Wednesday, June 5, 2013

May Got Away

We had a busy May, and therefore, a neglected blog, but here's a quick recap of some of our memorable moments!

The boys and I drove out to see Aunt Erica, and then we visited the Toledo Zoo. Casey and her kiddos joined us, and we had a great day together!

We saw a lot more than birds, but aren't these gorgeous? What an awesome Creator God we serve!

We attended our niece Rachel's testimony and baptism.

On the same day as the baptism, my youngest brother Seth, our niece Jana, and her new husband Tim all graduated with Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from Ohio Northern University. Seth was chosen to give the address at the school of Pharmacy's hooding ceremony, so we went to Ada to watch that, and then drove madly back to Leo for the baptism. It was a lot of driving for one day, but it was worth it to be able to support so many family members on important occasions! Seth did a great job on his speech, which you can see here.


As part of our virtual academy enrollment, we are required to attend a minimum of 4 "face-to-face" events each year, where we can interact with OHVA staff. There is a huge variety of events scheduled throughout the year, so there is always plenty to choose from.  As part of our last week of school, Yikealo got to take a fun field trip to Bricks4Kidz in Medina, where he learned to make an Empire State building and a very cool paper crinkler. This kiddo LOVES his Legos, and spends lots of time building various things while listening to Adventures in Odyssey.

Sintayehu rediscovered a Christmas present from last year, and Duckie began to accompany us nearly everywhere. Sintay usually insisted on pushing Duckie in the stroller, and we had an absolute crisis one day when S realized that he had left his beloved at the store where I work. I had a good mom moment and drove back 10 minutes through traffic to get the little piece of fluff and plastic.....can't have my moody, often grieving kiddo thinking that we'll leave one of our own behind.

On May 17th, we finished up school for the year, so Yikealo is officially a second grader! We celebrated the end of our last lesson by having our first watermelon of the year out on the lawn. Yay for summer!

On that same night, Yikealo finished up his soccer schedule for the year. This was his first time participating in a sport, and he really loved it, in spite of the cold temperatures for several of his practices/games.

Y with his coaches.

We visited some fellow adoptive families in Columbus. First, the B family, whose sweet daughter Kewogo was at HH with Sintayehu. We fell in love with "Giggles" (as she was nicknamed) when we traveled for court last year, and it was so great to see her again and meet more of her family. K's mama had just returned a few days before from Gambella, the region where both Sintay and K are from, and it was fascinating to hear her perspective of the area.

3 little Ethiopians!
Mrs. B was so very thoughtful, and had brought each of our boys a beaded necklace and bracelet from Gambella. I love it that Sintay has something tangible from his region now. She also gave us an amazing gift in the form of the first photo taken of Sintayehu. She had visited the orphanage where he lived for a few months before going to HH, and as she was going to be meeting us, they allowed her to bring us his original intake photo. I can't really explain what it feels like to get another tiny piece of your child's life back.

That afternoon, we met the R family at Lalibela Ethiopian restaurant. We stayed with this AWESOME family a couple of years ago, and it was so great to see them again. Their son Samuel is from the same region as Yikealo, and they just missed being at HH together by a couple of weeks. Samuel and Y hit it off right away again, and seemed to have a great time together. We definitely need to make sure that we don't have quite so long in between visits, but I will say that we had to work several months in advance just to find time to meet for lunch! It is ridiculous how chaotic life can be at times.

Posing with the traditional tops to the mesob tables as hats...we're truly mixing cultures here....a little Vietnamese/Mexican thing going on with the Ethiopian roots!

On the 24th, we headed down to the North Carolina coast where we spent a glorious week on the beach with Seth and Casey's family....but that will have to be another post! We returned home on June 1st, turned the calendar page, and picked life back up. Right now, without our school schedule, that means extra snuggling, lots of blanket tents and stories, coloring pictures, riding our bikes and playing board games. I am determined to spend as much quality time as possible with my little boys this summer!

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