Friday, September 28, 2007

{Who has a passport??}

WE DO!! After some frusterating moments at the Immigration office (more on that later) we walked out of there with Bizi's passport and that equals FREEDOM! Freedom to come home and start his life in America with a family that loves him.

He is putting more weight on his legs each day and Holly almost got him to roll over last night, but his head was in the way. I can tell such a difference in his muscle strenght. Each day he is stronger and louder! He spits raspberries all day and of course people think it is funny, so he does it even bigger and louder.

I had planned on a longer post but he is hungry, so I'll update more later. Oh, did I tell you he slept through the night last night?!! He is perfect!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

{Some things are universal}

Funny stories while the baby is sleeping:

We have been using the same taxi driver every day while we are here. He is Jana's favorite and rightfully so. Yesterday Dave and I were doing some running around solo and when we got in the taxi I heard "you gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em'. Know when to walk away and know when to run..." Jamata was listining to Kenny Rogers!! Then when that song was over I heard Dolly Parton singing a duet with Kenny. It was a tape! Dave and I asked him to rewind it and we belted out The Gambler while crusing the streets of Kigali! Move over Davis Hasselhoff...Rwandan's love Kenny Rogers!

On the same lines...the Hixson's have a day guard named Chance that is super nice and we chat quite a bit during the day. Yesterday he was here and I had my MP3 player out. I asked him if he wanted to listen, thinking that I was going to show him music that he has never heard before, from America! So, I put the ear piece up to his ear and he says "Beyonce!". He even knew the name of the song! Now he is sweeping the floor with my MP3 player strapped to his arm. He is such a sweet kid and asks me everyday if I can help him come to America. Everyone asks if I can help them. We as Americans have no idea the blessing we have been given by being born in a free world.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Bizimana is what all the nuns called Ethan when we went back to the orphanage today for a tour. It was horribly excrutiating to walk out of that room knowing that a) we were only taking one and that so many more need homes. And b) the hardest part was knowing that the Shreck's babies were in there and I could not bring them with me to a waiting, loving home. I couldn't stop crying for Keli and her babies. It still tears me up.

The women in the Ministers office were VERY concerned that Ethan is 9 months old and can not stand on his legs. On the second day of them going on and on about it I finally had enough and told them "Yes, it is BAD and that is why we must hurry the dossiers so that the babies will have a mommy faster." THEY ARE PART OF THE REASON THE BABIES ARE BEHIND!!! AUGH!! I pulled out the dossier for the Shreck's and said "They are ready, the babies room is ready, we just need you to approve them." We have things in our own country that are slow, but you would think that a country over run with orphans would be more than willing to help people who want to adopt. It's very frustrating.

We took Bizi to the ER today because he has been pulling at his ears (what an experience) and the dr said his ears are fine but he has the flu (they call a cold or sinus infection 'flu'). They gave us RX for Amox, and some decongestant. The Amox cost $.50! He is a trooper and is now sleeping on top of his daddy. We want to get his head cleard up before we fly on Sunday.

Still no passport. We went yesterday and they told us to come back today, then we go back today at 2:00pm and they tell us to come back at 4pm. We told them we would come back tomorrow. So tomorrow we are going back to the orphanage to take them another paper, then to the passport office, then to the genocide memorial. It will be a mega tissue day. I'm looking forward to being home with Ethan and not dragging him all over town all day.

I wish I could describe the driving over here. I took some video, but even that is not the same. There are people everywhere and cars drive when and where they want. It's a good way to work on your prayer time!

We are off to bed. Much love to you all!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

{Sore arms & a happy heart}

Hello from beautiful Kigali! What a life altering experience this week has been and it is only Tuesday!

As you know we picked up Ethan on Saturday and he is a dream baby. I carry him in the ring sling that was given to us and he is content to be drug all over town all day long. He has found his voice today and talks and giggles most of the day. He wakes up with a sad cry that breaks my heart, but once he gets his eyes open he is all smiles.

I would love to give a more lenghty update, but I'm running on 4 hours of sleep and the elevation is making me dizzy/light headed, so looking at the computer screen is weird.

We are good. Ethan is as perfect as Davis and Paige. We can't wait to be home.

Much love!

Thursday, September 20, 2007


We made it to DC! This morning we got the kids off to school and Dave's dad dropped us off at the airport right on time. 3 of our 4 bags were over in weight, but the very nice man only charged us for 2. That was a fast $100 out of the gates! Once in DC we boarded the shuttle for the Hampton Inn not knowing there are 4 in the area. After 20 minutes of seeing the beautiful Sully, Virginia and riding with a man from Liberia that asked if we would adopt him as well...we realized we were headed in the wrong direction. I mentioned that the hotel web site listed the hotel was only 1.5 miles away and this was the longest 1.5 miles EVER. Dave asked the driver and he all but rolled his eyes, but took us back to the airport where Julio was waiting with the van to take us to the correct hotel.

We went to dinner at the Holiday Inn next door, and we are washing clothes in the sink so that we can wear them again tomorrow! We are dog tired and yet "fired up" (thanks Keli!) with what is to come tomorrow. Hold on baby Ethan....mommy and daddy are on our way!

Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers on my voicemail! We love all of you tons!


Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Man, does my tummy have butterflies! It seems to do flip flops all day. I spent the day running to the bank, Wal-Mart (hopefully for the last time!), and answering the door when people came by with stuff to mule over to Rwanda. Dave and I will be like Santa once we unpack our bags!

The kids are packed and ready to go to Granny and Papa's. The dog is heading to Doggie Day Care tomorrow. After asking the kids several times if they want to go to the airport with us (yea) or to school (boo) on Thursday, they repeatedly tell me they want to go to school. I see where I rank. So, Thursday we will take them to school as usual and head to the airport. Our flight leaves as 11:05.

The plan is to get a good nights sleep and run my tail off again tomorrow. Back to the bank, more laundry, last of the dishes, church, dinner with friends and maybe even scrubbing the refridgerator. Well...maybe not the refridgerator...a woman has her limits!

Much love!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

{Quiet before the storm}

It is a quiet Sunday around our house. Both kids are napping and even daddy has crashed on the couch. I have a mothers premonition that this will be the last quiet moment of the week.

Last week I busted my tail to get as much running/shopping/packing/freaking out done as possible so that we could have a fun weekend with the kids and just chill. It worked! Saturday we played outside in the gloriously cool weather, had steak and crab legs at Dave's parents house and God even let the Sooners win so that we (I) would have a week of peace!

I'm sure the next three days will fly by and only with the grace of God and my spiral notebook full of list will I leave this country without forgetting something basic like my toothbrush!

We are excited, but Dave and I both are horribly heart-torn over leaving the kids. I had a friend point out that the Shepard left the flock to find the one lost sheep. I had never thought of that verse pertaining to our situation, but it has brought me much needed peace. We know that this is God's plan for our family and we also know that many of God's plans require us to move from our comfort zone and have faith that the end is worth any pain or discomfort.

I told a friend at church today that this week is like being at the end of your second *know* it's going to hurt like crazy, but you go the hospital anyhow!

Thanks for every one's prayers, hugs and offers of help. Please keep praying while we are gone.
Much love!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

{7 days and counting}

A week from tomorrow we will be getting on the plane! Today has been crazy busy with shopping and returning, and shopping some more. My plan is to have everything done this week and this weekend we can just chill with the kids. The weather has been beautiful with a high of 78, so a trip to the park would be nice.

As of yesterday Ethan is offically ours! The court approved us and let Jana stand in for us. PTL! It was a huge answer to prayer.

Jana is taking Ethan to get his passport photo tomorrow. What a world traveler the kid will be! I just got a passport this year!

I plan on keeping this blog updated while we are gone. I think it will be eaiser than trying to remember email addresses.

Much love to you all!

Monday, September 10, 2007

{9 Days and Counting}

9 Days, holy cow it looks funny on paper. 11 days and I will be holding my sweet Ethan. The kicker is that in 9 days I have to say goodbye to my 2 sweeties for 3 weeks. I don't recall a time in my life when my heart has been so torn.

We found out that Ethan's Rwandan name is Ange Bizimana. Ange (pronounced like on-g) means "Angel" in French. Biz means "Knows" and Imana means "God". The nuns in Kigali Rwanda named that innocent little orphan boy Angel that knows God. Does it get any sweeter? We are going to keep Bizimana as a second middle name.

I'm excited and scared. Happy and sad. Fearful and hopeful. Tired and wired. Crying and smiling. I'm ready for the roller coaster to stop and let me off this crazy ride.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

{Count Down}

Here I thought buying the tickets would be the easy part!

Boy, was I wrong!

We have been talking to two different agencies, one here locally and one that I found on the net that specializes in adoption flights. I'm hoping that we get all of this ironed out today. I WANT TICKETS!! That somehow, in my mind, makes it official! Looks like we will actually be leaving on the 20th to fly to D.C. then leave the 21st, refuel in Rome, head on to Ethiopia then to Kigali. 3 days of travel, but worth every second.

On the way home we have an 8 hr layover in Ethiopia and I think we might take a cab around the city. Might as well make the most of our International travel! I love seeing new places and can't wait to see Italy, even if it is just from my plane window! (I'd better get a window!!)

Some very sweet friends are throwing me a baby shower tomorrow and I'm so excited! And that reminds me I need to charge up my camera!

Off to make more list of things that need to be done before we leave!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

{Date to Remember}

We have a date! The judge is going to allow Jana to stand in for us at the court date on the 10th. We are talking to travel agents right now and plan on leaving the 21st to go get our sweet baby!

I've never seen Dave do such a funky happy dance in our 10 years of marriage!

Please keep praying for Ethan, the officials in charge of our paperwork and for the babies left behind (here and in Rwanda).

Much love to you all!