Mary and I have been thinking a lot about this site and about those of you who read it. From your responses it seems like there are a number of people that get a lot out of our story and that is very encouraging for us. Coming this Christmas Eve we are going to make the next big step in this site and hope that all of you get more encouragement and support out of what is provided here.
Mary and I have both traveled internationally a fair amount and so far one of the best experiences we’ve had on a flight has been with Ethiopian Airlines. The plane was very well kept and fairly new compared to some that we’ve taken to Europe and the staff was always very friendly and welcoming. The only downside was the 18hr on plane time from Dulles to Addis Ababa. Well when they announced that with their new Boeing 777 they were cutting 3hrs off the time we were both really wishing we could go, then they slashed prices and now are offering this deal…
Really, if you have even been thinking about heading to Ethiopia, this is a great deal and I would encourage you to take it.
** Ethiopian Airlines did not pay us for this post, but if they wanted to we’d be opening to accepting it!
Since seeing the airline deal got me thinking about going back to Ethiopia, I decided to share a few pictures that highlight life in Addis Ababa. Enjoy.
So yeah, I’m becoming that parent. The one that’s also posting pictures of their kid.
Zinash and I got to go out to eat a lot this week. A good time was had by all and a lot of salsa and french fries were consumed by a little Ethiopian girl (salsa and fries at different sittings).
Salsa… Four bowls worth
Throw in the Starbucks. She drank both her own hot chocolate and a good amount of my smoothie (By the way for as much as we mention Starbucks on this blog they should be shooting at least some free drinks our way. Anyone want to make that happen?)
She was captivated by the model trains.
Then downed most of a large fry and two cups of ketchup at Five Guys.
Now that I think about it, maybe we should start throwing in some kind of exercise routine.
So Zinash pretty much knows now that when she goes to the doctor they are going to either spray something up her nose or they are going to stick her with a needle. I’m pretty sure we have ruined doctors visits for her. So how much does therapy cost for a lifetime fear of doctors?
It’s not all that bad. At her first pediatrician’s appointment today, she actually did really well (other than me having to pin her down for the shots). Of course we’ll see how much she remembers of the visit when we head back in a month’s time.
What I’ve been working on lately has some updates to the finding magnolia site. Hopefully next week we will have some cool announcements to post with the site. There have been lots of people who have been asking for a list of resources that we’ve used. We are going to take that list to the next level!
So in the mean time I’ll leave you with a couple of things to pique your interest…
So I got to spend the morning by myself which was nice. There’s not much alone time anymore. Of course those of you with kids already know that. Both Mary and I do value a little alone time and we try to make sure we both get it. After the afternoon nap we went to get some supplies to start to spread a little holiday cheer around the house.
So after this…
We ended with this…
And just like the hippies we are, you can see we got a potted tree so that we can plant it after Christmas instead of just cutting another one down. Hippies!
What I really wanted to post about today though was the other girl in my life. Yesterday was Mary’s birthday. So as a family we all went to the Plaza and went shopping for some things for “Mami” (sounds kind of like mommy but different, more Ethiopian).
We saw some horses…
And then we all went out to eat…
Mary doesn’t get nearly enough credit for all the work she put in to make bringing Zinash home a reality. She was passionate about every step. She made sure everything was just right. She went beyond her comfort zone to make it happen. She was fighting for someone she didn’t even know yet. At the same time she was fighting for me, and us. Working so hard to make a family. Struggling to make everything perfect for this moment…
The moment we became a family.
Happy Birthday Mami! I love you more than can be expressed.
Normally Ababi Mondays would look something like this…
Zinashi and I off taking a walk or hanging out at home. This monday is a little different though. It looks a little more like this…
A bagged lunch (already eaten) and a computer screen. Of course Zinash and Mami brought the lunch since I forgot it this morning.
So why not take this time to talk a little bit about work and how that has affected our time with Zinash. I’ve got to say right off the bat that without the people I work with and the benefits I receive it would have been much harder to bring Zinashi home. The company provides some great adoption financial adoption assistance/reimbursement. That is hugely beneficial.
But more than that it is the people that I work with that helped.
The original plan for Mary and I was for me to make two trips to Ethiopia. For those of you who know the story you know it didn’t work out like that. It end up more like the 3 of us flying out of Addis 1.5 hours before my month long visa expired.
The night we moved out of the HOH Guest House and into Mr. Martin’s Cozy Place I knew that I was not going back to the states any time soon. That began the rush to get everything covered. With little email and phone access it was not easy. I emailed the people I work with and told them what was going on and their response was “Awesome! Let us know what we can do to help.” Not a lot of work environments are that accepting of receiving an email and saying that you’re not going to be coming back in for a month or longer (we still didn’t know when we were going to be back at that point).
When we finally did get back I was still able to take 5 more days off to get un-jetlagged and help Zinash get used to her new cats. When I finally did start back to work Mary and I really didn’t know what to expect. Zinash handled it ok, but like previous big transitions we had, she began to regress in her ability to go to sleep at a decent hour. This is something that we are just now starting to see some normalcy in. Each night over the past week has seemed to be just a touch easier. Of course now that I say that I have just jinxed us and we are going back to midnight bedtimes.
Some countries give paternity leave that is measured in months. In the states we are lucky to get any at all. I think both Mary and I feel really blessed that the company and people I work/with for has been so encouraging and flexible. It’s really one less thing to worry about.
Mary has been saying that I could/should write something on the site. Something to give my perspective. And she’s right. I should. There are a lot of adoption/family blogs out there but hardly any of them have the father’s view. I’m not sure why this is, but it is.
Since I’m not as great with writing as Mary is I decided to keep my posts to a weekly feature. Ababi Mondays!
Ababi is the name that Zinash gave me while we were in Ethiopia. Neither of us are sure where she got it but she started doing and Mary thought it was cute (as did I). We were told it’s the Amharic equivalent of Father. So hey it works, and honestly, it is really cute when Zinash says it.
As for Mondays, well, That’s the day I’m usually off work and get to spend the most time with Zinash.
This Monday we decided to head off to the Zoo.
The sea lion was nice.
The meerkats were funny
The new polar bear exhibit was the best of all!
After the afternoon nap we all took a walk to Target. The whole day wore the 3 of us out and it showed tonight. As Mary has mentioned before, when Zinash has big, stimulating days she has trouble going to sleep at night. Well tonight was one of those nights. It’s rough on both Mary and I because we feel like we are failing her when we get frustrated that she won’t go to sleep, but honestly it’s kind of our fault. We know right now she can’t handle the stimulation of a busy day. We just hope and pray that later in life she’ll remember the good parts of the day and not our frustration with her when we are trying to get her to sleep.
Maybe someday she’ll get past the sleep issue. Maybe not. She might be one of those kids that just can’t handle a lot of action during the day. Who knows. Right now we just have to learn as we go along. Mary’s pretty good at figuring this stuff out and a lot of times I just follow her lead.
I hope you all enjoy Ababi Mondays. If so, then please let me know. It will encourage me (force me!) to keep up with it (which I honestly really want to do)!