Monday, December 9, 2013

eyes that see....

On the way to church yesterday, I saw something I have often looked at, but never really seen before. I had the boys in the car seats and Ryan was doing a training at another church, so even just getting everything ready alone for all of us had been a task. I went a way that I often drive, and was stopped at the same signal I am often stopped at. Sitting in the median was a family that lives protected by the concrete dividers in the middle of this busy road. Most times I only notice the beggars that tap on our car window, but this time, I saw the families that live there. A mother, probably young, but her skin weathered from outdoor living, was patiently brushing her older daughters hair lovingly and gently. South Asians have amazing hair, but without the luxury of water, shampoo, and coconut oil, I can imagine the tangles in that hair were tough to brush out. But she did it so gently. There were also some girls just twirling around to some imaginary music just living in the joy that comes from laughing with friends and family. I also saw a daddy caressing and kissing his sleeping little man in his arms, who was about the size of my boys. I could hardly stop tears as I looked at their faces- they were not begging for anything... they might have been in want, but unlike some others they were not demanding that I give something to them. They seemed content... so unlikely that if this was my lot in life that I would find joy in the midst of struggle. I would call myself an outdoorsy person, but I greatly love my house with a roof over my head at night. Sleeping under the stars with only a concrete over pass to protect is not ideal. I thought about taking a picture of them, but that might be exploiting them, but just picture with me the people you pass every day that you might have seen but never looked at. We all have them... people at our office, checkout counter, walking a dog out our window... and all of them deserve a smile and the chance to hear about our great God. There may not be a chance for you to share every time you see them, but you can pray. I was not able to get out of my car with the boys in the back and share with these people, but I prayed, and the prayers for them changed my outlook on my day. I could have been annoyed that I had to deal with both little guys alone at church (no nursery here!) or that when I came home I had to clean and cook while taking care of them all alone... but because of the impact of praying for those road side dwellers, I saw my work as a joy, and a privilege to have a house to clean, to have food- good healthy food to cook, a place to bathe my boys and clean pajamas to dress them in, and a bed with freshly washed sheets.

I was blessed by this word of the Lord today, and I thought I would share with you as you prepare your heart and home for Christmas. Let the GLORY of the LORD ARISE in and around us.... and let us SEE it...


Isaiah 60:1-5
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
    and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
    and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
    and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
“Lift up your eyes and look about you:
    All assemble and come to you;
your sons come from afar,
    and your daughters are carried on the hip.
Then you will look and be radiant,
    your heart will throb and swell with joy;
the wealth on the seas will be brought to you,
    to you the riches of the nations will come.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Being Their Momma

Being a mom has been one of the most amazing, challenging, and rewarding things I have ever done. Raising twin boys is seriously crazy, but every moment with them is filled with excitement, noise, food, trucks, slides, giggles... such a huge blessing. and every morning as they wake up, I watch in wonder as they grasp me around the neck and hold me tight. They call me momma! ME! I have wanted to be a momma for my whole life, even though I did not know what it would look like or what it would involve.

As I sit with food crusting on the high chair, and toys scattered on the floor, I laugh in my heart with the joy that they bring. Along with the messes come sweet indescribable moments filled with the intimate love that only a momma and her babies have. Sons are truly an inheritance from God, and I can't be more in love with HIM for giving them to our family... or with them... those little sweeties (who sometimes masquerade as a destruction duo!!) I don't know what it feels like to birth a child and to have them look up at you with your eyes or smile, but these Ethiopians could not be any more perfect for our family.

I will never get tired of being called their momma. The feeling that overcomes my whole being and I am simply in AWE of the creator that he saw fit to create them for us and to place in our family tree a graft from a whole other culture and country to be called "Rainbolts". Wow. And they want me to BE their momma! That blows my mind too! They are still pretty little, but they are intimately attached to me and Ryan and when I hear them say, "momma.... dada" I fall in love all over again! I assume any loving mother feels this way about their children, but I just find it to be even more divine when you find this type deep love and joy when there is no genetics or biological ties. They could not be more loved if they were biological... and I do still cringe a little when people ask, "Are they really your children?" YES. Instead of being annoyed that not everyone can understand the mystery of adoption or the love that a momma has for her babies (yes, sometimes Momma Bear comes out and wants to lash out when someone makes a comment about the color of their skin, or if I ever want "my own" children) but I need to use these opportunities to share about the adoption we have in Christ and how he loved us when we were most unlovable. The picture of the gospel that God has written on the faces of my little boys is precious. They are not perfect. I am far from perfect. But He is always perfect. And He chooses the little children to led us to truth. the simple things to confound the wise.  In their eyes, people see true Joy and the love of the creator who did not leave them as orphans, but HE came for them and rescued them. As a loving Father, He has cherished them and placed the lonely in families.

Seriously, I just marvel at the goodness of the Lord to put them in our lives and to not only grow and change them right before my eyes, but he grows and changes me in the process. I am still far too selfish and I like things my way and I need ME time, but overwhelmingly the day is now not build around me or what I want to do, but around how we can serve others, to help the boys grow and learn, and most importantly around HIM and what HE wants us to do. What an amazing God we serve that He gives us far more than we deserve. And in His strength we press on to know Him more and share His fame around the world. and I will cherish every laugh, every smile... and even say thanks to Him for the dirty floors and scattered trucks and teddy bears.













Saturday, November 16, 2013

Urban Boys.


Its funny how life is never what we plan. But our God knows so much better what we need. So I grew up in a small town, where most people knew me or my parents, and we had a yard with a fence for the dog. lots of random assorted farm animals. you could walk most places in the town, but most people drive a car everywhere (since there is not easy public transport). the biggest store in town is Walmart and you have to drive up the interstate to a mall or movie theater. and you always meet people you know at the grocery store. Now I live in one of the most urban centers in the world. In a high rise. No place for an individual yard. Mostly the only animals we see are street dogs, rats at the train station, cats at the fish market, and sometimes an elephant on the road. Public transport is so easy to find and even though i drive a car, I take buses, local trains, and auto rickshaws... plus you do your fair share of walking here. We have lots of big malls here and even have three movie theaters close enough to walk from our house. And if I meet someone I know at the grocery store, I almost freakout and jump over to hug them!  I realized that what I considered to be "normal" will not be "normal" for the boys. Milk should come in a white plastic jug, right? Well, my boys get excited when they see a box of milk.
  
Since we live in a high rise, we have 6 other apartments on the floor where we stay. The boys run out of our house and try to knock on our neighbors doors or play with the decorations that are set outside. To get to our grass, we must walk to the elevators, or the steps (we are only on the 4th floor) and then go through a parking lot to more steps which finally get us to the grass. I think the boys like the hike as much as the swings or slides sometime. Being in urban India has its perks... we have an egg and bread guy that comes to our door everyday (expect for a few holidays) and he is extremely punctual. its weird, but about 8pm every night, the doorbell rings and Josiah especially goes CRAZY! He loves company and even though its just the "egg guy" he runs to the door squealing and then the both of them run out in our open area and sometimes grab stuff from the "egg guy"'s bag! He also sells snacks and some days to get the boys inside, we pick something and ask them to take it to the kitchen! They love having a "job" to do. Markets are also a part of India that is AWESOME! Ryan and I even took a date night to check out a market near our house we had not done much exploring of, and ended up finding four things off a list of stuff I had been looking for... and that made our date even more perfect! And no need to go to the grocery store for a snack- just roll down the window and buy bananas from a cart for the kids! 
 
Being in a big city means that we have the best malls and they also bring in fun days for the kids. Recently, we went to see the Disney set up in the middle of the mall and Daniel got his picture with Mickey, his buddy, and he wore his mouse ears until they broke! They danced on the stage with the other kids and were slightly overwhelmed (who wouldn't be... India is generally overwhelming especially in crowds)but they had a blast!Most malls also have glass elevators and they love the thrill of a ride that takes them up and they see the whole mall. Free entertainment! We are so blessed to live in such a diverse and fabulous city, even with all the challenges, we find our blessings everyday.














Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Active boys!

The last few months have been FULL... with lots of work and teams coming to visit and work with us, but also with sweet moments as the boys have been growing so quickly. Right before our eyes they get bigger every day. Currently, they both are running everywhere and active all the time! Josiah still loves to be hugged and cuddled but he had a mind of his own and goes wherever he wants. He loves to swing and slide at our playground and thankfully we have a bit of grass to run in and the boys will run around and roll in the green grass. I do want to remember this as a gift- not everyone has clean grass to play in, or a swing and slide. Daniel has become such a little ham. He loves to make people smile and laughs all the time. He has one speed: FAST! He is a bit of a klutz and always finds a way to bump his head or scratch his knee. They have capes that they love to wear as they run around the house. They also were sent some amazing rain boots with Lighting McQueen on them. They tromp around with the capes and boots and I cannot imagine anything more fantastic than to play dress up with these little guys.



There is little more precious that watching little men develop right in front of our eyes. I see their spirit of compassion with each other but also see how they have a sin nature that tries to pull them in the wrong direction. They pull each others hair, they stomp their feet, they fall on the floor in a full on fit and I wonder if I am doing something wrong for them to so defiantly want to do the opposite of what I ask them. But this is life, and though I would rather not admit it, God could wonder the same thing about me. So often I know exactly what I should do,
- the thing that would please him- then I do the exact opposite. But he loves me anyway. He wants me to live out my love for him though obedience just like I want my sons to do with me a well as with God. Its all about the journey and each day along the way we make our choices. I want to chose right.

Friday, July 5, 2013

deep love, pure joy

love. deep love. this is what I feel like the Lord has been wanting to teach me lately. The deep, unfathomable love of our Father is overwhelming to me. I feel like the past months have just been full of God moments and stories. I go into my boys rooms at night and watch them breath so sweetly and I cannot believe that I get to be their momma. I see my friends here start to follow our Lord more intently, and I just know its the deep love of our Father that is drawing them closer to him. I realize that even when I am totally undeserving and inadequate, He still loves me with this deep love. 

So one of Josiah's aunties was holding him, and I could just see the love he has in him, and I said, "that little boy loves deeply." He does. Just like he was created to do. He loves with passion and intensity. He grabs my hair and pulls my face to his and kisses my nose. He grips your hips with his legs as you walk with him, and he wraps his arms around your shoulders and holds on so tightly. His favorite cuddle spot is cheek to cheek as one hand has two fingers in his mouth and the other one is wrapped around your head. He loves his brother with fierceness that I can only imagine will grow as they get older. (some times it is more fierce than brother would like!) The minute I check on him in the morning or after naps, he is reaching out and his eyes dance with delight and when i pick him up, he hugs so tightly and kisses my cheeks. I love this kid so much and I know that God has placed this strong and intense love in this little guy (along with a strong will.) I am thankful to learn more about the deep love the Lord planted in his heart and to let the same love go deep in my heart and pour out to those around me as well. 

also joy. pure joy. I want to find a way to sing even when things are not perfect. I want to rejoice in all circumstances and delight in the Lord the way that I know He delights in me. Pure joy comes when I view my mom role as a gift and not a chore. I should not dread the endless loads of laundry, but I see the excitement of the boys "helping" me fold all the clean clothes. I should remember the joy of cooking from scratch and not bemoan how nothing is one step here in South Asia. I should delight in picking up the toys for the 8th time today and be thankful that I have been given such active and fun boys to raise. I just see their little faces and my heart is filled to BURSTING with JOY over their existence and I long for them to know the Love of their LORD whose joy is way deeper and love far more fierce than anything I could ever show to them.

Daniel is full of pure joy... his way to show love is to just sit with you and make you laugh. He already knows how to entertain and if it makes someone laugh, he will do it over and over. His heart is full of pure joy and he spends every waking moment smiling or laughing! He not only entertains us , but he also seems to entertain himself and "talks" alot while he reads a book by himself or plays with cars. We say he is learning to preach a sermon because he uses inflection in his little monologues and his volume increases in intensity. I see the Joy of the Lord in his heart and reflected in his beautiful dimples and sparkly eyes. I want to learn how to see the joy in the little things again just as Daniel finds joy in a paper towel roll "trumpet".

I just LOVE to watch them LOVE.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

one year olds!

There is nothing like a 1 year olds smile to melt a mommas heart! And I have two of them, so I am destined to spend my days melting at the sight of them! We are also melting in the heat, but the rains will come soon! Josiah had his birthday without a big ordeal... we had some friends drive up for a few days and our boys played with their boys! They are also adopting and getting to see more pics of their two little ones and hear stories about them made me really happy! Being seperated from your kids because you are waiting on paperwork is like no other pain I have dealt with, but I did find that it made me run to the cross so much more. And for now, our little guys are in their forever family, and I could not be any more thankful! They are sleeping in their bedroom and I get to have a Sunday afternoon catching up on blogging and planning their birthday party! I am so excited to celebrate the boys, and I cannot wait to see them eat the cake that I have planned. I will post pictures next week!

So Josiah... Here is your photo for your first year. There is no way I could write down all the things that I love about you and no camera can really catch how sweet your expressions really are! You are such a go-getter... just like Momma and your Hunny and I can only imagine what the lord has planned for your precious life. You catch on to things really fast, just like Daddy, and I love that you already seem to be understanding English and lots of Hindi too! I love how you suck your little fingers when you are tired and how you snuggle your favorite blankie every night. Your smile makes friends everywhere we go and your eagerness to do whatever Momma and Daddy ask you to do is amazing. I can't imagine what life would be without you, my little precious Gift from God... I want to become more like Jesus, so when you want to be more like me, it will be Jesus you are imitating. words cannot express the love I have you, but I think you know that already!
Daniel, my little man... You constantly amaze me. The last few weeks you have been growing and learning so much. You watch brother and try to do things like him, and you are totally catching up! I love to see you dance and your laugh, oh your precious laugh, is totally contagious! I have not yet found a person that can hear your laugh and not join in with at least a smile or giggle! When you get tickled when you are sleepy, there is no way your Daddy and I can stop laughing with you! We keep your stash of paci's to help you go to sleep, and even though you require rocking to put you to sleep for naps, your Daddy and I don't mind. Being your momma is one of my favorite blessings. You are such a good sport and are willing to go anywhere we drag you... and you seem to enjoy yourself, on trains, planes, buses! What an awesome little boy you are!
You both are everything I ever dreamed of in sons, and I can only say thanks to the lord for blessing us with you in these days! I pray that you find Jesus when you are young, and that you cling to him with ALL your might for ALL your days. I pray that you will want to serve him with your life and that you will desire to live a life that pleases Him. I pray for the women you will marry someday... and I pray that if she is alive now, that she has a loving family that is also teaching her about Jesus. I can't control how life turns out, but I trust the one who is in control of all things. To him be all the GLORY!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

praise in all things.

We took the boys to one of the most "western" and nice hospitals in our South Asian city to get their one year vaccinations (wow! Can it really be that these little babies are 1?!) It turned out to be much easier than I had planned and the boys were so sweet while we were waiting our turn... They were making friends in the waiting area and we started to talk to some other families. I quickly realized that several families were not there for simple vaccines... two families with precious little ones were there for chemotherapy. Her shaved head told me that this was not her first time through it, and her smile and eyes showed a depth of character and maturity that made her seem way older than 4. Her mom seemed to not be worried and her confidence seemed to give her baby girl strength as well. Another family was from the middle east and did not speak much English or Hindi, and I can only imagine how hard it is to understand what is going on in your 2 year old boys body when you can't communicate well with doctors. In her country, chemo is not available, so they come here to our city every few months to get another round of treatment. Her husband had a big smile as he chased their son who ran around freely shaking people's hands and trying to not get into to much trouble :) She told me that my kids did not look like me because their skin is darker than mine! I tried to explain adoption and I don't know if she understood, but finally she gave me a thumbs up sign, so maybe that meant she approved. I did understand that she is "friends" with America, and when her son walked up to Josiah, the dad explained that he called him "little brother" in his language. She wanted to know what was wrong with my boys, and when I said they were just here for vaccination shots, I felt very humbled to have been blessed with healthy babies. Even though our road to bring the boys home was filled with lots of tears and months of waiting, we stand here together as a whole family praising God for his might work of redemption which can be clearly seen in all of our lives. I want to count the blessings of my life and include the things he not only has blessed us with, but also protected us from... We don't deserve all that He gives us, but too often, we focus on what we want instead of what we already have been given.

I came home thankful for a nice Dr's visit... and even as I found my heart silently weeping for the babies and their mothers who deal with something far more painful than I have journeyed through... And I will praise the Lord for each and every smile from my sweetie little men.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Three months home!












Our little boys are growing so fast!!! One the one hand, they are still small; healthy appetites, but still fitting in their 3month clothes... But they are getting smarter everyday. They are so loving and will let most anyone pick them up, as long as they know that Momma and Daddy are near by.

So they have been with us for three months... Jan 22 to April 22... I can hardly believe its been that long. I thought there was no way that I could love them anymore than I already did, but its true that love keeps getting bigger and with each new morning, I am greeted by their little smiles and my heart grows deeper in love with these two precious brown faces.

video
Josiah... He's our little adventurer. This kid can get ALL over the house and is pulling up on anything he can. He wants to be where ever Momma is, and is always "helping" her to cook dinner! He gets to play with the mixing bowls and spatulas, which he LOVES. He can pull up on my leg and has the sweetest little, "please pick me up" (puppy-ish) look that I rarely can say no to! He puts himself to sleep at nap time when I set him in his crib. So precious. He loves all kinds of toys and usually the one he wants is the one Daniel is holding or some part of momma's craft project. He does not like to be left out. He eats EVERYTHING he has been given and if he sees we are eating a meal without him, he gets upset and wants to eat big people food, even though he is NOT hungry because he just ate. The power of suggestion. And, its amazing what this kid wants to eat even without any teeth! He loves the roti (indian flat bread) and just one will keep him occupied for about half an hour! He LOVES his brother and likes to kiss and hug him, even though it might be a bit more "powerful" than Daniel would like (as he gets tackled on the floor!)
video

Daniel... this kid is so special. His smile can win over the gruffest looking uncle and before you know it, the uncle is smiling as big as Daniel! He loves to play with toys on the floor, but he is still not quite ready to crawl. He is starting to get frustrated that he can't reach something, so I don't think it will be too long before they are both all over the house. I will take my sweet sit-in-one-place-kid for a while longer: little buddy... take your time learning to crawl! The closest he has gotten to a crawl is more like a superman pushup... and he tries to get himself over to the paci or favorite toy (the set of stackable rings.) He also loves to eat and has liked everything we have given him. He has two bottom teeth and barely started to get a top one with the other one not too far behind! His hair is as curly as ever and I am constantly amazed at how small his little curls are. Some of our national friends cannot believe that its natural and they are convinced that I must do something to make it that curly!

In the morning, I open their door and check to see if they are awake. If they are awake, they usually are talking through the crib to each other and smiling and laughing. Once they see me, the sweet innocent fun is over and they WANT OUT! Josiah will pull up on the bed and Daniel still not quite as active as Josiah, so he reaches up as best he can and shakes his arms and legs waiting for me to get him! They know just what to do to warm this momma's heart in the morning (or any nap time wake up) and their waking up cuddles are the sweetest.

I love going to ch'ch here... There is not a nursery, so we all sit together in the back with our babies. There are about 7 kids under 2 and other children who sit in the back so we don't worry about our boys disturbing the service! But they LOVE being apart of the service. They both LOVE music! Seriously, they are FULLY African (with pretty sweet dance moves) and FULLY Rainbolt (with their LOVE of music). Josiah raises his hands and gets into it, and they both love to clap. They also know when its time to quiet down and often they sleep in our arms. We have lots of friends who want to just hang out after the service, so we sometimes end up staying until 2, so we give them a bottle and a late lunch when we get home and they are set.

Friday, March 29, 2013

the music of life

life as a mom has been the most glorious couple of months, and after being on 4 continents for 7 weeks, we finally made me back HOME. The boys love their South Asian house and life so far... Josiah LOVES to go outside with me to the market. There is so much to see and discover. Daniel is content to go, but he mostly wants to look and smile at me instead of the craziness around us at the market!

We were sitting around our living room just playing and our helper, Katie, turned on the blender in the kitchen. Josiah sat up with his back straight and started to clap and "sing". Every time the blender goes, he doesn't hear the buzz... he hears music! I love that! He really does love it when music comes on, and he starts singing, dancing, and raising his hands! Here is the lesson for me: my reaction to the world could be hearing music instead of chaos or just noise. Its hard to get away from people and noise and LIFE... but instead of trying to get away,  at times I need to just enjoy being in the middle of it. I could hear music and find joy instead of being upset that its too loud.

And here's daniel... playing on the floor contently with a whole shelf of toys, he is enjoying a small piece of lint. He does enjoy his toys, but he is content with simple toys as well. Gotta love that little boy... and his attitude that doesn't care about the things that "the world" says are "necessary", but he is content to learn and grow through little things. I know in my life, I see the lint as in the way, or something to get rid of, but I know that God wants me to learn and grow, not only through the BIG things, but also the little ones... that I just just see as annoyances, but I can find JOY in the midst of them.
Here are some pics that just make me smile!

 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Gotcha day!

OH WOW! I can hardly believe that it is here... our boys are with us and we are a FOREVER FAMILY! It felt really REAL last night and Daniel cried without stop for over an hour at 1am. Nothing worked to calm him down, but Ryan and I took shifts to try to settle the poor guy down. Ryan started singing hymns to him which finally helped him to sleep again.

So I can't hardly figure out where to start! Our lives just turned upside down in the most GLORIOUS and perfectly GOD way... and i hardly believe that at this moment, my little precious babies are sleeping soundly in the little beds, and we are FAMILY FOREVER!

Daniel had some rough moments when we came to get him. He has become VERY attached to his nanny since we left him in November. When we were here for court, he was SO happy and giggly and never once appeared to not want to be with us. Well, we walk in, calmly so as to not overwhelm them, and he sees us, and starts to cry. Everytime he saw my face, he wanted to cry. Knowing in my deepest heart that this was "normal" I tried to not let it bother me that MY baby, who we have spent the last year trudging through countless hours of paperwork, not to mention expense to bring HOME is not wanting anything to do with me. I sat on the floor, playing with some of the other kids, and I started singing. The nannies seemed to love listening, and one little girl was fascinated with it. It helped him feel more at ease and he warmed up to us eventually. Not too many smiles from him this day... but more have come since then!

Josiah had no issues and came right to me and started to do his signature squeal of delight and he was attached to me hip for the rest of the day. And ever since. He is totally a Momma's Boy and he loves going around in the baby carrier. I took him out shopping with some friends, and he was content to hangout, sleep, and take his bottle without once whining and trying to get out. He has started rolling over and trying to sit up on his own. He also stands with help and seems EAGER to get moving somehow. This kid is READY for action!

We are SO blessed that Jan 22 was our GOTCHA day! We will never forget that feeling of seeing their sweet faces again and then walking out of the door... the nannies with tears in their eyes waving goodbye... and us holding our precious little gifts from God, knowing our lives will never be the same again! Glory to God alone!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

my boys.

So, on Jan 2nd, the US embassy in Addis accepted our file, so now they will look over everything, do some interviews (with the ladies who found the boys) and then they will clear us to get a US visa, so we can go get our kiddos! The boys are legally our boys... they are Rainbolts, but they can't leave Ethiopia and come to America without this final step. Ryan and I have been eager to go get them, really every since we saw their face for the first time, but since leaving them in Nov, our hearts are pulled in two directions. One wanting to be invested in our work here, and the other wanting to be momma and daddy to our sons. It may be SOON that they clear us... it could be as quick and three weeks, or it could be as long as another few months. We have a pretty good chance that we will be cleared quickly, but you can never say for sure on these things. So pray that things will be smooth and that we will be patient as we wait for the lord's timing of our reuniting with our sons!
 As I think about going to get them soon, I want to share some of my little treasures that the LORD gave me through my boys... Each one is so unique and special, and I want to ponder and treasure every little thing about them. Here are some of my memories that I will never forget from my journal.

Josiah: His smile fills me heart with JOY! Through his midnight feedings, he was WIDE awake and ready to play and would not stop smiling when he sees me coming with a bottle, even at 2 am! He "talks" all the time! His legs are moving all the time like he's ready for action! His eyes are so big and adorable... his lips curl up cute when he "coos" and he loves his fingers in his mouth! He loves his brother and tries to play with him. He always wants another hug, and loved to splash in the bath! He loved his toe being tickled and takes his bottle really fast and even took his cold medicine like a champ! I will never forget that first look at Momma... he immediately bonded with me and is somewhat of a momma's boy. He loves getting his cheek kissed; it makes him smile really big! And he is always interested in whatever I have, especially when it's coffee! He wakes up quickly and his long lashes blink slowly when he is tired.  He is so extroverted and loved being around people! He actually snorted from laughing at momma once! He makes cute little "moans" when he is tired and fighting off sleep. His curiosity for the world is so exciting, and he is going to keep us on our toes. I know, little one, that you will love our world travels!
Daniel: That first laugh when I laid him on the bed and gave him Eskimo kisses... He belly laughed, and my heart soared! He grabs your hand when taking a bottle, like he doesn't want you to leave him to drink it alone! His dimpled smile laughing back at me! His adorable little chin, fingers, toes, bright eyes, and smile! He has such a sweet spirit that is content to sit and laugh at you for a long time. He copies his brother and wants to laugh and play with him too. He did not like his first bath, but the way he gripped my arms so he would feel safe made me happy. (by the next bath, he did better!) I could just watch him sleep for hours. Putting him to bed is so easy... just a passi and a blanket and he puts himself to sleep. That first smile at Daddy will always make me smile. The first "tummy time" on the quilt I sewed him, he licked it! He does not complain when I oiled his curls or when I tried to 'fix' them. He loves to sit quietly with momma and daddy, and he watched slept through Andy Griffith with us! His curly lashes are so long and handsome. He "fros" out his hair on one side while he is eating or trying to go to sleep.  His laugh is priceless! He wants to talk so bad, and he imitates lip and tongue movement to communicate! He lets me know he is hungry by lip smacking, and he is so calm and easy going. You, little man, are going to keep us in stitches with your funniness!

Ryan and I could not imagine any more perfect little boys! We are so blessed and so excited to get our embassy clearance hopefully in the next few weeks or month so we will be reunited as a forever family! We will keep your updated on when our trip to Ethiopia will be~