Monday, January 30, 2012

Perhaps I do need meds

I have so much on my mind.  My thoughts feel totally ADD.  I am quite certain, had I been a kid born in the year 2000, I would for sure be on meds.  Fortunately for me, that wasn't the case.  Unfortunately for those around me ... that's not the case.  This can mean I am easily distracted, I may or may not have 1/2 done projects done around the house, their might be 1/2 of a suitcase packed and a whole bunch of items that should be making their way into two others.  

I don't know where to begin ... or to end.

My thoughts are chaos and jumping around my head like a bee pollinates a flower.

packing ... how will it all fit?
make a dentist apt. for Z
make dentist apts for other kids
mail off insurance info for Z
copies for parents
I'd sure like to paint that part of the door
man, I didn't get the carpets cleaned ... or the fence stained
as if Z will notice
cash ... umm, need to get that
invoices; need to follow up on those too.
ugliness erupting in the adoption community
tummy in knots
where will he want to sleep?
what will day one look like?
will he remember us?
should we just hang at Yebsabi?
there went my workouts
class reunions
beach to bay
orphan alliance
care packages
photo releases
make room
not enough room
in country expenses
oh no

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day 5 - Last weekend!

It is officially the last weekend where we are the Martine Fab Five.  Soon ... we'll have to adopt a new name - Six Peas in a Pod, Martine Sensational Six, who knows ... any suggestions?

But today ... we are in preparation mode.  The little's are cleaning bathroom's, wiping baseboards and helping put away laundry.  Daddy is busy outside doing whatever it is Daddy's do outside.  I just pray it includes pulling out the awful plants in the front that resemble weeds (even if they aren't).
I'm busy doing paperwork, more laundry, and fluttering around the house like a bumblebee.  So many things I need or want to do ... but the reality is, they probably won't get done.  Nesting!!  Full on Nesting!

As a part of preparation, however, I am getting a DATE NIGHT tonight with my man?  Whatinthe?  What is that?  My precious parents are taking the kids for the evening for some fun.  Never mind the fact that they will soon have them an ENTIRE week ... bless their hearts.  But tonight, I get to re-introduce myself to my hubby.  It's been a while - he works so hard!

I also am making some final touches on Z's room.  I ordered a canvas for his wall some time ago.  We finally got it hung ... and it is precious!  The perfect touch.

So day 5 would be summed up as organized chaos.  Everyone doing a little bit of everything.  Everyone in preparation for their next role ... big brother (again), big sister (again), big sister (for the first time ... um, yeah, that one could use some prayers), Mommy and Daddy to the 4th power.  Yowzers!

My pictures are as random as our Preparations today

 The precious canvas I found online.  LOVE IT!
Add caption
Cuddle Friends awaiting someone to cuddle them

AH, he's got to be cute from his head to his toes

Friday, January 27, 2012

Some of the things not so glamorous about IA adoption

How many times have I heard this comment "Your like Angelina Jolie".  HA.  I'm not sure if that is intended as a complement or not?  I do know that her husband comes from an amazing family and he was raised in a believing home.  I do know he has a sister who does incredible ministry in Africa "Dig Deep" digging water wells ... AND ... she was brilliant enough to partner with our beloved missions sending ministry "Visiting Orphans"   for an awesome trip this past August.  I do know that I love (no matter what her status) that she has adopted and that together, she and her husband care for the least of these .... SOOOOO ... I'm gonna take it as a compliment.

It does make me giggle a little.  There is this "worldly" view that IA adoption is somehow exotic and perhaps why we do it to keep up with those "Hollywood" stars or something.

 Ummm ... no.

I am not certain if the ones who have come to that conclusion actually know much about IA adoption - the process, the journey, the heartaches, the trials, the wait, the determination, the home studies, the finances ... and well ... the poop samples.

So Preparation Day 4 encompasses all those "ick" things that we don't want to talk about but should.

The reality is, our kids often come home sick and infected with things that you can easily find in a 3rd world country.  My favorite conversation amongst my adopting friends centers around cheering for one another as they (and soon me) get 3 poop samples for the Doc to test for parasites.  Oh the lovely, Giardia ... how exotic that must be.  And ringworm.  That's a joy!   We're pretty certain our boy will have it.  Did I mention scabies ... eeek ... let's treat those puppies in country BEFORE we infest our home and find ourselves on the next TLC episode of "infestation".
And well, don't EVER travel to Africa without your best friend, Cipro.  I promise, you'll get the gunk and then all those exotic moments you dreamt of will be spent sitting on the toilet re-thinking every last thing you just consumed.   That's a Hollywood moment for sure!

Hmmm mmm ... I wonder if you are re-thinking Angelina now?  As a friend once said to me, "Everyone goes ... when you start to feel intimidated ... imagine them sitting on the pot".  HA.  Angelina doesn't look quite as exotic retrieving poop samples, treating scabies, ringworm, Giardia and more.  In fact, she starts to look more and more like a Mom .... and well ... I guess I can take that as a compliment.

Day 4 ... Collection of Meds - Check!  First Doctors Apt. Made - Check!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Preparation Day 3 - PARTY!

With our awesome news today, we are busy getting serious about this preparation 
BUT ...
While we do, I think it's only appropriate to do some celebration!
"Celebrate Good Times COME ON"!
My music is fitting for the party we are having today!!  

Kool and the Gang ... how I love how you can bring in the joy!  

We are CLEARED!!!!

It is with abundant JOY that we announce ...
We are CLEARED!  
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the GLORY!"  Ephesians 3:20

Zebene Levi Martine we are coming to get you!!  
Embassy Interview Date - February 6 ... awaiting flight info, but prayerful for a departure of February 3.  
Somebody Pinch me!!  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Preparation Day 2

Hair and Skin Care!  People, this is a serious subject.   I had a friend who posed this question to her FB community asking what products her friends with brown babies suggested.  I thought, Hmmmm ... I need to come back to this so I have some ideas.  130 plus comments later ...  I realized I was overwhelmed and I needed to do some serious researching.

There are ENTIRE websites devoted to this subject.  One such site,  ManeMane, actually exists to share product reviews and his thoughts on how to care for his awesome hair.  Oh my gosh, talk about feeling the pressure.  I have GOT to get this right.

Soooo... I found myself a few weeks ago at Sally's Beauty Supply staring at all the products for black hair care.  I am sure I looked odd (the white girl with clearly sandy blonde hair) and the other patrons were beginning to sense my feelings of complete confusion as I stood starry eyed in the middle of the isle.  Within a few minutes, I had not one ... but 3, happy helpers to share their insights on what they think would work (given the adorable picture I showed them of our Z when his head wasn't shaved ... because, well, one must first identify the texture and what kind of curls we are working with).

So I came home with oils, conditioners, shampoos with olive oils and some fancy brush to use "only when his hair is wet".  I am learning words like "co-washing", that oil isn't just for cooking, that vaseline isn't just for white baby's bottoms, and that my little boy may soon get more time for hair/skin care than I do.

Apparently as well, I have bought these things and none of them may work.  It will "take time" to learn a routine for each child.  Oh dear.
I have one thing to say ... I am praying for all my friends bringing home girls!  When all else fails, we'll cut that hair short and forego the cute fro for a bit of sanity.  (though a fro is what we hope to discover along the way).

I also have realized I am in need of someone of African American descent to cut this cuties hair.  Hmmmm ... if you live in San Antonio and have suggestions, I am open.  This one makes sense.

I am praying for one thing along this journey ... lots of GRACE!  I pray it can begin with hair.  This one may take some time to perfect ... then again, last time we saw a photo ... his head was shaved so this may be a mute point initially.  That too may take some time - hair to work with.  Next post *ringworm of the scalp*  oh. the. joy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Warancha CarePoint Progress Update

Where are We? Where are we going?
There are currently 200 children registered in the HopeChest program at Warancha CarePoint in Awassa Ethiopia, 44 which are sponsored (22%).  
Unfortunately, there is still a great need for sponsorship funds in order to implement the full program we desire to see in Warancha.   These past 6 months, we did see some exciting things happen for our children.  The funds were large enough to pool them together to care for some great needs and rest assured, your sponsorship has been used to give a Hope and Future to your child.  
At this time, all 200 children have received school supplies and school uniforms as well has their school fees have been paid.   Every child is getting this opportunity and we are so excited about this!!  
We do know, however,  the importance of the feeding program to this community, but because their is not enough to supply for the needs of every child, we have had to make the tough decision to allocate the funds to be used in this way.   In the meantime, our development team and field staff are going to begin providing a daily snack for the children during their break times while we continue our efforts to bring awareness to Warancha and gather more sponsors for our children.  Our goal to kick off the feeding program is 60% sponsorship (120 children).  This is not impossible ... we (with HE) can do this!  
As we are able to see more children sponsored, we will be able to implement our initial initiative of a full feeding program (2 meals per day).   We will hire a cook and work to raise the funds necessary to build a small kitchen for this purpose as well.  

Please be watching for updates on the feeding program.  Our awesome Development Team is working hard to make the right plan for action for our children.  
Will you join us in spreading the word?  We head into 2012 pregnant in anticipation of what the Lord has in store for our community!  

If you are interested in joining the Warancha Family and sponsoring one of the children, please contact me (Cristie) at  

Don't forget to write your child!  I promise, your letter is a treasure that they hold dear!  

Preparation begins ... Day 1

To include in the packing ...

In the event, Z forgets or doesn't realize the obvious ...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Glimmers of light

 I think I am starting to see a small light illuminating in the horizon.  We are getting closer!!  I am hesitant to believe it might be true as the thought of falling into disappointment if these things don't come to pass overwhelms me.  Yet, I am having an oh so difficult time guarding my heart as I am clinging to the hope that we might just very well be blessed soon.  Do I really see a light through that tunnel?

So here is what we know now ...

Next Thursday, January 26 (which is Wed. in the middle of the night the 25 for us), our birth Mom is scheduled for an interview with the embassy.  Provided that interviews takes place as it is scheduled and all goes as our agency believes it should, we could be cleared that day to bring home our little boy!

Our agency asked us to submit 3 choices of days after that for our in country interview with the embassy (we will schedule travel around this very important day).  After talking to a travel agent and Doug looking through his crazy work schedule, it appears we would have a hard time leaving before the 3 of February.  Delayed more so because of my husband's work than anything else.

I'll admit, there are many many things the Lord has for me to learn along the way of this journey.  His lessons do not stop.  This week, it is the art of living out how to be a submissive and honoring wife.  I really just wanted to throw a huge 2 year old tantrum with the thought that he needs us to wait an entire week after we could possibly be cleared to leave and be with Zebene - and bring him home.  I have a feeling that week will feel like watching molasses drip on a cold day.  BUT ... this story isn't about me.  I am called to honor my husband and this is what he needs to be sure to leave his business well and feel ready to be away.  He is an incredible Daddy, husband and provider and so I here goes ... honor.

SO ...

We have requested February 6 as our first choice, February 7 as our second and February 3 as our third choice.  Yes ... you saw that right.  Doug said that if we couldn't get in on the 6 or 7 for an interview (which would have us leaving out on Friday the 3), he'd run around like a mad man and we would go out earlier than the 3rd of February.   Hmmmmm?  Is it bad to say I pray that the embassy chooses our third choice as our first?  Ooop ... I think I just failed the honor and submission test.  HAHA.

All of this planning, however, is greatly dependent and contingent on that interview on the 26th with the birth mom.  Preparing for travel is a mute point if we cannot get the embassy to clear us that day.  Yes, that means - pray pray pray on Wednesday the 25th .... and if led, if you awake in the night, pray again.

We could very possibly awake to news on the 26th.  Because Addis is 8 hours ahead, all this work of interviews, embassy submission and communication between our field staff in Ethiopia and the Embassy will happen while we sleep.  HA ... sleep ... I have a feeling that will be a distant thought that night.

In the meantime, we are preparing as if in a few weeks our little boy is coming home.  Getting some needed appointments taken care of, getting our taxes in order for the year, making sure we have everything we need for him and trying to prepare for the new journey ahead - transition.  I have some crazy excited kids who are so ready!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

T-shirt Fire Sale!

O.K., we are closing in to the very END of this adoption process.  As I work to clean out clutter and get ready for my sweet boy's arrival, I keep being haunted by 18 T-shirts from our fundraiser that need to be sold.  Yeah, I'm not one for screaming "Buy Me".  You might not want me as your next sales girl!!  I did say 18.


I need to get rid of these T-shirts!  They are cute, ring spun with a great design.  
They are going for 12$ 

Sizes I have left - Kids Youth M - probably would fit like a size 8 or so - 5 of these
These next ones are Ladies fit - size up ONE as they run small!
Ladies Small (great for your tween daughter) - 2 left - I typically wear a small and it's a bit snug
Ladies Medium - 4 left
Ladies Large - 2 left   SOLD OUT!!

You can go right on over to the side and see my "Buy" button.   In the comments, just make sure you confirm the size you want ... the drop down button for sizes is not working.  That goes right into my paypal account.  I would LOOOOOOVE to get these sold and well, those funds could sure help this last step .... 2 airline tickets to Ethiopia plus Z's coming home ... and project de-clutter/organize!  

Thank you in Advance!!



Waiting for you!!!  

Friday, January 13, 2012


Not again today.  I actually awoke several times in the night thinking I wanted to check that e-mail to see if just by chance they had sent us a response.  8 hours ahead.  I kept myself from doing so as I didn't want to spoil my nights sleep (yeah, right!) with great news or with disappointment of what had not arrived.
6:05 ... roll over, check e-mails.  Nothing.

I was somewhat o.k. with that until I realized that it was already Friday.  The only time T.G.I.F. is not celebrated is in the world of adoption when you are waiting on something.  O.K. so like for 18-24 months for sure!  That along with the fact that Monday is MLK and they are off to celebrate that means - nothing until at least Tuesday.  GRRRR!

Even given holidays we have passed our 10 day mark, though.  My sweet agency let us know that we shouldn't be concerned that it is something with our case as other families who were submitted in the similar timeframe are also waiting.  That gives some comfort ... but doesn't make it easier.  Waiting is waiting and at this point ... every day is a day lost with my child.   I know the Lord will restore each of those.  I am praying he does so in abundance!

One of the hardest things to work through in adoption is expectations!

We hosted an adoption seminar last night and that is one thing we tried to convey ... set aside your expectations.  But the reality is, that is so hard when someone hands them to you.  "10 days and you should hear a response".  Somehow, your heart jumps right in to expectations and you find yourselves marking off days off your calendar (or so I am told - ha).

I'm being told the Embassy is "Backlogged".  I also know they are now requiring birth parent interviews and doing some extensive investigations for abandonment cases.  Given those things and the fact that they have holidays for two countries they take off  - 23 days off total (yes I did count), I can see why... it still doesn't make it o.k. or easier for me.

Here's what they show for holidays.  See for yourself.  As well, perhaps it will help you set a better expectation of your own "10 days".  Oh and the * means they take the day off on the Friday or Monday.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bring Our Children Home

Bring Our Children Home!  What more can we say than that?  Today, as I awoke, the first thing I did was roll over and open my iPad to see if the Embassy had responded to our case (8 hours ahead).  I went to bed in prayer, I begged you to pray ... and I stepped out in Faith asking that I would awake to something more than we could ask or imagine.  This morning, he answered with "not yet".

I don't know why!  I don't know why he has not finished what he has started ... not just for me and my son but so many who sit and plead "Bring our Children Home"!

I know he hears us!

I am attaching a video and song written by my dearest friend, Cindy Foote.  I found myself grumpy this morning.  Being told "no", isn't easy no matter how old you are.  The reality is, even in the stillness and quiet he is at work.  As I went to this video again, I wept.  So many faces in this video are HOME!  My little girl Maliah, Libby, Gracie, Karleigh Mei, Lindy, Samuel, Naomi, Rood, Shoebin, Zoei and more .  I also see so many who still await their "YES".  Sunny (Cindy's little girl in Haiti who has now awaited TWO years!), the Jones girls.  And I also know of so many faces not even represented here; Ashenafi, Sinteyahue, Leo, Levi, Zebene, Edilu, Meheret, ... would you like me to go on?  There are so many families I know, personally, awaiting so many milestones in this road called Adoption ... this Marathon we have been chosen to run!

Bring our Children Home!

Today marks 2 years since the Haiti earthquake.  Do you know how many children were orphaned that day?  Do you know how many children are looking for the same answer ... your YES!  Haiti's doors are open with my adoption agency.  Tonight we will be hosting a seminar here in our city (San Antonio) to share with families this road called adoption.  We will share with families how we are adopted by "God's Design".  Tonight I pray that even one more family can be represented, in this plea to "Bring our Children Home".  As I cry out to the Lord today, I am reminded that 163 million children are doing the same.  They too are looking for a "yes".
 You never know, your family may be a part of the fabric the Lord is creating in this thing we call the adoption community.  Over the past 7 years I have watched as he continues to weave and sew it together.  It is BEAUTIFUL and I invite you to come and see if you, perhaps, are a square in his quilt.

Today, in my flesh, I want to throw a 2 year old tantrum.  Today, in my flesh, I want to curl up on the couch and forget the world and sulk and pout.  But instead, I will praise the one who called us on this journey.  I will trust the one who has claimed them for us.  I will cry out Abba Father and celebrate knowing that he WILL finish what he has started.  He is faithful!

Enjoy this video and this song!  And well, I'll put a shameless plug out their for my Cindy.  She has entire CD devoted to adoption and orphan care called "No Double Yellow Line".  Go check it out for yourself!  You will be blessed!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's a celebration!

Happy Birthday Zebene!  
You are 4 TODAY!

As we drove to school this morning the car went into an uproar.  Your Momma and 3 siblings sang as loud as we could "Happy Birthday to You".  I was certain that you might have just been able to hear us 8,000 miles away.  YOU ARE CELEBRATED!  Today is YOUR day!  

Of course, I sang through my tears and your brother told me it was o.k. to cry.  "It's not right that he isn't home ... we are so close".  How true that is!  

Saturday night we celebrated with your Grandparents and your Great Aunt Susie.  Her birthday was yesterday.  I wonder what you would have thought of a great Texas steak!  Granny broke out a present for you and the waitress wondered where the birthday boy was until we told her all about you.  She fell in love with you through pictures and told us we made her night.  Zebene Levi Martine, YOU ARE CELEBRATED!  

I thought I'd share a few pictures of your birthday dinner with you here.  I'm starting to consider a re-do once you are home.  We have 4 years to make up for ... why not?  Who needs the actual day to celebrate a precious boy!  

Happy Birthday today my beautiful boy!  While I celebrate you, I cannot do so without thinking of your beautiful birth mother.  She is so brave!  She is so strong!  She has walked this process with us and without her ... we would not be where we are!  She loves you!   MiMi, you made the greatest sacrifice a mother could make.  Your bold and courageous love will never go a day without being honored.  We pray we can fulfill all those dreams you had for your baby boy.  Thank you for allowing us this incredible honor to parent and raise your precious child!  

Your Great Aunt Susie.  It was her celebration too!

Look at your gift from Granny and PiPa.  I am certain with your love for moving things that you will love this!

THAT is your birthday cake!  

Your Granny and your sister, Maliah

Aunt Susie got her own special treat, courtesy of the restaurant.

Your PiPa and big sister
Your silly brother and sisters ... here they are wishing you "HAPPY BIRTHDAY ZEBENE" with your balloon.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Melkam Genna!!

Melkam Genna!  Merry Christmas in Ethiopia!  January 7 marks that day for them and so when I awoke today (knowing the time difference), I knew they were finishing up a precious day of celebration with their families.
This also marks the last Christmas ... in any country's timeframe ... that my boy will spend without a family.

Fast forward a few hours and indeed, I was also blessed this day too!  A sweet Momma who is in country sent me pictures of our boy at the celebration the Transitional Home did with our kids.  LOVE IT!  Apparently they got to watch a movie outside, eat lots and lots of candy, sing songs and put on a drama.  Thought I'd share my blessings with you today.

I know this one is blurry ... but I LOVE what it is all about.  Tara said he jumped up and was dancing.  He looks so happy too!  I can't wait to see those moves!

I also thought I'd share with you a little about how they celebrate their Christmas.  Perhaps we, in America, the land of abundance could learn something.

Ethiopian Christmas is a major holiday in Ethiopia and falls on January 7, instead of December 25. Unlike the rest of the world Genna is devoid of Santa Claus and Christmas trees. But more recently the trend has been changing where Christmas trees have slowly started creeping into Ethiopian households where many people started using decorating trees even if there is still no Santa Claus stories told, giving and receiving gifts is also not a big deal among the people rather new clothes are bought for children as a present on the holiday.

Genna is followed by one month long fast. It is said that Legend has it that among the Magi the king bearing frankincense as gift to baby Jesus was King Balthazar of Ethiopia. The day before Genna, people fast all day. The next morning at dawn, everyone dresses in white. Most Ethiopians do a traditional shamma, a thin, white cotton wrap with brightly coloured stripes across the ends. After the mass in church families get together to take part in the holiday feast which include doro wot, tela (homemade traditional beer) and Defo Dabo (bread made for holidays). As done in many holidays’ people visit relatives and spend the holiday feasting together.

Christmas is a holiday where many people come together especially in recent times Ethiopian Diaspora come for the holiday in an attempt to not only enjoy Genna, but also celebrate Timket (Epiphany), considered one of the biggest holidays of the year which is just two weeks away from Genna.

In rural areas people play yegena chewata; Ethiopia’s version of hockey which is played using carved stick and kind of rounded ball where men and young boys participate in the game – at times the rivalry can be fierce. There are also songs which are sung to show how people appreciate the game ‘begenna chewata aykotum geta’ at times the rivalry can be fierce. According to tradition, shepherds celebrated when they heard of Jesus birth by playing such a game.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Because I needed to smile and you might too

I thought I'd share this video that makes us all giggle in our house.  Watch and find joy in our little boy who is learning all his colors ... with GREAT excitement!  We know he loves books.  He loves to sit in your lap and point out pictures and tells you what he sees (in English and Amharic none the less).  We also know that he loves his pre-school teachers.  I have a feeling, I have a sponge coming home.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I need off the roller coaster!

Today was good ... and hard.  Good because we got an update of our sweet boy.  Hard because we got an update of our sweet boy.  Confused?

Our sweet boy is adorable and being so far away is growing ever so much harder.  I'm such a liar ...
I just said a day or two ago how at peace I was.  And I was.  But now ... not so much!  I'm a mess.

Welcome to the roller coaster of emotions with an adoption!

Yep, today I woke up and decided that I was so done with this wait.  Today I woke up angry that we had received nothing ... just silence, from the embassy.  I also woke up wondering and worried that there could be delays.  So not that peace I had two days ago huh?  

I'm so done not being able to see his smile, hold his hand and tell him he's never going to be alone again.  I'm ready to figure out his likes and dislikes.  I'm ready to hear him laugh.  I'm ready to see him learn new things and experience a new world.  I ready to hear him say again "Balooo" for Blue and giggle.  And well, honestly ... you know your ready when you can visualize the really hard ... and say your ready for that too.  Could it be any harder than being 8,000 miles away from your son?

So, today I felt that way and then it got worse (and better).  Confused?  Welcome to my hormones.

We got our December update for Zebene.  It is with joy I got see his face.  It is also with heartache as I see how much he is changing and growing without us.  It is joy that I see him smiling and climbing on a park.  It is with great sadness that I'm not the one helping him on the jungle gym while he plays.  It is with joy that I read all the Nanny's answers to my questions.  It is with heartache that I read that he too has heartache.  
Ugh, dear Jesus, I'm starting to get motion sickness.  I seriously need off this roller coaster!  

Lord hear our cries

This is what they said today.  The questions were mine ... the answers are in purple.

1. What do you believe we should have in our home or how should we prepare to help Zebene feel most comfortable when he arrives here with us? 
a. He loves to have lots of playing cars, books and toys, to play with him and when he become angry or fussy he needs to be held closely or hugged 
2. Does Zebene still have the photo albums we sent and is anyone sharing them with him? Does he ever mention his family now that we have met? 
a. He often looks at the photo albums. After the family left he is always asking when his family is coming. Especially when he seeing other kid’s families coming 
3. Does Zebene understand that the family that came to see him (us) will one day soon return to bring him with us to our home and make him our son? Do you visit with him about this? 
a. After the family retuned he has been somehow sad and he has received follow up by transition home social worker and psychotherapist and he is doing well and assured that family will come back. 
4. Does Zebene have a particular Nanny(s) that cares for him? If so, what are your names? (I have a picture of him with 2 Nanny's that I would love to bring.): 
a. Zebene doesn’t have particular a Nanny he especially attached to, he is harmonious with all. When he was asked about it, he said Enatenesh and Abnet, who are his nursery school teachers. If you have photos with Nannies you can bring them and give them. 
5. How is Zebene put down for bed/nap each day? Is he a good sleeper? Do you think he would be most comfortable upon arriving home sleeping in a room with someone else? 
a. At 7:00 pm he will go to bed and he may not fall asleep for a few minutes. After he falls sleep, he sleeps all night. He will take a nap after lunch from 12:30 pm – 2:00pm each day. 

Here's a few pictures too though this time they are blurry and well ... they shaved his hair again.  BOOO!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Not me - ALL him!

Sometimes I open up my blog or photos and see this face and CANNOT believe THIS IS MY SON!
It overwhelms me sometimes to think that 8,000 miles away is a precious boy with my last name, with my inheritance that is no longer an orphan ... nope, he is my boy!  It overwhelms me to think that HE chose US to be his parents.   I have NOT a clue what HE sees in me to think I am worthy of such a privilege.  I am such a mess!  I have so far to go to be in his likeness.  What in the world?  Seriously ... THIS is my son!  So as I wait for embassy clearance, I found myself driving down the road today laughing. Yep, those next to me probably thought I was crazy.  Why?   Because I am at TOTAL peace and that is sooooo not in my nature.  It is so NOT who I am!   I could leave ANY day to bring home a son and I ... preparation, perfection Cristie is AT REST!

THAT my friends is testimony of a peace that surpasses all understanding!  
I see his fingerprints all over my life

December 28 ...

That was OUR day ... we were submitted to Embassy on December 28!!!  I would have written sooner but our family was knee deep in snow and tearing the slopes.  The whole family was skiing for the holidays which was so much fun.  A first for my kids ... and well, back to a childhood love for this girl raised in the North.   On that Wednesday, as I stood in line for the chair lift, it dawned on me ... it is WEDNESDAY!  WEDNESDAY!  WEDNESDAY!!  Oh my gosh it was torture the rest of the day.  All I could think about was our boy and the possibility of being submitted that day.   As soon as we arrived back to our house I ran upstairs.  I scrolled through the e-mails on my phone to find the long awaited one ...  Yep, I'm all sappy ... I cried.  We are on the LAST step!

Congratulations, your embassy paperwork was submitted today! Copies of all documents submitted are attached to this email.

We are excited for your family as you enter into this final stage of your adoption process. Many families have commented this season of waiting is the hardest, and our prayer for your family is that you will have a peace that passes understanding as you wait through this final season.
Once the embassy receives your paperwork, the embassy will let us know within 10 business days whether you are cleared, whether they'd like to interview someone involved in the case (birth parent, police, etc.), or whether your case is "not clearly approvable" and is being forwarded to the USCIS office in Nairobi, Kenya.

Birth Relative interviews are currently being requested for all cases with a living relative who relinquished a child, so we encourage any family with that situation to be prepared for this possibility. If an appointment is requested, it may take as long as a week or more for the embassy to request this from the date of paperwork submission, and as the embassy only has limited interview slots, it may take a week or more for this individual to interview (if applicable and requested).

Once your paperwork is submitted, the embassy will copy your family on all correspondence with us. The Embassy could potentially notify us on any day of the week that you are cleared to travel and will notify you and us once you are cleared via email. As soon as they clear you to travel you will need to notify the embassy of your top 3 choices for embassy interview dates. We will then request these dates and should hear from the embassy on the following business day regarding your request.

Embassy interviews occur Monday-Thursday with the exception of embassy holidays. Visas are issued the second day after the interview (Monday interview=Wednesday visa pickup) with the exception of Thursday interviews for which visas are issued the following day (Friday). Families can leave Ethiopia any time after 7pm on the day the visa is issued. 

If you have any further questions on this, please let me know.

In Him,

So, there you have it ... we now WAIT again.  Each step brings a new place of trust.  We are pretty sure they will request that birth parent interview and that could take some time ... but guess what 2012 brings???  ZEBENE COMING HOME!  

Happy New Years friends!  It indeed is looking to be a glorious one FULL of transitions, hope, and promise sprinkled with heartache, trials and the process of redemption.  We are READY!  

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