Saturday, January 31, 2009

New pictures!

We are so lucky today to have gotten some wonderful new pictures of the twins! Thank you to the Garner and Webster families for taking the pictures. There are some beautiful shots of the girls together with the care packages we sent for them... and they have names, so we know which one is which! We as a family are proud to announce that we correctly identified each twin in the previous photos that we had of them.

I also want to thank my new blog friend Celeste, whose little daughters are at the orphanage with our girls. They are from the same region in Ethiopia as the twins. Celeste directed me to the link that had the album with the really nice photos of our girls. :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One month from today!

Just one more month to wait until our court date. One more month to worry... are the twins doing well, are they healthy, are they happy... will we pass court the first time?

Just one more month.

Monday, January 26, 2009

These could put your eye out...

We are risking our lives every day merely by exiting our garage. ;)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ethiopian dinner

After church on Saturday evening, Tom had the great idea to go to downtown Omaha for dinner at what appears to be the only Ethiopian restaurant in town. It is called, creatively enough, "Ethiopian Restaurant." (I don't know why, but I thought that was funny.) It is attached to the East African Grocery. Anna was a bit suspicious, as she is the world's pickiest eater, but she actually tried five different things and liked three of them. Anna, Emily and I preferred the vegetarian dishes... lots of lentils. Tom liked the lamb and chicken. Everyone loved the injera bread. What a fun texture! Kenneth was working, so he couldn't join us, but he enjoyed the left-overs the next day.

We enjoyed chatting with the waitress, although she had somewhat limited English. We found out that her name is Selam, just like one of our twins. I also had her pronounce Fikir for Tom and the girls. It sounds so much prettier when spoken by a native Ethiopian.

We'll definitely go back sometime with our new daughters! :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The end for Emily :(

Some of you probably remember back in early November that Emily sprained both of her ankles, one of them quite severely. She just finished physical therapy a couple of weeks ago, but she is still having some pain and limited mobility. Her meet season is already half over, and there is no guarantee that she will be healed enough or prepared enough for even the last two meets in March. She spends 23-25 hours a week practicing, which leaves virtually no time for other activities. That's a lot of work for the possibility of no competitive season, and this is her senior year. So Emily made the tough decision to hang up her grips. She will keep her part time coaching job; she enjoys that very much and the hours are easy.

She had a wonderful career. She was a very late-starting competitor at 12 years old, but still went on to compete for five years in levels 4-8. She was a state champion in every level she competed at, and qualified and competed in regionals as a level 8. She was a member of two state championship teams, level 6 in 2005 and level 8 in 2008. She was on the top qualifying team for Nebraska for the Region 4 regional meet in 2008.

I think she is absolutely making the right decision. Her stress level is already way down. Now she can focus on school and family before leaving for college in the fall.

But I still feel a bit sad. Gymnastics was a wonderful thing that my two daughters and I shared, and now we are just... done. It feels strange. But life moves on, doesn't it?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A pleasant surprise!

Yesterday we got an unexpected gift... pictures of our twins! These photos are from late December, and we weren't expecting them at all. Emily didn't have school yesterday, and we spent a couple of hours poring over the photos and trying to decide which twin is which. It was very hard. They were dressed alike and if we had any questions about whether they are identical or not, they are gone! Definitely so!

It was good to see that they look happy, healthy and well cared-for. Lots of smiles from both girls! But boy, they are tiny little things!

My mom asked me yesterday if there was a reason I haven't put pictures of the twins on this blog, and the answer is "yes". For the privacy of the children, the Ethiopian government does not want pictures of the children posted on the internet where they can be seen by anyone. (Agency sites are password protected.) Any pictures will have to wait until after we pass court and they are legally ours.

So, counting down the days until court...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

News about the twins

We got an email from Grace today with news on our twins! She said "We had a family travel this week and they said that your girls are AMAZING dancers! They can do the 'Ethiopian shoulder dance' better than anyone there. I'm so jealous! How fun!"

How fun, indeed! We are so anxious to meet them and learn all of the great little things there are to know about them. :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Care packages

Today I mailed off care packages for Candace Selam and Sarah Fikir. First they will go to Michigan, to another family who is travelling soon to Ethiopia to pick up their child. They will take the packages with them to the transitional home to give to our children. Since luggage space is tight, we can only send what will fit in a gallon size Ziploc bag. Anna and I bought each girl a shirt, a pair of socks, a little magnadoodle toy and a photo album. We put pictures of our family in the album, with labels telling who's who. I hope they're happy to see who we are.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back to normal

The decorations are down, and everything is packed away for next year. The girls have gone back to school. The house always looks a little empty after the holidays are over, but it also seems so uncluttered. Now it's time to settle in for the looooonnnggg winter... looking forward to spring. I've never been much of a winter person.

Friday, January 2, 2009

2009 just got brighter!

We have a court date! In an email this morning, Grace said our court date is February 27, 2009. Thank you, God!

My migraine is gone, too. :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ringing in the New Year... ugh.

I'm not feeling especially bright about the shiny New Year right now. Yesterday I developed a migraine, which I thought I had under control by evening. We're not big party people and spent New Year's Eve quietly at home watching movies. Unfortunately, today the monster chose to rear it's ugly head again. I have taken more than my usual dose of my migraine medication and the pain is still lurking. I threw in some ibuprofen for good measure, and I just took some Benadryl so that I might get a bit of sleep this evening. I have no idea what triggered this migraine, which makes it doubly frustrating.

We are still waiting for a court date for our adoption. I read some troubling discussion online about some families who have been waiting for more than 10 weeks and still don't have a court date scheduled. That is definitely not helping with the migraine situation.

I guess I need to remember that in the big scheme of things, we're talking about weeks... although right now it seems like an eternity. We will bring home our daughters in 2009, in God's perfect timing. That will make it a very bright year indeed.

But I still wish my head didn't hurt so much.