Wednesday, October 27, 2010

23 Days......and counting

Updating my Blog has rolled to the back burner, but I'm trying really hard to do it!  We leave in 23 days and I am frantically trying to keep up with everything......the kids, the house, the shopping, Halloween, care-takers while we're gone, lists for care-takers, packing donations, packing.  And now I am in the nesting state.  The things I haven't been able to keep up for the last year I want done BEFORE we leave.  We don't bring her back this trip, but we need to be prepared since the holidays are coming up fast and going back to Ethiopia could be right around the corner (hopefully). 

I started washing and hanging the clothes we have been given soo far.  I am in the process of getting her a mattress to put up her bed and arrange her (& brother's) room.  So here are some pictures of what I've done thus far---bedroom picts to come.

Her clothes received from family---looks like she's set!

She's sharing a room and closet space with her brother--it's beginning to get a little cramped--he's soo excited!

Her first baby doll--also her first gift given at referral from our great friends--who have also adopted from Ethiopia.

Her outfit for the plane-ride home....with hopes that it fits :), given by my sister.

And her first snuggly toys for comfort....unless she just wants her mommy--
I can live with that.

I am feeling the adoption-pregnancy in full force right now.  It probably sounds crazy if you've never been there, but it sure feels real.  Finally allowing myself to become emotional about this child of mine who we will meet in just 23 days.  Trying to see past the pictures, into her heart.  What does her voice sound like?  Will she respond positively to us at our first meeting...our second meeting?  How big is she--do I have the right size clothes, or will we need to do some shopping?  Will she attach to us?  Does she think about her birth family and how is she dealing with it?  How will she feel about leaving her friends and nannies?  How long will it take her to understand our language?

Very overwhelming right now.  I hope everyone can try to understand that this isn't just bringing a child from poverty to our cozy home.  There is loss in her life.....lots of loss.  This journey is beautiful and sweet, but it's also overwhelming and emotional for soo many......her birth family (who will have to come to court one more time and may come to meet us during our second trip), her nannies who have cared for her for the last 6 months or more, and our family...going through soo many changes both physically and emotionally.  If you could please lift us all up in prayer we would all be grateful.  

23 days from today before Dic and I leave our boys for one week, in the hands of others, to meet our daughter...
their sister....
a gift, 
the most-precious gift, 
God could give 

Friday, October 15, 2010

A New Day

Today we received new pictures of our little one.  It's what I needed--anxiety, depression, stress, joy, and sadness have taken over this week.  We have only 36 days until we travel to Addis Ababa to meet our little one.  She was just over 2 years old when she was brought to the orphanage and now she is 31 months...3 years old in March.  She has grown soo much, beautiful as ever, and I am overjoyed at the fact that she will be in our arms for the first time.  I am excited to take her cute little photo book with pictures of what she will see when she comes "home". Her brothers, her room, her yard, her play-set, her car, her toys, her very own bed ( I might skip the dog pictures so she really wants to come! :0). All I wanna do is smother her face with kisses and tell her how much I love her.  I have done a really good job of staying detached emotionally....until now.  It will be a difficult trip.  Leaving her will be the hardest thing I've ever had to do.  To tell her that we are her new family and then leave her.  I'm not certain how that whole thing will work. Waiting for other families to tell me how their meeting with their toddlers went.  Waiting to see if any of my adopting friends got to meet her, hold her, tell her Mommy loves her.

There are soo many things that need to be done before we leave November 19th--just 36 days away.  I should start packing now because I am not a "packer".  Just ask my husband.  When we camp I stress.  So I should start now--before shut-down mode.  There is a list of suggested items to pack on a Yahoo board.  Very helpful, yet overwhelming.  This trip will be easier as we won't be packing toys and such to keep little "A" happy and entertained--she stays at the Care Center during our stay.  BUT I am using this trip as an opportunity to take LOTS of donations, mainly clothes for the older kiddos.  We are only required to be in Addis 3 days for the first trip, but Dic and I will be staying for five--pretty stoked about that.  Hopefully more time with our sweetie and also some time to get some sight-seeing in.  

Have you ever seen the movie called "Babies"?  I just watched it with my boys.  AMAZING!  I would love to know if the little African babies are a picture of how our babes lived with her biological family.  It was such a sweet film and I probably would have just oohed and awed over the cuties had we not been waiting for our African beauty.  It made me long for her.  So many questions that I'm sure will never be answered.  She is deep in my all of our hearts.  I love her soo much.  There go the joy and the sadness fighting each other again.  
It's really tough.  
Soon, though.  
Tomorrow is only 35 days....
Every day.

a new day.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October...time for a great story.

I am starting to get giddy for our trip to Ethiopia in November for our court date!!  Not much has happened since we got our court-date assignment. We purchased our airline tickets. Now we just wait.

At the Pumpkin Fest downtown.

My sweet boy on our family hike.

I thought I would share case you may have been wondering, or just needed to read a story about a really BLESSED family. :0)

Our Adoption Story
   We are a family of five, with three boys; Cole (12), Zachary (almost 10), and Luke (7).  Adoption has been on Kendra’s heart for years in hopes of having a little girl.

   A few years ago we started going to a little church…the first time as a family.  We were drawn to a couple whom we became very close with and soon after learned they were adopting from Ethiopia.  For two years we walked with them through their process and the hardships they endured made it seem impossible, leaving us feeling that international adoption may not be for us.  But God kept pushing us on.  Kendra became very involved daily in reading blogs about African adoptions and the missionary work happening there.  In the meantime God was quietly whispering his desires for our family to so something bigger than we were.  Kendra quickly fell in love with Africa, it’s people, and the idea of adopting there.  Dic was still seriously concerned about the financial aspect, which made it seem unreachable.

   In July of 2009, our church hosted the Matsiko Children’s Choir from Uganda.  Kendra volunteered, with honor, to place all of the children in the homes of several different families.  We were blessed with three girls for a few days.  Our family grew from this experience (the boys all began to realize how amazing it would be to have a sister and they began to pray for her) and we bonded with these beauties from across the world.  We still keep in touch with them through the choir and help with their needs when we can.  The day they left we were all heart-broken.  This was the day Dic succumbed to God and finally joined Kendra in her decision to adopt…..from Africa.

   We applied to Holt International in January 2009 and were matched with the most gorgeous little girl we have ever seen (we knew she was ours because she looks like us! :0) with her daddy’s bushy eyebrows and her brother’s cheeks and smile).  This precious baby lost both of her birth parents between July and September of last year.  Her uncle cared for her up until the time of relinquishment in May 2009.  From reports, we hear she is a very smart (200 word vocabulary at 2 years) and sociable child who sings to God every day.  We know we are blessed in every way and can’t wait to meet her in November when we go to Ethiopia for our scheduled court hearing (50 days to be exact).

   When God laid this journey on our hearts we truly believed that He was asking us to do His will by caring for His orphaned children, which we thought meant saving a child.  And the more we pray and ask God for guidance, we have a clearer understanding that He has also chosen to bless US with His amazing gift.  Fore she will be OUR family just as we will be hers.  After all, a FAMILY’S  LOVE is the most important thing we can impart to our children…both from the womb and afar.
   Jesus is continually asking us, just as He did Peter, “Do you love me?”  And we answer “Yes, Lord, we LOVE you and even if it is difficult. We will follow and do as you ask of us.

written for a grant application....something I will keep forever.................

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