Katie, Tim & Cale Nester...
About our journey:
- We requested "either" gender, 0-18 months.
- We received our referral of Megersa on Nov 5, 2009; he was 2 months old.
- Megersa's name is pronounced "Meh-gur-sah."
- Our case was submitted on Dec 18, 2009 and our court date was Jan 27, 2010. We were fortunate to pass court on the first try!
- Tim's mom and I left for Ethiopia on March 8, 2010 for an Embassy appointment of March 10, 2010. We passed!
- Megersa met the rest of his family in the US 3.13.10.
- When we re-adopt him, his full legal name will be Megersa Jace Nester.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Those two are so stinkin' cute - I just can't wait for the day that Cale voluntarily plays with Megersa! :)
He kept YELLING "cheese!" He would hold it out so long it often looked forced.
Friday, March 26, 2010
I'M the boogie picker. I pick my kids boogies.
There. I said it. :)
I had just been thinking that I might not be able to come up with something to post about today; when I opened the car door to get Megersa out, and spotted a stray, dried booger.
I HAD to get it! It's a compulsion.
So what if this is a grosse post! The reason behind it is pretty.
See, one of my biggest pet peeves is when kids walk around with crusty snot everywhere....or when their hair is all snarled up (mainly girls, of course).
So, I pledged to Tim and myself (because clearly it's my issue), AND YOU!! that our children will NOT walk around with boogers - wet or dry - on their nose...or their cheeks...or hair...
I mean, seriously...
Have you seen those children with the dried snot on their faces, everywhere? It grosses me out!
I also will make sure that our girls' hair is combed...every day. I'll teach them to comb it and make sure there are no knots.
I will braid it tight or put it in ponytails if they can't handle having it down. (All of this will some day be more of an issue I'm sure...boys hair is pretty easy.)
Anyway, I can't even post a picture of my kids with boogies, because I will not allow it.
It's SNOT an option!! (HA HA HA)
I know Cale is more accustomed to the picking, but I sometimes think that Megersa thinks I'm coming at his nose with a tissue, or my fingernail (Yes, I DO this...it's fine. I wash my hands after) JUST to torture him.
But with both of them having colds, I'm CONSTANTLY picking and wiping their noses.
Megs has come a long way though.
The first time I touched his nose in ET he started whimpering.
That poor kid had something going on with his nose the first day I picked him up. It was either dried and cracked skin - or BOOGIES!!!!!!!
Since then, I've scraped away the mess and realized that it is dried skin.
He also is currently battling with eczema on his cheeks.
It's gotten much better recently...I've been massaging his face with lotion/hydrocortisone ointment every day...several times a day.
He's getting better at receiving these "massages" now.
He certainly prefers it to the nose picking, for sure!
Anyway. That's my boogie picking post.
Does anyone else have this strange quality that is attached to their mothering style, or lifestyle?
I know even if I didn't have kids...I'd be happy to say, that I am usually 100% boogie free. :)
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
And the video: (Observe the effort he puts behind the push...I thought his head was gonna explode!!)
And to answer your question - "Yes, it's okay to be scared after watching this." :)
Thank goodness for solid food!! Remember when I said he eats like a horse?
Well...what goes in, must come out. I feel like I'm up to my elbows in diapers again. JUST when I thought I was nearing the end of it for awhile....Cale picked up where Megersa left off. He's trying to make it to the potty....but, lets just say we'll give him a 'B' for effort. Not an A, because I heard him state the other day "I have a diaper on"...and then I caught him as he proceeded to start pushing. Thankfully we got him to the potty, but I was NOT pleased with his uncaring attitude toward his mother that would need to clean up yet another poopy mess!
And just because I decided to take the time to post videos, I'll upload one of Cale too! Don't worry, it's not recent. I think he's about 8 or 9 months in this one (I know, I know...he's a CHUNK):
(Sorry it's sideways...sometimes I forget I'm taking a video with a camera.)
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
So where are we now? What are we up to? Well, we're adjusting to being a family of 4.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Alrighty!! We're at the end of the Ethiopia trip log.
Last stop: Plane ride.
This one's gonna be a doosy!
Where did I leave off?
Oh yes...we we're both sick...Megersa and I. I had taken anti-diarrheal with minimal help from it, and Megersa was going on kisses and hugs.
I have to tell you that as we waited for the taxi I was DREADING the trip home.
We scheduled our driver to come super early (5:30p) for a flight that didn't leave until 10:15p. We wanted to get there and get in line to request a bassinet in the bulkhead seating.
Megersa slept in the carrier on the way over. We shared a shuttle bus with another AAI family leaving with their daughter Tigist, age 8. It was fun to talk with them and it was good to have people to spend time with in the airport as we waited to board.
We got to the airport and were able to quickly check-in and then walk through security. We saw that we would be the first ones in line to check our bags. We had an airport attendant tell us that the check-in counter didn't even open until 6:30p but we decided to stay and wait anyway. We were taking no chances with the bassinet. I was feeling pretty poorly at this point. I had been to the bathroom and back several times...and Megs diapers kept filling up.
When we got to the counter we requested a bassinet seat and she told me I could have one, but that Mom and I wouldn't be able to get seats together. She said that Mom would be in the seat in the same aisle, but not right next to me. She said she could get us seats together, but they wouldn't be bassinet...so she asked us to decide. After a small discussion, we decided it would be best to take the bassinet seat and then just try and switch seats with whoever was assigned a seat next to me.
After checking in we still had several hours before our flight took off, so the consensus from everyone else was to get dinner. I passed on it...but sat there groaning and moaning in pain. My stomach was killing me!
Kristy (Tigist's mom) offered me a diarrheal antibiotic she got from her doc. She said it would kill the bacteria I had in my system...and she also offered me some tums. I took them gladly, but they didn't really work for me.
They all ordered food and I sat in silence. I was really wanting to just get on the plane and get home. I was glad Tim's mom was with me. I think it would have been BRUTAL to have to go alone. After dinner Mom exchanged our birr back into dollars and we headed toward our gate.
Mom told me that there was a rumor going around that there was no bathroom at our gate. I was NOT thinking I would be able to sit there for the last hour without a bathroom, so I was reluctant to go through the last security point.
But...there's something about being at "the gate" even if you aren't called to board for awhile, isn't there? It FEELS like it's gonna happen soon.
So, I held my breath, and we walked through toward the gate. Turns out there WERE bathrooms just outside the gate...so we waited until the last 1/2 hour to get in line to get our bags xrayed again.
THIS was were it got worse.
We sat outside the gate. I was feeling bad.
I kept visualizing getting off the plane. Seeing Tim. Seeing Cale. I miss them SO much...especially Cale. (I had only ever been away from him for one night.)
I wanted to fast forward the next 20 hours. Mom was very concerned for me and asked me if I was okay. But all I could say was "this is the kinda sick that you just want to curl up on the couch and hold your belly."
Then I started crying.
Not bawling, nothing hysterical...just pitiful.
I closed my eyes and hot, wet, painful tears came out.
I could tell she was watching, and judging by her 'sniffling' she started crying too.
This all happened while I was feeding Megersa, so I just held him a little tighter.
I didn't want to think that this was a mistake...even mentally. I was SO happy to have this baby in my arms finally...but at the exact moment in time it was REALLY hard to have him in my arms, taking care of him as I was falling apart.
I gave Megersa a bottle and he seemed to be getting sleepy. I thought it would be a good idea to give him some infant tylenol...maybe to help his tummy and to help him sleep?
It helped him BARF! And not just a little bit - it kept coming and coming...ALL the formula that we had been giving him over the past few DAYS came up (okay...maybe not THAT much...but it was a TON!). I was really concerned for him. He seemed to choke on the puke as it came out.
He threw up on himself, his clothes, my carrier, and my jacket sleeve.
I quickly ran to the bathroom with him to try and clean him up...change his diaper (oh, bonus - he poops when he throws up!), and change his clothes. Mom came in to help as I tried my best to wash my sleeve and clean off the ERGO.
Once this was cleaned up, I just felt myself "suck it up" - I needed to take care of my baby. There was no time for myself right now.
We packed away the pukey stuff and got in line to get to the gate.
For whatever reason we had to send our carry-ons through security again. This was when I noticed HOW MANY adoptive families were going to be on this flight.
Soooo many babies and toddlers. I was glad we reserved a bassinet, no matter where we ended up sitting.
The security guard wasn't allowing liquids to pass through - even ones bought in the airport...but the family ahead of us told the guard that the water was "for the baby - for his bottle," so they allowed 1 bottle of water.
She had 2 bottles in hand, so she put one down and passed through.
I thought - HEY! We didn't buy any water to take, so let's just grab this one!
We told the guard the same thing, so he allowed it.
Then we waited some more.
We got seats toward the back of the gate and I noticed that WHOA! THis flight was gonna be PACKED. Jam packed.
And it was.
We had a green sticker on our boarding pass, so we were able to board first.
We found our seats and I was suppose to be sitting in the middle of the middle of the aisle. Mom was to be on the side, near the aisle. She was also seated in the bulkhead, by what looked like a spot for a bassinet.
We asked the stewardess if this was a spot for a bassinet and she said yes. I switched with Mom because at least I wouldn't be shoved in the middle with Megs.
We stuck to our plan and when the person who was suppose to sit down next to me came, we asked the steward if she could switch with Mom.
The man told us that she needed special assistance and couldn't sit in the middle...but they asked the man who was in the aisle middle row to move over and she said in his seat.
Mom came to sit with me. PRAISE GOD!
Seriously, it made the trip SO much better to know that I could count on her help. I told her too. I said to her that I'd really need her help this trip. I was feeling really bad.
As the plane filled up we discussed how annoyed we were that there was no baby sitting in the row bassinet seat while family after family went toward the back with their babies (and no bassinet). After awhile though, seats were moved around, and a man came up to sit there with his young toddler.
So, we sat and chatted until we took off.
The bassinets were not allowed to be attached until we were way in the air and the seat belt sign was off. Megs was a champ. I'm pretty sure he fell asleep in Mom's arms and when we were finally up high enough, we were able to transfer him to the bassinet.
He slept REALLY well when he WAS asleep. Briefly waking up from time to time, but nothing a little butt pat couldn't fix.
It was annoying that the lights would come on from time to time and BRIGHT as day in our eyes as we tried to sleep.
Thankfully though, we were able to get some sleep. I'm not sure how the families who didn't get a bassinet did it...but I know for myself, I can't fully fall asleep if I'm holding a baby. I'd be too afraid to loosen my grip and then have him fall.
Well...the flight was LONG. Megs woke up and we fed him more bottle. He vomited again. EVERYWHERE. We changed him. We were down 2 outifts now, 2 airplane blankets, 1 baby blanket, my jacket again (this time nothing could save it), and another diaper.
Not sure where we are with the diaper change count...but I'll tell you - when we got OFF the plane we used up all 5 outfits and 11 diapers, and messed through 5 airplane blankets...and the bassinet. YIKES!
Well, I dont feel like I should hash out the airplane ride any more than that.
God blessed us with some sleep when we could. And when Megs wasn't barfing or having diarrhea, he was smiling or sleeping.
I counted down each hour and could feel myself getting smellier and smellier.
If I started thinking about Cale and Tim and how we were getting closer, my stomach would act up again (it had settled some after some sleep). I focused on where we were and what task was at hand...but I wanted Tim to bring some pedialyte, more clothes for me and the kind of bottles Megs liked. I sent him probably like 12 texts from the air, but none went through.
Reading them back through, they sounded like I was a hysterical mess....
Good thing they DIDN'T go through.
Anyway, throughout the ride, Mom and I chatted a bit, but for the most part, our eyes were closed in sleep...or at least in the attempt for sleep.
The meals they served on the plane were correct with the time in Ethiopia...but it was REALLY bizarre to be fed beef & noodles when it was only 6am Eastern time and the sun was rising.
I passed on the first 2 meals on the plane, asking only for crackers...but by morning time, my stomach was so empty that I thought I might try something more solid....I think I did try that beef. Only a few peices...and it stayed down!
Well...................after all that (and more), we landed.
PRAISE THE LORD!!
We were ushered off the plane (after all the first class and Cloud 9 people, of course) into a shuttle bus. EVERYONE had to get on that shuttle, and it was hot.
Hot, and stinky.
Megs pooed on another outfit when we were landing, but we had none left, so I wrapped him in the dirty outfit, and an airplane blanket. We sat on that shuttle for over 20 minutes.
I was very concerned with Megs. He was feeling really sweaty, and I couldn't imagine how much longer we'd have to wait until we could change his diaper.
After what seemed like WAY TOO LONG, the doors to the shuttle opened. We were taken off that shuttle and asked to get on another.
People were WAY grumpy, talking about how they're gonna miss their connections, and how this is crazy, etc, etc.
I told Mom we should hang back and used the bench seating on the 1st shuttle to change Megs. Culturally acceptable or not...this kid needed to be cleaned up.
I snapped his outfit shut and strapped him in the ERGO. We were both so dirty, how much worse could it be............. (just wait...)
Luckily, because we were last to get on the new shuttle, we were first to get off of it!
We were the first in the immigration line!
The man that passed us through was pretty dang grumpy.
"Oh gee...adoption Saturday is today?" he said.
WHOA! What an nice guy.
He explained how the Friday night and Saturday night flights were packed with adoptive families and that it made the morning too busy.
Suck it up man!
Mom chatted with him as he went through our paperwork. I felt Megersa's head. It was clammy. He looked as though he was trying to fall asleep (the way he kept rubbing his head against my chest)...but he was restless. Mom thought he must just be too hot from being in the ERGO and all the excitment, but I was hesistant to believe that was the only reason.
We passed through the line without a hitch and then entered International baggage claim. We searched through the bags on the conveyor belt and the ones already pulled off...but our bags were not there. A man told us that these were the bags for people with connecting flights and that our bags would come out after, on another conveyor belt.
We stationed ourselves by the bag entry of the new belt, and Megs started coughing...then gagging, then vomiting. In the ERGO, facing me. I was afraid he would choke, so I quickly pulled him out of it and faced him forward so that the rest could land on the floor. This all happened frantically, but not ONE person looked my way. No one offered help (even if they didn't mean it)...nothing. It was like the twighlight zone.
I suppose most people couldn't be bothered by anyone else and were just glad to finally be off the plane, but still..............
Our bags hadn't come out yet, so I couldn't change Megersa or myself.
I went over to the side of the room and stripped off his clothes and tried my best to clean him up with some wipes I asked another adoptive mom for because I was out. I tried as best I could to wipe off my shirt. Finally, we saw our bags!! YAY!! Mom got them on our cart and I got them off just as quickly so I could rummage through them and get us some clean clothes. Well...Megersa's outfit was clean. I brought a ton for him...but I had to put on the outfit I wore the day before...which wasn't clean, but at least it wasn't puked on!
So I changed in the bathroom,f we and we packed away the pukey stuff and put it on the cart.
One LAST line to get in.
I could hardly stand waiting one more second. I knew that Cale and Tim were on the other side of the doors, but they felt like a world apart. I had been keeping in contact with Tim since we landed, and as soon as I heard Cale's voice...my stomach started back up with nervous excitement.
Cale kept asking "Mommy? Where are you?" And it was PAINFUL to be stuck going through line after line...I just wanted us to all be together already!
So, the security guard checked our passports, our tickets, our baby, then asked if we had a connecting flight. "No."
So, right through those double doors.
Mom had the cart, and I was holding Megs in my arms. I think I RAN through the doors.
When the opened automatically I saw Cale in Tim's arms. They were both waving at me and yelling "Mommy!!"
I stepped up the pace and ran round the corner to them....thrust Megersa in Tim's arms and gave him a kiss.
I was able to capture the glimpse of Tim meeting his son for the first time and it was sweet. Tim was as forgetful as I was at how small babies ACTUALLY can be!Then I scooped up Cale! I think I kissed him a million times telling him "Mommy MISSED you!" "Mommy LOVES you!!" It felt surreal for us all to be together.
I bawled like a baby as I looked in his face and squeezed his body.
How much had he grown in a week? He was talking to me! He knew I was his Mommy!
We were all together. A family of four...FINALLY!
I saw Tim's mom and noticed she was crying too. The time was so intimate that I felt bad leaving her out...but she was able to enjoy our reunion.
No pictures or video from it. No one else came to the airport, which was fine. Not EVERYTHING needs to be public, ya know?
But, as Cale and I walked hand in hand toward our car and he told me about his week and the new things he learned....I thought back over to the verses that God showed me at the beginning of my week in Ethiopia:
Psalm 108:1 - 1O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory. 3I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. 4For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds. 5Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth.
Different translations may have slightly different wording on that beginning verse, but I like the King James.
Perhaps David is talking about something else entirely when he was "my heart is fixed" but the first day that I met Megersa and I was able to hold him in my arms, and I knew that shortly our family would be together - this verse rang true for me.
My heart is fixed, Lord - and I will give praise!
God has taught me so much through this journey and truthfully, now is only the beginning. As we transition to a family of 4, the Lord has been opening my eyes to new things. This entire process was orchestrated by him and FOR Him. I am thankful that we were and are able to experience it.