Please and Thank you :)

First Days Home: A brief recap :)

1. Learning Please and Thank you :)
2. Hummus is like Shiro
3. All our kids like cold green beans
4. They love spinach lasagna, sausage potatoe cheese casserole 
5. Can eat almost whole 9 x 13 pans of above items
6. Like to eat all day
7. Learning to stay in bed
8. Learning how to live again with baby permanently attached to hip
9. Teaching to spit in sink no on bathroom rug
10. Hands are not for hitting :)
11. Learning " I feel Alive" song and singing all the time
12. playing for hours on slide is great fun!
13. Watching them experience an elevator, escalator, hand dryer, water fountain, airplane etc. for first time
14. Seeing them say "I'm sorry" and " It's okay"
15. Thinking I have NEVER heard "Mom, Mom!!" so much in my life
16. Praying for sleep 
17. Being totally overwhelmed and stressed on first 16 hour flight with screaming, flailing kids and thanking 
for zonked out kids the whole 2nd 4 hr flight
18. Wondering if we were ever going to keep one little girl in bed and get any sleep
19. Thanking God for easier bedtimes every night
20. Randall hearing , "DAD! BICYCLE over and over"
21. Pushing such child on bicycle with soccer cleats on who doesn't know how to turn peddles yet.
22. Sore backs
23. Backpacks carried everywhere. 
24. Watching transition of wearing shoes with pjs to no shoes with pjs
25. Girls changing clothes all the time!
26. Having the entry date into US Oct. 16th, my birthday, instead of Oct. 15th which is when we landed.
27. Debating driving around all day with everyone buckled into car... no escapees that way..
well except for the child taking her arms out of car seat harness.
28. Hearing, "Let's Go!! Mom, Dad" whenever we slowed down or sat at a stop light.
29. Seeing Micah and 2 big kids bond and giggle and play together outside.
30. Watch baby go to Daddy for first time.
I took off!
31. Thanking God for family and good friends who have prayed and stepped in the gap for us.

Well, I know there's more but I'm pooped. :)
Praying everyone sleeps all night tonite! :)
Thankful for a sweet husband who has spent so much time playing and taking care of the big kids while baby is stuck to my side :)
Thankful for my son who has helped with kids and cleaned kitchen and toys every night.
Thankful for Mom who watched Micah all week while were gone along with all the cleaning etc :)
For friends who are bringing meals and came over and cleaned! :)
Thankful for Kelly who went to Ethiopia with us. We literally could not have done it without her.
Thankful for all you praying...!!!

Love, Tracy :)


a whirlwind overview :)

Wow! It's hard to believe we have been here 3 full days! We are learning so much about each child and figuring out as we go. 
My brain and body are  so tired I'm only going to post a bit. Once we get home I may never be able to post again! :)
Some highlights of the first day:
Picking up the chldren at the transition home and saying good bye to the nannies and doctor.
We took pictures with the dr. who is from the same region as our children and she asked for us to send them to her. She thanked us for adopting them. 

Climbing 3 flights of stairs to our room trying to keep ahold of 4 kids (who take off freely for wherever they please) :) Following  one such children who ran into a room (not ours!). I ran after her holding baby on my hip and found her half laying at the end of the bed while a man laying in bed looked shocked at her. I quickly apologized and pulled her out of the room!

There are hoses with nozzles  next to the toilet to wash out the toilet. One boy shot the hose all over the toilet.

That' a short of recap of first day...
We are constantly chasing, hugging, encouraging, figuring out language, loving on, saying Gobez (good job)
bacca (enough), coy, (wait), 
The chef at the guest house after breakfast this morning said, "busy" shaking his head and smiling.
When we come through we definitely make waves.

Can't wait to come home! We miss our boys! Everyone her has been very gracious and accommodating.
PLEASEEEEE pray for us as we leave tomorrow night on a 16 hr flight. We have to be to be there 3 hrs early and our flight leaves at 10:15. Way best bedtime!! :)

Almost home and into a new normal. Please pray for the transition and the children's little hearts.
(seems like I am asking for a lot of prayer but we need it! :))

Love, Tracy


Waking up to an Ethiopian sunrise!

Good morning from Ethiopia!!
In a few hours we will be heading over to the transition home to pick up our children.
As we drive out those gates for the last time we will be ushered into a whole new life. I am trying to imagine the emotions and feelings they may have leaving everything they know behind.

We had a crazy time getting here!!

Red eye to New York on Friday night. Sitting at JFK airport for 3 hrs waiting to connect to washington dc. Randall constantly checking the sign which never posted our flight. Hearing boarding for people with infants. Then hearing our name called. Going up to the counter and telling us there was a weight problem, the plane was too heavy and we were bumped from the flight. Only took 35 passengers. 8 were bumped. She said she called our name before, we never heard it. No one ever lined up for general boarding. We said we had to get on flight. We only had an hour and 20 min. Catch our Ethiopian flight. Kelly, randalls sister was waiting in Washington to fly over with us.
We were in panic mode.
Earliest flight out was 7:25 that night, connect in Germany and then on to Ethiopia arriving that night. So we spent the day in the JFK airport and Kelly flew on to Ethiopia alone.
We got on our flight that night and sat in line on the runway in line for an eternity.
Pilot comes over pa and says we have mechanical issue with fuel pump. Going to try and fix it there. Sit tight.
Little bit later we are heading back to gate to fix it there. I am praying praying praying.
We stay on plane and pilot says best guess is 30 to 45 min. To fix. If it is longer he will let u,s off plane.
We only have a 3 hr connection in Germany.
A few min. Later it is fixed! Thank you God!!!
We were an hour late to Germany. Made it through security only with slight delay of randalls computer.
Nice airline..roomy seats..very friendly passenger next to Randall. Slept most o; the way!!

Breezed through visa and customs line and picked up by Yonas!!! And Kelly!!! Yon as is our sweet friend with america world who takes great care of us. Coming back here is like we never left. Same room In guest house. Same rooster crowing. Same nightclub noise down the street.
Yon as and guest house manager both asked how zach and nick were. We all formed life long bonds with the people here.

I am smelling yummy pancakes and hearing the laughter of the family next door. Kelly met them yesterday and they are adopting a 6 and 8 hr old boys. Friends with our oldest son. There will be several children here in the guest house going home to their forever families!
We are incredibly blessed,thankful,overwhelmed to be a part of this!

Pray for all of us today.

We love of of you!



Embassy Date- WOO HOO! and Dear Family and Friends :)

Can't believe it!
Wednesday October 12 is our Embassy appointment!
It's seems surreal until I look around and see all I need to do and then
panic sets in! :)

The letter I am about to share to all our dear Family and Friends I didn't write but borrowed and tweaked a bit:

Dear Friends and Family:

Very soon, we’ll be bringing our 4 children home and starting the process of becoming a new and bigger family.  This is an exciting and scary time for all of us, especially for them.  In their short lives, our children have gone through more changes and life altering experiences than most adults could handle.  They have already experienced the loss of a birth mother and will soon experience the loss of familiar and comforting caretakers as well as the sights, smells, and language of their birth country.  Their world will turn upside down. They will be disoriented and confused.  They will struggle with feeling safe and secure and lack the ability to trust that we will meet their needs. 

The process of learning to trust that we are the two adults in his world who will always be there to care for them is called attachment.   You know that building trust is hard, takes a lot of time and a lot of work.  It gets easier over time, but things are going to be a little strange at first and we ask that you please understand and respect what’s happening.  We are not closing you out, you are the most important people in our lives, but our children need to have boundaries in place to develop a strong, and healthy attachment to us.

Physical Boundaries

It will help us immensely if adults limit what is typically considered normal, physical contact with our children. This will (for a while) include things like holding, excessive hugging and kissing.  Children from orphanages are prone to attach too easily to anyone and everyone.  Unfortunately, this disrupts their ability to attach to us. Waving, blowing kisses or high fives are perfectly appropriate and welcomed! They should know that you are our trusted friends and family.


All four have gone from having a caring mother to relying on a stream of different adults to meet their needs.  They have learned that they have to compete for the attention of every adult they seesto get basic things like food, clothing, blankets and comfort.  Charming every available adult becomes a survival technique.   While that might work in an orphanage, it’s dangerous in our world.  It’s not safe for them to ask random strangers for a hug.  In order for our 4 to learn healthy, appropriate boundaries with strangers,they have to begin by learning that we are the two people responsible for meeting their needs.  For a while, we need to be the only ones to hand them food, give water, comfort them when they are hurt.  If they ask you for something, please ask us.  For a while, it will look like we’re spoiling them  As they learns that we are their parents, it will become OK to treat them just like our other ones.


Because of their experiences, they might have learned that adults are scary and unreliable.  A gentle scolding can feel like a ton of bricks to them. Discipline will be very tricky.  Just as it is important for them to understand who their caretakers are, they need to learn that we (and not every adult they see) are  their authority figures to be trusted not to hurt them and yet still hold them to a standard.  

Thank you for understanding and supporting us in this amazing, but challenging time!  We’re sure you can’t wait to read more, so here are some links below on attachment in international adoption.

Randall and Tracy :)

p.s. - Some Resources

An article on attachment in school-age children. (http://www.pactadopt.org/press/articles/attach-school.html)

pamphlet courtesy of the Feds.  Attachment is discussed on page 4. (http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/parent_school_age/parent_school_age.pdf)

A brief article on attachment. (http://www.earlyinterventionsupport.com/parentingtips/adoption/healthyattachments.aspx)

scholarly article.  (There are probably better ones, but we don’t have good access to those). (http://www.ahealthymind.org/ans/library/Adoption%20Gribble%2007.pdf)

An article on attachment from Focus on the Family (focusing on the secular aspects at the beginning) (http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/adoptive_families/attachment_and_bonding/promoting_healthy_attachment.aspx)

blog post on how it might feel to be a child in an international adoption. (http://benjaminandholly.blogspot.com/2009/04/attachment-analogy.html)

blog post on how undeveloped attachment looks in the real world. (http://adoption.families.com/blog/trust-and-attachment)

web article on adopting school-age kids. (http://www.suite101.com/content/attaching-to-adopted-school-age-kids-a60661)

short blurb on adopting older kids by noted author Karen Purvis. (http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/articles.php?aid=1090)

If you have made it this far reading- Thank YOU! :) 

Our plan is to hunker down for a few/several ? weeks with no visitors or  trips 
to Wal-MART, Chuck-E-Cheese, Lagoon etc. :)
We are really going to work on becoming a family unit.
We will be flexible (since we have never done this before :)) and base how and when we branch out on how the children are doing.

Thank you for your understanding..this was hard to post b/c we don't want to offend anyone but need to do what is best to help these kiddos thrive! :)

We know you are eager to meet them and we can't wait to introduce them to you!
You will be a vital part of their lives as you ours now!

Love, Tracy



GOOD Morning!

We were cleared for TRAVEL to pick up our 4 children this morning!

We are looking for flights and will let you know more asap!

Anyone want to buy a DONKEY??
No shipping charges!

Just go to ORDINARY HERO store ! :)
See previous post for all details! :)

Love, Tracy


Mr. and Mrs. Glad

Last Tuesday came and went...
The interview that was supposed to happen last Tuesday
was actually scheduled for this Tuesday.

So the toilet is now out of the tub and back where it goes... :)

As I was walking/jogging this week (because I decided now that I have an extra week I better get back in shape before we bring the kids home!)
I passed a large stone marker in front a home
it said 
and then their house number

What an awesome name!

Definition of Glad:
feeling joy or pleasure; delighted; pleased: This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Made me think.

On ANOTHER subject!! :)

We are waiting till we get Embassy clearance to purchase 2 round trip and 4 (possibly 3 if baby can ride on our lap) one ways home from Ethiopia. As you can imagine that will cost an arm and leg :)

We have 3200 saved up so far (which should cover 2 round trips).

is having another GRANT contest!!

$500 for first place winner!!!

Plus we get 40% of all sales!!

I thought it would be worth it to mention to you!

Many of you have given and we are so grateful! Beyond words grateful!!
Would love if you would pass it along to your friends, acquaintances, family etc!

Ordinary Hero has awesome stuff!
(just click on name or sidebar at right)

What I really like is you can donate a 
to families in Ethiopia 
to help
their burdens.

Please pass it along 
check the OH store out

Christmas is coming soon
and there are some gifts on there that will
literally change lives! :)

(just select Tracy Autry in the drop down affiliate box when you check out)