Tuesday, March 2, 2010

And finally...the video of our journey...

Sorry I have been MIA. Obviously things have been busy with two kiddo's at home! But I finally finished the video of our journey. I hope you enjoy!
PS Cullen and Tess are doing great! He is a crawling machine and LOVES to eat. She is a vibrant and loving big sister!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

We Are Home!!

I have been meaning to post all week but it has been a crazy week to say the least so I still have yet to do so. This post doesn't even count because it is really to just tell you to stay tuned...I have lots to post about the trip and journal entries to share, etc.
All in all the trip was AMAZING! I am glad to be home because I missed Tessa more than life itself, but Ethiopia is an amazing country and we made some great friends along the way! I wish we had had more time to see the country but it just means that we will definitely be making a trip back with both of our kiddo's in the future.
Thanks to everyone for their prayers and well wishes. They were definitely felt even half the world away in Africa! We stayed healthy for the most part, and everything really went as smoothly as we could have asked for.
Cullen and Tessa are adjusting well! It is mommy and daddy that seem to be having more trouble! We are finally all comming out of the fog of jetlag (ET is 8 hours ahead of the US) and Cullen is starting to sleep through the night (albeit waking up very early at between 5 and 6). I am just hoping it lasts. He is figuring things out and we are too. It is just very different than it was the first time around and I know this is the case wether the 2nd is adopted or not. I guess I was just expecting it to be so much like we have a newborn. But really that is what it feels like....we have a 9 month old newborn! He is out of sorts, we are out of sorts, the dynamic of our family (and sleep habits) is out of wack and we are all just figuring out day by day. Tessa has by far been the shining star in all of the 'adjusting.' Aside from wanting her Eeyore and binky more than usual and being a bit whiny, she is a great, loving big sister who is totally in to her brother. I am hoping this lasts and that she continues to do so well with the adjustment. Thanks to all the family and friends who have stopped by and make an extra effort to lavish her with love, attention and playtime. It really makes her feel special and not forgotten!
Okay, I promise to post on our incredible journey and to share photos as well. I just need some more free time, to finish unpacking, and to decompress a bit. For now, here are some "Tessa quotes" from my precocious 2.5 year old that my family wrote down while we were away to brighten your day!

  • Christmas AM: "I am OBSESSED with these pretzels." (yes, I am sure she got the obsession gene from mommy)
  • My father and Tessa were getting dressed for the Christmas Eve play. Papa to Tessa: "You look pretty in your red dress." Tessa to Papa (who was wearing a red tie): "Well you look boy pretty."
  • When Tess was giving them heck when they were trying to get her to go to sleep one night and my parents were talking outsider her door: "Are you trying to figure out how to get me to go to sleep?"
Thanks again for all the love and support. We wouldn't be making it through this time without it!! Promise to post again soon!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cullen is doing great!

Brooke and Jeff just called and said they now have Cullen full time in their hotel with them! We got to hear him say "dad" on the phone! He was talking up a storm and Brooke said he is now sitting up by himself too! Brooke said he has a nasty cough but is still doing well despite that. They said in their first night with him he woke up twice. They have been giving him some dry cereal and bananas. Today they passed their visa interview so they are just waiting for the paper copy to arrive before they can come home!

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Just got a call from Brooke and Jeff and they were able to get internet briefly and sent this great photo! They got to spend more time with Cullen today and kept saying how animated he is. They said he loves to mimic people and will clap hands after you clap yours and do raspberries! Brooke and Jeff also commented that he really gets excited when he sees his nannies and they get so excited when they see him! Brooke said he can also say "mom" and "dad!" They said he has beautiful skin and weighs 9.8 kilos (21 lbs)!!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Best Christmas Gift!

Brooke and Jeff got to meet Cullen very early this morning! They said he is so happy and only cried once when they had to put him down! They said he is so big and can even do an army crawl! Brooke said that when he would get excited about something he would clap his hands on his legs! They also said that he seems to be very observant (like his big sister!). They both seemed so happy to have spent some cuddle time with their new squeeze!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Safe and Sound!

Brooke and Jeff have arrived safely to their hotel in Addis Ababa! Their hotel is right next door to where Cullen is staying! They will meet their little man at 10am their time (2am Christmas morning on East Coast US time)!

On Their Way!!!

This is Becca (Brooke's sister) and I'll be updating their blog with the text messages and phone calls that Brooke and Jeff send over the next week!

At about 10am we got word that they made it safely through Amsterdam and are now in Sudan for a quick refuel before they finish the last leg of their flight! Only about 2 more hours of travel for them before they arrive in Addis!

Monday, December 21, 2009

What Will We Be Doing?

So I thought I would share a bit of our "itinerary" with everyone so you can have a better idea of what we will be doing when we are in Ethiopia. Keep in mind that ET is approx 7 hours ahead of Eastern Time. Here it is:

  • Wed 12/23: Leave for ET in the evening.
  • Thurs 12/24: Arrive in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia around 11pm. Check in to hotel which is right next door to care center (literally) where Cullen is. Sleep (I have no idea how i am going to do this with my little boy asleep right next door!!!
  • Friday 12/25: Orientation in AM then will meet Cullen right after! Spend day at care center with Cullen and playing with other children
  • Saturday 12/26: Spend day at care center with Cullen.
  • Sunday 12/27: Leave in the AM for Durame (without Cullen), a town about 5-6 hour drive south of the capitol of Addis Ababa. This is the region where Cullen was born and where he first came into care (Holt has a care center in Duram). We will get to see the region, tour Holts intake/care center in Durame and possibly get to meet Cullen's mom.
  • Monday 12/28: Leave in AM to head back to Addis. Hopefully take custody of Cullen when we get back (if not then on Tuesday)
  • Tuesday 12/29: Hang out in hotel with Cullen. Appointment at US Embassy in Addis for an interview to get Cullens visa to travel home (he will travel home with an ET passport and a US visa).
  • Wednesday 12/30: Fairwell ceremony at care center. Shopping trip to leper hospital, etc.
  • Thursday 12/31: Hang out at hotel with Cullen and wait for visa to be issued. Fly home around midnight.
  • Friday 1/1: Arrive home in Boston at 4pm!!!!

We are very excited to meet a number of families that will be traveling with us. I have gotten to know a few pretty well over email, yahoo groups, and on the phone so it will be great to share this amazing experience with them.

Can't wait to see you all when we return!!! Just over 48 hours till we leave....YIKES! I need to get some good cuddle time in with my girl the next two days....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ahhh...the packing!!!

Okay so I typed this up yest but am just gettting it posted today...just goes to show you what I am talking about!!!...
Last night was our last Wednesday night sleeping in this house together as a family of three! Next Wednesday at this time will will be on a plane bound for Amsterdam, to connect on to
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
It really is all a little bittersweet. While I am so excited to finally meet our son and bring him home, I am so sad to be away from Tessa and especially during this holiday time. I wish that it made the least bit of sense for her to come with us. But it doesn't.
So as you all know, we have been busy packing!! Two huge bags of donations for the care center's run by Holt! (Thank you to all who so generously donated clothing, medications, toys, cups, bottles, blankets, etc) And one suitcase a piece for Jeff, Cullen and I! Here is peek at what life has looked like around our house these past days. I feel good...but I still feel like there is so much to do. Today, Jeff and I finished up gathering some paperwork, getting notarizations, etc. So at least that piece feels complete. And then there has been the wrapping! Wrapping, wrapping and more wrapping.... To think we won't even be here for Christmas day!!! Well, here it all is:

Just a little of our packing mess....

Adams Family Christmas gifts...

Drooger family Christmas gifts...

And still I am trying to constantly remind myself of the reason for this time of holiday celebration. The birth of Christ. A baby in a manger sent by his father. The most amazing gift...

Cullen's Room

So I think I have been promising photos of Cullen's room. There are still a few things to complete...but I thought I would share since we finally took some photos. Here it is....
My mom made the wall hanging quilt.

We hired my friend Alicia to design the elephants (which are also used in the quilt) and then paint them in the room.

Now all we need is a little boy asleep in the crib!