Kidd Ethiopia Adoption

Click HERE to watch us getting Endale at the orphanage

Click HERE to watch us getting Gabrielle at the orphanage

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Our latest happenings

Gabrielle will be 11 months the end of this month and I was looking into what types of things I could do to help with her development. She has made such strides since coming home. I mean she was 8 months old and did not have full head control. However I am an American mom with American Dr's. who have all kinds of goals and such. On the possitive note, we also have so many wonderful programs here - thank God, to assist children who are not where they should be developmentally. We could not get her to bear weight on her legs. You would put her in standing position and she would just bend and her legs would not do anything. I wasn't worried, just more concerned that I did not know how to stimulate her or work with her. I wasn't sure if the things I was doing were hurting or helping or even discouraging her. Her pediatrician had us call a local county program and they were so nice. If a child is more then 25% behind the county will pay for the physical therapy- we have an appt. Monday. Well, last night I pulled up on her little arms and said "up" and could not believe it when she actually straightened her legs and stood right up!! She doesn't hold it for long, but if you have seen her you know this is MAJOR!!!! I was screaming and laughing and saying "good girl" in the high shreek that my 6 year old does it. I know it is such a small step, but it is so major to see her for the first time using her lower body.

On to another topic.......when to leave baby for the first time. We have not left Gabrielle at all since she has been home. Either Pete or I have been with her nonstop. I have been really trying to work on my running routine again.......not so easy with 3 young kids who are all home. I don't have a triple jogger (laugh), so it has been challenging. I squeeze it in when Pete gets home, or on the weekends, or do the double jogger if Isabelle is at camp or a friends house. Well, we have an amazing little girl in the neighborhood who loves the kids and always wants to help out. She is too young to leave to go out or shopping, but wonderful to be with the kids outside or playing while I get things done around here. So, my BIG plan was to have her come while GiGi was sleeping and RUN!! The thought of this time alone on the mountain, with the fresh air, running like the wind to my music blasting in my ear without pushing 100 lbs. of kids or watching the canopy raise every 2 minutes with wonderful comments about their space in the stroller being compromised, or the need to stop to check out the cool bug on the road, the occasional snake, or the pee break. I was beyond happy until I realized that our nap schedule was off due to a Dr.'s appt. in the morning. So, like any good mom, I panicked and called "daddy" wondering if it was really bad to have GiGi here with an 11 year old, sitting in the family room with her toys, should she wake up. He said, no she is ready, you will only be gone 30 minutes or so. Sweet, I just needed a little support, so on with my plan; however we know the plan never really works out like we think. I thought GiGi would have been awake before I left, but she wasn't. So, I told the sitter if she woke up and was upset to call me, but she would see Isabelle and Johnny and should be fine. Well, I did get to go up the mountain, and on the way down, cruising to "How Great is our God" (thinking I had struck gold and really gotten smart about squeezing my time in with 3 kids), the phone buzzed in my hand. I pulled up and the runners high was broken immediatlely upon seeing my home number. GiGi was FREAKING out, Isabelle and Johnny made her call because they had never heard her cry like this before. I was on my I am running with the TOTAL opposite feelings. I felt like the worst mom, how could I leave this child and think she would not wake up and be scared to see another face. I was now running, not like the wind, but heavily and hard. I pulled up with my hamstring- tight!!! I stretched and tried to run again.....not happening. I didn't pull it bad, but there would be NO running back home or it would be bad. As I am now WALKING ( when I felt like flagging a random car to get back to my scared, freaking out baby) I am WALKING like there was all the time in the world. I literally laughed out loud and thought, "God, you are really funny". I don't know what this means, but it is funny. I have never wanted to get back to my house so quickly from a run before, and I have never gotten there so slowly. When I got home, she was fine.......definatley looked as though she had been screaming HARD, but she calmed very quickly with me and we moved on. I don't think she is scarred for life, but we will be waiting a little longer before I try that lovely plan again!


kangaj1 said...

Andrea, you crack me up. Thanks for the update! Love the pictures!
Melissa Juvinall

the Steiger's said...

Sounds like Gigi is doing great. Jo had a very hard time with her leg strength as well. she is fine now but I was worry a little. We did not need to go the a therapy since my dr. recomended waiting 3 months to get into 'normal' routine. I was glad we did. Jo is doing so much better.
If it makes you feel any better I haven't left Jo either. She is fine playing with the kids in the back yard but other then that Fil or I are around. I am sure it will get better. Hey it is not that long since we got them so we better enjoy this time before they run off.
love, Lenka

The Gillman Family said...


Funny Funny my friend! I can just see you taking off after the phone call. I know I would have been running like a mad woman too. Hey by the way if you are wanting some developmental info (charts, etc to keep at home that you can see what Gigi should be doing and what you can do to help) I can send some to you. Talk to Kari G - I gave her some and would be happy to do the same for you. Just email if you do.

Kim (YG)

Kristy -Mom to 4 and soon to be more! said...

Oh my goodess....welcome to LIFE 101 huh? May be you can bring her over here when the other kiddos are in school to play with Hiwot and you can run on the W&OD trial by our house. :-) A playdate with our Ethiopian beauties! How COOL is that?!?!?! Hiwot can teach her some big girls moves! :-)

Kiki:) said...

Auntie Rea Rea,
WE LOVE YOU!! Your photos are stunning...adorable! We miss you...when are we going to the beach!! We are so happy that GiGi is growing so healthy & strong.
You are a beautiful family!
Give Pete ET kisses..10!!!

Dietrich & Amy Lusse said...

Oh Andrea! I'm so glad you could laugh while "walking!" hahaha
You are too funny girl!
I love to read your updates!
Amy L.

Jori said...

So great to "see" and hear from you friend!! I can't believe howmuch she is changing and yet, will b ehome for awhile again huh?!?! :):) It is never easy to leave any of our kiddos for the first time and yet I am already thinking "who am I going to call to bring me milk" in a couple of months!!! God is so good! :):)
love, jori

skizzrs said...


I love reading your blog. My visuals of you going through this make me laugh. Gigi is going to enjoy reading about this stuff one day. Give her a squeeze from me.

Love and Hugs


Leah Reeves said...

That is a funny story. I do not know how you get anything done with 3 kids. I have a hard time with 1.
I am happy everyone is better!

Team Dragovich said...

Hey there! I wanted to come and check in, see how you are all doing. The kids look beautiful! Thanks for your running story... I actually think about that A LOT!!! I may be calling you, late next summer, for advice on when and how to get those runs in :)

Take care,

Danielle said...

Sounds like great progress, Andrea, and I am so sorry for the drama :) I am sure we will be there one day. I DO leave my kids at home when I run around the neighborhood, sometimes with Owen coming out of the house screaming at me to pick him up and mommy saying, "You're okay, Owen, just one, two, three, etc. more laps and mommy will be done!" See, doesn't that make you feel better? I wonder sometimes what the neighbors think :)


P.S. I start pumping in a week and a half...and on cloud nine tonight as I just became Queen Bee :)

Dietrich & Amy Lusse said...

Andrea!!! I hear through the Kari vine..Opps!! I mean I heard through the GRAPE vine that Gigi is a year old!!!! Yeah!!! So hard to believe isn't it?! We are in the thick of packing and preparing for travel! And got the cutest update pic today!! Didn't think I was going to see a new pic of our little guy till we got to ET. Such a sweet surprise! I'll have to email it to you so you can see the difference from the one you sent me of him before the referral! Yes! I'll do that as soon as I end here. :)
OK! Gotta run!
Love to you guys,