Monday, November 21, 2011

Adoption. It's A Beautiful Thing!

 We are celebrating in my family this week over the homecoming of my nephew, Lincoln Teddy. This has been long awaited and is very much celebrated. You see, i found Teddy in the orphanage in July 2010 when I took my very first OH team over and we visited this orphanage for the very first time. I saw this beautiful boy walking down the steps with his unmatched clothes with some kind of onesie hanging out that he was wearing for warmth. He had on pink shoes and he was just beautiful. It was so weird. As soon as I looked at him I immediately saw my sister, Kasey's face, in his. He just looked like he was meant to be hers. He reminded me of her other two children and even looked like them to me.
 I immediately scooped him up and just had this feeling that I was holding my nephew. I emailed Kasey and told her about him and sent her a picture. She immediately said yes! And so the process began. She waited a long time for his paperwork to be complete and things looked doubtful all throughout the process but we kept praying and never gave up hope that God would see it through.
 In the meantime, he met his cousin Collin on this trip and his Uncle Shane.
 That trip came and went and then my sister, Kristi and I traveled back over in December of 2010. We went to see him at the orphanage so he could meet his Aunt Kristi.

 In the meantime my sister, Kasey is just praying and waiting for her turn to meet her son, herself.

Time came and went  while my sister and her family waited.....
Exactly one year from the time I first saw him, I was back again with another OH team. I showed him pictures of his family he had never met. 
 My sister's friend, LeAnne was on our trip and gave Teddy lots of love too. But still, my sister had not been to meet him yet.

Finally the day came. She had a court date and could travel to go meet her son in March. What a long awaited visit. But the hardest part was saying goodbye. It seems as soon as they got there they had to say goodbye and go home and wait for their Embassy appointment. She said it was the hardest thing of their have to wait all that time to meet your son, and then have to say goodbye. 

But FINALLY the day came. She got the email. She could go pick up her son! So off to Ethiopia Kasey went last week and just arrived home with Lincoln Teddy this past Sat. 
 Along with her hubby and two kiddos, there was a mob at the airport in Nashville. Not only was Teddy arriving home, but baby Jude, another little one adopted from our area to the Whitfields was arriving home on the same flight.
 Everyone stood around anxiously awaiting them to walk around the corner. It was a very exciting time.
 And then, Wow! Here both families came around the corner, with their prized possessions in tow.
 What a beautiful site it was to see my sister finally bringing her son home. 
 The crowd went nuts as you can imagine. 
 Daddy, sister and brother were the first to greet him. It was so precious. 
 He remembered his Daddy and went right to him. He finally has a Daddy!

 Big sis couldn't take it any longer and had to scoop him up. 
 Another one who couldn't stand it any longer was Ashli. Ashli is home for a holiday break and has helped take care of Teddy in his orphanage for the past year.
 She met him for the first time as I did on that team trip in July of 2010. She since moved to Ethiopia and has been watching him wait for a family ever since. To see him finally come home was so special for her. She just cried as she held him.

 She spoke to him in Amharic and he answered her. He was glad to see such a familiar face :-)

 Kasey's adoption makes 4 Ethiopian cousins adopted to me and two of my sisters. How special is that?

Special thanks to Kasey's friend support group for coming out to see Teddy home. Friends are an important support during the wait time of an adoption. 

 One more beautiful family complete through adoption! What a beautiful thing!!

I want to take a moment and show you some sweet faces who have also come home this year from Ethiopia whom I had the pleasure of meeting and advocating for and then the absolute joy of seeing them get adopted! God is good. What a great year it has been!

First my sister found her son in Ethiopia in December of last year. He was sick and in need of surgery. 
 She had this immediate connection. 
 Now he is home, healthy and a beautiful boy enjoying his Mommy, Daddy, and 5 siblings. 
 I'm so thankful to have been able to be a small part of bringing joy to these little ones who finally made it home this year also.

I had the pleasure of meeting the Culberson family at the airport. I had advocated for their daughter for a long time as I watched her sit on the wait list. I was so thrilled to see little Miheret again (I think they named her Lucy). She is simply beautiful. They are blessed. 

 I have blogged about the Flores fam before. They are doing great with their two new little ones. 

There are more but these are the pics that I had handy at the moment.

I want to leave you with one of my favorite little guys. I also met Getu in July of 2010. He had been on the wait list for a couple of years. I immediately started advocating for him in our waiting children to try to get him a family.  
 He had many friends at the orphanage and was always such a joy. 
 His smile could light up a room. I wanted him to find a family so bad! I took the pics below on my trip in July of 2010.
 Then again in December as he still waited....
 Then, FINALLY this July while I was in Ethiopia on my team trip I got to tell him HE HAD A FAMILY! HE HAD BEEN CHOSEN!! My beautiful friend, Crystal and her family knew that God was calling them to adopt Getu. You can watch this video and at the end you can see me tell him that he has a family. It was the highlight of my trip and such a blessing for this little boy who had waited for what seemed like forever for a family.
 Crystal, her husband, and one of her sons traveled to go to their court date and meet Getu for the first time in October. They first stopped at his uncles house.
 His uncle just hugged them and sobbed and said since Getus parents had both died he had prayed so hard for Getu to find a family as he was too poor to care for him. Crystal said she just sobbed.
 They then made it over to the orphanage where they met their son for the first time. She said he was standing there waiting for them anxiously with a great big smile on his face. He just ran into all of their arms.
                                                              Finally he had a mother....
 A father....
And a brother...
 The family he had dreamed of. And it doesn't hurt that his Dad used to play for the Tennessee Titans :-)
 They had a great week introducing him to so many firsts. 
 He got to Skype with one of his best buddies who had gotten adopted from his orphanage and gone home several months earlier. He just loved it!

Then there is the dreaded day that his family has to go back to America and he is left there to wait for them to return. I REALLY don't like this part of the adoption process. It is so hard on the children and the family. You can already see the look of uncertainty in his face as he has to prepare to say goodbye.
 Crystal said it was the saddest moment of their lives. They all sobbed and just held him. They assured him that they loved him and that they would be back for him soon.

 We now pray and wait for the day that they get that word..."Go get your son!" They are anxiously waiting for that day to come. We pray it comes quickly. You can read the full story on their blog HERE. Thank you, Archie Family, for stepping up to the call of adoption of an older child. We can all see how much it means the world to him to have a family. 

We also remember all the children who are left behind and most are not adoptable. 

We also are so thankful that Betty and Mahlet have found a family, as well as a sibling group of 4 I had advocated for and many others. We pray them all home to their forever families very soon. 


  1. What a beautiful post. I am in tears! Teddy is so cute! I loved reading the stories. Encouraging words for a mother who prays every day for a child out there and that a husband here will feel God call him to adopt! Thank you for sharing this post! xoxox, Elizabeth

  2. what a beautiful post. so happy for your family. i smiled all the way through the post, but when i saw getu's expressions when first meeting his family i sobbed. it's actually a little hard to type a comment while bawling your eyes out!

  3. I am in tears! beautiful yet heartbreaking post. thank you for sharing it. So happy for you and your extended family!

  4. I cried a lot reading this post! It is amazing to see the children that I played with and loved on at the orphanage with VO coming to their forever homes :)

  5. The Bradley Family Love to follow Your Blog Kelly, We share it with our Children and They think you are a Star, and so do We, You truly are such an amazing Woman, and We feel so blessed to know You,all you do to make a difference in this world,You have a Marvelous ability to turn Happiness into joy and sadness into understanding. You are appreciated beyond words, We want to send Congratulations on your Growing Family,You of all people, should have the privilege of knowing how much nicer life is for so many, with you in it!

  6. You definitely made me cry. Thank you for all of these adoption posts- you are doing an amazing thing for advocacy.

  7. LOVE THIS POST!!!!!!!! Adoption is the BEST THING for the family and the child! It means they have a family who will love them, take care of them, to call their own. What more is there than to get to love a child completely?


  8. It is a beautiful thing indeed!!! Love this post, it's a big bundle of emotions, rejoicing yet heartbroken for those still waiting for their forever families.

    I love how supportative your community is of adoption & families that have adopted or in the process what a blessing to have such an amazing support system, friends are an important support system. Blessings:)