Friday, February 29, 2008

A most precious day

We are so tired, but very happy tired. Today was beautiful. We woke up
and went straight to meet our babies!! Calvin wanted nothing to do
with us and his nanny said he always cries when he meets white people.
We had already known this so we were prepared. It took many tries and
a miracle, but by the end of our time together he had fallen asleep
with Dave, given us both lots of kisses and let me hold him (as long
as no nannies were around!). The American couple that runs the home
said they had never seen Calvin warm up to anyone so quickly and were
amazed. They said it was as if he knew we were his parents, which is
what we had prayed for! Piper is just sweet and beautiful. She just
smiled and baby talked the whole time, not one fuss the whole day and
she fell asleep in my arms. She is very happy and cuddly. We can't
wait to back tomorrow to see them!!

We are having troubles with the internet so I'm not sure if we'll get
a video up, but I know some of you are waiting for news, so we do have
some fun photos. You will see how Calvin gave us evil eyes at first,
but he really did so much better than we were thinking he would. We
even took him to lunch with the some people and he was so great. He
really loves Dave already. He's taking longer to warm up to me, so I
was happy that he let me hold him at all and at the end of the day he
even raised his arms for me to hold him! YAY! He is so hilarious and
loves to play.

Noah, Charli and Tegan!! I miss you so much!! You are going to love
your new brother and sister!! Piper just smiles and smiles all day and
Calvin is so much fun, just like Elia! Thank you Aunty Kris for the
squeaky books!! They were a hit!!

Thank you all for your prayers. We sooooo felt them!! We'll be in
touch as often as possible! It's an ordeal from here, I tell ya! We
love you guys!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Let's Bounce!!

So, tomorrow is the day...We are outta here!! There really are no words to even describe the pure giddiness we're feeling! We are ecstatic!!

The transitional home sent us an update on our kids and that just made us more eager to meet them. Here's what Rachel, the director of the home wrote us:

Ermius (Calvin) is everyone’s favorite! It is no wonder, as his personality and facial expressions are always entertaining. He is very engaging, playful, and loves attention. Playing with balls is always fun and exciting for him. Ermius can be shy and scared of new people, and it takes awhile for him to warm up. Ermius walks all over the place… and with his new boots on, it is a precious sight to see.

Kalkidan (Piper) is such a beauty…all the nannies always say “conjo” to her, which means cute/pretty/beautiful. She is sweet, happy and smiles all the time! The nannies report that she only cries when she is hungry. Kalkidan is not yet able to sit up on her own.

So, everyone is packed, house is clean, laundry done (till tonight!), movies returned, cash in hand, sheets are changed, cupboards wiped out, you name it...I cleaned some things I'm sure I haven't cleaned since we moved into this house!! We are as ready as we could ever be for 5 kids! I am also ready to sit on the plane and do absolutely NOTHING for 24s or so hours!!! :) I have books, magazines and some mild sedatives to keep me happy and oblivious to turbulence for the entire time.

We get in to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia around 8 pm. Dave really want us to go dancing and I say "WHY WOULDN'T WE?" I guess he went to some fun clubs while he there in October. Forgive us if this comes as a shock to any of you. We do have but a few wee hours sans kiddos!! :)

So far the (very) tentative plan is to meet the kids on Friday morning and just get to know them and play with them for a few days before we actually rip them away from all that is home to them. We absolutely covet any knees bloodied in prayer on our behalf, so thank you already to all you prayer warriors! Please pray peace over all of our children, but especially Calvin and Piper as everything will be new and undeniably frightening for them (especially their new blonde daddy!).

Next time we post will be from Ethiopia some point after we meet the babies! Au revoir! Bon Voyage! (I don't know if I spelled that right. Mary?)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Photos of our beautiful girls in the states

We don't want our lovely ladies to feel left out, so we are also showing off Noah Joy, Charli, and Tegan!! Noah is the most responsible, organized big sister ever! Mom would be lost without her! She is very caring and wants to make sure all are well cared for, and that everything is fair and equal. Charli, oh, sweet Charli, has the whole dinner table cracking up almost every night and has never met a stranger! She will be 7 very soon and also has a passion for bathroom humor that she gets from her father. Tegan, just turned 3, is so ready to be a big sister, too. I think she's looking forward to not always being told what to do, but to finally do some telling. We love you girls all so much and we'll miss you like crazy!!

Well, we leave in 4 may wonder if we're ready. Oh no, far from it. Today Tegan has thrown up on the carpet a few times...we have wood, but heaven forbid she aim for that! The other 2 were sick last week. Dave and I will NOT be getting sick. It's just not happening. The weekend plan is to get ready. Pack about 55 outfits between the 7 of us (The girls will be staying with friends and at home. Raise the roof for our friends Mike and Leigh Ann!!), fixing things around the house, cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning some more (hopefully not any more bodily fluids of any kind!). We still haven't got our new money to exchange while in Ethiopia, which is an ordeal. We have papers to be notarized and many loads of laundry, some more shopping (my hair dryer died today...oh, the pain!!) and of course we have birthday parties, a school project due, and a school play on Monday. Some may wonder why we still have our Christmas lights up, too! Well, we paid people before Christmas to put them AND take them down. Of course, those certain individuals have disappeared. We even called their mother-in-law! She must have brought down the hammer...they are supposed to come tomorrow. We'll see...

I think we will just stay up until we get on the plane Wednesday morning, then sleep like we will never be able to sleep again!!

God's amazing grace in the flesh

Here is a beautiful video of a family picking up their son from the same home our babies are in just a couple of weeks ago. They are so loved!!

KLEENEX WARNING!! This could make you cry like a little girl!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

It's finally happening!!!

After the longest 3 years of my life they are ours!!! Introducing Miss Piper Jay Kalkidan, our 6 month old daughter and Sir Calvin Scott Ermias McIlrath, our 17 month old, chic magnet brother of 4 sisters! (To avoid confusion, Calvin is actually the one in the pink socks!)
OH MY GOODNESS!! I KNOW!!! You SO want to pinch, squish and just eat them up!!! HOLD ME BACK SOMEONE!!! I hope I don't freak them out...maybe I should alter my personality with some sort of medicinal substance prior to meeting them...I'll think about that...

Since we, myself (Rae) and Dave, the best husband I've ever had, are leaving in 16 days (WEE HOO!! WEE HOO!!) to pick up our 2 precious children in Ethiopia, I wanted our dear friends and family to be able to keep up with the never ending McIlrath saga (we wouldn't want anyone to go into withdrawls while we're gone!). We are also leaving our 3 other precious girls here in Texas (I love you girls!! I miss you already!! Keep your hands to yourselves the entire time I am gone, is that clear??!!) and I know that they will be suffering profusely being away from their mother and staying with their little friends and BOTH Grandmas, this way I can remain close to their little hearts. I know how much they hate getting presents, eating ice cream and marshmellows, staying up late, watching movies...I hope they are ok.

So this blog is for the people who love us. They have been so supportive and encouraging throughout the longest roller coaster ride ever and my worse-than-a-pregnant-elephant emotions. I know that they are just about as excited as we are about all this and they can now share in our first memorable (yet possibly quite terrifying) moments with our kiddos.

If you are dear to my heart you know that I just got my own e-mail account last year and I am a computer idiot - living in the mommy land of Sesame Street and Barney the past 8 years (I am now in High School Musical, Hannah Montana land, too!), so I can't promise any cool tricks or anything but I will bring you along on what is most definately one of the biggest moments of our lives (so far!).