Friday, July 29, 2011

Our Daughter

Here is an update on our daughter, Hadassah Joy Belaynesh Erb. When we picked up our little girl at the orphanage she was sick with pneumonia, scared, glazed over, never smiled and we were SO worried about her. Within a few days we saw a COMPLETELY different baby. Hadassah is the sweetest baby ever and all girl:)! She can seem very shy and timid, but don't let her fool you. Here are some things we've noticed about our Haddie girl...she is full of life, curious, giggly, super cuddly, makes funny faces, loves to steal her brother's toys (only the ones he's trying to play with), super strong (she's starting to pull herself up into a standing position and climb the stairs!), is a momma's girl, loves peek-a-boo, does not like to be left alone, and she's very determined. If I go to a different room I can count on Hadassah to be tugging on my pant legs in a few minutes. 
She's a great eater and has not turned any food down yet. She's been a really good sleeper, IF she knows we're close by. She's cut 1 tooth since she's been home and is working on a few more. She has a beautiful peaceful spirit about her. You'll often find her snuggled in mommy's arms, thumb in her mouth with those big brown eyes just staring at you. People definitely comment on her eyes the most. Although my neice, Hannah, is taken with Haddie's curls:). We're so blessed to have this precious child as our daughter. Here are some pics of our little girl...
Here is one of Haddie's funny faces. This girl cracks herself up!
She is on the move and is getting faster! She paused mid-crawl to give us a nice smile.
I'm pretty sure that Lego is headed for her mouth...everything goes in her mouth.
Mmmmm....sweet potatoes. A little unsure at first, but she downed them then.
Evidence, everything in the mouth.
She is such a messy eater, but a happy eater:)
This was at the airport. She was so overwhelmed, poor girl.
This was the first time we put Haddie in her crib...she LOVED it! It brought tears to my eyes, she knew she was home. The joy I felt in finally seeing my daughter in her crib was so sweet.

Unlike her brother, Hadassah is not a huge fan of the water. This is pretty much how she spent her time in the pool.

Priceless look. I think someone's had enough of swimming.
She loves going out in her stroller. It's sometimes challenging to keep her awake in it!
Her smile is just so sweet:).

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Our Son

Here are some pictures and an update on our son, Malachi Justice Teshale Erb, who is 3.5 years old. He's been such a trooper during this adjustment time and we are loving getting to watch his personality blossom more and more! He has about 25-30 words that he's saying regularly now such as mommy, daddy, up, all done, more, no, yes, I want, out, home, drink, eat, help, shoes, PJ's, outside, diaper, beep-beep, baby, stinky, and many more. Each day he adds to his vocabulary and he's constantly repeating what we say. Communication with a toddler who speaks another language has definitely been difficult and requires much grace and patience which we are totally dependent on God for...and He's faithful to give it. Malachi's a great helper, loves cars (or really anything with wheels), is becoming more affectionate each day with us, loves his sister, thinks brushing his teeth is super cool, and smiles from ear to ear when we hold hands to say our meal time prayer. He's truly a delight to have as our son and we're so grateful for his life! We of course have our frustrating moments, primarily because of lack of communication skills, but we're praying for God's grace to cover each moment of every day.

Malachi LOVES watering the plants with us in the morning and he's actually getting pretty good at it!
Watching the "beep-beeps" drive by with daddy is definitely a favorite first thing in the morning.
He's SLOWLY growing to tolerate (at this point) our golden retriever, Delphi. The first meeting was filled with many tears and screams as he tried to crawl to the top of daddy's head. But, he's now actually petting her...BIG step!
Looking out the door at more "beep-beeps".
My mom let us borrow her exer-saucer for Hadassah. It turns out Malachi uses it more than she does, haha.
In these next few pictures you'll see that our son is totally a fish! We're so glad he came home during the summer months...water makes this boy happy:).

 Any car/truck that lights up and makes noise is at the top of Malachi's list to play with lately.
While Malachi so desperately wanted to have this popsicle.....
He made it about that far down before he gave up and said, "mommy, trash"...too funny. I think the mixture of sweet and cold was a bit much for him. 
The kids LOVE their stroller. We've been going out for walks in the evening to unwind and we're so grateful both kids are able to relax in our arms a little break.
While these pictures show the highlights of the past week and a half, there have of course been some hard times too. Not trying to be a downer, just being real. We're choosing (and it is a choice for us) to celebrate each moment, high or's all a part of this journey of being the family God's called us to be. For anyone out there praying for us; please continue to pray for this HUGE adjustment for all of us. God's been so faithful and we feel ourselves settling more every day, but it's still definitely overwhelming at times.

We're so SO thankful to have family chipping in to help out by mowing the lawn, providing meals, encouraging us, doing laundry, going grocery shopping, and much more. I said to a good friend the other day, I feel like I need a constant cheerleader by my side saying, you can do it! And really, in many ways, we have that. Not just through our family, but also in the Holy Spirit. His encouragement in our hearts has been so sweet. It's just been awesome (not easy, but awesome) to watch God's strength manifest through our GREAT weakness.

More on our Hadassah girl in the next post:).

Monday, July 11, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Here's a quick update if anyone out there still checks our blog:)!

We finally arrived home with Malachi and Hadassah on July 4th! Stepping off that plane and falling into our support system of family and friends was nothing short of miraculous. I don't know how people do this without family around them!!! We certainly never could. Since then, we've been transitioning, learning, asking for help, failing, succeeding, growing, laughing, crying, sleeping, not sleeping, did I mention transitioning ;) and just taking it moment by moment. I don't think anything can prepare you for the myriad of emotions and ups and downs you go through during this part of an adoption. Don't get me wrong, it's absolutely a.w.e.s.o.m.e, but also extremely overwhelming and scarey at times! God's been so gracious and comforting in the midst of each high and low and is showing us more of His heart in this new season. Each day we find our footing a little more. God keeps bringing us back to just being a family, His family, and enjoying our son and daughter who are absolutely amazing. They are such gifts and we just can't believe they're home, in our arms, forever and ever. God's mercies are truly new every morning...

More details/pictures coming soon on Malachi and Hadassah very soon, so check back!