June 30, 2009

Swim Meet

Aiden swam in his first and only meet of the season. They had the little ones swim across the shallow end of the pool with a coach in front of them at all times. Aiden was not in this group, he was actually part of the relay team who had to swim across the entire length of the pool in the deep end! Our little fish made it across the entire pool, bopping up for air just a couple of times. At the end, he was awarded a blue ribbon which he and buddy Hollin are holding proudly. To celebrate we took him to Chick Fil A for dinner.

Unfortunately, I am starting to get a cold of all things. I took some NyQuil last night and had the best night's sleep I have had in a long time. I think we will might skip the gym and pool today and maybe later go do a little shopping for our trip.

June 29, 2009

Checking Things off The List

We made good progress this weekend with our "to do" list. We did some touch-ups to the paint in the house. We set-up a bed in Mia's room, which used to be our guest room, so my parents will have a place to stay while they are here. We got some temporary curtains hung up in the nursery. I have ordered cute pink and white polka dot black out curtains but they won't be here until mid July. Eric was able to fix both of our lap-tops so we can leave one here for my parents and take one with us to Ethiopia. We looked at the Ethiopian Guidebook and made sure we had all of our paperwork in order to take with us on our trip.

We also made time for some fun with friends at a craw fish boil. The highlight to Aiden's day was riding on their 4 wheeler. Unfortunately I forgot my camera so we got no pictures - darn.

Tonight is Aiden's big swim meet. I promise to take pictures of that so you can all see our little fish in action - Go Sea Lions!

June 26, 2009

A Little About our Trip

When we finally make it to Addis on Thursday their will be a Holt representative waiting for us to drive us to the Union Hotel. We will check in and rest a bit that day. Friday, once everyone from our travel group arrives, we will be brought over to where the babies are and after an orientation and schedule of events we will be able to meet Mia Zinash for the first time. Friday and Saturday will be spent just hanging out with Mia and getting to know her a bit. Sunday the center in closed. Tuesday is our visa appointment and after we pass we will be able to bring Mia back with us to the hotel and she is finally ours!

The trip to Durame/birth family meeting is scheduled for Wednesday. We hope to have some clarification on this in our conference call next Thursday. Durame is an overnight trip which means we will get back to Addis sometime on Thursday and we are flying home Thursday night. Also, Mia Zinash will not be coming with us. So, that would mean that we would have her Tuesday night, bring her back to the center on Wednesday, she would spend the night at the center on Wednesday night and then we will get her back on Thursday and then we will leave. I hope this doesn't mess her up too much. I REALLY want to go to Durame but Eric is nervous that the bus will break down or something and we will miss our return flight.

Holt has planned different sight seeing activities for us to do as a group while we are in Ethiopia. They will take us shopping, to museums and out for a traditional Ethiopian meals and we will get to hear Ethiopian music with dancing. For these outings Mia Zinash will stay at the care center as the Ethiopia Government does not want us as adoptive families to take our children out in public. Ethiopians do not really understand adoption and although we have heard nothing but wonderful things about the Ethiopian people and their hospitality, we must respect the fact that this would be a taboo thing for them to see and might be rather upsetting.

We did get a little bit of information from another mom who returned from Ethiopia a week ago. It seems that Zinash and her little one had cribs right next to each other. She told me that Zinash is a pretty easy going baby (yes). She said she only had one melt-down while they were visiting and it was only because she wanted to be held (awwwwww). She also told me that Zinash is petite for sure and will definitely start out in 9 month sizes - opps! So, off to the stores for more shopping.

Now we have to tackle some projects around the house, a whole bunch of paperwork for our agency and packing. Someone from our agency has created a packing list to be used as a guideline to follow for our trip. It is 4 pages long - I am wondering how many bags that would make - ugh!

June 24, 2009

Flights Confirmed

We have confirmed our flights. The schedule is brutal. We leave Jackson, Mississippi on July 7th in the afternoon. From there we fly to Houston, Texas for our first lay over. We then travel on to London, England where we will have a 12 hour lay over! We are going to check our bags and go out and do a little sight seeing while we are in England. Eric has been twice before but this is my first time. Our travel agent told us that their airport provides transportation passes for people that went to do a little sightseeing while they are waiting to board their next flight. Ironically, Eric was originally going to be in London around the same time for work. We will leave London in evening on July 8th and will reach our final destination Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on July 9th at 7:20 am. For the return flights we will be leaving Addis on Thursday, July 16th 10:25 pm. We will then fly to Amsterdam on Friday, July 17th in the morning. We will arrive in Houston, Texas on July 17th in early afternoon and will FINALLY make it back to Jackson, Mississippi at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, July 17th. We used Holt's recommended travel agency which is the same person who helped us book our tickets for our trip to Korea to bring Aiden home 4 years ago. They were able to get us pretty good rates on our tickets and have also been able to get us confirmed seats together on all of our flights, going and coming back.

Now that the flights are squared away we are working on the billion of other things we need to do before we leave. I have begun making lists (at 3 am nonetheless) to try to keep organized and not forget anything. I am beginning to feel overwhelmed but I am just going to take one thing at a time and cross things out as I go.

Aiden is still enjoying swim team. He will swim in his final meet on June 29th. He is doing so well and really loves it. It has been 100 degrees here for the last couple of days and we have had no rain. The pool is no longer refreshing it is just wet. So, we have been spending our mornings at the pool/gym and the afternoons running errands or watching movies. It is just too hot to do anything else.

June 22, 2009

Travel Dates

Well we found out from Holt today that we made it into travel group #20. We will be leaving for Ethiopia on July 8th so we could arrive in the evening of July 9th. Mia Zinash's visa appointment is on July 14th. It is ironic that we got this visa date as this is a very special date for our family.

July 14, 1995 Eric asked me to marry him

July 14, 2005 We officially took custody of Aiden

July 14, 2009 Mia Zinash is officially given her US Visa to come home

We are all very excited. I told Aiden we finally found out today that we were able to bring Mia home and he stood up in the chair, pumped his little fists in the air and said "yes." Let's hope he continues to have the same enthusiasm when his little sister is chewing on all his toys - lol!

We are still trying to finalize tickets and things so when we know for sure we will let you know. Thanks for all your prayers and support and continue sending them our way.

June 18, 2009

A Girl Needs Accessories

I found the CUTEST head bands on line for Mia Zinash from http://www.youruniquebowtique.com/index.html. The little pale pink flower headband will go perfectly with the dress grandma sent her yesterday. Shopping for a girl is so much fun!

June 17, 2009

What Can Brown Do For You?

At times I wonder how much Aiden really "gets" about what is about to happen to our family. We have been talking about this new baby, a sister, for a year now and I am sure it is an abstract idea to him at this point. Lately as we get her room ready and start buying clothes and toys for her, Aiden has started getting more interested in the whole idea. The other day he said out of the blue "has it been a very long time mama?" I thought he was referring to the time that had elapsed from his last snack so I of course asked "for what baby?" He replied, "For Mia to come home?" How sweet he is actually thinking of her unprompted and out of the blue. Today UPS delivered a package to the door. Aiden brought it in to me and said, "What is it Mama? What is it?" I said, "I don't know baby we need to open it up and see." To which he replied, "Maybe Mia is in there!" If it were only that easy. Well, it wasn't Mia but it was an awesome care package from Grandma and Papa filled with cute outfits for Mia and a very cool outfit for Aiden to which he replied, "awesome!" I think Mia has a pretty awesome big brother to come home to.

June 10, 2009

Didn't make it into June's Travel Group

A couple of families found out today that they will be in the next travel group leaving on 6/25 for Ethiopia. We were not part of that group unfortunately. I guess we are still waiting then. Rumor has it that there will be another travel group leaving on 7/9 so I guess we will be included in that group. Only a couple more weeks away. I was just hoping that we would get to bring Zinash home this month - oh well.

June 9, 2009

Nursery So Far

Eric finished putting together the nursery furniture. We were both very pleased with how sturdy it is and how nice it looks. We ordered it over the internet sight unseen so we were a little nervous about what to expect. But it turned out great and is the kind of furniture that will definitely last until probably the teenage years maybe beyond. The drawers are roomy and on nice pulls that open and close nicely.

I have a couple of things that I am still waiting on. We ordered some curtains from The Company Store. They are pink and white polka dot - so cute. We are also waiting on the curtain rod that we ordered from Target that are little pink and green butterflies. Aiden's car bed will take a twin size mattress (he is still using his crib mattress) so we are going to swap that out with a twin mattress so the baby can use the crib mattress. I also am still waiting on the letters to use above her crib and the changing pad. I have a couple of ideas for some other art projects as well.

We still have not been given our travel dates as of yet. Rumor has it that we should hear something by the end of the week and we should be going towards the end of the month. I haven't starting packing or any of that yet. I work better under pressure. I think we are pretty on track as of now. I am hoping we will be given a good two weeks notice of our trip so my parents can have time to get down here and we can have time to pack and things like that.

June 2, 2009

Preparations Coming Along

So far, so good. First coat of paint is up in the nursery. It looks great - one more coat to do this afternoon and we should be done. We were notified yesterday from JcPenny that the furniture has arrived, so we are going to be picking that up tonight. I have ordered the lamp to go with her bedding and some cute little butterflies to go on the walls. I also found a company that will paint your wooden letters to match your bedding. We went with the letters that hang from the ribbons and the company is going to paint them to match the polka dots in the bedding. We got the car seat, as shown above, all cleaned up with new pads and did the same for the high chair - they look like new! We also have been receiving some gifts and things from our friends. Our friends Melissa and Jeff got her first Ole Miss outfit to wear to the games - it is so cute!

We have not received our travel dates as of yet. We did find out yesterday that our agency has started arranging for families to make the trip out to Durame to visit the orphanage that our little one spent most of her time. We also may meet the birth family if all parties agree. We are going to make both the trip and invite the birth family to come out for a meeting. We hope they can make it - what a wonderful and unique experience to meet them and be able to tell our daughter about them. And also they will get to see the family that has been chosen to raise their child. Also, the trip to Durame will give us a chance to meet the nannies that cared and adored Zinash for the last couple of months and thank them for all they do. We will also get a chance to see the "real" Ethiopia, the countryside.

We have been starting to think more about our trip and where we will leave from. I had really hoped that we would be able to come to Richmond first with Aiden and leave him there and travel onto DC and leave from Dulles, but it looks like this might not be able to work. Our agency really wants all the families to try to arrive around the same time as it is easier for the folks in Ethiopia. We are also very concerned about losing luggage, being delayed and not making it to the flight home out of Richmond and also most importantly what would be best for Zinash. It might be better for us to get her home as soon as possible so she can start getting used to her new life, family and home.