Saturday, October 30, 2010

we're home!

Amazing. Blessed. More to come later. Must sleep....

Typical scene on the road to Gimbie

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

hours, not days

We leave in less than 48 hours! We are mostly packed and just have one or two last-minute errands to run. To say we are very excited would be a vast understatement, and to say we are a little nervous would be right on the money.

Here are a few prayer requests:

-For strength, clarity of mind, and energy to take care of the last few things that need to be done before we go. Both of us are pretty stressed out at work right now so please pray that we could make all the last minute arrangements and have peace about how we are leaving things.

-For Nate and Dexter and their grandparents who will take care of them while we are gone, please pray for fun bonding time and safety.

-For our little boy in Ethiopia, that God will bless him and protect him through yet another transition as we take him from the YWAM Widow & Orphan home to a different children's home in the capital where he will stay until we come back to bring him home.

-For physical and emotional strength for us as we set off on what will be an amazing but challenging trip.

Thank you so much for your prayers! It is awesome to know that we have so many people praying for us as we go.

I will close this post with a quote from our 3 year old. Jon was walking home from the park with the boys and Dexter looked up at him from the stroller and said, "Daddy, when I'm a grown-up, I'm going to help all the boys and girls who don't have mommies and daddies to get new mommies and daddies. God wants me to do that."

Friday, October 15, 2010

yep, what she said

No time to write, but I don't need to. Kristen pretty much said it all in this post...

Do Orphans Need Saving?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

1 week and counting

In 1 week, 0 days, and 16 hours we will be on our way to Ethiopia. Aghh!! Yay!! Wow. When it comes to stuff like this I get the most stressed about 1-2 weeks before the event. So yes, right about now. By the time I am within a day or two of something huge, I am totally relaxed. Everything is done, all is prepared, and I have nothing else left to do but be excited. But a week or two beforehand my sensory perception goes all wacko and I start feeling like the impending event is closer than it really is and that I'm much further from being ready than I really am. Today it feels like I am just about to hit the balancing point where the to-do list seems manageable and the deadline for getting it done is just the right distance away... ahhhh, deep breath.


I was watching the Teen Mom season finale today (judge if you must, I'm addicted) and had this strange sense of connection with first-parents Tyler and Catelynn as they drove 8 hours to see their daughter Carly and her adoptive parents for the first time in a year. They were nervous and worked up about the weirdness of seeing someone you love so much but don't know at all. On the car ride they wondered out loud: Will she like us? What will it feel like to hold her? What does her laugh sound like? How will we feel when we meet her? Like Tyler and Catelynn, we've seen pictures of our little one and gotten updates on his development, but that is no substitute for real, live interaction! Watching their sweet reunion gave me a funny feeling in my chest -- a nervous, hopeful, excited twinge of anticipation for our own upcoming meeting. Like Tyler and Catelynn, we'll have a day or two to meet and play and give a few gifts... and then say "see you later." Not good-bye, just see you later.

[I think it goes without saying, but of course a first meeting between birthparents and child is a fundamentally different experience than a first meeting between adoptive parents and child... the comparison doesn't go very far, obviously. Still, it was interesting to be able to relate to some of their feelings!]


Last night at dinner we were all talking about kids in Nate's kindergarten class. Jon has been trying to get him to learn 2 new names every day, so Nate reported that he learned the name of a girl in his class and that she is from Ethiopia. We asked how he knew that and he said because "she wears a hood". Well, we explained, some girls who wear a scarf on their head are from Ethiopia, but not all of them. And some girls are from Ethiopia but they don't wear a scarf. And that if he asked his new friend where she was from, she might say "I'm from here," because maybe she is. Then we started talking about ancestors and how maybe his friend is from Seattle, but her ancestors might be from Ethiopia, or lots of other places around the world. I realized that we have never really told Nate or Dexter where their ancestors are from. Hmm... since we will definitely talk frequently about our Ethiopian son's heritage, maybe we should also talk to our Dutch/Western European Mutt children about theirs! I think it would be strange if they could tell people "my brother's ancestors are from Ethiopia" but not be able to answer that question for themselves. Looks like it is time to get out the globe!


We were driving the other day and Dexter was talking about when he was a baby. He's been bringing that up a lot lately and I wonder if it is because he is anticipating not being the baby of the family anymore... Anyway, it led to an interesting conversation between me and Nate.

Dexter: Nate, when you were born did you hold me?

Nate: No, when I was born you weren't born yet. I was born in California, and you were born in Seattle.

Me: And [our little guy] was born in Ethiopia.

Nate: But you weren't there. You didn't know him when he was born. You had never met him when we were going to adopt [the little girl we thought we were adopting back in April].

Me: [Quiet for a long time.] That's true, I wasn't there. But I do know where he was born, and I am going to go there to see it next week. And I'll take pictures so you can see it too.

Nate: Oh.

Me: Are you sad we didn't adopt [little girl]?

Nate: [in a "Mom you are so silly" tone of voice] No, I'm not sad!

Me: Good. You're excited to adopt [our little guy]?

Nate: Yep.

Me: Well good. Me too.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

all i do is make lists

I haven't posted in almost 2 weeks because things have been a complete whirlwind getting ready for our trip. I have tons of posts piling up in the wasteland of the back of my head, most likely never to be written... but that is OK. All I have the time and sanity for today is a random stream-of-consciousness list of updates/thoughts:

1. We got lots of shots last week. They hurt. The next day I was pretty sure I had Yellow Fever.

2. Dexter told me the other day that when his baby brother gets home we will take him to Red Robin. Later he offered to share his Bear-Bear with brother, which is basically like taking a bullet for him in Dexter's world. Sweet boy.

3. When we leave Ethiopia, we'll be leaving our son at the Thomas Center, a home for children who have been adopted but are waiting for their embassy dates so they can go home. Yet another new environment for him... a great, warm, loving, developmentally stimulating environment! But still. :(

4. We are taking 100 lbs of donated formula to Ethiopia with us for babies in YWAM Widow & Orphan homes! (Because these people rock.)

5. We will be gone just over 8 days. During those 8 days, we will spend 76 hours traveling, either by plane or van. For most of those hours we won't have any kids with us (!!). Anyone have any good book recommendations?

6. Our agency (YWAM Ethiopia) is organizing mission trips to many different parts of Ethiopia in 2011. They do all the planning & organizing, you just sign up and pay one all-inclusive fee for the trip. They have all kinds of trips -- manual labor, relational ministry, evangelism, etc -- for all sizes of groups. And I know I am biased but just let me say... THESE PEOPLE ARE AMAZING. I would go anywhere with them. They love Jesus, they love people, and they are just plain awesome. Here's a link with more info. Do it!

7. One of our possible embassy dates is 12/21. If that ends up being our date, we would most likely arrive home with our boy on Christmas Eve. Which means our child's first morning in our home would be... Christmas morning. Welcome to America, kid! Meet your brothers, the crazed maniacs screaming about Santa! This is your new normal! [For the record, if that's how the timing works out, Santa will come very early to our house to avoid aforementioned chaos.]

8. And finally, to any adoptive parents reading this... we are days away from meeting our child and weeks from having him home. Is it normal to feel WOEFULLY inadequate at this point??