Friday, August 31, 2007

Day 6 swimming pics




Here are a couple of pics of Elijah enjoying his first swim. He was so much fun in the pool. He kept giggling and laughing the whole time.

Day 6 in Addis, some new pics


This is Elijah passed out today on the bed in his sweatsuit.

We have some happy pics of Elijah in his sweatsuit. He is a hotbox, always warm, just like his Daddy if you know me well *smile*. We are going down to the pool right now for the first swim as well, so hopefully he does good in there. Anyways, hope you enjoy the pics, pray hard for this country. Uh-oh he's up..gotta run...

A video of Elijah's first haircut (Day 5)

video
Well, here is kinda the middle of Elijah's haircut...You probably need pretty fast internet or it will take forever to play.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Day 5 in Addis, sleeping in after a little bit of a long night


Elijah hangs with Mommy after getting his first haircut

Elijah passed out Wednesday night in his new stroller.

Okay, so we are getting near supper-time on the 30th of August, which is Amanda's 28th b-day today. Elijah and I decided to get her a massage at the spa at the hotel. So while she is there I will update you *smile*. Well, Elijah kept waking himself up a lot last night, at the doctor they found he has an ear infection. So he is on antibiotics, but he is so stuffed up he wakes himself up coughing and gurgling. I got up twice and rocked him back to sleep. Amanda got up with him a couple of times too and gave him a bottle twice. We woke up this morning and I was feeling WAY under the weather, we went to breakfast and came straight back. I had to lay down for a couple of hours. When I woke up I relieved Amanda and we finally got Elijah down for a nap. He is very stubborn, but we are finding out the tricks that work for him. About 2:20 or so he woke-up, I changed his diaper (A nice runny mess), fed him cereal and a bottle. Amanda did that a ton of that stuff the whole morning before I ever did, I don't want it to seem like I'm doing a lot of the work. We went to lunch, and then took Elijah to the salon to get his first haircut (pictures will be on this post) Maybe I will post a video of a little of it later as well. So that's it today, just hanging out, nothing exciting except our son looks completely different. I finally have some free time to get into the Bible for an hour so I'm looking forward to that. We miss everyone, and can't wait for you to see him when we get back.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Look who's talking now?

video
Elijah telling us what he thinks of the new room

Day 4 pics from Addis starring Elijah again!!!!


This is him after a nice bath and getting clean with a new sleeper

It was a long day for Elijah, luckily he had the scrunchies in his hair to help him sleep.

Elijah and Mommy eating for the last time at the orphanage

This is Elijah and Daddy at the orphanage, the jean jacket is hiding his mischievous grin.

Okay, so my son has big hair, there might be some surprise pics tomorrow dealing with that..*smile*. He's sleeping in his baby cot (crib) right now and fast asleep. This kid can talk too, he never stops talking, Amanda says that he is too much like his Daddy.

Day 4, He's coming home with us today....Pictures on next post

Okay, so here's the scoop for today. It's Wednesday August 29th, 2007. I got up early and took a nice swim (I know everyone cares so much about that), we grabbed breakfast, and then met up with the Cavitt family and got on the road. We had to stop at the grocery store to pick up Ethiopian baby formula in cans (like 5 dollars US a can, not bad).

We then went to the orphanage and had a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony with Esther (I know I spelled it wrong), the woman who runs Kids Care orphanage. She is like the sweetest woman. She seems to have a strong faith in the Lord to provide for all her little ones she watches after. The coffee was very strong, it was only a small cup though, so I did chug it down. After that, we got to go get Elijah (the orphanage had named him Abereham, not the church we found out), who we called Abereham while at the orphanage, so as not to offend anyone. It's hard to say Elijah after calling him that for three days now *smile*. Anyways, I got to wake him up, Amanda took some more pics, you will love the hair in these pics. I won't even comment until I post them after dinner (takes a long time to upload pics here, Scott Himes, you were right on in that). Amanda got to feed him cereal (some rice type cereal) and our boy can crush food. He sucked down a bottle yesterday in no time, and ate his bowl of cereal like nothing. I told Amanda it might go faster if she could hand him the bowl so he could just tip it back and drink it.

Next thing, we had to say goodbye to the nannies and Esther (pronounced Astor) which was really hard. They have cared for him since he was found, so we really thanked them many zillions of times which will never be enough. We went to lunch at this restaurant called Blue Tops. Why Blue Tops you ask? Because the roof of the restaurant is blue. Pretty interesting hey? The kids are both very stuffy and have a hitch in their breathing. Abby Jane was coughing pretty rough as well. So Girmachew is having the girls (Amanda and Pam) take the kids to the doctor so they can get an antibiotic. We think (us doctors here) that they both have upper respiratory infections. We'll see what the doctors say. They are there right now and should be back in less than a half hour I'd guess.

So after lunch we went to the American Embassy for our consulate appts. (Side note: They have pictures here of our President, the VP, and the Sec. of State, Girmachew told me that they took down his picture today that was next to them so he doesn’t get mobbed *laugh*. He is hilarious.) This is to turn in our final paperwork to get a visa for Elijah to come home. And it is for the United States gov't to swear us in as saying we will be his parents etc... So he is ours for good now, Praise the Lord. I'm so fired-up to have a son, I just hope I do as good a job as my Mom and Dad did with me. The driving here has been really crazy, so I've had to take a couple breaks at the hotel to get rid of the motion sickness. But that is all the better for you so I can type up an update *smile*. I promise, if the internet works, that I will post some new pics of our little guy tonight. And I might be able to post a surprise pic. It will be today or tomorrow, we'll see. From Ethiopia, Dudas out!!!!!

Day 4, Elijah is officially ours today (He kinda was before, but now we get to keep him with us)

Okay, so here's the scoop for today. It's Wednesday August 29th, 2007. I got up early and took a nice swim (I know everyone cares so much about that), we grabbed breakfast, and then met up with the Cavitt family and got on the road. We had to stop at the grocery store to pick up Ethiopian baby formula in cans (like 5 dollars US a can, not bad).

We then went to the orphanage and had a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony with Esther (I know I spelled it wrong), the woman who runs Kids Care orphanage. She is like the sweetest woman. She seems to have a strong faith in the Lord to provide for all her little ones she watches after. The coffee was very strong, it was only a small cup though, so I did chug it down. After that, we got to go get Elijah (the orphanage had named him Abereham, not the church we found out), who we called Abereham while at the orphanage, so as not to offend anyone. It's hard to say Elijah after calling him that for three days now *smile*. Anyways, I got to wake him up, Amanda took some more pics, you will love the hair in these pics. I won't even comment until I post them after dinner (takes a long time to upload pics here, Scott Himes, you were right on in that). Amanda got to feed him cereal (some rice type cereal) and our boy can crush food. He sucked down a bottle yesterday in no time, and ate his bowl of cereal like nothing. I told Amanda it might go faster if she could hand him the bowl so he could just tip it back and drink it.

Next thing, we had to say goodbye to the nannies and Esther (pronounced Astor) which was really hard. They have cared for him since he was found, so we really thanked them many zillions of times which will never be enough. We went to lunch at this restaurant called Blue Tops. Why Blue Tops you ask? Because the roof of the restaurant is blue. Pretty interesting hey? The kids are both very stuffy and have a hitch in their breathing. Abby Jane was coughing pretty rough as well. So Girmachew is having the girls (Amanda and Pam) take the kids to the doctor so they can get an antibiotic. We think (us doctors here) that they both have upper respiratory infections.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Day 3, no new pics yet, maybe later...*smile*

We just got back from lunch and before that playing all day at the orphanage with the kids. It was sooo much fun. I wish we could get all of them and bring them home. Almost every one of them has a bad sinus infection and a runny nose. They got all fired-up when we brought out a couple of soccer balls. I blew up the punching balloons and that was a total hit. Especially with the two and three year olds wow. They were so cute, and they got to bring them inside when they had to go in and eat. It is so hard to see how little they have. I just pray that another family can adopt each of them quickly.

Elijah was smiley as usual. He is terrible at taking pictures though, I'll get him giggling and then Amanda pulls the camera out and he just makes a weird face. She puts it away and he starts laughing again. It's pretty funny. It's been really hard to leave him there, but we know that less than 24 hours and we bring him back to the hotel for good with us. It's so cool how we have such different cultures, finances, but the same King, the same Lord and Savior Jesus Christ no matter where in the world you are.

John 14:16 says:
I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Only through personal faith in Jesus will we ever have eternal life in paradise, all other ways lead to death and destruction.

I just pray Elijah comes to know Jesus as his savior at an early age.

by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ

Dave

Monday, August 27, 2007

More of Day 2 in Addis w/ new pics of Elijah Abraham


Mama and Elijah get some hangout time at the Doctor's office

Elijah with full belly means extreme happiness!!

This is when Daddy first met Elijah, he was like "who are you?"

We went to dinner tonight, did some shopping, hit the grocery store and grabbed dinner at the Elephant restaurant. WHEW...anyways, crazy day, but AWESOME!! The Lord has really blessed us with beautiful son. Can't wait till tomorrow when we get to hang-out at the orphanage and play soccer, and other fun games with the kids. Hopefully Elijah isn't too bumming that he's too little to play. Talk to ya tomorrow.

Day 2 in Addis, w/ the Duda Family starring Elijah Abraham our son

Okay, so this could be in the top 2 or 3 days of my life so far. We got to go this morning to meet our little guy Elijah. We grabbed breakfast at the hotel, very good food, as good as anywhere in the states. Grabbed some gifts for the nannies and the orphanage director from our room, and we went to the orphanage. We got there and there were like 30 kids from 2 up to 8 that I saw. They were adorable and very shy. I said hello in Amharic and shook hands with them as they seemed a little overwhelmed with the 4 in the Cavitt family, and the two of us. The orphanage director came and met us right away. She is just the nicest person, and seems strong in her faith. She showed us around for a couple of minutes (so many kids). And right away she took us to the room where Abby Jane (Cavitt's little one) was. I'll let Pam put it up on her blog which is on the right side of this blog in the links. It brought Amanda and I to tears just the joy on their faces as they finally go to hold their little girl.

The next room was to see Elijah. We walked in and we knew right away who he was. We both completely lost it *smile* in a good way. Amanda picked him up and he was probably thinking what the heck is going on? The funny thing is I had him laughing and giggling right away. He is so easy to make laugh (Laurel, our America World rep was right on when she told us that). He is the most beautiful little child, I can't believe he is our son. I say that, but he is SOOOO our son. The Lord has him chosen for us for a long time, and it just feels so right as a family already. So we just walked around, gave the gifts to the nannies, who were just the sweetest women in the world. They kept giving Abby and Elijah kisses like crazy, as they thought we were taking them to the hotel today. We actually got to take them to their final doctors appointment.

So we drove to the clinic, and the kids were being adorable, and laughing and giggling. They both seem like they are used to being loved on. Praise the Lord for "Kid Care" (the orphanage) and the work of all the people there. Amanda took Elijah in by the Dr. (not a lot of room for me) and Elijah was happy, and loved being naked as they weighed him...*laugh* He weighs in at a little more than 8 kilograms which is about 17 lbs. This kid has huge hair, as you will see on the new pics soon. I am actually back at the hotel as Amanda and the Cavitts are grabbing lunch. Still feeling goofy from the flight yesterday. So I am going to take a nap for a little bit. We get to visit the orphanage tomorrow and play with the kids there, which will be so much fun. I will post our new pics when Amanda gets back with the camera, and maybe even a small video clip if it uploads quickly. See ya at the next post

Live from Addis, The Duda Family, Day One (plus travel)

Well, it's about 2:30 P.M. in Addis Ababa right now. I had the hardest time figuring out how to update our blog as anything with blogspot.com is blocked in a lot of foreign countries including Ethiopia.

Amanda and I arrived after traveling for about 27 hours total from Milwaukee to Addis Ababa. The flights going to Washington DC went very well. We were very excited that our bags were in DC when we went to baggage claim. Our rep from America World picked us up from Washington National (long story on the flights) and drove us to Washington Dulles. Amanda's sister Sam met us there as well because she was staying overnight at Washington National (she's a flight attendant and was in town). So we had a great time hanging out, had a great lunch at an Italian deli, and Laurel dropped us off at Dulles.

We then checked in for our flights for Addis at Ethiopian Airlines. This went fairly quick and finally we got to the gate area where we would be flying out around 5:00 P.M. We got to meet the Cavitt family at the gate area. The family is Wade, Pam, Christopher (12), and Austin (11). They are so great, and we are so excited to be sharing this trip with them. I won't bore ya on the flight, but it was LONGGGGG. Praise the Lord for having exit doors on planes when it's done. We were on the plane for about 16.5 hours. My back was in pretty rough shape afterwards, as well as Wade's. We got to Addis, and had to get a Visa for each of us right away. Then went through immigration and grabbed our bags. Unfortunately the Cavitt's were missing two bags, which is killer when you are going to adopt. We are praying hard that those two show up tonight on the same flight from DC.

We then went through security and met Girmachew our rep from America World while we are in Ethiopia. He is so cool and hilarious. He's always messing with ya or telling us he owns the Hilton etc... He has a van rented for us for the week, so we stuffed all of us and a ton of bags on the van and went to the Hilton. We all went to our rooms, cleaned up, and changed. We ate dinner downstairs with Girmachew at one of the restaurants. The food was excellent. I felt bad Girmachew had to hang with a bunch of zombies, we were all so beat from the travel.

After that we went to our rooms and crashed hard. Next topic is Day two and meeting Elijah for the first time.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Well, we are two days away...plus new pics of Elijah




We are about 2 days away from flying out of Milwaukee to go get our little guy Elijah. Saying Amanda and I are excited it a major understatement. We have had a few trials in the last two weeks or so, but we just keep trusting that the Lord allowed them for a reason.

Obviously, we have some new pics above. Our America World rep took some pics with him and sent them to us this week. Elijah was probably freaked out by the flash as you can see the surprised look on his face. I hope he can get used to it quickly as Amanda and I will take as many pics and video as we can when we are over there. I will try to update each day as we are there (we'll see if Elijah let's me)

As we are getting ready to go, it's been so hectic that I haven't even had a chance to contemplate becoming a Dad (in full) in 5 1/2 days (when we take him to the US embassy and finish his paperwork). I know the Lord will give me wisdom as long as I stay in His Word and put Him first above everything else. Amanda and I chose a verse for our family a couple of years ago.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.

We will trust the Lord no matter what would happen. Even if for some reason we weren't able to get Elijah, we would continue to trust that it was the Lord shutting that door. I will need to spend some time digging through the parenting Scriptures in the Bible. In society, you have Dr. Phil, Oprah and everyone else giving tips on how to raise children, when the God of the Universe gave us everything we need for life in His Scriptures.

Ephesians 6:4 says
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

We will, by our Lord Jesus's grace, do everything we can to bring Elijah up so he can come to know Jesus as His Lord and Savior. No matter what He does in life, only what Elijah does for Christ will last. Please keep us in prayer as we go to see a people that are hurting, but also have so much more joy because they aren't choked with the worldly things we are. I pray that Christ changes my heart completely to really, truly see what things we need, and what things are in excess.

by the grace and peace of our Mighty King and Savior

Dave & Amanda

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Our Travel Itinerary

Thought some of you might be interested in our itinerary in Ethiopia, it might be subject to change, but here ya go.

Adoption Travel Itinerary

Saturday, August 25 Depart for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Flight: Cont. 3096 (Departs Milwaukee @ 9:15A, Arrives Cleveland @ 11:28A), Cont. 3155 (Departs Cleveland @ 12:40P, Arrives Reagan @ 1:54P)
Flight: Ethiopia 501 (Departs Dulles @ 8:30P)

Sunday, August 26 Arrive Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (7:00P)
--Obtain Visa in Bole International Airport
--Girmachew will pick-up outside baggage claim. He will hold a sign with family
name.
--Girmachew will escort to Hilton
--Dinner at Hilton (included in travel package)


Monday, August 27 Orphanage Visit
--Driver will pick-up after breakfast
--Change money
--Trip to supermarket
--Lunch (included in travel package)
@ Abesha (Request Coffee Ceremony at end of meal!)
--Afternoon Kids Care visit to meet Elijah Abraham
--Dinner @ Top View Restaurant (included in travel package)

Tuesday, August 28 Tourism Day
--After breakfast, shopping at Mercado or Piazza
-- Lunch @ See list of options (included in travel package)
--After lunch, Lion Zoo
--Dinner (see options)
--Castellis may be a great option for this night, as this restaurant
is not kid-friendly

Wed., August 29 Consulate Appointment
--Morning visit to Kids Care to pick-up Abraham!
--Lunch (see options)
--2:30P: Consulate appointment
--Dinner (see options)

Thursday, August 30 Sight-seeing options

Friday, August 31 Sight-seeing options

Saturday, Sept. 1 Sight-seeing options

Sunday, Sept. 2 Depart for Washington, Dulles
--Church at the International Evangelical Church at 11A
--Hotel check-out time 7:00P
--Leave for Bole International airport at 5:00P, quick dinner on the way
--Flight: Ethiopia 500 (Leaves Addis @ 10:15P)

Monday, Sept. 3 Arrive Dulles, Depart for Milwaukee
--Arrive Dulles at 8:10A, go through customs
--Flight: United 699 (Departs Dulles @ 10A, Arrives Chicago @ 11A), United 7880 (Departs Chicago @ 1:56P, Arrives Milwaukee @ 2:42P)
We are home then "PRAISE OUR LORD JESUS"...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

News about Elijah!


Well, we have some new news about Elijah! We had emailed our rep from America World yesterday asking if she had seen Elijah, held him, etc.. on her trip from the 1st to the 15th of August (she's coming back tomorrow). Anyways, here is what she wrote

I have a picture of me and Elijah...I also have a picture of my fiance and Elijah, so I'll send them you way when I'm home. When I get back, we can talk more on the phone about his little personality, but he's really a doll. It's easy to make him laugh, and he likes to be held, and does not like it when you put him down!!

Now we REALLY want to go. I can not wait to get on the plane and go get our son. He's only 2 weeks away now, and we are sooooo ready. Hard to focus on anything else right now.

We almost have the nursery done. I layed the carpet down a couple of nights ago. Taping that down and stretching it tonight. Amanda and her Mom painted the weekend before. We are getting close *smile*. Hopefully by Wednesday night we will have everything in the nursery. I will definitely post some before and after pics.

Hebrews 4:12
For the Word of the Lord is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.


God's Word is everything. Praise the Lord Jesus for giving us His Word so we know what God's will is for us.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Traveling with the Cavitt Family and flights

Well, we have found out that we will be traveling with Pam and Wade Cavitt on our upcoming trip to Ethiopia. We kinda had a hunch it might happen and had emailed a couple weeks earlier and got talking to them. It is so great how the Lord will let us travel together and meet our kids together at the same orphanage. May the Lord just bless our conversations and time together as we go to pick-up our children. The Cavitt's blog is in the list of Adoption blogs on the right-side of this page. Their little girl Abigail is sure a cutie.

We just finished booking our travel yesterday for our upcoming trip. Pray our bags don't get lost on the way. Also, that Elijah's ears don't hurt on the way home. That is a lot of ups and downs for a little guy to have to go through. That's the thing I will have to really give over to the Lord, as I pray he isn't crying the whole time home.

Here's the flight info for our trip:

Saturday August 25th
MKE 9:15 A.M. CLE 11:28 A.M.
CLE 12:40 P.M. IAD 1:54 P.M.
IAD 8:30 P.M. ADD 7:00 P.M.

Sunday September 2
ADD 10:15 P.M. IAD 8:10 A.M. arriving into Washington Dulles on Sep 3rd.
IAD 10:00 A.M. ORD 11:00 A.M.
ORD 1:56 P.M. MKE 2:42 P.M. Labor day we are back in Milwaukee, Lord willing.

I can't believe we are only about 2 weeks away from getting our son.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Answered prayer, Elijah's paperwork is through the courts!!!

First of all, I just want to give praise and honor and glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you so much for everyone that has been praying for this little guy's paperwork to get through the courts. We trusted in the Lord and He answered that prayer big time.

So here's the scoop, we are as of now traveling August 25th through Sept. 1st. Our US embassy appointment is on August 29th. So in less than a month we will be home with our son. There is still a small possibility that we will be traveling a week later, but either way we are going in a month and not three months.

Finally get to officially post our pic of Elijah, so here he is.

love you guys, thanks for the prayers again,

Dave & Amanda

Friday, August 3, 2007

A little hang-up, but we will continue to trust in the Lord's timing.

Hey guys,

We just found out today, that our court appointment was delayed from today until Monday. I guess everybody is trying to push their people through. Our rep is over there with our in-country rep and they said the courtroom was crazy with everybody trying to get through before Tuesday (court closing). Pray that the Lord will get us through on Monday or we will have to wait 2 months or more to get this completed. It's just another way to glorify His name and trust in Him. Know that we will be holding tight to our family verse.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.

Pray that we continue to
Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always, I say it again rejoice.

by the grace of our perfect Savior Jesus

Dave & Amanda