Two months

Bruk is a fast learner.  Sometimes that works out to be a great thing, sometimes…not so much 🙂

On the good side of that spectrum, he has picked up some simple words and baby sign to tell us what he wants.  So he points his little fingers together and pushes out a “mmmmo” [“more”] for just about everything.  It started with wanting more food, but has evolved into his go-to word for soliciting more times down the slide or pulls across the floor or tosses in the air.

On the other side of the spectrum he has learned [from dad] that hitting yourself on the head is funny.  One time I threw a pillow up in the air, let it come down on my head and said “owww”.  He laughed sooo hard.  So I did it again.  It kinda became the comic relief if he was in a bad mood.  BUUUT like I said, he is a fast learner.  So now he will smack himself [hard] in the head and say “owww” before screeching with laughter.  And on top of that, anytime anyone says “ow” for any reason, he immediately resorts to the same head smacking action.   Something tells me we should think of some alternative entertainment.

Alright, alright…we know what you really want.  Here are some pics of the cutest kid in the universe.


So, when people ask me “how are you doing?”, I have a variety of responses but they all center around one thing.  I truly LOVE being a dad.  It hasn’t been easy going from “zero to toddler”, but so far the daily rewards of raising Bruk with the most amazing woman in the world, have far outweighed the difficulties.


One month

This morning Bruk and I woke up with an extra hour of play time (Thank you Day light Savings!) Drew consistently gives me time to sleep in during the mornings, so today was his turn.

Bruk and I looked out the window for a while, which is his favorite “pass time” in the mornings. We talked about the trees and the grass and the cars in the parking lot. After discussing the colors and the sounds that the outside makes we proceeded to play with every single toy (and non-toy) in kitchen and living room. Bruk is a typical one year old, who loves to learn by touching and licking and then throwing it to see how far or hard it will hit the ground. Sometimes I’ve had enough of all that, but this morning was just simply amazing to watch him. Everything is so new to him and the simplest of things in life are so incredible. He smiles at the chair leg as he tries to wiggle it. The amazement in his eyes as he watches the truck vroom across the carpet is so refreshing. Even the dripping sound of my chai he just spilt all over the floor makes me tear up. Life is so simple and wonderful to him. It makes me watch and appreciate all that life has for us together.

We turned on some music and danced around a bit and then I picked him up and we slow danced in our PJ’s for as long as he would let me hold him. A song came on called “One thing remains”. It talks about how God will always remain. After all the hurt and pain and confusion that life sometimes brings. His love remains. My eyes welled up with tears just thinking of what the past two years have been for Drew and I. There has been a lot of hurt and confusion during this process. BUT NOW- I look at this sweet little boy as we twirl around and think- Look at what God did. Bruk is here in the flesh and happy as ever. I understand that there will be many more trials in life and things that just plain hurt  to the bone. But one thing remains, and for that I am so grateful.

Today is Bruks one month anniversary of being home with us. What a gift to have such a beautiful moment with him this morning. I love him so much and cant help but sing it out loud to you today!

Thanks for reading 🙂


don’t blink!


…because you might miss something new that Bruk is doing!

A lot of people have been asking how he is so we thought we would just show him off a little 🙂


He just started saying a new word.  Ma Ma!



Outside – his favorite place to be.



Try not to smile when you watch this…


New life…new everything!

Bruk’s first plane ride!  As we were walking down the Jetway in Ethiopia, a nice woman offered to take our picture.  By our gushing over him about the “big airplane” that we were gonna fly on, she could tell that we were having a special moment and jumped in to help.

Snoozin’ in the Dubai airport.  We had an almost 7 hour layover so we made the most of it by sleeping, strolling and giving him his first taste of ice-cream.  You would think that he would love it but…. not so much.


Since being back we have carved out lots of time for just being home and bonding as a family. Gradually, we have been introducing Bruk to his whole new world.

[Great] Gramps finally got the “knee” time he has been wanting for so long!

Of course, he loved playing on the floor with both of his Grandma’s! Aren’t they so cute!?

And what’s Fall with out pumpkins!?

Life is a lot more messy and it seems like the apartment is never “really” clean anymore, but hey, at least he pitches in.

Overall, our boy is really doing great. He enjoys being outside and taking baths (which tend to go hand in hand these days). Bruk is adjusting to us as mom and dad quicker than we had imagined.



It’s such a fun time of year to have him with us so we will certainly fill you in with the next great adventures!


The Jacksons






Is this really happening?

So… there is a sleeping baby in our back bedroom tonight. It feels surreal, but its completely true. Bruk Andrew Jackson is knocked out after flying 20 hours from Ethiopia today and yesterday. He was a complete Trooper though… actually he was kind of a celebrity in the airports. He has these big sweet brown eyes that draw people in and make them want to stop and kiss him 🙂

When we arrived in RDU we were welcomed by even more Bruk fans. Our family and friends loved on him and snapped tons of sweet shots.

photo by Jen  Quirk

Tonight after putting him to bed we chowed down on some good old Chick-fil-A to celebrate and will try to sleep as long as possible before the little lump in the other room starts to stir.  Chances are, we will all be snoozing for a while…



Drew n’ Cass




It’s time.


Alrighty… Tomorrow morning at 6:05 AM we will be leaving for ETHIOPIA!

Its hard to believe that by Thursday by afternoon we will be holding our Bruk and never have to let him go! Makes me smile just typing that 🙂

We return to NC on Thursday October 4th at 1:20pm.

If anyone wants to greet us at the airport, we may be a little jet-lagged but no doubt excited to see ya!  There is even a convenient waiting area at RDU for people anticipating the arrival of loved ones [that’s us!].

Here’s the details:

04 OCT 12  –  THURSDAY




 Once we get home from the airport we are planning to lay low for a couple of weeks.  We don’t know yet how Bruk will do with the transition, but do know it will be a dramatic change for him. To minimize the shock of this transition we are asking that friends and family please call us before “dropping in”.  Even then, we can’t promise that he will be ready for visitors.  This may sound odd and we know you want to squeeze him too.  But in this new process of being knit together as a family we want to do what’s best for him as he bonds with his mommy and daddy.

We are so excited for everyone to meet him!  Thank you for loving us and making this moment so much sweeter.

Sincerely grateful,

Drew and Cass


green means GO!

And thats what we are gonna do! This morning at 4:30am we got an email from the Embassy and… our case is cleared! We gave them some dates and then they will schedule whichever one is open.  So, we plan to travel NEXT WEEK!  As soon as we know the actual travel date, [and calm down a little] we will let you know in another post.  We are pretty stinkin’ excited right now.


We are coming Bruk!  Doesn’t he look excited too?!



So many people have made this moment a reality.  Most recently, Show Hope, has given us a chance to raise some extra money toward a grant they already awarded us.  You don’t need to give any money, all we ask is that you “heart” our profile on this facebook page –>  I heart adoption promo

Ok!   Time to pack!


Drew and Cass




Choosing to laugh

So we haven’t heard anything yet. It wont be until next week sometime that we hear any news about our travel dates. The last interview did take place, but the Embassy has requested a few other documents to complete the clearance of our case.  Its been a rough week of waiting, but there have been a few glimpses of cuteness.

Such as….Our case worker sent us a picture of Bruk and his new “friend” at the transition home.

He is growing up WAY to fast!

Here’s a little something to keep you laughing. While we were with Bruk in July, we had to learn quick how to do a lot of things. One of those things was to put this little guy to bed! Here’s a video of Drew attempting to get Bruk to sleep without waking him up. It’s much harder than it sounds. Plus, I really couldn’t be any help to him because I had to hold the video camera and laugh as he tried to rock him to sleep.

This weekend we are choosing to keep laughing and be thankful for all we have.

Thanks for watching and giggling with us!


we’re bananas for Bruk!

Not too many days [hours] go by before we catch each other letting out long, painful sighs.  They come after glancing at our cell phones to check the time and seeing Bruk’s big ‘ole eyes staring back, or when we purposefully open the folder on our computer titled, “Bruk”, and click through the photos for as long as we can stand it.  It hurts to see him in two dimensions since we know him in three.  It’s scary how much it hurts sometimes.  The thing is, the pain is mingled with a sweet and overwhelming satisfying assurance that the journey is almost done.  [Ok, we know that our parenting journey is only beginning but when you have been anticipating something like this for so long, it’s good to recognize and celebrate the milestones.  This one marks the end of a gut wrenching separation from our son]. Cassie has always been the packer.  So tonight [one week away from the day we might get the “green light” from the US embassy] she has pulled out one of our little suitcases to pack a bag just for Bruk.  We have some ideas of what to bring, but most of this we are just gonna have to make up as we go.  We don’t know how he will do on a plane.  We don’t know if he will sleep or just cry.  We don’t know if anyone has ever been able to successfully change a child’s diaper on those ridiculously small tables in the airplane lavatories.  BUT we are going to get him and we are going soon!

Cassie adds:

Until then, we are looking forward to our Saturday morning “check up”! We get to Skype with Bruk every saturday. I guess its kinda like when pregnant women go to get the heartbeat checked. It’s so fun to see his little face (sometimes a little blurrier than others) and make sure he’s doing good.

Speaking of Saturdays… This past weekend, some good friends threw me an amazing shower while the guys went out for man breakfast! It was absolutely beautiful and really cool to be surrounded by people who love Bruk already. They want to care for him and his needs even before they meet him. Here is a picture of all the women Skyping with Bruk Boy! It was pretty hysterical to see 20 women crowded around a tiny computer screen to catch a glimpse of our boy. What  a loved dude and a special day!