Disclaimer: This is my very own feelings of the matter, others may have experienceddifferent. This is just me being honest!
I was expecting to burst out into full tears when they placed Ruby in my arms. I did not. I had no feeling, its strange I know, but the same thing happened to me when they placed my bio kids in my arms, I was so in awe nothing came out. I did say things like "Oh look at her, she's our girl, wow." I was upset at myself later, I had it all planned out, I should have wept, my SIL fell to her knees when she saw Ruby's picture, she melted. Me? NO! I took a few days, to really let it sink in, this is my girl...she belongs to US! Why? I don't know? With my boys, I cried a few hours after birth when no one was around, and that's what I did when I got back to the hotel in the shower, I wept. I have loved being apart of this, my heart runneth over with the blessing that God has allowed us to share in. WOW! Thank you to all who have prayed for us. Loving a baby again has been so easy with Ruby, and our grieving hearts now have a big piece of joy.
I asked this question to myself the first couple of days we were in Ethiopia. Where are you in this Lord, I can't see! On day three of our trip our wonderful director Almaz decided that we should go tour Mother Theresa's in Ethiopia, no photos allowed however, am I thankful that I didn't take my camera. What we saw can never leave my memory, our group was taken on a tour of this home with hundreds of HIV, TB, AIDS and bed stricken patients lay, what looked like to us on there death beds. There was a stench in the air of sickness, I cant explain it, its was ill. We were then taken to the children's ward were there were about 120 kids or more, most of them were special needs, many had sores (big ones) one there faces and hands. Many were wanting to be touched. There was one in particular I rememberbecauseeveryone passed him by and patted his back, he was the worst I had seen. There was a teenager on our trip picking up her new set of brother and sister, Nancy is her name. This boy tugged on Nancy's hand and without thinking Nancy held on to his hand. As if this boy was just an ordianry boy at a playground. Automatically I thought of Mother Theresa and the pictures I had seen of her touching the sick without grimace without apprehension. I wanted to weep, why did she take us here? Why to see more dying to doubt the presence of God in Ethiopia even more? I was a missionary when Frank and I meet, and I heard someone say once that God placed a piece of himself in every culture you just have to look sometimes. Then I saw it, there were so many volunteers at Mother Theresa's. Young men and women feeding the hungry administering medication , taking care of the dying in the Hospice ward. Like Mother Theresa prayed about and lead by example, like Christ. I was put in my place very fast. I end with the words of this loving woman. "When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed. " Mother Theresa
This is a couple we meet on our trip to Ethiopia, I am not sure they would like there names used in the blog so I will call them Chat and Chat 2. All the couples in our group were so funny and had great attitudes. But this man Chat "D" man was Franks brother from another mother. They made us laugh so hard. Chat and Chat 2 we miss you :)
I am very fond of my husband and best friend, but during this trip to Ethiopia I saw why I married him! His ability to love freely and humor that takes any edge off. I am truly blessed to be called this mans wife! Look at him with his daughter he is in love, can you see it in his eyes! Okay you now have permission to barf!
On Monday we visited a government ran Orphanage where most of our Children came from. There were about 80 children in a very small place. We saw three babies to a crib, and were wanting to hold all of them! I just felt homeless just coming home with one, like I need to do more. Like I need to tell people of how many Orphans there are in Ethiopia. Its breathtaking! The spirits of the children moved me there were delightful and loving and just wanted to be hugged. I was reminded of Gods promise "I will not leave you as Orphans I will come to you." John 14:18. I had to remind myself of this over and over because it was a hopeless feeling. It made me also dislike my subera life of Starbucks and Costco, and wonder how can I go back to a comfy life when there are so many children begging for food. Everywhere we traveled in Ethiopia there were children coming up to the car they didn't ask for money they said to us in the little English they knew "momma Food", and then made a gesture with there hands to there mouth. Children my sons age, hungry. Not one or two, dozens. Then moms with children strapped to there backs, asking for food. Right to our window. Close enough where I can reach out and touch them. We were devastated with having to keep going. We shoped at a local market and bought two big bags and every time we stopped we gave some out. This became a problem later we were told because the kids would run to the car and could get hit by another car. It was hopeless. This Orphanage just happens to be the place where Ruby's birth mom worked, so after we toured the home we entered into a room and waited for her to be brought in.
On Sunday we had our first Ethiopian meal. Yes, I know it may not look so appetizing, but its quiet the adventure. We sat down, and the waitress brought a basin and pitcher of warm water where we washed up, no towels were provided so shake shake shake. The bready looking thing on the bottom of the platter is called Injera you use it as a "tortilla" for the food. (Does not taste like tortilla, that would be awesome!) It has a spongy like texture, and I told Frank once in my life is okay. I was so glad they included lettuce and onion and tomatobecause I added that and it was good. PRAISE GOD for Coke Cola, you gotta love that every where in the world you can get this drink, we washed it down with Coke. Ahh. We were with four other families on our team and had begun to bond very well by this time. CHAT! (inside joke :) There were five kids going home on our trip and that was exciting. Two infants including Ruby, a 18-m old with his older sister was is 4, another sweet four year old girl, and a 6 year old boy. At this point we were still jet-lagged and awe struck by the people of Ethiopia.
We woke up to a broadcast prayer at 4:30 AM by Muslims and then at 5:30 by the ChristianOrthodox. So we didn't not get to much sleep. We were to meet Almaz (the director at Hannah's Hope) at 9. The morning was cold and rainy. We walked a cobblestone street with flood waters coming down towards us, up to Hannah's Hope. Opened the red doors protected by a tall garden hedge. Birds singing, and kids laughing. We were told to wait in Almaz's office for Blen (Ruby's Ethiopian name.) When we saw Almaz walking in with Ruby, I was so speechless, what do I say this moment that I thought of the most romantic things I would say...all I could say was "wow". I had planned on saying wonderful things, I promise I have dreamt of this day for so long, "wow"!? I was in awe! She was so little smaller than the pictures, and so much more beautiful! Frank was so cute. All he could do was smile shyly. We went into another room where there was another family who was adopting a six year old and we got to see how sweet that can also be. We then went to an Ethiopian Church, were strange enough there were tons of white faces and the sermon was even by an American! I got to praise in Africa, my dream come true! It was an awesome first day.
Look at our eyes, we were jet-lagged and so tired. By the way we flew Lufthansa and totally recommend it! They were right on it, we were never hungry or thirsty. GO LUFTHANSA! Here is am getting my Visa. Here is Frank in a self portrait of what "Jet-lagged" looks like. When we meet our drivers and were taken out of the airport, we were really surprised as to how much Muslims were there, I didn't see an Ethiopian woman in normal Western clothing. Did I not get the memo? We were taken to our hotel by "Angel" the hotel director and "Danny" our driver. We looked out the windows as we drove listening to Bob Marley (not kidding) and all I could do was smell the diesel filled air and cry. I was here. The other thing that was really shocking to me was the poverty, I knew there was poverty but oh my this was beyond words. I had been to third world countries before, but never had I seen the amount of people sleeping on cardboard's like this. Never. I was in for a humbling experience, I just knew it.
Our flight on Friday the 10Th was a breeze! Long but we just had ourselves to take care of and parents know the the hassle of traveling with kids! Here is Frank in Frankfurt Germany, he was shocked when we arrived in the early morning and everyone was drinking a beer with breakfast, "No way, when in Germany..." those are his words! So of course I had to taste the coffee! At this restaurant we saw some families with older Ethiopian children and we just had to ask. We meet up with at least 7 other couples adopting we were on the same flights to get our children so it was nice to share our God journey to get our kids. Its amazing how each one of them started in another country and God just lead them to Ethiopia, but it was not the first choice. God had better plans!
We are back, we were not able to keep up on our blog so I will have to share a little at a time of our journey. It was AMAZING. Frank and I have fallen in Love with Ethiopia, the Lord meet us there and broke our hearts for the people, we are back home arrived on Saturday night. We are exhausted, and jet lagged. But we are in love! More to be updated soon.
We are off on our journey. Tonight we took the boys out before we took the to Grandmas...there meal of choice? Breakfast! They packed there own little bags for grandmas and cant wait to see there baby sister. We had tears as we said good bye and one more time hugs. So...its almost midnight and I am still getting things together. My Bestie Jenn came over tonight and saved the day for me she ran my last minute errands, and packed and repacked my things then weighed EVERYTHING again. She was amazing. Thanks Jen!
So off to sleep land them to wake in a few hours to get going to ETHIOPIA!! Can you belive...ahh...Hope to touch base soon.
Room check! So I never thought I would do pink for a girls room....but you know after three boys....I am savoring the PINK! Two more days. We fly out of Seattle on the 10th this Friday early in the morning. Okay anyone going to Ethiopia must know there is still more paperwork! So...we have been super busy getting all of our paperwork ready, donations, our clothing, her clothing. Its midnight and I am still packing! Lets see if I squeeze in another post before we leave.
The boys and I enjoyed two days at the beach with our best friend's the Heckerts. We had so much fun. We packed up and headed there two moms and four Boys. Our friends left early Saturday leaving me...with some alone quiet time. I must say every time I am at the Ocean the Lord shows me things about my heart...I don't like so much :( That's because there is no Internet or TV or phone, and I can just listen. Some things I wont share...because its just that bad! One thing I don't mind sharing is my ability to have a loose tongue. I talk too much! When I am frustrated, when I am sad, when I am lonely. Instead I need to enter the throne with that heart and listen at the Lords feet and open the Word and there alone will I be comforted. I end up with a list of things I need to seek forgiveness and feel like an idiot and lay down my pride. I also am guilty of listening to lies of condemnation. If I have wronged a friend, or spouted out to much, I apologize and with gracious relationships forgiveness has been granted but then I live in the guilt forever and feel unworthy of any ones friendship. I was reminded of new mercies and as freely as I have been given so freely I should give. One thing I was reminded of this weekend was that The Lord weighs the heart of a man. That job belongs to no one else. I end with the lyrics of this awesome song Ocean by Ten Schekel Shirt.
Lately, I've been thinking about You And lately, I've been dreaming of You And lately, I can't get You out of my head. Get You out of my head chorus:Something about the ocean Makes me rise up and praise Something about the heavens Makes me stand in awe again Something about the sunrise Reminds me of Your faithfulness Something about the ocean And I'm lost in love again I'll sing until I sense a smile Upon Your great and lovely face And till I know Your glory's in this place Your glory's in this place
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