Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A day to celebrate!

It's been a year!  One year ago we landed in MN with our sons.  Our friends came to get us - on their anniversary - and drove us home.  Happy Anniversary, Steve and Tammy!

Travel was finished.  Our family was all under one roof.  We all were able to sleep in the same house for the first time.  Life was good.

So much has changed in the last year. 

Last June we were dealing with this cast after Buche broke his leg in Ethiopia.

Communication was different.  I showed Buche and Burka this video of Burka this morning.  Today he said "What is Burka saying??" 

I love to hear him sing!  He has a beautiful voice.

Looking back over the past year I'm amazed at what the Lord has done...in each of our hearts.  God is indeed good.  We are indeed blessed.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

This news about a disruption in the Sidama Zone in SPPN came out this week.

Our boys are from the Sidama Region.  I have been in contact with a friend in Awassa.  There are indeed things going on there.

Not long ago this would have been sad to me, but I do not believe it would not pull on my heart strings like it does today.  Ryan and I spent a few days in Awassa last year June.  We have friends in the Sidama Region.  We have family in the Sidama Region.  

While we were in the Sidama Region although we saw a rich heritage in the lives of so many amazing people we also saw so many people struggling with poverty and all that comes with that ...  disease, starvation, death, lack of medical care, lack of housing, lack of schooling ...

Today, this news of something happening on the other side of the world moves me to tears.  Breaks my heart for the people going through this disruption on top of the life that many already lead.

Please join me in praying for the people in the Sidama Zone. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy birthday Buche and Burka!

Last year, we celebrated Burka and Buche's birthday in Ethiopia.  We actually celebrated on the 23rd because Ryan and I didn't get back from the South until really late on the 22nd.

Today we celebrate at home.

In some ways it hardly seems possible that a year has passed.  In other ways it's hard to remember life with out our precious Ethiopian son's.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Lord I give you my heart..."

It's a week full of memories of last year at this time at our house.

One year ago today, Ryan and I spent the day riding in a Land Rover along the Rift Valley on our way to the village of Bensa Ethiopia... a full day's drive south of the capital city Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

We met many new people that day, including our driver... who spoke no English. 

The country was breath taking!

Absolutely beautiful!

A day that will be forever etched in our minds.

And in our hearts.

We picked our Social Worker in Awassa who traveled with us to Bensa.  We didn't know him before that day, but today I can say he is a forever friend.  As we sat in a little cement building in a village on the other side of the world from the place we call home with our new friend.  He pulled out his cell phone and played a song for us as we waiting for a special meeting to happen.

It was in English....

The words go like this...

"Lord I give you my heart, I give you my soul... I live for you alone.  Every breath that I take, every moment I'm awake Lord have your way in me."

The meeting we were waiting for was seemingly getting delayed.  It felt like it wasn't going to happen.  We were getting a bit stressed.  One of the other Ethiopian men who sat next to me spoke one word to me ...  it was  "BELIEVE".  

The world became a smaller place that day.  Jesus is indeed everywhere.  

Our meeting did happen.  We did end up waiting until the next day, but it happened.  It was amazing.  And, that day will forever be treasured in my heart ... and a piece of my heart was left in Bensa, Ethiopia forever.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

An Amazing Year

One year ago today, June 20th, 2011 Ryan and I woke up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  It was the day after Fathers Day and we we missing our five children that were at home with their grandpa and grandma, but we had just spend this Father's Day playing with our new sons.

We woke up to this view off the balcony of the beautiful guest house we were staying in.

And the sounds of chickens clucking, dogs barking, the chatting of Orthodox Church and the smell of the fires that were lit for the women to cook on are some of the sensory things that come to mind as I remember our days in Addis Ababa. Oh how I miss the beautiful country of Ethiopia.

Then, we walked to the the room the boys were staying in, picked them up and rode to the US Embassy where we received their passports to bring them home... forever.

We had brought clothes for our sons to wear to the Embassy appointment.  The clothes I brought were ALL too big.  They wore them anyway but occasionally had to pull their shorts up when they fell to their ankles. But really, as much as I had looked at little boy clothes thinking they were so fun while were were still home, none of that mattered. The precious treasures God has given us were now in those clothes.

And we were on our way to the final "important" meeting before all the pieces were in place for our sons to come home.

It will be a day forever etched in our minds and on our hearts.

We love you Burka and Buche!

Friday, June 15, 2012

This momma's wish on Father's Day

It's Fathers Day weekend.  I've spent much of the last days thinking about Fathers Day.  One thing I know for sure is that I am incredibly thankful for my daddy.  I love him more than he could possibly understand.  And, better yet, I know without a doubt he loves me.  That's how it feels it's supposed to be. My daddy has always loved me unconditionally, which has shown me the love of my heavenly Father in so many ways.  I've spent much of my life thinking everyone knew the love of their earthly father. After all, his dad, as well as my mom's dad are/were amazing daddy's too.  I love my grandpa's and feel so very blessed to be able to reap in the heritage that they have handed down. I hope I make choices everyday to hand that heritage down to my kids. The love of a Dad is an awesome thing!

I love you, Dad!

Another thing I know is that I'm incredibly thankful that Ryan is the daddy to my kiddos.  Ryan, you are an amazing daddy and even though life seems crazy sometimes here in this house at times with kiddos ranging from toddlers to teens I know that when it is all said and done that you love your kids more than they probably can comprehend.  It's like a piece of your heart extended in each of them as they journey their way through life.  I'm so glad that they have you, a daddy that loves his Heavenly Father first to turn to as they grow, change and learn about what God has planned for each one of them here on earth.

I love you, Ryan.

But, here's the thing.  Not everyone knows that love of their daddy here on earth or of their heavenly Father.  That breaks my heart.  I've shared before about a little girl that I met while we were in Ethiopia.  She was waiting for her mommy and daddy to come and get her while we were there picking up our sons.  Actually, that was one year about right now.  Ryan and I spend last Father's day in Ethiopia with Burka and Buche.  We were there to bring home our sons.  It will be a Fathers day we never forget.

I've mentioned before that our boys were on our agencies waiting list.  Our boys were referred to a family before they were put on the waiting list.  That family felt that Burka and Buche were not their sons.  Doctors reports both from Ethiopian Doctors as well as the international adoption clinic we were visiting with said they were severely malnourished.  Their age was and still is in question.  On paper, they were 15 and 17 pound 4 year olds. Our oldest son was 10 1/2 pounds the day he was born and over 20 before at his first birthday.   A 15 or 17 pound four year old seemed crazy to me.   One doctor told us that it would be a "leap of faith" to accept them as our sons.

Well, we took that "leap of faith" and have been blessed more than I can possibly share with you that Burka and Buche are OUR SONS today. 

Why I share this with you on this Father's Day weekend???  That little girl that I shared about previously... she is still waiting.  One whole year after we met her, she is still waiting for her mommy and daddy to come and get her so that she too can experience the love of a family.  Along with this little girl, there are many other precious faces that I stare at when our agency sends out their "waiting children" list.  Yes, it might be a "leap of faith" to call these children on this waiting list your own.  But really, isn't it a "leap of faith" each time we add a child to our family no matter how the Lord blesses us with that precious life?

If you are feeling lead to learn more about any of this precious, precious kiddos waiting for a mommy and daddy send me a note.  I'd love to connect you with the people you need to be connected to so that you can learn more.  My heart longs to see each of these kids off of the "waiting list" and into the arms of their forever family.