Wednesday, July 8, 2009
An Emotional Day 2 in ET
As if the first day wasn't emotional enough with me getting to witness and document my sister getting little Lucy Lane in her arms, my second day in ET was one I will never forget and one that was definitely set up by God.
I started my day by going to Hannah's Hope and passing out marshmallows to the kids. They loved them. They lined up and stuck out their little hands in excitement and gobbled them up....and then I spent about 10 minutes wiping off their hands and mouths.
I then just walked around and took pictures of all the adorable kiddos. You know, it is just hard to imagine that all these children are orphans and to think of what their life must have been like to get them to where they are.
But then as I walk I look at their little faces and then think of the destiny that lay before them and I am brought to tears. These children have been hand picked by God and brought to a place of hope. They will now have a chance at life and a future with endless possibilities because so many families have stepped up and said "yes" not only to them but the generations after them.
It is truly unbelievable to witness.
I got a sneak peak at this little cutie :)
It is the cutest thing ever to see all these little toddlers lined up taking a potty break. They sit and chat and hang till their business is done. I wonder what they talk about :)
The little one below stole all our hearts. He was such a ham....or should I say a stud. He found his girl and made it clear that she was taken......so darn cute.
I can't say enough about these special mothers. They not only shower them with love but they work their tails off making sure that every need is met for these little ones. They have a great schedule for the children and the children know it like clockwork.
Below you will find that Lucy Lane loved her special mom.
After I got to play with the kiddos a bit my friend, Ruth, arranged a driver and came to pick me up for one of the most important meetings of my life. Everything had miraculously worked out and had fallen into place for me to meet Nathan's birthmom and sister.
But first Ruth invited me to her house for dinner. I can't say enough about Ruth and what a blessing she is every time I am in ET. I would never have been able to accomplish this day without her.
Below, you will find what they do before dinner. She walked up to me first while I was sitting on the couch and stuck out the basin and I didn't know what to do with it. They just laughed and then our driver so graciously showed me what it was for. Of course...duh....they wash up before dinner. Who needs a bathroom?
Grandmother fixed us a wonderful, authentic Ethiopian meal of injera and then threw in spaghetti with meatballs and homemade fries. I think that was special for me as an American.
Grandmother's sister then lit up the coffee ceremony for me while she enjoyed looking through Nathan's photo album. They met him in September and were thrilled to see all of the adventures he has had since then and how much he has grown.
Grandmother made sure that the driver pulled his car all the way into her courtyard, and made sure he came in and ate and then went out to have a little chat afterwards. Can I say she is such a loving Grandmother. This culture bleeds love.
It was then time to leave and head to Nathan's orphanage. My nerves were on edge to say the least. On the way there I was humbled again as we drove through an extremely poverty stricken area to get there. This was the only area that I saw these homemade buggys in.
We arrived to the orphanage and pulled up to those gates where I had last stood with my son in my arms for that farewell picture. It was very surreal to stand outside that gate and listen to the children's voices on the other side.
The gate opened and I was greeted with lots of little smiling faces....two of which were Nathan's little buddies, the two brothers that I had sent an email out about needing homes. I can excitedly say that the director told me that all children in that orphanage have been placed and are waiting for their families to come get them. It was so great to see those familiar little faces again and they loved me calling them by name the second I walked in. Even the director was shocked. I told him that my son has not quit talking about them....so of course I know who they are.
I then walked in and found a woman sitting alone in the corner. I sat across the room until the director confirmed it was Nathan's birthmom. We then both got up and gave some emotional hugs.
She is mostly deaf and communicated a lot with her hands. I handed her the album and it was the saddest thing I'd ever seen as I sat and watched such love pour out of this woman for her son. She immediately started crying and hugging the album and kissing the pictures as if he was standing right in front of her. Of course I start sobbing watching it all and am overcome with the realization of what a true sacrafice of love it was for her to put her only son up for adoption only because she wanted more for him than what she could provide. It is true love to the core.
She especially loved the picture of him in his cap and gown for pre k graduation. When she got to that picture she just stopped and stood up and gave me a long hug and cried. Education is every African's dream. It means everything.
About 20 minutes later his sister who had walked there from school entered. She is around 13 years old. She is the sweetest child. She walked in, gave me a hug and then the mother immediately handed her the album and motioned for her to look at it. She glanced down at the first picture and buried her head in her arm and started sobbing. It took her a good 5 minutes to get her composure while excepting hugs from me. This little girl loves her brother. I can only imagine how it must have been for her. She is so much older than him that I can imagine her carting him around when he was a baby. With mom's hearing disability I'm sure that his sister was the one who heard him cry at night and cared for him just as much. They put him in the orphanage when he was 3 years old when the mother finally realized that she did not make enough to provide for all of their needs.
After we spent a good deal of time talking and answering each other's questions, I told them I had saved a picture of Nathan to give to his best buddy. So they called him in there and he sat in my lap and let me love on him a bit and I then gave him a picture of Nathan to keep.
I then went outside and passed out candy to all the kids who were so thankful. They all bowed their heads in gratitude when I handed them their candy.
This little one was the first child to crawl in my lap while I was there in Sept and was the first to throw those little hands up wanting to be held again this time as well. Lord, help me not bring them all home!! All these kids want in the whole world is love.
I then look up and see the most precious site ever. Nathan's sister had taken the album that I gave her outside and the kids had gathered around to look at the new life of their friend who left them many months ago.
You can only imagine how they dream of such a life and for their turn to come. The below picture is them looking at Nathan playing in the snow.
It was then time to say our Goodbyes. These two stole my heart and gave me such a better understanding of my son and his life before he came to us. Their love for him was evident and their thankfulness not only to me but to God for the life that was granted to their son went without needing words. It doesn't matter if you speak another language or no language at all....Love has a language all its own.
I spent the next two days tearing up every time I thought of this amazing meeting. I lost sleep over it and still need prayer over how to take it all in and decide what is the best way for our family to help them. I am so grateful that God orchestrated this meeting as only He could do. Now I welcome your prayers as to what God's plan is concerning the sister.
Lord Guide US!! Lord, Watch Over These Two....Lord Go Before Us All And Pave The Way....
I will talk about the waiting children in tomorrows post....those who I have come home to advocate for and find families for. They are precious and deserve a family.