We have been unable to have internet access in our room and leaving the kids to post on the blog hasn't been a priority. I just woke up in the middle of the night and the internet is working. I've been journaling and here is day one.
Our Gotcha Day
Today, November 7th, 2011 our family grew by two with the addition of our precious son and daughter. We arrived in Addis just after 8 am, collected our bags and were taken to the hotel. Upon arriving at the hotel we received our itinerary. It stated that we were to be picked up in 40 minutes to head to Hannah’s Hope. We quickly checked into our room and tried to organize all of the toys and clothes to eliminate complete chaos ensuing when we arrived back to the room with the kids. We packed all of the donations together and headed to Hannah’s Hope.
We had been praying that the kids would remember us after three months and be comfortable coming with us. When the van pulled into the gates of Hannah’s Hope I saw our daughter first. She was standing with a group of friends with a curious look on her face I opened the door and waved to her. She walked toward us as we got out of the van. I knelt down to hug her and she hugged back. She was definitely timid, but certainly remembered us… and within moments was full of smiles. While bending down to hug Lucy I heard a familiar sound, the cry of our son. He saw us and started screaming and crying. My momma heart broke, but I totally understand the fear inside of him. He is 22 months old, a typical age for any child to experience stranger and separation anxiety. I had prepared myself for this and knew that God would take care of it. We didn’t spend a lot of time at HH before deciding that it was best to begin our time together at the hotel. Meanwhile Lucy was already ready and determined to leave. She’d begun dragging my backpack to the van and pulling as hard as she could in an attempt to open the door! David scooped Jude in his arms and he began to calm. The van doors opened and both kids hopped in Lucy with excitement and Jude with curious apprehension. As we were driving down the road away from Hannah’s Hope we were met by several of Hannah’s Hopes’ school aged children on their way back from school. Wass, our driver stopped and the kids all said goodbye to their beloved friends and Lucy and Jude got lots of kisses from their sweet friends. It was a beautiful moment, my eyes filled with tears. I was so excited to be starting our lives together but sad for all they are leaving. I’m not sure they understand that they might never see those friends again. For the moment though Lucy was ear to ear smiling and ready to hit the hotel.
We walked into the hotel and prayed as a family. Then we showed the kids around the room. I pulled out their matching elephant toys. I showed them where a few other toys were and we had a snack. Jude remained calm for the most part and is constantly seeking to be held, especially by his daddy. We are so thankful for all the prayers, things are going beautifully. Jude is really into his toy car that shoots forward when pulled backward and they continue to look at the scrapooks that I made for them for the first trip. The books are nearly destroyed, I love it! I’m so glad that they’ve been looking at them.
Lucy then discovered the clothes! She is quite a fashionista. She picked up each article of clothing and shoes and asked if it was for her and if it was obviously for Jude than she’d put it in an organized pile for him. She gestured to me asking if she could get undressed. For hours she kept changing her clothes every 20-30 minutes. I’d take her to look in the mirror and she’d pick a headband for the outfit. SHE IS TOTALLY MY DAUGHTER. If you know me well, you know that I’m nearly OCD about matching and she coordinated everything perfectly, she does it rightdown to the underwear. Ha! She’d then say “daddy, daddy” looking for him to tell her how great she looked. They both say “beep beep” asking us to hold them up to the window to see the cars go by. Their appetites are huge and there is nothing they haven’t liked yet.
So thankful. So blessed. I should try and get some sleep… I’ve been up writing this unable to sleep but enjoying the sweet symphony of snoring!