"Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it...but I'm afraid God might ask me the same question."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Adoption Reunion in Kentucky

This is what it is all about...Take a look at these two kiddos. They were both born in a small village in the southern part of Ethiopia. They traveled together for many hours to the capital city of Addis Ababa where we were lucky enough to meet them only four short months ago and bring them home to the U.S. They haven't seen each other since we landed in Chicago in July. Their beautiful smiles tell a great story of reliency, joy and hope.

Grace and Tedi were lucky enough to see each other this past weekend when we traveled to Lousiville, KY for an adoption reunion. Our agency, Arise for Children, hosted a great party to celebrate the children that have arrived home over the past two years. The agency and it's wonderful director Susan have welcomed home 69 children in their first two years of business. That is truly a remarkable number considering they are a small agency.
Of course seeing all of the kids from Ethiopia was one of the highlights of our trip. The other highlight was meeting my blog friends and fellow adoptive moms! I was so excited to meet Natalie. She is Tedi's mom and wasn't able to travel with us when we went to Ethiopia (starting her residency did not allow for her to leave). She was as awesome in person as I knew she would be. It was so nice to finally be able to give her a hug.
The other sweet blog friend that I finally got to meet was Brittney. Brittney traveled to Ethiopia a few months before we did. We hadn't received our referral I remember joking with her to keep her eye out for a little three year old girl for us...little did I know that Grace was actually at the orphanage when Brittney traveled. Brittney is as sweet as I imagined. She helped to organize the Arise party and even made plans for all of us to go to a wonderful Ethiopian restaurant for dinner. It was so awesome to be able to spend the day with these women!

Here I am with Brittney. She was wearing one of the necklaces we are selling when I met her...isn't that cool?
Finally being able to spend time with Natalie was such a treat. We have been going through the adoption journey together for months. We waited for updates about our kids together, passed court together, traveled to Ethiopia at the same time, etc.

Grace and Tedi enjoying a meal together. They still love Ethiopian food and it was so fun to watch them dig in together.

I think my kids wanted Tedi to come home with us - maybe that is why he is wearing Bryce's name tag.
This sweet girl came home from Ethiopia a month or so after Grace did. When she saw Grace at the party, she came running up saying "Hiwot!!!" and gave her a big hug. Grace was so shy whenever anyone would speak to her in Amharic. I wish I knew what she was thinking. It was hard to explain to her that we would see friends from Ethiopia and that they all lived in "America" now. I still don't really know if she realized that we were in Kentucky and that all of these sweet kids live in America now.

Bryce and Tedi
Alyssa and Tedi (I told you my kids love this little guy!). During the party, Drew (my 11 year old) joined right in with the older Ethiopian boys who started playing soccer outside. I love how he just joined right in. He prides himself on being somewhat athletic, but has never played soccer. The boys played a little basketball first, so they could see that Drew was athletic. Well, when it was time to "pick teams" for soccer, he said he got picked right away. Little did they know that he had never played the game. He said that it took them about a minute to realize that he didn't know what he was doing...they asked him if he wanted to be goalie :) Drew said the boys were awesome at soccer. The things they could do with their feet and the ball were "so cool."
I was also so excited to meet Elizabeth. She and her husband traveled before we did and they were kind enought to take pictures of Grace for us. Those pictures were so precious to us. We didn't have many pictures and when we saw her sweet face and knew that they had met her, we were thrilled. Elizabeth is as kind as I imagined. We hope to see her family again some time soon. We didn't have long together in KY, but we forced the girls to pose for a picture.

They both looked thrilled with the idea of a picture. They must have been thinking...give me a break here...I haven't seen this person in six months and the last time we were together we were on a different continent! Grace was, however, very impressed with Moriah's earrings. I have a feeling earrings are in Grace's very near future...

Alyssa was such a great big sister during the trip. Grace and Tedi must have jumped into her arms 5,000 times while swimming. They did not stop moving for a minute. Jump in, get out, jump in again.

The trip to Louisville was short, but sweet. Here are a couple of other fun things we did while we were there...
Louisville Slugger tour and museum...I would totally recommend this to anyone. It was so much fun. The kids loved the giant bat outside.

Another one of those moments when I wonder what Grace was thinking. She goes right along with us, never asking why there are statues of guys all over and why we would want to have our picture taken with them. One of the highlights - Drew got to hold Mickey Mantle's bat. What a thrill for him. It was so neat that he could hold a piece of history.

Whenever we take a car trip through southern Wisconsin, we stop at the Jelly Belly factory. It is so cute and you can buy lots of good treats for the car ride. Again...what was Grace thinking??? And to top off the trip, we stopped at the Rainforest Cafe for lunch on the way home Sunday. Grace loved seeing the animals. She was convinced some of them were real (we let her believe it too).
What a fun way to kick off a month of thanksgiving and National Adoption Month! We are so blessed to have met the friends we did and to spend time celebrating the sweet children that have been brought home from Ethiopia.

1 comment:

  1. It was great to spend some time with your sweet family. I hope you enjoyed your trip to the Ville. Come back soon! :)