Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Updates Pics & A Prayer Request

So one of the things I LOVE about blogging is it has allowed me to "meet" wonderful people, who I now consider friends!! I "met" Julie a couple of months ago. She and her husband are adopting a sweet little girl from Ethiopia and we have both been following each other's blogs and talking through comments. When I heard the news that Julie and her husband Adam were traveling for court I was so excited and then I realized they are using the same adoption agency in country that I am using. I e-mailed Julie and asked her if she wouldn't mind checking in on my sweet boy for me and if she could get a picture of him for me. Well, she did way more then that!! She has sent me TWO e-mails this week with updates on my sweet boy and a total of EIGHT pictures of him!!! Let me just tell you those e-mails and pictures have made this momma super happy!! I have been missing my boy like crazy and to hear he is doing so well and that he is still my happy smiley boy just brings sweet tears to my eyes!! Oh how I pray he is home SOON!!! I can't believe how big he is getting and those curls!!

Adam and Julie are in Ethiopia and will be going to court in a few short hours. I have been praying for them through out the day and will continue until I go to bed :) If I didn't have to work a 12 hour shift tomorrow I would stay up until I heard they passed!! If you will please say a prayer for them. Pray that all goes well with court and that their MOWA letter is there. Julie is such a sweet person and I look forward to continuing our friendship and one day in the future having a "travel play date" so our kids can play together again once they are both home :) I am so happy that Isaiah will be able to continue to know and see his little friends he has shared time with in the transition home. The Lord has blessed me with sweet friendships with 6 different families who have adopted little ones that are around the same age as Isaiah, and whom all have been able to love on and check on Isaiah for me while I have been home. What a blessing that has been!!

Thanks for your prayers!! Enjoy these sweet pictures of my little man!! I continue to pray that he is in my arms and home by his big brother's birthday in March!!!









Ethiopia

I have so many pictures from my trip to Ethiopia that I wanted to share with ya'll. I had an amazing time meeting my sweet Isaiah and soaking up as much as I could about Ethiopia and the culture. Enjoy the pictures :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Meetcha Day!!! 1-1-12

There really are no words for everything I was feeling once we landed in Ethiopia. On one hand I was trying to take in the reality that I was really half way across the world but at the same time trying to prepare myself for the moment I had been dreaming and praying about for 14 months. Ethiopia is an amazingly beautiful place. As soon as I walked outside the crisp fresh air hit my face, the sun was shining bright and all around I watched as families celebrated the arrival of loved ones. Ethiopia celebrates Christmas on January 7th so there were a lot of people on our flight who were going home for the holidays. We quickly got our bags put in the car and off we were to the transition home.

I will go ahead and warn you I look like a hot mess!! Let me remind you although it was 8am in Ethiopia, it only 2am back home and I hadn't been to sleep in almost 24 hours :) So yet I was going on pure adrenaline!!

The transition home is surrounded by it's own gate and wall. It is almost like a little compound. Once the gates were opened and we pulled in I was taken back with this little place where my son had been living. Beautiful flower gardens, big tall trees towering over the dorm like rooms that lined the dirt area where sweet little ones were walking around.

I had thought I would go in and get settled, take a shower and get freshened up a bit before meeting my sweet little one. News flash, didn't happen, LOL Woudneh must have known deep down I was beyond ready to have my sweet boy in my arms because as soon as he got out of the car he hollered at one of that nannies to bring him to me. Of course I didn't realize what he was doing because he was speaking in Amharic and before I even made it into the guest house I heard Lesli say "oh my gosh Sarah I think this is him" and I turned around to see one of the nannies carrying my little boy. That sweet little face that I had been staring at since November, who I had been praying for for 14 months was finally only a few feet away from me. I couldn't believe it.




The nannies take such good care of the children there. They are very protective over them, and this nanny in particular seems to be very close to Isaiah. She was holding him very close and almost as a mother would she was looking me over with a fine tooth comb before she would hand him to me. I laugh looking at this picture because Isaiah is looking at Lesli with a look like he is thinking "who is the lady behind the camera and why is she pointing that thing at me" Ha!




Once she handed him to me I was just in aww. My sweet boy was finally in my arms. I couldn't believe it. It felt like a dream. God had taken an ordinary girl like me and taken me on this amazing journey of adoption. A journey that in the beginning I didn't think was possible. Now a year later I was finally holding him in my arms and it felt wonderful. I just kept kissing him and telling him how much I loved him. At one point he looked at me with those big brown eyes and I just melted. I just continued to say a prayer of thanks for this precious little gift from God. How fitting that his Ethiopian names means "Gift From God"






I spent the next 15-20 minutes just soaking up my sweet Isaiah and taking in every ounce of his sweetness!! It still amazes me at how much I truly love that little boy!! The moment Isaiah was placed in my arms I felt as if my heart was going to burst. It made me think about my Heavenly Father and His Love for me? I had long and prayed for my sweet boy who was so far away from me for so long, just as my Father had longed for me to come to him years ago before I gave my life to Him. Last year when I was told Ethiopia was closing single parent adoptions and that I may not get to adopt, I was determined to do whatever it took to bring my little boy home! Just as my Father was determined to do whatever it took to make sure we His children could spend eternity with Him, even if it meant he sent his ONLY Son to die for our sins! I pray that if you are reading this you know Him and you know how much He Loves you!!


After spending some time with Isaiah, Lesli and I enjoyed a wonderful breakfast prepared for us of eggs and bread. I got some practice eating with one hand, while holding Isaiah :) After breakfast I immediately took him upstairs to change him into one of the outfits I had brought and to have some tummy time with him. Having worked in a Pediatrician's office for the last year I knew where he should be as far as development. He did really well. I was so happy to see he had really good neck control. He was not able to sit without support but rolling from front to back and back to front, so I was happy! He was all smiles and I quickly discovered he is VERY ticklish! Hearing him laugh brought sweet tears to my eyes.


I honestly could've spent the entire day just hold him and watching him interact with his toys I brought him. I brought a picture book that had pictures of Noah and I in it and he enjoyed playing with that. We looked at the pictures and I told him how excited his big brother is to have him home and how much he loves him. I had also taken a little puppy blanket for him. When Noah was is in the NICU after he was born they had given me a little blanket to sleep with to put in his bed so he would have my smell when I was unable to be with him, so I did the same thing with Isaiah's little puppy blanket :)


Woudneh decided to take all of the families staying in the Guest House out to eat for lunch at a beautiful resort. Lesli and I were thankful because we were trying our hardest to stay awake in order to get on Ethiopia's time. Lunch was very good and the scenery was beautiful. I enjoyed getting to talk to some of the other families and hear their stories. Over the last year and through Facebook I had become friends with Rachel. She and her husband Adam were adopting a little boy also and were using the same agency. Their case had gotten caught in immigration and Adam had been in Ethiopia for almost 5 weeks trying to get things worked out so they could bring their sweet little Kellen home. I was happy to meet Adam (and Kellen) and to have the opportunity to talk and get to know him. I am happy to announce Adam and Rachel passed through immigration while I was in Ethiopia and Kellen is now home with his sweet family!! I look forward to continuing my friendship with them and am happy that Isaiah and Kellen will get to know each other in the states.


Once we got back from lunch I spent some more time with Isaiah. The nannies had given me his bottle along with a bowl of porridge for him to eat. I didn't have a chair of any kind to sit him in so I just held him on my lap with one hand and fed him with the other. It was a funny site to see, lol I apparently was not shoveling it in fast enough for him, and my sweet boy let me know real quick :) Of course it made me happy to see his is such a good eater! He even has a few rolls here and there to prove it, Ha! Once the sun went down it was getting harder and harder to keep my eyes open. I gave Isaiah some more kisses and hugs and then took him back to the nanny for the evening. Even though he was only yards away from me, I couldn't wait to go to sleep so morning would come and I could go back and get him!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Journey

I don’t think you can ever prepare yourself for what you will see, feel and experience in a third world country. Having never traveled before or ever been on a plane I knew this was going to be an experience, but I never knew how it would change me. Even as I type this I am still in shock and processing all that I saw. My prayer is that no matter how much time goes by this feeling I have right now in my heart never fades. The love I had for Ethiopia before was nothing compared to what I now feel for the country and it’s people. When I felt God calling me to adopt I didn’t know what the journey would look like. So much about me and who I am as a person, a mother and as the Father’s daughter has changed since starting this process and I will be forever thankful he chose me for this journey. People have told me what a blessing I am to my son for adopting him and for giving him a life in America. The truth is he is a blessing to me. I don’t think anyone can understand it unless you go through it, but seeing this precious little boy who was chosen for me by the Lord has shown me more about his Love for me then I could have ever imagined.

Lesli and I left on Friday the 30th We would travel to Chicago and then to DC where we would spend the night and then wake up Saturday to make the long journey to Ethiopia where after 14 months of waiting and praying I would finally meet my son! I am so thankful for all the prayers that were said on my behalf. Making this journey was one of the hardest things I have ever done for different reasons. I have never left Noah and I had never flown, so I knew I was going to need strength that could only come from the Lord. Noah was a little unsure about the timeline and did not understand that Mommy was going to be gone a full seven days. To help him with the time I decided to write him a little letter to read everyday along with a little surprise for him to open every morning when he got up. I said my good byes to him Friday morning and then my parents took him out for lunch while Lesli came to pick me up to head to the airport. I can not say enough times how blessed I am to have such an amazing friend who would leave her two small children and husband to travel half way across the world with me. She has been such a huge help to me through this journey! She was even my personal paparazzi!!

Our flight to Chicago was delayed due to weather, which was kind of a blessing because it allowed me more time to pray and prepare myself for the first of three plane rides. Lesli had told me the first plane would be kind of small, she was not joking!! I seriously thought I was in a tuna can, LOL I got a tad bit nervous sitting there waiting to take off again so Lesli prayed with me and I was starting to feel better as we were taking off until she told me to look out at the beautiful lights and I almost had a panic attack! I immediately threw my jacket over my head and just prayed!! Thankfully the ride was only about an hour and 20 minutes so that wasn’t bad. Once we got to Chicago we had to wait about 2 hours to board for DC so we got something to eat and then headed to sit and wait to board. Our flight to DC was delayed as well so by the time we arrived, got our bags and waited for the shuttle we didn’t get into our hotel room until 2am!! We had to get up and be out the door the next morning bright and early so we both only got 4 hours of sleep :(

Here we are in DC ready to board the long flight to Addis!! I was so excited and couldn't believe I was only one plane ride away from meeting my little boy!!

When we arrived at the airport in DC I was amazed at how BIG it is!! Seriously who has a tram in a airport! It was a fun experience though for my non traveling self. We decided to get breakfast since we had a nice long 13 hour flight ahead of us. After we ate we went to sit and wait to board the BIG plane! That morning we had been talking about our friends Vince and Kelli who had gone to Ethiopia the week before for court as well for their daughter. We had been stalking their facebook pages in hopes of seeing that they had passed. Next thing I know someone was yelling Sarah and I turned around to see Vince and Kelli!! They had just gotten off the plane from Ethiopia and were heading home!! How awesome that God allowed us to see them before we left. I took a picture of the three of us to show their daughter once we got to Ethiopia. She is ten and will hopefully be home soon!!


And yes I have on my nice comfy pajama pants, LOL My sister told me once I had gotten home that she couldn't believe I posted that picture on Facebook because of my pants, Ha. I told her I was going to be comfortable riding in a plane for almost 14 hours! No worries though, the first thing I did once we landed in Addis was change my clothes :)


The plane ride was not too bad. Luckily the plane had different movies to choose from to watch on your own little personal screen so that helped. I was able to watch a couple of movies to pass the time and I tried to read some as well. Lesli had told me they feed you non stop on the plane and she wasn't joking! I felt like a baby, every few hours they were bringing around more food, Ha! I wasn't able to sleep like I had hoped. My doctor had given me some medicine to take with me that would help me sleep but of course being that things like this only seem to happen to me, lol the medicine had an adverse effect on me and I was wired for sound the entire plane ride?!?! Of course it didn't help that the young man in front of us was a wanna a be rapper with his Mr. T starter kit on and his rap music playing where everyone could hear it!! On top of that I am not sure how he was able to function by the time we landed due to the amount of beers he drank. I understand that we technically celebrated the New Year in the air but seriously he did enough celebrating for the next few years, Ha!!


Once we landed in Addis we stood in line forever to get our Visas, then stood in another long line to get them stamped, searched for our luggage and gathered in together and then Lesli said we would have to go through security to get everything looked through since we were coming from the states. We walked over to security prepared to put our baggage through and the guy looked at us and said to go on through! We were both shocked! I guess he figured two American ladies were fine, little did he know Lesli had brought a bag of clementines with here from home, Ha!!! We both laughed about that one but were just happy we didn't have to stand in another line!!



Once we were through we found Woudneh who is the director of my in country agency. We stopped for a Pepsi and to call home and let everyone know we made it safely :) and then out we went to get our stuff loaded in the car and head to the transition house!! I was minutes away from meeting my sweet boy!! I couldn't believe it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Introducing........

THANK YOU to all of you who prayed for me last week!! Not only did I survive the flights, lol and being away from Noah but I also PASSED COURT and my MOWA letter WAS THERE!!!!

I am still praising God for his Mercy and Grace!!!! I have SO MUCH to blog about but honestly I am STILL fighting jet lag :( I don't think coming home and starting a new job 2 days later agreed with me, Ha! The trip was AMAZING and I am forever thankful that the Lord chose me to go on this journey. Not only has he blessed me with the sweetest little boy to mother but he allowed me to see his beautiful creation half way around the world. I plan on blogging as much as I can this weekend about the trip and about the day I heard "He Is Yours" Until then I wanted to introduce to you all my precious little Isaiah Nathnael!! He turned 7 months old this week and I am praying he is home soon!! He has a big brother who can't wait to meet him!!
















 
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