Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Some Great News!!

Tonight while we were eating dinner, we heard Justin's phone ring. We didn't think much of it and he decided he would check it later. While I started to clean up he went into the bedroom to get his phone. He came back and told me: "Susan(agency director) has called us three times! This got us a little excited, but we were still somewhat guarded. Well, he called her back and she let us know that the boys have a court date on December 6th! A court date for this year was completely unexpected. We have friends that have just received court dates for the end of December so we were telling ourselves January/February. As we have learned, nothing can be predicted when it comes to Ethiopia!
If the boys pass court, then we will be able to go back to get them anywhere between 6-15 weeks. The rules have changed a little and there is now a possible longer wait in between passing court and your embassy date(when we can take them home). It will be wonderful to see them in December. I am so thankful that they will not have to wait as long as we were expecting. I pray that they are staying hopeful and patient as they wait to be with their new family. Thank you so much for all the continued prayers! We still need them!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Zoey had her MRI this week. Although I was stressed about her having to go with out food, and I was a little worried about the sedation, she did great. She couldn't eat after 7:30 am, so I gave her an extra big breakfast. She gets pretty upset when she is hungry so I usually try to keep her from ever getting there. I have no idea if Zoey has every been starving or hungry on a regular basis(she obviously wasn't at her last orphanage!). She spent 3 months with her birthmom(who was a beggar) and 4 months in a rough orphanage. Since there is a good chance she has not always been well fed, I don't want her to ever feel the fear of not getting food. I want her to know that she will always have her needs met. She thankfully handled it pretty well. Just a little fussiness, but that was taken care of with some extra play time and attention.
Since we had to get her sedated, we had to get to Kosair pretty early. We got there at 1:30 for the 3:00 MRI. She had a rough time going to sleep after she received her medicine. I know she was tired, hungry, and confined(which she hates). She finally went to sleep and they were able to perform the test. While she was getting her test I went down to the gifts hop to get a magazine. While I was there I saw a cute little Zoe doll(from Sesame Street). I thought it was a perfect gift for Miss Zoey. Above is a picture of Zoey waking up with her new friend. She thankfully woke up pretty fast. After some juice we were allowed to leave. She took a long nap and was drowsy until 8:00 when she decided it was time to have fun! We let her stay up later than normal since she had slept so much. She woke up this morning giggling and squealing.

We hope to get the results this week. When Zoey was in Ethiopia, the doctors their believed she was blind. They couldn't find anything wrong with her eye so decided to perform a CT scan. The film was read in Ethiopia and a neurologist diagnosed her with Dandy Walker (a pretty severe malformation that causes fluid to build up on the brain). Thankfully we were able to get the film to the states and have it read here. She was misdiagnosed with Dandy Walker, but she did have slight brain atrophy(that means it is slightly smaller, presumably from when she was critically ill at 7 months). The MRI we just had done will be compared to the previous CT scan. It will be good to get a better look (MRIs give you a more detailed picture)and see if there have been any changes. I will update everyone when we know more about the results!
Thank you so much for all the prayers!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Check this out!

Many people have asked us questions about Zoey's hair. I am not going to lie, this was somewhat of a stressor since I knew her hair would be very different than mine. Thankfully, we have many friends who have adopted children from Ethiopia and also have friends who are African American. They have all been so helpful! The care for her hair has been suprisingly easy. I only wash it once a week and condition it constantly. She has very soft and beautiful curls. We always want Zoey to lover her hair. That is why I absolutely love this video. Check it out!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happenings in Zoey's world

Zoey is doing unbelievably well. She is such a happy baby. I can't believe that I have the blessing of being her mom. She is finally well enough to reschedule her MRI and her audiologist appointment. Both of these were canceled previously because she was sick. They are both rescheduled for the 22nd. Our big things that we have done lately were starting physical therapy, our opthamologist appointment, and Zoey's first night without us.
We are using First Steps, a great program that provides therapies to kids in KY under 2 1/2. Until she gets stronger, Physical therapy will be her primary therapy. The PT comes to see her once a week. Right now, she is pretty terrified of him. It takes her a while to warm up to people. I am really hoping that she gets used to him soon. He gives us lots of stuff to work on throughout the week.
She is also receiving Occupational Therapy, but not much right now. Once she has increased her muscle tone, we will step up the OT. We are not in Speech Therapy yet. The plan is to wait a couple months to acclimate her to English. If she is tremendously behind, then we will start Speech. I am not too worried about this. Even though her speech is delayed, it is not too bad. She is very talkative (syllables and sounds) and I really don't expect it to be a long-term issue.

Here is Zoey working out with her Dad.

Her opthamologist appointment went well. I am increasingly impressed with Health professionals that work with babies. That has to be a hard job. Zoey did not like it at all. She did not want to be still and really did not like it when I had to hold her still! She really hated when he dilated her eyes and gave her eye drops! He found that she had a strabismus(cross eye/poor eye control, much worse when she wakes up), an astigmatism, and slightly near sighted. He said that her eye control could improve or it could get worse. We will go back in 4 months (unless it gets worse). If it hasn't improved, we will probably have to patch her eye for a few hours each day. There is also a chance that she could need glasses. All in all, not too bad since at one time doctors thought she was blind!

Here she is after the appointment. She hated the glasses they gave her!

Last night Justin and I volunteered at a prom for adults with disabilities, Shine. Justin and I have been volunteering in the disabilities ministry for a long time, even before we dated. We have such a love for the participants and so many memories that contribute to our relationship. We were super excited to help with Shine and knew we couldn't miss such an exciting day. My mom offered to watch Zoey. Thankfully, she has been very intentional about spending time with her. Zoey is used to her and likes her a lot. I'm not going to lie, it was stressful leaving her. I was in no way worried that my mom was capable of taking care of her, I just did not want Zoey to have any feelings of abandonment. She has lost her primary caretakers on 3 occasions in her short life, I didn't want her in anyway to have those feelings again. Thankfully, is used to my mom and was very happy to spend time with her. It was an incredible relief to know that she could handle this. I know that it will be positive for her to see that we will leave and we do come back.
Shine was wonderful. Words really can't describe what a fantastic night it was. It was such a huge event for everyone in the disabilities community. Many people I know have been excited about this for months now, planning out their clothes, hair, dates, and limo (yes, limo!). I am so excited that we had so many volunteers! There were a lot of people there last night that this was their first interaction with the ministry and I think our wonderful participants won over a lot of people! How could you not have a good time with our fun loving and sweet group? Justin and I helped to pair up prom goers with their escorts as they arrived. It felt like crazy, crazy chaos, but went really well. It was so busy, that I didn't really see Justin or get to dance with him. We will just have to go out dance on another occasion some time! I wish I had a picture of all the prom-goers. Everyone looked so beautiful! You will just have to settle for a picture of Zoey hanging out with her friend Ben.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I have a few blogs that I keep up with and one of my favorites is Jana Cook's. Jana and her husband adopted two boys, Charlie and Sam, from the same orphanage that Chera and Kenenisa are from. Reading about her adventures with her boys is so uplifting and encouraging to me. It gets me super excited about our boys being here. A recent post of hers addressed some of the funny communication problems that can arise. When talking to other kids who have came from Ethiopia, I have noticed that they are very literal. With the crazy way we describe things sometimes, I can understand why it could get frustrating! Take a minute to read the post, it's pretty hilarious!

Even though we've been home for over a year, we still have a most difficult time with some words. And even if we know a word, we may not know it in the context used. Which makes for some hilarious conversations!

The funniest part is that Charlie usually thinks that he is right and you are wrong, even though I am the one that has lived in the United States all my life and he just got here. Sometimes makes you want to pull your hair out when you have a 10 minute conversation trying to explain that you take a backPACK to school, not a backTACK. He still thinks I'm wrong and he's right. Whatever.

So, here's Charlie's latest antics, taken from the Spencer County Children's Ministry Blog. He has had some really funny conversations with Nicole lately, to the point of getting frustrated with her when he doesn't understand what is going on. Sorry Nicole, but thanks for putting up with him!!

So I'm taking the kids to school this morning, and Charlie Cook is in the back seat with my girls. They are all looking at the pie sale forms from their school and reading about the pies. This is what I hear:

(Insert Ethiopian accent here)

"Turtle cheese cake pie? What? You eat a turtle, and a pie, and a cheese on it? Oh, no, I can't eat a turtle and I don't like cheese. I can't sell any pies."

Oh, my. I know I should have clarified. But, it was just too funny. I just left it alone.

If you think that's funny, try explaining DVR to an Ethiopian. He still thinks I have movies TAPED (as in scotch tape) to my TV that are now stuck, therefore I can't let him borrow them.

Hmm. Never did really figure out how to fix that one.