Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 4th Birthday, Annika Grace!!

Four years ago, I was pregnant with a little girl who was due to enter the world around January 18, 2004. Much to my surprise, we spent New Year's Eve 2003 at the birth center in Chapel Hill, NC. After much effort, a little, grey baby girl floated up into the water of the tub at 8:20 PM. The audience (my mom, Jeremy, & Marissa) was amazed!

As William & I packed our stuff up to go home, we heard "Auld Lang Syne" on the radio as the clock struck midnight. We thanked the midwife and nurse for coming to our New Year's Eve party! We went home, and the three of us were tucked into our bed by 1 AM!

Annika is having a good day today. She had cranberry and chocolate chip scones for breakfast and a hot dog for lunch. She dressed herself in a sleeveless sun suit, and there will be no arguing about it today. We're working on making her chocolate-coconut Polly Pocket cake. This girl knows what she wants and will let you know!

We are looking forward to celebrating more with Mema, Uncle Scott, Aunt Patti, and her cousins later today.

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Happy New Year to everyone else!

(Our computer is down again, so I'll have to post more photos from Christmas and her birthday later on. Hopefully soon.)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Naming Baby Schmidt

So, as we get close to bringing home the newest Schmidt, thinking about baby names makes him more real to us. It was the same when I was pregnant. I love even to think back to when we didn't know if Jeremy was going to be "Sonja" or "Jenna," Marissa may have been "Noah" or "Annika," and Annika could have been "Naomi!" They think that is funny! Right now, we pray for "Baby Ethiopia" unless you're Jeremy who prays for "Babies Ethiopi-i," the plural form!

Here is a good blog site made by an Ethiopian New Yorker who has an interest in helping educate adoptive parents about names and culture: "My Ethiopian Name" On the site, Rebecca explains the naming customs of Ethiopia. A person is given a first name, and their last name is their father's first name. William would be "William James" or "Mr. William," and I would be "Susan Thomas" or "Mrs. Susan." Interesting! She also has lists of Ethiopian names with their meaning and origins -most are biblical or Muslim.

We have more factors to consider as we name our newest little one like "What name does he have already?" If it is a name that can be pronounced fairly easily by Americans, it may work as a first name. Also, "Who named him?" If his birth mother or father gave him a name, we may feel more inclined to keep it for him rather than if it was assigned at the orphanage.

We are planning to make his Ethiopian name his middle name if it doesn't get to be his first. We've been kicking around a few names that we like, and thought that it would be fun to put a baby name poll on the blog! Look to the right of the screen and cast your vote!

  • YOHANNES -"YAHWEH is gracious" (The name of the first Ethiopian we met! Susan's grandfather was John, and both of us have an Uncle John/Jon.
  • MATEOS/MATIAS -"gift from God"
  • BENIAH -"eloquent"
  • OLIVER -"elf army" (Our homeschool is "Rivendell Academy" so that would work! Susan's great grandma was also named "Ollie!")
  • ISAIAH -"God is salvation"
  • JONAH -"a dove"
  • NOAH -"rest, peace"
  • STEVE -"crown," "wreath" (A traditional Ethiopian name! LOL!)
We're open to more suggestions, so add them by clicking on "comments" right below this post!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy 7th Birthday, Marissa!

Seven years ago yesterday, after a 6-hour labor, our second miracle floated up in a bathtub. I remember the tears of joy as I checked her and discovered that we had our first daughter!

Marissa got to make some jewelry at the bead store and went to lunch at Red Robin with Grandpa and Grandma. Her best friend, Miriam, came over to play and party with her cousins, Aunt, Uncle, Mema, Grandma, Grandpa, and the rest of us.

She wanted a Barbie cake, and after pricing them at the local bakeries and grocery stores, I was forced to make one. It wasn't too bad. Marissa came home from her outing just in time to make design requests for the dress, and she even helped to pipe the trim around the bottom of the dress. I think next year, I'll just give her a bunch of icing and a blank cake and let her enjoy herself!

I think that she had a really good day.

We also celebrated Christmas with Grandpa & Grandma on Sunday. We went out for dinner and opened gifts. The Snap Circuits for Jeremy and the Playmobil Magic Castle for Marissa & Annika were hits! (It took 2 hours for Daddy & Mama to put it together!)

The kids with Grandma, Mema, & Grandpa

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

All I Want for Christmas is My 2 Front Teeth!

Actually, Marissa needs 4 front teeth for Christmas!

Last night right before bed (of course!) Marissa's chin and Annika's head collided. After the bleeding and crying ceased, Marissa noticed that one of her loose teeth on top was *really* loose. When she wiggled it, it came right out!

She was then left with the other wiggly top tooth spinning in all directions since its partner wasn't there for support.

Finally, at 10 PM, she came down *again* and asked Daddy to pull it out for her. He did the, "Let's go on 3," and pulled it out on "2!"

The tooth fairy brought 2 brand new Thomas Jefferson golden dollars!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Crazy December!

Our silk fundraiser is going well! This is Marc, Dagny, and Atlas in Minnesota enjoying theirs! Aren't they the most adorable pirates? ARGHHH! There is still time to get some for Christmas if you order soon! Click here for ordering info: ORDER SOME SILKS!

The America World families who received their referrals on October 3rd will be represented in court this Tuesday, December 11. We pray that things go well and that they will travel soon. The next group of families who received their referrals on October 19th are still waiting for a court date. We were so excited to hear that one of our families accepted a waiting sibling group of three, ages 9, 6, and 2 years!

We received news that we are getting a new family coordinator who will work full-time. She is from Ethiopia, so she speaks the language and will be able to add a lot to our experience. There are 130 families in the program now!! Another agency staff member is moving to Addis Ababa with her family to run the transition home.

Jeremy got his cast off Friday. He just began to straighten his arm on Sunday, but still won't use his fingers. We tease him that he has a "robot arm."

Saturday, we went to the IBM Christmas party, the Cary Jaycees Christmas parade, our church's production of the "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," and kids eat FREE at Denny's!

Annika: "I want M&M's"

Santa guessed that Marissa wanted a pony.

Santa didn't think that Jeremy's broken arm story was exciting enough so he added being chased by a bull!

We are trying to prepare for Christmas and the girls' birthdays. Yesterday's plan was to get the tree up, but we spent the day trying to arrange our living room so that we would have room for a tree! Oh well!