For those of you who don't know, WE ARE LEAVING MONDAY to bring A home.... we are SO stinkin' excited that God called us to be his family! We LOVE this little boy more than words can describe.
My last day of work until September, when I'll be going back 1 day per week was Thursday... which was very bittersweet. Love Lifesong so much, but am THRILLED that my last day in the office for a while means that A is coming home!!!
Dan is also changing jobs, which happened very quickly.... all that to say, life has been crazy here! So much so that I woke up yesterday morning and realized we had no baby food for when A gets home.. only enough to travel. SO, we spent last night cleaning, packing, and... you guessed it, making homemade baby food! It was very easy, I might add... tutorial on that later! In case you're interested, I used this site, which I would HIGHLY recommend.
So, since I only have a few minutes here... I'm going to post the rest of the pics from the first trip and hope to write more later (HA!)
This boy melts me... check out that little bald spot! :)
Had SO much fun at the traditional Ethiopian restaurant we went to!
one of the drivers, Wass and director, Tsiege... seriously amazing dancers. It was really great to see the dancing and traditional Ethiopian outfits from A's region. The staff was really informed on each of the regions and taught us a lot about his background!
this looked seriously painful!
on our way to court.... about to puke our stomachs hurt so bad!
several photos of the drive to court -
Yes, this is a 4-way intersection in Addis Ababa! we were all squealing and the driver was laughing at us! haha
After court.. what a FLOOD of emotions to experience after such a long road and spending the week loving on your little one. For those of you who don't know, not passing court on this trip can delay the process, sometimes significantly... so, as you can imagine this was a VERY emotional experience. Plus, there were many birth families also at the court house waiting in the same room we were.... and all we could think of was what they were experiencing! What a reminder that adoption is birthed out of loss and pain. We stood there and prayed for each of their hearts, that they would come to faith in Jesus... because only HE can heal these wounds!
holding our boy for the first time after court... he's officially a Ucherek at this point!
couldn't stop staring into those BEAUTIFUL eyes! (no, your daughter may NOT marry him! hehe :))
What an emotional day this was... as you can see on my face! All the emotions of court, praying for A, and doing our best to comfort him as he was confused and overwhelmed... in this photo he had finally laid his head down and fallen asleep and I couldn't help but cry for all that he was going through!
And our last day...
We actually don't have any photos of this day without his face showing in them... surprisingly enough!
This day was also a flood of emotions. As we prayed for this day, we felt it was VERY important to keep our cool and do our best to be as 'normal' as possible, so that we did not scare little A. He had already been so emotional the whole week, so we just did our best to spend time with him, get to know him, play with him, and show our love for him!
Before we left to go home, we had an opportunity to tell his caregivers how much we appreciate their love for him and all they've done to help him get stronger, healthier, teach him to walk, and love him unconditionally. They are all so amazing! We also had the opportunity to take photos of each of them holding A to use for the gifts we've made for them... a small token of our gratitude... words really can't say how we appreciate them!
As we were leaving, we handed him to one of the caregivers and she got him to call us mommy and daddy and blow us kisses.... it was truly the BEST way for us to leave... if there's a good way to leave. This was a moment I will never forget... ever. As we walked out that room and down the stairs and out those gates, we crumbled. There's no other way to describe it.... the guilt of leaving your boy after all that he's been through, the pain of handing him over to stay at an orphanage longer than he already has, the pain of not knowing how quickly you will return... and the OVERWHELMING pain of having your son on the other side of the world. As we flew home, I'm pretty sure we both cried the entire first leg (8 hours or so)... and we clung to the Source of strength... which is all we knew how to do/could do! I'm SO grateful for the way the Lord provide through so many of YOU to allow us both to travel on both trips to be with A. I can't imagine going this alone... I just don't think I would've made it! It truly grew Dan and I closer to each other and again the Lord showed us His sovereignty and His sufficiency... as He continues to do!
God truly created children to be in families... institutionalization is NOT the answer. We knew this before, but that last day, walking out those gates showed us that in an entirely new light!
Let me wipe off my face and shirt now that I'm crying my eyes out re-living that moment...
So, no fast forward... we got home on the 20th, did fairly well with jetlag. It was actually more of a culture shock coming home than it was getting to Ethiopia. Dan had seen an orphanage and poverty with his own eyes for the first time... I mean, he's seen it through stories, through photographs, and through my tears... but he saw it with his own two eyes.... and it's heart-wrenching to say the least.
On the 31st we got a call that our paperwork was at the Embassy! This means that everything was submitted and you wait to hear 1 of 2 things - either you're cleared to travel or the US Embassy requests additional documentation which can cause delays. We expected to hear one of these within 2 weeks. On Monday, the 6th (5 days later) we got word that we were cleared to travel. On Tuesday, the 7th we were told that our embassy date is the 16th and we need to be in Addis on the 14th. So, you guessed it... we are leaving on Monday!!!
That's all for now friends. Let me just take this moment to thank you again and to give ALL GLORY to God for how He has brought His work to completion and called us to be little A's family!
We will be able to post photos of A once we are home! :) Get ready for some cuteness!