Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

21 days

The countdown has begun! 21 days until we meet you, Little T! We have made arrangements for our ride to the airport (thanks Nana), for our dog sitter (thanks Jim, then A+B), and we are packing our bags!

We work the 4-8th then fly out early on the 9th, so we should be ready to go by the end of this week!


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Our Family to Yours!
- Michael, Tegegne, Kristyn, and Taryn

Friday, December 18, 2009

Confirmed Travel Dates

Little T,

We got confirmed travel dates today! Jan 16-23 we will be in Ethiopia. We were planning on Jan 1-9th, but will have to wait. I am sure the time will fly by and we will be there before we know it. We are bummed that it is later, but glad we have confirmation. I am still working on changing our itinerary with our travel agent. I'd like to give Golden Rule Travel a shout because they have been great to work with.

Guess what? One of my awesome new coworkers named Scott gave you two bags full of great toys, puzzles, flash cards, and farm animals. He gave them to me today and it made me so ready to play with you and teach you and help you learn lots of great things. We must write Scott a thank you note once you get here. We actually have lots of thank you notes to write. I better get them started. We have finger paint so we could stamp your hand on the front of the cards.

Talk soon,


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Neighbor Phil-vis

Dear Tegegne,

You will never believe the night we had! You see we have this great neighbor named Phil. He always brings Owen doggie treats from Three Dog Bakery on the Plaza. Well tonight he came over in rare form. He brought two slabs of pork ribs with sides for dinner, he was wearing an Elvis costume, and of course, he brought Owen a box full of gourmet doggie treats. Did you catch that he was dressed like Elvis? It's true, and it was awesome. He brought his guitar, a sheet with song lyrics and we sang and danced the night away. Phil cannot wait to meet you and teach you the guitar. He can play two songs at once and really jam some classical tunes.

Meet Phil. I mean Elvis.

One of the more enjoyable evenings we've had in a while. Thanks Phil! I mean Elvis...Hawaiian Elvis.

Tegegne moves!

After seeing so many great photos from our friends that have taken care packages over to Ethiopia for us, we go this breath of fresh air.  
This is a short video of Tegegne that our friends, John Mark and Karen Hutchenson, took for us while they picked up their handsome son.  
They are also adopting a girl from Ethiopia as well.  Thanks to them for taking our 2nd care package and for giving us some great photos and this video! 

He doesn't say much, but he sure is cute.   Click here.


T - you used to be this little...

Dear Michael & Kristyn

Just wanted to inform you of info from our adoption agency:

Dear Michael & Kristyn,

As our transition home psychologist works to prepare the children for adoption and family life and ensures they have a healthy development process in the transition home she has and under has informed us of the need for the following items that are not available for purchase in Ethiopia:

1. Talking Puppets (those that can be maneuvered to “talk”)

2. Family Dolls

3. Plastic Animals

4. Play Dough

Little T - You know what's funny about this??? I totally had a puppet and play dough on my packing list for you! I must be a psychologist myself!

Dear Michael & Kristyn,

Thank you for your patience as we are working hard with our in-country staff to confirm your concrete travel dates to Ethiopia. There are still a few paperwork pieces outside of our control needing finalization before we can confirm that you can travel on your tentatively scheduled dates.

We have been informed by several families booking with Susan Parr Travel with tentative travel dates of January 2nd – January 9thmost flights are full for the January 2nd departure date and there is now a waiting list. Families always have the option to travel with the next group, tentatively scheduled for January 16th – January 23rd. There is also the option of arriving in Ethiopia a day or two early. The cost of the additional nights in the guest house will be added to the total of your in-country travel package cost.

We will let you know as soon as your travel dates are confirmed. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions during this time.

Again, thank you for your patience. We look forward to confirming your travel dates!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Toto Knit

Hey Son,
How ya doing? Thanks to Design Mom, I learned about Toto Knits. They are cotton safari animals made in Kenya. Our friends just adopted their son from Rwanda and they took a safari. I would love to go on a safari with you. If we do a safari I think you, your dad, and I should all wear Elephant Toto Knits! What do you think the real animals would do? Laugh at us? Unfortunately, they don't come in sizes to fit adults. Too bad I didn't catch onto knitting or I'd whip us up our own elephant family sweaters.
We still have tentative travel that will hopefully become concrete this week. In the mean time we move forward with packing and planning like those dates are the real thing. That means we meet you in 20 days. (Jan 4= first meeting, Jan 5= pick you up!) Are you ready to meet us? It will be here before we know it!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

BIg Eyes, Little Guy...

Tegegne - 

it is true, you are a little guy.  now we think that you weigh only around 21 - 23 lbs, and you're somewhere around 2 yrs old.  i frequently try to "compare" your measurements with others around your age and i continually laugh.  you seem so little.  on one end i am glad; your mom will be able to hold you, something she wants to do for hours.  on the other end, i want to wrestle, run and play like fathers and sons play right now, but that will come in due time.  

for the past few months all i have been doing is staring at your eyes.  i look as far as i can into your eyes and dream of what you will become.  i want you to be great.  i want you to love and respect your mother and make her proud.  i want you to hold her hand and i want you to pray with her and for her.  i want you to be one of her biggest fans.  i want you to run, i want you to laugh.  i want you to fear Jesus and respect His longing for you.  i want you to tell others about Him and to be proud of where He brought you.  i want you to love yourself.  i want you to be a better man than me.  i want you to be so many things, but above all, i want you to know that you are loved and pursued.  from the day you were introduced to us to the day we must separate, i want you to know that your mother and i loved you more than you could ever imagine.  

your eyes have seen so many things, and soon they will see me and your mother.  we are coming for you son, and dream of you often.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Dear Tegegne,

We have flights that will get us to Addis Ababa on Jan 2 and home on Jan 10 at 6:30pm! (AWAA hasn't confirmed our travel dates, but we had to book before flights were full. Our itinerary luckily only has a $50 change fee. We are hopeful that we won't change dates though.)That is going to be here before we know it! Yippee! I hope you had a good day. Your dad and I are going to the movies tonight. A date night.
That calls for another yippee!

Talk soon little guy,


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Journey to you

(This kind man was trying to get you to smile for the camera, Little T. Looks like you are either on the verge of smiling or crying.)

Tomorrow we are supposed to get confirmed travel dates from our travel helper at America World. In the mean time I looked for flights because I heard they were getting booked.  Originally we thought that our journey to you would be a good time to stop through Paris and visit several dear friends. I mentioned this to the first two travel agents, then on the third, fourth, and fifth agents I called I dropped the Paris idea because I knew we just had to get to Ethiopia! I had two flights on hold that did not include Paris, but at the very end of the day one of the first agents emailed me with a great itinerary that included Paris. AND it was several hundred dollars cheaper than the other flights only to ET and back. That itinerary is leaving KC Dec 27 for Paris. Paris to Ethiopia on Jan 1. We either fly home Jan 9 or 12, still tbd. He said it was the cheapest option and that there were not many options to pick from. 

Tegegne, I think we may be traveling with several great families that are most likely adopting your friends/wrestle buddies. Our agency sends us in groups, and our group so far has 3 other families with darling children. Can't wait to meet up with the Roots, Rices, and Warrens in Addis! 

Love you,


P.S. Timothee, Agnes, Justine, Stephan...we are most likely coming to Paris to see you! I should know for certain tomorrow. We cannot wait to spend time with you! I will apologize in advance that you will not get to meet our little guy. 

A Walk to Beautiful

Dear Reader,

I got a comment from Natalya on behalf of Engel Entertainment, who produced A Walk to Beautiful. I thought I'd give it another shout out and let you know that you can purchase the full DVD on their website,, or by calling, 212-413-9200. It's a great film. Check it out!

a flight...please?


Will you please save a spot on a plane to Ethiopia so we can get Tegegne? Like around Dec 31-Jan9?


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

TENTATIVE Travel Dates

Dear Michael and Kristyn,

Your family's tentative date of departure to Ethiopia is January 2, 2010. You will be in Ethiopia for approximately 5 days and will return to the US on January 9, 2010. Please keep in mind that this is a tentative date that is subject to change depending on the timeframe of completion of your child(ren)'s post court paperwork. The timeframe of processing post court paperwork is case specific and may differ for each family. We will do all we can to get you off to Ethiopia as soon as possible and will let you know by the end of this week if you will be able to travel on these dates.

Please note the consulate in Addis limits the number of families we can submit at each weekly appointment. This is also a factor as we determine the earliest possible date your family can travel. Within 7-10 days of passing court we will notify your family of your concrete travel dates.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tegegne's Announcement

Ethiopians tell us that your name means "I have been found" or "chosen". Well, your dad and I along with a lot of great people are so glad that you have been found and placed into our family. I have been thinking a lot about our meeting day. Although you are young and will be sad to leave your kind nannies with whom you have bonded, I pray that there is a part of you that will feel peace when they place you in our arms. May you feel warmly loved and cared for from the moment our eyes meet. In the mean time I will work on learning some key Amharic words. I think I will also try to learn some Amharic songs.

We are your mom and dad officially today, but really God new that we were your forever mom and dad even before you were born.


Meet our son - Tegegne Dena Jones!

We officially passed court today and are the parents of Tegegne! God is good. I am so happy I can hardly type straight!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Walk To Beautiful

I watched this film this weekend, A Walk To Beautiful. It is a documentary on Ethiopian women who live in rural areas outside of Addis Ababa and what they go through with health complications in childbirth. I have been thinking about these women often and my heart goes out to them. You can watch it on PBS online.

I think I will look for a few more documentaries on your country before we travel.

I was packing your things tonight. They suggest 5 outfits for you while we are there. I need to buy a few more items to make your outfits complete. Also need some cozy pjs that will fit you and a onsie that is extremely cozy for the long trek home. Your dad can hardly stand looking at your little clothes right now because he's so ready for you to be in them!

Tis the season of Advent where we prepare for Christ's coming into the world! We are being watchful and aware of what God has going on in and around us. Tomorrow night we will pray for the Judge as he reviews our papers (9 hours difference in ET so Dec 8 happens there before it happens here). I'll let you know on Tuesday when I hear from America World.

Love you dear.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Checking In

Hey cutie pie. How are you? Your dad is out visiting with a friend, and your big dog and I are snuggled up by the fire. I'm reading adoption blogs and thinking of you. It is so good to read the blogs with Ethiopian kids recently home. It is good to hear that it is not always an easy transition home. You will grieve your loss and deal with the major changes in your routine. I just wonder when and how you will show it. I am taking a free course on how to make you a Life Book. I have gotten started on yours, but look forward to working on it more. Your life book will entail anything and everything about your life before us, and with us. While in Ethiopia, these are the things I need to remember to get for your life book:

  • Any additional information about your birth family.
  • A note to you from your nanny written in Amharic.
  • A leaf from a tree outside the Transition Home.
  • Photos of your homeland and people of all ages.
  • Traditions on holidays. (I read that ET celebrates Christmas Jan 7, and I would love to be there to see what it is like.)
  • We look forward to taking in as much culture as possible. The music, the people, the smells. The coffee ceremony, the arts and crafts.
Your dad brought home a cd tonight called "The Children of Uganda." It's beautiful African music by orphaned children that live around Uganda. He filled the house with the music and we danced around for a bit! We like to have fun and laugh. We look forward to dancing around the house with you in the African way!

Get your dancin' shoes ready Little T.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Quick Note from the Mama

It's true, our papers were locked up in a box and our Ministry of Women's and Children's Affairs representative was gone and he had the key. This occurred to several other families in our agency today and we are all getting a second chance next Tuesday! 

We are doing well and know that our son will be home before we know it. This is not an easy process, but the outcome is pretty fabulous so I'd say it's worth the bumpy ride. Thank you for your prayers and thoughtfulness. 


No Dice Today

Little Guy - 

So we just got word that the guy that has your paper work was not at work today, and he took the keys.  No one could get to your file, so the Judge couldn't see your case.  He did, however, see some parts of your case that were very important.  This helps you a lot.  

He gave you another court date for Dec. 8th.  Since we got a lot of information out of the way for you today, the Judge needs only to see your file.  Apparently it looks much more hopeful on Dec. 8th that we will be able to legally call you our son.  

That is what I, (pops), understand.  Your mother will probably update the details.  Hold in a little while longer, we're coming. 

Sleep well and wrestle somebody!
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