Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Like Father, Like Son
My son is my husband. They do not share genetics. They do not share skin color....WHATSOEVER. But not only does he have behaviors like JT, he wants to be him. To get Tedi to wear a polo shirt, I asked JT to do so. Well, now Tedi wants to wear any semblance of what JT is wearing. For example, as I type this at bedtime, they are both in long sleeve blue tshirts and mesh shorts. (Though JT does not share Tedi's love for socks). Tonight, JT was going to the grocery and offered to take Tedi with him...in their matching green and white polos, jeans, and flip flops. Tedi said, "Car. Daddy, yes. Tedi, yes. Mommy, no." It was cute to see them head out together. JT is such a great daddy....of course JT loves him.
Tedi is adjusting well. He is still afraid of dogs, but only if they look at him. He will pet them if they don't look at him....Can't explain it. He will not eat ice cream, which breaks my heart as a sweets lover. He loves swimming; we went again today. He did not want to leave! We do have some issues here and there. The more he learns English, the easier it is to circumvent these issues.
Despite wanting to be like daddy, he is a fan of the white coat that my mom got for him. It says "Dr. Tedi Henderson". He hangs it on the back of his chair at the table, like I do. It is so very cute.
Posted by JT, Natalie, Tedi, & Chernet at 5:58 PM
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Few Recent Pictures....
Posted by JT, Natalie, Tedi, & Chernet at 2:14 PM
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Helping Others Fundraise: CANDLES
Our friends from college, Jenny and Stuart Borders, have decided to embark on the adoption journey and are going to Ethiopia as well. Stuart works at Living Hope Baptist in Bowling Green and Jenny is a former teacher now stay at home to their 18 month old twins. Yes, you read correctly, twins. They have been so supportive of our adoption and we want to do the same for them. Please check out their blog to the right Patroling the Borders (I do not know how to make the words connect...not that savvy, sorry.) They are selling small candle holders with etched glass to raise funds for their home study and adoption. They are only $10/each and are beautiful. You can email Jenny at firstname.lastname@example.org or me at email@example.com and I will put her in touch with you. I posted some pictures below! Again, check out their blog for more info! (as adoptive families, I believe we are called to help others traveling the labyrinth of adoption, whether by financial means or general support....here is just on opportunity.
Posted by JT, Natalie, Tedi, & Chernet at 6:45 AM
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Trip to Ethiopia - Travel Days
I apologize it has taken me this long to give you a recap of my trip to Ethiopia. In my defense, it's been a bit crazy around here!!!
I have been extremely reticent to blog about my trip for two reasons. First, it was an extremely emotional trip for me. This emotion was born from much more than my meeting Tedi and becoming a Dad for the first time. The sights, sounds, smells (oh, the smells) and people of Ethiopia have stayed with me. They are like a haze surrounding me constantly. They have affected my outlook and decisions since I have been home. I want to say it has been for the good. Ethiopia changed me in a profound way. It is difficult to put that emotion into words without coming across melodramatic (which I'm sure this last paragraph made me sound).
I departed Louisville at 10:45am Friday, June 25. I managed to get all of my clothes, Tedi's clothes, snacks, and supplies for the orphanages in one big suitcase which was the size of a refridgerator (thanks Zach and Sarah), one duffle bag, a SMALL (remember that) rolling carry-on, and a backpack. I flew the one hour trek to Chicago O'Hare Airport. I sat right in the middle of a group of healthcare workers from Washington state. They were very nice and loved their time in Louisville minus the humidity (my God, who doesn't). The airline industry baffles me with the little things. How did I end up right in the middle of their group? I often question the seating protocols on airplanes. They never make sense to me.
After landing in Chicago, I wanted to get one last good "American" meal so, naturally, I went to Chile's. Most (I'd say at least 75%) of our friends who have travelled to Ethiopia have loved the food. Still, I wondered if this would be the last glutinous meal I would have for a week. After lunch, I met up with Doug and Deena Marquis. They also adopted through our agency, Arise for Children, and live in Green Bay, WI. You can check out their blog, The Best Things in Life Aren't Things, to the right. They were picking up their daughter Hiwot, who lived in the same orphanage as Tedi. Natalie and I had been getting to know the Marquis' through email and phone calls, so it was nice to meet them face to face. I was happy to have some travel partners.
Remember the small, rolling carry-on bag I mentioned earlier? As we were in line to board our 8 1/2 hour flight from Chicago to Frankfurt, Germany on Lufthansa Airlines, an airline representative approached the three of us. She asked us to come with her. Deena immediately said "Uh Oh. This is not good." I was trying to remain positive and said, "Maybe, this is the one time it will be good to be pulled out of line." Ummm, Deena was right. We were marched to the front of the line by this German lady who should have been in the movie "Schindler's List" told us that our carry-ons were too big. Bear in mind that this plane was huge. It was a double decker with 11 seats across. This lady wanted us to believe that we were the only ones whose carry-ons exceeded the standards. Doug, who should have been an attorney, talked his way out of it and was able to proceed. By the time Frauline got to me, her patience was all used up. There was no reasoning with her. I explained to her the importance of what was in this bag and her reply was, "Do not worry. I promise you that this bag will be the first one in baggage claim in Ethiopia." Really! I responded. You can promise me that? Somehow with the airline industry's reputation, that is like BP promising me they would stop an oil leak.
I am a man of integrity and would like to point out that all three of my bags made it to Ethiopia in one piece. I do not know if my carry-on was the first piece to arrive to baggage claim. Unfortunately, I was in Customs as the bags arrived.
Boarding the plane while imagining a week in Ethiopia with only the clothes on my back, the hits just kept on coming. "Ladies and gentleman, we have a completely full flight this evening..." The words I NEVER want to hear. To make matters worse, I was in the middle seat of the middle section in coach. Now, that's the only way to travel. At that moment, I was cursing everyone I passed in Business Class, wishing I was six inches shorter and 50 pounds lighter, and wondering why they keep airplanes so hot as you are boarding them.
Nine hours later (none of which included sleep), as I unfolded myself out of the apparatus Lufthansa calls a chair, I noticed a man wearing what appeared to be a UL polo shirt. I approached him and asked him about it. We started talking and I asked Mike and Penny what they were doing in Germany. They told me, "Actually, we are on our way to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We adopted three children and are going to pick them up." Wow. I introduced them to Doug and Deena and our travel group grew by two. Mike and Penny now have twelve children. Six are biological, two are from Khazikstan, one adopted from the US, and three from Ethiopia). What a cool family.
We had a lengthy layover of four hours in Frankfurt but it was nice to walk around and stretch out. The plane we flew from Germany to Addis was considerably nicer. It was a very new plane and everyone had their own TV screen. Even we cretans in coach! Also, the plane was less than 50% full!!! I was so happy about that. I was able to stretch out and watch a couple of movies. I also slept about half of the seven hour flight to Ethiopia.
It was raining in Addis when we landed after 26 hours of travel. The sun had just set so I did not get a view of the city on the way in. We made it through Customs and exchanged some dollars in Ethiopian Birr (there are about 13 birr : $1). After we grabbed our luggage, we found our transportation to our hotel, the Panorama Hotel. The hotel was really nice. We checked into our room which were next to each other and went to the hotel bar to grab dinner. The food at the hotel was really good (so much for my fears of not getting fed). Doug bought a steak for less than $6. The prices are insane in Ethiopia. We watched the US play Ghana in the World Cup. Ethiopians love soccer and thought we would be offended if they cheered for Ghana. Little did they know, Deena was cheering for Ghana also!
As I laid down (finally), I could not believe that Tedi was just a few miles away. I wanted to jump in a cab and go meet. Natalie, myself, and a lot of others had worked tirelessly for eight months to bring him home and now I was a ten minute drive from him. I did not want him to sleep in an orphanage any longer. I did not want him to have to wear pink crocs and girl clothes any longer.
Many thoughts raced through my head. I was sad that Natalie could not be with me. I know she really struggled with not being able to go and I wanted to do well with Tedi to make her proud of us. I was nervous about being a Dad. It's a pretty big responsibility. I wondered if Tedi would like me or turn to the nannies and say "I'm not going anywhere with this white dude." And honestly, he speaks Ahmaric, I would not have known what he was saying!
As I drifted off to sleep (and it did not take long after our long travel day), I knew that my life would never be the same. This was the last night I would go to bed as a non-parent. From now on (as the bracelet I wear says) "My life is not my own."
Posted by JT, Natalie, Tedi, & Chernet at 5:42 PM
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Louisville Science Museum with the Foxes
Last night, JT, Tedi, and I met our dear friends, The Foxes, at the Louisville Science Museum. There was a Sesame Street exhibit about the body. We were both very nervous about how Tedi would adjust to being with Stella and baby Viv, especially while being stimulated at the museum. He did great! Only thirty minutes in, they were holding hands and running around everywhere. He would yell for her, calling her Eh-stella. Then she called him tiddy....imagine how that sounded at the top of her lungs. After the museum, we went to the Homemade Pie Kitchen and had ice cream and cookies. Well, Stella had my orange sherbet and Tedi ate a cookie. We said our goodbyes and gave kisses then got in our cars. Upon getting in the car and heading home, Tedi realized Stella was not coming with us. He had a 15-20 minute crying episode, well meltdown rather, on the way home. We recovered once home, but it was not a fun ride. Overall, it was a great time for everyone....we saw our great friends and Tedi made a new friend in Stella. Enjoy the pictures
Posted by JT, Natalie, Tedi, & Chernet at 2:35 PM
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Eleven days/Eleven thoughts....
1. My life is not my own...it belongs to a little boy, a hospital, and sleep :-)
2. I have seen more Toy Story in eleven days than I have my husband.
3. The feeling of my son sleeping on my chest is a feeling that words can not articulate.
4. Trying to understand the combination of Amharic and an Ethiopian tribal language is not the easiest tasks when trying to discipline and teach a 3 year old.
5. It is never any easier to leave for work in the mornings, and I am the furthest thing from a domestic wife/mom.
6. Little boys are so different than girls.
7. Repetition works. He understands more than he can verbalize.
8. I can not do it all, especially the domestic stuff, but I am sure trying to be a great mother, wife, and doctor.
9. Picking my battles with Tedi can make or break an evening.
10. My sister in law should have been in pre-k or education. She taught Tedi more words in one day than the other days combined.
11. I have best, most loving husband who I love even more after seeing him as a father.
Posted by JT, Natalie, Tedi, & Chernet at 6:28 PM
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Pictures By Days
I am trying to steal an idea from our friends Curtis and Meredith Hannah. I want to get a picture each day for the whole first year we are a family of three. I am doing my best. Here are a few over the last few days. Sorry I have not posted a lot lately....I don't know how so many people do it...the working mom thing. Being a mom, going to work at 5am and trying to be a good wife are not easy....so blogging is my last priority for now. But here are some pics. I am also working a post for his big day of firsts!!! JT will be working on posts about his trip in Africa once things settle into a rhythm! Thank you to everyone for support.
7/11: with Buzz Lightyear and his trucks .....being silly with mommy at Lynn's Paradise Cafe
7/10: on the porch at Granna & Pop's porch (JT's parents) with his second cousin Grant
Posted by JT, Natalie, Tedi, & Chernet at 1:11 PM
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
First Few Days at Home....in pics
Tonight, 7/7, in mommy's lap
7/7....mommy's little penguin after his bath
7/7 How cute is this!
7/6 Playing Ball with Daddy (and making daddy get the ball from behind the TV)
Posted by JT, Natalie, Tedi, & Chernet at 6:17 PM