Thursday, July 10, 2014

Happy Gotcha Day Andrew and Annabelle!

So by now, you know the story...

Two ridiculously eager, totally clueless people got on a plane and flew for two days.  Those two days were filled with excitement, restless sleep and video diary that is equal parts hilarious and horrible.  Picture Bill at 2:00 am sharing his feelings about becoming a dad while eating beef jerky and dried fruit.

We arrived at the orphanage and waited for about 10 minutes.  Possibly the longest 10 minutes of our lives.  We had seen many videos of people meeting their children just like this.  Waiting in a room for a stranger to bring in a baby that was both a stranger and your child all wrapped up in a tiny little blanket.  Watching those nannies walk down the cobblestone sidewalk was the most surreal experience.  Only surpassed by the experience a few seconds later, of having someone hand you a child.  YOUR CHILD! Those faces!  We had been dreaming of those faces for years.
Andrew's referral pic.  We should have know he was going to be a busy guy!  Two months old and can't stay still!!

Annabelle's referral pic.  Everyone comments on how beautiful her lips are.  Even I knew she would be a sassy pants!

We could never have imagined how we would feel in those moments left alone in the "Family Room" with our children.  We immediately unwrapped them and counted fingers and toes.  If you remember the story, Andrew's hand was blurry in the picture so Bill was sure he only had his left one.
We prayed and marveled in the wonder of these sweet babies and then immediately panicked when we realized we were in Ethiopia.  With our babies.  On our own.  To figure it out.

Napping after her first bath in a sink

Trying to figure our the "pookie" principle.

God is so Good!  He took us to Ethiopia and gave us the gift of these two adorable little faces.  We couldn't believe how blessed we were at that moment, to be the parents of two perfect little people.  Still now we marvel at the blessing it is to parent them each day.

Happy Gotcha Day Yechy and Hamme!

Monday, June 30, 2014

"I still care about her"

My Sweet Boy!

I was putting Andrew to bed and as I snuggled down with him he said something that stopped my heart.  He said, "Mom- I miss my birth mom.  No one saw her face except me.  I wish she could know I still care about her."

And exhale...

I hugged him and told him I think she knows just how much he loves her.  I also told him that his birth mom loves him more than he will ever know.  I told him she must think about him all the time.  He said, "Mom, my birth mom is probably dead right?  I mean most people in Ethiopia don't have any food or clean water." 

And exhale...

I explained that we pray for his birth mom every night and reminded him we pray for safety and for a peace.  We pray that she would somehow know that she made the best choice for Andrew by taking him to the ally where someone would find him and take him to the orphanage.  She could never imagine that Andrew would be living with a family who loves him and takes care of him.  I told him that Ethiopians do have a hard time finding enough food and clean water, so there is a possibility that his birth mom is no longer living on this earth.  I also told Andrew that no matter where she is right now, he will see her in heaven.

And exhale...

Then came the hard part.  I told him that no matter how he feels about being adopted, it's okay.  Sometimes, he will like being adopted, sometimes he won't.  Sometimes, like tonight, he will feel sad.  Sometimes he will be mad or frustrated or feel like no one understands.  All of that is okay.  That part wasn't so hard.  The hard part was taking in the fact that no matter how much I love Andrew, no matter how much I nurture and work to be sure he has what he needs and is well adjusted, it might not be enough.  He will always have this little part of him that will long for something cannot give him and I cannot understand.  All I can do is pray that he understands the choices his birth mom made to give him life and the choices we made to bring him home.

Sometimes adoption is so fun.  We get to see God create families in ways we could never imagine.  Sometimes adoption is hard.  When you get smacked in the face with the reality that there are just somethings you will never be able to give your child.  Regardless of how it feels, adoption is always a miracle!