Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ethiopian meal~kind of

This was not our first attempt at making an Ethiopian meal, but I have to say it was the best! Kyah, (Hirut) {she decided she wanted to change her name}, impressed us all with her culinary expertise! I'm so excited since cooking is my #1 hobby!!! All of us in our tiny little kitchen was a bit crazy, but we had fun and got very full and that's what's important:) It was great to see her so excited to teach us about her culture....she was very patient with us as we tried to pronounce each spice and dishes name. Yummy!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Where is she???

As the gates to Hannah's hope were opened I had to remind myself to breath. My eyes darted from one beautiful child to another, but I couldn't find my girl! I looked at Stacy and he too was searching for that sweet little face we had grown to love. Ahh, finally there she was, standing shyly by the swing set staring patiently at me. Our eyes met and then I think I waved......the next thing I knew I had these little arms wrapped ever so sweetly around my neck. Then the tears came and the weird laugh I always seem to get when all my emotions get a little confused with each other, (I really hate that laugh) Then she spotted Stacy and snuggled into his embrace. I never thought it would be this wonderful, I truly thought we would shake hands nervously and she would be scared of us. God is so good!

The rest of the day was a blur of pictures (Hirut took over 100 just herself!) and then on the the embassy for our visa interview. I won't bore you with the details of that, but basically it reminded me of the prison visitations through glass you see on the movies. I had envisioned more of a court room situation I guess.

Later that night just the 3 of us and the drivers went to a wonderful Ethiopian restaurant and had an absolute blast! We had no idea what was being said, but that night we learned that our little girl can talk, and I mean talk!!! I'm not sure I have laughed this hard in my life.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas What!?!

I'm not sure that Hirut quite understood what in the heck the tree and all of the presants were, but when Stacy read the Christmas story in the bible she knew exactly what he was saying. Again, the lessons I am learning from this little child are priceless!

Dec. 17th, 2007 (Monday)

Looking back on my life I feel that I have had some pretty emotional days, this day just might top all the rest. (or at least I felt that way on this day)

Thanks to the un-friendly neighborhood rooster who's clock is severely off, I was wide awake at 3:15am. I of course had to see if Stacy heard him, so then both of us were bright eyed and bushy tailed in the wee hours of the morning:) We quickly remembered that it was after 2:00am we dozed off. It is amazing though how you can function on adrenaline!!! Next the beautiful chants from the Muslim prayer call began. By the end of our trip I seemed to have incorporated these noises into my daily schedule as normal, weird! Anyway, with all of this ruckus I decided I needed to shower and have my coffee, just like a true American.

I noticed the hot water heater hanging on the wall by my head, so hey I should have hot water right!?! Think again..... Interesting shower, but as I said before, you get used to these things.

In the hotel lobby there is a little dining area and sitting there were a few of our new friends also adopting. They too waiting for the morning pick me up of coffee and tea. (I still hadn't got the whole "Ethiopia time down") So after politely asking for coffee and a 20 min. wait, my pot arrived. The wait I then realized was because each and every cup is brewed individually as espresso, and many pots needed to be filed. WOW, what strong,strong and did I say strong brew!!! We love strong coffee, but sadly I have to admit we asked for a pot of water to weaken it a bit, our server got a chuckle from this, Yum..... just simply delicious:) And the day begins!

Around 9:30 Almaz came to the hotel to pick up 3 of the families to meet their children, we were one of these families to go first. Sheer terror, excitement,giddiness,wonder, and again more fear were some of the emotions running through my head. I had waited for this day for so many months and I had memorized her little face, but AHHHHH this was really happening and I couldn't really wrap my brain around it. It was a good thing my sweet husband has such a level head and a steady arm for me to cling to or I'm not sure I would have made the two block walk to Hannah's Hope; the home to our little girl for the last 9 months. (I'm out of room, so I guess I will write more later, see ya soon!)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Dec. 16th, 2007

We arrived! (almost in one piece!heehee!) I think it was close to 9:00pm when we finally landed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Wow, was that a long flight!! Stacy was able to catch a few z's, not me, I just sat and let my mind wander and cried on and off for almost the full 18hrs:)
Amazingly all of our luggage made it, halleluja! Now was the fun part... trying to load 6 families luggage onto the top of a van!! God bless Danny and Yohanas(sp?) They are master packers if you ask me! All of us then crammed into another van and off we went through the city to our hotel. I really was dilusional by thinking that I had read and seen enough pictures of Ethiopia to be prepared to see the city. I don't think you can truely prepare your heart and mind for seeing small starving children running along side of speeding cars, barefoot, begging for one burr(about 9 cents). It broke our hearts to say the least. But even in the midst of such poverty, these beautiful people were so lovely. Every single child and adult I met eyes with gave back the most heart warming smile. What lessons we Americans can learn! That was about it for that night..... and no, we did not sleep!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Dec. 15th, 2007

Our day begins at 3:00am with the always obnoxious noise of the alarm clock, but we weren't asleep. This night started the string of 2-4hr nights of sleep! We lugged the 6 gigantic bags through the airport with many curious stares and to the ticket counter where to our amazement the lady never weighed or charged us the extra bag fee!!!! God is good!
2hrs to Denver, 4hrs there, 3hrs to D.C, 6hrs there, and the Ethiopian time began. I say Ethiopian time because time is not rushed for their culture!! We stood in a line of around 25 for over 2hrs!!! There we met the other 6 wonderful families traveling with us. Then up to the ticket counter here. Now keep in mind, we had only our carry on's for Hirut's and our luggage, to say the least we packed light!!! The other bags were full to the brim with donations. Anyway, Ethiopian Air carry on's can only weigh 20lbs each!!! Ours were 40! Then the woman said the words that brought my sleep deprived self to tears.... "That will be $387.00"! What! After me crying like a baby and explaining the donations we only ended up paying $50! Again, as always, The Lord had his hand in all.
On to Rome, and Finally Ethiopia. Just a heads up, they feed you the whole way, so come hungry!!! Again, Ethiopia time, one meal ends then coffee, and then almost right away comes the next meal,heehee.
I know I'm long winded, anyone who knows me knows I can talk!!!!! Ill be back soon:)

From Montana to Ethiopia~and Back!

After sleeping a full 8 hours for the first time in a week and a half I now feel prepared to share about our journey of many emotions.

This last year has brought much laughter and many tears and I'm sure many more to come.......

Our dream to adopt a child began last April, 2007. We thought we would stick to the birth order of our current children and adopt a little girl from 1-4. (Chase was 4 at the time) Then in June, just after we signed our agency contract to begin the process a picture of a little girl came to us in a waiting older child e-mail.... that little girl was,Hirut. They said she was a six year old child, one of the original Hannah's Hope kids to come. I was in love, I knew she was one of my children and I yelled for Stacy to come see the picture. He too felt the same, so we prayed, and prayed and then talked to our kids, and of course we all felt the same. And God laid on our hearts the journey to Hirut!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

On the plane~can you tell we are giddy!

Home~Sweet Home!

Were Home!!!
I cannot promise that I will be making sense with my fuzzy jet lagged head, but I will do my best to relay our trip(a little at a time:) Much to come!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A new sense of Peace

I'm not sure if it is because I finished all of my Christmas shopping, or that I am pretty much packed.... but I now feel an amazing sense of peace. I have know since we started this adoption that God had his signature placed beautifully at the bottom of this chapter in our lives, but I don't think that I was entirely trusting him to guide my steps. As I have said many times in the past, I struggle with letting go and letting the Holy Spirit drive!!!
I just joined a list serve of other amazing strong parents who too are going through or have been through international adoption. It is so wonderful to hear all of the stories and advice that everyone brings. Thank you to all of you who have sent me pictures of my little girl, I love it that so many of you have already met her!
I can't wait until I can post pictures of ALL of my kids on here! They are all such neat people and bring me so much joy ( and heart ache:) )heehee, sorry kids, but it is true!!!!
I'll be writing more when we are safely home!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Packing, Packing, Packing!!!

A huge thank you to our wonderful church, SHEC, (South Hills Evangelical Church), for your generosity! We have filled 6,50lb. bags of supplies for the orphanage, YAHOO! I feel so blessed to be able to take these items, we couldn't have done it without all of your help.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Were Leaving!!

We are now in the running around with our heads cut off stage!!! I still am not sure why I have not learned not to wait for the last minute to do things, but I haven't, so now I am acting like a crazy woman trying to prepare for X-mas, leaving for Ethiopia(on the 15th) and a million other things I won't bore you with. I am amazed at all of the emotions I have running through my head and heart. It almost seems like someone has magnified every detail of my life 100000x's.
I want to thank our chuch with all of my being for your incredible donations for Hannah's Hope! We have 6 50lb. bags of needed items to bless the orphange with, thanks to all you SHECies!!! (South Hills Evangelical Church) I was brought to my knees with all of the beautiful words of encouragment we recieved. Thank you all too for the many prayers, it really does mean a lot.
Well, I am needing to get off of my computer and get some stuff done, I will keep you all posted! Be on the look-out for many Pics!!!!