Thursday, September 24, 2009


I'm not even sure where to start since we last posted! We are home and doing well. We are all still adjusting and getting to know one another. Overall, it is going amazing! We definitely have some grieving and attachment issues with him, but I feel like I see improvement every day. His brother and sister could not be happier! They are a great help and somehow always know how to make him smile. He is eating like a champ, and I'm anxious to see what kind of weight he's gained when we go to the International Adoption Center on Monday. He's finally eating our formula and LOVES every single kind of table food we've given him. He is one happy camper with a full belly! He is also learning so much! Since we've had him he has learned to do the sign for "more", waves hi/bye, and claps his hands. He also will repeat after us and say "ma-ma" and "da-da", but doesn't call us that yet. He is also pulling himself all along the floor to get wherever he needs to go. His leg and arm strength are improving a ton, too. He has such an amazing smile, and on the other side of the coin has quite the scream! He has slept through the night the last 2 nights and then taken 2 long naps during the day. That's what I'm talkin about! I just hope we can keep this going and maybe we'll feel sane again! Time to go change a diaper that is stinking up the entire house...
I'll leave you with this cuteness taken while we were in Ethiopia:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Today was a pretty relaxed day for the most part. We didn't have
anywhere we had to be until noon. Then we went to the Transition Home
to do our care packages/photos, donations, and gifts. I loved being
able to take pictures of the kids for other families! Coffmans- your
little girl is SO incredibly beautiful and sweet. She followed me
around the rest of the time I was there and just hugged me and kept
her arm around me. I loved it. :) Your son was gone to the dr.
getting a check up, so she opened up the care package and just lit up!
She loved everything you sent! We got some wonderful pictures and
video for you! Then your son came back and we got some pics of him as
well, but they had already put the care package away but said they
would give him his things. Both of your kids have such gorgeous eyes
and eyelashes! Setliffes- Your daughter is of course gorgeous! She
was giving me the stare down at first, but warmed up after awhile. I
finally got some smiles when I tickled her belly. She really liked
that! Later she saw me across the room and I just had to smile and
got one back. What a sweetheart she is! I read her your note and she
really loved the rattle you sent. I passed on lots of kisses for you!
We got video for you too! Butlers- Your little boy was also gone to
get his check up, so I only got a few moments to take his picture. He
was not happy to have a stranger in his face clicking away! But when
the nanny held him he was consoled quickly. He looked like he was
maybe feeling under the weather, and maybe had the chicken pox.
Almost all of the kids are sick with runny noses/coughs. He is such a
cutie! Those eyes of his, my goodness! He was very happy on our
first day there when we met our son. I sat on the floor and played
peek-a-boo with him and got some big, big smiles! We got video for
you today too, but he will be crying in some of it. I think we scared
him a little, sorry!
Today was a little rough at times with Silas. He is just not feeling
well. We could obviously tell that and have him on the antibiotic
that we brought. Today the TH dr. told us that he has a double ear
infection, bronchitis, and a severe diaper rash. Poor baby! Please
pray with us that the medication does it's work quickly or the plane
ride will be very hard on his little ears. He yanks on them all day.
I could also tell he was grieving today. Just looking around crying
with nothing to console him. His world has been turned upside down!
Most of the time though he is such a happy boy! Smiling, laughing,
being silly. All of the nannies there LOVED him! They all wanted
pictures with him and want us to send them all to them. They were so
sweet and just kissed him nonstop. :) It was a wonderful experience
there and the nannies were so happy to see him have a family.
After the TH visit we did some shopping. (We were told we'd have
lunch but never did. Future travelling families, always have snacks
in your bags just in case! You never know how your schedule might
change. So glad I had our CLIF bars.). It was fun to shop and find
neat things. It is hard to see all of the beggers and street kids.
One of the little boys followed us everywhere. We just loved him! He
is one of the boys that our guide, Robel, helps care for. He yelled
our names as we drove away on the bus. He had one of the best smiles
I've ever seen! I wish we could have stayed longer just to hang out
with him.
Tomorrow we will be visiting the orphanges and I think do some more
shopping. We are also praying to hear word from the Embassy tomorrow
about some of the families who are hung up with paperwork. Please
pray! They did find someone to help advocate for them and have seen
some progress.
Sorry we haven't posted pictures but our internet access has been very
spotty. I promise to post lots once we're home! Speaking of home, we
can't wait to be there!!! But we are LOVING Ethiopia...the sights,
sounds, people, food, etc. We are also so thankful that Phil and I
are still healthy. Praying that continues!
We have had power every day that we've been here! It did go out for a
few minutes tonight but came back on. We might have a no power day
tomororw so we'll just have to wait and see if we can update. Thank
you all for your prayers. Can't wait to be home in just a few days!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday in Addis

He is officially ours, forever!!!
Today was a great, but very long and dramatic day.
Early this morning, we went to the transition home to pick up our
children.  Then we immediately drove to the Embassy to have all of our
official paperwork finalized and to get Silas' visa.  Well, after
waiting about an hour, they told us that they simply weren't ready for
our group yet so we all had to come back later.  Not that big of a
deal, but a little bit of a letdown.  So, we had lunch at a local
place, the Zebra Grill, which was an interesting combination of
Italian & Mexican (as in, a burrito with marinara sauce on top),
pretty good though.  Then, straight back to the Embassy.  After
waiting in line for another hour or so, Amber and I were the first
from our group to be interviewed.  It went great! It only took about 5
min and we were done and Silas' visa was approved.  That meant that
everything was done for us to be able to bring him home...that's an
amazing amount of refreshing right there! Of our 8 families in the
group, 5 passed just fine.  3 are having some pretty big paperwork
issues - PLEASE PRAY FOR THEM!  There were lots of tears and prayers
being said as those 3 families were told that they may not be able to
take their kids home with them.  AGAIN, PLEASE PRAY FOR THEM!
Our day with Silas has been wonderful! He is the happiest child ever!
He is hugging and laughing and playing and...uh, just awesome!  He
wasn't eating so well today as he didn't like our formula.  So, after
only having 1 bottle at 9am, we had to go back to the transition home
to get the specific formula they gave him...we got that at about
6:30pm and he ate it around 8pm.  So, yeah, not much food for him
today, but tomorrow looks to be better!  Even with little food, he was
not grumpy at all.  He didn't much care for the antibiotic we gave
him, but he was still able to take it.

We're missing Gibson & Maya terribly.  We just wish they could meet
their new little brother...soon enough I guess.  Please give them lots
of kisses and squeezes for us!  (thankfully, Amber was able to talk to
them on the phone for a few minutes today!)

Now we are unbelievably exhausted and gonna try to turn in early (it's
about 9pm here).  We love you guys and thank you so much for your
prayers.  You guys are a huge part of getting us here and we will
never forget that!

Hopefully we'll get another update out tomorrow.  G'night...or, for
those of you in the midwest, good afternoon.  :)

phil (and Amber)

Monday in Addis

{sorry for the delayed posts...internet connections in third world countries are apparently a little spotty...who would've guessed? :) }

Our first full day in Addis has been amazing!
We started the day with a big breakfast with all of our travel group
(8 couples), then started the process of filling out paperwork.
After that, we headed out for a great lunch at a local restaraunt
called Lucy's.  Amber played it safe with a penne & tomato sauce dish.
I went all out and got the pepper steak. It was amazing!
Then, we got in the bus and started on the drive we'd all been waiting
for...the trip to the Transition Home!
The process was surreal.  We pulled in and were greeted by dozens of
kids running up the bus, giving us 5's, waving hello, etc.  It was
wonderful.  Then, they had us all line up out in front of the building
and started bringing our children out 1 at a time. It was alphabetical
order so that means we, the Wings, were last.
It was amazing to watch the other families just explode with joy at
the sight of their kids. Many of the kids did the same for their new
Finally, it was our turn.  They brought Silas (Yegermal) to us and our
faces could not smile any bigger! This boy is incredible...he was so
cuddly...and he was kinda sleepy.  We got to hang out with him for a
couple hours, feed him a bottle, play with him on the floor, and take
LOTS of pictures.  I can't even express how great it was. It took him
a little while to warm up to us, but once he did, it was a great time
of fun and bonding.
There is no doubt at all that God has orchestrated
adoption...especially this one.  It just felt so right.  My words
cannot express how warm our hearts are and how excited we are for
tomorrow when we get to keep him FOREVER!

We love you all and can't wait for you to meet our new little man!


phil (and Amber)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

We are here!!! After a very long journey with a few delayed flights,
we made it. We haven't slept much so we are very tired and ready for
bed. We are on the third floor, so with the elevation you get to the
top winded! We also were expecting to have a kitchenette and suite in
our room, but we do not have a room like that. Just a bed and bath.
We will make it work, just different than expected. We will have to
come downstairs to the kitchen when we have to make bottles or heat
anything else. There are several other families here from our agency
with the Rwanda program with their kids. One couple here is the first
blog I ever followed from AWAA when they adopted their son from
Ethiopia two years ago. Now they were picking up girls from Rwanda.
Just a fun surprise!
We are off to bed! We have to get up early. We want to be rested and
ready to love on our sweet boy tomorrow!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009


We will be on a plane in 24 hrs...on our way to Silas! We are so excited, but still have plenty of things to keep us busy until we leave. Gibson and Maya will be spending the week by splitting their time with both of our parents. I know they will miss us, but I have a feeling they will be spoiled in a big way while we're gone. :)

I wanted to share the itinerary for our time in country:

Day 1/Sunday

Arrive at the airport. Check into guest house and try to get some sleep!

Day 2/Monday

MorningComplete paperwork

Afternoon – Eat lunch. Go meet Silas Yegermal! Spend the rest of the day at the Transition Home with him.

Evening: Dinner at traditional Ethiopian dinner

Day 3/Tuesday

Morning- Shopping at the markets

Afternoon- Lunch and then back to Transition Home. Take Silas Yegermal with us for good! It's also my birthday! :)

Evening- Dinner on our own at hotel

Day 4 / Wednesday

Morning- on your own at hotel until we leave for the Embassy

AfternoonEmbassy appointment. Shopping.

Eveningdinner on your own at hotel

Day 5 / Thursday

MorningSpend the morning visiting Kids Care Orphanage

Afternoon - Lunch and then visit Gelgela Orphanage

Eveningdinner on your own at hotel

Day 6 / Friday

Morning and Afternoon – whatever we want/need to do.

Evening- Airport!

We will be updating as much as possible while we are gone and however time/internet connection allows. You can check here, our facebooks, or Phil's twitter for updates!!!

(find me on fb: Amber Stenger Wing. phil's twitter:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

only a few days away...

It is Tuesday night and we are leaving on an airplane on Saturday afternoon. I can't believe it's so close! I am running around like a crazy lady doing house projects, laundry, phone calls, trips to the bank, lots of Target runs...the list goes on and on. I haven't started officially packing yet, and I probably won't until Thursday. I do have everything set aside and I know what I need to take.

It is so hard to believe that in one week, the 15th, it will be "Gotcha Day" and Silas will be ours forever! It also happens to be my 30th birthday. I can't imagine a better gift!!!