Friday, January 29, 2010

Babyopi

Jon here, so we were spending some time one evening this past week with my coworker and friend Mitch Chavarria and his wife Amanda. They had us over for a great BBQ ribs dinner and gave us a chance to look over some their baby stuff from their two little ones, Leigha and Max. It was a lot of fun and really helpful to find another resource for baby equipment.


When dinner was over, Leigha (2 years) had a new word for us. After she said it multiple times, we had her repeat it for the camera.

It is amazing that a child, Leigha's age, connected our babies with a country all in one word. :)

video
video

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Yes, I'd like a mini-bus, er, I mean double stroller...

A mother of twins, Amber, advised me on the double stroller. “Test drive them!” If you have never steered a double stroller, they are monsters! So big. They “conveniently” fold up, but still can’t fit in small car trunks.
After reconciling that all double strollers were just big and that a side-by-side won't fit through standard doors, we were leaning towards option #2 (see photo below) and I had even found it on a great sale online with no shipping! However, there are a lot of variables we were still trying to decide between, so when I was in Ft. Wayne, I popped into Babies R Us to give ‘em a whirl.

Option #1 steered like a dream. I was impressed. I pulled out Option #2. Whoa. It would hardly turn. It was like the bad grocery cart where you have to plant your feet apart and start the turn wide from your ab muscles. I struggled with it through the aisles thinking, “This is ridiculous! I can hardly steer it and this is pre-kiddos and all their paraphanelia!” I came around another corner and realized, “I have made the wrong decision!”

Option #1 Contours Tandem

Option #2 Graco Quatro Tour

Two Babies R Us employees were walking towards me.

Employee: Umm, (trying not to laugh) did you know that the front wheels are locked?

Me: (shoulders back, chin up) Oh, that explains a lot.

Employee: Yeah, I noticed by the look on your face. Do you want me to unlock them for you? (Now both employees are struggling to hold back laughter).

Me: (Trying not to dig a hole through the tile to crawl into) Yes, please.

 

Unlocking the wheels will do a lot for a stroller. We will stick with option #2.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

We Know Who's Who!

We know you are praying as the girls are growing so quickly! We so appreciate your support!

We got new pics this morning and the girls look so healthy and alert!  Now, this is sort of a problem because we have a busy week/weekend and we are hosting potluck on Sunday. I should be getting a lot done. However, on days we receive new pictures, I keep finding myself at the computer probably 50% of the time, flipping through the pictures and "oohing, aahing" and praising God! 

It is a relief to know who is who.  I was feeling kind of guilty not knowing. If you have seen their pictures, Adia M. has more hair and Jada G. looks like she had some hair shaved.  If you haven't seen their pictures and would like to, get to Jon and I or my mother. Rumor has it she carries a few with her wherever she goes.  :)

We had an opportunity to send a care package with another family who left yesterday to pick up their two kiddos in the Mekele Care Center. Deciding on the items to fit one gallon Ziploc was a little challenging. We wanted to send all of our love and, well, one baggie can’t hold that…or us. :)


The blankets were good and "scented" up as we had slept with them for five nights.  (Call me crazy, but I love sleeping with a blankie.  Jon was afraid I wouldn't give it up!)  The green blanket was for Jada and the pink for Adia.  I think we may try to dress Jada more in blues and greens as her name is very close to jade.

Please pray for our friends, Jeff and Sarah S. as they left yesterday to pick up baby S!

Monday, January 25, 2010

In Training...

In some of the adoption material we have read, it is frequently mentioned that a very helpful tip for infant/toddler adoption is to strap the child on and go!  Because babies have missed that early bonding with mom time and they won't have the opportunity to bond as deeply during breastfeeding, one positive way to build the attachment is to use a sling/wrap and keep the babies close. 

As I was telling Jon my genius idea to get one swing, one exersaucer, one bouncy seat, etc, so I could always have at least one child strapped on and the other enjoying baby wonderland, he said, "Hmm, babe, you might need to start training.  You are going to get tired, with all of that weight, all the time". 

Good point.  So, I found the "Baby K'tan" a sling that boasts a large repetoire of positions, including sling a position for TWO babies.  Great! I read the reviews and ordered it.

The manual reads, "The Baby K'tan Baby Carriers is one of the few carriers which allows caregivers to carry twins simultaneously and comfortably during the first few months of their lives.  In fact, twins can even be breastfed simultaneously and discreetly in the Baby K'tan Carrier".  Hmm...does this sound to good to be true to anyone else?

After tackling the somewhat intimidating manual to teach how to put it on,

I loaded up an eight pound exercise weight.  Wow.  It keeps lodging itself uncomfortably in my stomach, I might have to find a softer weight.  I feel like I might fall over frontwards...this is for up to 42 pounds!  You have got to be kidding me!  Apparently, past Superwomen have done this. It looks like I have a lot of training to do before I load up twins! 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Woohoo!

Last night we received the e-mail with updated weights and measurements on Adia and Jada!  They are growing!  We praise God for their growth, each gained about one more pound in 2+ weeks. 

                             Head      Weight      Height

1. Jada G.         36 cm     6.1 lb       46 cm


2. Adia M.        35 cm     7.01 lb     46 cm
 
As thankful as we are, I quickly had a different reaction.  "Babies, wait for me!  You can't grow without me!"  We wish we could have been the ones to watch them gain.  An adoptive mother warned me that you get so excited for any news on the children, but then cry that they are growng without you.  Oh the emotions of a woman!  I warned Jon that I am going to have 9 months of emotion packed into four. I know he is looking forward to it.  :)
 
Pronunciations:
I know there is a little confusion on how to say the girls' names, so here is a more phonetic spelling:
Adia (add-ee-ah)
Jada (Jay-dah)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dressing Twins-A Vote

It looks like Jada and Adia are identical. (We get new pictures this weekend, so maybe as they put on weight, we will be surprised). 
I need you to weigh in on this.

If the girls are truly identical, should Jada and Adia:
A) Only be seen in identical outfits until they are old enough to protest
B) Wear coordinating outfits
C) Wear same outfit, different color
D) Develop individual styles 

I would have loved to be dressed the same as Kristen, and I have spent much of my life copying her fashion.  (If you know her, you know why).  However, I am not sure that Kristen has always enjoyed this.  ;)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Presenting...

So...we think we are 100% sure.  Although, we thought we were 100% sure last week and changed our minds on one of the names. As we rolled them around, one of the names became the obvious "lesser" of the two.  We wanted names that were "twinny" but not confusing.  Names that still had at least a small African flavor.  Names that conveyed meaning...

We are going to keep their Ethiopian names as their middle names and someday, if they wish, they can choose to go by the names given to them by their birthparents.  The G and M stand for their Ethiopian names. 

Here goes...(I don't know why, I feel a little nervous)

Jada G. -Jada Hebrew meaning is He Knew

Adia M.-Adia comes from Africa and means A gift, as in the gift of a life, or a child

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Other Side

I have been there...never as a parent giving up a biological child, but as a caretaker, saying goodbye to little ones that I came to love deeply...

Timi and Andres
I have recently been thinking a lot of my time at CVE, loving kids who didn't have families.  I lived with Jenna, who took care of the little guys.  So, my roommates came in adorable, oh-my-word cute, precious
and AWWW!

My roomies from the early days...
   

After Timi and Andres were adopted, I never saw them again. 

I wonder if our girls' caretakers' hearts are going to rip like Jenna's did when we take G and M across the ocean back to the U.S.

Jenna is still in Mexico and she and Steph sent me a care package when they heard we were led to adopt. 

 Two little shirts.  The boy shirt had a monkey on it.  Timi's favorite shirt was yellow with a monkey on it.  I immediately saw the shirt and thought of him, everytime I see a monkey shirt, my heart aches for Timi.  I then read the note from Jenna. 

Ames, when I saw this shirt, I thought of Timi.  People who say that you can't love non-biological children like your own, don't know what they are talking about.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Umm..No to the Diaper Wipe Warmer...

We have been blessed with the opportunity of sending a care package to our girls!  (FYI: The name announcement is coming soon, maybe the end of this week?)

I went into Babies R Us to pick up a few things and I lost track of time, as I browsed, open-mouthed, through the aisle filled with baby products.  Registering should be fun, I am beginning to get a handle on this idea of twins and trying to maximize tight spaces will be a fun challenge.  :)  Let's just say I hope I don't get swept overboard in the sea of endless products!  Moms out there, let me know what are must and what you can do without!   

The Quandry
Jon and I had decided on blankies in their first package, we can sleep with them for about a week and so then the girls will receive them and have an opportunity to get to know our smells.  However, I was in a quandry over what to do.  Should I buy them identical blankies?  No, that felt impersonal.  Who gets what color?  Which stuffed animals should I buy them?  Would G love a teddy and M a stuffed monkey?  Do identical twins need identical stuff? 

In Other News...



I also can't stop thinking about the devastation in Haiti.  All of LSM's Homes of Hope families are safe, but how many more children are now orphans?  How many more mommies can't find their children?













Let us remember Haiti in our prayers.

Monday, January 11, 2010

We Can Hardly Believe It...

Hey!  Thanks for coming along on our journey. This is our new blog, our baby blog.  :)  There will be no pictures of the chicas for awhile, just updates, maybe to keep it from getting dry I will find other random pictures to post.  ;)


Jon and I are so thankful and EXCITED to have been matched with identical twins from Ethiopia!  There presumed birthdate is in mid November 2009.



With our thankfulness comes a sadness as we realize that their momma died in childbirth or soon after, leaving behind 6 other children ranging in age from 3-18 and a father of eight, who, has loved his children to levels I cannot even imagine, and sacrificially given his two baby girls, as he realizes he can't care for them and trust someone else can. Oh, I can't even comprehend that pain.

Here is the estimated timeline on our adoption:
Dossier submitted to agency: Check. December 19, 2009
Dossier in Country: Check. January 4, 2010
Begin wait for referral: Check. (expecting months of waiting)
Receive Referral: umm...Check?!? January 6, 2010 (God decided we could skip that wait)
Accept Referral: January 11, 2010 (Woohoo!)
Ethiopian Adoption Court Date: Approximately 2 months after referral acceptance
Travel to Pick up our Precious Babies: Approximately 4 weeks
Readopt Babies in the U.S.: File upon arrival to the U.S.


The rest of the adoption timeline is based upon many variables.  A few examples of hiccups we may encounter: not passing court, birthfather not coming to court, getting into the rainy season (everything closes down).  


Our agency, IAG, says to expect to travel about 4 months upon acceptance of referral...


Prayer Points
-Please pray with us for a court date and that all of our paperwork is in order.  Now that we can see these sweet little faces in pictures, our desire to bring them home and hold and love them is strong.     


-Pray for their father, I can't begin to imagine his grief at losing his wife and two babies. 


-Pray for the six children staying with their father, may they feel the comfort of the Lord and their salvation.