Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Family Blog

Make sure to check out our family blog now too as Nate is not just an adoption story, he's one of us! (I'll be posting there later tonight pics from the little man's birthday today.)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Finally airport pictures!

Sorry it has been a while! We were hit with the stomach flu and just life in general and I have used every spare minute I have to crash on the couch lately, but here I am! Finally...

Here are the photos that I have longed to show. It's the moments that we first spent together as a family of six. This is the moment that I had dreamt about as I thought about the adoption. It was never about the first time that I would see Nathan, but rather the first time I was able to share him with Anthony and the girls (and all our family) that I just ached for.

It was such an emotional moment, getting off the airplane and seeing our family behind the glass. Coming out of the gate into to the arms of my husband. Bending down to show the girls their new brother. Just the tears and the hugs and the joy and sighs of relief. What an amazing, amazing moment...certainly something not easy to capture, but here are a few pics. I'll try and add more another day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A sweet goodbye.

One of the most amazing moments during our trip was going back to New Hope Homes to say goodbye. It was so emotional and so rewarding. I had been so nervous about going there, wondering how Nathan would react. Wanting desperately for him to choose me over them, but knowing that he had spent 11 months with them and had only known me for a few days.

When we got there the ladies were thrilled to see him. They passed him around, loving on him. I awkwardly tried to express my gratitude for how well they had cared for him through my translator. They were happy, but uncharacteristic of their culture, teary. And then it happened...Nate kept looking back at me and they commented on how he knew who his mama was now. I couldn't help but cry.

It was so amazing to see how loved our boy was before the Lord placed him in our hands. I can't tell you what a comfort that is for my heart.

Here are a few pics from that day...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The truth...our first day.

If I could only take you back to the first day that we were in Rwanda (Friday, the 24th)...I'll try to explain to you the emotion that went into it, although I'm not sure how words can even begin to capture it,

I had been so excited. As our plane landed in Kigali, I was nearly jumping out of my skin. I couldn't believe that we were finally there. I wondered if Chantal would bring Nathan to the airport. He could be there right now, I thought.

When we got down to get our bags, I looked out into the crowd of people. I saw Kiki and Oliviana. Then I saw Chantal...but no Nate. No big deal, I thought. I'll see him soon enough. We got our bags, loaded everything in Kiki's car and I turned to Kiki and Chantal with so much anticipation and asked, "So, what's the plan?". They looked at each other and then said..."We've got bad news..."

I can't even begin to tell you how my heart stopped in that moment. They went on to explain that there was a problem because our non-objection letter stated that we should adopt from a specific orphanage, which wasn't the one Nate was from. We had known about this way back when we got it, but we had been assured that it was just a recommendation. And now here I was in Rwanda to pick Nathan up and they were saying that I had to start the whole process over with another orphanage and another child. Of course, the judge had already ruled and he was legally mine, so in order to start over (which was in my mind not an option) I would have to legally abandon this sweet boy. And yet the government was also saying that I couldn't leave the country with was just all so unreal.

So, this is how the week started. We immediately headed over to the Minister's office (the one who was saying tough luck) and had our first of 6 meetings with various people in that office. We weren't given much hope that day. In fact, it wasn't until that next Monday afternoon when we finally believed that the letter would be given and Nate and I would be able to leave.

But it was that Friday afternoon, after my first meeting that I went to meet my son. I had all these emotions swirling through my heart and mind. Fear, anger, frustration, excitement,'s overwhelming to even try to remember it all. We drove up to the home he lived at and could hear a baby was my baby and scream is what he did that whole day. I don't know if there was already something wrong or if he was scared and confused...all I know is that I was in Africa, away from my sweet husband, in a fight with a government that I didn't understand, with a baby who seemed beyond comfort...I wept that night. I wept harder than I can remember doing for a long time. I cried out to my God for His mercy, favor, and help. And today as I sit in my home, far from Rwanda, with ALL my children and husband playing downstairs, I can't tell you how thankful I am that He heard me.

I tried to post a video of our first meeting, but couldn't get it to work, but here is a picture. It gives a pretty good idea of how he was...screaming. It's a bittersweet picture for me.

Pictures are coming!!

Well, I have finally been given a bunch of pictures, so keep checking back! I'm planning to try and post some pictures and stories from this whole experience over the next few days. Hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pictures from today.

Well, I haven't had much luck getting our families to send us pics from last night, but here are a few that we took of the kids today at our neighborhood park.

I'll try and post some from our homecoming when I get a few!!

Nate is not quite as big as Lucy, but I have a feeling she'll be the smallest again before too long.

We take up all the swings now!

Nate really enjoyed the swings. It's so fun to be able to introduce him to new experiences.

The girls have been a great help so far. They are always trying to find ways to take care of him.

As usual, we couldn't get any of them to actually look at the camera for a picture. It was really windy out there though.


We're home!! Pictures to come...I promise!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Update from Ethiopia

I asked Anthony to post this for me since I haven't been able to get on my blog here in Ethiopia. So, here's our update...

I can't even begin to tell you how excited we were to finish things up in Rwanda and finally get on a plane. I truly love is the country that gave me my son...but we needed to move on, to finish that part of the journey.

And now, here we are in Ethiopia. And what a roller coaster it has been here! With each great turn we have been met with a setback. Here are a couple examples...

Our hotel here is beautiful and the bathroom alone is worth the splurge. Why is the bathroom so important? Well, Rachel and I have both had the stomach flu and I actually spent Thursday night sleeping on that floor!

We are no longer dealing with a foreign government, so all the cultural misunderstandings that we experienced in Rwanda are gone. Unfortunately, our own government workers, okay, just this guy from the consulate, was thoughtless enough to give me some misinformation which caused us to miss a deadline yesterday by an hour and a half which would have sent us home this Sunday rather than our scheduled departure on Tuesday!

So, while we are on schedule and glad that we'll be making this whole trip in just two weeks, both Rachel and I ache to be home. But we are trying to take it all in stride. Finally feeling a bit better and resting up for the big trip back.

I can't wait for you all to meet Nathan. He's such a sweet boy with an incredible little smile. He's stolen my heart and while this all has been far from easy, I'm so thankful that God chose Anthony and I to be such an important part of this amazing little boy's life.

Well, I'll try to update again at the airport on our way home. There is still so much I want to share...

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. They mean so much to us!