Saturday, February 26, 2011

Thoughts on parenthood, and Today's events....

Okay, so I know our posts have been a bit more sporadic, but we are the new parents of twins…..Need I say more?  Okay, maybe not, but I will.  We’ve had Alex & Eliana full time with us for about 2 weeks now, and it has been quite the roller coaster.  But, I dare say that we might just be getting into a routine.  Exciting, right?!  We think so.  We’ve managed to get them to take naps around the same time, which is a miracle in and of itself.  Their personalities are really starting to blossom, which is awesome.  As Wes stated previously, Eliana is quite the scrappy little girl, full of spunk.  She is not at all gentle, but is always quite joyful.  She even seems to laugh and smile when she is hitting Alex over the head with their plastic hammer.  Okay…maybe that’s not a good thing.  We’ll keep monitoring this behavior.  ;)  Alex has calmed down a good bit, and seems to be coming into his own.  He is much more gentle, but much faster and stronger than Eliana, so he can crawl across the room in record time.  Of course, he still doesn’t like going to sleep, but his sister has decided to obtain this lovely quality too.  I guess that’s why we can get them to sleep around the same time.  All in all, we are making plenty of mistakes, having minor triumphs, and we are basically just winging it.  Isn’t that what most new parents do?  We are trying not to be too hard on ourselves. 

Alex is trying to breach the baby barrier.  He's happy about it.

Something new that has occurred in my world is my attitude in the mornings when the twins wake up….and it’s not really a good thing. I have always been able to have a fairly good attitude when I wake up in the mornings.  I’ve never been super grouchy early in the morning or late at night.  Well…that’s all changed.  Unfortunately, when I wake up at night, I have a hard time getting back to sleep.  This unfortunate situation has greatly affected my morning attitude.  Now that I get up to change and feed babies in the middle of the night, I lose a lot of sleep at night.  So then I wake up sleep deprived, and I am supremely grouchy.  I find myself getting ticked at the twins for waking up at 7am every morning.  I mean seriously, don’t they know that I need my sleep?!  You’d think that by 8 months old they would have a better understanding of their mother’s needs.  Right?!  I’ve had a stern talking with both of them about the situation, but they just look at me with these innocent doe eyes, looking all cute and smiley, acting like they don’t understand a thing I am saying.  I will have to figure out some appropriate disciplinary action for these two. 

On to today’s events….

Our friends Bex & Josh just recently arrived here in Addis a couple of weeks ago, and also have their little Mercy girl with them.  They just passed court on Tuesday, and are enjoying the same full time parenthood that we are, here in the same guesthouse.  Today, all 7 of us made our way to the monthly Bazaar at the International Evangelical Church.  Wow, it was Ferenji (foreigner) heaven!  There were people from all over the world there, buying cultural goods from various NGOs that gather there once a month.  This church even had green grass in the courtyard!  I never knew what a difference grass and flowers could do for the air quality, but when you live in very polluted city, you notice the difference.  It felt nice to be there today.  I even mustered up some courage to speak in Norwegian to a man I noticed in front of me, with a Norway branded bag.  I was seriously proud of myself when he responded in a different dialect than I speak, and I actually understood half of what he said!  And in very un-classic Norwegian style, he was super friendly to me and even wanted to introduce me to his son and daughter-in-law, and new grandchild.  Hope you’re proud of me, Mamma! 

The NGO Bazaar. grass.

Josh, Bex and Mercy. Beautiful family!

Gorgeous little Mercy!

After the Bazaar, we headed to lunch at Metro Pizza, a new little gem of a restaurant that we just discovered.  Fabulous pizza, and a really trendy atmosphere.  We loved it!

From Metro, we dropped Bex & Josh and Mercy Bear off at our guesthouse, and then headed over to our orphanage, since they were having a birthday party for some of our favorite girls.  It was so special to be a part of this.  I have to say that when I am at this orphanage, it is the one place I really feel connected to Ethiopia.  There no one is asking us for money, or taking advantage of us, or conning us….we are simply friends sharing a common bond.  It is really beautiful, and it makes my heart feel good.  I feel like more than a ferenji.  I feel like a friend and sister.

Our favorite people in Ethiopia... nannies and children at our orphanage. We love them so much!
It had been a week since we had been there, and they had a new arrival….a little boy.  The nannies who were there today were unsure of his age or circumstances.  All I can say is this is the first time I have seen a baby look like the pictures I used to see of Ethiopia in National Geographic when I was a child.  I remember even trying to do a pencil drawing of a picture I saw in the magazine, of a little boy who was starving.  This little baby boy at the orphanage is so emaciated.  When he cried, all the skin on his face became wrinkles, and he looked like an old man, because he had no fat on his body at all to fill out his cheeks, or any part of his body.  His little ribs were excruciatingly visible.  The skin was sagging on his arms.  He has little tufts of hair on his head, patchy because of little scabs that were spread all over his scalp.  He is so frail.  I sat there and held him, kissed his face, and even fed him a little from a bottle.  He occasionally let out a little whimper.  And then the tears just started falling.  I cried and cried over him, all the while praying for Jesus to reveal himself to this little one.  I guess the nannies felt bad for me, because they kept saying, “It’s okay.  It’s okay.”  The nurse said, “He needs pray and love.”  I nodded my head in agreement.  Oh how I long to see this little miracle healed and filled with joy.  His eyes were so sad.  We are just praying that light will fill his eyes soon, and his body will be filled with nourishment and healing. 

Just another day in Ethiopia…..And no matter how difficult it can be sometimes, I am grateful for every day.

More of the people we love.


  1. Thanks Nina for your blog. It always makes my day. I think I saw a little one there that I recognize. Thanks so much.

  2. Sounds like a great day. And it reminds me of my mornings and nights with my newborns. You're doing great!


  3. The birthday twins were wearing the matching dresses I gave them!! Brings tears to my eyes. I just wish I could jump through the computer and give all the kids hugs and kisses! I'm so happy every time you have a new blog post!

  4. Actually, I'm not even sure it was the twins' (M&D) birthday. Either way, it still looks like a fun party with yummy sweets!

    And a note to you and Wes, just remember... you're giving the twins love, which is fulfilling their greatest need. :) You're doing great!

  5. nina, you made me smile and you made me cry. just like ethiopia.

    you are doing a great job. sleep during naps, you will feel better in no time.

  6. Nina, I love to see pics of your sweet babies. I will be praying that all of you get better and that you get to come home quickly! I have to laugh when you talk about them not sleeping. I was just fighting with my 6 year old to go to sleep. You are doing a great job.


  7. Thanks for sharing these picts!! I loved seeing Bereket in the pict!! Can't wait to get to ET!!

  8. Thanks for your amazing story. I just returned from Ethiopia with my son, daughter-in-law and my two new beautiful grandchildren. They were in this orphanage, I am so thankful for the wonderful care givers who loved on and prayed for them daily until we were able to bring them home!

  9. Nina- It's Renae from Lexington, we talked adoption briefly on Nepal. Wow, you've come a LONG way from that conversation to now! We are so happy for you guys. One other thing: God knows all your needs (as a parent - you will eventually adapt to a fewer number of hours of sleep -- pray for his intervention in this)... The sleep thing can be brutal - please know we are praying for you too! p.s. Joshua fell off the bed and had an ER trip early in his time with us too... guess what, you are normal! (perfectly, God-centerd, normal) Would love to meet face to face in LEX sometime when you get home! ~Renae.