The Journey Home

Monday, August 22, 2011

We Have Her!!

What a big, big day.  This morning we woke up early to a tremendous thunderstorm around 4:30 a.m. here.  This, of course, meant that the brain started to run and sleep was no longer a possibility.  It has been a long time, if ever, that I have felt that nervous.  We got up, packed a backpack full of things that we thought we may need for going to see Biruk for the first time since May 31st, and headed downstairs to wait for the van to pick us up.  We are so, so fortunate to be here with the same two couples we met on the first trip.  It's been such a blessing to be able to share such momentous occasions with these 2 families.

We hopped in the van and headed to the care center.  When we got there, they asked us to remove our shoes and put on flip-flops that they provide to try to keep the care center as clean as possible, and we went inside and up a flight of stairs to the room where we were to see our children.  It's hard to describe what waiting in that room with our friends was like...all of us (girls, that is) were tearing up just thinking about seeing our girls again.  The staff brought our girls in one at a time.  Jenn and Jay were first, and they brought in their daughter, Anaylim.  How amazing to be able to watch them be reunited with their sweet daughter forever.  Next, Biruk was brought in, and Aaron and I got down on our knees and hugged and kissed and kissed and hugged, and it struck me.  Our daughter was home, not in Swayzee, Indiana, but home in our arms.  *sigh*  Completely amazing.  Then we got to watch Abby and Roger reunite with their daughter, Wudinesh.  We got to stay for a couple of hours playing, and then they made us leave to go to lunch.  Biruk did not understand this.  It was her naptime, but she clung to me and cried, a panicked look on her face.  I asked the staff to please explain to her that we were coming back in just a couple of hours, but she was having none of it.  I had to leave her behind, crying in her room.  I had NO appetite for lunch; I just wanted to stay with her!!  This was absolutely the worst part of the day.  When we got back the staff did a farewell party for the girls, providing each of them with a traditional Ethiopian dress and head scarf, cake (which she totally hated) and a coffee ceremony.  Biruk was acting a little bit strange; she would not let anyone touch Aaron or I (especially kids from the orphanage) and kept pointing out the window.  She very much wanted to leave and was feeling quite protective of her new parents!!  We hopped in the van, sat Biruk in our laps, and off we went.  When we pulled up to the place we are staying, Biruk started to stiffen and got panicked again.  She started whimpering and we kept telling her over and over, "You're staying with us, baby girl.  We're not leaving you here.  You're coming with us and we're coming with you."  She finally started to grasp that we were not going to be separated again and calmed down a bit.

We headed up to our room where she had a banana and a bottle of water, and then we let her go through her suitcase.  She looked at every shirt, every skirt, every pair of pants (and folded it all when she was done looking.  WHAT??), and had me put a miriad of hair pretties in her hair.  Pictures will follow when we get home :)  We showed her pictures of the kids and to our complete shock she repeated after us, "Emma.  Eli.  Leah.  Kristen.  Maggie!"  The first day with her has been awesome.

I have to get off this computer...sorry for the length of the blog but I wanted to at least fill you in a little bit!  Please continue to pray. This is a big adjustment for us all and we need God right in the middle of it.  We love you all!


  1. Oh my goodness... this is such a JOYFUL post, but it has me in tears!! I think it's just making me think about having those moments with our girls sometime soon. Praying that your adjustment goes smoothly!

  2. Following you all via Ami ~ our girls are wearing lots of pretties in their hair and we think and pray for you all when they do! :)

  3. Praise God! I can't wait to meet her and see a family picture soon!