Verse of the Day

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 5: Ethiopian Court Visit, November 29, 2011

From my personal journal; sorry, no photos until court is official 

At about 10:00 a.m., our CHI driver picked us up to meet our new son. We were finally going to meet this little boy we've been praying for for a year! As our driver pulled into the Thomas Center, the stark surrounding don't prepare you for the joy you're about to encounter. The area is so poor; the tops of the walls have razor barbed wire, and the tall metal gates are constantly guarded. The van has to honk to be allowed entrance. The other family visiting with us were just as anxious as we were. What was going to happen to each of our families? Would we instantly love our kids, or would this take time? Thousands of thoughts cross your mind in those moments up to the great meeting.

As we got out of the van doors, three children (one for us and two for this other couple) bounded through the front doors of the orphanage. In my hand I held the Shutterfly album I had created for S.; it had his beautiful face plastered on the front cover. He didn't know which family was his until he saw his photo... and he instantly came running and smiled a thousand watt grin that bathed the world in glorious sunshine! One look said it all: he now had a family and he absolutely loved it!

We followed him into the Thomas Center's main greeting area and started pouring over the family photo album. Thankfully, our friend Kassa provided interpretation; there was no one on staff to greet us or to interpret for us. Kassa explained all of our photos--- who everyone was. He started kissing the photos, especially the one of Daddy and of our Golden Retriever, Rocket! He read through the book over and over again, just trying to absorb what was going on. Then he started trying to balance the paper album on his head, hoping to gain an approving smile. Little did he know he had won my heart at first sight.
The Thomas Center

The Thomas Center, dining area in view

We were fortunate to spend about 2.5 hours at the Thomas Center visiting S. Mr. S. LOVES orange soda, cookies, and roasted chickpeas. He gobbled as many off the table as he could... and in record time. He also got a lot of entertainment from the camera. All the kids wanted to get their hands on the camera, so be prepared! We also played lots of soccer and explored the front area of the Thomas Center. There is nothing for the kids to play with except for a flat soccer ball and a few sharp sticks. That didn't seem to stop the kids from playing happily with whatever they found.

What we did notice when S. was running around was that he only wants to kick with his left leg. I am not sure if he just has a cute "waddle," or is he had a sort of limp. He does not appear to be in any pain. I know he has significant burns on his left knee from falling into a cooking fire when he was young, so I don't know it that massive scarring impacts his stride. This will be something we'll have to have evaluated by a physician. I wonder if he has a limb length discrepancy?

S. is very small. He is supposed to be "around" 4, but he is wearing a 3T shoe and 2T pants and tops. He is also quite stocky. Reminds me of my sweet Mr. A.

S. plays very well with the other boys, and seems to lack the aggressiveness of most of them. He even let me hold and cuddle him. He maintains good eye contact and wants to touch my hands. He loved T-Man and Kassa, and gave them all plenty of attention. He even joked around with Kassa in Amharic!

We were them able to watch the kids eat lunch. I'm laughing inside as I watch the dining table: 8 kids, all incredibly well behaved and polite. They all prayed before eating and waited patiently to be served. (Looks like my kids at home could learn a little something here!) What particularly touched me was that he wanted to feed me, and he allowed me to feed him. In Ethiopian culture, it is a sign of affection and respect to feed each other. He touched my heart.

We said a sweet goodbye--- hugs and kisses. We both knew we'd see each other the next day, so no one was too sad.

I love him. That amazes me. Love can happen in moments! I am especially grateful to God that He allows such sweet beginnings, as I know from experience that those sweet times come and go... and come and go. I know life with this new little one will bring hardship and pain, as attachment and bonding challenges all kids and newly adoptive parents. But to just have that first day... a sweet one, at that... is an amazing gift from the Lord. I will cherish this memory in my heart all my days.

After the visit, T-Man and I spent the day visited a couple of the travel agents Kassa works with. What is keeping Kassa from getting ahead in the travel industry is not having a mini tour bus. One of the owners of the tour agency, after talking with us for quite awhile, offered to help Kassa secure a micro-finance loan AND to personally help him with car financing if he could come up with 60% (roughly $10K). Kassa was flabbergasted, and felt very encouraged. He also recommended that Kassa pray to God every day with his need. I had also told Kassa that if the Lord truly wants him to have a car, he will surely get one! Now, all I need to do if find some other people in the US who can help me raise the money. Lord, please show me who to ask. $10K is nothing for you!

1 comment: