To be honest, I really haven't felt like blogging much lately... It's much easier to blog when things are going well... There isn't really any new news to share as far as progress with the US Embassy. Our agency has been working hard at getting all things in place for Zoe's birthmom and birthgrandma to travel to Addis Ababa soon to meet with the Embassy physician. We are praying that all has gone smoothly and been uneventful and that they will arrive in Addis early this week (if they aren't already there) and can meet with the Embassy sometime this week. We anticipate it then taking a few days of gathering ADDITIONAL documents to submit to the Embassy. And oh how we are praying that this is ALL they need and they can clear us. But we know that it's not in our hands, and God has a PERFECT PLAN for our family, even if it doesn't seem so PERFECT to us...I am reading Angie Smith's new book What Women Fear (which I LOVE by the way) and although A LOT of it is hitting home, this sentence definitely spoke to me this week. "What I need to get in my head is the fact that all the while I am caught up in what looks impossible, my arms are wrapped around the Possible."
My friend Jana returned home from Ethiopia this past Thursday with their sweet daughter Gabby. While they were there, they were so kind to spend some time with our Zoe. Jana hasn't had a chance to send me all the pictures and video they took of her yet (she's been pretty busy and sleep-deprived!), but she sent 2 last night and.they made my heart so happy.. Jana was so sweet to email me a couple of times while they were there with updates about Zoe and how she is doing. She said she is crawling (which she was doing while we were there in June), pulling up, and crusing like a champ and Jana couldn't believe how well she is doing with her gross motor skills. Definitely made me happy. She also told me that Zoe's head had been shaved...BUMMER. This is pretty common in institutions such as orphanages- especially in Ethiopia. Even with a couple of emails and a phone conversation with Jana about how they had shaved her head, it was still a shock to see her without hair. I am trying to remind myself that "it's just hair and it WILL grow back" even though it's very easy to think that we wouldn't be in this place were it not for all the delays we've had in the past weeks and months. And as I told Drew, I guess this just means I need to be buying more headbands and bows for her :)
I couldn't believe this big smile!! She was soo serious for us the first couple of days and then really started to open up after that... But seeing her so smiley while she was playing with her little friends Gabby and Amalya at the guesthouse definitely made me happy. The sleeper she is wearing is the SAME EXACT one she was wearing when we first met her. It was big on her then, and it looks like it may be a bit snug on her now!!
Before the smiley picture was taken, Jana took Zoe up to her room to change her into the outfit I had sent along with her. Zoe wasn't too sure about Jana at first, and she said it was hard to get her to smile, but I still wanted to post this picture because this is our little serious girl. And how cute is she in this sweet outfit!! I also sent the little book she is holding and a little taggie blankie with Jana to leave there for her :) Oh, how I can't wait to tickle her and play with her and make her smile and laugh out loud like we did 3 1/2 months ago....
In the meantime, we are trying our best to keep busy, which isn't too hard with a VERY active 4-year old... I've managed to do some scrapbooking and crafting. I made this wreath out of burlap last weekend thanks to some inspiration from Pinterest and this website.Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies (also a Pinterest find). And let me just say- they do not disappoint. This recipe will be finding it's way into my recipe basket for sure!
We've taken 2 nature walks in the past couple of weeks (one as a family, and one with just the boys while I was shopping with my mom and sister). Evan is a HUGE fan and he calls them "adventures". I'm continually trying to remind myself that things will change once Zoe is home and that I need to soak up each and every minute with this special little guy...
Evan got a new tennis racket and balls for his birthday and we've taken him down to the tennis courts a couple of times in the last few weeks... He LOVES it- it will be interesting to see if he follows in his mama's footsteps :)
I guess that's about it... I will be sure to post if we get more information this week... Happy Fall!!