Wednesday, April 18, 2018


Hard to believe it's been a month already!  Abha is a delightful addition to our family and she's just loads of fun.  The behavioral challenges have been pretty straight-forward so far.  Our next goal will be the gamut of medical appointments and getting her eye figured out.

She got this tricycle thing figured out in a flash and all she wants to do every day is "tycle"!

Look at this adorable bundle of cuteness. I did not ask them to do that, but I did tell them to stay that way while I got my camera.

Dying eggs in tea (it didn't work)

Abha loves to join in the fun!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Home 2 weeks!

We have now been home 2 weeks with our new addition!  Hard to believe...  Everything's been going very well so far.  We found a 4-child groove pretty quickly.  Abha isn't trying to test our every nerve yet and the last 2 weeks she's fallen right into the rhythm of the family.  I'm sure we have some rocky waters ahead but it's nice to have built a foundation.  Also, I hope that a little more language develops, both me understanding her and her understanding me.

Abha has picked up a few words every day and now has moved on to a few phrases.  "Wery good" and "Blue four five six seven eight fourteen sixteen eighteen nineteen" are my favorites.  Why does she repeat the latter so often?  I don't know.  She's heard Logan count a lot I think.

She struggles with sleeping, but so far it's not been terrible.  She doesn't like to sleep alone (she slept in a bed with 4 other toddlers) and so we rock her to sleep and most nights have to get up at least once to rock her again.  Sometimes if it's late enough in the morning anyway we just take her to our bed.  We are so thankful that she accepts this nurture and will happily take the opportunities we get to fill her attachment bank.

Abha is a big eater.  She prefers Indian food (like chana masala or dhal or anything with rice) and tolerates it quite spicy.  She can eat 3 or 4 bowls of Indian food if I whip something up.  Otherwise she is tentative but will usually pick one or two things to eat at each meal and eat a lot of it.  At first, when we were in country, she would finish her plate no matter what it was on it.  I believe she was conditioned to do this at the orphanage.  Now she is starting to have a few opinions and will say "no" to something (usually a green vegetable though she ate tons of spinach today) but even so eats great.  She drinks so so so much milk.  She gained 4 pounds this month!  Wow!!!

She is feisty and fun and can run around with the boys hootin' and hollerin'.  She is slowly becoming accustomed to life in an American family but there are many more differences than there were in Gianna.  She does not like movies.  Couldn't care less.  She sits for maybe 20 seconds and then goes wandering to find something else to do.  We've tried different kinds just in case it's a sensory thing (like Baby Einstein and other very gentle videos like Blues Clues) and even those she just doesn't give a rip about.  Not a problem, it's awesome and healthy that she finds other activities, just something I noticed.  She did not have many toys in the orphanage and so has very baby-like play skills.  This week we showed her how to play with baby dolls, how to play dress-up, and how to color.  She latched onto the baby doll thing though wants to just copy the exact scenario we did before (like a real baby would!) and today she was really getting into dress-up and branching out in outfits.  Coloring is a long ways away.  Her drawing is the same little squiggles with a pen.  She doesn't want to use crayons and can repeat circles when you draw them but lines are difficult.  We believe this is due to a lack of exposure.  In school we were told she was learning Marathi letters, and she must not have ever colored!  I'm sure it will come in time.

We are adoring our new little addition and the busy-ness she adds to our house just works.
getting her coconut oil hair treatment before bath (makes her hair not so coarse)

first snow experience was fairly well received!

watching from the safety of Mom for a while

Ummm... no thanks for the ham and cheese, but 4 bowls of leftover chana masala please!!!

Monday, March 12, 2018

More Indian adventures

We are ready for a nap before we get a middle-of-the-night shuttle to the airport!  We made it!

Sightseeing day - Humayun's Tomb

Humayun's Tomb

Walking around the gardens

Walking inside the Red Fort

Outside of the Red Fort

The embassy appt went well and we got her visa that same forenoon, and we uploaded everything to the FRRO on Friday hoping that it would be enough "days" to be able to pick the exit permits up today.  So Saturday and Sunday were "waiting days".  We went sightseeing on Saturday and Sunday we vegged and packed.  Now today we spent all. the. live. long. day. at the FRRO but thankfully through all the confusion, a "system outage" and horrible squirrely boredom we got the exit permits just before they closed!!!  Phew.  What a stressful day but such a relief.

Thanks for praying everyone and pray for safe travels home tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

India adventures

Here's a sampling of our Indian adventures with our Indian princess :)

"hand-over" day

getting lice treatment to be on the safe side

the first smiles we got that didn't have a tongue sticking out

Ready for flight from Mumbai to Delhi

Asleep for takeoff


We're in a rickshaw!

This smile though

At Lodi Gardens

Playing ball with Dad

Eating snack with Mom

Delicious, like spicy cheetos

Sunday, March 4, 2018

We've got her!

On March 2 we had our "handing-over" ceremony after resting the night before in Ratnagiri.  Almost as soon as we pulled the car up to the orphanage they were already standing there with Abha!  I didn't know what to do at first but didn't want to run up to her and scare her, so I said Hi and then we followed them to the office of the building.  While there, I talked to her a little while she stared at me.  I sat her on my lap and she smiled a lot of shy smiles. :) We finished up our paperwork and then the orphanage put on a little "ceremony" where they take lots of pictures and we give speeches and they give us roses and hand all the kids the treats that we brought.  Everyone seemed to be happy and Abha wasn't crying or anything. :)  The caregivers were so so so good to give us honest answers to our many, many questions.  Then we went to our hotel and got some giggles from Abha as we played with bubbles and crayons and the orphanage toys.  We traveled the next day to Mumbai and it was a rough ride for Abha as she was very carsick.  We got through it ok, though, and caught our flight yesterday to Delhi.  There we met Marie and she graciously took us shopping for some essentials we had been needing.  This included new shoes for Abha which she loves to take on and off and on and off and on and off.  We are getting to know our little girl who is very scared and shy when we go out and about, and when we are in a hotel room she lets her naughty out!!!  She runs around and tries to find all sorts of stuff to get into!  She laughs hysterically when Dad does silly stuff.  Now, some pictures. :)
With Daddy enjoying a lollypop

With Alex our facilitator

Saying goodbye to the social workers and caretakers

The lovely sign at the "hand-over" ceremony

Trying on some new clothes

Hmmm... not bad :)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

We're in India!

We made it to Ratnagiri!  We got all the kids to their respective places and said our goodbyes, then at abour 2pm we left for Pittsburgh.  First flight went well to Atlanta.  Then had a perfect little layover in Atlanta to get where we needed to be to fly to London Heathrow.  The London flight was sparse so for the 8-9 hr flight Zack and I got to take turns laying down on the extra seats and sleep.  Our layover in London was a little longer but didn't seem too bad since we had time to sit and enjoy a nice Lebanese meal.  The flight to Mumbai was very, very full.  I tried to sleep, like, 6 times but couldn't so I watched a few Bollywood movies which were over 2 hours each.  That killed time.  But then when I still couldn't sleep I watched another one.  After 9 hours of constant cheap headphone use I thought I was going to get a pressure ulcer on my ears.  I didn't.  Don't worry.  I survived.  When we got to Mumbai we got through customs and immigration ok with only one tiny snafu with Zack's passport which we just had to wait on them verifying.  We met Alex with no problems and immediately started our journey to Ratnagiri.  It was 10 1/2 hours of catnaps and taking in the Indian city and countryside.  42 hours of travel total to get an hour away from her orphanage.  What a place.  A lot to absorb.  No wonder India fascinates so many, it is just so rich and dense in cultural uniqueness.
Tomorrow is the big day!  We are getting ready to add our fourth child tomorrow, little Abha!  We will have our celebration at the orphanage tomorrow and spend as much time as we can there asking our questions and saying our hellos and goodbyes.  Expect pictures tomorrow upon your awakening!!!

Monday, February 26, 2018


Finally the long-awaited day has come!  Passport was received late last week and Saturday night we got a message that it was ready and we could fly!  Problem being it was a weekend and I had to get the nerve to text my agency rep Sunday afternoon at her "emergency number" when I couldn't stand the suspense anymore.  She was so good to help me on her "off day", and confirmed that we are good to travel...
2 days later!!!!!
I have been the busiest bee you've ever seen buzz.  We need lots of prayers that our visas clear quickly, that paperwork falls into my lap and that the grandparents' time off can be scheduled seamlessly.  Much is working out so far and we've had barriers crush as we go.
We leave tomorrow!
We're coming to get you Abha!!!!!!!!!