It is hard to believe we celebrated our 4th family day on June 8 this year! It’s even harder to believe we didn’t get a picture on that day. On our family day the boys and I arrived at the airport from Oklahoma in the evening. We were exhausted and just never got around to a picture.
Here is the only family picture we’ve taken this summer! Plus the pictures through the years. Hard to believe how much they’ve grown. We love them lots!
When we started the adoption process we wanted to adopt siblings, we wanted them to have someone that looked like them and shared their dna. It was something that was important to us.
We had the boys dna tested though 23 & me to help fill in their medical history. It is nice having the information to share with their doctor.
The added bonus of using 23 & me is that other adoptive families are also using it and we are finding distant cousins (3rd to 5th). I think it is really cool learning about all their cousins. We now have cousins that share our dna all over the country.
If you are interested in using 23 & me and use one of the links I put in, I do receive a small referral fee.
Last November we finished up the rest of the paperwork required for the boys to receive Certificate of Citizenships. Yesterday we drove up to Phoenix for our last immigration appointment ever! They gave us a window of time to show up, of course nap-time and the boys fell asleep on the way up.
We were super worried that they would be super grumpy and we would have to wait for a long time. The worries were unnecessary, Ezra perked right up and Noah was out of it but not grumpy and they took us right back, no waiting at all!
Matt just had to sign the certificates, that was it no ceremony, nothing exciting. The lady who helped us was super nice, she even took the time to look at the boys eyes to figure out who was who for herself and could tell them apart easily. 🙂 Also, you aren’t allowed to take cameras or camera phones (turned off in your pocket is fine) into USCIS, but she was nice enough to let me turn on my phone to take a pic.
Flags! They have been in love with flags recently, so to get their very own was a big deal. 🙂
Here’s a video of them being happy on the way home. Believe it or not they took a very nice nap once we got home despite their earlier cat nap!
Thanks to the government for a deadline! Without it I would have put off applying for the COC forever. For those of you not in the know the filing fee for the COC is going up next week by $120 and since we had to file two that would have been an extra $240. I am so happy that our agency sent out an email notifying us because I would have had no clue. By all the discussions of FB this week I was happy to know that we were not the only procrastinating parents out there! I am pretty sure USCIS will be getting a flood of applications. 🙂
I spent the better part of nap-time Monday filling out the applications and looking for the supportive documents, calling USCIS because they have Noah’s birthdate wrong on his green card (hooray another form to fill out!), and chatting with other mommies on FB doing the same. (I love our little community and that we all got to do this together.) The most fun those was taking the boys to get passport photos done for the certificate. I am fairly certain the lady taking them thought toddler boys should just stand still and get into the perfect position and that she didn’t have to do anything but push the button (very slowly I might add). It was a lot of fun, really.
I tried to get a few cute photos of the boys with their applications to properly document this part of the process, they were not super cooperative. Apparently it isn’t a big deal to them.
Today is our Family Day. Exactly one year ago today, we became a family. It has been a wonderful year, challenging, life changing, but absolutely amazing. I cannot believe it has already been an entire year, it flew by so quickly.
We celebrated with Ethiopian food tonight, my first try at cooking it. One dish was super spicy and the other was a little bland. We then played outside, pretty much a normal evening as a family of 4.
Tomorrow is our Family Day and I am making Ethiopian food for the first time (hope it turns out!). I am looking forward to adding Ethiopian food to our meal rotation, we all love it, plus it is easy to make vegetarian or vegan.
Tonight we made the injera (a spongy bread made from teff that you eat the food with). Injera is actually a couple day process because it has to ferment, mmmm fermented bread, tasty.
I started the process Saturday morning and didn’t have to do anything else until today. A few of the instructions in the cookbook I have were a little iffy, but I kept going.
Matt helped me cook it because he is the better pancake cooker of us.
The injera turned out for the most part. It is definitely the right consistency and texture. It is a little tangier than what we are used to, don’t know if it is the type of teff we used or the fact that the restaurant we frequent also mixes in wheat.
I am sorry I waited so long to finally try. It really wasn’t all that bad. No it isn’t as good as in Ethiopia or at the restaurant, but it is edible and great for our first try.
We are done with the adoption process. As part of the process we were required to have three post placement visits by our social worker. (Technically we still have to send yearly report to Ethiopia, but I am not counting those as part of the process.) We had our last visit last Friday and the report and several pictures will be off to Ethiopia shortly. Post placement visits are easy, they just want to know where the kids are developmentally, what they are eating, what they like to do, and some things they like to play with. They are also a chance for the parents to obtain any resource information they may need, have any questions answered, and hear from someone else that they haven’t totally screwed up their kids (yet). We are happy to be done, but I will admit it does feel weird, when you start the process it feels never ending, and then all of the sudden you are done.
As our Family Day quickly approaches, I thought I would start a series of post celebrating the photos we were so lucky to receive as we waited to travel. Shortly after our referral our agency lifted the ban they had on traveling families taking photos of the children. We were so lucky to have many traveling families take photos for us. Thanks so much to those families, because of them we have photos of much younger babies. In the world of international adoption this is an amazing blessing.
These photos were taken March 31, 2009.
This following photo is honestly the one I treasure the most. It’s not the best photo of them by far, but we are beyond privileged to have it. It was taken January 1, 2009. Yes you read that right, before our referral! Another family visited their orphanage and had captured twins boys. After receiving our referral they tracked us down through our agencies yahoo group. They were so kind to call us and tell us all about our boys’ orphanage. Plus they had managed to capture a shot of the two tiniest babies. 🙂
One year ago today we first laid eyes upon the two most precious baby boys. We knew our lives were changed forever and were beyond excited for our future as a family as four. We have enjoyed this past year so much and are looking for many more wonderful years together.
Here they are as we first saw them:
They both weighed around 6.5 pounds and were only about 18 inches long. The only developmental milestone listed was that they could move their head from side to side.
My how things have changed, they both weigh about 24 pounds now, and last time daddy measured Noah was 30 inches and Ezra 29 inches. Ezra is running and Noah is happily crawling everywhere. We have been beyond blessed to get to know them this past year and are so thankful for the wonder of adoption.
After trying to re-creat their referral pictures, I tried in vain to get some pics of them together.
Now for some video, because they are just so cute.
14 months actually marks a big moment for us. The boys have now officially been with us longer than without. 🙂
I am noticing I have not been taking as many pictures of them, I think it is due to the fact that I can no longer leave the camera in easy to grab places. The boys are really into exploring the house right now and find all sorts of stuff to get into.
They both mastered the art of the snack cup this past month and are now a little obsessed.
Ezra is practically running now and hardly ever crawls anymore. Noah is working on learning to walk, he does great with your hands or a push toy, but isn’t willing to try balancing yet. He can do it though, he took a couple of steps the other day, but then he was mad about it!
Clapping and peek-a-boo are still two of our favorite activities. They also love books. The joy of unloading kitchen cabinets was discovered this last month and my kitchen floor is a disaster each and ever day, but at least they let me cook or wash dishes while they make the mess.
No new teeth this month. I suspect Ez might be working on his molars though, somedays he is really chewing on his finger in that area. He is not a happy teether. If Noah is working on any new teeth, we have no clue, he doesn’t let us know like his brother.
They really love to make noise, when they are awake there is no silence. They make all sorts of noises with their mouths, they bang on everything, and they like to drop things on the tile to see how it sounds.
They do almost everything together, but they are complete opposites. Noah is much more contemplative and Ezra is all action. Ezra thinks everything is hilarious, but with Noah you have to earn your giggles.
We have a ton of fun together and the action almost never stops, and we don’t want it any other way.