Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 6: A Day of Play and Bonding

Hello! I hope everyone is having a great day!! I have 3 days (depending on how you count) until my boys are home! I woke up at 100am to skype with JT and Tedi. They had just gotten up to start their day and Tedi was still in his PJs. He is so stinking cute I can barely take it. He still is scared by the computer so I am trying to not talk to him too much. He did laugh out loud when JT was pretending to take his soccer ball from him. Then I chatted with JT for a little while before I went back to sleep. They were supposed to drive into the countryside (I am not sure what that means). However, they were unable to go because the other two children were sick and went to the doctor. Thus, JT and Tedi stayed in the room and played with beach balls, hot wheels, the soccer ball.....they had lunch with another family in the hotel they met from Louisville (not a coincidence). When I was getting ready for work, JT text me to tell me he had internet. I logged onto skype and was able to chat while I finished getting ready. Tedi was laying in the bed because it was nap time. JT said today went very well. He is telling JT when he needs to potty by walking to the bathroom and saying the word. They are continuing to bond and doing well. I called to tell Tedi goodnight. He did kiss the phone and put the phone on hold! After my orientation, while Tedi was sleeping, JT tried to skype but had no connection. I quickly called and told him that I loved him and good night. He did get another bath today and did better, but was still not happy about it. :-(

Tomorrow they are going to look at the new Arise orphanage and most importantly to the US Embassy to get Tedi's immigration paperwork!!! And tomorrow is my first day of residency! It is an important day in the Henderson family!

The picture below is of him with one of the other little girls, Yemi, that her dad posted. JT is having trouble with yahoo so that is why he can't do pictures.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 5: Visiting Hope's Orphanage and time together

Well, here you go. If you are not on our email list or facebook, these are the pictures one of the other families sent me. (JT has poor internet in his room and no one to watch Tedi if he goes to the business center.) I have been able to video Skype with him 3 times since I last 1:30a for the first time, around noon and around 3p (I was off of work so had more time). Tedi was a bit unsure of the computer and some crazy white lady talking to him on it. However, JT did say that he looked at my picture and said "mommy". He called JT daddy! How sweet! There are so many more sweet stories to share but I know JT is journaling and will do a series of posts once he returns and is rested.

Today, they went to Hope, the main orphanage. JT was able to few his file and find out background info. However, I do not feel comfortable posting it here, but are sharing privately. BUT we did get a Birthday...... November 22, 2006. It is all so exciting!

JT said that Tedi is still grasping the soccer ball and watching the world cup when it is on TV. Please continue to pray for our family! We are so blessed. I can not wait until we have time to blog about our life changes and blessings!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 4: Meeting Tedi

(warning: for those of you on our email list, this will be repetitive. I do not have energy to re-invent or be creative since it is after midnight)

At 2:00am JT sent me a text that they were leaving for the orphanage soon. This was 9am in Ethiopia. I dosed off again and suddenly woke up between 3:30a and 4:00 because he told me I would hear from him and hadn't. I called his cell phone and he was at Tedi's orphanage. He had been with Tedi for about 20 minutes. When they brought T to him, T walked up to him nervously and reached out to be held. His nanny asked if JT was his daddy and he shook his head yes. JT took him a foam soccer ball and he played with it all day. All of his friends told him goodbye which JT was so sad because they were kissing and hugging him. They participated in a traditional coffee ceremony and spent more time at the orphanage. Tedi would not speak to me on the phone. The phone was scary and he was busy playing with his soccer ball that he did not want to share. :-)

They returned to the hotel for dinner. JT said Tedi was clinging to him and wanting to be close to him. JT said Tedi was nervous on the car ride. At dinner, JT was nervous about what Tedi would eat. That was NOT a concern. JT ordered a steak for himself that came with rice and vegetables (cauliflower, mushrooms, beans, and others). Tedi ate everything JT ate. JT said he was not picky whatsoever. He held his soccer ball throughout dinner. JT said he did drop the ball at one point and looked nervously at JT as if he were in trouble, so JT had to reassure him that he wasn't.

However, JT said that he was unsure of the elevator and the minute the door closed, he was in JT's arms. He was very leery of the hotel room until he saw the toys and suckers. THEN, it was bath time. JT sat on the edge of the tub and started gently pouring water onto him. He did not have a fit but whimpered. Tears appeared once JT washed his hair. The soccer ball was present for the whole bath! He was fine the minute JT wrapped him in a towel and held him. He let JT put the hair product in his hair and lotion up his little body. They read a story together and he put Tedi to bed. He slept with his soccer ball tucked under his arm like he was running in a touchdown in the other kind of football. He also is sleeping with my teddy bear that my Grandma Stewart made for me.

Unfortunately I have yet to see pictures or videos of them together. I waiting up for them to skype with me this morning. He is going to take Tedi to the hotel business center so hopefully we can have a connection. It stinks that he does not have one in his room. I am dying to see them. Today was not easy for me and I am sure it was difficult for JT.

Tomorrow, they are going to the main orphanage, Hope, for paperwork purposes. We hope to know more about info, birthday....and so on.

I have gotten a few emails about the airport on Saturday. We are welcoming anyone who wants to come to the Louisville Airport at 6p. I am going to try to get a gate pass. If the that is the case, everyone can greet us by security. If not, I would like everyone to wait down the escalator in baggage claim so that I can have a private moment with him. I will also ask to please not ask to hold him or get really close to his face. He is a shy boy and this is will be very overwhelming for him.....not to mention it will actually be 2am his time. Also, it is the first time I will be holding him as well. Again, we welcome everyone and would love to have everyone there.

Thank you again for your support and please continue to pray for our family!

Natalie Henderson

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 3: A Day of Rest

So today I actually got to see and speak to JT on Skype!!! Several times throughout the day we tried to use skype but his service was poor. We sent a few texts and I was praying to get to talk to him.... Around 330p this afternoon we were able to chat for about 10-15 minutes. There was a delay and a poor connection but it was a great ten minutes. He and the other families spent the day by first attending an Ethiopian church service followed by shopping for gifts and souvenirs. JT said he found Tedi a traditional Ethiopian outfit!!!! In the afternoon, they came to the hotel to rest. JT had a massage at the hotel and it was only $13....Crazy! Then, for dinner, they went to a traditional Ethiopian restaurant with a show and dancing. He said that he danced on stage. Those of you that know him are not surprised.

Tomorrow morning they will have breakfast and pray that someone from Hope shows up in a timely manner to take them to the orphanage. He hopes to be at the orphanage sometime between 9am and 11am their time (2-4am our time). He plans to call me when they bring Tedi to him. It will be worth every penny the call will cost.

I can not even put into words both the sadness of being absent for the moment and the joy that Tedi actually being with JT brings me. Today was more difficult than I imagined it would be. Thankfully I have good families and friends that help get me through it..... But tomorrow JT will be a Daddy for REAL. It will not be completely real to me until Saturday when he comes home.

Hopefully tomorrow I will have pictures or video to share. I will continue to update everyone!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 2: Arriving in Ethiopia

JT arrived in Ethiopia today. He sent me a text last night around 1am that he was in Germany and today mid-afternoon that he was in the hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Unfortunately, he did not have a good signal on the Internet so we were unable to Skype on the computer. We exchanged a few texts and then he was off to dinner with the other families who are in country. At about 4p he sent another text saying the Internet was not working. I could not resist and called him......for one minute and forty three seconds. It was worth it!!! He sounded tired and said he was. I am glad so that he can try to get on their time schedule.

He said the flights went smoothly as did the visa and money exchange at the airport and the hotel check in. On the flight from Chicago to Germany he was seated in the middle seat of the middle row....uncomfortably. However, fortunately for him the other two people got off that flight and he had the row to himself. I pray that he is able to rest tonight and tomorrow because he picks up Tedi on MONDAY!!!!!!

I will be honest. I greatly miss my husband.....oh I miss him so much. But somehow, by faith, I will make it through. Please keep JT in your prayers! Thank you.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day One: Leaving Louisville
(Natalie from home)

Well, as I type this, JT is aboard a plane headed from Chicago O'Hare to Frankfurt, Germany. He will land in Germany around 10-11p, EST and have four hours to walk around and stretch. Then, off to Addis Ababa he will fly! He will get there around 6pm, Ethiopian time (8 hours ahead of us). Thankfully, he is making the trip with the Marquis family (see the blog "The Best Things in Life Aren't" to the right). They are picking up their daughter, Grace Hiwot, who is a year younger than Tedi and from the same area of the country. Their presence should be very helpful on the return flight home.

As far as his schedule while in country....

Sunday: shopping, traditional Ethiopian Church, and a traditional Ethiopian meal (the orphanage is short on staff on Sundays, so he will be picking up Tedi on Monday)
Tuesday: Spend more time with Tedi and do paperwork with the orphanage and more time with Tedi
Wednesday: More time with Tedi
Thursday: July 1, US EMBASSY appointment... (my first day of residency)
Friday: Leaves at 11:30p for the US
Saturday: Arrives in Louisville at 6pm EST

Again, I will keep everyone updated.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

This is Pat Killeen, the husband of our agency director. He was in Ethiopia from June 9 or so to the 19. He was really sick he got home so we are just now posting the pics~~ Next week, I will be posting ones of Tedi and his daddy!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Days Until JT Leaves for Africa......

JT leaves at 10:51pm on Friday, June 25 for Ethiopia. He flies to Chicago and then to Frankfurt, Germany and then Ethiopia. I, unfortunately, can not even take him to the airport because I am in neonatal resuscitation when he needs to be at the airport. He will be gone until July 3, 2010 at 6pm. I will likely have to work that day, but I am praying that I will be off or get out early enough to get their early. I am also praying I will be off on July 4th. Please for me if you remember this! I will write more later but I wanted to update briefly!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

number of days until I start residency orientation.......
number of days until JT leaves for Ethiopia....

number of days until our EMBASSY appointment and until I am officially a resideny physician...
number of days until I meet our son and we are a FAMILY OF 3

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Adoption Party/Shower

Two of our great friends, Phillip and Abby Mullins. offered to host an adoption shower for our local friends at their home. The shower was last night and we had a blast. Many of friends were there and they brought us great gifts. Thank you to everyone for coming out and thank you Phillip and Abby for hosting. Below are some pictures (lots of pictures)

JT, Phillip, Abby and me
JT, Carey & Matt Heid (he went to high school with this couple)

JT and me with Lameca, his mom's fav co-worker

JT with the awesome adjustable height bball goal from Phyllis and Earl Mullins

with a doctor's kit for Tedi

with more gifts..

Sharon, JT's mom, and Lameca

Zach, me, Sarah, and JT (one our favorite couples)

JT and Kellie Pledger, a friend from high school

....with the Stubblefields, Andy & Amanda (JT works with Andy)

Danette & Jeremy McClain.... they just brought home their two little ones three weeks ago

Me and Brittney Armstrong

Ethiopian flag cookies courtesy of Abby

Saturday, June 12, 2010

21 Days....
I did not intend to update the countdown so quickly but I have a natural draw to the number twenty one. I realize it is a silly, but it was my basketball number growing up. Thus the draw to the number. But the good news is.... I meet Tedi in twenty one days!!!!

Adoption Shower.....
Tonight our dear friends Phillip and Abby are having a friends shower for us at their home. We feel so blessed that they offered to do this for us. We hope to visit with some friends and share our excited about Tedi coming home so soon! They are great friends and we lucky to be able to share this time with them.
Surprisingly, though, JT is working this morning for a co-worker who tore his achilles tendon...OUCH. He called me a few minutes ago to tell me that his boss's wife, Cheryl Franck, and middle daughter, Lauren Franck, had dropped several awesome gifts. We were so surprised and feel so blessed by this. Check out the cool gifts below.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

23 Days..
LET THE COUNT DOWN BEGIN..... I meet my son in twenty three days. JT flys out in 15 days and meets Tedi in 17 days. BUT, we will officially be a family on July twenty three days. Obviously, I won't count down each day....
Another note, I emailed as many people as I had email addresses for....however, if you follow the blog and would like email updates while JT and TEDI are in Ethiopia, please email me ( I will update the blog but the emails will be more personal with more details. So just let me know.....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


We have official, confirmed travel dates. JT is leaving for Ethiopia at 10:51a on Friday, June 25. He will arrive in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia around 6:30p on Saturday. (they are eight hours ahead of us). He will get to hold and meet Tedi on Monday, June 28. Our Embassy appointment to get Tedi's paperwork to return to the US is on July 1. My son and JT will return home on Saturday, July 3 at 6:00p. Yes, MY SON!!!!!!! You may have noticed that I am NOT going on the trip. I start residency on July 1, the day of our embassy appointment. The plan is for me to take two weeks of vacation in August to spend quality time with my boy! We are excited. I will post more in the two weeks to come!
New Home Pictures.
I have not taken lots of pictures of our new home. The landscaping is not where I would like it (we are renting not owning, though). We have our home study revision tomorrow night since we just moved to a new place...grrrr....but this time is much easier. Just walking through the house this time. In terms of our home, we are now in Louisville in a small 1920s two bedroom, one bath with a finished basement and fenced yard. The yard was important for me for Tedi... Here are some pics of the inside of the house..... Tedi's room is the best.
Tedi's room: the wall with his dresser.... this is JT's favorite poster.

Tedi's bed (with all of the stuff for the upcoming trip to bring him home everywhere)

Tedi's room

Living Room

Living Room

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


The day finally came.... my official medical school graduation. I actually walked across the stage. The program was well organized and the keynote speaker was good. The day was brutally hot, especially in the cap and gown. I can not put into words what a big day this was. Enjoy the pics.

me and my dear friend Eunice
me and Christine

with JT's mom and dad

with Kim, my long time room mate

With JT's family, Denise, Daniel, Jim, Sharon

me and JT
me with my family that attended, Aunt Pam, Uncle Joe, Bob, and my mom
Everyone that attended
me and JT
My family
JT's Family