August 19, 2009

August 16, 2009

Special Gifts

Janissa has received so many gifts - all of them special. I am overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support she and I have received from so many wonderful family members and friends. There are, however, a couple of gifts that I wanted to share with you; and those are the hand-made items. I am not the least bit talented when it comes to sewing, knitting, crocheting, etc., so I am always in awe of those who can make such beautiful things with their hands.

The first item is a little yellow sweater made by my good friend Marcia. I can't wait until it fits Janissa!

My cousin Frances wove this darling blanket and also made the mama and baby hedge hogs. So cute!

My sister-in-law Kathy, who lives in the Seattle area and traveled with me to Ethiopia, told a woman at her church my story. The woman's name is Elaine and she crocheted this beautiful blanket that Kathy surprised Janissa and I with the first day we were together.

Finally, a friend told a friend about my adoption journey and this wonderful lady has been following along via my blog. At Janissa's welcome home party, my friend gave me this incredible scrapbook as a gift from her friend - the most amazing scrapbook I have ever seen! She (Marja - even downloaded comments and photos off my blog and put them in the book. Janissa and I will add special photos and treasure this book forever.

Thank you to everyone who has welcomed my little Janissa home with open arms and loving hearts!

August 5, 2009

Home a Month

Janissa and I have been home for a month now. It was a month of many firsts for her. First time in the USA, first time in a swimming pool, an outlet mall, meeting family and friends, having her own room, tasting different foods (she loves pancakes and toast with peanut butter). Everything was new to her. She has adapted so well. At her doctor's appointment she was 18 lbs. 12 oz. and 27 inches tall. She will have her follow up visit soon. It's apparent she has grown!

Janissa is incredibly smart and has made such progress in only one month. She went from not being able to use her lower legs (muscles hadn't developed) and doing the army crawl to crawling on all fours and climbing to stand on her own. She now has 6 teeth and 2 more are breaking through. She imitates everything I do. She can say mama, outside, pancake and Janissa (sounds like A-Gee-Juh), and many other words.

One thing is for sure - this little girl is LOVED SO MUCH - and not just by me. She steals every one's heart. Okay, now for the moment you've all been waiting for - 11 minutes of Janissa (below) with a few friends and family thrown in. Enjoy!

August 2, 2009

Beautiful Ethiopia

I love Ethiopia; it is a beautiful country. But it isn't the scenery, weather or food that I love so much (although I did love the coffee, which they call buna) - it is the Ethiopian people. They are what make the country so beautiful, so rich in culture and tradition. It is the people that will bring me back there some day. Every person I encountered was kind and compassionate. We were treated as one of their own. It is a country where Jews, Muslims and Christians live together in peace. It is a country filled with respect for its past, present and future. I will never forget that they gave me my daughter and look forward to the time when I can bring Janissa back to visit her homeland.