Sunday, April 28, 2013

On the mend and visit number 2

We are feeling better. I would be completely better if it weren't for the side effects of this medication, but at least I know it's killing the parasite! Everything tastes like metal and I have a slight nausea all day. Arnie was still fairly sick yesterday and continues with his stomach issues, but we were able to get him some Cipro and he is getting better. I love that you don't need a prescription for medications here! We walked across the street to the pharmacy and they gave him what we asked for... I was so happy I wanted to kiss the man.
But let's get to the good stuff... we saw Isaac again.
This was the visit we had begged for. We were only supposed to come once before court but since we had 4 days in between, Arnie called and asked for another visit. The lady reluctantly agreed to one more little visit. We chose to go yesterday afternoon. I don't think anyone was expecting us and at first I think they thought we were there for after court and brought Isaac outside. They passed him to our car driver... I'm not sure why haha and we just stood there touching him and talking to him. The car driver went to pass him to me but I had to say no since I did not want to get into trouble. We then went into the baby room and they sat him in his bumbo. We sat on the mattress on the floor. They nannies started to bring out all the babies... they surrounded me with babies!!!! I had six around me including Isaac. One little girl crawled over to me and laid her head on my leg. She didn't move, she just laid there. It was too much for me to bare... I rubbed her back for about 20 minutes and she did not move. I was allowed to hold all the other babies just not Isaac. I was loving all the baby love, they are the cutest in the world. All my life, since I was young, this has been my dream. I wanted to open an orphanage... maybe one day I still will, but this was heaven to me. Arnie and I played with Isaac our silly games which he loved. He had no problem with us today. I notice he loves to be held and he likes getting attention but I don't think he has any particular attachment to anyone yet. The nannies have a large fly brush for the babies. It looks like a broom with plastic bags on the end. They would swish it on Isaac's face and he would make the funniest face as if he were telling them off. This is my favorite face he makes. I'm going to ask them to do it to him when we can actually take and post pictures! It's the best... but then again I think everything he has done is the best!!!
I remember reading the Christmas story this past year and I read about the part when Mary found out she was pregant... she went away for a while and "stored up treasures in her herat". I was reminded of this yesterday. Mary held a in her heart the knowledge of her pregnancy and just cherished it. To be vague: I am holding a few things in my heart from yesterday as well :)
We go tomorrow for court. I can't wait. I'm taking a direct cab to the orphanage and running through those doors straight to Isaac. Please pray we pass and that nothing gets in our way. I can't wait. We both miss him so much and I just want to post his pictures already!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Well we are sick. We brushed our teeth with the water and ate at some random restaurant. We aren't sure which of these two made us sick, but we have not brushed our teeth again with tap water and we refuse to eat anything that seems a little sketchy. I woke up last night feeling incredibly nauseous. I spent the rest of the night in the bathroom puking. Arnie was sweet and woke up with me to make sure I was ok. By morning I was still sick. Then he started to get sick.
Before we left Edmonton we went out for a meal with an Ethiopian friend who told us all the ins and outs, including the Dr. he sees when he is here.
We had the Dr. number written down and decided to call. We got an appointment for 2pm. Although the Dr. did not take us in until 3, we were just grateful for him to see us. We had to do a stool sample to test for parasites. I'll leave out the next details, let's just say bathrooms here and collecting stool samples are not even close to the same as Canada. The bathroom had no toilet paper, soap or toilet seat.
Moving on, the Dr. called us in for the results about 20 min later. He turned to Arnie and said, "You are fine, you just have a GI infection. But you (turning to me) have an ameba."Great. Three days in and I have a parasite. He gave me a prescription for some parasite medication and quickly added the side effect was nausea. I almost didn't fill the prescription for fear of feeling nauseous all over again... worst feeling.
So here I sit, with my husband sick beside me and I am feeling a bit better myself. Although I hate being sick and today has been a long, hard day, I still have reason to be grateful. I am so grateful that today is not a day we are visiting Isaac or have court. Today was a free day so we could just lay around and be sick. I am also grateful that we had this Dr.'s number. He was so kind to us and helped us out when we would have had no idea where to turn for help. I am also grateful that Arnie and I could spend the day serving each other. We have been stuck in our room all day except when we went to the Dr. so we have been nursing each other. It's good to have an opportunity to be kind to each other.
Tomorrow we go to see Isaac again, this time we are going in the afternoon after nap time. Please pray for us that we will be well enough to go and visit our son. Nothing would keep me from him, but needing a toilet every 5 minutes makes going anywhere very difficult.

Friday, April 26, 2013

This is our boy

We met him. I'll try to explain it all in words. I'm still overwhelmed, it's a lot to take in. But I need to write it all down so I don't forget. Today is not a day that can forgetting.

We had our appointment for 10am. Giramateu was to pick us up at Afroland Lodge where we are staying. We were awake around 730 from the construction outside and then could not sleep after that. I woke up and had a knot in my stomach, excited nervousness I will say. I could hardly eat breakfast as my stomach was flip flopping. We got ready and went downstairs at 10. At 1005 we started to panic. What if the driver forgot us? What if he went to a different place? What if we had the wrong day? Arnie started to panic and asked to see the email again. We went upstairs and could not connect to the internet. We had our driver's phone number on an email but could not get on to check the email. I went downstairs and asked if the owner knew who Giramateu was. He said he might have his number and started searching his book. It was 10 after ten and I said we were getting nervous. He said, "You have to understand something about here, it is normal to be half hour late or so". African time. But this was not the day we wanted to find out about African time. Finally the internet come through and we got our driver's number. We called and he told us he would be there in 30 min. I was so excited and nervous that I had to sit with my shirt off to cool down in our room. Arnie was just laughing at me but he had been panicking as well. He finally arrived at 1050 and we were off.

We pulled up to the gate. We had previously seen this gate yesterday as we made our driver take us to see it. But this time the gate opened for us. I was shaking by this point. We got out of the car and walked to a little sitting room where we waited before we could go in to see the babies. They told us they were doing diaper changes and it smelled really bad so we had to wait. Then they came to get us. We followed them into the baby house and straight into Isaac's room. There he was. He was laying in his bed playing with a bottle. I went over to his bed and started to cry. I tried to stuff the tears in so he wouldn't be scared. He looked at me and gave me a strange look. I kept saying hi and crying, at this point he started to cry. They took him out of the bed and put him on the mattress on the floor where he continued to cry. He did not like us! They set out two other babies in bumbo chairs so we could play with all of them. The other baby took one look at us and started to shreek as well. So there we are, sitting on the floor with two babies shreeking at us and the other just staring. At this point we were laughing... but Arnie kept looking at me and saying, "Don't overwhelm him!" Hahaha. He was the one sitting next to him and he was panicking. I was so worried that he would just hate us and this whole first meeting would just scare him. He kept crying. I was sitting near another baby who grabbed my hand and didn't let go, he didn't cry or make strange with me. I was getting a bit worried when one of the nannys came in and picked Isaac up. She brought him some food and he ate. She help him on her lap and he ate this runny soup made of tomato, pasta, beef and carrot. His eyes started to get heavy but he fought sleep and kept eating. Meanwhile I got to feed the baby that had my finger stuck in his fist. He was flopping around in the bumbo chair, probably about 6 months old or so. When the lady was done feeding Isaac she put him back in his bumbo. He cried a little more but then started to settle. We brought baby puff snacks and were trying to feed the babies them. Arnie kept handing one to Isaac, he put it in his mouth, sucked a little then spit it out. Arnie kept playing with him, handing him the puffs then taking them back and pretending to eat them. Isaac thought this was a fun game and soon started to laugh and then we saw them.... his dimples. Oh he is a lady killer, those dimples are ridiculous. He is so cute, no photo does this boy justice. From this point on he was ours, we won him over. The other babies went to bed so it was just Isaac and us. We tickled his toes, tickled his back, petted  his cheeks but we couldn't pick him up.  I wanted to snatch him up and smother the boy so I'd say we had some good self control. We continued to play games with him. He copied everything Arnie did. Spitting and burring his lips. shaking his head, playing peak-a-boo. He was so sweet. He thought he was hilarious. He was showing me how he hits his head and laughs. We were laughing so hard at him. He loved it. Arnie kept playing with the little puffs with him. He would stick the puff under his nose and hold it up with his lip then Isaac would reach over and grab it then offer it to Arnie to eat, then he would sneak it in his mouth. I admit we wound him up when it was his bed time, but I will not apologize. That was the best hour. At one point he started waving his arms around and rocking in his bumbo because he was getting so excited. One of the nannies came in and showed us how he could say mama and papa. They actually took the time to teach him that. We were so proud of him, we started clapping for him, he just stared at us! Then one nanny came and said she was putting him to bed so we got up to leave. She picked him up and held him up to me to kiss! I gave him a big kiss then Arnie got to kiss him. She held him up to me one more time and I couldn't help myself, I kissed about ten times over. The nanny laughed at me then put him in his bed. He kept laughing at us and was not interested in sleeping. We then left the room and went outside where I snuck to the window and saw him crawling out of bed... what a rascal. He is very small. His legs are tiny. He can't crawl and can hardly sit up. But all that will change soon. He doesn't get a chance to use his legs much as he goes from the crib to the bumbo and back. His head is very flat from laying on his back so much so we will need to work on some tummy time!
I can't explain how my heart feels. I did not want to leave him and I miss him already. We love him so much. He is perfect and I can't wait to start figuring him out.
We were so sad that we would not see him for four days that Arnie called the lady at Kids Link and begged her for  more chances to see him before court. She hummed a little and said that we could have one more little visit. We decided to go sunday so it will break up the wait a little bit. I can't wait to see him again. My husband was so great with him, I love having a partner in this. I love that we can tag team him. I love that we are a family. Finally. 7 years in the making and he is here. We could not be more blessed with this gift. Our God is good, he has given us a gift we do not deserve and we give him the glory for Isaac!

Isaiah 12 :4
In that day you will say, give thanks to the Lord, call on his name. Make known among the nations what he has done and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things. Let this be known to all the world, shout aloud and sing for joy,  people of Zion. For great is the Holy one of Israel among you.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Read, Set, Wait...

I know I haven't posted much about adoption/Isaac related topics, I'll try and explain why. The past two weeks I have tried to just enjoy my time in Hungary, to be present and enjoy the company of others. It hasn't been easy and Isaac has been on my mind continually. But when I think about him too much, it just makes the days longer. There isn't anything left I can do to prepare for him, other than pray. His bag is packed, my heart is full, my milk is ready, my mind is set. I feel ready... but it's not go time yet. So I'm taking each day as it comes, enjoying the company, food, sun and the kids. We have two days left, so I've started to let my thoughts gather around Isaac again. I've been flipping through the few pictures i have of him, zooming in on his fingernails, ears, thighs and every little part that is shown in my photos. I've been trying to picture him laying between us, playing, sleeping and eating. I'm ready.
I recently saw a photo on pinterest of a big pregnant belly with an eviction notice sign taped on it. That is how I feel. I've seen many of my friends through their pregnancy and everyone of them has grown incredibly anxious during the last two weeks or so. They are ready. The room is set, the crib is built, the bag is packed, the house is cleaned and they are ready to meet their baby. That is how I feel. I pulled out his suitcase again just to go through everything I have for him. It's all there. I picjed up one more sweater while I was here as Arnie only let me pack one. Honestly, the longer I'm here the more I go over and over all I might need for him. It's ridiculous, I have more things packed for him then I do for myself! It's just time to finally meet him. To see him face to face. To hold him, kiss him, carry him, feed him and love him. That is all for now... it's already too much to think this much about him when I still hae 2 days until we leave and about 5-6 days before we finally see him. One day at a time!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Till Death Do Us Part

The words spoken at any marriage ceremony... "Until death do us part". It seems to me these words are spoken so lightly, meaninglessly, flippantly, these days.
This morning I had the privilege to go to our Grandparents house and do some work. Our Grandpa has Alzheimer's and our Grandma has become his full time nurse. As a nurse on Stroke/Geriatric ward, we often see these types of patients and I have had the experience of caring for many of them myself. I am 29, she is 86. I groan in my heart when I am assigned these patients, she has this patient 24/7 and all she does is smile. I have the utmost respect for my Grandmother-in-law, I have never seen anyone care for someone as she  does her husband. She has a decent sized house here but Grandpa stays in the front part of the house, it would be the living room. She has a perfect set-up. His bed against one wall, hers against the other, a table and three chairs on the other side and a couch on the last side. Lots of open windows and a sunroom attached. I asked if I could help with Grandpa, to feed him, move him, whatever she needed. She refused, the only thing I have been able to help with is moving him to the bed a few times. She has it all figured out. This tiny, short, small old lady, wearing a scarf tied around her head and a big housecoat apron, with her floating kidneys and off balanced walk; has it all figured out. She bathes him, dressed him, feeds him, takes him to the bathroom and puts him in bed... by herself! And he is no help. He can still take a few small steps, but he has completely lost his mind. He no longer utters sensible words but spouts off jibberish and laughs like a mad man. But she serves him and loves him as he is her husband 'till death does them part.
I love this old lady, she is kind and stubborn. I went to clean her windows and Arnie to do some yard work. When Arnie told her to just relax she said she couldn't, instead she decides the best job for her is to hold my ladder as I clean the windows!!! She talks to me in Hungarian as if I understand, somehow the few words I have said have led her to believe I understand everything. I just nod and try to figure out her sentences by the few words I comprehend in them. When I done, she told Arnie he had such a talented wife for how well I cleaned!!! Oh my, only in Hungary is this a compliment :)
I feel as though I have done nothing in the grand scheme of actually helping her, but isn't that how service works? You think you will go and make a big difference, but instead, often times, the difference is made on you. I couldn't do what she does at 29, yet I hope I would try.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Meanwhile in Hungary

We are having a good time here in Hungary. We have been watching our cousin's kids everyday and going around visiting people. We have so many relatives here and they all have invited us for a meal. So most days we go somewhere for lunch and then to another house for dinner. The morning are free for us so we just go around to the different houses visiting people. The kids are done school at noon so we pick them up then so some more visiting. Today Arnie went out to the porta where one of our cousins has their animals. Right when he got there a goat was giving birth! He came back to get me and told me one goat had been born, when I got there I went in and saw two goats! Then the Mama goat laid down and I witnessed the third coming out. Unfortunately the third had some growths on it's throat and it wasn't able to breath. WHat happened next I didn't ask, Arnie grabbed my arm and we left. He said he didn't want me to see it :( It was sad, I was so proud of the mama goat, but she lost her third baby. He tried to explain that this is just life here, but I'm Canadian and far removed from the process of raising animals. We left for a while so they could deal with the last little baby goat. WE picked up the kids then went back to see them again. They two strong ones were in the pen crying away... so cute! We didn't stay long as we didn't want to stress them out. On the way home the little girl said, "You can take one of those little goats home because you deserve it!" 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Earlier Today

We have been watching the kids while our cousins work. Usually their grandparents watch them, so this gives them a break. We headed to the town near by to go for coffee and to the market.

On our way home our car broke down. We pulled to the side of the road. My husband got out to look under the hood. They had changed the oil the previous day and plugged some type of filter. I can hear my husband praying out loud from in the car when a car going the other way pulled over. He came over and let us use his phone. Shortly into the conversation he lifted Arnie's arm and started translating the verse on his forearm! He later said that instantly he felt a spiritual connection . He started sharing his salvation story and left us with his number and a huge hug. How's that for answered prayer.  We hope to meet up with him later this week for lunch. Arnie was so touched by this, he couldn't believe that God would save us when we were stranded! We called Gabi at work, him and his brother drove down to rescue us. I didn't know how they would save us, I wondered if they had AMA or something like that.  Even Arnie had no idea what to do. They arrived in a small old school Audi and whipped out a rope with a hook on it. Legit Hungarian style! THe kids and I rode in the first car and we pulled Arnie and Gabi behind. I didn't know what to think. I kept looking out the window at Arnie, he seemed fine so I just sat back and tried to enjoy the ride. We went through 2 round abouts, where our car just about got side swiped. People here seem more forgiving towards doing odd things on the road so they slowed down and allowed us to pass. No hard feelings... I'm sure if we were in Canada we would have had like 50 honks, a few fingers and definitely reports to the police. At last we made it home safe and sound. When I asked Arnie how he felt about the ride, the truth came out... he said he almost pooped his pants haha! Maybe this is preparation for Ethiopia? 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

From Hungary

Arnie is always in charge of the plans when we get to Hungary... I happily follow behind. For some reason he likes to surprise everyone with his arrival rather than tell them beforehand. He only let our cousin, Gabi, know that we were coming as he is the one who picked us up in Budapest and whose house we stay at. We arrived in the evening and sleuthed  into town in the dark! The next morning we went around surprising the family. He said he doesn't like to tell them because then they will feel they have to do a huge welcoming committee and tons of meals and all that. He likes to just arrive and then visit people when he gets there.

our little coffee shop in the store

Surprising Grandpa

Surprising the Aunts and Uncles

Arnie had been on skype the day we left with our uncle and Marti, his son, came on Skype and said if we come to visit could we bring him a candy, a BIG candy. This is what we brought him haha! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Half way there

Two days ago we got on a plane to Hungary. We were able to get a good price on our flights as you have to fly through Europe in order to get to Africa. We figured it would be a good opportunity to stop in Hungary and spent some time with family. Truthfully, I wasn't that excited about the idea mostly because my mind was set on Africa and getting Isaac. I have to say though, I was so restless at home waiting for this court date that I am happy to be half way there!
Our flights went well, so well I'd have to say they have been the best international flights we have been on. I was nervous the entire day before we left. I think it was excitement knowing that the next time we stepped into our house, we would have our son with us. When we were checking in, it suddenly started to sink in that we were actually on our way to get Isaac. I just never thought this day would actually come... years and years of waiting and it's finally here... I can't describe how this feels.

Saying good bye to our family

Checking in our bags!!!

Good bye Edmonton!!!!!

We arrived in London Heathrow first, had a 1.5 hour layover and then we were off again.

We arrived in Munich, Germany with another 1.5 hour layover. Perfect amount of time to get something to eat, pump and find our gate. I couldn't have asked for better timing!

In Germany, looking a little more tired then when we left!!

Then we finally arrived in Hungary! We were greeted by our cousin and then began our 3 hour drive to  Csanad. By the time we walked in the door all I wanted to do was lay down flat. My back hurt from sitting so much but I was so happy our first leg was over. Thank-you for all your prayers, they were answered. We are safe and sound and could not have asked for better travels!!!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


WE heard back yesterday morning that we passed court!!!!!! I couldn't be more excited. We already have our flights booked, we waste no time at all! We are leaving monday for Hungary and then flying from Hungary to Ethiopia on April 24th! I can't believe it is all happening... finally!!!!!! Praise Jesus, he gives the best gifts! That's all for now... more packing to be done!