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


  1. Sooooo cute! I love the last picture-one sock on, one sock off!

  2. I'm so sorry for all of the loss and hardship that you had to process during this already emotional time. there are always so many facets to every experience, hey?
    as far as posting re: trips goes, take your time. Enjoy your baby moon phase and be together...all of us out here, we can guys go get your bonding on!

    he is beautiful. deliciously so

    and I love your couch:)

  3. Hi Tam,

    I had no idea about your nephew or your grandfather while we were in ET. I'm so sorry for your loss. He sounds like a good man who lived a very long and full life!

    Your Niko is just as precious as usual, and I'm so glad you're settling into being a family of three!

    Love you and miss you!

  4. OH, he's just ADORABLE!

    I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your grandfather - that must have made for a very bittersweet journey.

  5. I have been following your blog for many months now and just wanted to say how happy I am for you that you now have Niko home - Congralations! He is gorgeous!

    I also would like to extend my sympathies in the loss of your grandfather. What an emotional roller coaster you must have been on. What a scare for your nephew too.

    Thanks for sharing your journey and I really look forward to hearing more about your trips to Ethiopia. We've been on the waitlist 4 months now and reading your blog has been a favorite activity of daily living for me :)


  6. So sorry about your grandfather and little nephew, sad things amid happy things.

    Jesse and the bumbo lasted 2 months. He now can throw himself out of it and it's too dangerous. Hope Niko stays in there longer. We moved on to an exersaucer and he LOVES it. :)

    I understand what you mean about "doing something." We came home and first order of business was sponsoring a child. We will always be on the hunt for more ways to do more good there. It sucks the government is hurting the people more than helping, and because of that there is only so much we all can do to improve the health and opportunities of wonderful Ethiopians.

    So glad Niko is home and you're learning to be a family. Can't wait to see more pictures.

  7. Welcome home to you and to Niko. He is precious. I can't imagine the swirling emotions taking place while you both grieved and rejoiced. That is certainly a lot to process! We're 4 months into the wait for our son or daughter and have found your blog to be a joy and encouragement as we wait!

  8. so precious!! So glad he's home with you!