The Doba-days

That’s one of the many nicknames for Dailah (Day-la, lots of people ask how to pronounce her name).

Well, it was her birthday yesterday. I’m kind of refusing to believe that this baby girl of mine, the one born almost a month early, has turned 4. How? What? Why do these years go by so quickly? Not a fan.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I never wanted girls. Not in the way other women do. I’m not really a girly girl. I tried Cosmos during the Sex and the City craze but it never stuck, the only mixed drink I’ve dabbled with is a Gin and Tonic (mama likey).

I guess I’m getting off point. Although moms around the world can understand how I could be talking about our children and naturally stray to talk of stiff drinks.

Anywho, moving along…Dailah, birthday girl.

She is funny, she is smart, she is spunky and sweet. She is a snuggler, she is beautiful, she loves being a little sister but probably not more than she loves being a big sister. Dailah revels in being the lone she-wolf in a pack of hairy, stinky boys. If there is make up or jewelery anywhere within a few miles Dailah can find it. She loves chips and chocolate (proof of her girlhood, obviously). Zach and I could argue for hours over whether she’s a mommy or daddy’s girl but the truth is she’s just naturally gifted at making people feel special.

Dailah’s not perfect, none of my kids are. But she is perfect for us, and I’ll take that any day.

So the birthday girl chose donuts (instead of pancakes, cereal, etc) surprise, surprise.

The boys benefited from her decision making.

We also did our annual measurements. Boy has she grown!

After a bit of play time we decided we could give her her first present. I bought this apron from the Water For Christmas etsy shop. Cute stuff for a good cause? Fuggetaboutit.

Oops, did I mention it came in a “mommy and me” package?

Then it was off to Dailah’s preschool doctor’s appointment. No big deal, though she did end up charming the pants of an otherwise uncharmable doctor (who I love, but is seriously dry). Oh, and got her finger pricked but after a sucker and sparkly band-aid she was ready for her close up again.

After this it was off to the birthday party. At Incredible Pizza. When running into the party, Dailah somehow managed to twist her ankle. It started to swell, she couldn’t put weight on it, good times. Other than that, it actually was a good time.

She opened presents (this one from Ethiopia. A shawl we bought from the Leper hospital). Oops, did I mention I have one too? I might have more than made up for the non-excitement about having a girl since bringing home 2 more boys.

Papa Frank got the girl a bike so this picture was more of a distraction so she wouldn’t see it being wheeled in but it’s cute enough to post.

After all of that excitement Grandma Connie took them all to Build-A-Bear. They were all a little tired, little hungry. The new habeshas specifically were kind of all over the place but we finished with some purty cute little stuffed animals.

Let it be known, I love this girl more than words can say. She rounds out the family in the most awesome way. So, so thankful I get her in my life. I love my sweet, sweet baby girl.

More than a Job

For about 7 hours a week I get to work. It does feel a little silly calling it “work” because I enjoy it so much. I need this, I really do. For those that don’t know, I teach a few fitness classes at a few of our local YMCA’s. It might be the best place on earth to work, and I do believe it’s the best job in the world.

I’ve met some of the most amazing people through this “job”, in fact, most of my very best friends have come to me through the Y. Not only this, but my “job” leaves me with a better spirit, mind and body so how can I complain about it?

One of the classes I teach is called Bodyflow. It’s a class that combines Tai Chi, yoga and pilates and is the bomb diggity. This class even more than the others has brought the core group of people who participates really close. It is 2 of the best hours of my week, working out and bonding with my ladies (and dudes).

So last Tuesday I walked up to my spot in front of the class and there was a little gift bag with my name on the front. I didn’t think much of it because, honestly, they are always bringing me little things I love. But when I looked inside I just started crying. They had gotten together and “showered” me with gift cards. Over $200 worth of gift cards to Wal mart and Target.

Just humbled, I suppose there is no other way to say that. They are some of the most generous, loving women. Right here in Iowa, you should be jealous.

I LOVE this “job”. Love it.

One of the other reasons is because I can just be funky, just be me. Every few months we get to re-launch for the new releases. My sister and one of my besties, Ann, recently got trained in Bodystep so we were excited to launch together. And…it was an 80s theme. So we did this to ourselves:

Clearly my particular look translates better to this decade. This head’s too big for a side pony.

And my Chrissy. My friend who I actually met in Bodyflow and have since talked her into coming to all of my classes. 🙂 She got all jazzed about the 80s too and just went for it.

Seriously went for it (I did get permission before putting this on the interwebs, by the way). If you had any questions as to why I would love her perhaps this is proof enough.

This “job” is a life-giving thing for me. It is the perfect pairing to being a stay-at-home momma.

Oh my sweet, sweet Tariku

I’ve been getting enough junk about not blogging lately that I thought I’d sit down and write one tonight. 🙂

It’s been awhile because:
-I have no pictures
-It’s been too hot to blog (have a hot computer on my lap for more than 1 minute).
-I’m really trying to stay unplugged to technology so I can be “plugged in” to my 5 babes
-By 8pm I am completely exhausted and spend the next 2 hours trying to talk myself into staying awake until 10.

When I kept thinking about what to write tonight, one issue kept coming up. Before I started this I sauntered over to Rebekah’s blog and noticed her post was remarkably similar to what I was going to write. About structure, about comfort, about feelings of safety.

Tariku is struggling. Struggling. Everyone else in the family is doing so well.

Tariku is in a tailspin. This boy who is the sweetest, most loving boy is just clearly feeling like he was put in the rinse cycle.

And it’s so hard, so, so hard to watch him work through this.

I mentioned here about Tariku’s triggers.

I’m trying really hard to keep a schedule, to give Tariku plenty of notice about what’s going to happen for the day/week, etc. But honestly, life with 5 kids has lent itself to a high degree of unpredictability.

Again, he’s still a remarkable boy. It’s not like he’s started to get aggressive or started to do things that are that horrible. But he’s started to make fun of Binyam for random things, play in his bed at night rather than go to sleep, etc. Random things, super random, (quite frankly) annoying things. But it’s not about what he’s doing, it’s about the fact that he continues to do them even when we remind him over and over not to do them.

This is not like him.

Even though my mind tells me he can’t help it, that he’s scared, that he’s trying to find his place in this new family dynamic, it’s hard to get through. Zach is gone a lot with work so it’s just me. And it was super hot last week, turns out I’m not nearly as nice in the extreme heat as I am in a more tolerable climate.

My poor, sweet Tariku.

I hate that I can’t do this one thing for him. I hate that his trauma of the past affects him still. I hate that I can’t heal these wounds for him. I hate that he has these wounds in the first place. I hate, hate that I love him so much and that love is simply not enough in this case. I hate that I can’t look at him and convince him that he will always be with us, a beloved part of this family.

Adoption is not for the faint of heart. It’s not for the people who believe that just loving our babes will always be enough.

Because it takes work, it takes guts, it takes balls, it takes all of these things and more.

If you’re adopting and have these rose colored glasses on, you need to chickity check yourself cuz it’s not all flowers. There are some serious skunks in this flower bed of motherhood.

But I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. Because being a mother to Tariku has made me a better mother to the other 4. A better wife to Zach. A better auntie to my 3 nephews. A better sister, daughter, friend. A better everything.

And I love him too much. Seriously too much.

We’ll get through this, as we got throuh those first few weeks/months when I kind of, sort of, hoped he wouldn’t always be in our family.

We got through that and now we’re on the other side, when I need him in this family.

So I’ll hug him when I feel like screaming, I’ll smile when I feel like crying, I’ll whisper “forever” when he feels like “no more”. I’ll do all of this.

Because this is adoption. This is family. This is now, it’s then, it’s someday. It’s all of that.

Today, and everyday, we lean on Grace more than ever before.

It’ll come, it always will.

And when it does, he’ll know I’ll always be his mommy, and he’ll always be my baby. Always. Always.

Fun at the Lake

After meeting with Cindy’s family we decided to head to my parents’ lakehouse. It’s one of my favorite places on earth. It was a risk, we had only been home one week and we’d be without Zach for a few days. We knew all of that but, frankly, I needed to get out of my house for awhile. The house was dirty, it was hot (no a/c), Zach was working a lot, etc, etc. Plus I’m not good at sitting around twiddling my thumbs.

We were planning on just a day or so but then Zach surprised us and drove up for the day (3 hours one way!). So good to have the whole family there. And the kids LOVED it.

Zach, hotflawedmama and the new boys. Teaching them all about life jackets and how they keep you from dying. 🙂

The best darn daddy.

Just kind of loved this image. 4 trunks and 1 swimsuit.

This is the picture I like to call “attachment bootcamp”. I said before that Tomas struggles with his feelings towards me. He wants to love me so much, but his past has taught him not to trust women because they consistently fail him. So I thought maybe I could swim with him in the water, swim eye to eye. He rarely looks me in the eye and it’s hard to work on attachment with a 6-yr-old, let me tell you that. So I wanted him to be able to see he could trust me to keep him safe in the water, at the very least. 45 minutes (yes you read that right) 45 minutes after we started he finally looked me in the eye and smiled. It will be a long road but he is such an amazing little boy, whatever I need to do to prove I’m trustworthy and to prove my love, I’ll do it. This kid is worth it, I promise you that.

Marcus (my brother) and his mini me, Trysten. Their hair ends up the same way after a boat ride.

The kids watching Marcus and his wakeboarding tricks (he’s got mad skills). Loved all of their smiles and giggles. Tomas even gave a thumbs up-something I didn’t even know he knew about.

Here we have the whole family on 2 tubes. If you look closely, Tariku is probably the only kid enjoying it.

Here we have Dailah on a fake phone, bossing someone around. Classic Dailah.

This is better.

I mean, seriously. This boy looks right in my eyes and and breaks my heart nearly every time.

Babies in a boat.

3 Ethiopians in a lake in Iowa. I kept thinking this would be the beginning of a great joke but I couldn’t come up with a punchline. Any ideas?

Cindy and Fam

Last Thursday I finally got to meet a good friend. That sounds weird, I know, but I’ve “known” Cindy through the interwebs for over two years. The Burt clan was driving through Iowa on their way to the Minnesota Mehaber (which we were so very sad about missing, next year, we promise!). So we agreed to meet in Des Moines at their hotel. Mihiret and Tariku were buddies (by “buddies” I mean Tariku is biting/pinching poor Mihiret in the videos) in Ethiopia. It is so fun to see these kids growing up to be quite amazing little people.

Pictures were less than great, but worth showing anyway I think.

Mihiret and Tariku. Yes, proof that Ethiopians are too beautiful for words.

A picture from Dailah’s perspective. I put this on only to point out the necklace I’m wearing. I got it at the bead shop I spoke of in Ethiopia. Love it.

This is literally the best picture I had of the kids. There were 8 kids total so you can see our uphill battle in trying to get a good one of all of them.

And Cindy, a photo by Dailah. Notice her shirt. Do you see one of the reasons I might love her?

How Are We Doing?

So well, so, so well.

It’s hard to believe we’ve already slipped into a rhythm as a family, but we have. Of course there are some growing pains, there are bound to be, but I’m overall impressed with the 3 originals and the 2 newbies.

Truthfully, this is the first day that I don’t feel exhausted the whole day. I’ve been struggling with jet lag/time difference worse than ever this time. At one point a few days ago, mid dinner preparation, I dozed on Trysten’s bed for about 20 minutes. I woke up and the meat was defrosted, so it worked out well I suppose. But that’s how tired I was. Feeling more like myself today, after getting at least 10 hours of sleep every night and a 2 hour nap almost every day (I am so blessed, I know this).

But to the family…Tomas is actually taking the backseat pretty seamlessly. There are times when he is super quiet, and Zach and I feel so bad for him, but he seems to shake it off pretty quickly. I know he misses his friends and caregivers but he seems to be getting used to us. The only thing we struggle with when it comes to Tomas is indiscriminate affection. Tomas still loves to give random hugs and kisses (particularly to men) and shout “I love you” to anyone who will listen. He also calls almost every woman he sees “mommy”. I just make sure I’m holding his hand when we go anywhere we might be meeting strangers and have him stay close by me. After he calls someone “mommy” I look him in the eyes and introduce that person with their name and then point at myself and say “mommy”. Does that make sense? Anyway, this seems to be helping quite a bit in just a few days.

Binyam is doing really, really well. Honestly, it seems like he’s been waiting for a family even more than Tomas was. Every nap and bedtime I put him and Dailah to bed, give them kisses and then leave. Every time he yells “Mommy-ay”. I go in and he just smiles, I give them another kiss then leave. One more time, “”mommy-ay”, go in and he smiles. That’s it, no more after that. It’s quite clear he’s just checking that I’ll come if he needs me, that I won’t leave him. And I won’t. Binyam doesn’t struggle with the indiscriminate affection, if anything he struggles with all the hugs and kisses his brothers and sister force upon him.

The other 3 are doing well, only struggling from time to time with the whole sharing bit. For the first few days they only wanted the toys the 2 boys had (even if they hadn’t touched them for months/years). It’s getting better, probably because I had little patience with that kind of behavior. 🙂 Overall, they are seriously loving the boys. They are loving learning a bit of the language, loving helping them learn how to be in our family. Just. plain. loving it.

I am so, so thankful for that.

As for Zach, poor Zach. He had to go right back to working pretty much. He had Saturday off and then has had to work quite a bit since. Zach didn’t have time to catch up on sleep, didn’t have time to dial into the family dynamics yet. He goes from chaos at camp to chaos at home and, rightfully so, is seemingly overwhelmed. I am counting down the days until August for him.

But dang he’s a good looking man, right? 🙂

Oh, and this is pretty awesome too.

Baby Cash

My nephew was born!!! I am so happy Emily waited to have my nephew until I got back. 🙂

And he is precious, absolutely precious. Side from my biological babes (and probable Ethiopian babes, though I never did see them as babies) he is the most perfect baby I’ve ever seen. So blonde, so big eyed, so perfect. I love him already.

The happy, happy parents (Frank is Zach’s brother, in case you couldn’t tell).

The proud auntie.

The excited cousins (who couldn’t go in to see him at the hospital but are waiting with much anticipation to see baby Cash when he goes home).


How great it feels to type those words! Home has never felt better, let me just tell you that.

To catch you up…

Our last few hours in Ethiopia dragged out. We were just ready to be home. Finally, at about 6:30 we left the hotel and headed to Bole Airport.

Our last picture in Ethiopia before we left (this is a pretty big deal because Tonya and Kevin took this whilst having 2 little habeshas strapped to them along with many packpacks, bread and other goodies).

The first flight (about 8 hours) was great, both boys giggled during take off then slept the whole way. I slept fitfully, with Binyam’s head on my lap it was hard to get comfortable. We got to Amsterdam about 5:45 their time so we just kind of walked around stretching our legs. With only 3 or so hours of layover we had just enough time to stretch and recenter. The boys had just enough time to gaze out the window for almost the entire 3 hours.

The flight to Detroit (about 8 hours)was also good. We let the boys watch one movie (which they only kind of watched) and then we had them sleep again. Both of them did, with Binyam sleeping almost 6 hours. I slept better this flight as well. The flight was delayed an hour and we knew we didn’t have a very long layover in Detroit so we were hoping to make up time in the air. Zach kept telling me, “Prepare yourself that we miss the connecting flight, just prepare.” I told myself that I did, but…

We got to Detroit and literally sprinted down the halls. At one point I was so frustrated that Tomas wasn’t running that I kind of half kicked his butt (in a playful manner, but it probably didn’t look that way). The guy at immigration took his sweet, sweet time and, when hearing that we needed to make our connecting flight, still wouldn’t let Zach go get our bags ready. “This is a big airport, I’m sure there will be plenty of flights”. Ugh and ugh. So then we get to customs, where we decided to report that we brought dirt back and coffee beans. Shoudln’t have. Took FOREVER. By the time we got to the check in point for our next flight we had just 15 minutes until the flight was supposed to take off. I asked the woman if she could call to the gate and tell them we were coming.

She said she couldn’t do that.

And so I lost it.


In hindsight, I probably looked like a really crazy person. My hair was askew, I had started the ugly cry, I was tired, I wanted to get home. It was ugly, I was ugly. But I wanted someone to pay for our current situation.

“That’s bullshit! You can call them, you can tell them we’re coming. I’ve been at gates where they are calling people to catch the flight, I’ve waited on planes when they’ve held it for people. Don’t tell me you can’t do anything, because I know that’s bullshit! Make this right. Make this right. We’ve been on a plane for over a day, these boys want to get home, I want to get home. Don’t tell me you can’t do anything, this is your fault, MAKE IT RIGHT!!!!!”

It went something like that but was probably not that audible seeings I was ugly crying at the same time. I did get an “Amen” from the guy next to me, so that was nice.

She was kind of not a nice person, and clearly felt no compassion which probably made it worse. Zach took me aside, “Get yourself together dear, you’re scaring the boys.” And I was, but, honestly I didn’t care.

So she told us of a flight a few hours later that was a direct to Moline, IL, otherwise we’d have to wait longer and go from Detroit to Minneapolis to Moline, getting home at almost 9pm. We headed to the gate that we were waiting on stand by knowing it was an almost hopeless cause.

We found out that we needed just 1 person to not show up. So I ate almost the whole thing of this.

Over the loudspeakers we keep hearing “If you are not at your gate 20 minutes before take off, you will lose your seat.” At 20 minutes to take off there were still 8 people who had not shown up. To say we were praying would be an understatement. They didn’t close the gate until about 5 minutes before take off, which was super frustrating. Lucky for us, a family of 4 didn’t show, so we were in. When they gave us our tickets we sprinted to the plane, hoping that if we got on and buckled they would definitely not be able to take our seats. 🙂 At one point Binyam tripped so I just yelled something like, “Save yourselves, get the seats, we’ll catch up!” to Zach. I might have been certifiable at that point. But we were on, it took off.

Interestingly enough, our waitress had a connection to Ethiopia and spoke Amharic so the boys enjoyed their last taste of that. She asked us to wait until last in the airplane (are you serious lady? My kids are on the other side of this plane!) so she could have the boys check out the pilot’s seat. Ok, fair enough.

Finally, the moment we saw our kids. It was awesome, it felt so good to hold them. Felt so good to hug our families. Just felt so good to be on Iowa soil. The boys actually were quite shy (surprising for Tomas, not so for Binyam). All Dailah wanted to do was hug and kiss Bini but he was less than thrilled. 🙂 We did end up getting our first family picture, we thought it appropriate to do it by the “Men’s” sign seeings there is so stinkin’ many men/boys in our family.

Did I mention it was great to see our families and cry/laugh/love with them? Some of the loving people who showed up.

The moment we were all in the Pilot, the kids were besties. Talking, laughing, not letting language be a barrier. It was beautiful, a witness to what heaven might feel like. When we got home it was more of the same, the three boys went right downstairs to play and the two littles got to work in their room playing and hugging and wrestling. Amazing.

We got one snap of our babes before bed. I pretty much make summer the “undies only” season. So this is what that looked like.

Seriously great to be a family of 7.

Day 5 — Last Day in Ethiopia

Woke up to two happy boys today. I swear you can feel their relief at finally having a family. It’s the same thing for breakfast every morning (which is actually pretty good, but after the 5th day it’s getting old) :-). Tomas didn’t like it the first day, so you can imagine his delight on the 3rd. 🙂 He decided to ask the waiter for some injera, which they obviously don’t serve for breakfast. So he choked down a bit. When we dismissed the boys and they walked by the buffet line they both did this little hand wave. I asked Mesfin later what the hand wave meant, “It means ‘I hate you’ or ‘I don’t like it’”. Thankfully we have yet to witness that little wave towards us!

We played for just a bit because at 10 it was off next door where we had the goodbye ceremony. We actually have a pastor in our travel group so Sister Martha (the head nurse at the care center) asked him to say a few words. He read from the Bible and did a mini sermon. It was terrific, and perfect. He thanked the entire staff on our behalf for taking such good care of our kids. Nathan (the pastor) made sure to emphasize the fact that, yes, God did ask us to take care of the widow and the orphan, but in so doing, God has blessed us beyond measure. Too many people concentrate on only one half of the equation and forget completely the other half. Truly, being able to mommy these babies is one of the greatest blessings of my life.

One of my favorite parts of the ceremony was when Sister Martha asked someone to sing an American good bye song. Since our travel group knows Zach is a director of a camp they offered him. We all wanted to hear an Ethiopian good bye song but she insisted. So, you guessed it, we sang Kum-bah-ya. I insisted he explain what it means, because it really was fitting for the occasion. In case you weren’t aware, it means “Come by me” so when you sing it you’re asking God to come with you in everything you do. Anyway, what was really cool was that the Ethiopians knew the song and one of them had even heard it when she visited Nairobi. Tomas and Bini glowed when their daddy led them in song. Oh, and it was also cool because to start the ceremony off they had the kids from the center sing a song and do you know who led that? Yup, Tomas. His voice is heaven sent I tell you.

The boys were very interesting at the care center. Tomas’ chest puffed out and he walked around demanding things from everyone. This is a stark contrast to the Tomas we see in the hotel. This outgoing, sweet boy who likes to wrestle and likes to give kisses turns into someone who is, as we say “too cool for school”.

Binyam, on the other hand, completely regressed into himself. He said something to Mesfin so when I asked him what he said, Mesfin replied, “Binyam said he is done with this place, he wants to go back to the hotel with his mom and dad”. Though this made me feel really good I felt awful that he was there again in the first place. Binyam walked around for most of those few hours in an obvious haze.

The hardest part was leaving them there. This is my one negative comment about the week. We had the goodbye ceremony and then we were supposed to go shopping, well we are not allowed to take the kids out very far so…you guessed it, we had to leave the kids at the center for lunch/naps. Tomas was ok, he still is not real attached to us (how could he be, it’s been just a week) and he’s seen this happen many times. Binyam, on the other hand, is already forming bonds with us and as soon as I handed him off to his nanny was screaming and reaching for us. Ugh. Took everything in me not to just take him back.

But I knew once we came back that they’d be able to see we’ll always come back for them so I swallowed the lump in my throat and forced myself to shop. 🙂 We got lots of good things that we hadn’t gotten last time, including a traditional coffee ceremony set. So I was thrilled.

When we got back to the hotel we decided we would have the ladies go get the kiddos and the men go get pizza from a golf club down the road a bit. We were all kind of sick of the food from the hotel as it is the same menu every time and after a week we needed a change of pace. When I walked up the steps of the center Binyam opened the front door and hurled himself at me. “Mommy!” The best feeling, the best feeling. Tomas even looked excited to see me and came out on his own fruition, without the nannies telling him to! Zach had heard me scream “Bini” so he came over to say hello before getting the pizza.

Tonya (she and her husband, Kevin, have become friends of ours as they have 3 kids at home and are picking up 2 siblings, and are just terrifically cool) 🙂 and I headed back to the hotel to wait for the men to bring back the pizzas…almost 2 hours later (!) they were back. Had lots to do with Zach and Kevin not knowing where they were going, let me just say that. But those few hours in the hotel were some of the hardest here. Lots of reasons, but I’ll just say sometimes it’s hard to parent kids from other cultures who speak a different language when there are people from that same culture who speak the same language around. What I love about Ethiopians is how much they care for all of the kids. The women cooking were just bringing the kids back with them and having them sit on their laps. This is great, and I typically don’t have a problem with it because soon enough they’ll be in America, but last night was just more difficult for various reasons. Needless to say, we were all happy to see daddy with pizza boxes!

Zach and I shared a bottle of wine and then headed to bed, to what would be our very last night in Ethiopia. My prayers were mostly about the boys I was laying next to, the kids we are so excited to see home and a non-turbulent airplane ride.

Today (Thursday) we decided to have some oatmeal I brought instead. It was a great idea, it gave a little change up to the menu. Then Tonya and I hired our driver Tsegaw to take us to the Holt offices to drop some of Tonya’s donations off and then back to the shopping center. I wanted an injera basket and hadn’t gotten one yet (and apparently I needed 3 more scarves?!?!?!?!?) and she wanted a coffee ceremony set. It was a lot of fun, and made the morning go a bit faster.

When we got back we headed to the golf club as a family, since Holt said we could go that far with the kids. Bini insisted on walking the whole way so it took us awhile but it was worth it! The food was AMAZING and it was actually cheaper than our hotel. ($20 for 4 meals, 5 drinks). It was so much fun just hanging with our family and Kevin and Tonya and girls. Tomas entertained us by teaching us Amharic. We would point to something and say, for instance, “In America, this is called ‘glass’, in Ethiopia?” And he would tell us what it’s called in Ethiopia. It was an awesome game. This kid is wicked smart.

A nice walk on the way back as it started to get a bit warmer (it’s still cold here in ET, every day I’m wearing either jeans or a sweatshirt or both) and wasn’t raining. Now in the hotel room the boys are napping peacefully, Zach is reading and I’m blogging. Sounds like a great time to me!

Few more things on the boys: Tomas talks in his sleep! So precious. I hadn’t heard an Amharic night talker before but I gotta say it’s too cute…and loud! Binyam “Bini” or “Bini Boy” as I call him, has a huge stye on one of his eyes, looks so painful. But his smile, ohmygoodness, it’s so big it even pulls that swollen eye all the way up!

In a few hours Zach will head to the Holt office to pick up our Visa packets for the boys. A quick dinner and then we’re off to the airport. We take off at 10:50pm Ethiopia time which is 2:50pm CST. Please, please pray for safe flights that are on time and the reunion for the whole family. We are so very thankful for another great week in Ethiopia and two more angels to add to our brood.

Thanks for hanging in. “Talk” to you in America!!!!

Tomas leading the song at the goodbye ceremony:
(Tomas is standing on the far right; Bini is seated on the far left.)

Bini in his traditional Ethiopian clothing:

Before cutting of the cake:
(Editor’s note: Tesi emailed that this was a really great ceremony. Part of it included all of the adopted kids cutting the cake, with all their families holding the knife, thus cutting the cake together!)