preparing his place

 

It won’t be much longer till we are tucking our little boy in and kissing him goodnight.  We got an email from the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia last week and if things go as planned we could be traveling to pick up Bruk by the second week of September.  That’s less than a month!

So in preparation for his homecoming we are trying to make his room a little more… fun.  We may not have sheets on the bed or books on the shelf yet but at least we have some color!

 

new beginnings

Yesterday we were submitted to the U.S. Embassy for approval! This is a huge step in our process. It all seems a bit much, but its for good reason that these steps are taken. This starts the final phase of our adoption and we couldn’t be any more thrilled.The U.S. Embassy is going to look through Bruks file and make sure that he fits the requirements and that he is able to travel and be legally adoptable by U.S. standards. This process is to help cut down on the corruption that has been taking place in Ethiopia in regards to adoption. We want Bruk home so bad, but for now we sit tight and rest thankful that there is protection for orphaned children.

This weekend we are in Seattle for a wedding and to see some family. I still can’t believe that we are out of town right now!… Yet, we are both so excited to see some good friends get married in an an awesome city! Drew will be taking some video (as usually) and I am going to help with the girls hair. Its so fun to be a part of the action on wedding days. We’ll be staying with my cousin Hannah who is super prego. We cant wait to celebrate her and their little one on the way! Hannah and Jesse have a sweet love thats contagious. So we’re looking forward to catching some of thier “love germs” while we’re here. We’re looking forward to this trip as a refreshment to our marriage and a time to celebrate with others. 

So thankful for new beginnings today!

Cass

speaking of new beginnings… here are the newest pictures of Bruk!

happy birthday to you!

Today we celebrate Bruk’s first birthday!

We actually celebrated with him while we were there, knowing that we would be in back in NC without him on his birthday, July 30th.

This sweet set up came from one of the guys who works at the guest house, Alex.  We told him we were celebrating Bruk’s 1st birthday and an immediate smile came to his face. He asked us to wait for him in the dinning area and he would be back soon.  A few minutes later he came in with the fruit basket [we brought the candles from home], cookies and a special present for Bruk.

Bruk loved his truck, but he was happy even if we gave him a bottle top.

 

There’s so much more where that came from, but for now we’ll just give you a glimpse of his sweet little personality. We are hoping that our case will be submitted to Embassy this week or next. Until then, you will find us watching his videos and laughing/crying as we remember our time with baby B.

trip to Ethiopia part 2

 

Here we are right before leaving for court on Tuesday.  And you know how that went 🙂  We have a son!

 

Bruk’s waking up from a nap face

Bruk loves to eat.  He drinks bottles but can also down little bits of eggs, bread, and his favorite, BANANAS.

He also likes to be outside.

He isn’t shy in front of the camera.

And loves his mom.

 

Showing him off to our mom’s was a so fun.  We followed Bruk with the computer while wandered around the room and played with his stuff.  Naturally, the grandma’s were thrilled.

This picture is for Grammy.  She told us to take him home in our suitcase.  So we tried him for size.

 

If you only like happy endings you might want to stop reading.  These last two photo’s are from the car ride to drop him back off at the transition home before flying back to the States.

We are still recovering from that moment and probably won’t be 100% Drew and Cassie until we bring him home.  It will take another “6 to 8 weeks” to get his documents together [passport, visa, birth-cert, etc..] so please pray for us and our sweet son as we wait.

 

Ok one more so you’ll stop crying 🙂

 

 

 

 

trip to Ethiopia part 1

 

We made it safely home yesterday afternoon.  Thank you for praying us through.  Want to see more Bruk pics?  Ok!

 

Meeting him for the first time was surreal.  When we got to his room in the transition home he was standing up in his crib and in the same red striped pajamas from the the referral photos.  The whole scene looked so much like the pictures that we had a hard time accepting reality.  Then we got to hold him.  It still didn’t feel real but it was so wonderful.

On the way back over to our guest house, Bruk sat on Cassie’s lap [no car seat! yikes!] and just stared out the window stretching his neck toward everything that passed by on the road.

We soon found out that the “smiley baby” they described was truly a joy to be with.  He was ticklish, playful and really chatty.  Not to mention…dangerously handsome!

Cassie needed a few minutes to recover from getting sick on the plane, so Bruk and I ventured out into the courtyard.  Then BAM!  Something changed.  Sitting in the grass, just me and him, I felt not only like a dad for the first time but more surprisingly like his dad.   I can’t even express in words how happy that made me.

Momma had her moment too 🙂

Bruk loves a having anything in his hands.  We were so blown away by his curiosity with everything.  He is walking great and can make it almost anywhere without help unless he gets too excited, then down to the ground he goes.  But if he wants to get somewhere quick he does this awesome bear crawl that would put most NFL players to shame.

Bye for now!  We will post another bunch o’ pics from the trip soon.  Love ya!      The Jacksons

 

 

baby Jackson

It’s official!  Today at 3pm the judge declared Bruk as our son.  He is such a happy playful little guy and we can’t get enough of him.  Internet access is a bit limited but we will update with more details soon!

Proof that “baby-brain” affects adopting moms too:

Let’s just say the chicken enchilada’s were a little….mushy.  There is only one explanation for this unusual behavior.  Mom mode.  Apparently, taking care of all the details to get to Bruk requires 100%  brain capacity at the sacrifice of less important things, like not cooking toxins into our mexican food.  We still ate half of that gooey goodness though.

In other news… if your reading this post on Saturday morning, we are already on a plane bound for DC then Ethiopia.  If all goes as planned we’ll be hanging out with Bruk by Sunday morning!  Here is the rundown of the trip [keep in mind that Ethiopia is 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time]:  

Saturday:

6:05 am – leave for DC

11:15 am – leave for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Sunday:

7:45 am – Arrive in Ethiopia

Meet Bruk!

Monday:

Hang out with Bruk!

Tuesday:

Court!  We don’t know what time exactly but if we pass he will officially be our SON.  Wow.

Wednesday – Friday

More more more time with Bruk and learning about Ethiopian culture.

Friday at 10:15pm we leave for the long trip home [without Bruk 😦 but we’re comin’ back for you little guy!]

Arrive back in NC by 1:30 on Saturday afternoon

Sleep. 

 

We will try to update the blog or facebook or something if we are able but can’t make any promises.

Thank you for praying for us!

 

Drew and Cass

 

 

 

the kids section

We had our first experience with the kids section at Target.  Let’s just say, it was humbling…wait, no…disorienting.  It kinda felt like when you go to the grocery store but forget a list and just wander down each isle trying to pick out the things you think you need.  We had a list.  But it was virtually useless against the tidal wave of merchandise we were wading into.

Our meandering started in the clothes section where overly cute graphic T’s graced each rack.

Buying diapers is especially confusing if you don’t really know how big your baby is.  We know 11 months, can stand with the help of a table, has a couple teeth, etc.   But apparently it helps to know how much the kid weighs.  And even though Debby [she hasn’t picked a grandma name yet] was with us she made clear that it’s been a few decades since she’s been down this isle.  Sorry mom.

 By comparison, diapers were pretty easy though.  It was the toys, food and accessories isles that brought us to the realization of how ill prepared we were for this trip.  

Girls have a way of blurring the lines between what color schemes work for boys or girls, and so does Target.  There were at least a few times that the question “which one?” was asked and each time I had to say, “Uhhh….the one that’s for a BOY”.  

We don’t even know if we got everything we need for the trip but we did get a crash course in grabbing baby gear.  Let’s just say it was  somewhat successful but mostly of fun.  Either way, we better be ready because we leave for Ethiopia in 5 days!

a court date and a video

Two BIG things:

1.  We got a court date!  Really?! Everyone’s story of adoption is different but we never thought that Ethiopia would give us a day to appear in court so quickly.  July 10th.  Yep, that’s in 16 days!  So we are kickin’ it into high gear, buying airline tickets and freaking out a little bit [actually a-lotta-bit].  Please pray for us as there are many details to figure out and line up before we leave to see Bruk and hold Bruk and kiss Bruk and make Bruk sick of big smiley blonde people.  We can’t wait to see him!  And I guess we won’t have to wait long!

2.  If your the observant type you might have noticed that we like to share links to other blogs and organization on the right side of this page.  One blog that we have grown very fond of is Give1Save1.  It’s creative and informative but also has a beautiful “greater” purpose.  An adopting family is featured every week and thousands of people get to hear that familie’s story.  So, we submitted a video of our adoption story [the one we showed at the silent auction] and they picked us to be the family for this week!  Many of you have already given so much to us so all we ask is that you share this video with your friends!  We had lots of fun making it and think you’ll really enjoy it.

 

Click that big ol’ Give1Save1 banner to see for yourself!

 

calling all creative types

                                                                                   We just found out that there is a family from Florida traveling to Ethiopia in about 3 weeks.  They’ll be going to the same house where Bruk is staying!  Even though we can’t ask them to take pictures we will likely be able to send a “care-package” with them.  Can you help us think of some creative ways to show this little guy that we love him without making that family carry a huge box?  We don’t really know yet what an almost 1year old boy might like to look at/play with.  Of course, we will probably send him at least a picture of “mommy and daddy” but there must be more clever ideas out there.  So what do you think?  

Also, lots of people have been asking to see our adoption story video from Silent Auction.  Well, we are happy to say that it’s almost ready.  If you check back on Monday [June 25th] we will post a link where you can watch the whole thing!

 

Thanks for checking in on us!

D&C