After many emails, phone calls, and prayers today marks three months since we officially heard (or read really) the words “If you want to move forward she’s yours.” If we want to move forward?!? Ha! We couldn’t say yes fast enough! And within a couple of hours her status went from “waiting” to “family found!” and a little girl who had been waiting for far too long became a daughter. Our daughter (oh boy will it be nice when that’s a legal statement!). Took more than a couple of hours for it to fully sink in though. Has it yet? Not sure. Exciting stuff though. Sometimes I wonder what they’ve said to her. I know she’s seen our pictures. And she’s seen other kids go home. But how do you explain to an almost three year old that there are two people (complete strangers no less) half way across the world that love you, are your family, and are coming to take you home. Does “home” mean anything yet? Does “family” mean anything yet? We’re more excited than ever. But what is she?
This is why we’re praying for God to comfort and prepare her heart in all of this.
It’s easier for most of us to feel like she didn’t exist until we got those pictures. But she did. Easy to say “we are her family.” And we certainly are! But not the first. And that needs to be humbly remembered. Adoption is amazing. It’s redemption. It’s beautiful. It’s God’s work and faithfulness in full swing. But it’s born out of loss and unknowns. For us all. And while we’ve always known that, it hits harder when it’s your child’s story. Right now we’re sitting here sad and broken-hearted that we are missing each one of these days with her. But we have future days. And we’re not the whole story.
We’re not the only ones who will get a court date. And that didn’t really hit me until a short time ago.
So we continue to wait. And prepare. Between work, stuff around the house…and let’s be honest, the olympics…we’re doing a pretty decent job keeping ourselves busy. Elsa’s room got a fresh coat of paint and with the exception of getting stuff up on the walls we’re all set! I got to spend some time with several members of our agci family, and Nate has been enjoying a cup of Ethiopian Harrar each morning thanks to one of them bringing us back a gift from their court trip. Trying to figure out if I should wean myself back ON to caffeine so I can drink it while we’re there…maybe I’ll just continue to enjoy the smell.
During this time we are also collecting donations for the children at AHOPE. There are between 75-100 kids living at the orphanage where Elsa is at, and as you can imagine some of the supplies they desperately need are very expensive or hard to get in Ethiopia. Their need list is ever changing, so to try and make things easy for everyone the staff at AHOPE have put together a Target baby registry of their most urgent need (first and last name AHOPE). That way if you’d like to purchase items and have them sent directly to their US office (who then give them to people traveling to take over) you can. Right now they are in SERIOUS need of pull-ups. I’m sure if you’re a parent who’s ever potty trained a little one you can imagine how difficult it would be without the necessary tools…and with SO many kids I feel like they must be constantly potty training over there right!?
If you’d like to send donations of any sort for us to take when we travel we will be hauling as many bags as they’ll let us! : ) We’re happy to pick up donations, or purchase them if you’d like to make a monetary donation and skip having to ship things! And we’ll be back in Iowa soon if there’s anyone there that would like to send anything! I posted a link to their current needs in a previous post, but if you missed it here it is again: AHOPE NEEDED SUPPLIES