Monday, December 19, 2011

Just the Beginning...

What do you do at 4am when you can't sleep? Write on your blog. I think that this will be the last entry. We started this blog when we began the adoption process with Mekebo, about 5 years ago. After the emotional 3 year process to bring home Kokeb, Brian and I have decided that this will probably be the end to our Ethiopian adoption journey. But, every time I have said "never", things have turned out differently.

We left Addis Ababa on Thursday night after a few hours delay due to a malfunctioning oven. Kokeb did wonderfully on the 17 hour flight to Washington DC. She cried for the last hour, but everyone sitting around us were so wonderful and never made us feel bad for having a crying child. She snuggled with Daddy a lot of the time.

 She figured out that in the back of the plane, there were crackers and juice. She wanted to take walks to the back of the plane a lot. The flight attendants all knew her name by the end of the trip.

 She ran in the halls at Washington DC. It took us a while to get through US Customs, but Kokeb officially became a US Citizen on Friday morning (December 16). This is a picture of Daddy walking through the halls at O'Hare. Kokeb slept on both flights, from Washington DC to O'Hare and O'Hare to Madison.

I wish that I had a picture, but there were a lot of special people to meet Kokeb at the Madison airport. Her Nanna Anna, Papa Steve, Aunt Kristina and Lillian, Aunt Kara and Kaelyn, Papa and Grandma Kanis, Uncle Matt, Aunt Pam and cousin Kaitlyn. Of course, Eli and Mekebo were the first ones to kiss their baby sister. She loved riding in her car seat all the way home. Brian and I slept the whole way home; thank goodness for Papa and Grandma who drove us home.

Kokeb is adjusting well to her new surroundings. The Christmas tree, lights, brothers, new bed, different food, and a lot of new faces. 

Yesterday she was excited to go outside. She loves getting on her hat because she knows that it means we get to go somewhere. She liked walking through the snow.

Here she is giving her big brother, Mekebo, a big smile.

Elijah is getting really good at changing her diaper. He also wanted to try feeding her last night. He did a great job. 

I love this yogurt! Kokeb is full of silliness. She talks all the time and makes silly faces. 

Eli had a chance to feed her? Well, make way for big brother Mekebo too!

Kokeb is really good at going up the stairs, not so good at getting down. 

I can't express how blessed we are. I am so happy to be waking up in the middle of the night, changing diapers, feeding a baby, making bottles, and of course, getting some big sloppy kisses from the most beautiful girl I have ever known. Sometimes you wonder if your heart is big enough to love another person...but my heart is pouring over. I know Brian feels the same way. 

We are not only blessed because of Kokeb, but this journey has made us realize what wonderful family and friends that we have: from my parents who watched the boys while we were in Africa, to all the people at the airport, to all of the clothes from Aunt Pam, Aunt Erin, Terri, Jody, Kelly, Ingrid and Melissa, to Ruthie who also took a turn in watching the boys, to the wonderful tote full of goodies and clothes from Amanda, to Dan and Sheila who warmed up our house for us, to Paco who let us stay at his house before we left for Africa, to all the people that donated money and other items for the orphanages, and to everyone who have been praying for us. Of course, we owe a big thanks to the people at Helawi Orphanage who took such wonderful care of  her for the first 15 months of her life. Mulu and Birtukan will forever be a part of Kokeb's life story. We are forever grateful. 

And of course, without my wonderful husband, who calmed me down daily during this process, I couldn't have done this. I am so blessed to have someone like you who wanted to go through this process with me. I think we make a pretty good team! I love you.


Ramblings of Christine said...

Congratulations on your new baby girl. I am so happy for you, your house must be a buzz of excitement!

Paula said...

She's beautiful and your family is beautiful. Congratulations to all of you.