Truly a Day to Celebrate!
Today is, of course, Independence Day (which we, very un-patriotically, never celebrate, since we're always in Europe this time of year), our first full day home as a family of six, and Carsten's 8th birthday. When I turned 8, in August 1999, I had very recently become the big sister of my second sibling. Now, that very same second sibling has recently become a first-time big brother on his eighth birthday! Although we're not really celebrating his birthday today, since he already had his birthday party with friends before our trip and since we're not physically or mentally prepared for a big celebration today (not to mention that we don't have most of presents due to the time-consuming adoption/travel preparations- yikes!) he understands that his biggest and by far best present is a living, breathing, laughing, screaming baby sister. She wasn't, of course, a true birthday present, but he loves to brag about the fact that he's the first person in our family to have Sasha home on his birthday :-).
Speaking of Sasha, I know that there's so much to post about- and I will. Today, however, is not the best day. Earlier this morning, I downloaded pictures and wrote a long post about our trip, and it somehow got deleted. At that point, I was so frustrated that I gave up. I'm also, for the second time in the past two weeks, sick (if you can really count it as two separate illnesses- to me, it's felt like one long sickness that's spanned our whole trip.) You see, Carsten and I both got really terrible stomach bugs in Dubai on the way to Addis- we hadn't been careful about what we were eating, thinking that unlike Ethiopia, the food there would be safe. My mom and dad soon both got it- only Kristian escaped it, earning him the nickname "Guts of Steel." Even after it was gone, none of us had much appetite and I'm pretty sure we all lost weight (Carsten weighed himself this morning and he was six pounds lighter.) Sasha was also sick when we got her; she had conjunctivitis (sp?) in both eyes and both of her ears were infected, adding to a terrible cold. I now think I have her conjunctivitis, though I'm in denial because I hate putting the drops in my eyes. I also have a cold and a fever now; I'm sure I picked it up at AHOPE, since so many of the kids there were sick. Anyway, all of this is a long way of saying that I'm not totally up for filling up pages upon pages of reflections of our trip. Despite illness, it truly was great overall, and Sasha is too amazing to put into words. I'm sure I'll have to try though ;-).
I'd appreciate it if everyone will not start throwing things at me for holding off for a day. I know it will be difficult to refrain from doing so.