Thursday, August 9, 2012

Answered Prayers

I just returned home yesterday after a week in Ethiopia with my sweet boy. It's so crazy how everything came together. Let me start from the beginning of how I even happened to be going to visit in the first place.

So like 2 months ago a team leader backed out of leading a Uganda trip. The co-leader hadn't led before so I didn't want to send her to lead by herself, especially with a 28 person team. I prayed about it and felt like I was supposed to co-lead with her. I hadn't scheduled myself to lead any trips in awhile because it's hard to plan ahead when you're adopting because you just never know what could happen and I didn't want to have to back out on a trip. But with only 2 months notice, that was totally doable. So I talked with the co-leader and it became official.

In the meantime, my coworker says to me "you're going to visit your little guy while you're over there right?" to which I replied "we're not going to Ethiopia". To which she replied "yeah but don't you remember - you fly through Ethiopia to get there and back. You should ask your agency if you can see him." Hello! Duh? I totally forgot about us flying through Ethiopia. My agency said sure I can visit and so I made plans to stay behind for a few extra days so I could see my boy after the Uganda trip was over. The flight didn't even cost any extra. Awesome!!!

So even though it had been almost a year and he was still in the orphanage and his paperwork still wasn't done, I started praying big prayers. Prayers that didn't fit in the usual timelines or seem possible. But knowing ALL things are possible with God. I prayed and my exact prayers were answered.

Literally the day I left for Uganda - I got the word. My little man's paperwork was finally done and he had just been moved to my adoption agencies care center. What?????? I was overjoyed, pretty emotional and heading to the airport for the first part of my journey to get to him. I had specifically prayed this would happen and it did. Praise the Lord!!!!

And the answers continued to come. While I was in Uganda, my coworker Merrill texted me one night at 3 am with excited news. I have been submitted for court!!!! Whoa - this is all crazy awesome timing. I also got an email from another mom adopting a little girl around the same age from the same orphanage to tell me she had a court date and would be in Ethiopia while I was there. Her little girl and my little boy are buddies and got moved to the Care Center the same day!!! If she has a court date - I could have one too!!!!!! Oh my goodness.

After an amazing 9 days in Uganda with a great team, myself and my co-leader headed to Ethiopia. Elisa stayed three days and I was supposed to stay 4 and then head home. I was praying for a court date while I was there but found out the day before I was supposed to come home that the judge was requesting an additional document. It was looking less likely I could have court or if I did - it was looking like I might have to extend my stay for awhile and I really needed to get back to work. I called my agency contact in Ethiopia and asked if there was any way the judge would see me on Monday since I'm in town and already have seen my child and then I wouldn't have to be there for court. He said "oh, yeah, that could work. Come with me on Monday." So our awesome travel agent changed my flight for me and I stayed till Tuesday evening, which gave me 7 full days with my sweet boy.

On Monday, August 6, I went with my agency guy to the court and he had an assistant pull my file and we waited for all the scheduled appointments to happen and then he asked if the judge would see me and praise the Lord - she said yes. She did the parental interview with me and my part is done. Hoping to hear word soon that the other document has been provided and I've officially passed court. Then I will be legally his mom and can post pictures of his sweet face. In the meantime, I can post some of the great shots that don't show his face that were taken by my photographer friend Wynne Elder who went with me on the first day that I saw him after a year!!! What a cherished time - especially to have so many great pictures of.

Another prayer answered - I was so nervous but when I arrived at the orphanage, he came right to me and put his arms up for me to pick him up. He was unsure about the camera snapping away in the distance but he warmed right up to me. He wanted to be held literally all day. I got some amazing snuggle time with my sweet boy. And lots of smiles and even some kisses. It just felt so natural to have him in my arms. He even fell asleep in my arms. It was the perfect day. I wasn't sure how he'd respond to me. It couldn't have gone any better.

Over the course of the 7 days I got to spend with him, I got a great overview of his little personality and my boy loves to be held and be as close to mommy as possible. He doesn't like it when I leave and screams "mommy, mommy" and throws an all out fit. It was very hard to leave him each day and especially the last day. I definitely saw some major melt-downs and temper tantrums throughout the week. He is a toddler, after all. He was definitely testing mommy so one of the things we will have to establish very quickly when I bring him home is boundaries. I'm also going to get a book one of the other moms recommended with basic Amharic. It'll be so much easier to communicate if I know some Amharic. Some of his frustration was him wanting things but not knowing how to tell me. By the end of the trip, he was getting very good at pointing and I was learning some basic Amharic words - especially the words for no because my boy is a little bit of a trouble maker. He's definitely going to be a handful. I'm just thankful for getting to see a full range of his little personality and needs, challenges, etc - so I can prepare even more.  Plus a few of the days, he didn't feel good so we took him to the doctor and they gave him meds for a bacterial infection that was making for some seriously nasty diapers. Yup, a few blow-out diapers while I was holding him - I'm officially a mom now that I've been pooped on:) ha ha I hung out with him everyday at the care center but the day we took him to the doctor, I brought him back to the guest house with me afterwards and he was so cute and curious in the car ride and in the room. He played in the bathroom sink for at least 30 minutes. He thought that was pretty cool. We ate spaghetti and then he fell asleep in a carrier on my back that one of the ladies let me borrow. Had I known he'd want to be held so much, I would have brought a carrier. Will definitely be bringing one next time - that will really save my back. And he loved it. I got lots of pics and video of my time with him - captured his cute little voice, his laugh, smiles and even a few tantrums on video. What a precious time I had with him. It was very hard to leave but so much easier knowing all that has transpired with his paperwork being done, him being moved to the care center, me getting submitted for court and then able to do the parental interview with the judge. Once I get word that I passed court, it is an estimated 2-3 months wait time for Embassy. And that's when I get to bring him home!! I'm praying for the week of October 1st.

God is soooo good and I am so thankful! 

1 comment:

  1. Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!

    What an AWESOME post!!!

    That was truly Him- what answers to prayer!!!

    Continuing to pray your little guy home. Rejoicing with you mama Autumn :)!!!



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