Friday, November 20, 2009

Celebrating Our Referral - one year ago yesterday!

Yesterday marked one year since we received "the call"...in adoption world this is highly anticipated phone call from your family coordinator who shares the amazing, joyous, life-changing news that "You have a referral for you. He a 5-month-old baby boy and his name is Tarik." That isn't exactly what she said...but close enough.

Although I can't remember our coordinator's exact words, I do remember everything else very vividly...being at work in the Girls' Dorm at 7am, my heart beating out of my chest, my cracking voice, being out of breath, wanting to race to the computer to see the picture and profile she had sent us, trying to concentrate as girls asked me questions and said good morning as they left for school, waiting, waiting, waiting for my hubby to be finished at the Boys' Dorm so we could finally, FINALLY, see the face we had been waiting to see for...well...since we had been trying to start a family (about 4 years at the point I think).

Oh, well, that little face just woke up and is babbling in his crib, so I need to wrap it up.

Anyway, you know the rest of the story. God did His work and Beniam is here with us, a happy, healthy, treasured member of TeamReno. Thank you Lord! You are kind!

The first photo we saw of B is in a Word doc so I can't post here. But here is an early photo of him.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Our little lion

I know of at least 4 little Ethiopian boys who were lions for Halloween, including our own. CTBR wore the lion costume that Grandma Kim made and that his daddy wore when he was little. A cousin or two has worn it since then and now it is little B's turn. He actually just woke up from his nap, so I will leave you with these:














Monday, September 21, 2009

Vocabulary Explosion

Beniam has been saying new words left and right...light, hi, duck, papa, hallelujah (almost, you can tell what he is trying to say), mato (for tomato - he LOVES tomatoes and we discovered that he is not allergic so we take him out to the garden to feast), car, outside, his cousin's names...it is SO fun to watch, or rather hear his little mind developing. God is truly amazing in how He engineered the human brain and planned out it's development.

1st Birthday Bash

We celebrated our dear little boy's first birthday on Saturday. His actual birthday is on the 28th but we will be out of town that weekend for a certain someone's wedding. We gathered with family and friends at a local beach, ate cupcakes, played in the sand, and enjoyed each other's company. Yes, Beniam tried his first cupcake, and no, he didn't dive right in, he took his sweet time. Chris says this is because our boy is an artist, tasting a little here, a little there. CTBR managed to make through present opening and balloon boxing before finally hitting that meltdown-it's time for a nap-get me to my crib as soon as possible point. He isn't the type of kid that will fall alseep anywhere. He wants his crib, his blanket, his music and then he is out. But I digress. The birthday party was great...we loved celebrating the gift that Beniam is to us. Notice the super cute crown that our Ethiopian prince is wearing...designed and sewn by our dear Hope B. with Ethipoian colors, the Lion of Judah and Beniam's initials. It is his official birthday crown. We love it! Thank you Hope! And thank you to everyone who celebrated with us! And thank you Grandma Kim for the pics!


































Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I want to read this...

http://www.scaredthebook.com/

Almost 1!

The inevitable is happening and our Little Boy is is becoming a Little-Bit Bigger Boy. CTBR is officially mobile is more ways than one. He started crawling mid-August, has been pulling himself to standing since before that and has discovered the great fun of "the walker." He loves walking himself around pushing the walker (thanks Auntie Amy!). Our camera is broken, so alas no recent pics of these accomplishments yet.

Our little mover and shaker has started saying gogo (when pushing his walker), Mama (he has said this before but now it is very clearly intended for me), Dada, ball, duck, book, uh-oh, nana (for banana) and a host of other words that we can't quite decipher yet.

I am starting B's scrapbook and have been looking at his early, early pictures. Our love for him has grown more that we could have imagined. We can hardly believe that this little one:













has grown into this happy, healthy little treasure:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sponsor Beniam in the Walk for Life!

Dear Friends and Family,

TeamReno is getting ready to do a wonderful thing in Santa Cruz. We are joining a united effort of concerned citizens who are taking a stand for the Sanctity of Human Life.

Please consider sponsoring us as we participate in the Walk for Life 2009. This fundraiser benefits the Pregnancy Resource Center of Santa Cruz County (which Anna worked for many years ago - BC - Before Chris). The PRC is a non-profit organization that gives women and families the tools and support to make healthy decision for themselves and their babies.

Obviously the blessing of new life and of a mother's sacrifice to give that life is very fresh in our minds. We are so thankful that Beniam's birth mother chose life for him. So, on September 26th we will join hundreds of men, women and children in a Walk For Life that will help protect the lives of mothers and children throughout the year through the courageous efforts of LifeNet and the PRC.

Just click on www.walkforlifesantacruz.com to sign up to be our sponsor and then let us know. The walker you are sponsoring is Beniam Reno (although he will actually be "strolling" - Mom & Dad will do all the "walking").

Love,

TeamReno

The Life and Times of CTBR

We love our little boy! He is such a joy - I can't imagine life before him! So much personality in such a little body.

Playing at the beach while Daddy is fishing.











Trying to reach the nerf dart Daddy stuck on his forehead.











This boy loves berries!











...and bath time!

















Helping Mommy pack more donations to go to Ethiopia (they going with another family - it isn't our turn again - yet!)

















We will leave you with our very own Ethiopian Donald Duck.
video

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Better late than never

We are a little behind in posting...the laundry mountain is huge and the little boy is too cute. Beniam has pretty much become the focus of my days, which is wonderful and challenging, although I didn't realize just how much my life would revolve around naptimes and bottles. There are many things I didn't realize or expect about being a mom, and specifically a mom to our little boy. For instance, I didn't think about the possibility that God would decide that I needed to have one of the loudest little boys I know. Those of you who know me know that I am a hang out in the background sort of person. A little shy, a little quiet. And then along came this cute, curious, gregarious, joyful, emphatic little boy and suddenly all eyes (well, maybe not all, but many!) are on me, or rather on my little boy. Yes, it probably has something to do with the fact that a blonde-haired, blue-eyed me is holding a beautiful, brown Ethiopian baby boy, but believe me, they hear him before they see him! It is so funny to me that when we met Beniam for this first time, we had no idea what a little ball of energy and action he would be! I guess there was that first clue of him belly-laughing when they brought him out to us for the first time, but, still, who knew? Only God...and He has a great sense of humor!

Here are some photos from our recent road trip to Colorado. It was a 19 hour drive and Beniam was a champion! We had a wonderful time with the Reno clan...

































































Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Handsome Reno guys


IMG_2706, originally uploaded by amy.johnson103099.

Mommy and B


IMG_2729, originally uploaded by amy.johnson103099.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A few of my favorite things...

It was just my birthday and my first Mother's Day. Here are a couple of the sweet gifts that I received:































The flowers are from my sweet niece. The collection of poems is from my sweet husband. He actually purchased the book a while ago, hid it (making sure to tell me where he hid it so I wouldn't look there) and then forgot about it until I reminded him that I surely had just one more birthday present coming. I love being surprised ;) For Mother's Day, he surprised me with our first grown-up wine glasses. So fun!

And then, of course, we can't forget this precious gift...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

We love this boy!

We are so in love with our little boy! CTBR is such a gift. I love being a mommy to him!

As far as the nitty gritty...(for those of you who like this sort of info - especially you adoptive mommies)...Beniam will be eight months old next week... he is such a big boy now! He has grown out of so many of his clothes that were huge on him when we first brought him home. Yes, I know this is a good thing, but it still makes me a little sad.

He is still waking up 2-3 times a night to eat. For those of you who know how much I like to sleep, I have adjusted to this amazingly well. But, my sweet hubby got up with B this morning and let me sleep in until 9am. Soooo nice. They actually fell asleep together playing on the floor...so sweet.

This boy loves to eat! Peaches, pears, squash, sweet potatoes, avocado. If it comes on a spoon (or on Mommy's finger) he likes it! No teeth yet...I am wondering how that will go.

I love watching B grow and change and accomplish little developmental tasks. We never know what amazing feat he will accomplish each day.










Thursday, May 7, 2009





Friday, May 1, 2009

More life with Beniam...

Easter with the cousins...















































Look what I can do!











Enjoying the beautiful day...