Thursday, February 15, 2007

One year ago today

Wow I cannot believe that last year at this time we were in Ethiopia getting to hold and kiss our sons for the first time! What a surreal experience to, first of all, be in a foreign country like Ethiopia (neither of us had ever traveled out of the US unless you count a 4 day cruise to Mexico, which we don't), then to go to Layla House and have someone hand you your new sons! When we showed up that day I remember looking for the boys inside the baby room. Gail (orphanage director) found Biniam sitting in a crib, and after awhile spotted Yosef sitting on this little shelf on the ground in the corner!

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.)


Samantha said...

It is SO exciting to see all the Lord has done in your life the last year. How He has blessed you! He is faithful to get us through the hard times and will always equip us for that which He calls us to. I can't wait to see pictures of your NEW little baby!

angie said...

Wow! What a neat post. Thanks for sharing this. Miracles do happen!

Nohe 5 said...

The first day that my husband went to work after our kids came to us, I met him at the door in tears. I was just so tired. The tired went on for weeks. Then I found out I was pregnant. I still think a lot of the tiredness came fron adjusting to caring for two kids. It did get better and it gets better every day!

dillyweed said...

Brianna, So funny that we have the same name and that you live up in Santa Maria! I was born there and actually grew up in Lompoc!!! Small world.
I found your blog via a comment you left on Owlhaven's blog and wanted to tell you that I love your pictures and writing on here.
Happy Adoption Day anniversary to your family. And good luck with the upcoming birth of your new little baby girl. Congrats!

lisa said...

What sweet blessings the Lord gives us. These boys are so precious! Anna is a champion sister, too. We love all of you!

Jeannett Gibson said...

Andy and I were just talking about how far the boys have come since you first brought them home. It's been an amazing transformation and such a blessing to witness. (By the way, that last picture needs to be framed).

gracie :) said...

I just marvel at the goodness of God, that he would bring those two little guys halfway around the world to be a part of your family and use your willing hearts to be a part of His plan! I think that adoption is one of the most incredible things and such a neat way to be a part of valuing the things God values. His kingdom come, His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven! I am in awe of God each time I get on your blog. Thank you for sharing your family with the rest of us.

Susy Q said...

How cute!!

It looks like February 15th will be a memorable day for us too. We got our referral yesterday (for a girl!) and we're so excited!!

Congratulations on a great year with your two beautiful boys!!


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