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Introducing Elvie

It seems appropriate to be introducing Elvie to you on the Fourth of July, as she is three short days away from being the newest little US citizen. We have been in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with our new baby girl for a week and a half now, and we are already packing up to get ready to come home. It has been a whirlwind, to be sure, but we already feel like Elvie has been in our family forever.  She just fits. We are filled with joy.

Elvie will become a US citizen upon arrival into the United States on Saturday, July 7. We are so excited to come home as a family of four, and I am thrilled today to introduce our sweet baby girl to you. Meet Elroyi Aveline, the cutest future US citizen you’ve ever seen.

 

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  • June 23, The Day We First Met 1 of 15
    June 23, The Day We First Met
    As soon as we landed in Addis Ababa and dropped our suitcases off at the hotel, we went to meet Elvie. She was smaller than we thought, but alert and looking around, trying to figure us out.
  • The New Big Sister 2 of 15
    The New Big Sister
    Zinashi was thrilled to finally meet her baby sister. Elvie was a little bit unsure about Zinashi's level of enthusiasm.
  • The Second Day 3 of 15
    The Second Day
    We were unable to take Elvie with us to our hotel until she was legally ours, so we spent the afternoon with her on Sunday. I got to feed her for the first time. She spit up on me a little bit, but I didn't mind.
  • A Tiny Girl and Her Ababi 4 of 15
    A Tiny Girl and Her Ababi
    Elvie looked even smaller when Jarod held her to his shoulder. This was such a sweet moment.
  • The Day We Took Her With Us 5 of 15
    The Day We Took Her With Us
    The Ethiopian judge declared us to be Elvie's parents on June 25, early in the afternoon. As soon as we could get changed and back into the car, we were on our way over to take our baby into our arms forever. Here are my three partners in crime. I couldn't ask for a better family.
  • All Dressed Up, With Nowhere to Go 6 of 15
    All Dressed Up, With Nowhere to Go
    There will be no more misshapen orphanage clothes that don't fit properly for our Elvie. Our first day as a family, we dressed her up like a strawberry.
  • Chilled Out and Settling In 7 of 15
    Chilled Out and Settling In
    With two weeks to hang out together in our hotel room, we got Elvie acclimated to our level of relaxation as soon as possible.
  • A Girl and Her Lamb 8 of 15
    A Girl and Her Lamb
    Elvie is just learning to reach for things and grasp them, and this little lamb blanket has been a big hit. So has being on someone's lap the majority of the time. We simply can't hold her enough.
  • Eat, Baby, Eat! 9 of 15
    Eat, Baby, Eat!
    The first night we changed Elvie out of clothes and into pajamas, we knew that she was not only small for her age, but she was malnourished. Our international adoption doctor, who we sent measurements and photos to via email, told us that Elvie likely has marasmus, which is a severe form of malnourishment. Every day, it is our goal to get Elvie to eat as much as possible, as often as possible.
  • Sisterly Love 10 of 15
    Sisterly Love
    After just a few days together, it became clear that our girls adore each other. They love to hang out together on the bed, Zinashi showing Elvie all her toys and Elvie listening because someone is finally talking just to her.
  • A Sleeping Baby is a Growing Baby 11 of 15
    A Sleeping Baby is a Growing Baby
    Elvie is a champion napper. We are so relieved that she is both eating and sleeping well, knowing that both will help her grow and thrive.
  • Our Smiley Girl 12 of 15
    Our Smiley Girl
    The first smile Elvie gave me was in the middle of the night. We're all thrilled that she smiles during the daylight hours now, and that she does it often.
  • All Dressed Up for Her Embassy Appointment 13 of 15
    All Dressed Up for Her Embassy Appointment
    The last piece of the puzzle for bringing Elvie home was getting her visa from the US Embassy. Even though going to the embassy is akin to going to the DMV, we dressed her up for her special day.
  • My Husband and His Second Daughter 14 of 15
    My Husband and His Second Daughter
    All this time we've known about Elvie, I've been looking forward to seeing a baby in my husband's arms. He has taken beautifully to fathering our tiniest girl, and I couldn't be prouder.
  • Mother of Two 15 of 15
    Mother of Two
    I am thrilled to be both Zinashi and Elvie's mother. It is such a joy and a pleasure to love this new little life. I've never been happier.

 

Read more of our family story at Finding Magnolia
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