Sunday, January 31, 2010

Breakfast Boogie

A little breakfast dance party to get the blood flowing...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gabe's Doctors Appointment

Happy Birthday, Gabe! What a present, going to the doctor. Our visit with the doctor was only 1 hour, but there was some confusion about what blood tests needed to be run, so we had to wait for a call into the doctor and somebody from the state. This meant LOTS of waiting before they could take the blood. After 4 hours, 3 required stool samples (Jason's homework for the next couple of days), 2 ear infections (maybe that explains the difficulty sleeping through the night) and 7 viles of blood we headed home. Needless to say, we all took a nap (mine being the shortest at 1.5 hours - I love maternity leave!)

Gabe's Statistics:
Height: 10th Percentile at 28.5 inches
Weight: 10th Percentile at 19 pounds 14 oz
Head Circumference: 90th Percentile...BIG!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gabe's 1st Birthday Party

Tomorrow is Gabe's official birthday, but since he has a doctor's appointment that will surely include blood being drawn and shots, we decided tonight would be a better party night. It was very low key (as low key as this house gets anyways), celebrating with Kim, Kevin, Sawyer and the four of us. The pictures tell the story. Gabe had no problem diving into the cake. Before it was all over, it was covering his face, in his hair and all over the floor. Isn't that what first birthdays are all about?!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Sneak Peek

Here is a sneak peek into the chaos of our house. We're loving it!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Life is Good

Yes, its been one full week since we've been home and I'm just now updating. Every night I said I was going to do it and then my pillow trumped the blog! Sorry about that!

I have to admit, I'm nothing short of amazed at how well Gabe has adjusted. To think that two weeks ago, he had basically only been in the baby house and to see him now. Wow. He is walking (all over the place!), babbling and lots of fun. He loves to eat, so he fits in perfectly at the Schlafer house. The only thing he's not a huge fan of is sleep. We're still working on a schedule. He's pretty consistent in waking up at 2 am and then for good at 5:30. The car seat isn't a favorite either, but that gets better every time we get in the car.

Wyatt has done very well since Gabe's been home. He gets a little needy with attention with Grandparents, but that was to be expected. He was very excited to show Gabe off at school and is always in tune to what he's doing.

We've been very blessed to have lots of calls, emails, cards and visits from friends and family. We are so grateful for the support everyone has given us through the adoption process. We're now excited for you to follow us as a family of 4!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gabe had a lot of time awake last night.  He has 3 teeth and the ones that are fighting to come in made for a long night.  Yesterday we did some shopping (got a couple of souvenirs for Gabe).  Today we're headed back to the grocery to buy some more supplies for the orphanage (formula, cereal, diapers, wipes) as well as some of those same things for us.  We also got a neat souvenir for Wyatt from Gabe.
Gabe is having a great day today and we're looking forward to going out to dinner and a GOOD night's sleep.

Monday, January 11, 2010

We had a great day yesterday.  We went back to the orphanage twice.  The first time was to visit, the second time was to tie up some loose ends on US Immigration paperwork.  While we were in the office doing that, we got to see Gabe's passport.  It is hysterical.  He is clearly screaming at the camera and his bottom 2 teeth (he only has one on the top) are about all you see in the photo. 
Gabe visited the room where he spent the last few months of his time in Ethiopia yesterday and handled it extremely well.  He was a bit confused, but preferred Michelle to the caregivers, a true blessing.  It was clear that he enjoyed the visit there yesterday, it was wonderful to see the joy that it brought to his eyes when he saw his caregivers and his old roomies.
Between trips yesterday, we went to a grocery store and pharmacy to purchase some necessities for the Orphanage.  We asked them for a list of things they needed and the head of the orphanage went to his room and asked the caregivers for any specific needs for his old room.  We plan to do this a couple of times more while we're here.  We'd like to leave them with a monetary donation, but are still investigating whether or not that is Kosher. 
Another highlight from yesterday was the currency exchange from Dollars to Ethiopian Birr.  Rather than a bank, our driver took us to a "black market" and got us a better rate.  When we parked the car, he asked us to stay in the car, roll up the windows, and lock the doors.  "This is not a very nice area of Addis," he said.
Today, we plan to go out to lunch and then to the Market which is alleged to be the largest market in all of Africa. 
As you may know, the African Futbol Cup is currently under way and it is a HUGE deal here.
Hopefully more later.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Gabe's First Day

Yesterday was a big day for the Schlafers. At about 2:00 we went to the baby house and picked up Gabe and brought him back to the guest house.  It was pretty stressful for everybody. He cried leaving the baby house (so did the staff) and off and on for quite a few hours after that.  We took a nap and headed outside to the guest house garden.  He was still a little iffy, but began to play and took a bottle.  At 6:00, we fed him and he ate about half of his cereal.  This is an improvement, as the day before, he would not let me feed him.  Then came dinner.  It was the turning point.  We got giggles, babbles and lots of playing.  He's been that way ever since!  Last night he did wake up a few times crying.  Around 2 we gave him a bottle and that was it.  He was cashed until the morning.  It's great to see his personality start to come out and to see the transformation of him becoming more comfortable with us.
Today we go back to the baby house to do some paperwork.  It will be interesting to see how he does leaving there again. I'm hopeful it does not take too long for him to adjust back to us.  I cannot imagine what is going through his little brain.  After the baby house, we are heading to lunch and to the store.  Then, back here for naps and play time.  We are loving every minute of having him with us and can't wait to bring him home to meet everybody!!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

We Met Our Boy!!

Whew, what a day.  After waking up in the 3:00 am hour, we were ready to head for Addis.  We headed to the airport nice and early (yes, I'm a freak about being early) and headed off for Ethiopia at 8:30.  The flight seemed quick as opposed to the monster length one we had yesterday.  We landed, got our visas and through customs fairly quickly. However, there was nobody at the airport to meet us. Thankfully, there was a very nice man that helped Jason and called our guest house to see what was wrong. It turns out they thought we were coming tomorrow. They came to pick us up and immediately after checking into the guest house, they asked when we wanted to go to the Baby House.  Of course, I said, as soon as possible. So, we headed to the Baby House one hour later (just enough time for us to shower and grap a sandwich for lunch).  Poor Gabe was stressed out!  Very similar to Wyatt when we met him. We were at the Baby House for about 3 hours. The first half of it, Gabe couldn't be near us without crying.  By then end, both Jason and I were holding him peacefully and even playing some with him.  He is absolutely precious.  We decided to have him stay in the Baby House tonight and we will pick him up tomorrow.  Hopefully, we will recognize us and it won't be as difficult for him.
It's now 6 pm and we're spent.  Its time to grab some dinner and chill.  I will not be posting pictures, because this is a dial up connection, but I've taken plenty and will post when we get back home. 
I'm sure we'll sleep well tonight. Finally, the day we've been waitng 1 1/2 years for!!

Friday, January 08, 2010


After a long wait in Cincinnati (we got there extra early because it snowed all day and then we were delayed a couple of hours), we got to JFK which was a chaotic airport experience. We had to leave the secured area to get to the International Terminal, recheck in with Emirates, get a hotel confirmation from another.

we are now in Dubai, boarding a shuttle to our hotel. Then off tomorrow morning to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia...hopefully to meet Gabe on Saturday, but if not, Monday most likely.

Thanks for all the thoughts and prayer.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Tomorrow is the Big Day!

I can't believe that tomorrow, we'll be beginning our journey to Ethiopia. As you can imagine, the last week has been a whirlwind of activity and craziness. Packing, documents, wrapping up work and giving Wyatt as much attention as possible. As for our itinerary, we'll leave Cincinnati at 4:00 pm headed to New York. We leave New York for Dubai at 11:00 pm. We land in Dubai at 8:25 pm and spend the night there. The next morning, we head to Ethiopia at 8:25 and land at 11:25 am. I'm pretty sure we are not allowed to meet Gabe on the weekend, so I believe Monday will be the day we can finally get our hands on that boy!

We're not sure about whether or not we'll be able to post to our blog when we're gone. I set it up so I can email posts, but from what I understand, the Internet is pretty iffy where we are staying. We'll post as soon as possible to update everybody on the trip and most importantly Mr. Gabe.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Christmas snow!

Wyatt just enjoyed a New Year's trip to South Bend to visit with Grandma Lynne and Grandpa John and enjoyed a couple of sledding trips and snowball fights. Enjoy some footage taken with Michelle's new (and awesome) Flip camera. The favorite of ours is the first one. He's ready to hit the slopes and proved it by standing on his sled the better part of both sledding days.