Friday, July 30, 2010

Making of a Band... Wells Style!

For Christmas, Mama Spaulding got the kiddos a rhythm band in a box set.  I put it away so that Caleb wasn't tempted to rock-out before his siblings arrival.  They had so much fun clanging the cymbals, striking the triangle, shaking the maracas, and basically making noise.... ummmhmmm, I mean "MUSIC!"  Makes this music teacher proud :-)

Picnic, Playdates, and Birthdays

The weather was cooperative and so were the kids, so that warranted a picnic at the game farm. We enjoyed our pb sandwiches, crackers, and fruit snacks, but the real fun was in feeding the geese. The kiddos just cackled as the geese gobbled up their bread. After the wild ones and the wildlife had their bellies fill, we headed into the Salato Wildlife Center to explore, or as Caleb commonly refers to it as the “little zoo.” We were even able to introduce Jeremiah and Rachel to wildcats. They are Ethiopian, but they are in Kentucky now – we bleed BLUE!

March also brought about some playdates... more like play-besides or play-among. There wasn’t much interaction or playing with one another, but if nothing else… the Mommies had fun! Thanks Gretchen, Rebecca, and Libby and Kim and Kelsey for two great mornings. Coupons, homeschool 101, loud toys, laughs, adoption talk, just catchin’ up and some super cute kiddos definitely equal two great mornings! (I can’t believe I didn’t get one picture of either playdate. Guess we were just having way too much fun!)

Then, there was the all-encompassing Wells’ Birthday get together. While we were in Ethiopia, Jon’s brother, Lee had a birthday, his Dad has a March birthday, and I have an April birthday. Since it is a great feat for all of our schedule’s to align, it was decided to have a catch-all birthday party. It was good to be together as a family and fun to watch my three play with their cousins Allison and Josh.

However, I must share the funniest bonding story ever leading up to the birthday celebration. We ventured out with our motley crew to shop for birthday gifts at Kohl’s. Prior to this we had only taken the kids grocery shopping or to Walmart, places with large shopping carts. Ah not so available at Kohl’s, so staying together and confined was not happening. Jeremiah and Rachel still loved to touch everything, so they were pawing all the jewelry racks. I picked Rachel up and shooed the boys away. We headed (or at least I thought we all did) to the men’s section to look at shirts, when I heard Jeremiah yell, “Momma!” I turn to find Caleb poking the lady manikin’s bra in the lingerie department while Jeremiah is pointing to the bras and rubbing his chest then pointing to the panties and smacking his butt. Oh what a pair and a humorous sight (after the fact)! I discard Rachel in order to rescue my boys from the allure of the scantily clad manikins in the lingerie department. Rachel was having none of that, so she threw herself on the floor wailing loudly. I look at Jon and say, “You have to pick her up!” knowing that act was likely to cause the wailing to crescendo. Jon grabbed the drama queen and wandered in the direction of shoes… her first love! They immediately bonded like never before. Jon took her on a grand tour of all the splendor Kohl’s has to offer little girls, and for the first time ever… she allowed Jon to buckle her in her carseat when we left! They’ve been getting along great ever since! The way to a girl’s heart… shoe shopping and bling, bling!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Taking My Zoo to the ZOO, ZOO, ZOO!

I definitely have a wild and crazy bunch! After sticking somewhat close to home, we decided to venture out a little more in Week 3. Mind you since Rachel was still a less than stellar night sleeper, we all remained exhausted!!!!

Sunday morning had us at church and then out to eat with my parents and Matthew and Megan. Then, Monday, we headed out for some real adventure – the ZOO!!! The kiddos seemed to enjoy themselves and my Ethiopian cuties got excited when they saw some animals they recognized. Wonder what they thought of caged animals???  I know what they thought of the carousel - LOVED IT!!!!  Most importantly, we experienced a HUGE breakthrough while at the zoo… Daddy got to hold his baby girl! That’s right! Little Miss Priss wanted to see the rhino and this tired Momma refused to lift her. She had a dilemma… let the big, scary Daddy actually hold her or miss out on what the boys were seeing. She went with Daddy, and the bonding began. Believe it or not, he was able to hold her several times during this outing, and I have the pics to prove it. All still somewhat reluctant and reserved on Rachel’s part, but definitely a happy moment for Daddy (and Mommy too!)

Tuesday's outing was not met with the same excitement, doctor appointment day... YUCK!!!  After our experience with Rachel at UK, we opted not to use KY's International Adoption Doctor.  Instead, we sought out a pediatrician rather than our usual family physician.  Unfortunately, we were equally displeased with this experience.  UGHHHH... it really shouldn't be this hard.  Anyway, after what seemed like forever waiting for the doctor to fingerpeck every bit of information into his laptop, our kiddos got shot, after shot, after shot.  It was NOT pleasant!  All of Frankfort could probably hear the wailing...  poor babies!

The rest of the week kept us at home but we had lots of visitors.  More of our SCC adoption group peeps brought delicious food and treats.  Much thanks to Sam Tucker, the Kitzman's, and Haraldson's.  My co-workers, Denise and Stacy, visited on Friday afternoon and brought a surprise.  Stacy had all of the kids at school make cards for Jeremiah and Rachel.  Some were so sweet...  just like my students and of course, Stacy for coming up with the idea.  Uncle Adam and Auntie Val came Friday night, and we had lots of fun playing.

Our last roadtrip for the week was actually the longest car trip the kids had taken to date....  a whopping hour and fifteen minutes.  We went to visit Mama Spaulding and my parents.  My Ethiopian cuties have really warmed up to the family and of course, we are all absolutely enamored and in love with them!!!!

A Blur - Week 1 & 2

Sunday, February 21st, we landed at Bluegrass Airport and were well received by family and friends.  It was a wonderful homecoming!  After some meet and greet time and some precious, tender moments with Jeremiah, Caleb, and Rachel, it was time to FINALLY be a family of 5 and head home.  Yes, that means our mode of transportation is now a 1996 Chrysler Town & Country mini-van complete with 3 carseats.

Matthew & Megan were our first official visitors as they followed us home from the airport to bring some things we didn't have room to transport.  Obviously, not wanting my first domestic act upon returning home to be cooking, the gentleman ventured out to find some of my personal favorite cuisine.... McDonald's.  Yep...  we did it right, Jeremiah and Rachel's first meal in the good ol' USA was chicken nuggets and french fries.

It didn't take Jeremiah & Rachel long to explore and find that many of the toys in our house make noise.  They felt it imperative to locate all of these toys, bring them into the living room, press the button on one and immediately do so on the next, so that there was a continuous conglomeration of NOISE!!!!  If only the joy this activity brought for the children was the same for Jon and I....  by the grace of God and shear exhaustion from jet lag we enjoyed tolerated this for the first week.  As you can see from the pics, I felt the need to introduce much more quiet activities... play dough and paint. 

Tuesday, February 23rd, Miss Rachel woke up with a fever, runny nose, and yucky cough.  Since we knew she had pneumonia while in Ethiopia and the spot on her lung had returned in the chest x-ray, we felt it would be wise to seek medical care.  Her fever kept creeping, so I took Rachel to our primary care provider at 11 a.m.  I was not in any way prepared for the aftermath that followed.  Rachel's pulse ox was low, so she actually had a breathing treatment, we tried giving her tylenol and she threw up all over the place, and we became quarantined in the little examination room while KY's International Adoption doctor was being consulted.  At that point, we learned we were headed to UK Children's Hospital for what we thought was an admission to get some heavy antibiotics and knock the pneumonia quickly.  What we learned upon arriving at UK was we were being admitted under the assumption that Rachel would be kept in isolation and treated for TB.  UGHHHHHH!!!!!  We spent a dreadful, horribly night in the hospital.  Aside from the kind nursing staff that did the best they could since the doctors/residents kept them in the dark the majority of the time, the whole experience ranks up with the worst in my life.  Jon argued medical facts with the infectious disease doctor assigned to our case, and the combination of jet lag, separation from my sons, and Momma Bear protective instincts led me to be much more vocal with the doctor than I typically would be.  Whether considering us irrational and crazy or after consulting with the radiologist to learn her chest x-ray was clear, we were discharged in record time!!!!  And we all said "Hallelujah!!!"

Finally, we were able to be home, enjoy one another, begin to adapt and adjust, and REST!  We had a Sunday visit from Papaw & Mamaw and Mama Spaulding.  Mama Spaulding wasn't feeling well and was unable to meet us at the airport, so she was definitely itchin' to let the spoiling begin.  The boys loved their airplanes and Rachel her doll.

Other visitors for the first couple weeks included members of our wonderful Adoption Support Group from Southland Christian Church.  We have been meeting with these fine folks to learn, share, pray, support, and love one another once a month.  They are a tremendous group of people and such wonderful blessings.  The Crume's, Smith's, Roberts', and Frederick's were so kind to bring us yummy, tasty dishes!  I can't begin to explain how wonderful it was not to worry about food as we were recouping from travel and adjusting to our new family life.  Because these people are so dear to us and the kids were doing so well, we were able to attend our March monthly meeting even though we were still shy of 2 weeks home.  It was wonderful!!!!

As I said, the first two weeks are a blur.  I wish I had the soundness of mind to capture in writing every one of the kiddos firsts, every feeling, every thought, but my heart felt them no doubt!!!!  Enjoy some pics of our first trip to the park and my fave thing of all.... CUDDLIN' TIME!!!!  (Harder to physically do with 3, but oh... how good it feels!)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Re-caps for Withdrawl Sufferers

I do extend my apologies to my faithful adoption blog followers.  You were ever ready with prayers and words of encouragement when I needed them, and you truly embraced the amazing story God wrote for my family.  So many truly wonderful things/conversations/eye-opening experiences/thoughts/and feelings have transpired during my blog world absence, and I feel I have cheated you horribly.  Ok... who am I kidding?  I know you have been longing for pics of all 3 of my cuties!  While I know I can never recapture every detail of the past 5 months, I will do my best to hit the highlights.  Stay tuned to the next few posts...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm Back

Finally....  after a 5 month blogging hiatus, I have the itch to write (blog) again.  Shouts of joy, right???  Well, for those of you who followed every minute detail I chronicled in regards to our adoption journey, you may have missed the Wells family.  For those of you who have NO IDEA who we are, here goes....

We are the WELLS....  Daddy Jon and  Momma Angela and our three lively little ones.  February 21, 2010, we brought our two Ethiopian cuties, Jeremiah (5 years old) and Rachel (3 years old), home to join their brother, our sweet son Caleb (4 years old).  We have spent the past five months loving, adjusting, attaching, trusting, learning, growing, getting to know, crying, belly-laughing, praying, rejoicing, mourning, experiencing, exploring, and the list goes on. 

Relying wholly on God, we are thriving and flourishing as a family of 5.  This blog will be this Momma's  venue to share the life and times of the Wells family as we grow in faith and service to God, advocate for adoption/orphan care, homeschool, and find adventure.  As my previous adoption blog-stalkers recall, it is always my goal to be honest and transparent. So prepare yourself for the good, great, even better, the bad, and the ugly...  we run the gamut and that is REAL LIFE!  The best thing about our family...  we know, love, adore, and worship the CREATOR and GIVER OF LIFE!  Praying our family and others are continually pointed towards God through this blog!

It's so great to be back!!!!!!