Home forever ONE month today!!!!! We have been busy loving on our little guy! Being a family of 5 ROCKS!
Wow!!!! We can hardly believe it, but Daniel Mamo has been home now for ONE month! We have been super duper BUSY with this little guy! He is such a doll. Here are some answers to many of your questions and OF COURSE, LOTS of photos!!!
HOW HAS THE TRANSITION BEEN? WAS IT HARD?
It has been REALLY easy! He just fit right in with us, like he had been here all along. We feel VERY blessed that his transition and ours was so easy. It was just so easy; did I just say that? :) So easy in fact, that Philip and I have asked each other WHY don't more people adopt? If you have kids already, then you just add another mouth to feed and another heart to love! It's been a SUPER easy transition! Thank you LORD! I know we are very blessed to have had such an easy transition to each other!
HOW IS IT GOING WITH ROBBY AND CAITLIN? ARE THEY ADJUSTING WELL WITH HAVING A NEW BROTHER?
They LOVE him to pieces. They are so proud of their little brother and they smother him constantly with attention, hugs and kisses. They love showing him off to their friends and their friends are just eat him up to, so the little guy is constantly being loved on! :)
HAVE ALL OF YOU BONDED WITH HIM?
YES! He is such a sweet boy. At first, he was more of a daddy's boy, but now he is a mama's boy too! We all love each other so much and he trusts us completely! One of OUR favorite things to do with him is lay down at night in his bed with him while he falls asleep. He always snuggles up next to me, places both of his hands on my cheeks, pulls up close to me, kisses both of my cheeks and says that he loves me. Melts a mama's heart, let me tell ya!. I am so glad that Jesus broke my heart for what breaks his. I am so happy that he told us to get out of comfort zone and to see what breaks his heart. I am so Happy that we obeyed and as a reward, we now have a sweet, sweet boy, who had no one to care for him, living in our midst for a lifetime! We are so thankful for his love and the opportunity to love on him ! No doubt about it, He is God's precious gift!
WHAT DOES HE THINK ABOUT HIS NEW HOUSE?
He loved it. He still mostly plays downstairs where we are... he doesn't play a whole lot in his room yet, he wants to be with us at all times. (Which is fine with mama!) Just realized we never showed you his cute room! He has recently found his train table and takes trips upstairs to play with this! He has gotten over his fear of the doggies... he really likes Acey! Acey even let him walk him! Mamo does now sleep in his room and he is a REALLY GOOD sleeper! He sleeps from 8pm till 7am usually! That's 11 hours folks!!! :) Yay! Nap time is a struggle ( but we don't care so much since he is sleeping so long at night!)- we just have quiet time in his room for 45 minutes but he rarely goes to sleep. He loves to read books!
WHAT ILLNESS DID HE HAVE WHEN YOU FIRST CAME HOME?
The final diagnosis was Rota virus, which he may have picked up on the plane, the airport or anywhere. He also had a couple parasite friends that have been kicked out of his tummy. Our tummy is now a LOT smaller! He also had a bladder infection and of course a touch of ringworm. All of that is now under control as well. We were just so blessed he didn't have malaria. So relieved. Once we got all the diagnosis, we had him cleaned up in no time. Again, pretty easy! and He feels sooo much better! So happy! He had probably had some of that stuff for a really long time!!!
WHAT DID HE THINK ABOUT THE AMERICAN CHRISTMAS?
Well, he literally JUST arrived, but Christmas morning he walked into our den to see a cool tent and a bunch of toys and he figured out pretty quickly they were for him! He became quite the PROFESSIONAL present opener...so many people have stopped by to see him and even though we already had a shower for him, people keep showing up with gifts! Thanks to everyone...I have been meaning to get to my thank you notes,,,,please understand he has kept us so busy, and I haven't had time!!!! BUT we are truly thankful for all of your sweet gifts! :)
HAVE YOU TAKEN HIM TO CHURCH YET?
Well, we ventured out for the first time with him last Sunday. We just went to one service and then we came home. He is still quite overwhelmed with everything, but he is also very trusting us that he is safe. He just sat right beside us and he did real good for the entire hour service. We have talked to our pastor about having him baptized, and we are thinking that may happen in February sometime. Visit from Reverend Strange!
ARE YOU LIVING AT THE DOCTOR?
IT seemed like it at first, since he was sick when he came home. We have been to the doctor twice, hospital for labs once for a blood draw, been to Vandy Children's ER for more blood draws, he's had 4 shots, been to a Urologist and we have made a trip to the dentist. Most of his appointments were within his first week of being home, so now it has really slowed down! He has done reasonably well at all of these appointments. Blood draws were definitely the worst. Shots were not a big deal really. The Dentist visit was a piece of cake! He was so proud of his NEW toothbrush they gave him!!! He really liked the dentist! We have 4 more shots at the end of this month!
IS HE GOING TO START PRESCHOOL SOON?
Yes, our hopes are that first of February we start 2 days a week at CPA! He is excited about going to school! When Robby and Caitlin are gone at school he tells me he wants to go to school. Mamo school? Mamo teacher? He loves to ride in the car when we go pick up Caitlin at school. We have pointed out his school and he says Mamo school soon. So cute! Only problem here is that he knows Robby rides the school bus to school, so guess who wants to ride a bus to school? He's not gonna like it when he finds out Mommy and Daddy are the bus! We passed 2 busses today out running errands and the little guy is screaming from the backseat "Mommy bus, Daddy Bus!!! Mamo bus! Uh-oh!
HOW LONG ARE YOU OFF WORK?
I go back to work middle of March! Time is flying by already! I am loving being at home with him! He is a blast! We have been enjoying so many "FIRSTS" with him! We are soaking up every minute and continuing to bond and love each other! I am so grateful that I was able to take this time with him! We have been VERY busy! :)
WHAT DID HE THINK OF THE SNOW?
Well, that small snow we got at Christmas he was not a fan. Too cold! The first few weeks he was home, he was constantly COLD! Bless his heart! He did go on the sled at my mom's house, but there was very little snow! So, really this past week was his first time to see a BIG snow! We all bundled up and went out and he LOVED it! He mostly ate the snow! All the neighborhood kids kept handing him snowballs and laughing at how much snow he was eating!!! New Friends in our neighborhood :) He stayed out longer than his mommy and his sister and he cried when daddy made him come back in! Guess he got over the cold part of snow! He was freezing, but he didn't want to miss out on any of the fun...he wanted to be with his Robby and his friends! Later he went back out with daddy and big brother and they went sledding! He loved it! Thawing out inside.... and our First Hot Cocoa... The next day he went out with mommy and we did some more sledding! He sled with me a few times and then wanted to do it on his own. Mr.Independent! I would have killed Philip if he had done it, but mama let him do it! He did great! (But I was not up for trying that again...once was enough!) You really let go of all control, because remember you can tell him what to do, but he doesn't understand when I say lean back or keep you hands in the sled. Oi! He was beaming as he got to the bottom of the hill and I was beaming he wasn't hurt!
ARE YOU GOING TO KEEP CALLING HIM MAMO? Daniel? Daniel Mamo?
Well, he doesn't really get that we are trying to give him an American name. He thinks we are being funny when we call him Daniel Mamo. He says Daniel Mommy, Daniel Robby, Daniel Daddy and Daniel Caitlin. LOL. I blame Philip because he started calling him Mamo-licious right before we called him Daniel Mamo and he thinks that is hilarious. So when Philip calls him that, then he calls us daddy-licious, mommy-licous, Robby-licous, Caitlin-licous and starts cracking up laughing.... So for now he is Mamo! His given name is Daniel Mamo, so if he decides he wants an American name one day,then he has one! He is old enough to know what his name is...and he has already lost so much...and we think Mamo is sweet! :) So if you want him to answer you, and not call you Daniel (insert your name here), then call him Mamo. After all, that has been his name for 3 1/2 years! :)
DO YOU JUST HANG AT HOME WITH HIM ALL DAY?
At first this is what we thought we would do. A lot of our adoption education suggested we just hang and cocoon him. Well, we have cocooned him, but we have also been venturing out. He has been to McDonald's for a Happy Meal.... which was his treat for surviving 4 shots at the doctor! He has been on a Sam's run and to Chick-Fil-a, he has been to the park on those few warmer days we had, he has been to lunch with his mom's friends to the Puffy Muffin! He has gone to see his sister's school, he has been to the YMCA. He has been to Las Palmas three times! He has had a playdate at Mama Meg's house and we have been to the library for story time! He LOVES TO GO!!!! Once we are all dressed for the day, he wants to know where we are going!!! He starts saying Mamo Mommy's car or Mamo Daddy's car! He is such a goood little guy! He really isn't fussy or anything! My friends and I were surprised how well he did at a long lunch at the Puffy! He was quite enterntained with his food and was content while we visited! Last week we went on our first play date at Mama Megs!The Benton boys are so much fun! First Ice Cream treat at Chick-Fil-A.....He LOVED it! :)He thought it was funny how cold it was! He loves Mulk (Milk),so we figured he would love the icecream treat! HOW IS HIS ENGLISH COMING ALONG?
His english is coming along REALLY well. We have been saying more things in English to him instead of Amharic forcing him to use the english word. We are letting him ask us for stuff now instead of assuming what he wants. (Example- I know he wantS Cheerios for breakfast, but we are pushing to say Mamo hungry and to say cereal.) Making progrss here. It's been a lot easier than we thought it would be comminicating with him. Its been fun too! We have all learned a little of Amharic and he is learning English and is proud of himself when he gets it!He can say Mamo Mommys car, daddy work, Robby and Caitlin-lin school, Mamo hungry, good morning, thank you, please, car, doggie, he knows all of his facial body parts, he can count to 10 in english, he knows most of the days of the week, he knows a lot of fruits, he loves to tell us he wants chocolate mulK and EVERYDAY his list is growing! Just yesterday he said a WHOLE LOT of words we didn't realize he knew. He is listening to EVERYTHING and processing all day! Yesterday, He told the dogs to SHUT UP when they were barking and we just all stood in amazement. We quickly corrected him that that wasn't a nice word. We were asking each other where he has heard that word before? Hmmm.. Robby and Caitlin had just gotten in a squabble and aparently that word was used ( mom apparently hadn't heard that), and daddy often tells the doggies to shut up when they are barking like crazy. Hmmm, we have to modify some word choices around here! LOL. He doesn't miss a beat!
A FEW OF MAMO'S FAVORITE THINGS....
Playdough, his trike, his inch worm, cho-co-late mulk (that is our favorite thing he says), bananas, oranges, cookies, cupcakes, (really any kind of food- he is NOT a picky eater!) He loves to read his books, he loves to play with his cars, and he LOVES his tools! This boy loves his shoes... (a real deep love for shoes) ha, ha) his always has his water bottle with him (he's very hydrated :), he loves to help mommy cook... and help Caitlin bake, he loves to be a HELPER, He is a daddy snuggler, he loves to watch Calliou, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,Handy Manny and the Bernstein Bears! He loves his daddy, he loves his mommy, he loves his Caitlin and he loves his Robby and constantly wants to know where he is..
It has truly been a busy and fun filled month as we grew from a family of 4 to a Family of 5! I wouldnt trade any of these memories for the world! We are so thankful for the gift of this little boy! He makes us ALL smile ALL day long!
Feel free to use anything that you find useful on this blog. We are all in this together, all trying to advocate for the orphan and raise awareness of the need to ADOPT. I am not trying to attach my name to anything, just trying to bring attention to the fatherless.
We are a family that has truly been blessed! Phil and I were married 9 years ago and we NOW have 3 amazing children! Robby is 15 and Caitlin is age 13, and Mamo age 5. God sent Robby and Caitlin into our lives shortly after we were married and each moment has been a joyous one! In December 2010, we adopted our youngest from Ethiopia, Africa. We are a family who has been created by adoption and have been blessed beyond measure! I have the most amazing husband in the world...Philip you are my ROCK and my BEST friend! :)
July 20 Met Daniel Mamo in Ethiopia on Mission Trip with Ordianry Hero
July 21 Phil says YES and schedules Homestudy AppointmentJuly 24-Robby and I Return Home from Ethiopia
Jul 29 FIRST Homestudy Visit
July 29 Sue with CCI agrees that we may pursue Mamo!
Sept 8 Dossier completed and submitted
Sept 9 I-600a completed and sumbitted
Sept 20 - Daniel receives care package from us and learns he we are coming to him to be his FOREVER family!!
Sept 28 Ethiopian Courts RE-OPEN!!
Sept 28 Payne/Mamo case submitted to the ET courts Oct 12 Received FIRST Court Date of Nov 10th! Travel booked! Woo hoo!
Oct 19th Fingerprinting Appointment for I600-A Nov 4 Begin Journey to Ethiopia Nov 10 Court Date in Ethiopia - WE PASSED!!!!
Nov 12 Come home! Praying to go back SOON to bring him home FOREVER!! Nov 22 Mamo's Birth Certificate issued!
Nov 29th Mamo's Medical Clearance and Passport Issued Dec 8 Receive email that we have been cleared for travel for Embassy appt Dec 16 Dec 13 Begin Journey back to Ethiopia Dec 16 US Embassy Appointment Dec 19 Return HOME as a family of 5 Forever!!!