Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Nikolicious

Don't you all just want to spend your day showing baby pictures to the whole world, but without being THAT parent? That's one more reason why I love this community. We love looking at baby pictures! And as I sit here feeling tired, exhilarated, accomplished and completely spent, I can upload a slew of shots from Niko's first days home and call it a (semi-legit) blog post.

the morning starts in the roundabout

and there's always dancing, clapping & snapping (attempts at)

short trip to the park; a bit skeptical of the swing

and then daddy jumped in

mommy still can't find the right shoe size, hence the socks



Monday, August 16, 2010

Niko is Home...ahhhh

his favorite toys are a wooden spoon & used envelope

no words needed

So, I did it again and let a whole load of time slip by since my last post. That's not good for anyone because it means I either have to:

a) come up with a very clever means of engaging your attention while explaining two trips to Ethiopia that covered ten days each (both packed full of lifechanging sights, sounds & emotions) or...
b) go the self-indulgent route and start typing away each detail, covering every moment of each trip in its entirety and risk boring you to death

I choose to opt out of both and simply jump into the present; with the intent of leaving little sprinkles of our two trips via captions and pictures in future posts.

Before jumping into the present though, I must mention two family matters that touched us greatly as we departed on Sunday, 8/1; fully aware of one while not knowing the other until our return. Late Saturday afternoon (7/31) our 16 month old nephew was airlifted to a local hospital for emergency care. His family was visiting my ill grandfather in PA.

Kai and I shifted gears asap from packing-for-Ethiopia-mode to get-to-the-hospital mode. Because the medics didn't allow parents in the helicopter, it was important the little guy had a familiar face with him at the hospital until his parents had time to drive the distance (he was being flown to our area). We stayed the evening in a local hotel, making it home the next afternoon with time to finish packing and head to the airport.

He remained hospitalized for quite some time and has since been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. He is a trooper and doing very well.

The following day while we were in flight to Addis, my grandfather passed away. He was a man who easily fit into the cast of Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation. He lived into his nineties, was one of the smartest men I've known, adored his wife and four daughters and was very proud to be adding a great-grandson to his brood. We talked often about Niko's arrival, as he was very curious about the process of international adoption. He also loved quizzing people on history and facts, (taking every opportunity to use this as a great platform for doing so!) Poppy, we love you and will miss you greatly!

So, while the family rallied around each other here for the young, the elderly and the new arrivals, Kai and I were a world away gathering our little guy, soaking him in and letting him cry his little eyes out until he knew it was okay to relax. And once he did, we all began to relax a bit and things slowly started happening. Family started happening and it continues each day. There are ups, downs and in-betweens with the only constant being the utter cuteness of Niko and the size of those cheeks!

I'll be updating more as we go and will definitely include a few powerful moments along the way. Ethiopia has a lot going on. I saw things on the first trip that will forever be ingrained in my memory. The second trip only reinforced the notion that, yes I can do something and I will. Realistically, many issues are an ongoing battle and of a large magnitude. However, there are plenty of 'situations' at hand that if simply nudged a little, can change the outcome of someone else's life. Seriously.

It was a very bittersweet return, to say the least.
p.s. future posts will be light & fluffy and continue to include silly, giggly, cooing baby shots

getting accustomed to the seat that allows mommy to shower and eat

the end of a long day

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Hello everyone. I just received a message from Tamara. She wanted me to satisfy everyone's curiosity with an update. They officailly have His passport and visa in hand and are ready to head home on Tuesday. He is everything they thought he would be, and more, much, much more!!!!! He is crawling now and pulling himself up at the kitchen table. Tamara said they can tell he is really sensing his freedom and space, and exploring it ALL, FULL SPEED!!!!!

They toured the government orphanages yesterday. It was very emotional and sad for their group to witness such need coming from these tiny babies. The group gathered bottles, diapers, etc. and began feeding, holding, rocking, and talking to the helpless little ones.

They are very sleep deprived right now.....I tried to tell her!!!!!! Tamara and Kai are relishing in the moment and thoroughly enjoying every single second of parenthood. They will be home early next week....and I for one, can't wait....I have waited for YEARS for my sister to become a mother and the moment is finally here....

I will post more as I receive phone calls, messages, and emails....Take care everyone!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Niko and the muscle of his 22lb self (not too shabby for a 9 month old) has completely overpowered, conquered and planted his flag in what were previously two fully functioning adults.

We decided to take placement within a few hours of landing, which was Tuesday afternoon. Some suggested we wait a day to at least put a dent in our jetlag but we were too excited and agreed to same day placement. (I now lightly suggest what the others suggested to us!) Niko arrived sound asleep with us waiting in the driveway with the other (AMAZING) families who are also staying at the guesthouse, all armed with videos & cameras. He was trying to take in the new surroundings when things became a bit overwhelming for him and the tears appeared. We spent the rest of the evening in our room walking him, playing, talking, holding but nothing really helped take the fear away that still showed in his face. It was the worst feeling. He just looked so helpless and so very scared. He finally fell asleep in our arms with his bottle and continued hourly cries throughout the night.

And the middle of the chaos he woke up and was ready to ROLL!!! He was smiling and ready to play! Of course we obliged :)

Yesterday, we were all pretty out of it but things are moving in a much more positive direction. After our coffee ceremony where we met Niko's Special Mother, we all came home and took an hour nap together and later had our first bath, which went well. He's now getting wound up again (he's in FULL discovery mode) so I'm going to run but will post more later.

I'll try to do quick updates with full trip details when we return.