Tuesday, October 30, 2007

AFAA Families Video - UPDATED

Here's an updated version of the video. It's the final version that we have sent to the children.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

AFAA Family DVD

This is the DVD that we're sending to the AFAA house so the children can see photos of their families. We're sending this...since there has been such a delay in processing these children and nobody has been able to visit in quite some time. We know they'll love it! Enjoy.

Sunday Morning


Friday, October 26, 2007

Hodge Podge

SWIMMING AT THE YMCA






We finished our last swimming lesson. Abegail's last lesson didn't go cause there was a pipe leaking, (so glad that happens to other people too).
We are going right into the next session, both Abegail and Eman can swim on their own!

DOING DISHES


Eman's new passion is to do the dishes. He stands at the sink and washes every thing he can find. Annie has gotten in on the action too!

MOHAWK FOR MINUTES
Scott gave E-man a Mohawk because he wanted to look like his buddy Junior. Then we remembered he had school photos the next day so we went back to his shaved head.

ANNIE

Our three month report is in the mail. Our social worker said some very wise things, she said you never know your breaking point until you've past it and when adopting your primary concern should be the children already in the home. With that said I can't say enough good things about Annie and her adjustment, definitely the best of any of us. She is so accepting and compassionate in general. The other day we talked about going to the park when E-man and Abegail came home. We picked E-man up from school and she asked if he would share the goldfish he had gotten. He said no. She didn't hesitate and said, "Manuel, you want to go to the park with us?" Another day, her friend Jane was over and trying to put on her socks and she said, "you want my mom to help you?" Annie has never shown resentment or dislike toward either her brother or sister. If anything she seems generally pleased to have them around and always wants to know where they are. I am amazed.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Abegail School Photos




These aren't the formal photos, but photos taken in class and at recess. Abegail is having a great time at school thanks to an awesome teacher, Mr. Suzuki, with a lot of energy! They are holding a 48 in their class picture because that is their room number.

Mommy's Friend Marlene







My good friend Marlene came to visit us on Sunday. Marlene and I met 15 years ago when us two East Coasters headed west and waitressed on a Dude Ranch in Peublo, CO. The only difference, I was a Yankee and she was a southerner and we never really could hold a conversation without saying, "what?" I haven't seen Marlene since she was a bridesmaid in my wedding six years ago so needless to say we were both excited for our reunion and had a wonderful time, catching up like we had never been a part. You might notice my daughter's name is Annie Marlene and while it is a combination of both her Grandmother's names (Marian and Charlene), I like to think it also comes from Marlene. We took the kids to Underwater Adventures at Mall of America, the first time for them to the big Mall and then to Lego Land. A great day and time was had by all. Abegail can't wait to go back and ride the rides at the Mall!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Bedtime

Abegail had a tooth pulled yesterday...so we told her to put her tooth under her pillow and the tooth fairy might come to take it and leave her some money. She was SUPER curious about the tooth fairy all day. Question after question..."Daddy, what does the tooth fairy look like? What will happen if I wake up while she's there?" Then after about the 15th question, I realized it was probably a bad idea to even mention the tooth fairy.

By 8:30 last night, EVERY child was scared to go to bed because they were terrified of the tooth fairy creeping into their room while they were sleeping!! Abegail put the tooth under her pillow and then refused to sleep in her bed. She wanted to sleep on the floor...and then so did the other two. An hour and a half later, I walked into their room and A & E were asleep in E-Man's bed with the blanket pulled up over their heads. And Annie had sneaked away to HER bed.

I asked Abegail this morning if the tooth fairy came. She said, "No. I was too scared and I slept in E-Man's bed with the blanket over my head." I told her she better check anyway. "DADDY!! SHE COME!!!!" The look on her face was worth it.

Sue found this on YouTube this morning and I'll be damned if this isn't MY NEW ANTHEM!!!

Emmanuel Johnson's Story


Sue's story on Emmanuel Johnson aired yesterday morning on WCCO.

Here is a link to the story.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Big Pumpin Weekend






We had a great weekend going to the pumpkin patch and then carving the pumpkins (ok Daddy did most of the work). The highlight of the weekend was the corn maze where we thought we'd never find our way out. Abegail told Scott, I think we should call 9-1-1. To which Scott said and say what? We're lost in a corn maze???

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fire IN THE HOUSE!




The firsts never get old! It's cold enough for a fire in the fireplace which was quite alarming to both A&E! Abegail asked if it was for cooking and Emmanuel didn't like it until Scott explained it to him.
Abegail has finally gotten into TV but has to stand right up to it to make sure she doesn't miss anything, kind of reminds me of how Grandpa Chuck watches baseball!
Quotes from Emmanuel:
Set the scene: Scott is at his wits end at dinner, I tell him c'mon Scott, "we're living the dream."
Later that evening Emmanuel comes up to me,
"Mommy, you living the dream?"

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Emmanuel Jr. doing well












We were lucky enough to have dinner with Emmanuel Johnson Jr. and his Mom, Lorpu, last night. Also his new Auntie Georgette Gray and her son Elvinson. Georgette made it possible for Emmanuel to come here for surgery.
Emmanuel is doing so well. You would never know he had been sick. He crawls around and is on the verge of walking. He still has his colostomy bag which will be taken down in two weeks. After six weeks without complications Emmanuel (who they also call E-man) and his mom can return home to Liberia. Right now they are looking at January. Here are some photos, I couldn't stop shooting because he is so cute!!!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Three Months Already??

Yup, that's right as of Wednesday we will have been home with the kids exactly three months. In some ways it's flown, in some ways it seems like three years and I can't remember life before. We had our three month meeting with our social worker today, who I love. It may be partly due to the fact that she said we are exactly where we should be at three months and she thought things were going well. Of course we put the fear of God into them before she came so they were on their best behavior, I was having flashback to our Embassy interview when they didn't flinch. And Annie napped the whole time. But it was fun to tell her some of our experiences and her to nod as if she's heard it a million times! She even said she drove without a car seat with her son (adopted from Korea) because he screamed so much. Whew!!

Our social worker also told us some interesting things about adoption. We all know how adopting girls from China is popular, because the country allows every couple to have only one child and most want boys. Apparently this has already caused a shortage of girls for the boys to marry. Oops we forgot about that part. China has made their adoption standards stricter because they want to shorten the 2 year waiting list.

As for Korea, they have upped the age children can be adopted at to give Koreans first dibs at the younger children.

QUOTES FROM EMMANUEL:
Mommy: Annie, do you like your name Annie?
Annie: Yeah!!
Mommy: Emmanuel, do you like your name Emmanuel?
E-man: Yes!! Mommy, do you like your name, Mommy???
Mommy: I love it!

PLAYING HOUSE
Annie and E-man were playing house the other day:
E-man: Annie you have to go to bed, I have to go to work. (I wonder who that sounds like)

Monday, October 1, 2007

WCCO: Sue's Adoption Story

Last night at 10, the story we shot while in Liberia aired on WCCO. Sue captured what's going on in Liberia today...as well as our adoption story.

We both think the most poignant part of the story is where she says "Alexander Davis came to see what his 4 and 7 year old children's life would be like. He's my children's birth father." It catches you sleeping...you say to yourself, "WHAT?" As Sue says in her story, most of these children are being adopted from families who are still alive. We didn't expect that when we began this process a few years ago...and we're still getting used to the fact that these two beautiful children still have family (whom they know and love) back in Liberia. It's a bit unsettling...until you look at the reality this IS Liberia today.

Eighty-five percent unemployment. Very limited infrastructure. A government that is still trying to establish itself...and struggles with instability while fighting accusations of fraud each day. How different is it really, than say a white, middle class 18 year old woman giving up her child to adoption because she is unable to provide the care and future that a child deserves?

We do think of A & E's parents often. We feel close to them although there is a good chance we may never see them again. They did the right thing for their children. As difficult as it is for us to imagine letting 2 of our children go...we do not live in Liberia either. We appreciate their difficult decision and hope we...and A & E...can make them proud.