Friday, November 29, 2013

Elisabeth's Thanksgiving

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Poor Elisabeth has caught a cold. The same cold that has passed one by one through all of us since we've been back in the states (except Elsa, she must have some amazing African immune system!). 

Yesterday morning Elisabeth seemed downright miserable - more so than a simple runny nose. And because walk-in urgent cares won't even look at her, I decided to take her to the ER to make sure it wasn't something serious (when you have a child like QE it is better to be safe than sorry) . So after I got the turkey prepped and into the oven, Elisabeth went and got blood work + a chest x-ray. What they found was an upper respiratory infection.

 Elisabeth is still so miserable. She has barely opened her eyes today. There is just something extra sad about seeing Elisabeth sick. A child so perfect and pure should never be ill - it just doesn't seem right. Here's hoping tomorrow brings her increased energy and strength.

First Lost Tooth (on American Soil)

Elsa has lost a tooth!

I repeat, she has lost a tooth!

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First she wiggled it.

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And then Daddy stepped in to add a little more man-power.

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It's out!

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And then Alexandra and Lorelai gave her a quick tutorial on things like tooth pillows and tooth fairies and money.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


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[The Sorenson Family (minus Elisabeth), pictured on Mount Entoto, Ethiopia.]

What a blessed, blessed 
month this has been! 

Happy Thanksgiving 
from our family to yours!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Final Memories of Ethiopia

I could easily keep posting about our adventures and in Ethiopia - but if I do I will fall behind on posting about the amazing things that are happening here at home, now, today.

So here is one final glance back at some favorite memories and moments...

 photo 2aa13598-6400-4b1c-8a1a-9b387e0d86f6_zps3a6c38cb.jpg  photo e8a7a3db-5628-4617-8c91-3aa7cd02b743_zpsd65f64b1.jpg  photo fe02c63c-4260-4caf-b8bf-c6729d50a59c_zps80be2492.jpg  photo bc37a174-5f62-45a6-a129-71553e346e19_zps8f5fca9e.jpg  photo 77ee37d9-c892-46f8-953d-0ee77ce91671_zps2d6bd21a.jpg  photo b58888f6-003f-4db7-8cbf-ff19b454f46c_zpsaf16c388.jpg  photo c23b4225-5499-4486-948e-2cc35700cc09_zps8577717d.jpg  photo 9179f04c-af0e-4e34-9886-a211accd793a_zpsb64ebb2c.jpg  photo d8be896e-a742-4b3d-9cd8-23cf6bacf1b2_zps3892e2ea.jpg  photo e8ad89a9-0cfa-4763-9628-11964c24a41d_zps0cf91a4e.jpg  photo 64230462-97ba-4fd1-9c72-1f880017af41_zpsd39b1173.jpg  photo a4fd238b-20ff-4bde-871c-35c0453f736d_zps216ce564.jpg  photo d2936145-0163-4af7-8168-83f251f084eb_zps4d51dd5d.jpg  photo 9976500c-6183-48de-8736-70c3c81dcd2c_zps7f105722.jpg  photo dc3de471-cac9-48e1-af07-1c7bcd872d07_zpseb03c10d.jpg  photo e8e9afe8-539d-4b28-a9bc-301872f7e26c_zpsde504a81.jpg  photo 80eb5c1d-7806-4d52-9c09-5ce3602a2c0c_zpsb43d61bc.jpg  photo b32c75b6-eada-4a1b-bbff-5fb956f86ba5_zps642b96eb.jpg  photo c52efd4e-ca1b-4592-a963-cebd5210f607_zpsa8d995e6.jpg  photo 669f9660-c33a-45a1-ad70-f08b9f19c559_zps8ac320aa.jpg  photo 0aea6f84-e940-4381-aa47-bf829c0ca4b0_zpsf334d63e.jpg  photo 4c586e4a-751c-40c8-a05d-225ac74a0431_zps3a82e1ed.jpg  photo 1c78fa3d-0cbe-4e88-a40e-a10af306d0af_zps6829e9cb.jpg  photo 9cd575f6-23d8-4b2e-b773-a18d382e3bdd_zps38b66601.jpg  photo ea679c28-a3b3-44b2-a1ad-17012049169d_zps7f69022e.jpg  photo 6d2306e3-674b-453a-b587-d6a5ee3f6da1_zpsb81a7493.jpg  photo 181af9c0-9b45-4e4a-b2f9-6a5c341141f0_zps26104c34.jpg  photo 5da61684-9133-4379-bc9b-72780033a06e_zps340ac916.jpg  photo 13d787fd-6cff-43e1-b0d0-9cc78c5c19ac_zps312d3ad3.jpg  photo e1e715d3-c206-4780-bb5b-b5c1cbd675d4_zps6ffaf2d8.jpg  photo 25194794-8f9d-4481-a4c1-7e2f0f52fbe2_zps6ebeec49.jpg  photo 12f142f1-e48e-4e81-a58b-86bec7040cb5_zps4decbf2c.jpg  photo cba1b4fe-1f62-4bdf-a68a-37d171c9d181_zpsc3ed4c74.jpg  photo d000beee-6560-48f8-afaa-9d6528bfb2b8_zpsd0006c69.jpg  photo 08815719-2319-40c1-a6af-17016f210b0d_zps0b453c67.jpg  photo 89d0f95f-18fc-40f6-9cd4-a1af7f632fea_zps68f7b22c.jpg 

Farewell for now, Ethiopia.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Elsa's Spa Day

One of the reasons I always wanted daughters was so I could have fun creating beautiful hairdo's. Lucky me, I have four little girls. Of course, I have yet to learn how to braid Elsa's hair, but mark my word - I will.

The night day before we left Ethiopia we decided to take Elsa to a salon in Addis Ababa so that she would have freshly done hair for the trip home. It was her first time getting extensions and she winced in discomfort all along the way. But - I think she would tell you it was worth it. Oh, how she smiled as she saw herself in the mirror afterwards!

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P.s. - Those hair extensions only cost $5.00! And that included getting her hair washed and dried! 

There's no way I'm going to find that kind of a price here in the states...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

National Adoption Day

Today is National Adoption Day. Today also marks one week since we returned to the United States with our daughter, Elsa.

Throughout the 15 month adoption process I often thought about what this week would be like. I envisioned watching Elsa's eyes get wide at the sight of her new bedroom; I pictured her sitting alongside the girls in the backseat of the van while we drove about town; I wondered about her personality and how it would blend with our family; I hoped that she would be comfortable with us - and most of all, happy.

Well, I am pleased to say that this week has been everything I had imagined and more. Elsa has plugged right into our family - and what an easy transition it has been! She and the girls have become best friends and the highlight of my day is watching as they run into each others arms when school lets out.

I've also been thrilled with the rate at which Elsa is learning English. It is unbelievable! We have absolutely no communication problems whatsoever. She understands everything we say, and - with the exception of a few shy days - she talks constantly. And let's talk about her personality: this girl is funny! She loves to make us laugh and Alexandra even said, "She makes facial expressions as good as Lucille Ball" (that is a huge compliment coming from Alexandra - an I Love Lucy aficionado!).

I'm enjoying these first days and weeks immensely, each moment filled with something new. Watching Elsa discover this new world she lives in has been so rewarding and humbling.

I am grateful she is mine.

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[One of my favorite photographs from our trip.]

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Farewell Ceremony

On November 13, two days after we picked Elsa up, we returned to the orphanage for her farewell ceremony. All the other children were dressed in traditional Ethiopian attire and we watched as they sang songs and played games. It was there that Elsa cried for the first time, feeling the emotion and reality of saying goodbye to not only her friends, but to the nannies who have raised her.

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[Using my phone to take pictures of her friends.]

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[I can see deep thought on Elsa's face - and rightfully so - she was about to say goodbye to everyone and everything she has known.]

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[Our family pictured along with Elsa's nannies.]

 Elsa, bidding farewell to her friends at the orphanage:
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