Day 5

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 1 comment
Day 5 meant we had one more night before we would start the long journey home!! I was thrilled at the idea of getting home and seeing Noah and introducing him to his brother but part of me was sad to leave a place that I had come to love and would deeply miss. Even today two months later I still have moments where I close my eyes and picture myself back there. I was forever changed the first time I stepped foot in beautiful Ethiopia and I never want to forget everything I experienced there. My prayer is that the Lord will allow me the opportunity to go back there soon!

Woudneh was traveling to Dira Dawa the next morning and was leaving very early, so we had to say our good byes that night. I feel very blessed to have met both Woudneh and Bete and I love them both. They are both wonderful people who have such a huge heart for children.

Woudneh made me cry when he kissed Isaiah good bye. He told me that this was how his father used to kiss him, and as he kissed his forhead he said "I love you my boy" Seriously, I was a mess :-)

I was definitely an emotional mess that night, thinking about leaving Ethiopia, the long flight home and getting home to my other son and findng our new normal. Little did I know what the flight home would involve!! 

Day 4 ~ Unexpected Excitement

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 No comments
During my first trip to Ethiopia I bought both Noah and Isaiah matching traditional outfits, but I soon realized that it would be a year or so before Isaiah could wear his, so I decided to buy him another one that he could wear now. I had to get a few pictures of him wearing while we were still there! Doesn't he look so stinkin cute!!!

After we played dress up it was time to feed Isaiah lunch. I was getting the food out of his diaper bag and apparently he was trying to get to me by pulling on the chair and next thing I know he fell to the side, hitting his little head on the concrete floor :-( It was the longest 5 minutes of my life!! He took in the first big scream but when I picked him up he never exhaled! I got so scared and then his lips turned grey and his eyes rolled back in his head. To say I was freaking is an understatement!! Apparently he got the wind knocked out of him and it just looked a lot more traumatic due to his young age. After a few minutes he was okay, and was acting fine, but for safety measures Bete suggested we take him to the pediatrician's office to get checked out. That trip was when I realized just how much Isaiah did not like men!! We are still working on that, even now! What can I say, that is what happens when your mommy isn't married, Ha!

After our trip to the pediatrician's office, we stopped at Birhan Orphange so I could check on a sweet little guy for my friends. At the time they were waiting to travel for court and they are now waiting to get embassy clearance. Their little guy is so cute and funny. His smile is just precious. He immediately latched on to my hip and wouldn't let go of my hand while we were there. I could have stayed and played with those kiddos all day. So sweet!!
I pray that every single one of those children soon have a family to call their own!!

It was again pretty neat to be outside the transition house with my baby! Even though, Bete had joked with me that if anyone asked, Isaiah was her baby, Ha!!

Below are some more pictures of the streets of Ethiopia. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of Ethiopia and my experience there. Sometimes I see something that reminds me of my time there or sometimes I just look at Isaiah and immediately my mind goes back to my trips there and the wonderful and beautiful things God showed me while I was there. I pray if it is God's Will, I will be back there again some day in the future. According to Noah I need to go back to get his sister!

Day 3 ~ Embassy Day!!

Monday, June 11, 2012 1 comment
Embassy Day!! The last super important thing that had to be done before I could allow myself to breath a little easier. Every family in guest house had their embassy appointment on the same day, so we all had to be up and ready to leave pretty early, considering it was going to take us about 30-40 minutes to get there. I had to get up super early in order to have time to get myself ready, get Isaiah ready and have time to feed him before we left. I couldn't get my hair dryer to work (of course I couldn't, lol) so I had to go with all nat-ur-al and lots of spray, Ha!!

I managed to get us both ready and Isaiah fed and still have a few minutes to get a couple of "Embassy Day" pictures snapped before we left. I was so ready to go and get this last part done and over with!!

It was raining that day which made for some interesting moments, more on that in a minute. We lined up outside the Embassy building waiting to go inside. It felt so surreal standing out in public with my son. Until that day I had only held him within the gates of the little compound that makes up the transition house and guest house. Being out in public with him made the reality of everything a little bit more "real" It was a neat feeling having my son with me :-)

Once we got in the building we had to go through security first. One would think you just put your diaper bag through the belt to get scanned and walk on through, but nope not me, lol my diaper bag kept going off like something was in it? I had already given them my cell phone and charger and would you believe that the thing causing it to go off was a toy of Isaiah's! These little toy keys that he just LOVES were the culprit of us holding the line up, Ha! Finally we were cleared to go through and I continued on out the door to walk through the court yard that lead into the actual Embassy building. You remember I said it had been raining? Well combine that with me wearing heels (why did I wear those, lol) and the first step I took outside my foot went sliding!! Thankfully I managed to stay standing up after making a few moves that one should never make in public, Ha!! Woudneh almost had a heart attack because yes I was holding my son. I assured him had I fallen I would have thrown myself over to land on my back :-) I don't think he got the funny part in that.

Woudneh grabbed my arm and walked me to the building and believe it or not my foot slipped again! I wish I could have gotten a picture of Woudneh's face! I manged to make it in the building without hurting myself, lol

When I walked through the door I was standing in this huge room with about 60 other people! Most of them Ethiopians. Our group quickly went and sat down and waited to be called. When my name got called I walked up to this tiny window where the Embassy worker asked me a few questions. Of course the entire time I was trying to answer him my head was being pulled up and down by my darling son who had managed to grab a big clump of my hair and go to town :-) Everthing went great with all the families who were there and we headed out to take our kiddos back to the transition house before we all headed to a wonderful Italian restaurant for a celebration lunch. Of course what would the trip back be without me almost falling AGAIN on our way to the van, Ha! Or of course the part where I was almost thrown to the front of the van while holding Isaiah because the driver slammed on the breaks at the last minute! Love Ethiopian driving, LOL

My sleepy boy passed out from our trip to Embassy :-)

After lunch we headed to a new development going up outside of Addis. The land there is beautiful and Woudneh and his wife are in the process of building a new house that he wanted to show us. It amazes me to see how different things are in other countries then in America. I mean seriously can you imagine building a house like that in the states??

The house is probably 30 feet in the air and Woudneh wanted to take us all to the roof!! I wasn't exactly excited about the idea, seeing as I am terrified of heights, but I decided to take one for the team, LOL The ramp that you see in the picture below is what he wanted us all to walk up to get to the roof!! I may have gone up to the roof but I was NOT getting there via that ramp! I took the chicken's way and used the steps.

I have never been SO EXCITED to be back on land, Ha!! I LOVED the beautiful view from the roof but I can't lie I was super nervous!!

After we left the house we all decided to stop at Kaldi's for dinner. For those of you who may not know, Kaldi's is like the Starbucks of Ethiopia! They even have the same logo, and yes there coffee is yummy!!

Day 2 ~ Ethiopian Easter

Sunday, June 10, 2012 No comments
Ethiopia celebrates Easter the weekend after we do in America. So Sunday afternoon Woudneh (my in country adoption agency's director) and his wife had all the families staying in the guest house over to their house for a wonderful lunch. Isaiah and I spent the morning hanging out and playing while some of the other families went to a church service at the local Mormon church.

Once everyone got back, the nannies had a special Easter coffee ceremony for all of us. For those of you who may not know, Ethiopia is known for their coffee and a coffee ceremony is something very special in the Ethiopian culture. Did I mention Ethiopian coffee is delish!! I brought 20 bags home on my last trip, Ha!! Hopefully that will hold me over until I can get some more :-)

After the coffee ceremony, I handed Isaiah back to the nannies and headed over to Woudneh and Bete's house for lunch. It was so much easier leaving him to go places, knowing at the end of the week he was leaving with me!!

Woudneh was busy working the grill when we arrived. It was an absolutely beautiful day and we all enjoyed sitting on their side porch, sharing stories and spending time with each other. The food was so yummy! I joked with Woudneh that I was going to have to find a water pill to take due to the amount of salt I watched him put on the meat, Ha!! I tried goat for the first time, and it was actually pretty good. It's amazing what you find yourself eating while in another country! I LOVE Ethiopian food!! Woudneh enjoyed telling everyone my "passport" story from my first trip. As I type this I remember I never posted about my court day from my first trip! I guess I need to fix that soon, LOL 

After lunch we headed back to the house and I immediately went to get my boy :-) My friend Kelli (who lives in my city) and I decided to get our friend's children as well and have a little play date. At the time both boys were waiting on their parents to get embassy clearance to come back and get them. I am excited that now one of them is home and the other one will be landing on US soil in two days!! Both the boys are a few months older then Isaiah, so it was neat to watch them playing together. One of the little boys lives about an hour away from us and the other one lives in a different state, but I am friends with both their mommas, so I hope the three of them will see each other again on this side of the ocean!

This is Efrata. She belongs to Kelli and her husband. When I was in Ethiopia in January I met Efrata for the first time and just fell in love with her. She is the sweetest little girl and just loves Isaiah!! I tried to explain to her at the time that she was going to get to see Isaiah once she came home. At the time I don't think she really understood me, but when she saw us all arrive together that first day I think she finally understood :-) Since we have been home she has gotten to see Isaiah quite a bit and she just smiles when she sees him and just loves on him. I love that they will get to see each other so much. Did I mention we all go to the same church!

The rest of that evening was spent in the dark, lol It is not uncommon for the power to go out at the guest house. I never experienced it during my first trip, but during my second trip it rained off and on that whole week, so the power was hit and miss a few of the days.

Playing Catch Up

I decided while I wait, I would play catch up from my last trip to Ethiopia. I hope to someday order a book of my blog, and I want Isaiah to be able to look back at his journey to his forever family.

I arrived back in Ethiopia on Saturday January 14, 2012 I could not wait to have my boy back in my arms for good!! As much as I wanted to run to him and pick him up, I reminded myself that he probably wouldn't remind me, so I needed to take it slow and see how he acted.........

The moment I held him in my arm his eyes locked in with mine and my heart just melted. He took his little hand and placed it on my cheek as if he was saying "I've missed you Mommy"  In that very moment I forgot about all the stress of the last 18 months and the only thing I could think was "when I leave here you are coming home with me" What a joyful feeling it was to know that at the end of the week when it was time to make the journey home, I wouldn't be kissing him good bye for who knew how long, but instead I would be taking him home with me forever!!

I was amazed at how Isaiah acted like he remembered me. Once I got all my bags upstairs to my room, I decided to rest for a little bit with Isaiah. We were both laying on the bed, playing with his little blankie I brought him and before I knew it he had snuggled up with me and went to sleep!! I couldn't believe it :-) I ended up falling asleep myself and we both took a little nap. It was great, knowing he felt relaxed enough with me to go to sleep!! It was definitely a moment that I wish I could have gotten a picture of!! Oh the joys of being single and traveling alone, lol no one to take a picture for you, Ha!!

Later that day myself and my friends who had also traveled to pick up their daughter decided to go do some shopping and grab some dinner. I love shopping at the local markets but it is never easy seeing such poverty and hurting in the eyes of the people there. You can try and prepare yourself as much as you want, but it is never enough, at least not for me. As a believer in Christ, I know that these things are a result of sin and living in a broken world, but my heart will never accept there being things like poverty, children begging on the streets and babies going hungry? I can't change the world for all, but I can change the world for one, one at a time. That is my constant prayer. That the Lord would continue to use me and send me in His Name, for His Glory!

Even now, almost 9 weeks later, I can still remember the smell of those dirt roads, the sounds of the car horns beeping and seeing the smiles on the faces of all the little children we passed by on the streets. The longer I'm away from that beautiful country, the more I miss it!! I will never be the same!!

So Much To Say

Saturday, June 9, 2012 2 comments
I miss blogging, I really do. Some say shopping is their therapy, or reading. Mine, it is blogging. I sit down in front of my laptop and just let go and let my fingers do the rest. Most of the time I really don't put much thought into what I type, and yet it usually all makes sense, lol This time though, it is different. I have a lot I want to say, a lot. The problem is not all of it is sugar and spice. For that reason I wait, and while I wait I continue to pray that the negative thoughts and the feeling of hurt that have been in my head and my heart will soon go away. I am always telling Noah that words hurt and once you say something you can't take it back. For that reason I will continue to wait to blog.

When I started this blog it was just going to be a way to keep friends updated on my adoption, but now that my sweet boy is home I want to use it as a daily journal/scrapbook to keep track of all the things God is doing in our lives, to remember those precious moments with my boys, the funny things Noah says that just make my giggle and all the other happenings as we continue to walk through this life with our eyes focused on HIM.

I hope those of you who are "faithful readers" will continue on this journey with us as we step foot into the next chapter of the story God is writing for myself and my boys. The last 8 weeks have been filled with every emotion you can think of, some of which I never thought I would see from both myself and my sweet boy, but one thing for certain is God is Faithful and His Grace is new every day. He continues to teach me things about my relationship with HIM as he molds my relationship with my son.

Tomorrow my sweet boy will turn 1 :-) I will always be thankful that the Lord allowed him to be home with his family for this special milestone. We celebrated with family and friends today and tomorrow he is getting dedicated at church. It has been a busy but blessed weekend!!