Saturday, August 30, 2008

a few things

Well, our laptop died the other day and will not be resurrected. Bummer. Anyway, here are a few pictures of the goings on...

Last weekend I attended a bridal shower for the 'other' future Peterson daughter-in-law with Becky, our mom-in-law. We had a good time, and it was especially nice to meet some of Jodi's aunts and cousins. Here is Jodi looking pretty in pink - two months until the big day!

Here is a picture we like of Matea with Brandon. Matea loves it when people play the piano, and she was having fun "playing" with Brandon. At least, we think she was. :)
We went to the State Fair on Tuesday - here is a picture of Matea with Grandma and Grandpa Peterson. I still need to get some good pictures of her with Grandma and Grandpa Flavin - those'll be soon, I'm sure.

Gary knew we were at the Fair so he called us to see if we wanted to meet up for coffee on our way home. We stopped at a Caribou and hung out for an hour or so - Matea loved the Wild Berry Smoothie (I hated it). Of course we didn't get a picture with Gary. Oops, sorry bro. This is for all you Caribou lovers out there....It really is a pain to use Aaron's work computer to do this, so hopefully we will have a new laptop up and running in the next couple weeks. Later!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Trip South

It took me a bit longer, but here are the pictures from our trip 3.5 hours south of Addis Ababa. Several of the photos were taken out of a window of a moving car, thus the bad quality. The huts that you'll see are typical homes for people in this region.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Photos from around Addis Ababa

Here are some pictures that give you a general idea of what life in the city is like. I am missing a few important photos...somehow we didn't get any pictures of the hundreds of goats that were for sale alone the streets, and these photos also don't depict how dirty the city is (as in trash everywhere). Hopefully these photos will give you a feel for the city. Tomorrow I'll post some pictures of our trip to Hosanna-and I'm planning on giving some more thoughts on our trip soon too.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

this n that

This is from Matea's first stroller ride.

First of all, I have to say that I am SO THANKFUL for digital cameras. Kids move so fast that it is impossible to get a good picture! We have yet to consistently be able to capture a smile on Matea's face. :)

Things are going pretty good for us. We have had a few really rough afternoons, but overall the transition home has been much easier than we anticipated. It was really nice to have each set of grandparents around for a few days.

We are introducing more and more foods to Matea and she really seems to love her vegetables. I'll have to try to get a photo of the face she makes when we feed her unsweetened applesauce - it is hilarious! We think we're going to have to more to more textured foods really soon, and finger foods are definitely on the horizon. She is very interested in how we eat and she will grab the spoon and try to put it in her mouth.

We had our first week at church today - Matea is a blabbermouth and would not be quiet so Aaron had to take her out for most of the service. She'll be hitting the nursery before too long. I guess the girl just has a lot to say! She has gotten more and more vocal every day and today was the first time we heard her laugh with her voice, not just the funny grunting laugh that we've heard thus far. That has been fun.

We also think she may be getting teeth soon. She is constantly drooling and gnaws on things and rubs whatever she can get on her gums. We'll see.

Anyway, that's the latest update for now. I hope you enjoy the pictures - we've been having fun trying different things out with the camera. I'll get some photos up soon if Matea with other people. :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008


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We're home.
Things are going well so far - we're working on getting back on the right time zone and figuring things out. Matea woke up at 1:30 our first night back, and 4:00 last night. Maybe tomorrow she'll be back to sleeping at least until 6! We're trying to figure out the whole what to feed a 7 month old thing. We've got a lot of learning to do! Matea is so sweet when she wakes up from naps and in the morning, it's fun. Here are a few pics from coming home.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Last Update

It's Jen, for one last time. Aaron sent their final update before the leave to come back home! Here is what he said...

One last update before we leave. Matea had another great night of sleep - 7:30 until about 6:45 (when we woke her up). She took a full bottle this morning which is great and is eating rice cereal really well too. We figured out some stuff with holding her - she really likes to see everything going on around her, so if we have her just sitting on our laps facing outward she's fine with that. Note to self for the plane ride ;) Otherwise, not a ton to report. Katie and Matea are both napping right now - prepping for the big trip home.

Just one more day till they get back!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Here's another email from Katie...

Quick update….we had Matea with us last night – we put her to bed at 8:30 and had to wake her up at 7:00. Today has been pretty good – she is not taking a bottle very well but will eat cereal very easily. As soon as we get home we’ll start feeding her more than cereal, but for now that is basically all she’s getting. We’ve gotten her to take about 10oz total from a bottle over the last 2 days. We thought about trying a sippy cup, but she’s been generally happy so I figure we’ll deal with that when we get home. Really, our goal now is to keep her happy until we get home and get back on MN time and then get her on a schedule, which doesn’t appear like it will be too difficult. She doesn’t like to be held for more than 20 minutes or so at a time, so the plane ride could be really interesting – that is a prayer request! She will let us hold her when she sleeps. She also sleeps fine in the baby bjorn and on the floor, so we’re happy about that. She’s a really good sleeper. We didn’t get our hairbraiding class today which was kind of annoying, but, whatever.
Aaron went to go confirm our flight today at the Hilton hotel and while he was gone Matea had a SCREAMING FIT for about 45 minutes. It was horrible. She woke up from her 2 hour nap at about noon and I figured I’d change her diaper and feed her. While I was changing her diaper she started crying and I figured it was because she was hungry. I made a bottle and cereal and she wouldn’t have anything to do with either one of them. Her mouth was clamped shut – except for the SCREAMS. I couldn’t do a thing for her, I have no idea what she needed or wanted. Maybe she just needed to cry….? She finally wore herself out and fell asleep. I was so frustrated. Corrie, our social worker, is here and she tried to help me calm Matea down but Matea would have nothing to do with either one of us. Oh well, I’m glad it wasn’t just me. Besides those 45 minutes it’s been a pretty good day. You can also pray that doesn’t happen on the plane.
We can’t wait to take normal showers when we get home. I need to pluck my eyebrows really bad. I also really want a big salad and some grapes and fruit juice. Just so you know.
Aaron is perfectly well now, and I haven’t gotten sick at all!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Jen here. Aaron sent 2 pictures last night! Here they are!
Matea Mimi....
The happy family...

Just a few more days and they are back exciting!!

Monday, August 4, 2008


Jen again. Here is a picture of Katie and Aaron when they were dropped off at the airport by Katie's friend Jo. Can we say overpackers? :)

Monday in Ethiopia!

Jen again! I just got another email from Aaron. Here is what he has to say...

Monday in Addis

Another day in Ethiopia. Today we started out our morning with a breakfast of oatmeal and muffins – very good by the way – and then proceeded to pick up Matea for the morning. We had a fun time playing with her, etc. She’s a very content, peaceful girl which is great. The only trouble we had was trying to get her to drink from a bottle – she’s used to drinking from a small cup or eating cereal with a spoon. She seems to be very interested in everything that’s going on around her – constantly looking around, checking out sounds, moving things, etc.

After lunch we brought Matea back to the care center for the last time – we get her for good tomorrow morning. We then went on a couple of tours of some facilities that are extensions of the adoption agency we’re here with – a medical center and a school. Both are open to the surrounding community and offer excellent services at a very reasonable cost compared to other public and private services.

The first stop was at the medical center (for women and children). It’s amazing how different things are outside of the US. Everything was very bare, very simple and technically very behind what we’re used to. One small thing I noticed was that the delivery rooms were on the second floor and there was no elevator in the building. I don’t imagine that stair climbing is something most women want to do just prior to delivery, but it is what it is. We asked the doctor who was giving us the tour how many people they saw in a day and she said around 100. Then we asked how many doctors were on staff – only 5! I’m not in the medical profession, but 20 per day on average seems like a lot to me. One sticker I saw a few places throughout the clinic read “The Ethiopian Millenium: the beginning of the manifestation of the glory of God” (Ethiopia runs on a different calendar than the West, so this past Sept. was their year 2000).

Next stop was at the school. We were very impressed! This past year was its inaugural year, so they’re still getting things situated, constructed, etc. The first thing we saw was a 7,000 seat outdoor stadium/auditorium. The seats were all covered with a covered stage at one end and an uncovered center court. It will be used for community events, concerts, plays, etc. as well as for daily school activities (basketball, etc). All classes are taught in English with only one class taught in the main language here in Addis (Amharic). This past year the school had 58 students (K-4) and next year they plan to have 350 (K-7). Most of the classrooms that I saw were used for single subjects. One of the classrooms was dedicated just to Bible study. Also, there was a Chapel room. I’m assuming these are both due mostly to Ethiopia’s strong Christian orthodox background, but didn’t get a chance to ask. The school will make a huge impact on the lives of the children that attend, their families and the country.

The last thing on the schedule for the day was a trip to the National Museum of Ethiopian History. We drove for a long time to get there only to find that it was closed! I was pretty bummed about that. At the very least it was fun to see so much of the city by bus. Driving here is a bit ridiculous. The volume of traffic isn’t that high (although it gets a bit heavy in spots) but the foot traffic is unbelievable. There are people everywhere in the streets and animals all over – mostly goats, donkeys, cows and dogs. We were in the middle of the city today and there in the middle of a ton of traffic stands a cow. Just standing there – hundreds of cars driving by. There are also virtually no traffic signs or traffic lights. In the entire time we’ve been here I think I’ve seen 5 traffic lights (all today) and 4 or 5 stop signs. People just go where they want when they want – intersections are just a slow log jam of cross traffic –cars, buses, trucks - all just going at random. The most amazing thing is that I have yet to see any kind of accident – not even a small fender bender.

Hopefully this hasn’t been to boring! I’ve been typing this while waiting for the internet to connect (30 minutes or so now – zzzzzzzzzz….). Tomorrow’s kind of the last “big event” while we’re here – we go to the US embassy to finalize everything to leave on Thursday. Theoretically it will go smoothly, but it’s still a bit stressful to think about it. I’m going to post just the text of this and will TRY to get at least one picture up if the internet cooperates. Thanks to all of you reading this who have been praying for us! It’s been a great trip so far and we really appreciate all of you.

Another update!

Hi! Jen again. We got another email! Here it is...

Hey everyone
I've only got a second before we have to go eat dinner. We had our trip to Hosanna today - we were supposed to be on the bus at 6am. at 4:30 this morning Aaron is throwing up in the bathroom. Great way to start the day, huh? He felt ok, and he really wanted to go south, so we got on the bus and headed out on our hour ride. 20 minutes into it he is throwing up in a bag. Good times. He's been fine since, but there is probably a bug going aroudn the hosue we are in - 4 out of the 8 of us are sick in some way or another. So if you think about it, can you pray that we stay healthy? I've felt fine so far, so I'm not super concerned, but we take Matea into our care for half the day tomorrow and then full time on Tuesday and I'd like to not have to think about sickness.Ok, that's all for now!

Friday, August 1, 2008

In Ethiopia!!!

Hi! This is Jen posting for Katie and Aaron. We got an email from them today and this is what they wrote. I'll update more if we hear anything else. How exciting!!

Katie writes:

Hey everyone!
We're here, safe and sound! Things are going well - it feels like we've been here for 3 days already - this morning feels like forever ago.
We met Matea this morning and then spent some time with her this afternoon. She is EXACTLY how her social report says she would be. She was really serious this morning, just kept staring at our faces. This afternoon she started to warm up a bit to us - she is pretty enamored with Aaron already - she keeps on staring at him. It's cute. She makes LOTS of eye contact and was starting to smile more and mimic what we do this afternoon. Her eyes and hair are BEAUTIFUL.
Tomorrow we are going to spend some time with Matea in the morning and then we head out to do some shopping. Should be fun!
It's actually pretty cold here at night - I was really chilled last night. We have a hot shower though, so, that's nice!
I don't know what else...we haven't taken any pictures of her yet because we haven't left the care center with her. Our travel group is great, we've all gotten along really well so far.
Ummm.....that's it! Thanks for praying, we really appreciate it.