Friday, August 14, 2015

Celebrating AJ - 5 Years Home

Five years ago today, a little boy who had hardly ridden in a car before got off an airplane in Kentucky to be with his forever family.  We are so proud of the young man he's becoming.  He has gone from a boy who could not sit still and who won the "loudest kid" competition at camp without knowing that it was a "loudest kid" competition, to a perfect gentleman.  He loves listening to music - particularly Johnny Cash and Kirk Franklin.  He's gone from a boy who hates to read to one that devours books in no time, particularly if they have sword fights and/or dragons.  He runs like a gazelle and is the fastest kid we've ever seen.  His biggest love is soccer, and he is an absolute phenomenon on the pitch, but he also enjoys and excels at basketball.  While he still loves Ethiopian food, Chinese food may be his favorite.  He is an artist with a lawnmower and a huge help to his mom around the "homestead".  He gets along well with his little sisters, as long as they stay out of his room.  We love him very, very much.

To celebrate AJ's anniversary in our family, watch how he's grown through these five short years:

We took this picture in March 2009 when we traveled to Kamashi, Ethiopia, way out on the Sudanese border, to adopt our girls.  We had no idea at the time that we would return just over a year later to bring little Amsalu home.

In August 2010, Matt traveled to Ethiopia to bring this little 8-year-old home.  This picture was taken on a sightseeing trip to the Jema River Gorge.

Meeting Mom for the first time, August 14, 2010, at Bluegrass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky.

Our first family photo shoot in November 2010





August 14, 2015 - waiting for the bus to West Jessamine Middle School, our 13-year-old man-child of a 7th Grader.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

First Day of School 2015

Yesterday was the first day of school for these three.  Essie and Chloe are in the 4th Grade, and AJ studied all summer so he could make up one of his missed years and skip to the 7th Grade.  (He was especially motivated to do this because 7th Graders are eligible to play on the High School Junior Varsity Soccer Team, which he is doing - and excelling.)  My, how they've grown!

To show how much they've grown, check out this picture from just three years ago:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Difficult Goodbye

After only being in our family for about 5 months, sweet Opal had to be put down yesterday due to complete renal failure.  Since she is only 3 years old, it is assumed she ingested some toxin that caused her organs to shut down.  She was a good dog who had a very loyal following on Facebook.  We are all sad to have had to say goodbye too soon.