30 July 2010

All of these...

to get this:


And why not spend the better part of a half an hour photographing your completely edible baby girl?

Speaking of the lovely miss Hazel, she's at a funny stage right now. She's learning to grab things that she wants and it's actually becoming sort of handy. Except that she's sort of like one of those crane games in the vestibules of family restaurants. You can lower her down to fetch a fallen object, but about 90% of the time, the object will slip through her grasp at the last moment. It's sort of endearing. And she's always eager to try again!

On the Ethiopian adoption front: It's been a real blessing to share Caleb & Rebecca's journey with y'all this week. Your comments have been encouraging and I'm so grateful for your prayers. God is good all the time!

They're currently about 6 hours into their 22 hour flight from Addis to Washington D.C. They'll stop in Rome for fuel but won't disembark. Man, 22 hours on a plane with two sick, scared, sleepy boys. Please pray for them tonight if you're up nursing a baby or when you wake up in the morning. They'll land in D.C. at around noon tomorrow. And the cool part, is that as soon as that plane touches American soil, those boys will officially be American citizens!

There will be a flight from D.C. to Chicago and from Chicago to Nashville. And tomorrow evening, a crowd of our friends will gather, and we will meet our nephews, and Beatrice will greet her parents and meet her brothers. Oh, what a big moment in their little lives!

On the bloggy front: I have big fun plans for next week! Since so many of you have asked at various times and in various ways about my favorite Etsy shoppes for this and that, I've assembled a list of some of my faves. Beginning this Sunday, I'll be sharing one favorite shop a day for about twelve days (I'll have to go back and count...). It's going to be fun because there will be discounts and giveaways and all sorts of festive fun! I hope you'll enjoy my list!

Now, time to cuddle my sweet niece on our last night of our two-week sleepover. I wonder how much any of us will be able to sleep tonight. Tomorrow is a big day!

29 July 2010

"A friend took this picture and sent it to us, we have much nicer ones. But this will still give you a nice idea of what a lovely time we are having."
{Moses is on the left, Augustine is on the right, and that's Papa in the middle)

Another note from yesterday:
Now that we have met these sweet boys we can't leave them here. Not because it's horrible here, but because they are our boys.

I'm planning on taking Augustine with me to go visit the foster home to see some other kids with another adoptive mom. She gets to go meet her son for the first time. There's so much new-family excitement here.

We love the other adoptive families here. They have been so loving and helpful. Everyone else's kids are pretty healthy. Yesterday we were all in the CWA van and Mamush couldn't stop throwing up. We had to turn around and go back home, and they went on the trip with out us. When they came back they brought some of the right medicines and some reinforcements for our sick boys. We are so grateful to be surrounded by the body of Christ.

We are enjoying a wonderful community of believers here, Americans and Ethiopians.

And today, 10 a.m. Ethiopian time

Your emails are my favorite! Thanks for being so helpful.

How is Beatrice? I really miss her. Last night I was officially away from her for too long. I need to get home.

I think we can wait and have a doctors appointment on Sunday or Monday. I don't know what they need but it would sure be good to have them checked out. They are getting better under the careful nursing of their mama and papa. Can I get an appointment at the Vanderbilt international adoption clinic? If you're feeling energetic and can get us in with the adoption clinic at Vanderbilt on Sunday or Monday that would be great. But I can also look into it when I get home if you are too busy caring for three kinder.

All four of us are showered and dressed for our embassy appointment today. The boys are napping and they are so cute when they sleep. They both still sleep with their bottoms in the air. Moses is a collector. Sometimes he puts things under his chin so he can pick up more stuff.

Augustine cried hard last night. Sometimes they just cry like they are freaking out. It's really hard. I'm ready to get everybody home where we can drink the water, do dishes and do laundry.

I miss Bea.

We have our embassy appointment at 1pm today and tonight our hostess is making traditional Ethiopian food for us. Tomorrow we get up, pack our bags, (Our room is tiny and a total wreak. Awful.) and then we leave for the airport around 5:30pm. Our flight leaves at 10:30pm, but we are going to be the first people in line because you have to request the bassinet seats in the bulkhead at the check in desk and the bassinets are first come, first served. Caleb and I are very hardcore about having bassinets on the flight home.

So, just one more night here!

Love you,

28 July 2010

... are best friends


... are great playmates


... have wild imaginations


... are keeping me mighty busy!

Three wonderful notes from Ethiopia this morning:

10:30 a.m., local time
Good morning,

The boys both had some strong cough medicine last night and both slept better. Augustine is still waking up choking and coughing (which is awful!), but it was certainly better than last night. There is an American children's occupational therapist (who knew that was a thing) staying with us at the guest house and she is helping me to observe some of the funny things the boys are doing and try to help them.

Last night we got to hear Moses chat for the first time. He woke up in the middle of the night and just talked and talked. I do love to sleep, but it was dear to hear his words.

I just learned this morning that Marsha Blackburn's office has so far been unable to even get in contact with the Embassy here in Addis. Sobering. I have emailed every contact I have at the embassy this morning. I wish we had gone to the Embassy with the group this morning, but we just didn't have any idea. Hopefully Sheka did us right and turned in the documents for Mamush and requested an early appointment for him.


12:30 p.m., local time

Dear Ms. Faires,

We just completed the expedited screening of Mamush’s case and everything is in order. We will be happy to process visa interviews for both of your children tomorrow.



Adoption Unit

U.S. Embassy

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

2:30 p.m., local time

It's done! Everything is going to work out! We are going to bring them both home! I just got an email from the embassy and they are planning on doing visas for both boys tomorrow!

Sheka, our Ethiopian CWA liason, wanted to see the email to be sure it was true. When she saw it, her eyes got big and she looked at me with a look of surprised congratulation. I am so grateful for the prayers of God's people.

Sheka also told us the CWAE would pay for the embassy fees and we could reimburse CWA when we get back home. This is such a relief because getting cash here (USD or birr) was going to be pretty complicated, expensive and time-consuming.

Now there is nothing for us to do but wait and snuggle these sweet boys.

Thank you, Jesus!

Also, many of you have asked how old the boys are. Moses (named for the African Saint and for the Biblical Moses who was also adopted) is 16 months old and Augustine (named for Saint Augustine of Hippo) is 14 months old.

27 July 2010

So, Scout's been sick. Real sick. I posted about it here, but if you don't remember, we took her to the vet a couple of weeks ago with a limp and left with a good chance that she may have cancer.

She's had x-rays of her paw and chest, needle aspirations and, most recently, several biopsies on various parts of her little doggy body. She's got stitches all up her wrist and more than twenty staples down her side.

Well, make that more like 17 after today. Yes, I know it's gross, but she can't bear to be still long enough for things to heal and she totally broke open the staples this afternoon.

I'm not telling you this to gross you out. Okay, maybe a little. I'm telling you this because it's a part of the story, so stick with me. It's about to get good!

Ry ran her to the vet so they could close the gaping hole in her side. (It really was a hole - I looked, and regretted it.) When they got there, the office manager welcomed a now very familiar Scout back to the office and informed Ryan that her biopsy results had come back a few days early.

The good news: Her paw is cancer-free! It turns out it really was just a bone infection, most likely incurred while playing in the water during the great flood of 2010. So glad to know this several hundred dollars later...

The bad news: There was cancer elsewhere. While she was in surgery for the biopsy, a small, seemingly insignificant bump on her side (that we'd inquired about before, but were reassured that it was just a common bump) increased nearly three times in size. Red flag. (And a little weird!) The vet decided to take a look into her side (hence all the yucky staples) and discovered a contained, cancerous tumor.

The good news: The vet is quite confident that he removed the entire contained tumor (a.k.a. the "insignificant bump") and has declared our Scoutie cancer-free! Now we just have to keep that girl still enough to heal her incisions and she can be our Scout-a-riffic again! (Want to know exactly how Scout-a-riffic and need a good laugh? Read this!)

The strange thing: If it hadn't been for that stupid limp from the flood, we never would have found the cancer in her side. Funny how things work out!

More good news: Scout gets to keep all four legs and we don't have to wrestle over the decision to spend a ton of money on a dog (albiet a dog that we love).

The moral of this story: If you have a limp, check your body for lumps, it could save your life.

Er, something like that.

And in celebration of many more years with Scout in our family (provided she doesn't bolt out of the vet's office tomorrow morning onto Columbia Avenue and get hit by a car), a few photos of what we thought might be Scout's final swim in the pond.



The Faireses had a tough night last night. I usually wake up to a few emails from them that they've written through their day. Here is a part the first email I received this morning:

"Last night was a long night. Both of the boys sounded congested yesterday when we met them, but the more time we spend with them the more we realize that they are both actually totally sick. They don't have fevers, but they took turns last night getting up to cough and choke. It was really sad. You know how it hurts to hear Oliver really sick? Well, both boys are pretty sick and every time they woke up it just hurt our hearts because there's really not much we can do. We comforted them, but sometimes they still look at us with shocked expressions like, "Who are you crazy white people?" So our presence is some comfort, but it's not like the comfort I can give to Beatrice. Anyway, they have some ethiopian cough syrup, but it doesn't seem to be working. I've been doling out the Nyquil, and that seemed to help. I can't wait to get them to Vanderbilt! Moses has a nasty ear infection. And Augustine's cough just sounds so sad."

And four hours later:

The kids are both sick. It's sad. We can't wait to get them home to some proper housing and medical care. Augustine/Firomsa has a bad cough and Moses/Mamush was throwing up all morning. Antibiotics and childrens' tylonol are just not that accessible here. It is frustrating, because we know that at home we could have ample clean clothes and laundry for them, comfortable rooms, lots of warm baths, good and accessible doctors and plenty of any kind of medicine they could ever need. Here, everything moves slowly.

We are still trying to figure out what we can do to get Moses home too. It may come down to wiring money at the last minute. This is Caleb writing, by the way... so if I've repeated something you already know, please forgive me. Rebecca and I are taking turns with sick kids, so today, conversation has mostly involved parenting and not paperwork.

We have both kids in pack'n'plays, and Moses finally fell asleep after his continuing stomach issues this morning. We pray that he sleeps well.

Both of the boys slept restlessly last night. They just don't get family attention, even with the best of orphanage care... they need a mom and dad (and a big sister).

ok. I'm repeating myself now. Thank you so much for loving our little girl. Thank you also for staying on top of the money/travel issues that lay ahead. We are grateful for your many prayers.

There is One God and Father of us all... and we trust that He is caring for these boys better than we can in our weakness and insufficiency.

Praying and changing diapers,


26 July 2010

I woke up to 3 emails from Rebecca this morning:

1st letter, Monday morning, 9:30 local time

Good to get your email! We are at the guest house waiting for our ride and we should get to meet our boys in about an hour. Wow, right? Suddenly our whole lives are going to change. Well, I guess our lives changed two years ago. But we finally get to see some fruit. And, oh my, are we excited to see our sweet little fruit.

It's cold here. I'm wearing your jacket. I wore socks (with moisturizer, naturally) to bed last night and warm pants and two shirts. Caleb and I fear that we underestimated Ethiopian winter.

The roads really are mud. I mean, they are paved, but there is mud everywhere. It's a lot for Caleb to take in, interestingly. He's not reeling, but he has so much to say. Last night and this morning he has been processing everything he is seeing out loud. He rarely does that. I can't hardly get a word in.

Right, sorry, too much typing, I'm nervous-excited,

2nd letter, Monday morning, 9:52 local time

We are waiting at our guesthouse for our driver to come and we have a bag packed with clothes and diapers. Caleb wondered which outfits would be best and I decided that I needed to leave the Mustella wipes here so I don't get carried away with them at the orphanage. We're thinking of taking some bananas. Will they be hungry? Will they like bananas? Caleb is starting to pace. Oh my. We're excited.

3rd letter, Monday afternoon, 4:30 local time

We have both boys and we have not stopped moving since. They have changed our Embassy date to Thursday. Hopefully having more time before the appointment will give us more time to get a visa appointment for Mamush. I think CWA will submit Mamush's paperwork on Wednesday.

So, here's the update. Mamush has a passport. All Mamush needs is permission from the US Embassy to have a visa appointment on Thursday with Firomsa.

Since our embassy appointment has been postponed two days, and we don't receive travel visas until the day after the embassy appointment day we are a little nervous because we might not get it in time to fly out. [their flight leaves midday Friday]

Love you, sorry I don't have time to write more.

As soon as we got the boys back to the guest house they both fell asleep on the bed and Caleb and I just laid there and looked at them. I have given them both baths and they are out in the courtyard playing soccer with Caleb.



Crying tears of joy at my laptop right now!
Praising the Lord for shaping this family in his perfect design and sovereign timing. Praying that we'll see all four of them at the airport this Saturday evening!

25 July 2010




We just arrived in Addis this morning. We had an overnight flight and we both slept well, in spite of the stewardesses waking us up every two hours to bless us with more beverages. We bought our visitors visas, changed money and made it through customs with great success, but then waited almost 3 hours for the CWA driver to pick us up. But all is well, the timing confusion is cleared up and we have been deposited at our guest house. It is winter here and also the rainy season. In Vienna we were so blistering hot that we chose where to walk based on shade. But here it is damp and very cold. It's very strange to be suddenly in a different hemisphere.

The US Embassy here knows our wishes to take Moses [Mamush] home earlier and we are trusting that they will see it through if it is possible. It may not be possible, so we are also trying to be gracious and prepared for that outcome.

I wish I could show you a picture of our room and our guesthouse. It makes me think of Peru, except wetter. The bathroom and cold shower for our room are outside across a courtyard. When we want to use it we have to go out in the rain. Someone here asked when it would stop raining, and our host smiled, "September."

We have opened our Africa suitcase to get out our winter clothes and in that suitcase we packed our our little boy things. It doesn't hardly seem possible that we have brought these things here for a purpose, that we will get to use the lavender baby lotion and the special Hippo shirt tomorrow. We are glad that we don't meet the boys until tomorrow. I think we both need a day to adjust to Africa and rest because, wow, we're going to meet our sons. It's a big deal.

There is another family staying here who is adopting an 11 year old boy from Shashemene. All the CWA kids have been staying together here in Addis while they wait for their parents (really, while they wait for paperwork). The 11-year-old's new father asked him if he know Mamush or Firomsa, and his sweet little face lit up and he explained that he and Firomsa had come to Addis from Shashemene together. We are glad these two will see each other again during this week at the guesthouse. It makes our hearts glad. And we are such fans of Firomsa (and Mamush) that it thrills us to even meet someone who has met them.

We can use the internet here at the guesthouse, so I will try to update you every day. I'm still kind of reeling, so I'm sure my descriptions will be clearer tomorrow.
Love and love.

22 July 2010



Okay, not really.

Despite how things may look, things are anything but "quiet" at the Myers' home right now.

In fact, all's pretty darn loud if you ask me.

My sister and brother -in-law received word last Tuesday that they were cleared to travel to Ethiopia to pick up one of their boys. (Do you remember when their adoption process started two years ago?) They booked tickets right away and left Nashville on Sunday. Not a lot of warning time.

So, while they're traveling to Africa and meeting both of their sons for the very first time (we are praying that the Lord would somehow make it possible for both boys to be cleared for travel home - otherwise one will have to remain in Ethiopia until they return. We know that it is the Lord who has the final say in this...), we are enjoying keeping Beatrice for two weeks as our bonus family member.

I'm really enjoying having a (bigger) girl around. I dress her and do her hair and she even lets me snuggle her!

However, I'm still in the midst of the 1-child-to-2-children transition. A third child is a little tricky. Particularly when our sweet guest spikes a 103.2 degree fever out of nowhere and wants her Mama. Poor gal. (We're all okay now, by the way.)

The good news is, we are surrounded by people who love us. Every day this week someone has come to help in some way - to give me a break, to take the kids to do something special, or to hold down the fort while we make an unscheduled visit to the pediatrician.

In fact, Oliver and Beatrice left at 8:00 this morning for a breakfast-through-lunch playdate with the Shurden family. Christy, you're my hero!

And thus, I'm sitting down to blog for the first time in five days.

Hello, friends!

I know I've talked about it a bit on Twitter, but I don't think I've mentioned it yet here: our dear Scoutie is not doing so great. (Scout is our 6-year-old Weimaraner, for those of y'all who don't know - who could possibly not know The Scout??) I took her to the vet last week because she'd been favoring her right paw for a while and we wondered if she'd injured it playing or something. We had no idea we'd walk out of there with a cancer diagnosis in our future.

She's been back several times and is, in fact, there now for further testing. The vet has narrowed it down to either osteosarcoma or fibrosarcoma (I believe that'd be either bone cancer or tissue cancer, right?) and the biopsy he did yesterday should be conclusive enough for us to decide how to move forward.

Three-legged dog, anyone?

On a less depressing-yet-somehow-poetic note, I'm working on a fun plan for y'all for the month of August! I've been in contact with some of my favorite Etsy shops and am arranging a series of reviews, highlights, discounts and giveaways for y'all to enjoy. I've already begun the process of photographing and testing things, but since I have an idea that my life will continue to be chaotic for the next couple of weeks (we will have our girl here until here parents return on the 31st, then we'll be honeymooning with the boys, I imagine, for a while too!), I'm trying to pace myself.

Trust me though, it'll be good!

Okay, now I'm off to savor my morning of being the mother of one adorably, snuggly, giggly 4-month-old.

And don't worry - that headband post is forthcoming!

Happy Thursday, friends! Blessings!

17 July 2010


Hello, sweet girl. You are four months old today!

In this past month you have:
:: mastered rolling over from your back to onto your tummy (I can't believe you started doing this at 14 weeks old!)
:: only rolled over from your tummy to your back a handful of times. Usually you get onto your tummy and then get stuck. You're usually pretty happy that way for a while, but you eventually get frustrated and need someone to roll you back over.
:: gotten bigger - 25" long and 14lb 5oz -both 75th percentile for your age. (This means you're the size of an average 5-month-old!)
:: shown us what an easygoing baby you are. You vacationed so well - catching naps in your stroller or your moses basket or car seat whenever time allowed.
:: still only get fussy when a practical need isn't being met. You very rarely fuss and we can't figure out how to help.
:: totally begun to enjoy playing with your toys. You reach for everything in front of you, and whatever you can grab hold of goes straight into your mouth. Mama has had to learn to keep Hazel-friendly toys in her purse because you're always happier with something to fiddle with.
:: gotten closer to sitting up. You can hold a sitting position for about 4 seconds before toppling forward or to the side. We can tell you'll be so happy when that little milestone of independence arrives.
:: gotten better at using your legs to stand while we hold your hands.
:: discovered your voice and learned to play with it. Sometimes you'll sit for 20 minutes and just explore the noises you can make with your throat. We love all the coos and high-pitched squeals. We had forgotten how fun it is to just sit and watch the baby all evening. :)
:: managed to make us fall in love with you more every day.

We have loved these four months with you, Miss Hazel Wren.
May the Lord bless you and keep you!

14 July 2010

1. Hiking at Cravens House and Sunset Rock
2. Brunch at Aretha Frankenstein's
3. The trout stream behind our cabin
4. My boys fishing
5. The fabulous Audrey and Lizzy, who came along to help out with the kids by day and to sink our battleships by night! (Seriously, never going on another vacation without a nanny or two - these girls deserve medals!)


6. Water feature outside the Tennessee Aquarium (and Oliver's signature rear view)
7. My birthday! Complete with a delicious cake made by my dear Judy Apple.
8. The Creative Discovery Museum (a lot of fun!!)


9. A final shot of my little gal with my Lizzy


Chattanooga gets my vote!

Speaking of votes - it looks like the headbands have it! It may be early next week, but it's coming!
(And I'll see what I can do about the Carne Asada and oven mitts sometime soon too!)

13 July 2010

and figuring it out!



(photos courtesy of Amanda Pennington)

We just rolled in from a weekend vacation in Chattanooga last night. Unpacking today and hopefully unloading some camera images this evening.

I miss y'all! We have a bit of a busy week ahead, but I'm thinking I'm going to try to put together another tutorial in the next couple of days if that sounds good to you!

What do you want it to be about?:
  1. headbands
  2. oven mitts
  3. carne asada
Highest number of votes takes it!

Happy summering!

06 July 2010

05 July 2010

This weekend we loaded the little ones up in the car and travelled to Illinois for a lovely wedding. (Can this be my excuse for not blogging for 12 days straight??)
My cousin Zac (who is, coincidentally, Ryan's apprentice this summer) married the sweetest, most adorable Miss Olivia in a fantasticly lovely outdoor ceremony.


We wore Oliver out during the day, so by the time we got to the wedding, he completely conked out on the putting green. Slept through the entire ceremony! (We really coulndn't have timed it better if we tried.)
I had a pretty handsome date. :)

Well, two handsome dates.
After the meal, Ry took Oliver out on the fairway to roll golf balls around and (more importantly) expend some extra wiggles. Oliver loved the sand trap!
And I loved photographing him in the sand trap!


There's that nice date of mine again. Man, I love that guy!


Ry snapped these pictures of me when I came out to play with them. Bummer about the camera bag strap.


And here is the handsome couple. Can we talk about her adorable dress?? And those shoes!! Ah, youth!


Some sparklers to see the couple off.


Blessings on your marriage, guys! We're looking forward to having you here this summer (and hopefully all year!?!?)!