Today we are boarding a flight to Frankfurt, and from there to Addis Ababa Ethiopia to meet our children!
Over the past few weeks I’ve had to rebuild my computer and haven’t updated my blog, but here is the beautiful story to get you up to speed! Posting from SeaTac airport while waiting for our flight.
For many years I have prayed for two specific things through the brokenness of infertility: Abundant motherhood, and happy children.
On October 5th, after eighteen months of waiting on news from Ethiopia, we received a referral for a six month old baby girl, Tarike. (By the way, I can’t post any photos of the children publicly until they are legally ours, so don’t bother scrolling down, I’m sorry but you will not see their precious faces here!)
Tarike is a beautiful, healthy baby who’s father is unknown and who’s mother lives in staggering poverty with no opportunity for income and no ability to feed herself or her child.
Much to our surprise, Charles and I felt strongly that something was missing…we couldn’t understand how we weren’t feeling ready to jump on a plane to Ethiopia to bring her home. We have long wanted and requested siblings, but we have feared adopting older children and all the possibilities of problems we’ve been warned about. We asked our agency if they had any siblings we could consider, or if they would consider offering us an unrelated child in addition to this little girl. They had siblings where the elder is five or six, and they would also consider offering us an unrelated child to Tarike, but only if the other child were five or over.
As we pondered the possibilities, prayed, struggled with our fears about adopting older children, and discussed this with trusted friends, I kept coming back to a joyful little face in the album of a recent traveling parent and Charles agreed that we should inquire about him. He looked to be about three years old, and we thought maybe they would consider letting us adopt him too.
We shared the photo with our contact at AAI, and she recognized him. She put us on hold to confirm and when she returned she told us that this little guy, Melkam, is the younger of two brothers. He’s listed as three or four years old, and his brother as five or six. She asked if we would like information on the brothers. We looked at each other and we simultaneously said yes. So they sent us the medical reports, information and photos of Alex (5-6 years) and Melkam (3-4 years).
And despite all the fears of the unknown and the fact that this was ‘not in the plan’ we began to fall in love with these little boys almost immediately as our hearts broke for them. Suddenly the image of our family with baby Tarike AND these two brothers seemed just right.
We had several hoops to jump through to convince the authorities that we are not mad, and that they should sign their names to a document recommending that these two people who have never parented before be permitted to adopt three children, but after a few more grueling interviews and conversations and ‘worst case scenarios,’ we were given the verbal approval to move forward.
On Friday, October 29th, we accepted the referrals of all three children! While we likely will not be able to bring them home until February or March, we travel on November 16th (Today!) to Addis Ababa Ethiopia for two weeks to meet them and spend time with them. We are thrilled!
Abundant motherhood indeed! And during the first emotional week as Charles and I pondered this possible future for our family, wept over these children and their families and over God’s sovereignty, one morning he was searching online for the meaning of Melkam’s Amharic name. Google found it: Happy.
Oh how I wish I could show you their faces here! Alex has a sweet smile. He looks a little shy, and his earlobes curve forward just slightly, in the most endearing way. Melkam, of whom we have found many photos, always looks like he’s about to get into trouble. He has an impish grin and smiling eyes, and anyone can tell he’s going to be a handful. Tarike has beautiful eyes and is just a tiny little thing. I have yet to see her smile, but it will be a goal while we are there.
We are so grateful for the prayers of friends and family as we’ve waited patiently for the privilege and responsibility of children of our own. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts! We will do our best to keep you posted during this trip…the beginning of the adventure of a lifetime!