Monday, September 21, 2009

Go Cowboys!!


Since we couldn't be with Maya on her first birthday, we had a "Wish we had been with you on your birthday, birthday party"!!! The candle is one our friend Lucy gave us. We burn it every year until she is 18. It has her name at the bottom.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

One Week

I can't believe a week ago we came home to a wonderful crowd full of love and support with our beautiful daughter!! What an amazing week it has been! Full of big brothers hugs and laughter, waffles, dogs (not so sure about these yet!), kisses and more kisses, a backyard and swings, friends, and more love than any of us can fathom!! She is full of wonder and surprises us every day with her smiles and kisses! She is actually beginning to understand some things and make some connections and I think she is beginning to believe that we are all here to stay and that she is loved and so are we!
Thanks Ms. Debbi for the beautiful dress!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Since we've been home

Breakfast with our sister!!
I love my new bean bag!!

How abou that hair!!! We took out the braids and Carter said her hair looked like a volcano exploded!!! It was big! And very cool!!!

On our way home from the airport! We were worried about strapping her into the car seat because in Ethiopia she would ride in our laps in the back seat! Well, when she go tin and saw her two brothers, AND that they had twizzlers (thanks Aunt Cindy!!!) she was set!! She loved the twizzlers and her brothers were pretty entertaining as well!!

And more pics!

This is a gorgeous resort in the town where Maya was born!
We had lunch with Tigist, the director of the baby home and had a wonderful relaxing time, just enjoying the beauty of our daughter's country.

Mommy and Sitota!

We took the braids out!!! Is she pretty or what!

More Pictures from Ethiopia!

How 'bout that smile!!! Is she cute or what!!!

Ethiopian food! It really is great!!

This is the baby home where Sitota lived. A wonderful place. Happy, clean, bright and full of love!

First night with mommy and daddy!

She's warming up!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's a band!

Our little Ethiopian princess!!
Ethiopian food! Really good! Sometimes best not to know what you're eating, but it was always great!!

The band!! We went to a cultural restaurant where they played music and danced to all of the different tribal music. It was so great, especially when we got to hear the music from Sitota's tribe!
Tigist, the director of the baby home and one of the care givers. Tigist is amazing and wonderful and has done more for our family than she even knows!!! She follows God's leading and helps bring families together with love and care like no one I've ever met! We love Tigist!!
The baby home.

One of the care givers who loved on and cared for Sitota and all of the other children. We can never say enough about how wonderful they are and how amazing they are. Their selfless, humble nurturing and love helped our daughter to develop into the wonderful, healthy little girl she is today. They give all of themselves to care for these little ones who will leave them someday to be with forever families. They are the epitome of sacrificial love and we are forever in their debt.

Happy New Year!
Tigist prepared some amazing homemade bread!

The coffee ceremony!

Our very favorite guest home staff!!

Celebrating Ethiopian New Year at the Guest House
I like my new toys!

Sleeping with Dad at the Baby home. I think this was a defense mechanism, hoping we would be gone when she woke up!!!

The view from the guest home. Addis is surrounded by mountains. Beautiful!!

The view off our balcony. The rooster lived over there somewhere! Also a donkey!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

We're home!!!

We're home!!! I can't believe it! What an amazing journey! Ethiopia is an incredible place, the people are some of the most beautiful in the world and absolutely the most generous and humble. I will put more pictures on and add much more as the days come. Funny thing we learned on about day 3 after being very frustrated we could not do anything with our blog. The government of Ethiopia, for whatever reason, has blocked all blogspot addresses!!! It was also the rainy season and so the power was off at least every other day! Anyway, things are great, Maya Sitota is loving her brothers and very attached to mommy! She loves daddy, too and thinks he's very funny! We are all so grateful to be together! One funny story, tonight as we all held hands to pray at dinner, Carter reached out his hand to Maya and she put a green bean in it!! The boys thought it was hilarious!!! Let me also say how humbling and wonderful it was to see everyone at the airport! We love you all so much and really can't express how much it meant to see your faces and share your hugs! Thank you and I'll try to get pictures on here tomorrow!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

An update from Sharon and Keith

Another amazing day in Ethiopia - Today we traveled to Debra Zeit,
the city where Sitota was born. Her story is an incredible one. When
she is older and ready, she will decide if and when to share it. We
ate lunch at a beautiful resort. We had to say goodbye to Tigist
tonight (baby home Director) - very difficult. She and the caregivers
have taken extremely good care of our daughter the first year and a
half of her life - how does someone say thank you for such a thing as
that. We've had such an unbelievable experience here - far greater,
bigger, extraordinary than I ever imagined. We are thankful to God
for his grace and faithfulness and creative plan for our family. Our
daughter is indescribable - words fail, all the adjectives seem
inadequate, our gratefulness to God and all who made this possible
simply brings tears because earthly words can't touch what we have
been gifted with - Maya (means 'mine') Sitota (means 'gift') - my
gift, our gift in the most precious girl I've layed eyes on.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Update from the Feltons

We did it! Our Embassy appointment went great! We also got to bring her home after the Embassy! She was really having a hard time with us at the baby home. She really didn't want anything to do with us and when we did have her she was not impressed!!! When we took her out to go to the embassy we broke out the Cherrios!! She loved them, still not sure about us but at least we were making some progress. When we got back to the guest house we just sat on the bed and played, ate cherrios and gave her a few little toys. Before long she was smiling and even laughing a little!! After we played for a little we walked over to the other guest house with the staff and other families. The staff had graciously prepared a feast for all of us to celebrate the new year! It was wonderful!! They built a fire cooked some meat. Wait I must back up, Aki, a driver for the guest home, told me that earlier that day they had killed two sheep for us! To eat!!! Yikes! Anyway, they made a very special sweet bread, injera (their bread staple), and various versions of sheep meat (not lamb, sheep)! They set off fireworks (no fear, the Lengefeld fireworks are still the best), performed the coffee ceremony, which consists of popping popcorn (not in the microwave!) and then roasting the coffee beans, (Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee!) and then feeding us wonderful food! It was such a perfect ending to a wonderful day. Sitota laughed and ate the bread, she smiled and clapped, she was finally opening up! Keith and I both talked about what a privilege to share the New Year with our new daughter in her country. New beginnings filled with hope and joy are part of the New Year celebration, that could not be truer for all of us this year. We came back to the guest house and Sitota took her bottle and went right to sleep! By the way, thanks Ellie for the warm clothes!! It is cold here tonight! We did it!

Monday, September 7, 2009

News from Addis from Sharon and Keith

We made it!! Everything went so great on the flights, bags made it everything was on time, movies were good!! We are in a wonderful guest house and the country is amazing. The people are beautiful and kind. It is exactly as I imagined from the crazy roads to the goats in the road, even the smells and noises. Although the rooster across the street (literally) we could do without!! Keith is praying for hail again!! Addis is surrounded by mountains and is beautiful. It is between 60 and 70 degrees here!! We met Sitota today!! She was even more beautiful than her pictures! She obviously knew something was going on. When we arrived we were greeted by the older children with hugs and handshakes, they are amazing, some of you need to start your paperwork and come get them!!! We went upstairs to the baby room and everyone was saying Sitota, Sitota. She was standing beside her caregiver and when she saw us she slid behind her caregiver's legs!! She was hiding!! We sat down on the floor and played with the other children and then her caregiver put her on the floor. She cried, so I picked her up and she cried for a few seconds more, then she was very quiet. She kept one hand over one eye most of the day, hiding! She only cried when I put her down, so I held her until she fell asleep. She is very sweet. She woke up when I tried to put her in her bed so we let her lay there for awhile and then I picked her back up and we played a little and then I gave her to Keith and he held her and sang to her. He sat down and gave her a bottle and she just watched everything, very content. Tigist, the orphanage director's oldest daughter, braided my hair and she sat with Keith and watched the whole time. Keith gave her back to me and I held her while she finished her bottle and then she fell asleep. We passed her back to her care giver and said goodbye for the day. She is amazing and we can't wait to go back to day and she her. Hopefully, she will warm up a little more today and want to play, if not, we will just hold her and love on her some more!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

We come in on Lufthansa flight 438 from Frankfurt, Germany on Sunday Sept. 13th at 2:30 pm! We would love to see anyone and everyone at the airport, if you want to come. I can't believe we are leaving today!! Please continue to pray for all of us here( my parents and the boys) and there (Sitota and us)!! We love you all so much and thank you for walking along beside us through out this journey! God is so amazing and faithful and we can't wait to bring our little girl back here to meet everyone!!! See you soon!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


A few things to let you know. When we get home we will still call our little girl by her African name, Sitota. It will be another part of the transition to slowly allow her to get used to her new name, Maya. We will eventually begin to call her Maya Sitota and then after some time just Maya. We just want to make every effort to help her transition at her speed and help her adjust to this new life. We will also take our time getting back into the swing of life as we recover from jet lag and help her transition to a new world. Please pray that we all bond quickly and that everyone gets the rest we all need and that we all stay healthy in the process!! It's going to be fun!!

Thanks is not enough!

Thank you does not begin to convey how we feel about all the love and support and generosity we have received over this last year or so as we have walked through this adoption journey. God has given us the most amazing family, friends, church and community. We can not say thank you enough or begin to give back all that has been given to us and to our family. It is overwhelming and humbling. It makes it even more wonderful to be able to bring Sitota to her new family and community. I can't wait to see her play with little friends like Kate and Kellan, Harper and the triplets! To see her chase after Campbell, Grace, Laurel Ann, get squeezed by Ms. Barbara and Ms. Clydell and loved on by Aunt Bridgette!! I will love seeing her grow in her love of Christ when she hears Ms. Betsy or Ms. Brenda teach her about how much God loves her! Then when she prances around the "big school" with her brothers and gets hugs from Mrs. Chapman or Mrs. Z or Mrs. Poe. She will learn all about girly girl stuff from the Hales and the Killians, how to love animals from Syd, and how to swim at either one of the Hailes!! I can't wait to see how she blesses each person's life and shows them God is new and different ways. Thank you for loving our family and helping us grow, literally!! We love you all!