"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day." Habakkuk 2:3

Monday, February 28, 2011

Seble Adventures~

Seble got this outfit from a good friend of mine the night we got our referral. She had bought it quite awhile before we even got our referral-the front says, "I'm Mommy's Dream Come True". She thought it was perfect-and today-Seble finally gets to wear it!!
Here are some pictures from referral night, some of her today and a couple other funny ones-I love the pineapple stem on her head-she is Chiquita Banana Girl!
:-) Oh and the rain boots-just had to do it! She also is fond of baking-reminds me of the butcher the baker and the candle stick maker as she samples her tasty goods...oh what we do to these kids!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ethiopia - Trip Two - Day Three - Hannah's Hope & Shopping

Another beautiful morning on this Tuesday, January 4th, 2003 in Ethiopia. Don't forget, Ethiopia goes by a different calendar then we do. They have a 13 month calendar. Every month has 31 days but their 13th month only has 5 days. This places them 7 years behind our calendar year. At the same time, their Christmas isn't until January 7th where as their New Year doesn't begin until September. On top of the differences in the calendar, they also go by a different time than we do. They start their day at 6am not midnight like we do. So if you wanted to be somewhere at 9:00 AM, they would say your appointment was at 2:00. Anyhow, it is very interesting.

Here Amber and Seble are getting much needed rest.

Today we had the choice to go back to Hannah's Hope or not. Amber decided not to go and just stay at the hotel. We went back and forth about going back or not going back but decided because of the hard time Seble had leaving the first time, we thought we better not this time. We knew we would be going back on the last trip so just decided to wait until then. Didn't want to give her any more mixed feelings about the whole ordeal.

So, Amber stayed in the hotel with Seble while Karen and I decided to go with the rest of the group back to Hannah's Hope. One reason was because they were going shopping right afterwards. They would leave straight from Hannah's Hope and we wanted to go shopping. The reason the other couples were going back to Hannah's Hope was because they were scheduled to meet one of the birth parents. Until then, we just waited for Wass to pick us all up.

Here are some more city scenery pictures as we traveled back over to Hannah's Hope.

This particular job site, you can see a group of people mixing up concrete mix. They would then carry it on their "stretcher" type wheelbarrows.

Here you can see them carry some concrete on the "stretchers" over to the one guy finishing the floor. To the right of the last guy in the middle of the picture, you can see the unfinished portion of the floor that concrete has not been placed yet.

We arrived at Hannah's Hope and that is when it hit me. The Special Mothers on duty were the night Special Mothers that just rotated onto days. They have not seen Seble since their last night shift which would have been about three days ago. I felt really bad we didn't bring Seble but then again, we didn't want to put her through what we did when we left Hannah's Hope the first time. Plus, we knew we were coming back the next day to say our byes.

One Special Mother in the baby courtyard, holding another baby, looked at me and asked me, "Seble's Dad?" I said yes and then she looked around and asked where Seble was and if she was coming. She said she was Beti, Seble's other Special Mother on the night shift. I told her that Seble wasn't going to be coming today because she was sleeping with her mom at the hotel. I assured her we would definitely be bringing her tomorrow when we come back. I can tell she was bummed and I felt bad.

As we were waiting, the water truck showed up to replenish Hannah's Hope and their bottled water supply. I got to help these guys unload the full water bottles and carry them over to the babies house. If I remembered right, we brought in like 37 bottles. After that, we carried out all the empties where those two guys then loaded up the truck with them and were gone.

We had a longer than expected wait for the other families to meet the birth parent. Almaz had an unexpected surprise visit from the Ethiopian government, the people that deal with the Orphanages in Addis. It was sort-of like a surprise audit of Hannah's Hope. As we waited patiently out in the courtyard, these government officials apparently wanted to see paperwork, kids files and then we saw Hannah's Hope office personnel carry in Ethiopian coffee and bread into the meeting like they were just being friendly and offering them coffee. Next we see the Special Mothers going into the meeting as we later found out that the officials wanted to meet some of the care givers.

During this time, the other families weren't suppose to meet the birth parent until they were with Almaz in their meeting but it was sort of hard to keep all of us away from each other. In our, over an hour waiting for the "audit" to be over, one family got to meet the birth mother without Almaz. Later she came over to the front of the courtyard and saw me sitting next to the adoptive mother. The birth mother was being introduced to us all and when she got to me, we all caught on pretty quick that she thought I was the dad. We had to explain through all the language barriers that I was not the dad but a dad of a baby. We had to use her daughter to try and tell her in Amharic and finally thought of showing her pictures of me and Amber with Seble so this birth mother would understand that I will not be the dad of her kids but I'm the dad of another baby. It was a weird interaction and time but was fun to see these families get to meet the birth parent.

The other family got to meet the birth father. Both birth parents were from the same area and knew of each other but not married to each other. They traveled a full day to get there, will stay the whole day, then a full day back to their village. This ended up being a pretty big deal when you really think of how all this comes together.

We then get to see the government officials come out and get a tour of the whole facility. Soon after that, they were leaving and the birth meetings could officially begin with Almaz. We were a good 2-3 hours behind schedule but it was finally beginning to happen.

We could have stayed at the hotel this whole time but we didn't know this was going to happen either. We made the best of the long wait. Took some more pictures around the property.

Baby laundry hanging in front of the house.

More baby laundry hanging down the side of the house.

Stockpiling diapers - This may look like a lot of diapers but with the amount of kids they have and diapers they have to change, I'm sure they fly through the diapers.

Not sure who uses this but they were some sort of coffee cans filled with concrete and a metal bar placed in the middle to create a bar bell weight. Very creative.

Front door entrance to the babies house.

Here comes Wass wearing his new T-shirt we got him. He loves Looney Tunes and it shows all the characters with the saying "It's All Good in the Neighborhood"

We saw an Ethiopian :-) Eagle circling the courtyard. ( I wonder if he speaks Amharic)?

Then it was officially time to leave. This is the ditch/gutter just outside Hannah's Hope. Not sure what they use it for but you can see pipes sticking out of the sides and just drain right into the ditch. It was now time to go shopping.

The blue sign was a Pepsi sign.

The painting on this wall was interesting. It was a painting of all the Wiggles characters. We use to watch that with the kids when they were younger.

This was a huge multiple level building under construction in the down town area. It looked like they were trying to put tile squares on the outside of the building. If you look real close, you can see the worker in a red shirt placing on the square tiles onto the building.

Right at the bottom of this stair case to the top of the bridge turned into a good place to sleep.

This is the street that takes us right to the shopping place.

These are the main shopping stores we hit even though there were LOTS more across the street and down the other street. We just didn't have time to hit all the shops.

The fun part of coming back to the shops was being able to see the familiar faces of other Ethiopians that were trying to make a living and who were not associated with adoption. It was as if we got to really intermingle with the true culture and real people living here day in and day out.

I think the best part was when we drove up in the bus and the first person I saw was the boy in the green, yellow, and white jersey. He was a shoe shiner. Last trip, he shined Amber's shoes and I told him we were coming back in about one month and I would let him shine my shoes. As we were driving up in the bus, we caught eyes and immediately felt like best friends. He pointed, smiled, and waived and I returned the same feelings. He recognized me just like that. It was a feeling I just can't explain.

This wasn't with just him either. As I stepped into each of the shops, everyone smiled and said, "you're back". It blew me away that they all remembered me and were just so sincere etc...

This is the owner of the first shop furthest from the end of the street. Basically the first shop you start at when Wass stops the bus. (you travelers that have been there probably know which one it is-you travelers going will see what I mean)

This was the shoe shiner. He does a good job and works hard at it. If you can, let him work on your shoes.

This was a fun shop. I'm not sure how some of the shops are tied together but the guy next to me seemed to work from this shop the most but also ran to other shops to get other things if you wanted something and they didn't have it in the shop. The lady seemed to be the owner. She was nice and kept telling me, "You, return shopper get discount." It was funny.

This guy was funny. Once he got you to step into his shop, he was your personal shopper explaining how and why you needed that particular item. He was thrilled to get his picture taken and wanted thumbs up so we did.

This was my favorite t-shirt shop. They had some pretty cool t-shirts that other shops didn't and at good prices. This is Aberash. She asked if I had e-mail so we exchanged e-mails but she also gave me her phone number. This was the first time I had ever got a phone number from another girl except my wife. It was funny. We stay in contact through e-mail now which is fun to get e-mail from Ethiopia.

If you forgot something on your trip or wished you would have bought it, let me know. I know she would mail it over in a heart beat as she is trying to set-up some shop in the US. We're working on the details to see if it is even possible. She said it's a dream of hers so we will see.

After the shops, we headed back to the hotel where we just hung out, ate dinner in the hotel restaurant, skyped home, and took more pictures with Seble.

Our Airport Homecoming for our 2nd Adoption~

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Our Journey up to our Referral

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Seble's Referral Video

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"Although it may not always be obvious to us, there seems to be one distinct moment when God begins a new story in each of our lives. He writes words on our hearts that long to be spoken and strain to be lived out. Then with His own great hand, He begins to write the script. Experience by experience through seemingly ordinary days, He supernaturally orders our lives. Only when we look back and reflect on what appeared to have been the ordinary events of life does it become clear what a miracle the Lord has performed." Jan Beazely

LUCY LANE-AGCI-ADOPTION VIDEO! This inspired us to follow our dream!


What Adoption is About! What a Testimony! Lundy's Adoption

We Love this family and this video is inspiring!