Tuesday, March 30, 2010

One of My Favorites

Want to see a really great adoption video?  That will probably make you cry??  I just had to post this (click here) because it is one of my all-time favorite "adoption" videos I've seen and it brings back really special memories of mine and Roger's time meeting Ari almost three months ago already.  The time has gone so fast and yet it feels longer than three months.  Everyone who has children says once they're here you can't really remember or even imagine life without them, and that is true.  Although I still remember the longing and heartache I had wanting to be a mommy so badly and wondering if it would ever happen.  I think I will always remember that no matter how many children we have someday.  Maybe that's a good thing; it reminds me to never, ever take them for granted.

Also, I just had to mention we welcomed home our very good friends Jason & Tamra Barnhouse this past Saturday night with their 10-month-old twins, Dax and Fiona, from Ethiopia!!!  I've decided one of my all-time new favorite activities is greeting adoptive parents as they walk into the airport with their new babies.  Such an incredible feeling.  God has blessed this couple beyond measure after enduring a very long and difficult adoption process.  And, Dax and Fiona were in the same orphanage as Ari!  In fact, their cribs were right next to each other, separated only by a window.  We are so, so happy our kids can continue to be friends.  It's really amazing to think they were all together halfway around the world and now they live only 10 minutes away!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Public Opinion

I'm not sure how this post is going to go -- it may turn out to be a complete rambling mess, but I'm going to write anyway and see what happens.

I find the public's reaction to Ari fascinating.  Before he was home I was so curious and anxious, even excited to see how we would be received when we were out and about.  For some prospective white adoptive parents, public opinion/reaction is a very real concern they have about adopting a black child and it will actually even deter them from choosing to adopt a child of color.  Since I have very little regard of other people's opinions, that was never a stumbling block for us in our decision to adopt from Ethiopia.  And, let me tell you, 2 1/2 months in it's been nothing but positive.  So far we have had absolutely no negative attention or comments.  When we first announced we were adopting from Ethiopia, some family and friends very politely voiced concern over our impending interracial family.  And, yes, we do get quite a bit of attention wherever we go, but really truly it is because he is such a cute baby!!  We are constantly being bomarded with strangers coming up and commenting on how beautiful he is.  So far only one person has directly asked me "where is he from" -- a biracial 20-something young man -- and only a couple times have women asked me "is that your baby," in which I of course answer "yes," before oohing and aahhing over him.  Both I think are pretty fair questions that haven't offended me in the least, and it actually gives me an opportunity to talk about his international adoption and the Ethiopian people.  Of course, right now Ari is a baby who has absolutely no idea what the conversations going on around him actually mean, but someday when he's older I'm hopeful people will exhibit some tact and not ask such personal questions, but for now I'm okay with it. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Ari's first tooth is officially in!  Last night as I was feeding him baby food I thought I could see some pretty prominent whiteness and when I felt his gum there was a ridge there, but nothing sharp.  Well, this morning you can definitely feel a hard, sharp little tooth finally poking through!!  I think we'd be able to see it too except he won't let us pull his lip back far enough to see in there.  For the past two days Ari has been "off."  Fussy and clingy during the day, not taking his bottle very well, and not sleeping through the night. I'm so glad to know teething is the likely culprit.  I figured it was teeth, but then I thought maybe he was going through some attachment stuff after noticing how leach-like he had become.  He's just so happy-go-lucky usually that it was pretty obvious something was bothering him.  And after being home for only two months, I still wonder when he's out of sorts if it's attachment related.  No, I don't think that was the case in this instance.  He's just a normal 8-month-old getting his first tooth!  As soon as we can see it better we will post a picture of his first pearly white!

Monday, March 22, 2010

One small step...

Everyone keeps asking what we've been up to with Ari.  Here's our Sunday evening event:

What a big boy; right?!?  He is still refusing to crawl, but Parents as Teachers says as long as he's becoming mobile in some form or fashion, he's right on track developmentally for an 8 month old.  So he's maybe a little ahead in the walking department and a little behind in the crawling department.  He also wants to walk (hanging on to our fingers, of course) ALL THE TIME.  So cute, but so hurts my lower back.  I think he's going through a growth spurt too right now due to the looooong naps he's been taking.  Normally he sleeps an hour max and yesterday it was 2.5 hours and now this morning it was 1.5 hours.  Of course, this means he wakes up at 5:45 every morning, but he's for sure making up for it during the day!!  Ari continues to be such a huge joy in our lives and every day we marvel time and time again at how blessed we are to have him as our son.  We hope to post some more updated pics to the blog soon!

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Earlier this week we were teased with a 76 degree day.  Guess who loved being outside?

Now it's 39 degrees and rainy.  Guess who really misses the sun and being outside?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Iowa, Iowa....and more Iowa

This past weekend was the first Iowa trip for Ari.  I say "first" because I'm from there...and all my family lives there.....and all my "old" friends live there....and I have to take Ari to the State Fair.  And, well, Iowa will always be a big part of my life, so there will always be "Iowa" trips.  So here are a few of the many people Ari met for the first time -- all very close friends and family.  He was a huge hit, loved on by so many, and was SUCH a trooper as we made our Tour of Iowa and also during the long trek from Springfield and back.  Really, he couldn't have been any better.  Roger and I are officially totally spoiled by this little boy.  I don't know -- either he's going to be hell on wheels when he's a teenager (likely) or we're in for a ride with Baby #2 (also likely).  

Speaking of Baby #2, many people have asked us when we're going to start the adoption process again.  Yes, we plan on adopting from Ethiopia again.  That is a tentative plan, of course, because no one knows what the future holds.  We all know what happens when we "plan" on things happening.  With that being said, for now we need to get off this adoption train for a while and just enjoy our little man before we start the all-consuming chaos again.  Although I'm hoping the second time around won't be quite so brutal now that I'm a mommy and don't have all of that built up momminess waiting to explode out of me like I did waiting for Ari.  AND we aren't even close to being done with Ari's adoption yet.  U.S. Customs screwed up in D.C. when we landed coming home by telling us we didn't need to go to secondary customs.  Well, that was horribly wrong because in secondary customs they take a picture of the baby that then is used for their permanent residence card.  Well, guess what?  Now we have to drive all the way to St. Louis for a 2-minute appointment for Ari to get his picture taken.  If the customs employee would have known what was up, this would have been taken care of at the D.C. airport and we could have avoided this little trip altogether.  And we still have to do the readoption process....and legally change his name...and get Ari a Social Security card....and file an N600 for a Certificate of Citizenship.  See?  We are going to need a little paperwork break before we start Adoption #2.  

Now that I've totally gotten off subject, enjoy the pictures below!!  And keep voting for Ari's picture (see previous post)!!  It will pay for some of his college education if he wins (no, not cash -- a scholarship)!!    

Grandma Erin, (my) cousin Matt, Matt's little boy Caleb, (my) Aunt Lori

Ari and his Grandma Erin

A five-generation picture with my 98-year-old great-grandma

(My) Uncle Todd -- yes, Ari wore an Iowa shirt while in Iowa.  When in Rome.....
(My) Cousin Ashley
The proud grandmas

Ari and his second cousin Caleb swinging in the "hammock"
Sara, Griffen, and Ari

Top 5

We went from #2128 to #4 in the voting -- thanks so much.  New link for voting today.  Click HERE and tell your friends.  Photos tonight, promise.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Vote for Ari!

We entered Ari in an online contest last week.  I'm not sure of all the details, but I do know that votes are usually a very good thing.  If you would, go HERE and vote for Ari == Supposedly you can vote daily, so go crazy folks.  And tell your friends.

On another note, we had a great weekend in Iowa.  We took lots of family/friend photos, all of which will have to be uploaded later this evening.  Ari was amazing.  He continues to spoil us.  Proof below.

This was Ari 80% of the time we were driving....all weekend.