Friday, June 25, 2010

A week of adventure

We did it! Big news from the Hunt household this morning. WE HAVE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT! Whoop, whoop! Gadisa has been with us for a week and a half and the middle of the night greets us stumbling around half asleep to make a bottle. Some nights it's been waking up twice to feed him, other nights just once. Now granted, I know a lot of 7 month olds already sleep through the night, but not our little guy (until now). All the new stuff he sees every day, the time change, the entirely different world...all of it, keeps him restless. So, when I heard the little whimpers in the baby monitor I hurried in to him and then realized it was light outside. I checked the clock and sure enough it was 6 am. I'll take it!
Our first week has been full of adventure. For all of us. We've tried out the stroller (which is a big hit), the Johnny Jump Up (not so sure about), the swing (another favorite). We like sweet potato, carrots and as of this morning LOVE pears. I adore watching him try new things. Everything is new to him. This little guy has spent months in one room. I watch him just stare at things and take them in. I love it! He's met everyone at our office, made a trip to Target, a visit to the amazing toy store downtown and visited two doctors. A lot to cram in one week.
Both his doctor's appointments went pretty well. He's tiny they say, so we were told to feed him as much as he wants. Which is good because we thought we were overfeeding him. He has a few of those pesky predicaments that children in orphanages come down with, but we are treating them. He's gaining weight quickly though. From Monday - Thursday he gained 13 oz! He had some vaccinations yesterday and it took everything in me to not cry when he did. I am quickly a very protective mommy.
The diaper situation has been interesting. Our goal was to do G Pants. They are a biodegradable insert inside of a cloth cover, but also have a cloth option. Well, the first one did not go so well. Then a good friend told me how to properly put them on. Now, I think we are rolling! It's funny how excited I am about diapers now. I did try the good, old fashioned cloth diapers and it was definitely an amateur attempt. So, I need to work on my technique. Overall, we're doing pretty well. We are ecstatic to have him home. I just look at him and become overwhelmed with happiness and amazement. I love, LOVE being his mother.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Home Sweet Home

We made it home Saturday evening. It was the longest, hardest bout of traveling I have ever done. 32 straight hours of traveling from the time we left our hotel in Addis until we arrived home at our house. We felt a tired that made us sick to our stomachs. Gadisa had a rough time on the plane from Rome to DC. My mom and sisters met us at the airport and took us home. It was amazing to have them stay the night and have dinner made for us. We finally got decent sleep last night.

I would definitely recommend future travelers to make sure you are rested up before you travel. There's so much to do to prep your home and life before you make this big life adventure, but I am not kidding when I say you will be worn down to pieces globe trotting to pick up your child. I think it was especially hard because we adopted an infant who does not sleep through the night yet.

Being home feels so good! This morning I was up bright and early with the birds chirping and I sat on the porch with G. The same porch that I sat on for months and months daydreaming about him. There he was in my arms, in the rocking chair letting me soothe him and just listening to birds. It is amazing to have him home, to have him in our house. I just keep pinching myself. He has been in a wonderful mood today. He has been super smiley and I can't stop kissing him!

So... about Addis Ababa. It is eye opening. An experience we will never forget. Unfortunately, I did feel sick most of the time we were there. I was very careful about what we ate, but the pollution is very strong that it was overwhelming every time we were in a car. The people are so gentle and upbeat and they love babies! He was constantly played with by everyone. A lot of Ethiopians speak English so we were able to communicate well for the most part. We took a ton of photos. I have so much to tell Gadisa about his home country as he gets older.

We were able to check on some children for other waiting families and it felt so good to be able to update them. Our friends got their referral while we were there and we were able to visit him as well. We are so excited for them and their family. I can't wait for them to bring this beautiful, sweet boy home!!

Tomorrow we go to the doctor. There are few things we are concerned about, but hopefully they are minor. He seems to be adjusting very well. He does not have a problem letting anyone new hold him and I had planned to be hesitant about that at first, but he likes people and seems comfortable. He's such a snuggler!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

US Citizenship

Well, Gadisa is now officially a US Citizen. We passed through our Embassy appointment today. Whew. He must have been nervous because as soon as it was our turn at the window (where they quiz you on the situation to confirm the adoption and give their official citizenship status) he threw up. Nice. We have both been pooped on, peed on and puked on. The triple P's. Ahh...parenthood.
We are repacking our suitcases to head home tomorrow. It's been a very long trip. I'm more than ready to get into the swing of our new life!

Oliver Gadisa Lyric Hunt

Finally, our son. Blogger has not worked for me here for a few days so I'm excited to finally update the blog. We met Gadisa on Monday. He is absolutely beautiful, amazing and oh so precious. Life will never be the same. We went on Monday to do paperwork at the adoption office and they surprised us by having him there. We thought he was in the orphanage, which was where we were headed next. He was lying on the floor of the nursery when we walked in. I went in first and he greeted me with this huge smile. My heart completed melted. We have our Embassy appointment in a few hours and to our surprise this little paperwork issue that was resolved seems to be unresolved...AGAIN. Hard to believe. We are anxious to come home and just hope we are able to stay on course with leaving tomorrow night. Josh is at the adoption office right now trying to work out what the issue is.
We have learned that he is 7 months old, not 6 months. His birthday is November 10, 2009. Although, he seems tiny to me and the size of a 5 or 6 month old. He's got a cold so that's making him a little fussy. He loves to be held and cuddled. He loves his daddy! Josh can make him laugh and is so adorably cute. He also likes to watch the World Cup matches on TV, so him and his dad will definitely get along well in that sports department.
We have named him Oliver Gadisa Lyric Hunt. I have loved the name Oliver for years. Gadisa is his Ethiopian name and it's a name from the region in Ethiopia that he is from. Lyric...well, that is our tie to music. A song lyric can make you laugh, cry and soothe your soul. To us, he is Gadisa. That's how we've known him from day one. So, I think this little guy will go by both Oliver and Gadisa. A little confusing I understand, but he's just cute enough to pull off two names. So, whichever name you prefer to call him is good with us. We are so absolutely head over heels in love with him.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Arrived in Addis Ababa

Arrived in Addis Ababa a few hours ago. These overnight flights are very tricky for a decent sleeping cycle. Even though the flight was shorter than it was from KS to Rome, it was on a smaller plane than an international flight normally is on. Very uncomfortable for 6 hours. VERY.
Here is the little face that we'll be looking at tomorrow. I can't believe the day is finally almost here!! Ahh...those ears. I love them so much!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Headed to Addis Ababa

We are waiting to board the plane for Ethiopia. We can hardly believe it's time for this portion of the trip. The days are flying by and the time difference is tricky to catch up with. We lost part of a day while flying to Rome and that's thrown us off a bit. Before we know it, we'll be meeting our little guy! We had a lot of fun in Rome, but it was a very quick trip. We've got about a 6 hour flight to Addis Ababa and we'll be arriving there around 8:30 in the morning. I'll update you when we get settled into our hotel. We're just about through these stupid colds. So happy about that!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Paperwork update

Just got an email from our adoption agency that the Embassy has emailed them and stated they have the proper paperwork needed for our case for our Embassy date now. Yea!!!!!!!


We made it to Rome! So far, we've spent most of our time sleeping. We had to wait a few hours to check into our hotel and we're so exhausted we were almost falling asleep on the stairs of a nearby church. We then decided to head to our hotel and look pathetic in the lobby so they would let us check in early. It worked! ;) The trek over here and the colds we have made us so tired so it's nice to have several complete hours of sleep. I'm just about over mine and we're hoping to fight these off before we leave for Ethiopia so we don't get the baby sick. The report so far on Rome is 1. The architecture is amazingly beautiful 2. The traffic is horrific (we saw a car hit a person on a scooter, but that appears to be an hourly occasion) 3. a must have. It's so good. The plane ride over was interesting. It was a nice practice run for adjusting to the flight home. There was a "situation" (as our flight attendants referred to it) on the plane. A woman went a little nuts and took some pills and started punching people. I kid you not! So, I suggest if you want to take a lot of pills and then start hitting people, to NOT do it when traveling internationally, as it''s not really going to work in your favor. It did keep us restless travelers preoccupied for a few hours. Well, off for some sight seeing....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

And...we're off!

Well, the time has come. We are leaving for a journey of a lifetime. We think everything will get processed in regards to the paperwork that was missing. It's been resent and that's about all we can do, so we are moving onward.
Off to Rome till Sunday and then to Ethiopia. We are excited! However, we are both fighting awful colds. It's unfortunate with the timing. I wish we were more rested and feeling better, but not much we can do. I am overwhelmed with emotion right now. Our journey has been a little over a year in the making since we officially started the adoption process. I have been through every emotion possible during it. I've been brought to my knees with excitement, sadness, hopefulness, disappointment, frustration, joyfulness and on and on. We step forward in the next chapter of our lives not knowing exactly what we will face, not knowing exactly who this little guy is and not knowing really his history. We are traveling across the world to bring home this little soul that our lives have been shifted around. Sometimes just that complex thought stops my breath. We will make mistakes, we will do things right and we will get up when we fall down. Together as a family of 3, I can't wait to see what life holds for us from this point forward. However, we will not do it alone. I truly believe that it takes a village to raise a child. We have received so much love and support from family, friends and new friends we've made along the way. I am forever grateful to each and everyone for their well wishes and excitement. With our "village" of family and friends, I look forward to it all.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Gettin' there

A summer thunderstorm greets us early this morning and right as we were about to walk out the door to visit the immigration office again we got a call from the person that can help us with this. They are resending this super important document and we have confirmation it was already sent to the Embassy once. I have faith this will be resolved shortly.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Jumping through hoops

Well, that trip to the Immigration office did not get us anywhere. Apparently, the one and ONLY person in the United States of America that can help us right now left the office early today. Really?! We were told to come back tomorrow morning and "hopefully" this person can talk to us between their scheduled appointments. All the offices we spoke to on the phone directed us to the Immigrations office in KC and this person is our only hope right now to work this out. So, we're headed back up there bright and early tomorrow morning to try and get this sorted out. The entire day has felt like the movie "Idiocracy." Seriously. It's been a very trying day to say the very least. If we can't get this worked out tomorrow, we need to cancel our Rome plans and just plan on going straight to Ethiopia. I find myself wondering how in the world this happened? One tiny little thing overlooked in someone's office and here is the situation that unfolds because of it. Considering the inconvenience this has caused, we are taking this as best as we can. Today is our 9 year anniversary of being together and we just kind of looked at each other today and took a moment to high five each other in congratulations of our relationship and kept going. Haha. I know it will get worked's just a matter of when. So, the rest of the day brings us to continuing our plans of packing. In the meantime, here are some photos of the baby's room. He's already packed!

Big, HUGE snag

We were informed today that the US Embassy in Ethiopia thinks our fingerprints are expired and a form desperately needed to complete our adoption was never received in their office (a form that the US Visa office is supposed to send to Ethiopia when they approve you to adopt.)
Big, major problem. We are headed to Kansas City to the Immigration offices to work this out as clearly this is a mistake and all of our paperwork states that our fingerprints do not expire until March 2011. In dealing with Immigrations in the United States NO ONE will help you unless you make an appointment to discuss your case IN PERSON. In fact, the KC Immigration office does not even list their phone number and any communication with them is online. Perfect. Right now, we are working the phones and the different angles we can to clear up this miscommunication. Since I know it's a mistake, I can only hope it can get cleared up before we leave on Wednesday. If it's not cleared up before our Embassy date on June 17, well....we won't be having an Embassy appointment if that's the case.
Extremely annoyed and frustrated right about now. I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Counting the days

Well, the flights are booked. We leave on Wed. June week! We were able to arrange it so that we spent 2 days in Rome. Our last few days as just the two of us. :)
We fly to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on June 13. We are there until Friday, June 18. The flight home to the states is 16 1/2 hours! We then have a LONG layover in Washington DC which is 7 hours and don't get home until Saturday, June 19. We will be exhausted to say the least. With the World Cup going on during this time, there wasn't much to choose from for flights home. I have to say, I am definitely NOT looking forward to the flight home. 16 1/2 hours on a plane with a baby who most likely will be having some serious diaper situations going on is an intense challenge to throw at new parents. It has been done before though. I am just anxious to get him home and get us caught up on some sleep so we can get to know each other.
I do have to say I am LOVING maternity leave so far. My thoughts are slowing down and my pace of life is already different. No rush to check my phone and email. Hey...I even lost my phone for an evening and I didn't care. It was exhilarating...haha! I am starting to see how rushed we have been over the last several years. Our jobs have been our priorities and everything else just kind of works around that. The change is going to be so good for us. So, this week brings us to finishing the baby room and a few things around the house we needed to get accomplished before the baby arrives.
Oh yes...and the name. You can thank Mr. Hunt for this, but I highly doubt we will be naming him before we meet him. I have a few names I love, but Josh is hesitant to settle on a name until we see him. I get it.