Saturday, March 31, 2012

Our boys are going to be big brothers!!!

Baby Blessing Number 3!!!

After 4 years of infertility God is blessing us with a bio baby! Coming this fall!!! We are so excited and already started talking to Noah (3yrs) about it (mostly because I have caught him staring at my growing little bump). Throughout the day he will just come right up to my belly, point to it and say "baby?".
We feel so blessed beyond words to have our boys home and now thrilled to be bringing another baby into our home! 0-3 kids in less than a year! Whoo hoo!!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Our boys are finally home!!!

We are proud to present our sons Noah Bahu Charvet 
& Colton Ubang Charvet!!!
Home March 11th 2012 

 Noah is 3 years old. He loves playing with his toy "makinas" (car in Amharic) and also likes to try on his new clothes all the time! He has a very sweet spirit and mostly reserved quiet personality. He enjoys all kinds of food (really not a picky eater) but he LOVES anything spicy and with meat!
Colton is 10 months and is the life of the party! He likes to laugh, squeal, and snuggle with mom and dad! He is starting to crawl but really just prefers to be held or put in his carrier! He LOVES drinking his bottles (and you can tell ;-) and has not been introduced to solids yet but we will slowly work into other foods or we will go broke buying formula for this guy! 

I am so sorry I have not been better at keeping this blog updated lately. This post has taken me several days because I have had to write it in segments in between babies wanting to be held and lack of good internet connection in Ethiopia well, it's just taking a while.

Here is our "Gotcha" story in a nutshell...

February 29th was our boy's birth mother interview and we were hoping to hear that our case was cleared and we could go get the boys. However, in our disappointment we heard nothing on the 29th. The next morning at 4am we did receive an email from the embassy. WE WERE CLEARED! OUR SONS ARE FINALLY COMING HOME!

The next turn of events happened very quickly. We received an embassy appointment in Ethiopia for March 8th which meant we needed to leave that weekend! So, we got cleared on a Thursday and we were on a plane to bring home our boys on Saturday. We were so very excited however we really didn't have much time to let it all sink in. 

I happened to have signed up for an extra shift at the hospital on Thursday and Andrew was working at the fire station. On our breaks at work we were frantically, and I mean frantically contact our travel agent, banks, adoption pediatrician and family trying to sort out last minute details. Since I ALSO had to work Friday we literally had Saturday morning before we left to pack for the four of us and run last minute errands. I had been preparing for this moment for months and months and thought that I was so organized. HA! Packing for a toddler and infant of children you are new parents to definitely had its challenges to say the least. 

How much formula should we take for a week? How many diapers does an average 10 month old go through in a day? After researching the answers to my questions I realized that there are so many opinions out there that contradicted each other..."just bring double of everything" I thought.

After an overnight lay over in Dubai we finally arrived in Addis at 11:30 am on Monday (March 5th).
We were totally gross and exhausted but we were really hoping to go right away to pick up our sons. We arrived at the hotel and called Hannah's Hope. They said they would come pick us up in an hour! ONE HOUR!!! After over 2 1/2 months since we last held them they would be in our arms again and forever this time! 

We instantly shifted into mom and dad mode and started preparing our hotel room to accommodate our boys and their needs for the week that we would be staying in the hotel with them. We pulled an extra mattress into the master room for Noah to sleep on and just planned on having Colton sleep in between us every night.

The drive back to Hannah's Hope seemed so surreal at the time. I remember that I couldn't really think of anything other than how desperately I wanted to hold our sons again. It had been over 10 weeks since we last saw them. By the time our 5 minute ride to Hannah's Hope was over we would be instant, ready-made parents to a wonderfully perfect 3 year old and 10 month old. Our life was about to drastically change forever and we couldn't be happier!

We pulled into Hannah's Hope through that famous black gate and were escorted into Almaz's office (the director of HH) for a bit of logistical info but don't ask me what she said. I was so distracted and just wanted to go find our sons.

Almaz and some of the special mother's took us to find Bahu first. He had just got done with his nap and was washing up with a group of other children. One of the special mothers told him that his daddy and mama were standing in the hall way and he came out right away. Both Andrew and I knelt down and embraced our sweet son. It was such a sweet moment to hold him again and know that he is now ours! ALL OURS!!! 

We then went to find our little Colton Ubang. He was being snuggled by one of the special mother's in the baby room when we walked in. I tried to hold back the tears as I took him in my arms. Oh how we missed these boys and couldn't wait for this moment. Colton immediately laid his head on my chest as to say "finally you have come back for me".

We took the boys around Hannah's Hope so they could say goodbye to their special mothers and then just moments later our driver was ushering us into the van to head back to the hotel. Our sons left their home for the past 5 months with nothing but the clothes on their backs but seemingly happy hearts!

The rest of our time in Ethiopia with the boys is really a big blur to be honest! The week we spent at the hotel was full of new experiences, joys, hardships, ear infections, sicknesses, sleepless days and sleepless nights, laughter, tears, and most of all LOVE! 

The boys are really doing exceptionally well transitioning to their new environments and to new parents. We are daily amazed by both our son's resilience and ability to flex with different situations. They have been through so much in their short lives and have endured more hardships and emotional pain than most of us have gone through in our adult lives. 

We left Ethiopia with our sons on March 10th and embarked on our over 35 hour journey home to Seattle! ( dreaded airplane story to follow shortly) 

We want to thank our Lord for the gift of our precious sons. We have been so blessed beyond blessed to have these little guys home with us forever! Thank you to all our friends and family for all your amazing support, prayers and love during this journey! We are excited for the boys to meet you all see that it really did take a village and the body of Christ to help us pray these boys home. We love you all!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Heard from the Embassy and finally moving forward!

Wow, I just realized how long it has been since I have blogged. To be honest, there really hasn't been much to report up until now!

It has been 57 days since we left Ethiopia after passing court.  57 days since we had to say goodbye to our sweet boys and not know when we would be back for them. By far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.

Our boy's adoption file was submitted to the Embassy a long 4 weeks after we passed court because the staff at Hannah's Hope was trying to gather as much evidence and information about the boy's as they could in order to hopefully lessen the amount of additional information the embassy may request as they look through and investigate the boy's case.

For 4 additional weeks we heard nothing from the embassy besides that they had recieved our file (that was encouraging, at least it wasn't lost) and that they needed us to update some more paperwork. We quickly did what they asked but did not get a response back.

Finally, last Wednesday night my hubby and I just had this strong urge to email the embassy ourselves. Now, a little background is that our adoption agency generally does not recommend that families email the embassy as they have apparently had negative responses and increased wait times when adoptive families have emailed them in the past. We did not ask our case manager's permission, we just did it! It was very short and polite. I simply listed our boy's case numbers and respectfully asked for the current status of their case.

We sent that email and then went to bed knowing that the embassy office in Addis would be opening shortly.

I couldn't sleep. But I prayed.

I was tossing and turning, dreaming about the embassy emailing us with a response to our request.

At one point I woke up in the early morning and realized I had been sleeping with my phone in my hand, just ready to receive an email!

At about 5:30am I awoke, checked my email again and was feeling so deflated as there was nothing from the embassy and it was now 4:30pm and the office was about the close.

I started getting ready for work and then came out to the living room where my hubby was sitting on the couch. He was looking at his email. I asked him what he was looking at and he calmly (in a typical Andrew way)said he was reading an email from the embassy that just came through.

What? THE EMBASSY? Here I couldn't sleep all night due to constantly checking my inbox and he just wakes up and checks it for the first time and its there?

Well, I was too excited for words! I was SOOOOO glad that we took a chance and emailed them when we did. When it really comes down to it, these boy's are legally ours and we have to do what we feel is in the best for them and that is to GET THEM HOME!!!

The email from the embassy was requesting a birth mother interview and is now scheduled for the 29th of this month. This is a very good (and usually last step) before the boy's are cleared to home home.

So when do we get to actually go and get our little ones? We still do not have an official travel date but our case manager said that her best guess would be within a few days of the birth mother interview!

Most recently cases have been cleared with a day of the birth parent interview so we are just praying that is the case for us!

We are specifically praying that God will allow everything to go smoothly and that we will be en route to Ethiopia the first week in March to bring home our boys!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A very special shower for our very special boys!

Just wanted to take a moment to share about the wonderful shower that our church hosted for us last Sunday! What a huge blessing to us and our boys! Despite the snowy weather we actually had a wonderful turn out of wonderful loving people!

A huge thanks to all who braved the snow and attended, helped set-up, tear down, decorate, and provided wonderful words of adoption & parenthood wisdom. Mostly thank you for your continued prayers, support and love throughout this journey! 

Also, we felt so honored and privileged to share pictures of our sons during the slide show! We are very proud parents and think that they are just the cutest kids in the world! And no we are not biased at all. Well, maybe a little. Okay we are. :-)

Here is a sampling of pictures taken during the day! The theme was fire truck....go figure! :-)


  Noah and Colton's Fireman cake!

My creative mom made this wonderful fire truck themed diaper/formula cake! It was so awesome!

      Tiny Converse for Colton (Just like his Dad & Uncle Chasen wears)

 A fireman/duck faucet protector for bath time!

Andrew's first time attending a baby shower EVER! And he still kissed me at the end! ;-)