Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lleyton gets cuter each day

Lleyton is getting cuter and cuter each day. Not a day goes by that Sara and I don't laugh outloud at something he says or does.

Here a few new pictures of our little man.

By no means is our little man fat, in fact, he is barely on the growth chart, but this picture makes him look a little chunky and I like it!

Please don't judge him, he likes imitating his mother, and that includes putting on makeup when she does. Oh yeah, he also like to try on his Mom's shoes.

He is starting to eat more like a big boy.

Lleyton has turned into quite a climber. He really enjoys climbing the fence so that he can get a better view of the birds in the trees.

Today is "Crazy Hat Day" at school, so what better hat to bring than the Russian hat that I bartered for in Red Square when it was about 0 degrees.

Quick note: You may notice a small wound on Lleyton's face in a few of these pictures. He decided to drive his car down the steps the other night and it didn't go very well.

Monday, March 30, 2009

While we wait...

As we wait for our court date to get here we are diligently attempting to get everything we need to welcome our newest son into our family. We have been hitting garage sales, scouring craigslist, raiding sale racks at the Gap, Target, Walmart, and anywhere else we think we can find good deals.

Along with clothes shopping, we have had our eyes peeled for a bike for Parker and we (and by we I mean Sara) has been putting the final touches on Parker's bedroom furniture. We found two pieces of furniture that we really like at the Pottery Barn, but we couldn't find the right color, so Sara has taken it upon herself to sand both pieces, prime them, and now she is almost through repainting them a color than she deems acceptable. They look fantastic.

We still need to paint his room, find a few more clothes for him, hopefully run into a quality, yet inexpensive, portable DVD player that he can have for the trip home, and then put everything together so that we don't have anything to worry about once we get home other than getting Parker settled in and getting Lleyton used to having a new best friend. As of right now, I think Sara and I are his best friends, but we are more than willing to hand that title over to Parker.

One other very important thing we are doing while we wait is we are gathering donations to take over to Ethiopia with us. The generosity we have seen thus far has been amazing. Sara and I, on behalf of all of the children in Ethiopia that these donations are going to help, immensely thank everyone that has contributed. The generosity of those who have and those who are going to donate is a testament to the quality of family, friends, and coworkers that Sara and I are lucky to have.

Friday, March 20, 2009


It's official, our court date in Ethiopia will be April 23. Much earlier than we had expected.

What fantastic news!

As we have been through this experience and through Lleyton's adoption as well, we are cautiously optimistic. Many families do not pass court on the first try. If we were to pass, that very well could mean that we are traveling to Africa sometime in May to pick up our little buddy.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Things I learned today about Parker

Our friend and social worker that adopted two extremely happy little girls from Ethiopia last week was nice enough to call me this morning to tell me all about Parker and Kamashi.

After arriving in Ethiopia, they made the 12 hour drive out to Kamashi, as that is also the area that their girls are from. They first stopped at the orphanage and had a chance to meet our little man. Here is what they saw:

He is very playful and friendly (when the cameras are not on him, when the cameras are on him, he goes into a shell)

He shares very well with his friends

He loved the tennis balls and boomerang that we sent to him

He is quite thin (he was wearing a 5/6 shirt that was quite baggy)

His poor teeth are completely rotten (I learned that most of the people in that region chew sugarcane almost all day. So the combination of chewing on sugarcane and no dental care has come to equal rotten teeth. I have already spoken to a pediatric dentist here in Cincinnati about this issue.)

He is living in the orphanage right now

I wish we could post the new pictures of our little man in Ethiopia, but I just can't until he is officially ours.

So that is what we learned today. We are thrilled that he seems to be doing well and that he has officially been introduced to us through the pictures that we sent to him.

Hopefully more to come soon...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Premier League

As of late, Lleyton has really been developing into quite a little futballer. I made this short video this morning and am thinking about sending to the coaches at IU.

He could be the next Ronaldo.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Best friends

As is evident in this picture, Lleyton and Wendell have a very strong bond.


My 30th birthday was yesterday, so we celebrated with a delicious carrot cake that Sara made for me. She is quite the baker.

Here are a few pictures from our festivities.

One of Lleyton's favorite lines right now is "Where did it go?".
So he stuck his fork deep into the cake so he could utter those words.

This is Lleyton getting ready to devour some more birthday cake this afternoon after getting home from school.

No updates on Parker as of yet. We are still waiting for the call with a court date. We were told that after our papers were submitted to court, we should have a date set within two weeks. We are rapidly approaching that two week mark. Hopefully I will have some good news to report soon.

We did learn today that each child being adopted from Ethiopia now has to be tested for TB, so we are crossing our fingers that our little guy's tests come back negative. If the results of all of his tests were to be positive he would have to go through six months of treatment before being able to come home with us.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I received a very brief email from our adoption coordinator who is in Ethiopia right now saying that Parker is doing well and he really enjoyed the tennis balls and the boomerang we sent to him.

We are waiting anxiously to see new pictures of him.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Thinking about Parker

I have thought quite a bit about Parker today, as I do everyday, but today has been a bit different. Today will be the day that he gets introduced to us for the first time. He will be introduced to the life that we have waiting for him. I can't imagine the feelings that he will have looking at the pictures we sent to him.

Is he happy?
Is he sad thinking about leaving those that he has grown to love?
Can he really process what he is happening or about to happen?

These are all questions that I am sure we will learn the answers to once we get to meet our little boy.

As for where we are in the process, we are anxiously checking the mailbox each day waiting to receive our I-171H from USCIS. This is the document that says we have been approved to bring this little boy into the United States.

We are also very anxiously waiting to get an email from our agency director (who is currently visiting Parker in Kamashi) saying when our court date is. The way court has been working in Ethiopia recently is that most families do not pass court on the first try. With that, we are preparing ourselves for that, but of course hoping for the best.

Here's hoping we get the email or call soon with a court date. We can't wait to bring our little guy home!

Ritzmann birthdays

My family is very unique in that 5 of our 6 birthdays happen to be right in a row.

So happy birthday to:

Megan - Feb 18
Doug - Feb 23
Mom - Mar 1
Dad - Today (Mar 6)
Me - Mar 11 (turning the big 30)

Something happened and Emily didn't get the memo back in 1984, as she was born in November.

I lobbied to have Parker's birthday on March 11, but I lost that battle. I also lobbied to change Lleyton's birthday to March 11, but I lost that battle as well.