Sunday, July 31, 2011

My boys...

I'm trying to soak up every minute of Evan while we wait for our Zoe to come home.  This past week, Drew and Evan were playing soccer in the backyard.  They were having a blast and I had so much fun taking pictures of them.  I ended up with this really cool sequence of pictures- not knowing how it was going to end.  So here goes...
his eye on the goal...
getting closer...
almost there...
but here comes Daddy...
and...  blocked...
LOVE the huge smile on E's face!
he thought it was soo funny!! 
Oh how I love these 2! 

As far as adoption updates- We are still waiting for news that we are submitted to embassy.  Praying it's soon!!  But I did get the chance to talk with a friend who is in Ethiopia now and spending some time with our Zoe.  She said that Zoe is "happy, healthy, alert, and smart".  And she wanted me to know that they are loving on Zoe. Oh how that made my heart so happy!!  We're hoping to get some updated pictures of her soon and if we do I will be sure to share!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Our Baby is 9 Months Old!!

Today is Zoe's 9-month birthday!  Oh how we wish we could be celebrating this milestone with her... Drew mentioned the other day that he would do just about ANYTHING to jump on a plane and bring her home...And I couldn't agree with him more (any of you who know me well know that this speaks volumes since I am in NO WAY a seasoned "flyer" or "traveler").  It seems like each step of this journey just keeps getting harder, but we know that God's timing is perfect.  So many things throughout each day remind me of my sweet baby and my heart just aches to have her here with us.  We were at a splash park this past weekend and I just kept thinking about Zoe and wishing that she could be splashing and giggling with Evan.  And at the zoo yesterday, I saw a couple little girls with outfits exactly like the ones hanging in Zoe's closet and it made me wish I could see my Zoe wearing them...And each time I pass her room waiting so ready for her I say a little prayer for her and wonder what she's doing on the other side of the world.  But I just keep reminding myself that His timing is perfect..some days I have to remind myself over and over and over....

We are trying to soak up every minute with Evan while we wait because we know that things will change once Zoe is home, but we are just ALL so anxious.  Not a day goes by that Evan doesn't talk about Zoe and I can already tell he's going to be such a great big brother (not that I expect the adjustment to be PERFECT- I'm not that naive!).  Last night we were talking to Evan about what a big brother is all about and what an important job that is... We asked him to name some of the things a big brother does... I totally expected him to say "play with her, kiss her, etc". His first answer "Well, I need to make sure Zoe stays out of danger". Too cute! And he's constantly surprising me throughout the day with questions like "Where will Zoe be sitting when we do this momma?" or "I can't wait to show Zoe this!".  Melts my heart. 

 We are hoping and praying that we will be all be home as a family of 4 within the next month or two and all of this waiting will be behind us FOREVER.   Travel in early September is the goal, although late August would be PERFECT!!!  And for those of you curious, we probably won't know when we'll be traveling until a week or so before we leave- it will be last minute!  Thanks again for your prayers and support- it means so much to us!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Video of Zoe!!

Drew put together this video of our sweet girl a couple of weeks ago...  Helps get me through the really tough days I miss her like crazy...  Enjoy!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Fun!

I've decided the best thing to do to keep my mind off of Zoe is to be busy!!!  So that's what we've been doing around here....  Drew decided about a week ago that he was going to do a sprint triathlon and he did it!!!  We were so proud of him!
Evan took a doughnut break while we were waiting on Drew to come back from the bike portion of the race.. Thanks Papa!
Just coming back from biking- getting ready to start the run portion!!
Giving E high 5's as he's taking off for the run!!
Getting to the finish- He grabbed E and they ran to the finish together :)  So cute!!
Playing with moonsand outside one hot morning last week!
E is in LOVE with Aunt Laura and Uncle John's new kitties...  Too cute!
A visit to the zoo last week....
Painting a police car in the basement playroom!!  I love how you can see the hearts on the map behind Evan...  It's almost like Zoe is in the picture too :) 

No adoption-related news...We just have to wait, wait, wait to hear we've been submitted to the US Embassy.  You'd think we'd be used to all this waiting by now, but unfortunately it just gets harder and harder with each step...  We are praying that all the paperwork moves quickly and we get submitted EARLIER than expected!!!  I would LOVE to jump on a plane RIGHT NOW if I knew we could-  but that's just not how it works :( 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

More Zoe pictures!!

I apologize if this is Zoe overload, but I know some of you aren't friends with me on Facebook and probably haven't seen lots of these pictures..  These were all taken on our second day with Zoe in Ethiopia.

This was the first day that we spent a good chunk of time with her and I couldn't wait to change her from her orphanage clothes into some girly clothes.  We laughed so hard when we took off her sleeper and found a Padres onesie on underneath it.  Too funny!
 Loved getting her naked and checking out her rolls!!
 Changing her into a little pink outfit!
Putting on her first bow (of many more I'm sure)
She LOVES to stick out her tongue!
Playing on the floor of the common area in the guesthouse....
Laughing at Daddy.... 
Blowing raspberries at us...  She loves this- just like Evan did at her age!
Probably my favorite picture we took of her- LOVE how she is looking at Daddy like she LOVES him SOO much already.  Those big eyes just melt me....
She's on the move and soo very curious!
"Are you still taking pictures of me mom??"
Playing with Daddy on the couch...
Some snuggles with Mommy...
The first bottle I got to feed her...  and she fell asleep in my arms...  Such a precious moment...
Love this girl.  So very much..  How I long to feed her and hold her in my arms again...
I will try to post more pictures of our last couple of days with Zoe soon!! Oh, and some of our videos too!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Our Meetcha Day!

Ok, so now I will start to post more pictures of our sweet Zoe...  As I posted in my daily journal, meeting her was surreal.  Still hard to believe she's ours forever!   

 Finally getting my hands on her!!
 So in love...
Checking us out... very serious at first, just like Evan was as a baby...
 Daddy holds her for the first time...  checking him out :)
 a Daddy's girl already :)
First smile we saw... can't wait to see many many more of these!!

Many of you have asked about her name...  We chose the name Zoe for her and decided to keep her family name (Tadesse- pronounced Ta-dess-uh) as her middle name.  Zoe means "life" and Tadesse means "redeemed".  LIFE REDEEMED.  We thought this was absolutely perfect.  More pictures AND VIDEO of our baby to come!!



We woke up this morning to an email from Sheila (with West Sands) that they received our MOWA letter and Zoe is officially ours!  What an awesome feeling....  Now, on to the next steps!  Our agency's Ethiopia director will work on getting documents around for submission to the US Embassy.  After submission, we can expect 2-4 weeks until we receive permission to travel and forever have our baby in our arms.  We can expect to travel in about 8-10 weeks. Please pray that things move quickly and we can travel SOON!!  I will post more pictures of our sweet baby later, but wanted to post these real quick!!     

Sunday, July 3, 2011

What We've Been Up To....

Most of my most recent updates have been adoption-related and I thought it was time to post some pictures of Evan and what we've been busy doing... Evan and I surprised Daddy with water ballons yesterday while Drew was working on the landscaping in the backyard...I don't think Drew minded at all- it was SO HOT!
 And Evan loved him some tickle/wrestling time with Daddy...
 We've also been swimming lots in the last couple of weeks- until Evan got a double ear infection this week :(  Luckily he's a really tough guy and hasn't complained hardly at all of pain!!
 We made a trip to the zoo with Betsy, Jack, Zoe and a couple daycare kids one day last week...  Fun times feeding the ducks!
 And we took a picnic to the park with my mom and dad one day this past week and happened to run into Evan's best buddy Ryan.  This was my view from our blanket- can you see Ryan and Evan on the Jeep?  They are such good friends and play so well together!
 We did puzzles on the porch one night this week while we were waiting for Daddy to come home from work...  This guy loves puzzles!
  And he couldn't WAIT to show Daddy his pirate sword he made at storytime when Drew got home from work!
 Working on his Starfall activities on the computer.  For anyone with children around Evan's age, this website is WONDERFUL!  Our children's librarian introduced me to it and Evan LOVES it....
 This picture shows Evan's newest trick at the pool- jumping in and going UNDER the water!  He's getting so big!
 We've had a great last couple of weeks and are trying to soak up every minute of our little guy.  We know the dynamics of our family will change once Zoe comes home!  And keep praying for that MOWA letter!  We can't wait until Zoe is OURS and it's all official!

Friday, July 1, 2011


Drew found this video and posted it to Facebook and I just had to share.  Words can't describe how much this story means to us. I was a blubbery mess after watching this.  We are sooo passionate about the "clean water movement" and have been planning a big Charity Water birthday party for Drew's 30th birthday in December (which we are SOO very excited about!).  The northern Ethiopia region where these wells are being built in Ethiopia is very close to where Zoe is from.  Touches our hearts in a very special way. 

Kristen Bell visits Northern Ethiopia from charity: water (special donors) on Vimeo.