Thursday, September 30, 2010

Please pray with us!

Today at 1:15 Teme will have his first surgery. It is outpatient and will just "clean up" his knee. But it is still the first, of many I am sure. We met with our friends last night so that he could be as prepared as possible but I know it will still be scary. Please pray for peace for Teme, for the doctor, and for quick and painless (or at least controllable) healing.

Also, Sabrina is having blood in her stool so we will be running her to the doctor. Please pray for peace for her as I know they want to draw blood. And for an early appointment with a decent doctor.

My mom was admitted to the hospital last night with chest pains. They are concerned about heart or blood clots. Which is scary enough but also leaves us with no one to watch Sabrina this afternoon. Please pray for her health. That if something needs to be found they would find it. Pray that the pain would go away. Pray that my back-up plans for Sabrina would work.

And of course no one slept well last night. Pray for extraordinary energy and patience!! MY

Oh, yeah.....if the person who left the cookies and note of encouragement on our doorstep yesterday reads this blog.....THANK YOU! It means soooo much!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Amazing Ethiopian Friends!!!!

Our new friends Daniel and Elizabeth have introduced us to an ever growing community of Ethiopians right here in Iowa. It is so fun and they have embraced us with such love and support! These pictures are from Sunday lunch with two families. And I didn't even have to bring anything. We love Ethiopian food. They thought Sabrina was pretty hilarious!

Sabrina and Meron, 9, I think.

Coffee ceremony

Our local paper wants to do an article on Temesgen. I am hoping that in connection with that we can start some sort of Ethiopian adoption support group. I keep hearing of people in our area that are or have adopted and it would be so great to be a support for each other.

Lots of changes

So I never have time to do an in depth serious update. Sorry. We are crying out to God, a lot! Temesgen is amazing but he is an almost 11 year old boy who doesn't speak much English and has disrupted two girls' lives. That is definitely the hardest part. Noelle needs lots of prayer as she processes everything it means to be 14 and have some individual struggles and a new brother. Sabrina is not used to sharing or being pestered. Which leads to lots of howling!
Medical update: We went to Gillette Children's Hospital in the twin cities. They took many
x-rays and a CT scan. Things are pretty messed up. Separated bones, lack of soft tissue, etc. They will definitely be amputating. Scott was holding out hope of a repair/miracle, but I guess I always expected this. (Not in a "I don't believe in miracles" sort of way, just in the that's what I always figured way.) They do not know if it will be below the femur, or if it will have to be higher. There is also scar tissue on his hip to be repaired. First he will have to have some wound care surgery and clear the infections in his knee. Our next appointment at Gillette is November 5th. Our amazing Ethiopian friends are trying to help us prepare Temesgen for all that is ahead. Just today he had to go start the updating of his immunizations and repeat some tests that were done in Ethiopia. Scott said it was 8 pokes. Yuk!
Temesgen is able to attend Sonrise School, the same school that Sabrina is attending. He is in the 4th and 5th grade classroom from 1:45-3:30 each day. He loves school and can't wait to spend more time there! At home we are working on writing and recognizing letters and numbers. We are using some Preschool and Kindergarten workbooks. Temesgen's English is rapidly improving and we are pretty sure that he understands much more than he can say.

Our first trip to the mall. Temesgen wanted another pair of shoes. He also picked out this sweatshirt and a UNI cap. Go Panthers! We have been to two Panther football games. Temesgen seems to enjoy this though I am not sure how much he understands since it is hard to discuss football with the language gap.

Scott and Temesgen went fishing on the Cedar River with our friend, Darrin.
Temesgen caught this whopper and even got to drive the boat.

Big Girl!

Oh, yeah! Big girl underwear!
Sabrina decided this would be the opportune time to potty train herself.
Though I have diligently tried for the past 6 months before Temesgen came home:)
She has not had a daytime accident for over a week!!

And.......BIG GIRL SCHOOL! Preschool MWF from 8:45-11:15.
This is the same small Christian school that Jake and Sabrina went to for a couple of years.
Jake for Kindergarten and first grade, Noelle for Preschool through first grade.

And...if that wasn't enough, Sabrina really wants a princess bed.
So as a compromise we turned her crib into a toddler bed. What a big girl!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Together at last!

Temesgen and Sabrina have spent, literally, hours on Sabrina's Gator.
One thing I did not predict was the sibling thing. They definitely "fight" like a brother and sister! And the language barrier makes things even more interesting.
Sabrina is not sure about sharing everything and Temesgen is interested in everything!

Presents from Ethiopia! Temesgen helped Sabrina and I wear our outfits properly.

Temesgen took this photo:)

One of Sabrina's favorite places to go is the Youth Pavilion. We go to story time most weeks. Temesgen had a great time exploring. He got a little distracted during the actual story, again with the language thing. But he did well on the craft. Aren't they cute?

Temesgen found some of Sabrina's stickers.
I thought it was funny because I have seen many photos of
kids in Ethiopia with stickers on their faces!

I was pretty proud of myself. I was getting a little stressed. And I just said no!!
So I pulled out the baby pool and the sprinkler and we all put on our swimsuits.
Then we had a picnic in the front yard. It was lots of fun!
Though our neighbors may have thought,
"Who is this crazy 44 year old woman doing cartwheels through the sprinkler?"

Temesgen is doing fantastic! But I can't imagine doing this without the resources that our loving Lord has put in place. We have become good friends with a couple from Ethiopia, thank you Daniel and Elizabeth! Daniel and his son, Nathan, even came to the airport with us. Their translations have been invaluable this week. And Elizabeth even brought us injera and the best wat! Yummy! Daniel and Elizabeth have also introduced us to a student at UNI who was also adopted at 11 and has maintained his language skills. Daniel and Tesfay intend to regularly mentor/tutor Temesgen as he makes this transition.
As for Temesgen's leg, our first appointment at the children's hospital in the Twin Cities is Wednesday, September 15th. We have seen an orthopedic doctor locally to work on some wound care. He has sent us to a wound care clinic, Tuesday. He said we are in for a long haul. This is another area where translation will be imperative. Temegen is very nervous of doctors. And we haven't had to do anything invasive yet. We have even put off repeating some tests until he is a little more comfortable. Please pray for every aspect of this...healing, doctor's wisdom and sensitivity, translation needs at the hospital, etc.
Sabrina begins preschool this week. Most likely Temesgen will also start a very shortened day. Sonrise Christian School where Jake and Noelle attended Kindergarten and 1st grade has a combined 4th/5th grade class. Temesgen will be attending the last two hours of the day. We are hoping that this will help with some additional English immersion. We so appreciate this opportunity. Daniel says it is obvious that Temesgen is very smart. He says that even though he has not attended school he is very good at math. So this first few months we will be concentrating on Temesgen's physical needs, English acquisition and eventually reading. If any of you experts out there have advice on those last two, I would love to receive it!!

They're home!

Scott and Temesgen returned from Ethiopia on Sunday, the 29th. I am finally getting a chance to blog a little, it is 2:30 am and I can't sleep:) Here are some photos from their week in Ethiopia. They had an amazing trip. Scott was able to learn lots of information about both Sabrina and Temesgen's birth families. This is so important so that they can know their history! Scott met many wonderful people!

First meeting. Scott brought Temesgen his first pair of crutches. He does not like them. He has a hard time getting his injured leg inside the crutch. It may not even be possible due to his scarred hip. So we are still motoring around on the ground. I am thankful that summer is almost over so that he is not having to deal with hot asphalt and concrete.

Coffee ceremony. Scott so loves the coffee in Ethiopia.
He said we must get an espresso machine!

Temesgen and Eyob, the director of KVI, the orphanage that both Sabrina and Temesgen were at. Sabrina was in Nazret and Temesgen was in Addis,
though he is originally from the Sodo region.

I was so excited when Scott said that he took over 300 pictures. If you know Scott you will not be surprised to hear that probably 200 of them are landscape and animal pictures:)
They were able to visit two or three national parks/lakes.

KVI going away party!
A good friend met us at the airport and took many photos but I haven't received them yet.
I'll try and post those soon.