Sunday, July 31, 2011

Adah Derartu and Anna Mihret on the zip line

On Thursday when we went to Indian Hills Camp with Maranatha Ethiopian Christian Fellowship One of the activities the kids did was the zipline. Adah climbed the big ladder and had Faith helping her. Anna wanted to and I discouraged her because she is usually so afraid of anything that I didn't want to go through the trouble of getting her up there and then needing to climb up and carry her down. Just before it was time to quit she appealed and asked could she at least please try it. I told her yes and asked Hack if he would mind her going. She got her gear on, climbed the big ladder, sat at the edge of the ledge, grabbed the rope and took off. I was so proud of her! I couldn't believe it! They thought that Adah was the youngest one to go down the zipline. I think the helmet was bigger than she was!

Walking up with Faith

Ready for takeoff
She's off!

Coming back

What did I just do?!!

Anna climbing the big ladder up

She's off!

Flying through the air

I'm so proud of myself!!

Good job, Anna! Brave girl!



Camp week with our Ethiopian church

Look how high her feet are!
Abi Mulu

Addis helping the little ones

Swinging and Swinging and Swinging

Hi Mom!
Once a year we spend a week with our Ethopian church family at a day camp for the kids held at the Ethiopian church. One of our local kids ministry camps comes and trains the older kids on Monday, then Tuesday and Wednesday are games, free play, camp songs, skits, snacks, and lunch together.  Thursday the kids load up in the bus (this year they shared a bus with a Sudanese church) and we all go to the camp for a jam packed day of fun. Friday is only a half-day which is just as well since we are all tired from the day at camp the day before.

I make this a priority in our schedule every year. It gives my girls a chance to be with their people. A chance to be where they don't stand out, but they fit in. A place where they are loved because they are Ethiopian. You should see all the moms and teens giving out hugs and kisses, especially to the younger ones.

It's good for my boys because it forces them to know what it is to be different. They are usually the only caucasian boys in the place. They learn how to get along with boys who they don't know all that well but are fun to be with anyways. It's good for them to see the people that their sisters came from.

It's good for me because I interact with the adults, teens, and kids. I learn from the moms and each time I learn a new name. This year I took in a list of Ethiopian names and one of the dads spent hours with me filling in blanks of the meaning of the names or origin. Sometimes he would call over one of the women and they would laugh-of course, they're speaking Amharic, so I have no idea what they're saying. They laughed at one of the names because it meant little monkey. They couldn't believe that someone would name their baby after a monkey. They figured it must have meant the baby would move and jump around a lot.

It's good for the moms to see me with my kids so they see that adoptions work. They know their children are cared for and loved. One wanted to know how I got my children to respond to me instantly. They see our love for one another. They ask questions like, "What is the requirement to adopt from Ethiopia?" "Do they know their parents?" "Do they know they're adopted?" So in a sense I'm an ambassador for adoption in a different type of circle. Sometimes they want to know about adoption because they have family members in Ethopia that need to be adopted.

When we go I use my girls Ethiopian names all week. They are Addis, Mulu, Mihret (prounced more like Meh-hair-et, and Derartu (Der-are-too). I want them to respond to their Ethiopian names and often call them those anyways, I just don't have the rolling r's that their names should have.

We enjoyed our week and look forward to camp again next year!

John on the spider web rope. He helped one of the girls navigate the web.
Abi Mulu
Wild West Show

Hi Mom!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We have a new grandbaby!!

Auntie Adah with Little Scott

Our son Jacob with his firstborn

Scott Harley-We love you!!
Little Scott Harley was born July 14 at 1:03 or so weighing in at 7.1lbs and 21 1/4" long. He has sandy blonde hair and just little whispers of it. Arianne did wonderfully and delivered him within seven hours or so of being admitted. I had the privilege of watching his birth and watching my son become a dad. No greater honor.

He's our third grandbaby, second grandson, first grandson that will carry on the Grieshaber name. So each of our first three grandbabies have their own claim to fame! Makenna is our first grandbaby and first granddaughter. Isaiah is our first grandson, and Scott is the first Grieshaber grandson. Maybe Jesse and Sage will need to have twins so they have their claim to fame too. What do ya think?!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Vote for Baby Isaiah!!!


My daughter Sarah entered her baby boy in the 2011 Gerber Generation Photo Search contest. To vote for our little cutie please go to your facebook page and click this link:​rphotosearch/entry/139627/isai​ah.aspx. I don't remember if you need to "Like" the link or not. Then click the "Vote" button. Easy Peasy!!!
His entry id is:  139627

Thank you!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Baby Shower!

Jake & his wife Arianne are due to have a baby soon so we celebrated with a baby shower. Arianne is so beautiful as an expectant mommy. They were blessed with lots of love from their family and friends.

Arianne & Jake (not the best pic but it's the only one they're together in)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Adoption Update

It's been a while since I've updated any adoption news. Thought you might like to know where we're at in the process! A few weeks ago we were ready to send in our dossier to our agency who would then send it to the Ethiopian embassy for translation and then off to Ethiopia. A few weeks before that I had dutifully made three copies of each document since two go to our agency and one goes with us to Ethiopia. What our agency didn't tell me was that each document needed to also be scanned and emailed to them. Ugh. It took me the better part of a week to finish that annoying step. I didn't know I could them to Kinko's to have that done, I didn't know about zip files or anything other than frustratingly taking each paper one-by-one scanning it, renaming it so I knew what it as other than a bunch of numbers and emailing it. My computer groaned, moaned, churtled, snorted and protested the whole process. Email after email kept coming back to me as unsent. Finally after a week and after they actually had our dossier in hand did I finish.  If I had known I was supposed to scan each document I would have had that part done weeks ahead.

On to happier news! Our little gal is doing fabulously! She has progressed further than we ever thought she would and she's not even home yet! She did so well that the nannies and transition home workers pooled their money and threw her a little celebration party. In a picture of her at the party she looked like a queen on her throne with her little coffee cup of whatever she was drinking.

We've been able to send her a few more care packages with outfits, books, socks, a pair of shoes, and a few pictures of herself which she enjoyed. All the items get pooled together and become community property so she sees it once as hers and then it gets shared. We parents send our items knowing that. I did find a Dora doll at Ross which I was going to send but decided to keep it for when we bring her home on the plane. The older girls really enjoyed combing hair on the dolls and this Dora has nice long hair that she can play with and should keep her busy on the plane for a bit.

In our paperwork we had a letter from our international adoption specialist doctor requesting the Ethiopian courts to expedite her case because for medical reasons. Perhaps they will heed the request and perhaps not, we'll see! From what I've heard the Ethiopian courts close on August 8 for a good month or two. That happened four years ago when we were adopting Adah Derartu and Anna Mihret. The courts were closed but since we had passed court while it was open we were able to go for embassy. At the embassy visit we're interviewed by an American embassy representative and if given permission we receive the children's Visas and Passports at that time which enable us to leave the country with them.  So we're hoping to have court before August 8 and have a successful court date the first time, which is rare because usually a document of some sort is missing. Wouldn't that be wild to actually fly to Ethiopia on the notice of perhaps a few weeks if that?

I've been listing curriculum and books on ebay to help offset the costs of our adoption fees. I've been clearing our bookshelves and homeschooling friends have generously been donating curruiculum they no longer want to us. On the last day of our homeschooling co-op we have a used curriculum sale much like a swap meet. I had Abi Mulu pass flyers around telling people what we were doing and that we could take their books if they didn't sell. I couldn't believe what happened next! Cars were literally driving by, stopping, and boxes and boxes and bags and bags of books were gettting dropped off at our selling spot. Luckily I had my fifteen passenger van, but I also had seven kids I needed to have seats for. I packed that van so tight I couldn't even see out the back window. We had to go to Anna's eye appt. and the kids literally had to climb over the front driver's seat to get out and the same to get back in. Well I'm happy to report that through all these ebay sales and the sales that day we've been able to raise about $1,000!!! I still have our toy hauler with piles of books to list so I'm sure we'll have more $$$ towards our flights. This last week I went through my bookshelves and took out almost all of the science books I have collected through the years, there were over two hundred and those sold for over $50, but hey, it's $50 we didn't have before. If the shipping weren't so expensive we would have been able to sell them for more.