10.23.2010

Celebrating 1 Year!

One year ago today Robert and I walked into a small classroom in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and met Efesson for the first time. I'll never forget the way he laughed and the big, long kiss that he gave me that morning.

A little while later we walked into a playroom full of toddlers and saw Biruk for the first time. I'll never forget the big, beautiful smile that was on his face when he saw us. He knew exactly who we were.

Our first family picture was taken that day.


9.07.2010

Jardim Zoológico de Lisboa

A trip to the zoo is not complete without seeing Robert's favorite animal, the rhinoceros!


Alex, Efesson, and Biruk had a blast together!


We all rode the cable cars where you can get a great view of the animals in the zoo!




We watched the bird show, the dolphin show, we rode the cable cars, and we saw some of the animals in the park. We will be back again soon!

9.06.2010

Efesson's 5th Birthday Party

Efesson turned 5 years old on July 19th. We celebrated his birthday with a team party at the end of August after Alex and the Campbells had returned to Portugal and we found the time to celebrate as a team.


Here is a picture of Efesson's race track cake. I've tried to upload this picture horizontal about 10 times, but it just wont work, so here is a sideways picture of it.


Singing to the Birthday Boy!


Blowing out the candles.


Efesson and Eliana checking out the presents.


A Bicycle T-shirt just like Biruks!


New church shoes.


Sunglasses for everyone!


The following Tuesday we went to the Jardim Zoológico de Lisboa (also in celebration of E's birthday) with the Campbell family. We now have zoo passes that are good until the end of the year!

7.08.2010

A Minha Vida em Portugal (My life in Portugal)

Here are some Pictures from our last two months in Portugal! It is hard to believe that we have been here for a longer period of time than Robert and I were here last year. This place feels more like home this time, I guess!


The day after we arrived in Lisbon, with the team in our teacher, Eunice, in her studio.


We continued our family's pizza and movie night tradition and now we invite Jordan to join us!


Biruk turned 3 years old the day we arrived in Portugal and we celebrated his birthday a couple days later with the whole team.


All of the team kids in their Ethiopian clothes!


Alex and Efesson are now living just a short bus ride away from each other and they love it!


Our first field trip (this stay in Portugal) was to Sintra to see the Palácio National de Sintra.


Our team at the Palácio National de Sintra.


Biruk eating (and loving!) snails. Efesson ate them after pressure from everyone around the table and did not enjoy them...but he did enjoy the attention!


We went on a team outing to the beach! Here is Steven enjoying the ocean for the first time!


Girl's class! Eunice says that we have more fun than the boys!


While you had your memorial day weekend, we also had a long weekend in Portugal, so we went to Coimbra, Portugal with the Reeses.

Eliana loves her friend "Hep!"
"Hep" is what Eliana calls Efesson. She Calls Biruk "Bouk" and she calls Robert "Yabow"


Biruk at Portugal dos Pequenitos in Coimbra, an amusement park of sorts with kid sized versions of many palaces, buildings, etc. in Portugal.


Here we go 'round the mulberry bush! We also enjoyed eating the mulberries!


We enjoyed hiking in the Bussaco Forest in Luso, Portugal near Coimbra.



Luso, Portugal is known for their mineral water springs. It flows freely from fountains and springs in the town.


Our second field trip to Cabo da Roca.


Hair cuts!


Outside the church where we watched the Portugal vs. Brasil game during the group stage of the World Cup. Everyone is wearing their Porugal colors (some while supporting the Colorado Rockies at the same time!).


Efesson looking good with his haircut (enhanced by some accessories).


For our second team outing we rode the trolley in Lisbon to the Jardim das Estrelas.


Our Trolley.


Efesson enjoyed climbing with Tio Danny and Daddy.


Jordan and Robert pushing the kids on the swings.


Check out my Facebook album for all these pictures and more!

Cabo Da Roca 2009 and 2010


Cabo da Roca, September 18, 2009


Cabo a Roca, June 18, 2010


7.07.2010

One year ago: The Call

One year ago today, July 7, we received the phone call. We received a referral for brothers, Efesson and Biruk Yilma and we saw these 4 pictures...





At the time we had just made plans to go to Portugal for two months and we were a little worried about how that would interfere with the adoption process! I guess things worked out!

The boys have been home for over 8 months now.





6.20.2010

Robert's First Father's Day!

I put together this little video of the boys for Robert for Father's Day. I didn't prepare them very much before making this video, so it captures them in the middle of a normal day and it captures their personalities very well.

Efesson is our star performer; he's confident in front of the camera. Biruk is a little more timid (in my first attempts at filming this video all Biruk would do was sit in silence with a glare on his face), but when he gets comfortable he can be just as excited as Efesson. The video is cute with some funny moments throughout (for example the boys kept talking about a sunburn that Robert got last month) if you watch long enough you can see Efesson singing an Ethiopian song and Biruk singing his favorite Bible song.

Happy Father's Day!


6.15.2010

The Life and Times of the Meyer family em Portugal

We've been in Portugal for just over one month and we are settled into a routine...

We live at the Instituto Biblico Português (IBP) in Santo Antão do Tojal (we'll just call it Tojal). Follow that link and you can see some pictures of the place. We have a small two bedroom, one bath house and we share a large kitchen and living space with Jordan and Nathan who also live at IBP (the six of us are currently the only residents). Although our sleeping quarters are small, we have the whole campus to enjoy. It has a large soccer/basketball court, a playground, a beautiful, shady lawn, and utilities and wi-fi are included in the rent! We share the place (with the exception of our kitchen) on weekends with church groups who come for retreats, but we are usually not home except in the evenings on weekends. This summer there will be groups staying on campus for weeks at a time.

Tojal is a small town with character. There is an aqueduct that runs through the town, old buildings, and cute little elderly Portuguese people. Each day the "bread man" drives his truck up the hill past IBP, honking his horn. On his way back down the hill you can wave at him to stop so that you can buy fresh bread or pastries. Robert has enjoyed exploring the area even more on his bike. He now has a favorite cafe called "Os Arcos" and has become friends with the owners (good for practicing Portuguese).

Right now our classes are Monday through Friday. Robert is in a class with Danny and Nathan and I am in a class with Jordan and Katie. This way we are grouped with people who are in a similar place in language learning and it keeps child care covered for us and for the Reeses. Robert has the kids while I am in class and I have them while Robert is in class.

Class usually consists of conversation, using as much Portuguese as we can, going over homework with out teacher, Eunice, and reading/translating a book or newspaper articles together in Portuguese. It has been easy for me to get back into the swing of Portuguese and I can see that I learned much more than I thought I had when Robert and I were here last year! I am much more confident in my language skills, therefore I am having more conversations in Portuguese...especially if I am out with the boys by myself. Then it seems like EVERYONE wants to talk to me :)

In the evenings/mornings (depending on when we have time) we work on our homework assignments and complete other every day tasks making meals, laundry, etc. We share a small washing machine with Jordan and Nathan. I usually do a load of laundry each day and we hang our laundry out on the line to dry.

We take public transportation everywhere we go. There is a bus stop about two blocks from IBP. By bus it takes about 20 minutes to get to Eunice's studio, 20-45 minutes (depending on whether or not you get a direct bus) to get to the metro station, and 15 minutes to get to a grocery store. The trip from Tojal to the church consists of the 20-45 minute ride to the metro station, followed by a 20 minute ride on the metro, and a short, 4 block walk to the church. Efesson and Biruk love riding on every form of transportation and they are even beginning to argue over who will sit by the window!

Efesson and Biruk loving their first Metro experience!


On Mondays we have team meetings. Sometimes they are in the afternoon, after all of us are out of class. Other times they are in the evenings and we have dinner together as well. It is truly a blessing to have out team all together in one place to plan for our work in Angola. It beats email and weekend-long meetings hands down!

Thursday nights we head into Lisbon for a prayer meeting at the Igreja de Criston Lisboa. It has been great to be with our friends at the Lisbon church once again. It truly feels like we never left and I think that they will always be one of our (MANY) church families that we miss so much when we leave!

On Fridays we rotate between a team fellowship and devotional at the Campbell's home and guy/girls nights out. For example, a few weeks ago the guys took the kids while the girls spent time together making tortillas and watching Emma. When guys have their nights out the girls are doing a "bible class" with the kids.

Girl's Night! - Eating homemade tortillas (in our kitchen at IBP)


Bible Class - rise and shine and give God the glory glory!


On Saturdays we rotate between team outings (to the park, beach, etc.) and date nights for the couples on the team. For example, one weekend the Reeses watched all the kids while we went with the Campbells to see Robin Hood and to have dinner at Chilis. Robert and I watched the kids last week and I gave all five of them baths and got them ready for bed!

Beach outing - Robert and Rusty playing futebol with Alex and Efesson on the beach.


Babysitting for Date Night - Eliana and Biruk, bathed and in their PJs, watching Alex and Efesson in the Tub.


Everywhere we go we have opportunities to listen to Portuguese, read Portuguese, and communicate in Portuguese. It is exhausting at times, but we are enjoying it, and it is great for language learning!

This is our life in Portugal!