Saturday, December 27, 2008

Let it snow,let it snow,let it snow!

Here is what little Will has to look forward to doing with his sisters!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Oscar trying to be rudolph!

frustrating news

We got some frustrating news today that a piece of paperwork did not make it to the court in time and they had to assign us a new embassy date of Jan. 21st. It is a little frustrating to change all the flights and reservations and plans and such, but such is the way of life. After we get confirmation today, we will hopefully be leaving on the 17th of Jan. instead of the 3rd. We could have left on the 10th for a Jan. 14th emabassy date, but Jeffrey has business in Boston that he could not cancel, so, unfortunatly our little man has to wait a couple more weeks for us. Grrrrrrrrr. Until next time! Susan

Friday, December 19, 2008

Here is a pic. of the back of the plane seat that I will be staring at for some time on our trip. we leave NY at 10pm on the 3rd and fly to Dubai. There we will have a 12 hour layover and the airline gives you a hotel room at the airport. Then in the am/pm depending on what time zone you are talking about we leave for addis ababa for a 4 hour trip. We will be picked up at the airport by our agency and hopefully be driven to the orphanage. There are 100's of movies on the back of this seat to choose from. Maybe I will be able to catch up on the movies of the year since I never take the time to watch them at home. I'm thinking of getting some prescription drugs to help me overcome my fear of flying, or maybe just some dramimine(sp?) would be fine.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Our christmas card photo! Who says Wisconsin girls can't have fun? Forget the beach, give us snowdrifts!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tickets have been purchased

Well, it turns out Jeffrey and I will be celebrating a Christmas in WI and a Christmas in Ethiopia as the Ethiopian Christmas is celebrated Jan 7th. Our tickets are booked and we leave Chicago early on Jan. 3rd. We will have our Embassy date on the 6th and leave Addis Ababa on the 9th. On our return flight I believe we will be spending one day in NY. I think plane time on the way home will be somewhere around the 25 total hours. That should be a learning experience for us! I think the hardest part is going to be the time difference. They are 9 hours ahead of us, so our sleep patterns are going to be somewhat scattered for a while. We have a lot to do as far as getting all the paperwork we need to take gathered and adjusting the finances for the trip, exchanging money. We did find out that there is a Hilton in Addis Ababa and we were able to use our Hilton points to stay for free for 2 nights. The rest of the nights we will be at the guest house by the orphanage. We were also able to use our frequent flyers for our tickets to and from NY. So that was a big help! Looks like everything is falling into place.

Friday, December 5, 2008

We're on our way!!!!!

It was a long day of waiting, but we did finally find out we passed court and we're on our way! The wait is over and we are now a family of 5 :) Could be as short as a month away and he will be in our arms! We will keep you posted as we hear more of the details. Yippeeeee! Get ready for the snow Fraole!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Our case has been put on hold until tomorrow, so we continue to wait.........

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Snow arrives in WI.

Often during the middle of winter the snow in WI. is old news, but there is nothing like the first snowfall and the beautiful background it provides for snapshots of my girls. On Thursday this week we should know if we passed court for our family of 4 to be legally changed to 5! Jacklyn and Jaymie are counting down the minutes!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Could Bagheera have a larger tummy?

The countdown begins.........from today only 12 more days until court! Less than 2 weeks! One of my email friends is returning from her 2 week trip to Ethiopia today. She went to many different places and then spent some time at the orphanage where Fraole is. So, soon I should be getting some insight into his little personality and such. Her son and Fraole have been in the orphange together since June. I'm looking forward to that email!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Layla House

a lot of the information about where Fraole is right now can be found in this greatdocument about Layla House on the AAI website:

If anyone was interested in the day and the life of the kids at the orphanage where our little man is visit the above sight. He is in good hands.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cooking class

This is the kind of food my little one is used to eating in the orphanage. I either have to find some ethnic food store that sells (the sourdough type pancake bread) ingera (sp?) or become an expert at making it. It is quite the staple there. So, finding this is on my to do list. Maybe, if I get lucky I can find and take a crash course in Ethiopian cooking.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Our little guy will be getting his little word book next week. I couldn't fit his plane in the package,so he will have to wait for that when I go to get him. We did manage to get some mnm's in his package and some finger puppets and self ink rubber stamps. He should have some fun with his friends with those. This week we were asked to pick his bday so they can make his birth cert. with our names on it. I think we are going to pick a Feb. bday so he can start getting early intervention services through our school district. Jeffrey wants it to be the 22nd since that was Clyde Drexlers # and his bday is on the 22nd of April. We got a more accurtate "guess" of his age and the dr. at the orphangage believes he is closer to 2.5to 2.75 years old. So, he will turn 3 in Feb and we most likely will have him start K when he is 6, unless this reading teacher of a mom can really work some magic!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

We got an updated pic of our little guy today. Too adorable for words. we did get some sad news that he is just getting over the chicken pox. Poor little guy. He needs his mama.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Got court date?

WE DO! Dec. 4th 2008! Thats the day we hope we pass court so we can fly to get our little man some 4 to 6 weeks after! We're counting down the days!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

still waiting

Still no news of when we have our court the meantime, we have started a scrapbook for out little guy. We have been able to find a lot of photos of him in the snapfish program where parents who are at the orphanage picking up their children take the photos and post them so other waiting parents can get some nice updated pictures. I ordered a stack of them yesterday and picked them up at our local walgreens. We are also sending him off another little package with a first words book and some little toys. Ronda, who is going to pick up her little guy is graciously taking it for us!! She gets to meet our little sugar before us. I know she will shower him with lots of love. Her little guy and mine have been in the orphanage together since late June.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

weekends waiting

The girls and I spent some time working on the little sugar's bedroom. Here are a few photos of our finished product. Above is the floor for the shower that Jeffrey worked on ......... the bathroom is coming along!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

no court date yet

We had our first fire in the fireplace last night! We love the cold evenings. We have to have a huge bombfire outside tonight to burn all the scraps from our bathroom renovation. I helped our old neighbor (our handyman) install a window in our bathroom yesterday. It looks really good and lets so much light in. We still have not gotten a court date. We are waiting patiently. Every day that goes by though makes it closer to impossible for getting him home for Christmas. Jeffrey and I got our shots on Wed. We each got 4 of them. We are still debating if we are going to get the yellow fever shot. For some reason Jeffrey has it in his mind that he wants to go on some Safari or something. I just want to stay in Addis Ababa where there are no mosquitos because the elevation is too high. We'll see.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

another step

Yesterday we were assigned a group which means that sometime soon we will be assigned a court date and all the members of this group (group A) will have their cases submitted to court on the same day. For those who pass, many will travel at the same time and have their embassy dates at the same time. So, we have gotten another step closer to our little man. We got some new pictures of him again yesterday. The girls are really excited to be big sisters and give him lots of love. Tomorrow the walls in his bedroom are going to be painted by Jacklyn and Jaymie and Gramma. Jeffrey and I are also getting our shots tomorrow evening. That should be fun. Well, not really, but it will be nice to chalk that off the list.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

He knows what we look like

This week we received a photo of our little guy wearing the shirt we sent him and holding the ball in one hand and the little photo album in the other hand. The page was opened up to a pic. of me. Yikes, he knows he has a family now. I'm not sure how much of this he comprehends, but I hope he feels happy. Now at least when Jeffrey and I get to the orphanage he will have a thought that he has seen us before...Can I just say that it is getting very hard to wait..........but it is a test of patience, and we will pass, and hopefully soon he will be in our arms. It would be wonderful if it happened before the new year.

Friday, October 3, 2008

It's on its Way

The director of our international agency left yesterday with our welcome bag for our little man. So this weekend, half way across the world, he should be looking at pictures of us and playing with his new toys and sportin his new sunglasses and shirt. I hope he can feel the love :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gotta love yahoo groups

Through our international agency we have a yahoo group where you are able to email to others about adoption questions and everything from a-z about the adoption process. Recently I got an email from someone who was just at the orphanage where Fraole is. They were picking up their daughter. This is what she had to say about our little guy. Emails like this are priceless..........

"We didn't know his name, but we definitely remember that little boy in the Snapfish picture! I know what you mean about kids looking very different in pictures, but I would bet that if you see a picture that you *think* is of him, it is. Fraole has a very unique look and is totally gorgeous (I mean, all the kids at Wanna are cute, but Fraole is stunning), and I didn't see any other kids that looked anything like him. Striking enough that I remember my husband and I saying something to each other about him. We would describe him as cheerful and mellow/calm (with my husband emphasizing the "calm"- he thinks that's the best way for a toddler to be, of course :)). There were times he seemed kind of solemn but I wouldn't say he was unhappy. We saw him at mealtime during several of our visits, and he seemed like a good eater. I would guess his age range to be right around what you said, maybe closer to 2 than 2.5. "

Saturday, September 27, 2008

welcome bag contents

We are encouraged to keep the gifts small and under $10, so this is what Jacklyn and I put together for the little guy :) We found out the meaning behind his name. It means "to make nice for friends and family" and is derived from NOAH.

this and that

Here is our placement agreement and the picture of his little family photo album and shirt that is being sent off for him to open next week. We signed our bigtime legal docs. Now we are waiting to get a court date. Hopefully we will hear about that sometime in mid Oct. It sure is feeling a lot more real now that we have a name and photo of our little sugar! Hard to believe he will be wearing his little shirt in a couple weeks :) Too cute!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The girls and I are on a mad rush to get our photo album put together to send to the little sugar. We have to have our welcome bag to Washington by Thurs. so the director can deliver it to him personally as she leaves for Ethiopia in about 10days or so. After taking about 60,000 photos, we narrowed it down to these 2 for the pictures of "MOM" and "SISTERS". We also have to take a picture of the house and his room. We already have a million pictures of Oscar and Bagheere and Belle, so they were saved from not having to be part of our photo party. We got little sugars blue plaid comforter last weekend to match Jaymies but we need to paint 2 of the walls in the "shared" room. We have his disposable camera that they will get back to us in the next weeks after they take some pics of him opening up his welcome bag and pics I believe just to help make the wait easier. (this gets sent back to us once our director flies back.) I am able to smooosh his blanket in the gallon size ziploc, and the Tshirt and toy still need to be purchased. I hope to have this all in the mail by Fri. for safe delivery to Ethiopia via our international agency. I guess our next big hurdle is to wait for the courts to open (oct. 7th) and see when we are assigned a court date. If we pass our court date the first time I'm pretty sure we will be able to fly before Christmas. Wouldn't that be just too perfect!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


The time was 12:24. (24 is my favorite # by the way) & I was sitting in the lobby at Jaymies school when my cell phone rang. The area code on it was a 360 area code, which is Washington where our international agency is. It was the director, Merrily. She asked if I had a moment and if I was sitting down. I think my heart pounded out of my chest! She said she had a referral for us of a 2 year old little boy. I had to cover my face and look down as the tears started rolling. Then of course I began shaking. So I had to walk outside for a bit to get it together and try not to speed home once I got Jaymie. Pictures and a medical report and background were going to be waiting for me on our email. Can I just say he is just a little sugar! We're in love already. I can't post pictures of him on our blog until he is legally ours. If you are interested in me sharing with you, send me an email. I can say that the medical report says he is a healthy little guy, can feed himself with a spoon, can walk up and down steps, plays well with others, and can kick a ball :) He was abandonded, but he is not alone anymore. It's time to go shopping for his little package families send once they get a referral. I've already got his blanket that I have been sleeping with to get my scent on it. I think he needs some trailblazers, cowboys and dodgers shirts. Well, I have to go stare at some photos and figure out how to make them wallpaper on our screen!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Jeffrey and I are getting ready to visit the dr. to get some shots. I believe we will be getting hep A and B, typhoid, and tetanus. Hopefully there will be no side effects from the shots. jaymie took this shot of the newest members of our family. We are taking a trip to a new pet store today and may add some more fish to the tank.

Monday, September 1, 2008

a gift for myself

A fundraising gift to myself...........a lady on a website I was reading was selling these charms of Africa with a heart carved out in them and I thought I would support her fundraising of trying to earn $ to help pay for her airfare to pick up her adopted child. Isn't it neat. I have gotten quite a few comments on it and struck up some interesting conversations by wearing it from people who have connections to Africa. Too cool!

Saturday, August 23, 2008



check out this video of a toddler boy from Ethiopia who just arrived at OHARE with his new family. Too adorable!!!!!!!!



Up North

A couple of photos of our trip "UP NORTH"!


Our passports arrived in the mail this week. We also got a note from our agency that some referrals were going to be made after labor day so that should get some of us on the waiting lists moving a bit closer to a referral....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Stu Stu

This is our hamster stuart who has been with our family for some time. Jaymie thought we should post a pic. of him. Isn't he adorable. Our most recent family members have been a variety of fish in a 29 gal tropical freshwater fish tank. My sister is moving so, we inherited their fish tank. So we have a couple of shark type fish and some leopard pattern suckers that are about 6 inches long, an adorable crab with one huge claw named Jacque'pronounced "Jock" and a variety of others. The girls sit and watch them for long periods of time. We introduced a couple of new fish to the tank today, and are hoping they come out of hiding soon. They are staying at the surface. I think they are a little intimidated by the sharkies. I'm sure Jaymie will be photograping the fish soon to post on here. If it were up to her I'd be posting to the blog twice a day....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Our Tennis Star

A couple shots of Jacklyn during a league match play>> she is our rising tennis star!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Aug. 11

Some photos of some summer fun. The fawns were in our neighbors yard down the road, and Jaymie is posing on my sisters mini horse Sugarbaby, and the other photo is of Jeffrey and his girls at Navy pier. Just thought I'd download some photos for some sort of change on the blog....WE got our passpot apps off in the mail today, so that is another item off the list.

Friday, July 25, 2008

We're still here

We are still here. Just no new news on the adoption front. I believe we are 10th on the waiting list for toddler boys and I dont know how many referrals have been made lately. Courts in Ethiopia close Aug 6th, but referrals are still made during that time. Courts will reopen in Oct I believe. We did finally get the girls their tshirts. I found a great website where you can tell the craftspeople what you are looking for and different people give you bids and send you examples via email on ideas they have to create what you are looking for. It is great for one of a kind items, like the tshirts I had designed above. Too cute heh? Summer has been going by quickly. Jacklyn spends a lot of time on the tennis courts. She has her dads talent and we are enjoying watching her improve her game all the time. She is on the courts daily and plays for our clubs team against other clubs. She is on the 13 and younger team and is seeded #1 at all the matches. Jaymie has been a trooper going to practices and such. She has had a lot of mommy time this summer. We got a scooter a couple months ago and she loves riding on the back with me to run errands. She has her moms love of motorcycles! It is a 150cc Honda, and it goes about 65mph, but on all the country roads around here we have it at usually around 35 or so. It gets about 70mpg, so we like the savings in gas $$ and the fun of running errands that it gives us! We leave for a 5day getaway up North today. We are renting a cabin next to family friends and will spend the next 5 days at flea markets, tubing, waterskiing, campfire marshmellow roasting and relaxing. We are looking forward to the getaway. I enjoy it even more knowing I get to take Oscar with us. He is pretty much by my side most of the time. He has been a great addition to our family and I'm sure our son will love him too! Jeffrey and I just celebrated our 15th wedding anni. We bought ourselves a car top carrier for the van. It doesn't get much more romantic than that!!! We get to use it today! Fun Fun. Until next time!

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One of our favorite photos of Will when he first got home

One of our favorite photos of Will when he first got home

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