Tuesday, November 23, 2010

One Year Ago Today!!!

One year ago today we met Sunshine and Little Buddy for the first time. Our meeting was different than I had thought it would be. I had heard the stories of my friends who adopted from China all going into a big room as the babies were all brought in and handed out to each family. I had seen their tear filled videos. Our experience was different.

Stand-Up Dad and I had just arrived in Addis Ababa from Mekele, which is in northern Ethiopia. We were picked up in a van by a representative from our agency and they began to drive through the busy streets of Addis Ababa. As we drove he asked us if we wanted to go to the transition house to meet the kids or go to the guest house to get settled and the kids would be brought to us in half an hour.

We chose to go to the guest house. We took in our luggage and unpacked. I was so excited and nervous and did not know what to expect. Our room was on the third floor. When we walked out the door we could see down to the court yard and out onto the street.

After we unpacked we did not know how long it would take for them to get there. Should we stay up in our room where they could bring them to us or should we go down to the court yard and wait?

After what seemed like forever, We heard a honk outside the door of the large metal gate of the guest house. Through the open gate came a white mini van. From the third floor I looked down and watched two couples climb out holding beautiful little babies and then I saw the tops of my two little ones as they climbed out of the van.

I ran down three flights of stairs and met them at the bottom.

What do you say to your child the first time you meet? How do you let them know about the love that you already have for them and how you promise to take care of them?

You can't say all of that because they don't know English.=) So I took their hands and walked them up the stairs to our room. Stand-Up Dad and I gave them each a back pack full of surprises and I took this first picture.
Many months later, when they had learned enough English to share their lives with us we learned that no one had told them about us. They had no idea that they were being adopted. They did not know that we would be their new mommy and daddy.

It helped us to understand so much about those first weeks after this first picture.

This past year has been amazing to say the least. These two children are absolutely incredible. I am in awe of how they have transitioned into our family. They learned English very quickly. They opened their hearts to us for love even when they did not understand. It seemed as if every day held new experiences those first six months.

It was apparent very quickly that they loved having a mommy and a daddy. They showed us right away that God had chosen the perfect children for our family. They are hilarious. Even without English they somehow got the joke and could keep the joke going.

They opened their hearts to not only our love but the love of God as well. They could not get enough of the stories of Jesus and how much He loves them. They have each made a profession of faith and are walking with the knowledge that they are a child of God.

Now that the first year has come and gone we are living life. It has become apparent that there are some real, deep issues that they are struggling with. They have been through a lot in their young lives and it is our desire to help them find a way to process the hurts of the past so that they can move forward into the future. We will be meeting with an attachment therapist in a couple of weeks. Please pray that this additional help will be exactly what they need.

Below is my favorite picture that we had taken recently. What a gift these children are! I am overwhelmed at how God has worked through each and every situation before they came home and since they have joined our family.

He is certainly weaving a masterpiece!
Sweet Momma

1 comment:

Susan said...

LOVE the before and after pictures. Look how much they've grown! I'll be praying for you all. I think I understand some of the struggles you're dealing with. I really like the Heart of the Matter adoption education dvds and how they talk about atttachment as a continuum. Sometimes I feel we're really on the "firmly attached" side and other times I feel we're nowhere near it. We just got to keep working at it!