May 31, 2008

Sick and Tired

Friends, we would covet your prayers right now.

Getting home has been so sweet, but being sick and oh so tired and jet-lagged has made our little family's homecoming difficult to enjoy.

Quint has been to the doctor and has been diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection, a staph infection, and double ear infections with perforated ear drums in both ears. Our sweet happy boy is having a rough time and has been prescribed several medications as well as breathing treatments every four hours.

As is his usual demeanor, he is a sweet and happy baby. But his sickness has taken it's toll and he is showing signs of severe jet-lag.

We are blessed to know him and love him, and he is a sparkle of light in our lives. Despite his sickness, he still manages to make us laugh and is such a smiley guy. We've nicknamed him "Mr. Giggles".

Pray that he would recover fully and that we would get the rest and recovery that we need to take care of him. This has been one of the hardest weeks that either of us can remember and we're just spent out.

May 29, 2008


WE'RE HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't say enough about how glad, happy, amazed, happy, glad and amazed we are to be back home!!!!

There is lots to tell and so much to say - but for now, I'll let the pictures suffice...and a little poem I have, tell the tale...

More to come soon friends - thank you for your prayers, comments, well wishes and sweet words. We are blessed to be back in our safe place and enjoying our sweet boy from the comfort of our home, family and friends!


Our Guest House and our travel family Bill, Terri and D

ALMOST HOME! In D.C. with one more leg of the journey left...

Finally!!! Some toys that STIMULATE our son! He is having a blast!!

Looking at himself in the mirror...he was coo'ing and humming....

And it's off to sleep little one...he LOVES his crib. He slept almost through the night but needed a diaper change around 4am - back down at 5am and slept until 7. What a good boy!

**Even in my very limited experience as a mother, I can still say that this poem is all so true...

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put him down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom.

May 27, 2008

Guess who's coming home tomorrow?????

(Robyn here for one last post)

That's right Quint should be making his debut on Texas soil at 3:00pm (CST) tomorrow!!!! Oh yeah, I guess Christie and Anton are coming home too! We are so excited to see their newly expanded family in person. Don't worry all you blog readers I will be pressuring Christie to put up pictures of the little man at home ASAP!!!!

Their travels should have already started so please say a little prayer for them for safe travel and for Quint to be okay on the flights, and maybe no kids throwing a tantrum for 11 hours!!

Thanks for checking in!!

May 24, 2008

Long Days, Longer Nights, and a CUTE baby!!

Posting again from Addis and will try to share as much as I can in my limited time. I’ve arranged to have a driver take me to the Hilton later so that I can attempt to send this on for you all to enjoy.

It’s Saturday and a beautiful day in Africa. Quite frankly, all the days are lovely – the sky is blue, the breeze blows and the flowers have bloomed. It’s in the 70’s, I would estimate, and we have seen no extreme heat or weather. In fact, it rained once and left such a lovely freshness that we hoped it might rain again.

The altitude is high – no doubt about it. I’ve managed to catch whatever Quint has (hmmm, guess the 700 kisses I give him everyday finally caught up to me). Regardless, I am experiencing some difficulty breathing. I think it’s the altitude and sickness combined. AB and I have both had some upset stomach, etc. Nothing we weren’t expecting to be honest.

The days are very long and the nights longer. Let me explain – there is nothing to do. In a GOOD way. We simply spend our days lavishing love on our little man and finding out about him. Seeing what he likes, and doesn’t. Exploring the grounds of the guest house where we’re staying – the animals (6 dogs, 4 large tortoises, and several rabbits), napping, and walking through the garden. We truly have never experienced a slow down like this in our lives. It’s kind of surreal. The pace here is very different from the states. No one is in a hurry, no one is rushing around, no one is pressured. It’s just a completely different way of life, to be sure. The nights are long because the mattress is like a rock. So we toss and turn quite a bit. But little Quint sleeps like a brick!

Each day we try to set out to see something of the city. Like the other day we went to the largest market in Africa called the “Mercado”. It was interesting and strange, and amazing…all wrapped up. Today we went to the Museum of Ethiopia – which was very interesting, indeed. Tomorrow is a day of rest in Addis – so we will spend the day lounging and enjoying the company of the other family we are traveling with. Monday we will visit the Addis Lake and have a picnic, and also attend a coffee ceremony and purchase some Ethiopian coffee (some of the best I have ever tasted!)

Quint is doing remarkably well. He seems to have adjusted very well to the idea of being loved on, kissed, hugged, and generally ADORED 24/7! He is a sweet baby and so charming. To know him is to love him – and I hope the pictures convey how much we grow to love him more every day.

As for crying – he found his voice and is not afraid to use it. He cries only when he is hungry or tired. He eats very well now, and Mommy figured out what he likes, whew! Also, this kid can NAP! He takes three naps a day and sleeps twelve hours at night. Last night was the first night where he didn’t wake up at all. The night before, he needed a diaper change, so he fussed a little – and then slept the entire time we changed him. We are attributing some of the napping to being sick still. He still has a very wet cough and runny nose. Poor baby! I can’t wait to get him in to see a doctor when we get home.

When we take him out and about in Addis, people stop and stare, or want to come up and talk to him. They kiss his hands and say “lucky baby”. Another man said to me “lucky baby…go to USA, so lucky!”

We took a tour of the orphanage – that’s a post all unto itself. I have neither the energy or the heart to retell what I saw there. I will get on my soapbox later…

Homesickness – definitely. It’s hard to be so far from home and the comforts of home – especially when you’re in culture shock, a new mom, a new baby, jet-lagged, not sleeping, and sick. Can you imagine?

Electricity seems to be fleeting where we’re staying. Last night we had none at all – and it was when I decided to have a mini meltdown. I was just baked…I wanted to go home so bad. Daytime is wonderful, but nighttime – when you’re not sleeping and you’re tired and cranky…jeesh.

So we have three more days – Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday night we leave. I cannot lie – I am SO READY to come home. It has definitely been a life changing experience, but I am ready to return to my “normal”. It will be so nice to brush my teeth under running water again, or wash our clothes in the washing machine and not by hand!

Meanwhile, this is likely to be my last post! Forgive me, but it’s more and more difficult to arrange it and I am more and more tired the longer we are here. Hopefully, I can post from home by end of the week. That is, if I can keep my head up!?!?

Thanks so much for all of your amazing and wonderfully supportive comments, my friends! It has meant so much to us to read through them and to know that we are loved and thought of. This trip has been amazing – but most importantly of all – we have been given the most amazing gift in our little son. He is a treasure! There are truly no words…we cannot wait to get home and try on our new life!!


May 22, 2008

We love this boy!!!

Hello everyone! Well, as you can guess by now we have had some serious difficulty posting from Ethiopia. I’m so sorry! It’s the one thing that’s really bothering us both, as we have so many people checking the blog to see how we are – family and friends. Phone calls are terribly hard – as the internet removes the option for Skype and the only phone we can use is $1 a minute. Yikes! There is no internet in our guest house and we must first arrange for transportation to a local hotel that does offer it, and then we pay by the hour for usage. The only problem has been that the internet was down even at the hotel. So we have had no way to let you know that all is well and that we have wanted so badly to share our little boy with you. In addition, Blogger is not viewable here, so I can’t even post for you.

Special thanks to Robyn for being our go-between, especially when she has her own new baby at home! We so appreciate her being willing to take the time to post for us and upload the pictures for you to enjoy.

Today was only our second day in Addis but it feels like we’ve been here much longer. To be honest, I slept terribly the first night. Tossing and turning – the room was too warm and Anton was snoring (sorry AB!). Also the bed is extremely hard. Like sleeping on the ground, almost. I could hardly bear it. We both woke up with neck aches and headaches. After some pain relievers and a wonderful coffee and breakfast, we were feeling much better. More importantly, we were ready to go see Quint again! Have I mentioned what sweet boy we have? In case you can’t tell from the pictures, he is such a happy baby. We have yet to hear him cry, though he finally fussed just a little tonight when he got tired. But it lasted for less than 10 seconds before he was dozing off on Daddy’s shoulder.

Anyway, we visited him this morning and he was just all smiles when he saw us. It lit us up inside and out to see him smiling and happy. We only spent a couple hours with him, but it was absolutely wonderful. We were able to speak with his doctor and she was very kind and caring. She clearly has such a passion for the children and was so happy that Quint was going home with us. When she walked into the room, I was actually crying a little because I was just so filled with love for him and so happy to be his mommy – so grateful for him – so she saw me and she said “Oh no! Is something wrong with your eyes?” I said “no, no! I’m so happy – happy tears”. She smiled and laughed and gave me a knowing look. He does have a little cold, so she gave us some antibiotics for him and that was a relief!

We did leave him for lunch and his nap and went back in the afternoon for what would be our final “visit”. We signed our paperwork and officially became his full-time guardians. It was such a great moment to shake their hand and thank them for the gift of our son. What an amazing journey this has been for us!

We returned the guesthouse as full-time parents and either we are just really good (HARDLY LIKELY!) or God has blessed us with a wonderful son. He is such an amiable and likeable baby. He charms us all with every smile and giggle. He makes fast friends because he is so sweet natured and he is a joy!

We gave him his first bath and he really liked it. He splashed and played and it was so fun to see him enjoy the water! Yaaay for summer and swimming!!

We feel so goofy at this parenting thing and he is so forgiving of our foibles. Backwards diaper? No problem, Mom – here’s a grin! Bonk on the head getting out of the Baby Bjorn? No worries, Dad – here’s a giggle. He’s just a sweet little guy.

Our first feeding was interesting – a little touch and go as I wasn’t sure what he would like, and not sure how to adjust the measurements – might have watered it down a little. He was only partially interested. Regardless, he was so sleepy that I knew it was time for bed.

First time getting in our jammies was so sweet; he was tired but full of smiles for me. I placed him in his crib and it was lights out in three minutes. Just right to sleep, where he still is now – four hours later. Quiet as a mouse. Sweet boy…

Truly friends – we are overjoyed at this miracle. He is so very easy to love and to be with him is to seriously fall in love. I’ve no need to sugar coat our affection for him. His smile melts your heart and his laugh is infectious. We are so grateful to have him and there are no words I can put to it to express our happiness.

We think we’ll keep him. Tee hee!

More to come as we can…and a big hug!


May 21, 2008


Hello Family and Friends!
It is Monday night for us and we have the long awaited pictures of our little man – FINALLY! You’ve all been so patient! So as you can see, I wasn’t kidding – Quint is a precious baby. His smile is infectious and his laugh is amazing. Our time with him today was beyond words. But let me try….

After fourteen hours of plane riding, we finally arrived in Addis this morning. We were sooooo happy to get off that plane! It wasn’t that the flight crew was bad – actually, the flight itself was fine – just LONG. Unfortunately, two rows back we had a family with two boys who they refused to control in any way. The younger of the two was a toddler who screamed and threw a temper tantrum for about 11 of the 14 hours of flight. It was a nightmare! When he wasn’t screaming full out, he was running up and down the isle or passed out on his Dad’s shoulder. So sleep was very difficult and that made me extremely cranky.

After we made it through getting our Visa, going through Customs, and then going again through another scanning process – we made it outside and our attorney met us at the terminal. It was a relief just to have someone know who we were. Fortunately, we also got to fly with some new friends – another family staying in the guest house and adopting a little girl. We went to the attorney’s office and finished our paperwork for Quint and then it was off to the guest house to settle in.

To be honest, the ride over put me into a state of culture shock. I can’t even deny it. AB predicted it would happen – but I didn’t realize it would hit me so bad. No amount of trying on my part could summon my happy place. Despite the real reason we were here – I was just saddened by what I saw. Actually, partially sad but on the other hand just bewildered. It takes some getting used to. The poverty level is just kind of surreal. The hard part is not applying American standards to this culture – after all, that’s unrealistic and unfair.

In the meantime, we arrived at our guest house, which was very quaint. The grounds are full of flowers and plants; there are about six “property” dogs, and four large tortoises. They are hilarious! Our room is small but nice and has a crib. Since our meals are included, we’ve been able to have lunch and dinner – which were both good. Not only that, but there are bottles of coke of the table – now they’re speaking my language!! Whahoo! But no ice…boo hoo! But cold…yaaay!

Well, we couldn’t put it off for much longer after lunch – so we packed up our cameras and video and off we went to the orphanage. I wasn’t really prepared – once again. It was hard to see all the little kids wandering around, but all of sudden I was as ready as I’ve ever been to see him. It was like all the jetlag and mental wear and tear was gone and I started to get weepy. I tried to pull it together, since I didn’t want to scare him by blubbering all over him. They asked me a couple questions – like his name, etc. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw a lady approaching with a little baby – and I just knew. I stood up and tears started streaming, but I was so happy to see him that I just smiled as he came around the corner. All the while, AB is snapping pictures and taking movie – both hands going.

As the nanny held him, I reached out and said “hello son!” and he gave me the biggest smile - I was PUTTY! Melted into the floor like a big pile of goo. He came right to me and after that, Anton and I spent the next two and a half hours just taking him in. First of all, he smelled good. Second, he was in the cutest little outfit – a little safari jumper. Third, he was Mr. Giggles – he laughed out loud and smiled all the time. He is such a delight, my friends!

We did notice that he seems to have a cold or something because he coughed quite a bit and had nasal drainage as well. (I’m trying to say it politely). All the babies, we were told, seem to get this and keep it going around. Other than that – he was happy and healthy, and was genuinely relaxed with us. For a while, I just sat in a chair and he just nestled in my arm and hung out. He did not cry the entire time we had him, and just really seemed to be well cared for.

What can I tell you? He is an utter DELIGHT and joy! We could not be happier or prouder, or more in love. I had fears about meeting him – what if I don’t take to him or him to me, what if, what if, what if. All out the window. He is such a sweet baby and he is our SON! I truly felt that mother instinct kick in immediately (and I was a big skeptic that it would not). I cried when we had to leave him, but his paperwork has one more step – and he will be ready tomorrow (Tuesday). I know he’s in good hands – they loved on him as soon as we handed him back to the nanny. Our time with him was just precious and we can’t wait to see him tomorrow morning. Actually, we made the decision to go ahead and keep him at the guesthouse with us – we’ve waited a long time to be parents and it would be sad and anti-climactic to have to leave him each day at the orphanage. Not only that, but we would like to see him shake this cold thing before the return flight.

So tomorrow we officially take custody and we’re so excited!

Friends!! Quint is finally “home”!


On a pitiful note – we do not have internet access where we are staying and have to take a ten minute ride to a hotel nearby to get access in their business center. Not only that, but we can’t pull up blogger. I can still read your comments through my e-mail notification so thank you for each and every one! But, I am having a friend post this with the pictures – so you all don’t think I’m torturing you!

More to come when we can!


May 20, 2008

They have Quint!!!

Hi all..... Robyn here again. I just received a phone call from Anton. Christie and Anton have Quint in their arms RIGHT NOW!!!! He is officially theirs and has left the orphanage. Ethiopia is having MAJOR internet problems right now (which explains why we haven't received pics yet) and they have been unable to get access. To make matters worse there is no access at their guest house they have to travel to the local Hilton to access the internet. They have tried several times and have the post and pics all ready but are unable to send it. They will try again tomorrow, so hopefully when we all wake up Wednesday morning we will finally get to see the pictures.

Christie was in the background feeding Quint while Anton was talking to me. Of course, you could hear her randomly chime in. They both sounded ecstatic and per Anton "Quint is the best baby EVER!!!! He is gorgeous, the pictures don't do him justice. He smiles and laughs all the time, never cries and we are so happy right now."

We only spoke for a few minutes but I could definitely tell they were both on cloud 9. I even heard Quint cooing in the background!!

So at least we know they are all together, safe, and things are going well. Hopefully the internet issues will be fixed and we can see pics soon!!

May 19, 2008

They have arrived!!!!!

Hi all.....Robyn here "guest blogging" for Christie. She was not sure if she would be able to access the site in Ethiopia so I am filling in for her. I know several of you are anxious to hear from Christie and Anton, so I thought I would make a little post to let everyone know that they have arrived safely in Africa.

I received an email from Christie earlier today that read:

We arrived this morning after a long and TIRING flight...we're in one piece - luggage is fine. We checked into our guest house and the staff are nice and helpful. The city is CRAZY - can't even begin to describe it.

We're off to meet Quint now - OMG.

Hopefully we will finally get some pics of Quint in his mom and dad's arms very soon!!

May 17, 2008

We're Off!

This morning we got up around 4:45 AM and started the long journey to our son. Some dear friends of ours got us to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Just before we left though, we managed to snap a couple pictures.
Just before leaving the house

On the luggage (thank you Robyn) we didn't do too bad at all. The little gray bag in the front is our one shared carry one. The three pieces in the back are:
Purple = Quint
Black = Quint, shoes, and snacks
Red = Anton & Myself.
Despite what it might look like, we packed very light. AB and I agreed on three pairs of pants, four shirts and a light jacket. We'll just have to make due. Good thing the 50 diapers we had to pack will be seriously depleted by the time we come back.

Ok, so let me explain; I was sad to leave the fur babies and a little scared about traveling so far from home. In the back of your mind, you worry - what if??!?! But I know it will be fine and our animals are in great hands. I just miss them already. Especially with Kaleigh being so sick this last week. It was hard to say goodbye - so I got a little weepy in the car and for posterity, AB snapped a picture.

Meanwhile, we had a pretty uneventful flight to D.C. and are now quite comfortable in our hotel room. We decided to stay off property from the airport and are really glad we did. Our room is fabulous and totally affordable. The only picture I didn't include is of the kitchen area. It's really much more of a room than we expected and we're just going to relax until our morning flight out.

So, this is it my friends. Until we're in Addis Ababa and can find an internet cafe to post again. I almost hate to sign off - because I'm so excited to post pictures of Quint when we get him. I can't wait for you all to "meet" him. It's sooooo overdue, eh?

We leave early tomorrow morning to meet the family we're traveling with and board our flight to Ethiopia. By the time we land, it will be the middle of the night in the states. By the time you all wake up on Monday, we will have our sweet boy.

Wish us luck! We're anxious, nervous, excited, and READY all rolled into one!

Love and blogger hugs -

May 15, 2008

Somebody say "72 hours"

Somebody said to me tonight "what is your current level of excitement". I had to think about it. I know that somewhere inside I'm brimming with excitement - but I haven't allowed myself time to process it. I've been busy with chores, tasks, lists, packing (actually...haven't done that yet), more lists, and appointments, etc. that I've successfully kept my actual excitement at bay. Don't get me wrong. It's in there. It is! But I can only hold so much in my tank and at some points I have to let the excitement go long enough to accomplish what I need to do.

Sometimes it hits me like "WOW! I'm going to Africa! - what an adventure". Other times it's more like "yowza...can't wait until we're back at home". Some times it's "jeesh, not so thrilled about this but gotta get my little man home" and other times it's like "this is going to be the trip of a lifetime (right along side China)". So I go back and forth. Emotionally, it's a little bit chaotic. You're up and down, and back around, and low and high, and back and forth. It's crazy - I cannot even lie. You have high moments where you are like "get me on that friggin plane!" and others where you feel like "come on May 28th!" Regardless, that's all about the trip - not anything to do with Quint.

Some days I wonder if I can do this (little late, eh?) and some days I'm RARING to go. Most days - raring. Some days - iffie. Adoptive Moms-to-be, you'll totally get what I'm saying the minute it's on you.

As I type this, AB is installing the carseat in my car, the pets are happily snoring on the rug, and I am comforted by my wireless internet connection, a cup of ice water, and air conditioning. In a few days, all the comforts of home and my pets, my warm and fluffy bed and cool house, my car and knowledge of my whereabouts, my blanket of familiarity and the luxuries of safe water and predictable meals will be thousands of miles away. All that will remain are my suitcase, the stability of my husband's love and his knowledge of world travel, and the burning desire to see and hold Quint in my arms. All else will fade in that moment of truth. I'm pretty certain that the phrase "home is where your family is" will never be more true than 72 hours from now.

As promised, some pictures of Quint's room. We're quite happy with it, though it's still a bit of a work in progress. It's definitely ready for him - and the only things needed are aesthetic. I'm still gathering last minute things together, but at this point it's sink or swim. I'm on a plane at 8am Saturday morning. If I've forgotten something at that point - it's a little late to worry about it.

*note the globe is set to Africa...