Friday, March 27, 2009

Storage Solutions

For those families out there who would like to add more children to your family but don't know where you would put them, here is the solution.

Just kidding! Benaiah has claimed this plastic bin as a resting spot. He has stopped moving for brief periods of time, and parks it in the bin! He gets in and out of it over and over, and today, Marissa was pushing him across the floor in it. He just beamed, loving it! (Look at his sweet, little piggy-toes!)

We trimmed his hair this morning. I was curious to see what it would do. It was so poofy. He does look more like a boy, but I will admit that I miss those big curls on top. They will be back very soon, I'm sure! (I realize you can't see his hair very well in the photos. I'll try to get some better ones soon.) (See the tulip tree out the window?!)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bike Riding

Preceding Video

The preceding video was created by Renee' VanDruff. She created it to show at an adoption shower that her church threw for her family.

The VanDruffs are waiting for court next week. Hopefully, they will be on their way to bring home their 2 new children in just a few weeks!

Thanks also to all of the beautiful families who gave her permission to include them!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Tale of Our New Van

I am happy to report that on Friday of last week, we got ourselves a "new" minivan.  Our new van is a 2006 Honda Odyssey (see pictures below).  More on that later.  First, I want to tell you how God made it abundantly clear to us that it was time to replace the old van.

Our previous van was a 1996 Plymouth Grand Voyager which I must admit gave us many years of good service since we bought it in 2001.  In the last couple of years we have had a couple of very expensive repairs including a botched job replacing the engine mounts.  First, the mechanic replaced the wrong part, then he did not replace the full engine mount so while the engine was sound the van rumbled something awful.

We have been planning on replacing the van sometime this spring and been sort of on the lookout for the next great ride for our growing family.  We began our search in earnest a couple of weeks ago.  We prayed for God to direct us to the van He had for our family -and to make it clear.  Every search we did for a new van turned up this one:  Craig's List, Autotrader, and some local search tools as well.  So finally on Friday, I took the day off and we headed to the nearby town (about 40 miles) to check it out.

The excitement began on the way.  It was a cold, rainy day, and as we drove down the highway, suddenly the speedometer, tachometer and fuel gauge went to zero and the dash lights went off.  Since the rain was so loud I assumed the van had stalled and I pulled off the highway only to find that it was running but the dashboard had quit on me.  

I stopped at an auto parts store and replaced some fuses.  This worked for about 10 seconds.   Then the dash died again.  Closer inspection revealed the fuses were not blown, so I assumed it must be a short in the electrical system of some sort.

We checked out the new van (which everyone immediately loved) then took a break for lunch.  During lunch, the old van decided to stop shifting gears.  This was the final message to us from God that we were not going home in the old van.  

The new van is just what we all wanted.  It has all the right features and we were able to settle on a good price and drive home that day.  Everyone is so excited, and after all the drama of the day nobody really misses the old van anymore.  

We did get to make a return trip to the car dealer the next day because we are so inexperienced at buying cars we forgot the title to the old van, the second key, and the checkbook.  It turns out you need those things; however, they were kind enough to send us home in the new van with dealer plates after we signed 100 documents.

We have decided to name our van Rocket, like the star of Little Einsteins.

Check out the irony of where we bought our Honda in the pictures -- at a Toyota dealer!

Meeting the Carpenters!

Yesterday, we joined Candy, Marshall, Jill, and their little guys to meet the legendary Carpenter family! Gabe and Penelope were one of the very early families to sign up with our agency and traveled back in January of last year to pick up their adorable son and daughter.

The Carpenters are vacationing and let us know they were in the area, so we met at the Boston Market for lunch. The kids were so cute together.

We had such a wonderful time seeing everyone! We have known all of these people since we joined America World's Yahoo! group in May 2007, so we feel like we're old friends even though we don't see each other often or just met! They are all such a blessing to us!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Our Scheduled Baby

We had to go all of the way to Ethiopia to get a baby who has a schedule. We obviously can't make that kind at home.

Benaiah has a schedule on which he KEEPS US! I guess it was from all of those months in the orphanage setting that makes him cling to the predictability of knowing he is going to get what he needs at a certain time.

7:45 am Wake up!
10:45 am Bottle and nap
12:30 pm Wake up!
3:30 pm Bottle and nap
4:30 pm Wake up!
9:30 pm Bottle and bed
2:00 am Get in bed with "Mumum" and "Dahdah"

Today, I had to leave the house -twice. William did good at getting him his morning bottle and nap, but when it came time for the second one, I was needed to leave again, and William needed to tend to things at work. Now, the little guy is a slobbery, stumbling mess, and I don't expect to have a good night's sleep tonight. (I'm not blaming William!)

We have found that we cannot do more than one event in a day. On Saturday, our event is church. Benaiah runs around and shows off. (We do not put him in the nursery yet.) Church is during the 2nd nap, he doesn't settle well to eat or take a bottle, and by the end of the night and all night long, he is just a mess!

Our biological children, learned to run around town and be around a lot of people early because we eased them into it as infants. Jeremy was "high-need" and running around was harder on him, and we've noticed that Benaiah is also not so laid-back and flexible. I would guess that this is because of the way he is wired and because his first year of life was very different.

I'll always remember the first time we took him to Kroger to grocery shop a month after we brought him home. We all went together. He started out in William's cart, but we quickly figured out that I needed to push him. He grabbed onto me for much of the trip, and I needed to keep talking to him and assuring him that things were OK. There were just too many colors and things there for him to process.

Between Benaiah's schedule and his temperament, we can't handle a lot of activity and excitement right now. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with him, I'm just saying that we need to be selective and conservative about the activity we expose him to outside of our home.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A lovely date

I had a wonderful date with my lovely bride tonight. We went out to the local Ethiopian restaurant and enjoyed a great dinner. After Dinner, Susan had the great idea to go to the Krispy Kreme for dessert. The "HOT NOW" sign was on, and you can actually see the doughnuts being made on the conveyor.

We saw several people come in and Drool over the fresh, hot doughnuts. We met one girl who said her name was "Bizz -- but that's not my real name, my parents weren't on crack". Today was Bizz's birthday, and her friends brought her in to enjoy the tasty goodness. She was a first-timer too. Another gentleman came in with his children and commented that they cost twice as much as they do at the grocery, but nobody cares.

There is nothing quite like a fresh, hot doughnut, and to see them plucked right off the conveyor . . . well, it doesn't get any fresher then that. This was my first trip to the actual factory, but it will certainly not be my last.