Thursday, November 7, 2013

Where You Go I'll Go

When we were still in Phoenix, Benjamin was learning how to go to bed in a toddler bed instead of his crib.  One of the things that soothed him was listening to music while I rocked him.  He's the baby.  Of course I did it!  We listened to "Praise Baby" worship songs every night.  One of the songs on that CD was a song with lyrics that say, "Where you go I'll go, where you stay, I'll stay, when you move, I'll move, I will follow you".  Every time I heard that song, I cried.  A lot of times it was the ugly kind of cry.  It was the thought of moving so far away.  It was Bill being so far away from us for so long.  It was holding what could be our last baby.  It was the thought of all 3 of our babies not growing up within 30 minutes from so many people who loved them (seriously, it's like more than 30 people).  If I am really honest, it was letting go of what I had envisioned of my life and surrendering that to God.  Isn't His plan better anyway?  Of course it is, but not always easy.
Today at MOPS, we talked about loss and it really hit a chord with me for a lot of reasons.  I couldn't even talk about the loss of my dad because it was too hard with so many people who don't know me.  People who don't know my heart.  That loss was too heavy to talk openly about today. On the way home I cried as I thought of the loss of what we had in Arizona.  Perceived security, family surrounding us at all times, friendships so treasured, sweet neighbors who knew our story.  The loss seemed too much.  Most of the day I oscillated between tears and just plain sadness.
Then at bedtime, I heard the song.  "Where you go, I'll go..."
This time, it was not me singing, but Benjamin, Andrew and Annabelle singing from their beds.  Singing God's truth about following His plan, not ours.  I cannot explain the peace that washed over me as I heard those sweet voices singing about God's truth.
All of the loss, imagined or real is totally worth it if we can trust Him more.  If we can teach our children to trust Him more.  We are not great at the obedience with grace by any means, but we are trying.  As a family we are singing, "Where you go, We'll go..."

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Happy Gotcha Day!

Okay same title from 6 months ago...  EMBARRASSING!!!  Same title, same celebration, different kids!
Seven years ago today, we met Andrew and Annabelle for the first time (Yecheneku and Hamelmal respectively).  We had waited for so long to welcome children into our hearts and home.  We prayed and waited and prayed and waited.  Those around us prayed and waited.  When we got our referral (May 27), we saw their pictures and fell in love with children we had never met.  Those of you who know us joined in praying them home with faces attached to those prayers for the first time.  On June 14th they went to court in Ethiopia with our lawyer and became Sanborn's in the eyes of Ethiopia.  We felt a sense of relief for about 10 seconds and then the panic set in... 

What were we thinking??!!  Two babies?!  IN ETHIOPIA?!!  But as first time parents we convinced ourselves we could do it.  We had no idea!

Neither one of us slept the night before.  We were up and ready by 6:30am when our appointment at the orphanage wasn't until 9:30.  When we finally pulled up to the facility I felt these crazy waves of emotion.  Some of it was relief, some pure nerves and I now know part of it was fierce protection of these sweet babies we had yet to meet. 

Then it happened.  In slow motion.  The nannies handed Andrew to me and Annabelle to Bill.  I burst into tears, and Bill got a little misty as well. 

We were holding our babies.  The little ones God had intended for us from the creation of the world.  A.MA.ZING.  And now, God (and the country of Ethiopia) was entrusting them to us.  More panic!  Then we sat down in the "Family Room" at the orphanage and took it all in.  Both of those sweet babies locked eyes with us and we were ruined.  Every tear, every sleepless night, every struggle, every bit of heartache, every penny, every piece of paper was totally worth it in that split second when our eyes met theirs.

Thank you Lord for the privilege of raising these sweet children.  We will never take for granted the miracle you have been working for the past seven years. Andrew Jess Yecheneku and Annabelle Cate Hamelmal, we love you more than words can express! 

Happy Gotcha Day!
Not so sure he likes this "meeting the parents" business

Why is no one holding me?!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Happy Gotcha Day Benjamin!

Yea!!!  I still cannot believe we have another Gotcha Day to celebrate in our house!  Two years ago today Benjamin became ours, on paper anyway.  We were up just staring at Benjamin most of the night.  Well I was anyway.  Bill got a few winks, as the hospital gave us our own room.  I remember watching him sleep thinking, "Is this really happening?".  I also remember praying, "Lord, we do not know if this will be our son.  There is so much that needs to happen so that we can fully celebrate.  Guard my heart Lord."

I think God may have audibly laughed.

 It was too late, a 5 pound 11 oz bundle was part of our family even if just until the morning if and when birth mom decided to parent.  I wish I could explain this more beautifully, but we made a decision.  I made the decision every adoptive Momma makes, I decided to love.  Hold and cry and snuggle and cry and feed and cry my way through the waiting period.  God would not want us to with hold what Benjamin needed for our own protection.

Where Benjamin was born, we only waited 24 hours, so we had it easy.  At about 12:30 (papers were being signed at 2), birth mom wanted to spend some time with Benjamin so Bill and I left the hospital for a while.  THE LONGEST 2 HOURS OF MY LIFE.  I strolled around Old Navy and made what seemed like lengthy phone calls.  I called everyone who would answer their phones just to "chat" while we waited.  I am sure I seemed soooo calm, cool and collected!  We went back to the hospital at 2:15 (I couldn't wait any longer).  Our social worker called at 2:30 and said birth mom had signed and they were on their way over to get us to sign.  At about 4:30 all of the paperwork was done, we had met with birth mom and her 5 children and were were in our room again alone with Benjamin.  He was only about 26 hours old and so much had happened in his little life.

 Today, our hearts are just as full as they were that day.  We love you Benjamin and are so blessed to be your parents.  Happy Gotcha Day Sweet Pea!