Monday, November 21, 2011

Giving Thanks

I took my four youngest kiddos to McDonald's today.  After they ate their Happy Meals I went to the bathroom to change the boys' diapers while the girls started playing.  I had a conversation in the bathroom with my little Buche.

Let me take you back a to just a few months ago.  We got home with the boys on June 26th.  That means that they have been home for 21 weeks.  I don't think I've ever blogged about this, but our plane ride from Ethiopia to home was ... well ... awful!  It was terrible!  I'm not sure if I've wanted to forget about it and that is why I've not blogged about it - or if I just didn't have the words to describe the 25 plus hours of planes and airports.

We left our guest house in the early evening hours.  We made a trip to the grocery store to pick up some Addis Tea.  I wanted to get things that the boys were familiar with so that when we got home I could give them familiar things...something that might comfort them.  They loved dipping their "dabbo" in tea. They still do!  Besides getting in a small fender bender with a large rock in the parking lot of the grocery store which got our driver who spoke no English into a long and what sounded like an angry conversation with a man that came out of the grocery store the car ride to the airport was uneventful.  I just remember holding tight to my little boy and telling Ryan to do the same.

We had the boys in carriers in the front of us.  Buche thankfully fit in his with his hip-spika cast he was sporting from the upper femur break that had just happened a few days previous.  It was just the day before we left for home that he had been put completely under general anesthesia to get him in that large cast!  Ryan and I were determined to push our own bags because our previous trip through the airport had cost us quite a bit of money.  At the Addis airport you are quickly surrounded by men that want to carry your bags for you.  But, the last men who we had carry our bags had requested a lot of money and for the sake of arguing we ended up just giving them it.

We made it through check-in.  We made it to the hallway floor, where we sat and had a Coke.  Then we spilled the Coke all over the floor.  I was feeling stressed.  I was feeling happy.  I was feeling sad.  I was feeling overjoyed.  I was feeling crabby.  You know that feeling, or is just me???

I decided to change the boy's diapers.  We found a bathroom and I took Burka in first.  Then Buche.  They both cried the whole time I had them on the diaper changer.  I went as quick as I could.  The lady that was cleaning the bathroom came over and rubbed their heads as she said "becka (baa-kaw)"while I changed them.  I had learned by now that everyone didn't know my son Burka's name because that is what it sounded like they were saying, but rather they were telling my child that "it is over - it is finished".  The nurses said this to Buche when we were in the hospital.  The doctors said it to him too.  This lady in the bathroom was just telling my son that the diaper changing was finished and he could stop screaming.  

But, this trip home was far from finished!  We boarded our plane late after a very trying, L O N G wait in the terminal.  At least it seamed long to me.  To finish it off one of the boys went "kah kah" in their diaper right as we were finally getting to board.  Ryan quickly changed it - right there in the terminal.  We tried to hide so that people didn't have to watch, but did get a few dirty looks anyway.    

Diaper changed, we boarded the plane.  I have to say, the boys did sleep a bit on the plane ride to Amsterdam.  So did my legs.  From the very first time we met the boys Buche was drawn to me and Burka to Ryan.  Although we had a seat for each of the boys, they didn't sit in them much and Buche was my boy ... bless his heart.  But, that cast was miserable, for both him and me. When he did fall asleep I didn't dare move him .. AT ALL.  So, I'm quite sure that there was NO blood flow to my legs.  I wasn't sure I was going to be able to walk again, but what do you do when you are on a plane with a little guy that you know if you wake him up the whole plane will be awake because sitting quietly and reading a book was NOT going to happen.  

We made it Amsterdam.  Then we went to McDonalds.  It was yummy.  We all thought so...

...but looking back at these pictures I can see the fear in my babies eyes.  I knew they were scared.

We left the Amsterdam airport and I'll spare you the details of that plane ride to the states, but it was not pretty.   We had two little boys that were doing everything they could to control life at that point.  And, I don't blame them one bit!   But, it wasn't making life very easy ... or what at times even felt tolerable.  

One of the tricky parts about riding in airplanes for hours on end with little ones in diapers was changing them.  The little diaper changing table in the little bathroom went about as well as changing the boy's diapers at the Addis airport where the kind Ethiopian lady told my babies "becka".  It was a smaller space to change them in, but not a smaller scream from them as I was doing it.  

At one point the lady in front of me turned around to congratulate us.  I was thankful she wanted to congratulate us and not ask me to control my sons.  She was a sweet lady and I know she just wanted to encourage us.  I couldn't respond with anything other than tears. Later, after I had kind-of composed myself I told her thank you.  She said, "oh... you have a beautiful family and I'm praying for you."   That made me cry even harder ... happy tears.  

The gentleman behind us told us about how he had also adopted and their plane ride looked much the same as our was going.  He assured us of one thing ... we would make it.  We would make it to the point when we could get off the airplane and regroup.  And we did.  We  landed, made it through customs and had some awesome friends waiting for us at the airport to bring us home.  We were ever so thankful!

We made it.  It was not pretty.  But, we made it and it was worth every minute.

Now, speed ahead to today in the McDonald's bathroom.  I had a conversation with my little Buche as I was changing his diaper on the diaper changer.  He started the conversation.  This is what he said, "mommy ... airplane ... Ethiopia ... Buche .... scared ... Burka ... Daddy .... airplane ... Ethiopia ... scared"  Again, I found myself in tears, but today I found myself in tears looking into my sons eyes whose eyes were telling me that he wanted me to comfort him.  He wanted a hug.  He wanted me to hold him.  He said "I love you mommy".   So much has changed.  

Can't image how I would act if I were in my son's shoes on that airplane ride just a few short months ago.  But, I believe that those moments mold me into being a better parent.  I need to remember I don't know much at all about the first years of my son's lives. It reminds me that I can not judge people on how they act... because I have not walked the road they have.  

Indeed so much has changed and now I see much more of these types of faces instead of the scared faces I saw just a very short time ago.  I have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Another way to Bring Love In

Hey friends! This is exciting!  You can now purchase your Bring Love In T Shirt!  They are now in the Bring Love In Store.  I think it's an awesome way to help support Bring Love In's mission to create forever families for orphans while employing widows in Ethiopia as well as a way to be able to share about the ministry while wearing your T shirt.  

Here's what the front looks like ...

And, here's the back!

Check it out at

If you do not follow Levi's blog, check it out.  I love reading as he shares from his heart and tells the story of his families life in Ethiopia as they are on the journey that God has them.  He always seems to have me laughing and crying while reading his posts.

And, keep watching the store.  There are some amazing metal art pieces coming in soon!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Monkeying Around

Yesterday after lunch I was getting the boys ready to lay down for a nap.  Burka was sitting on the toilet.  On the back of the toilet was the toilet paper holder that Buche had pulled off the wall a few weeks ago.  He thought it was a great thing to play with when we were in the bathroom ... until the sheet rock gave way and we no longer had a toilet paper holder on our wall.  

While Burka as sitting on the toilet he started playing with all the pieces of the tp holder.  

At this time of the day I'm in my "lets just get this bathroom trip done" mode and I said to Burka..."PLEASE stop 'monkeying around' with that."  I walked out of the bathroom to let the little guy finish.  Buche, who had been listening to me talk to Burka says to me ...  "Funny mommy!  Booooka no monkey!" as he laughed quite loudly as he was correcting me.

How could I do anything but laugh ... They make me smile :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Blessed Beyond Measure

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.

In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will - to the praise of His glorious grace which He has freely given us in the One He loves.

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that He lavished on us.

With all wisdom and understanding, He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment - to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ."  Ephesians 1:3-9  NIV

Blessed Beyond Measure!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My baby girl is 9!

It's a special day in our house!  

My baby girl is 9.  

9 years ago this princess was born.

She's had a big year.  She was the baby of our family for almost 9 years and this year for the first time ever she became a big sister!  She fits the shoes well.  

Happy Birthday sweet girl.  Mommy loves you!