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!


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!


Adoption Timeline

I wanted to remove our adoption time line from the sidebar of this blog, so I am archiving it in this post...
  • 10.30.09 - Arrive home with Efesson and Biruk
  • 10.23.09 - Meet Efesson and Biruk
  • 08.21.09 - Passed court!
  • 07.21.09 - Tentative court date given - 08.21.09
  • 07.07.09 - Referral received!
  • 06.20.09 - Waiting 13 months
  • 05.20.09 - Waiting one year!
  • 04.20.09 - Waitinng eleven months
  • 03.20.09 - Waiting ten months
  • 03.19.09 - Re-fingerprinted
  • 02.20.09 - Waiting nine months
  • 01.20.09 - Waiting eight months
  • 12.20.08 - Waiting seven months
  • 11.20.08 - Waiting six months
  • 10.20.08 - Waiting five months
  • 09.20.08 - Waiting four months
  • 08.20.08 - Waiting three months
  • 07.20.08 - Waiting two months
  • 06.20.08 - Waiting one month
  • 05.20.08 - Dossier approved by CHSFS - Officially waiting!
  • 05.19.08 - Dossier arrives at CHSFS office
  • 05.15.08 - Dossier sent to CHSFS
  • 05.12.08 - I-171H received in mail
  • 05.07.08 - USCIS approval
  • 05.06.08 - Adoption study approved
  • 04.22.08 - First draft of adoption study sent to CHSFS
  • 03.28.08 - Part two of application sent to CHSFS
  • 03.05.08 - Met with Social Worker to complete the adoption study interview
  • 02.15.08 - I-600A to USCIS and fingerprints taken
  • 02.10.08 - Home study
  • 02.04.08 - Part two of application arrives
  • 02.01.08 - Application received by CHSFS
  • 01.29.08 - Application sent, home study appointment set up for February 10th
  • 01.24.08 - It's official! Decided to adopt from Ethiopia