Friday, January 29, 2010

0-3 in 13 that happens...

Our journey to family definitely had a lot of twists and turns. It is also a hard story to explain to people unless they have about 4 hours of free time (which I know I DON'T). Anyhow, my brother sent out the following email as a plea to people in his computer group and I thought he did a better job explaining our journey than I could. Thanks Chris for letting me post your words!
"I apologize for taking this platform off-topic, but I have a personal story and plea that I want to share... Several years ago, my sister and her husband found out that they couldn't have biological children of their own. After searching their hearts, they decided that international adoption was the best choice for them. In 2006, they found an agency and they began to pursue the adoption of a Haitian infant, a young boy named Jean Delson. Unfortunately the Haitian adoption process is slow moving and the rules were quite volatile. For every one step forward it seemed they took two steps backward. Throughout the long process, they kept in contact with the orphanage in Haiti. They sent clothes, toys, birthday gifts... they even visited Haiti in April of 2007. Soon 2007 became 2008, and the process ground to a halt. Haiti had put a new rule in place, they wanted all adoptive families to be married for 10 years, and it would be years before my sister and her husband could meet that requirement. After much praying and soul searching, in July of 2008 they made the hardest choice of their lives, they chose to terminate their contract with the adoption agency, opening up the possibility that some other family could adopt Jean Delson. Without that chance, Jean Delson would definitely be stuck in an orphanage for years and years, but now he had a chance at another family taking him in. Shortly after, through a different agency my sister and her husband were matched with an Ethiopian infant named Micah, and in December of 2008 they already had Micah home. In 2009, they decided their family wasn't yet complete and they decided to adopt an Ethiopian girl named Sitota. They arrived back in the US with her on January 3, 2010. Then the earthquake hit Haiti. My sister, her husband, and our whole family scrambled for information on what happened to Jean Delson and the other children and staff at the orphanage. Eventually news trickled out that they all survived, but Haiti was in bad shape. Then on Thursday January 21, not even three weeks after getting Sitota home, the original adoption agency called my sister and her husband. You see, nobody else had ever been matched with Jean Delson. The Haitian government had cleared the way, allowing the children with in progress adoptions out of Haiti. All the red tape had been cut. Technically my sister and her husband were still matched with Jean Delson, just waiting for their marriage to hit the 10 year mark. The catch was, they were Jean Delson's only hope, and the agency only had hours to wait for an answer. Would they like to adopt Jean Delson and bring him out of Haiti? Now, my sister and her husband were not prepared for this at all. They hadn't heard anything on their case in over a year and a half, and they had just brought home Sitota weeks ago. They didn't have a bed, clothes, toys, or even a vehicle big enough for three children and two adults. They were strained financially from the adoption of Sitota and getting the things she needed. Yet, how could they say no? For years they've held Jean Delson in their hearts, loving him. They had made a huge sacrifice in 2008 by giving him a chance with another family, hopefully not having to wait for years and years until the Haitian government would approve their adoption. But he hadn't been, and now they faced this decision. It was a crazy situation - going from the parents of one child to the parents of three in the course of 3 weeks, but what else could they do? They said yes. Yesterday, Jean Delson arrived in the US. Late last night, the US government released him to my brother-in-law Scott. He's now on his way back to Oshkosh, and should be here this afternoon. However, and this is why I'm sending this email, not all of the kids in Haiti are this lucky. I think it was nineteen of the kids in the orphanage that made it out of Haiti. Five had to be left behind because they hadn't been matched with an adoptive family prior to the earthquake or otherwise didn't meet the requirements. My sister and her husband had been, and also had photographic proof of having visited Jean Delson prior to the earthquake (a requirement being imposed under this new emergency adoption process). There are other parents in the US who had been working on international adoptions, who have been approved by social workers in the US to adopt a child, yet they don't meet the requirements of this emergency process. These five children are all that are left at this orphanage. The orphanage is closing because they don't have enough children to justify staying open, and the infrastructure in Haiti is gone, they couldn't stay open if they wanted to. They don't know what they are going to do with these children. And these children aren't alone. The same story is being repeated through many other US adoption agencies and many other Haitian orphanages. There are families here approved to adopt, yet they can't adopt *these* children. And there are tens of thousands of orphans in Haiti, many of whom aren't even in orphanages, much less reputable orphanages that have a long-standing relationships with US adoption agencies. I understand why the international community is hesitant to just hand these kids out. I'm sure there are people that have less than good intent in their desire to adopt a Haitian child. However, I think the US government has the power and resources to investigate any of these other families and determine that they aren't a danger now to these children. I'm sure they also have the resources to follow-up on these placements and make sure that the children are being treated well. I urge you to contact your representatives in Congress to let them know that we need to do more for these children. I'm not advocating giving out children to anyone who asks, but I am advocating giving out children to families who have been approved to adopt a child and who want to provide a safe and loving home to the Haitian orphans. I'm advocating using the power and resources of our government to make sure that these placements meet those requirements. I'm advocating that this happen now, before more of these children die from disease, hunger, or one of the countless other dangers facing them in the post-earthquake devastated Haiti. I'll step off my soapbox now. If you want to read a happy story, check out my sister's blog of this process going back all the way to 2007: However, we all need to act, take a few minutes to fire off an email or give a call to our representatives in Congress. The news media likes to cover these happy homecoming stories, but they aren't telling you about the children being left behind due to bureaucratic technicalities. Thanks for reading. Chris Meyer"

Monday, January 25, 2010

In Daddy's Arms

Jean Delson is in Scott's arms after a long day in FL....They should fly home tomorrow!!!! Praise God!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Due to the fragile state of our adoption cases, I am going to hold off posting anything further until our family is home and complete. If you would like to follow our journey you can follow us on facebook. Leave me a comment if I need to friend you on there :) see you all soon. Melissa

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How old are you??

One big question we have gotten is how old is Sitota....Good question! Since there were no actual records of when she was born, it is mostly a guessing game. Her Ethiopia birth certificate lists her birth date as July 12, 2002...that would make her 5.5 years old, Way off!! Her brother told us she was born in 1996 (that is according to the calendar used in Ethiopia), so that would be 2003, here..making her 6, Still off! The doctor thinks her birth date would be more accurate at July 12, 2002..making her 7.5 years old, Getting Closer! The dentist said that looking at her teeth, those that are in, loose, and coming in he would say she is 8.5-9 years old...most accurate. So what will we do????? We are going with the doctors estimate of July 12, 2002. This makes her 7.5 years old and puts her in 2nd grade. We realize that we may be off by a year or two, but this is what makes the most sense. So there you have it...the long answer to a short question!! Melissa

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This pet can swim

The title of this post is a sentence that Sitota read to me today after school. Her ELL teacher had sent home a book that they have been working on reading and Sitota was so excited to read the sentence to me. She amazes me every day! I love my kids!!!! Melissa

Monday, January 18, 2010

School Days

Today was Sitota's first day at school. She is going to be in 2nd grade, but will spend much of her time with her ELL teacher for the first few months. I got a chance to talk with her class today and let me tell you, these are a Great group of kids! They were all so sweet to her and so excited to have her in class. I talked with them a little about Ethiopia and answered a few questions they had. Her teacher is also great and was so well prepared for her to come. Her entire class had learned how to say hello and goodbye in Amharic...CUTE! Her ELL teacher said that she had a really good day, she did have one episode of crying while they were going through a number chart but the teacher thought it was because they had been doing so much. She took a break and walked with her around the school and she was back to her smiling self in a matter of minutes. Sitota told me she had new friends (though she could not remember their names, except for Katie!) and she was so proud of how her teacher said "Very Good Sitota" when they were playing ball. Her teacher asked me if she had played any basketball in Ethiopia because she was making a lot of baskets during PhyEd. Over all a Great day for her and she is looking forward to school tomorrow. On another note, Micah asked to go on the potty today and he went pee-pee!!! He then got a special piece of candy and was so excited to call daddy to tell him! What a super day!!! Here are some pics of Sitota in her first day of school outfit she picked out :) Melissa

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tooth Fairy

Yesterday our little girl lost her first tooth...well, not really her first one but the first one since being home. She has had 3 loose teeth since we were in Ethiopia, but this was the first one to fall out. It was so much fun to finally have a chance to "play" tooth fairy and she was SOOOO happy with the dollar that was in her little tooth holder in place of her tooth!
Tomorrow will be another BIG event, First day of school! She is pretty excited and keeps telling us she is going to high school...we just agree (whatever it takes)! I think it is because of her High School Musical shirt :) Don't worry, pictures will be taken and posted!!! Melissa

Friday, January 15, 2010

Week in Review

We had a busy week again. Scott went back to work on Tuesday, so I got to have the whole day alone with the kids for the first time. Everything went well, even better than I expected. We tried out the Easy bake oven and let me tell you, there was NOTHING easy about it! After 33 minutes and 13 dishes, we got to enjoy 3 very small (not so good tasting) pretzels. On Wednesday we had picture day. I wanted to get the kids pictures done together, but for some reason Micah was not at all interested. Luckily Sitota was more than interested in having her picture taken. The biggest problem I had with her was trying to pick which pose to use, since they were all so good! Thursday we decided to meet my parents in FondDuLac to do a little shopping for the little Diva. She got the rest of the things she needed for school and Micah got to have some fun playing with grandpa on the rides in the mall. Then we were off to McDonalds for Sitota's first visit to the playland...she LOVED it :) We also had time to visit dad at work so he could show off his precious little ones! Friday was eye doctor day for Sitota. When we went for her doctor appointment last week they mentioned that we may want to have her eyes looked at because she did not do well on the little eye exam. Well, it was a good thing we brought her in because she is very far-sighted. The doctor said that it is a rather substantial prescription and she will really benefit from her glasses. She did enjoy picking out her frames, though I had to talk her out of the bright pink ones...don't think dad would like those! She is so cute in them and gave me a big kiss and told me she loved me when she put them on! She is doing so great, it is amazing. She has several words she can spell now including: Stop, Go, Dog, Cat, Dollar, Mom, Dad, and Troedel! Everyday she is doing new things and it is just awesome to watch her thrive! We have a busy weekend again with family. Enjoy the pics - Melissa

Thursday, January 14, 2010

In the Middle

When we decided to adopt Sitota we knew that we would keep her birth name for her. We had discussed what middle name we would give her and had decided on Eden....until she came home! She definitely has opinions on things and knows what she likes and what she doesn't like and she does not like the middle name Eden! So, over the last few days we have been trying out a bunch of different names and of course having fun with it by using things like Sitota Elephant Troedel! She had a few names she liked, mostly names of the friends she has made in the US. Today she decided on her new middle name..Mommy's middle name!! So, the official name will be Sitota Lynn Troedel!! I guess we will have to save Eden for our next girl :) Just kidding, Scott!!- Melissa

Saturday, January 9, 2010

NOT by the book!

While we were preparing for our adoptions we attended many classes and read many books on what to expect when adopting. We read books on attachment, adjustment, bonding, older child adoption, etc. We were told that bringing home an older child would come along with many issues we did not have with Micah. We spent months preparing for grieving, tantrums, crying, night terrors, etc. I thought we were prepared for anything.....but what we were not prepared for was for everything to go GREAT. Sitota has been doing so well. She smiles all the time, loves playing with Micah and all the other kiddos, did wonderful at the doctor and dentist, had a good time visiting her school and meeting her teacher. She gives us hugs and kisses and runs to us every morning with a HUGE smile on her face. She is eating well, but not over eating or hoarding. We are so truly blessed...everyday we see her grow more and more comfortable with us. I am not saying we will not have any "issues", but our first week home has been very joyful and for that we are blessed!!!!! Here are a few pics of the kids at grandmas and at home! Melissa

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy, Healthy Little Girl!

Today we went for Sitota's first doctor visit and learned that we have a healthy little girl. We had many things to go over with the doctor, including discussing her age. Ethiopia issued her a birth date of 7/12/2004...that would make her 5.5 years old, Yeah right :) Anyhow, after a lot of discussion with our family doctor (who has a lot of experience with international adoption) we have decided to change her birth date to 7/12/2002 when we do her re-adoption in 6 months. This makes her 7.5 years old (which is also closer to what her brother told us her age was when we met him in ET). She weighed 59 pounds and is 4ft 4ins tall. She had 4 shots today, as we try to catch her up on some vaccines. She took them like a pro and was bent over laughing after them because her legs are so ticklish...Too Cute. She was really happy because after she was done they let her pick a sticker and pencil :)
Tomorrow we go and visit her school, where she will start on Jan 18th. She works on "lessons" everyday, because that is what she wants to do. It is really great to watch her so eager to learn. She is really excited about starting school, this is one of the things her brother kept reminding her she would get to do when she came to America. She will be in 2nd grade, but will spend most of her time with her ELL teacher for now.
Micah is doing great and LOVES playing with Sitota. He will walk up to her and give her big hugs and she smiles and hugs him right back. When he woke up from his nap today he wanted to know where "Sit" was. They get along great and you can see their bond grow stronger everyday.
I am amazed at how well everything is going, we are so truly blessed. Sitota is such a strong, beautiful, happy girl and really is the perfect fit for our family. We are a Happy Family!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

HOME AT LAST...Family of Four!!

Good Morning Everyone. We made it home safely last night and are getting adjusted to our new life as a family of four. Our journey to Ethiopia was incredible and everything went so well...we are so truly blessed! I will post more later on our trip and also post some pictures. Sorry for the quick post, but I promise to get more out later! Love to all - Melissa

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Journey Home...

Hi Everybody, Micah here, signing in for the last time because Mommy, Daddy and Sitota are almost here! We just ate dinner and I got dressed to go to the airport. Mommy just called to say that they are safely in Detroit, so only 2 more hours until they are here, woohoo!

Thanks for letting me blog while Mommy was away, and, who knows, maybe I might sneak one in some time ;-)
Lots of hugs and love,


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Hi Everybody, Micah here. Happy 2010 to you all. I know it's going to be a great big sister will be coming home in only 2 more days (along with my Mommy and Daddy, who, you know, I miss a lot ;-) !

Today my friends joined the YMCA so we went and climbed in the play area (I was a little too small, but lots of kids were willing to help me). Then, we went and played on the REALLY big soccer field; only a couple of kids were out there so we were able to run around like crazy. Before supper, we all played Playdoh and then I had one of my favorites for dinner - lasagna, mmmm. Kris was quite impressed with how well I can say that word. As you can see, I love eating all by myself.

I was tired tonight but I wanted a picture of me in my big boy room!

Lots of love and catch you all later,