Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy "One Month Anniversary" Boys!!!

Today marks 1 month since we were able to hold Levi & Judah in our arms. Getting to know them and bonding as a family of 4 over the past month has been such a great joy and we know that the journey has only just begun. Here are some recent photos...we are in awe of what little miracles these guys are!!!

Levi playing with his favorite toy- a measuring cup:)
Both boys slept through their first encounter with Santa!

Judah screaming for more food! He has really loves anything that someone else is eating:)
My husband truly is the best dad ever- such a natural!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Highlights From Kenya

Back Home:)

Hey everyone! We are back home in Michigan and I'm sorry we haven't posted anything, but we are a little crazy. After leaving Nairobi Saturday night, we arrived in Michigan late on Sunday after a nine hour layover in Amsterdam and a delayed flight because of weather (they apparrently don't get snow very often in Amsterdam- weird...) The boys were troopers during the whole process- they slept during both flights and only cried when we were "trapped" on the plane for 3 hours waiting to be de-iced.

Judah pooped about a hundred times on the way home, going through every extra set of clothing I brought...THEN as we were waiting in line at customs and immigration, my arm began to feel warm and I smelled something and yes as they processed the paperwork for the boys, Judah's poop was coming out the neck of his shirt and going all over the two of us. By the time we left the airport he didn't have on any pants and we were both stinky:) It was fun!

Adam's mom has been here helping us since we've been home and it has been truly a gift from God. She wakes up with them in the middle of the night so we can sleep and has been helping us to re-establish a schedule to get the boys on our time zone. Friends have cooked and done laundry for us (washing everything on HOT because of all the poop) and the boys are enjoying meeting all their new friends and family! We head to Chicago tomorrow to introduce them to my side of the family and celebrate Christmas. Adam and I already received everything we wanted and we are so grateful to have our family together for Christmas.

Sending love,
The Dorband 4

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Hey everyone- we are back into crazy mode to come home!!! Levi's test result came back as HIV negative, which is WONDERFUL news and now we have a bunch of paperwork to finish before we can leave the country. Sending love and thanking you for all your prayers.

The Dorband 4

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Non-update updates from Nairobi:)

They boys are saying, "Thanks for the great place to stay- we love it!!!"

Hey everyone- there's not much going on here in Nairobi...we are just waiting for this coming week so we can find out the results of Levi's PCR. PLEASE continue to pray!!! We believe that God answers prayers and He has been so evident during the past few days in Nairobi that we know His hand is most certainly with us as we walk through the unknown. As you know, we were provided with a place to stay while we are here, but even more, we were provided with FRIENDS from Michigan who are staying at the same house as us to complete the adoption of their daughter from Kenya (they have been here for 10 months). Graig and Sarah have taken us in and made us part of their family...sharing meals and conversation has truly lifted our spirits and reminded us of God's presence. I'm sure it is no coincidence that they work with a church at the University of Michigan so we certainly plan on having dinner and play dates in the future when we are all back in the states. How funny that we have a house full of people from Michigan in Nairobi:) God is sovereign!!!

We miss our friends and family so much- as we were in church this morning singing Christmas carols in 80 degree weather, I was honestly wishing we were back in the cold midwest and I had to stop singing so I wouldn't cry, but we are spending time with the boys and bonding is going well so what more could we ask for:) Now if they would just sleep through the night, we might be a little more sane:)-

Here's the detailed info on the boys as of recently...
  • They have both taken a liking to baby oatmeal or rice cereal with bananas- this makes for kind of nasty poo, but their bellies are full and they are happy. Both of them still drink quite a bit of formula as that is all they lived on at the orphanage.
  • Judah is having a VERY hard time sleeping through the night. Adam and I took turns holding him from 2am until 7:30am today so he would sleep, which makes us a little tired, but we want him to be happy.
  • Thank God for mosquito nets- Judah was sleeping with Adam last night and fell out of bed, but the mosquito net caught him and sort of gently rested him on the floor- he still cried, but he wasn't injured.
  • Levi and Judah are both teething which means LOTS of drool and intermittent crying throughout the night as well.
  • Judah is quite a people person while Levi is more pensive and takes everything in. This also means that Judah is a lot more needy and I want to make sure that we spend as much time attending to Levi so he feels loved and secure:)
  • Judah poops at least 4 times a day so we have been going through a lot of outfits, but such is life with 2 young boys!!!
  • Overall, all is going well, we are ready to come HOME, but we are good.
Thank you for walking with us..

We send our love from Kenya!!!
The Dorband 4

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Totally Unexpected Blessing

Through the kindness of strangers who are part of the body of Christ, Adam and I now have a free place to stay in Nairobi. We moved out of our original guesthouse today because the room was already rented out to someone else for the remainder of our stay and we were looking for an affordable place when a blogging friend (who is a missionary in Kenya) sent a message saying we could stay at her families' house in Nairobi. They are currently in the states and they just decided they wanted to bless us. We don't really know what to say other than THANK YOU! We truly feel the sustaining grace of God with us every step of the way:)

All our love,
The Dorband 4


Thanks Nana and Papa for the warm fleeces- it gets a little cold in Nairobi at night!
Waiting and waiting and waiting at the medical clinic- the boys did great:)

While we were in Rwanda, we learned that a more accurate translation of Levi's middle name, Kwizera, is FAITH. During the adoption process, we hung the word FAITH on the door to the boys' room, and now as we wait in Nairobi for the results of his PCR, it is a test of our FAITH. We are infinitely grateful for these two little lives that have been entrusted into our hands and we know that God is working in this situation. As I'm sure all parents would agree, we don't want our little one to be have to suffer and so we are praying for a favorable outcome- however, in all things we will trust that God gave us these children and we will praise him in all circumstances.

Sending our love,
The Dorband 4

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rwanda Video

Praying for Levi

Hey everyone! The last couple of days have been a flurry of activity with very little time for updating the blog so I apologize. Here is where we are- there is a lot going on.
  • We spent 8 hours at the immigration medical testing clinic in Nairobi on Monday to get clearance for the boys to travel.
  • At the end of the day, the doctor called us into her office (this is never a good sign)
  • She informed us that Levi's tests for HIV were "inconclusive." This means that he had 2 results that were slightly positive and 2 results that were negative (they repeated the test 4 times on the 1st day). He tested negative in Rwanda before the nuns referred him.
  • She asked us to come back the next day so they could repeat the test and try to find more conclusive results. The results for the second day were the same (2 slightly positive and 2 negative).
  • They took more blood and sent it to South Africa to check his DNA.
  • We cannot receive Levi's visa to leave the country until these results are back, which will take a minimum of 5 working days.
  • If he turns out to be negative, we can leave as soon as the visas are processed.
  • if he turns out to be HIV positive, we will have to go through additional paperwork and processes that could take an undefined amount of time in Kenya.
There are many things that can cause the rapid HIV test to be positive, including antibodies left over from the mother and malaria and of course we are praying that one of these is the case. The head of the lab at the clinic says that he is 99.5% sure that the test did not yield accurate results and that he is negative, and the doctor said it is more likely that he is negative than positive, but we have to wait...I hate waiting. Adam and I both believe that God sovereignly placed Levi in our family and even after the short time we have known him, we cannot imagine our life without him. If he is HIV positive, we are glad that he did not test that way in Rwanda because the nuns would not have referred him to us and then we would have missed out on how amazing this little guy is!!! All things considered, please pray that the test results would come back sooner than expected and that Levi would indeed be HIV negative.

We are in Nairobi until at least next week so we send all our love to you from afar!!!
The Dorband 4

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pics from the Kigali airport...

Yes we are still waiting- they don't know when the airplane will get here:(

In the Kigali airport

Our plane was supposed to depart at 2pm, but it is delayed until 4pm and we are now two bottles, three dirty diapers, and one outfit change in and we haven't even left the airport:) This trip is really just dress rehearsal for "the big one", which is the trip back to Michigan. Security confiscated my roll of masking tape that I brought to entertain the boys- they said I could use it to tie someone up (which I thought was pretty funny considering both my hands are full of babies). Right now Judah is sound asleep and Levi is sucking on Adam's water bottle and drooling ALL OVER! Both the boys are teething and Judah"s first tooth officially emerged this morning! Hopefully we will arrive in Nairobi tonight at around 6:30- then it is off for medical testing first thing tomorrow morning. If there are no problems we will be back in MI on Friday and just in time for Christmas:)

If you think of it please pray that our flight is not cancelled...

We are so exhausted and we feel so blessed!
Sending our love,
The Dorband 4

Friday, December 4, 2009


Today we had success at the embassy- the consular had mercy on us and gave us the official packet. This marks the end of our paperwork in Rwanda- the next steps are in Nairobi. We are heading to the countryside today with our POA and his family. We just wanted to pass along the good news!!!
Love from Kigali,
The Dorband 4

Thursday, December 3, 2009


We are nearing the end of our stay in Rwanda and Adam and I have had a wonderful time learning about the country and the two newest members of our family:) The boys are still having a little difficulty with their sleep schedule, which I'm sure will only continue after we come home to Michigan (it is 7 hours different than Rwanda). We now have both Levi & Judah's passports (hooray) and we will head to the embassy tomorrow to try to convince the consular that the paper she wants does not exist for orphans who were abandoned and we have all the other paperwork in order. If you think of it, pray that she has MERCY on us and the other families who will be trying to do the same tomorrow.

We continue to learn the different nuances that are a part of the boys' personalities. For example, Levi gets really hyper at night when it is bed time. He goes on and on, kicking his legs and laughing hysterically at nothing in particular. Judah is more finicky than Levi- if he's tired he just whines and rubs his face and it is difficult for him to get comfortable. He likes to make a clicking noise with his mouth and if you do it, he will just stare at your mouth and then just start laughing. Levi loves having his nose wiped (weird I know), when you wipe it, he laughs and giggles and tries to get you to do it again...this is a good thing considering he has a cold right now. Both boys babble, especially the word dada- we know that they aren't saying it to Adam yet but it is SOOOO cute.

We had our first brotherly altercation today where Levi smacked Judah in the face (I think it was on purpose) and Judah proceeded to cry (of course) and then we gave Judah a wet wipe to play with and all was well with the world. Adam and I are loving parenthood and we are exhausted but OH SO THANKFUL!!! Knowing our children and holding them in our arms is a feeling that is indescribable. Please pray that everything here goes smoothly until Sunday and that our time in Kenya is productive and on schedule:) THANK YOU!!!!

All our love,
The Dorband 4

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Levi Laughs:)

This was so cute I had to post it. The first day we met Levi, I was very concerned because he didn't make any noise and here he is today! What a change:)

Pics from the last few days:)

I know I slacked yesterday in posting pictures so here are some from Monday and this morning. The ones on top are from this morning and the one of Adam signing is from when we officially got to keep the boys FOREVER! It was a little weird- Adam just signed in this ledger book and it was finished. The Minister is the one reaching for Judah's hand and Veronique is standing outside with us. Yesterday was too crazy to get any good pictures, but we'll be taking more. Thanks everyone for the great toys! Levi & Judah are really enjoying them over here:) They really like anything they can bang on something else to make noise...Ian Bacon can we sign up for drum lessons now??? Sending all our love!
Adam, Katie, Levi & Judah

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Travel Papers and Prayer Request:)

We did obtain our travel letter yesterday around 4pm. We actually got to meet The Minister- she held the children and talked with us for a few minutes. Obtaining our letter meant that we could keep the boys with us overnight and it was wonderful not to have to drop them off at the orphanage last night!!! The boys woke up a few times throughout the night, but for the most part- they did great!!! Mom didn't really sleep at all but the boys are happy and healthy, which is all we could possibly want:)

Next we went to the US Embassy in Kigali to file our I600 with the Consular. It was less than wonderful in that she kept asking for this paper that is only issued to children when the birth parents are known. She insisted we needed to obtain this paper before she would process our I600, but it is not possible because Levi & Judah were abandoned. We went back to the sector where each of the boys were found (which included driving around in a hot car for 3 hours with both boys) to try to obtain the paper and correct some minor clerical errors and they confirmed that it is not possible to obtain this document when the children are abandoned. They gave us a phone number the consular can call if she is not satisfied with our efforts. We will go back on Friday with the boys' passports (which we pick up tomorrow) to finish the I600 process so please pray for favor and grace with the consular. Additionally, there are 3 other families here with us and they will not be able to obtain their passports until Friday afternoon and the Consular's office closes at 1pm on Friday- they need an even bigger miracle to be able to leave Rwanda on time.

While we were at one of the sectors, we met the women who were witnesses when Judah was found. They were so happy that he was being adopted. One of the women who works at the sector office had him in her office all day the day he was found and told us about how she went to buy him milk and took care of him. It was wonderful to meet them and see their joy over him being adopted. We learned that Levi was found on a banana plantation and one of our friends who has been volunteering at Home of Hope all year said that he was pre-mature. She said that she didn't think they would be able to save a baby so small, but here he is chubby, interactive, and happy (as I write, the two boys are attempting to "climb" a cement wall).

All is well here- we are tired and happy. We believe that everything will come together by this weekend. Thank you for your prayers. We cannot wait to bring the boys home and share them with you!
All our love,
Adam & Katie