworker who just returned but am still waiting on updated weight and height. Oh well, I don't really care if his clothes fit. I just want him in my arms! Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Today is a miraculous day in our growing family.

February 1, 2009

Part II: Do's and Don'ts

(from a4everfamily.org)


1. Offer household help (running errands, preparing meals that can go right from the freezer to the oven, etc.) so the mother can spend more time holding the child.

2. Trust the mother's instincts. Even a first time mother may notice subtle symptoms that well-meaning family and friends attribute to "normal" behavior.

3. Accept that attachment issues are difficult for anyone outside of the mother to see and understand.

4. Be supportive even if you think everything looks fine to you.

5. Allow the parents to be the center of the baby's world. One grandfather, when greeting his grandson, immediately turns him back to his mom and says positive statements about his good mommy.

6. Tell the baby every time you see him what a good/loving/safe mommy he has.

7. When the parents need someone to care for the baby for a night out, offer to babysit in the child's home. (After the child has been home for a substantial period of time.)

8. As hard as it may be for you, abide by the requests of the parents. Even if the baby looks like he really wants to be with Grandma, for example, he needs to have a strong attachment to his parents first. Something as simple as passing the baby from one person to another or allowing others, even grandparents, to hold a baby who is not "attached" can make the attachment process that much longer and harder. Some parents have had to refrain from seeing certain family members or friends because they did not respect the parents' requests.

9. Accept that parenting children who are at-risk for or who suffer from attachment issues goes against traditional parenting methods and beliefs. Parenting methods that work for many children can be detrimental to a child with attachment issues.

10. Remember that there is often a honeymoon period after the child arrives. Many babies do not show signs of grief, distress, or anxiety until months after they come home. If the parents are taking precautions, they are smart and should be commended and supported!


1. Assume an infant is too young to suffer from emotional issues related to attachment. Babies are not immune.

2. Underestimate a new mother's instincts that something isn't right.

3. Judge the mother's parenting abilities. What looks like spoiling or coddling may be exactly what the child needs to overcome a serious attachment disorder. Parenting methods that work for many children can be detrimental to a child with attachment issues.

4. Make excuses for the child's behaviors or try to make the mother feel better by calling certain behaviors "normal". For example, many children who suffer from attachment issues may be labeled strong-willed by well-meaning family members. While being strong-willed can be seen as a positive personality trait, this type of behavior in an attachment-impaired child may signify problems.

5. Accuse the mother of being overly sensitive or neurotic. She is in a position to see subtle symptoms as no one else can.

6. Take it personally if asked to step back so the parents can help their child heal and form a healthy and secure attachment. You may be asked not to hold the baby for more than a minute. This is not meant to hurt you. It is meant to help prove to the baby who his mommy and daddy are. Up until now the child's experience has been that mommies are replaceable. Allowing people to hold the baby before he has accepted his forever mommy and daddy are can be detrimental to the attachment process.

7. Put your own timeframes on how long attachment should take. One mother was hurt when she was chastised by a relative who couldn't understand...after all, the baby had been home six months. It could take weeks, months, even years. Every child is different.

8. Offer traditional parenting advice. Some well-meaning family members will tell a new mother not to pick the baby up every time he cries because it will spoil him. A child who is at-risk or who suffers from attachment issues must be picked up every single time he cries. He needs consistent reinforcement that this mommy/daddy will always take care of him and always keep him safe.

9. Fall into the appearance trap. Some babies/toddlers with attachment issues can put on a great show to those outside of the mother/father. What you see is not always a true picture of the child. Even babies as young as 6-months-old are capable of “putting on a good face” in public.

10. Lose hope. With the right kind of parenting and therapy, a child with attachment issues can learn to trust and have healthy relationships. But it does take a lot of work and a good understanding of what these children need.