The past year has been filled with a lot of blessings but has also been challenging. Adjusting to an increased workload around the house took a little while. I can remember in the first weeks and maybe even months home, once the kids were all in bed Kevin and I would literally collapse on the couch in exhaustion. "Will it get easier?" we'd wonder with eyes half-closed, and then in the next breath would reflect on the blessing of these children and the fulfillment that comes from parenting, even when it's hard. I know without a doubt God sustained us during that time. I can also remember in the early weeks of being home with the boys how they would cry out mournfully in the night, grieving and upset. We'd comfort them, put them in bed with us, assure them it would be okay.
One year later our sons are well-adjusted, happy little boys! When I pick them up from the nursery at Thursday morning Bible study, Biniam runs at me shouting "Mommy! Mommy!" They love to cuddle, are playful and affectionate, adore their big sister, and you would think they'd been in our family all along. They seem to have attached very well and I am always in awe of the fact that these two precious boys spent the first 16 months of life living in multiple orphanages. What a testament to God's grace, mercy, provision, not to mention the love they received from their caregivers (and most likely birth mother during the month and a half she cared for them) in Ethiopia.
The first two pictures above were taken in Ethiopia shortly after they were placed in our arms for the very first time, and this last picture was taken yesterday right before our outing to the park. When I watch them running around on the play equipment, and especially when I see Biniam tearing down the big green slides, I seriously shake my head in awe of the fact that just one year ago these kids had no family, Biniam was developmentally delayed and couldn't even walk, neither boy was talking. That seems like another lifetime to me. What an amazing year; God is so faithful! (To read a previous post about our first day meeting our boys in Ethiopia, you can click here.)