Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July 19, 2011

We received notice today that we can begin finalization proceedings for Benjamin's adoption.  Court house here we come!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

And the story continues...

After about 2 total hours of sleep, we got up at about 6am and started getting ready to meet our babies!  How does one get ready to meet one's children?  Well, lots of praying and crying, packing and repacking diaper bags, writing in a journal to chronicle my last few hours before I became a mom, shower, make up (why bother with all the crying right?), try to eat breakfast (dry toast and tea with honey).    Every minute I seemed to notice something else I was doing for the "last time" before I became a mom. It had rained the night before, so everything was damp and it was muggy and cool. We finally got into the van and started to drive to the care center.  We got to see Ethiopia in the daylight for the first time.  The dirt streets were lined with little businesses and people.  We moved slowly (soooo slowly) towards our babies, and finally got to the famous "blue doors", the gate to the orphanage.  Once inside we waited in front of the "family room".  After what seemed like an eternity, 2 nannies emerged from the nursery and walked down the long sidewalk lined with laundry hanging to dry.  There they were.  Our first glimpse of our babies was as 2 tiny bundles.  They looked much bigger than they were because were wrapped in layers and layers and layers of blankets and clothes.   The nannies handed Annabelle to Bill and Andrew to me.  And we were parents.  Lots of tears, as we had waited almost 4 years for this moment.  I still cry every time I think about it.  After that there was much more crying, lots of unwrapping and kissing and hugging and did I mention crying?  Everything in the whole world looked different after that moment.  If you have children, you know what I mean.  If you don't yet, you will, trust me.  It's like your life is already amazing and full and wonderful and then BAM!  More blessing than you could ever imagine right there in your hands in one moment.  God had orchestrated so much to get us to this point, we never could have imagined how this miraculous journey would end, or rather begin.  Thank you Lord, for the amazing gift of these children! 

Happy "Gotcha Day" Babies!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Getting on a Plane

Five years ago today Bill and I got on a plane bound for Ethiopia. 

We had 4 suitcases, 3 boxes of dryer sheets, 14 girl outfits, 14 boy outfits, 56 socks, 14 pairs of jammies, 72 diapers, 12 burp cloths, 8 bottles, 104 bottles liners, 6 cans of formula, a gallon of  hand sani, our dossier, about 10 pounds of dried fruit and $3000 dollars in new crisp bills.  Of course we had tons of other stuff (problem pack anyone), but these were the items I had packed and unpacked at least a dozen times in the last 6 weeks.  I stared at each outfit and marveled at how tiny it was and the thought that soon a tiny body would inhabit those clothes. Not just any body, but a son and a daughter.  OUR son and OUR daughter!!  Everything was soooo tiny!  Little did I know how much tinier our little ones would be!  I of course cried as we said goodbye to our parents.  The crying continued as we checked in-I know you're shocked!  I calmed down just in time for the ticketing agent to ask, "what is the nature of your trip to Ethiopia?"  Bill said, "we are going to bring home our babies".  And of course I cried all over again.  We were excited and nervous all at once.  We knew that in a few short days our lives would be changed forever, but we had no idea what that really meant.  We talked and talked for the first few legs of our journey and then as we got closer to crossing international waters, we just started praying.  I was so excited to go back to Africa, as the summer before, my life was changed forever by the trip I had taken to Kenya.  Bill was getting more and more anxious as he had never been and didn't know what to expect.  He had that "papa bear" thing going on and that's really hard to do when you cannot control one single variable.  So we prayed.  We prayed for our babies and their caregivers, and their birth parents and the people who worked at the embassy and our driver and our guide and any other families we might come across at the guest house.  We prayed for our lawyer and all of the people working at the guest house.  We prayed against stomach issues and water borne illness.  And we were still over the Atlantic Ocean:)  We spent the next 2 days in airports and on planes making our way to becoming a family of 4.  Stay tuned for more of this amazing journey...