Happy New Year’s indeed! This morning I woke up to an update on Tariku again! This one was even more special. This one had a picture!!!!! His head is shaved since I saw him last (they do that to stave off any ringworm or lice substances) and it’s an EXTREME close up but he really is so unbelievably precious! Ack I just want to hug and kiss on him until he can’t stand it anymore.

It also talked more about his personality (very sociable) and his favorite toy (ball). Some of his “achievements” (climbs stairs switching feet, etc). It was so great hearing more about him. I picture him doing all of these things. I even tried to take a nap but images of him were dancing around in this head of mine.

On top of all of that, after one maybe two emails to the government, they wrote back and said our fingerprints are set for January 15 at 10am in Des Moines (we’re coming mom and dad!). This all means after the fingerprints and the official word that we’re deemed acceptable to bring Tariku into the states there will be NOTHING stopping us (side from the Ethiopian courts that is). We are literally so close I can taste it. The reality of him growing in the care center (he has learned quite a few things since being there, and appears to have learned a lot of Amharic/English) is hitting me less and less hard when we are so close.

Can’t believe it’s 2008 already. 2007 was an absolute amazing year. It’s hard to believe we will be a family of 5 throughout most of 2008 and by 2009 having three kids will be as natural as it possibly can be. I’m excited for the uncomfortableness that the beginning of ’08 will bring!

Oh yeah, and if you are an Iowan, get excited for some caucasing in a few days!!! Hard not to be proud to be an Iowan this time of the year during a Presidential race.

Happy New Years to all!


So on Thursday night when we went out with the Klipschs to celebrate Zach, and therefore my, youngest sister’s 21st birthday an interesting discussion came up. The oldest brother has a friend whose child was born with Celebral Palsy (I think). I know the friend as well as the son but had never known the story of how it happened, etc. For those that don’t know, I suffered a miscarriage a few years back. On Thursday that baby theoretically would’ve celebrated it’s 2nd birthday. So the timing of it all was quite interesting. The story was told about the mother of this boy going into premature labor because she had turned septic with an infection. The baby was delivered at 23ish weeks and was diagnosed with CP some time afterwards. Anyhow, it really hit me that night for some reason. Perhaps it was the wine, it was definitely the timing…but I realized I had never thanked God for my miscarriage. It sounds strange even writing that. I don’t doubt that boy’s parents praise God for his life everyday, just as I would have had my baby been born. But I know God saved me from what could’ve potentially been a huge heartache by carrying that baby to term. I too was septic and, according to doctor testimonial, barely came through with my life. This is not to say I don’t mourn every December 28th for the child that wasn’t, but I am starting to realize the battles that child might have faced. God is truly something.

Tonight we celebrated my youngest nephew, Elihu’s, 1st birthday. Good times. My sister-in-law’s aunt adopted Steven (you got that?) from Ethiopia some 5 years ago. Steven was running around the house playing with Trysten and my nephew, Oliver. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. Though he was older than Tariku and certainly wasn’t Tariku, he was Ethiopian! I think he thought I was some sort of obsessed freak, and I kind of was. But really, can you blame me?

To end on a light note…one of the reasons I’ve always loved my husband is because of his passion. When he becomes passionate (it’s borderline obsessive) about something he REALLY latches on. Tonight, it is the Rubik’s cube. He started at Eli’s birthday party (sorry, Eli) and hasn’t stopped. It’s been close to 4 hours. He’s getting close, as close as you can I suppose. But it’s really something to watch! Good thing his passion also goes into more productive things like being a phenomenal husband, father, and Camp Director otherwise we’d have quite the problem on our hands!


The nesting has commenced. I realize we have at the very least another 6 weeks left, but the nesting doesn’t listen to reason. It appears the nesting wants Tariku here too.

Today I organized Trysten and Tariku’s room, Dailah’s room and the room we are using as storage until the house is completed. I realize Martha Stewart has a whole empire and all, but I’m fairly certain even she would be impressed. So today went to organizing and tomorrow scrubbing takes over.

This could be a loooong few months.

1 More Thing

I forgot to mention the AMAZING fact that my parents gave us a great gift (among great gifts) this Christmas. Money to fly Tariku home!!! Woohoo! It was a great surprise and that is one check I just can’t wait to spend. Now on to clever ideas to get Zach and myself to and fro the beautiful land that is Ethiopia.

I just looked on our unofficial list for the CHSFS forum and found out that we’re “theoretically” in the next group to hear of travel news. Seeings we got our referral before we were waiting I never actually became obsessed with “the list”. Hearing of Tariku has changed all this and so much more. Ah new obsessions!

Pajama Day

It has officially been declared a pajama day today at our residence. The only person who has slipped (kind of) out of his pajamas is the Mr. because he went to work for a bit. He is now back in them. The kids have their footies on and it’s quite nice. The snow has been falling in blankets since I woke up this morning. It’s a good day to be alive. We probably won’t leave the house at all today, but a trip to the grocery store is beginning to look like a necessity. I just ate a lunch rich with sugar and non-nutrients. It was delicious though, Cheetos and Oreos can’t beat it! Don’t worry, Trysten got a bowl of cereal.

Went out for my sister-in-law’s 21st birthday last night. We ate at a really great restaurant sans children and I enjoyed some of the biggest laughs of my life, which is no surprise since I married into a family that is quite possibly the funniest people I’ve met. It was a lot of fun but quite a late night so the few cat naps I’ve gotten today really hit the spot.

We are coming off the Christmas high and our everyday life is starting to resume. I think about Tariku more on days like today. Especially now that he and his big brother have matching underoos that I surely would’ve put them in today. 2 people on the forum got news of travel. By the time they travel they would’ve been waiting 3 months. We are in our 7th week of waiting for travel. Could our call be far off? I think it will, seeings the government has not called about our fingerprints yet but perhaps…Even though Christmas is officially over, I’m not the kind of girl to let wishful thinking go out the window.

As one of our friends who is also adopting from ET asked, “A day like today with all the snow really makes you wish you were in Ethiopia, doesn’t it?” Couldn’t have said it better myself!

Twas the Day After Christmas

And all through the house, the mommy was cleaning and the kids were playing. We not only survived Christmas, but we thoroughly enjoyed every second. It is safe to say we all made out like bandits, including sweet Tariku. I was right in my guess that I had conflicting emotions throughout the day. Ranging from extreme highs to subtle lows. It was really hard seeing his pile of presents and know that he wouldn’t be opening, let alone playing with, them anytime soon. But, above all, it was a good time. Here are some pictures of the weeks festivities. One of the highlights was my parents renewing their vows. They celebrated their 30th anniversary on August 20th but since that was also the day of my grandma’s funeral they thought it’d be poor form to “celebrate” both. Anyhow, they had their new rings blessed and are ready for another 60 years. I also got to spend some time with a few of my high school friends as well as my paternal cousins, aunts, uncles and second cousins. It was a great time had by all!

Pics: Kids and my sister, Dailah and her favorite thing of all time–babies, our family pic we’re sending to Tariku, my side of the fam’s pic, Dailah in her Christmas dress from my sister, the kids and their Christmas PJs, Trysten and his new bike, Tariku’s presents from Santa and us.

Update On Our Beautiful Middle Child

Tariku Asamu (referred to as either Asamu or Asamo from our agency in Ethiopia) has gained weight! Woohoo! Since being in the care center he has gained 3lbs. Doesn’t sound like a lot but since he’s been there only 2 months that’s pretty great, I think. Last night at dinner my sister-in-law said his measurements are about equal to my nephew, Oliver. Couldn’t help but hold him just a few more times than usual last night. I even found myself closing my eyes and just picturing holding Tariku for a bit. It felt good, I must say.

We are in Altoona with my family. I can’t say enough how much I love the Christmas season. I know for some it can bring them further from the real “reason of the season” because it’s easy to get swept up in equal presents, etc. I seem to get ever closer. It’s easier for me to remember what an impact that little baby in the manger has had on me. That He has saved me from so much, it’s amazing to me. The celebration of Christmas never seems enough to Praise Him.

I can’t help but think of Tariku’s Ethiopian family this time of year either. I am blessed to be close to all of my family and will get to see all of them (but one of my cousins…weep, weep). My sweet boy will be in an orphanage this Christmas. For those that know me, know this is almost too hard to bare. I know they do a nice celebration and everything but it’s just not the same. I have a feeling this will be my first Christmas where I have more conflicting emotions than ever before.

The smell of bacon is reaching my nostrils in the most intense way. I must be back in Altoona. 🙂

Dossier in ET!!

Yay, I couldn’t resist today so I wrote our wonderful Ethiopian Coordinator just one small email. “Just seeing where we were at in the process, sorry to bother I’m just missing my son today.”

She wrote back, “Dossier is in country prepared for court. It gets submitted to court then awaits a court date. Hang in there!”

One step closer. Mommy is one step closer, Tariku.


Sometimes I’m snappy. Yesterday someone said, “I can’t believe you are a mom to two kids”. “Actually I’m a mom to three” I retorted rather nastily. My friend, Jody, and I were talking today about adoption. It’s all consuming for us, why isn’t everyone else in the world thinking about that? Why would someone call me a mom to two when I’m so obviously a mom to three?

I must say having Jody in my life has made this adoption SOO much easier to handle. It is nice having a friend to talk to about it all, share resources and laugh while our kids go running around her house. I’ve found adoption, like all things in life, is a bit easier to float through and smile through when you’re sharing it with people you enjoy chatting with.

Biggest Loser finale tonight. Better go get myself prepared.

But You’re Strong, Mommy.

Trysten has an imaginary friend, his name is Tariku and he happens to be Trysten’s brother. When I make the kids breakfast, Trysten insists I make a (pretend) breakfast for Tariku. When I tuck him in at night, Trysten insists Tariku join us for prayers and snugglebugs. You know it’s getting long when Trysten is beginning to believe his brother is just a figment of his imagination.

We got our immunizations today. So we went the “cheap” route and only got the shots that would prevent us from dying and/or making us wish we were dead. Those were Hep A, (we got Hep B at our doc’s office), Yellow Fever and Typhoid. We skipped out on a few things but I was reassured that I would still be loved if I got any of the following: meningitis, polio, tetanus, etc. So, 3 shots each cost us $650. SERIOUSLY. That’s ridiculous. Adoption is a pricey adventure, but one look at Tariku’s eyes and I’d survive another 30 shots at $100 a pop. That’s no jokes. But my arm hurting is no jokes either. The title of this post comes because Trysten was a great help when we were getting our shots. He held our hands and all. Well, I got mine first (by the way, did you know the Yellow Fever shot is shot basically in your armpit? 1) gross, 2) ow!) and I didn’t bleed, nor did I squeeze his hand very tight. Well, Zach went next and he did bleed and Trysten reported later that he squeezed really tight. So a few minutes ago I was talking about how badly my arms hurt and Trysten said, “But you’re strong, mommy”. I’m going to assume it’s because he recognizes how truly strong I am and not because of my subliminal messages I’ve been giving him since birth. I.e. mommy is stronger than daddy, women can beat up men if they want to, mommy can beat daddy in a leg race, mommy can beat daddy in an arm wrestling competition, mommy can squat more than daddy, etc.

I better be off to make some of my famous fettucine chicken alfredo, it is a favorite of everyone but mine; I find it’s quite easy to sacrifice for the precious faces that stare at me across the table.