Sunday, January 31, 2010

Eat and Sleep

Well, Tegegne. You know how to eat and you know how to sleep. This is very good. Last night Grandpa Ben could not believe the amount of Spin Pizza you were eating. The other day you insisted on falling asleep with pita bread in your hand. We tried to slip it out of your hand, and you woke up and grabbed it back. I think you are starting to understand that we are going to keep feeding you. Your little mouth holds open like a baby bird waiting for it's mothers worm, then we share a bite, or you feed yourself. You are very good at sharing food, as this is a strong tradition in your Ethiopian culture. Feeding one another at mealtime.

And you sleep all night and take a good nap right after lunch. A few days you've had two naps. Yesterday all four grandparents visited all afternoon. That was the most fun we've had yet.

We love you more each day. We are learning that parenthood is exciting, tiring, great, beautiful, rewarding, and requires a good amount of patience. Did I mention that we are tired? We are all learning and have had an eventful couple of weeks together. There is one thing that is always true. It was the second sentence I taught you. God is good. That's it. God is good.

We love you, son.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Family Life Begins

So, life as a family at home has officially begun. I'd say you are enjoying your first few days at home. So far you have cried when Owen came near you, you have pet him, you threw your giraffe at him, and you pet him again. I think we're making progress. You are also having a few melt downs as you learn that mommy and daddy are in charge. You are loving your riding truck and matchbox cars. You slept until 8 this morning, and you wake up quite peacefully. Today you meet Grandpa Ben for the first time. We will have all of the grandparents for lunch. Fun!

Happy Birthday Aunt Katie!
Happy Two Days Ago Birthday Aunt Erica!
And Happy Last Week Birthday Cousin Ethan!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hospital Fun

Well, the nice infectious disease doctor just gave us permission to pack our bags and go home! First they will take all of the thingamagigers off of Tegegne and monitor him playing & walking for a few hours. Then we go home. Thank you God.

They will call us with more test results, and we have a check up on February 8th. They also just informed me that they take more blood before we leave.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More from Ethiopia

The Yellow People


What a wild ride we've had! Thanks for hanging in there and being a good sport. I'm sorry that our first 8 days together have been so dramatic! We are here at Children's Mercy Hospital where you are quite afraid of the yellow people. We are in a special room where all the doctors and nurses come in with masks and yellow outfits. You've had quite a few tests done by these yellow people, and I understand your fear of them. Luckily your pops and I have remained your safe haven. If your fever spikes again, they will do another series of tests. If not, we go home sooner. That probably still means another few days here. Once the test results come back negative for measles, the yellow people will stop being so suited up. And your visitors will not have to be in masks. We get your TB test results tomorrow at 5 pm. We will see more infectious disease doctors tomorrow.

You've been a popular guy here with lots of sweet visitors. The security man is determined to pronounce your name since you are having many guests. Thanks Tracy, Jan, and Grant for being T's first hospital visitors even though they wouldn't let you see him. Thanks to Grama Debby for the errands, the laundry, the doggie sitting, and your time. Thank you 360 via Jessie & G for dinner tonight. Thanks Jessie and G for hanging out with us. Thanks Andie and Bob for breakfast. Thanks for the visit Nana and Gpa Mike. Thanks for stopping by Aunt Donna, Josh, Marie Anne, Michael, and Anne. Thanks to the rest of you for your calls, your prayers, and your support. We really appreciate your kindness.

Right now I'm thinking about how the decor in our hospital room could be improved, along with the layout of the room and the furniture. I'm also thinking about what a sweet little guy you are Tegegne, and how great it is to see you on your daddy's lap. In a few days they will unhook you from all of those cords, okay.

Here comes another yellow person to check on your breathing. Hang in there buddy.

We love you.

Mommy and Ababa

Monday, January 25, 2010


Hi, this is Jessie. I've been updating The Bicycle Basket while M & K have been traveling to get their sweet sweet son, and I wanted to give a quick update on Tegegne's status:

The Jones Family made it back to KC this morning, but Little T is very sick. Kristyn and Michael took him to Urgent Care, where several tests were done, and then they were transported to Children's Mercy Hospital. They are taking very good care of him there, and all of the nurses and doctors are very obviously touched by his sweet little face. He has double pneumonia and possibly some other health issues that need to be resolved. Several very serious things have been ruled out, but they are still unsure of what exactly is causing his symptoms.

We (myself, Gerard and Kristyn's mom) just left Michael, Kristyn & Tegegne at the hospital, and I am hoping that despite the doctors checking in often, that they will be able to catch as much sleep as they can. When we left, T was sleeping on his Dad's lap.
Seeing him in person felt like we were dreaming... he's the most precious little muffin I've ever seen. I can't even tell you how proud I am of those two parents. They are truly handling everything with grace and wisdom, like they've done this all before, and it is very apparent that God's hand is guiding them through it all.

Please pray for clarity for the doctors and nurses, rest for Michael and Kristyn, and most of all for a miracle of healing in little Tegegne.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Well little guy, we didn't make our flight home tonight. Weather is a nasty foe sometimes. We are stuck in Washington D.C. We are extremely tired, dizzy, dehydrated, hungry, confused... etc. It was over 24 strong hours of flying and we are still two flights away. You are sleeping, and we are anxious to get you to a doctor tomorrow. We look forward to your playful spirit again.

We'll be home soon son.

Get yourself ready for the dog....

Saturday, January 23, 2010

coming home

well we are off in a few hours to make our way home. it has been an incredible experience here in Addis. We've been through a lot, and your mom and i have come to really rely on each other and especially the Lord. you were pretty sick here Tegegne, and you are still not perfect yet. you had a hard week with new parents, environments, a dad putting medicine in your belly and a few urgent trips to the doctors. we'll get you home as soon as we can and get you better. this is one of our favorite pictures from when we picked you up to come home with us. your smile is wonderful, and your little laugh is so cheerful.

we'll remember your mother, the region you grew up in and your first week with us for as long as we can.

you're a big guy now Tegegne, we love you

mom, dad

Homeward Bound

Hello from Addis Ababa! We will lay low today in anticipation for our
trek home this evening. There are still 4 other families here, 3 of
them on our 2:35 am flight tonight. T and David will take us to the
airport around midnight. We loved our time in Ethiopia. The people are
so kind. Tegegne's little hand was grabbed and kissed by many
Ethiopians. They would speak to him in Amharic and he would do a quick
nod in understanding.

His fever breaks and then climbs again. His medicine is working, and
he is totally wiped out. I have emailed to get an appointment at the
Children's Mercy International Adoption Clinic Monday morning.

Yesterday I visited KVI in Addis Ababa. It's an orphanage with about
45 children of all ages. I met two girls, ages 9 and 12. The nine year
old wants to be a scientist and the 12 year old wants to be president!
I was overjoyed in their hope for a bright future. The 12 year old has
paperwork being processed to be adopted in Wisconsin! Praise the Lord!
Each orphaned child is eager to find their forever family. We've been
so grateful to have Tegegne and to be the parents that will care for
him through it all.

Kansas City, here we come!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fever, Go Away

Fever, fever, go away.
Come back when we can go to a pediatrician in the USA.
Or don't come back at all, that's fine.
But for now, get away from this baby of mine.

So, Tegegne has a fever that he cannot shake. It's close to 102, but
hasn't gone over that. There is a PA, a fireman, and a bunch of
experienced parents on the trip with us, and they have supplied us
with great advice, medicine, etc. Since we were already in the ER with
him yesterday, we are very ready for his fever to go away so he can
become his adorable self again. Nana, we are keeping him hydrated with
water and a bit of Pedialite. We would appreciate your prayers for
Tegegne's health, especially for his recuperation before we get on our
long journey home tomorrow night.

Michael went to the coffee factory this morning with the group.
Ethiopia is known for it's coffee. We've done several traditional

Tomorrow we may visit the Lion Zoo!
We'll be home soon!

Please Pray for Tegegne

Today was a hard day. Keep praying for Tegegne, his fever rose really high today. Michael took him to the doctor again and they tested him for Malaria and bacteria in his system. The bacteria showed positive and the Malaria is still unknown. We think that Malaria is unlikely, seeing that he has been out of the area for this disease for about 4 months. They gave him another medicine, Bactrim, that is supposed to be better for his situation. All in all he is lethargic and has been sleeping all day. We just want to know that he will be okay.

Please pray for Tegegne.


Tegegne does not have Malaria. This is good news. We will need to take care of his fever, which was just 100.7 (low compared to these last few days), and the bacteria in his stomach, but no Malaria.

Keep praying.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Tegegne fell into a table and split his head open. He was playing with his slinky and then boom! Kristyn grabbed him, as she was on the other side of the table, and we both ran him to a sink to wash his head and apply some pressure with a towel. Kristyn was a little shaken up, as you could imagine. Tegegne cried for sure, but he actually calmed himself down quite quickly. I was holding him pretty tight, and I think he knew he was going to be okay.
We took him to the Emergency Room at the Hospital down the street a tad and they took him in right away. He took one big stitch, and man did he hate it. They didn't numb his wound, so he had to take it like a champ. I held his head and one of our friends here, who is a medic, held his hands. To spare you the details, it was hard for him. He calmed himself down pretty well afterwards again, and the surgeon bandaged him up.
It was a relief to have Tim, our medic friend who is also adopting a sweet girl, Winnie, with his wife Abigail. We also had Laura, who is a P.A., give him some glue for his would as well. He is okay, quite tired from the experience. I am sure it is one of the many "scares" we will have, it is just a little more stressful in a third world country.
P.S. With Mom's incredible help, Tegegne has gone to the big potty twice today, and taken care of all sorts of important business there. So far, today was rather productive...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bath Time

Dear Tegegne,
It has been 3 days since we've been with you and you, Dear Son, are wonderful. Today you talked a lot. You said "Mommy" which rocked, and later in the day you said, "Mommy help." You've said "Daddy", but also "Papa" and "Ababa"... all addressing your dear ol' dad. All of the above work for him. You've repeated after us many times saying, "I love you," and tonight during your bath time I sang, "God is Good," indeed.
You could hardly wait for your bath tonight. Once I turned on the water, you started taking your shirt off to jump right in! Today I learned to wrap you on my back like your mother most likely did. You were so content being tied onto my back. We walked through several shopping markets and the Ethiopians love that I carried you on my back like they do. One man stopped and said, "That is so nice of you."
I am feeling quite strong and a little sore, but it is absolutely worth it. Holding you on the crazy van rides and rocking you to sleep are also great.
Michael and I are learning that parenthood brings with it a whole new level of endurance, patience and love. It is awesome! Did I mention that we love you? Well, we do. A ton. I cannot wait for our family and friends to meet you.
P.S. The big news, besides all of the awesome words you learned, is that we passed the U.S. Embassy appointment and will get your visa Friday morning before the coffee tour. Thank you, God!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

We've Got an Extra Passenger Now

So we went to pick up Tegegne today to take him home. It was nice to finally have a son that is with us, rather than one halfway across the world waiting for us. It was really great to play with him and bring him to our room. He eats like a horse and had about 1 1/2 pieces of pizza and a whole banana. He is on a special malnutrition formula that we were told to give him. His stomach sticks out because of this. It is cute, but at the same time kind of sad. He'll never be hungry again. Thank the Lord, for that.

Bath time was a success and so was play time. We are figuring out how far his development has come. He seems to be rather independent, putting on his shirt and blowing his nose when helped. He understands a lot of what we need from him. He also knows "no" as I found after telling him not to touch something. He cried, sad lip and all. He is testing us, but it is good. He needs to know who is Dad, and who is Mom.

He comes to us and hugs, kisses, and sits on laps. Hopefully this will continue as we attach to each other. Kristyn just rocked him to sleep and gave him his formula. He is so soft. He'll see how he sleeps, he has had a pretty big day. Tomorrow we will go apply for his Visa. This is a pretty important meeting. We are safe, God is continually giving us mercy.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sodo Pictures

Meeting Birth Mom

Dear Tegegne,

Your dad and I just had a very exciting few days visiting your homeland! We both have so many thoughts that we could write a short book, but for now we will tell you some highlights. (I also only have 29 minutes of computer battery, until we find someone with a charger that I'll make the best attempt to summarize something that deserSodo, Ethiopia is beautiful and the journey there was absolutely crazy.

We got to meet your mother, Tegegne. Met with her at the orphanage in Sodo. It was amazing. She is wonderful, beautiful, caring, and dear to our hearts. I recognized her because we had a prior photo of when she stopped by the TH after passing court. We pulled in the orphanage, Michael said..."There she is Kristyn". We stepped out of the van and approached her. I hugged her and she kissed me many times. I showed her my necklace of you and she kissed it several times. Then she kissed Michael and hugged him. We will remember those embraces forever.

We then had a meal together and talked with her via two translators. English to Amharic to Weyletian and back again. She asked us some questions, then we asked her a few. We learned that you are her only child, as is she. We learned that your grandparents names are Dana Kofu and Almaz Turro. We learned that your two best friends in your village were Atakiliete (a girl) and Ashenafi (a boy). We learned that you live about 3 hours outside of Sodo walking. You and your mother lived with her fathers sister, your Aunt.

Your mother is twenty years old and smaller than me. We learned that your mother makes injera and sells it in the nearest market. When we asked what a typical day was like for the two of you she said it was too hard to describe. We learned that you have had malaria twice, but she took you to get medicine. We learned that life was really hard for the two of you and that your mother gave you her all. She said that she gives us full authority to be your parents and has an ambitious heart. I saw the peace in her eyes. She asked that you become an educated man. She was happy that your dad is a teacher. We told her that we will love you with all that we have. She believes that. This was not translated, but I told her that I would give you a kiss on her behalf every single day. And that I will gladly do. She has a photo album with pictures of you. And I think she will kiss your picture every day.

I only cried when we read her the letter we wrote to her, so Michael finished the letter. And I'm crying now. And I only have 4 minutes. Our hearts are at peace, and we are ready to meet you tomorrow. Holy cow.

Mom and Dad

1 day

Friday, January 15, 2010

We're Here.

We made it to Ethiopia! It was a full day of flying, as we woke up at 3:30 in Versailles to take a taxi to the Airport. Just walking outside the airport in Ethiopia was an experience. The smells are so different, and as we passed literal shacks on the road, we were wide-eyed. It was a lot to take in already.

We meet in the lobby at 7am to head to Sodo to meet Tegegne's family. We are not sure what anything will look like while we are there, but have heard that the countryside is beautiful. Lots of documenting and asking important questions.

Good night for now.

3 days

Thursday, January 14, 2010

4 days

The Babymoon

Hello Tegegne! How are you? Do you know that we will be there in a four days? That is so soon.

A note to you about our babymoon. You see, your father and I decided to spend our last days before parenthood in one of the more lovely cities a person can find. Paris. We find ourselves sitting on the subway, half full of travelers headed from Versailles to Paris. We sit across from one another. Your dad is enjoying a book, "Into the Wild" by John Krakauer while I listen to Bon Iver and read Julia Childs, "My Life in Paris." Our feet touch and I smile because we are in love. Four years of marriage, on our last trip as two for awhile. We are so happy. Life is good.
Paris. I love this place. Crepes with nutella and bananas. Breads, wine, people dressed with style. The doors. There are not two doors alike in this city. I could photograph every single one. Design is everywhere. Yesterday we toured a Le Corbusier home. Today we will visit Musée d'Orsay and Centre Pompidou. The Pompidou has a cafe designed by Phillipe Starck on it's highest level. He knows design. I could stop on any street and find a photographic moment in my view. And the friendships we have here are wonderful. Just enjoyed another lovely meal with Madam Gerardin and her friend. And last night we enjoyed the raclette (yum!) at Anne's flat just off a very lively street in Paris.

We bought you three books that you and your dad will enjoy! One of them titled, "Madame Trompette veut maigrir" (Miss Elephant Wants to Lose Weight). It's a funny book.

The bag with my coat arrived last night! I have been borrowing a brown coat from Madame Gerardin. Our last bag should arrive today! We will catch a taxi at 4 am to make our way to Charles de Gaul for our 6:30 am flight to ET tomorrow. It is a forcasted 75 and sunny in Ethiopia!

Signing off from Paris.

Kristyn + Michael

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

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