Thursday, December 16, 2010

A visit to HH and to Birth mom...

All I can say is it was just another amazing day here in ET. We first went to Hannah's Hope orphanage. This is where my sister adopted Lucy from. I had seen their old transition home and now they are in a new one. Oh my gosh! It was AMAZING. Unlike anything I'd ever seen. We loved talking with Almaz and Kristi showed her pics of Lucy and some other HH children in our area that have grown into such beautiful children. She loved it! I also had an opportunity to photograph three waiting children. One HIV+ 7 yr old girl, who knocked our socks off, and two brothers about 8 and 4 (I think), who were the cutest things ever. Of course, I took some model pics of them. That little girl is just BEAUTIFUL and had the cutest, most bubbly spirit I'd ever seen. Those brothers were so sweet together. They just cracked up at my poot noises as I took their pics. Doesn't matter what language you speak....all kids love poot noises :)

Of course i can't post pics of them but am trying to give a peak. And yes, for those of you with kiddos in this orphanage, and happen to be Kristi's friend, we loved on ALL of them and got pics for you. Gosh, they were all so amazing!!

We left from there and went to my adopted son's sister's new school. Since my last trip in July, our family has personally sponsored her to go to a better school as well as gotten them out of the mud shack in which they lived, and put them into a new home. This was my first time to see any of it. Well......let me tell you, I was amazed. First of all, amazed at what such a little bit of money can do to change a person's life in Africa. She is now enrolled in a private school which teaches all subjects but one, in English. It is teaching her so much. She will be able to communicate with her brother and all of us. She has already learned a lot. That school was AMAZING! The sweet director showed us around and told us that they are helping her get used to that new life. She told me she told her how lucky she is to have us and give her this chance in life. She was actually not at school that day because they said she was at home sick. I thought Uh, huh...she knows we are coming is what it is :) We took a tour and went into her classroom. It is like one of those scenes you see on TV of an African classroom with the chalkboard and everything. It was awesome!

We then drove over to their new home. Everyone on my July trip who saw where they lived last time would just flip! It is like night and day. We pulled up to a gate and knocked. They said that was it. I was flipping out. The daughter opened the door and greeted us with big hugs first. She just hugged me and started crying and just kept saying "Thank you so much." Then Nathan's birth mom came walking up with her hands up in the air and a big smile on her face and can squeeze like no other. She just hugged everyone for 5 min :) She is deaf but she understands things very well. They walked us up to their door and invited us in. They live in a home that is divided with another family. I was in awe. You can't imagine what they came from. When I was here in July I visited their home for the first time and it was a typical African shack with mud walls, made out of sticks and mud pressed together. It had no running water and it had an outhouse that the community shared. I walked in that shack and saw pictures of my son sitting on their table so proudly. I just cried....we all did.
Now they have a real home with two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom with running water, a sink and a shower. They had put curtains up on the windows and had some little fake flowers sitting around to make it look homey, and of course Nathan's pics sitting proudly in the middle of all of it. It was so clean and tidy. It was just perfect. They are soooo happy and proud! You really can't imagine how far your support goes over here until you see it for yourself. You are literally changing lives when you help them. It was a wonderful visit. We had bad connection but were able to skype with Shane and Nathan. It was 4 in the morn and I called Shane and had him wake Nathan up for a skype call with his birthmom and sis. They have not seen him in over two years. We finally got enough connection for his little face to pop up. I had no idea how he would be since Shane had to wake him up but all i saw was that great big smile when his little face popped up on there. His mom and sister just started saying "Hi...we miss you." He was just giggly (thank God!) His sister leaned in and asked, "Do you remember me, Natty?" I just held my breath. I thought, "Oh Lord, she has probably waited years to ask him that. What will he say? Cause he probably doesn't"  I have shown him pics and he says he only remembers them a little. Well we all paused for his answer and then he said....."Sorta" and had a big smile on his face.  Whoo!!! She just laughed and we all laughed and I wiped the sweat off my brow :) I'll take a "Sorta."  It was great. It totally made their day. His mom is so sweet. She just kissed his pictures when I showed them to her. She is so thankful. I could not have asked for a sweeter birth family. I feel as blessed as they do.

We spent a couple of hours with them. My friend's Bissy, Ashli, and Shanna, as well as me, Lauren and Kristi were all there. They were so sweet. We did the coffee ceremony with them. They also gave us popcorn and sodas. They had a friend there who has a downs syndrome son. He was the cutest little guy. He danced and made us all laugh. He has the funniest personality. His mother explained that he has a heart condition that she found out needs surgery. It is why he is so small. He is actually 7 years old. They told me he was a friend of Nathans when they were babies. I couldn't believe it because he is so small. Of course she has no money to give him the surgery. I am not sure how long he will live without it but Kristi is going today to speak with a Dr about it. We are going to try to find out what is going on and then try to find him a sponsor to help him. I don't imagine heart surgery will be cheap but there are lots of amazing people out there with lots of money. So we are hoping to find this little guy a sponsor to help him with his medical needs. will be life changing!

We went to dinner with my friend, Gina and her hubby and new adopted son. So awesome! She was here in july and fell in love. Now back in Dec to pick up and bring her baby home for Christmas. Amazing!

I must jump off. We are heading out before dawn to Shashemene. It will be such a great trip! We already have Sesay at my friend Ashlis and he is ready to go. For those of you that helped support my daughter to get her here, this is what she has been waiting for. She can't wait to see her sponsored child, Robel (Sesay's friend). She met him in July and they instantly formed a bond. She says she feels like his mother :)

 More to come....



  1. I love what you are doing in Africa! I will pray for you and for the children. I am ten years old and adopted myself. One day I want to go to Africa and adopt a child myself. Thank you for what you are doing!!!!
    Love, Chloe Kindred

  2. i wish i was with you. but you make me feel like im there... :)

  3. Beautiful...we've fallen in love with Ethiopia and it will forever be a part of our hearts (and family with three Ethiopian blessings). Thank you so much for reminding us of the beauty...awesome!

  4. Vanderbilt has a stellar Downs Syndrome clinic and the Downs Syndrome Association in Nashville is also very active.