It's been a while since I posted anything. It's not that there wasn't anything to report. It's just that there wasn't anything BIG to report. I kept waiting for the next big thing, but here's what I realized - in the adoption process, there are only a few big things but many, many small things that are all equally important in the long run. Lots of small things have occurred in the past few weeks, so I figured I should probably share them because although they aren't BIG, they are important to us.
First, Eric and I went out a few weeks ago for our first Ethiopian meal. We expected to enjoy it, and we did. In fact, we loved it. We both like spicy - which is a good thing when eating a lot of Ethiopian food. Another thing that we loved about it is the "community" feel of the meal. Ethiopians don't typically use utensils. A lot of their dishes are "wats" - basically like thick stews - which are served on another staple of their diet - "injera" which is a flat bread made from Teff. The food is eaten by ripping a piece of injera from the side, covering the bite that you want and (gracefully) pinching & scooping the morsel into your mouth with the injera. The meals are served family style so Eric and I shared a giant platter.
Honestly, the food doesn't look very appetizing. Here's a picture. You can draw you own comparisons as to what it looks like. I'll spare you my opinion. :-)
But, trust me. It was GOOD!!! Very good! And, it was fun. We talked a lot during the meal and we look forward to going back to share the experience with friends, family, and especially with Markos when he comes home.
Our wonderful friends have planned an Adoption Celebration/Birthday party for M./fundraiser picnic for us. We will be getting together next Saturday - M.'s 4th birthday - to celebrate, visit, and eat. I have ordered some injera and some Ethiopian spices so I can (hopefully) make some Ethiopian dishes to share on this special day.
Speaking of friends, another "little" event that has occurred recently is that we have made contact with a family who just happened to recently adopt and bring home one of M.'s good buddies from the care center. They recently traveled to Ethiopia and met M. while they were there to get their son. They said that he is precious, that the children are VERY, VERY loved and well cared for, that they're learning some English, and that their transition thus far has been amazing! That makes me so happy. Additionally, they also would love for their son to be able to maintain his friendship from Ethiopia so we plan to stay in touch and to possibly allow the boys to Skype once we bring M. home. What a blessing that he will be able to keep one of the relationships that he had in Ethiopia!! God is so good!
Other news - we received M.'s lab results from when he was first moved to Addis (the capital of Ethiopia). Additionally, we received 3 updated pictures of him. Oh how I wish I could post them on here. He is SO CUTE! And he looks so good. So much healthier. So much happier. While it thrilled me to see them, it also hurt a little because he's changed so much already and we're missing it. But, he'll be home soon and then we won't miss the changes & growth for the rest of his precious life.
The reports and pictures were, of course, forwarded to our International Adoption Pediatrician for review. Her report was great. Aside from noticing a possible fungal scalp infection (which we already knew from the other families that a lot of the kids were coming home with scalp ringworm so this was no surprise), she thinks he looks great. His lab results and blood work were great.
Speaking of paperwork, we received our corrected I-171 form from USCIS with our updated age range. This was the last piece of paperwork that needed to be completed before we can travel to bring M. home. We love America, but seriously, dealing with the U.S. government agencies has been the WORST & most difficult part of this entire process thus far. This is the last thing that we needed from them at this point, so we are relieved to be finished with it.
Lastly, we took another trip to the recycling center this morning. We added another $64 to our travel fundraising efforts from your aluminum cans. Thanks for dropping them off for us. We appreciate your support!
OK, that's the update. Lots of little bits of good news, fun times, and things to come.