Sunday, November 13, 2016

When You Saw Me

Oh how very sweet and exciting it was answer the phone call where we discovered who you were. We learned about your village, your past, your medical history, and more, but we were anxiously waiting to see your face. After we hung up the phone, we impatiently kept refreshing our email until suddenly THE EMAIL APPEARED. The email where we laid eyes on you for the first time. Oh how precious those first pictures were. Your beautiful dark brown skin was the first thing we noticed.  We laughed (in a loving way I promise) at your adorable pointy ears and your chubby cheeks. Your lips were pressed tightly together, and you didn't reveal any teeth although we knew you had them. Bright yellow crocs were pointed out quickly by daddy. He really likes shoes, and he is excited to shoe shop with you. You sat strongly on the little ledge on the landscaping at the Transition Home and looked so innocently at the camera. Tiny little hands clasped together as if they didn't know where else to go.  Daddy and I just stared and stared at you. Tiny overalls with an oversized stained shirt underneath was what you were wearing. We couldn't believe you were real. We couldn't believe you were ours. I seriously stayed up all night staring at you. My heart and mind were too excited to sleep. A mommy NEVER forgets the first time she sees her child.

Though the day I saw you is one of my favorite days in my entire life, I think I love the day you saw me even more. Daddy and I knew pictures of you were coming and a daddy of one of your friends actually sent us a video of you opening the package we sent to you. The Hotwheels and whistles seemed to be your favorite although you were also pretty pumped about your new toothbrush. When your nanny open our photo, she told you that we were your mommy and daddy and you just kind of looked at us. She pointed to us and said, "Mommy and Daddy". Your nanny then said, "Mommy" and you pointed to me and quietly whispered, "Mommy". She then said, "Daddy", and you quietly whispered, "Daddy". You were so quiet we could barely hear your little voice. Tears ran down our faces as your bright eyes took us in for the first time. It felt so much more real to us. You see we had known about you for quite some time and were learning all about you, but today, you discovered us. As you held our picture up to the camera and smiled proudly with your white teeth showing brightly, we laughed and cried. After staring at us for a few seconds, you kissed our photo (with a little prompting from your nanny) and our hearts stopped.  You quickly went back to your Hotwheels and didn't really want to tell the camera bye because you were so distracted by your other gifts. I don't know if you will remember this day, but this is a day I will never forget. Seeing our pictures in your hands just exploded our hearts.

Our love for you is growing every day. As we learn more about you, we feel so much closer to you, even though you are still so very far away. Even though the day I saw you for the first time and the day you saw me were on different days, I know my favorite day of all will be when we see each other for the first time in Ethiopia. We love you so very much, and we can't wait for you to be in photos with us instead of us just looking at photos of each other. Praying for your heart and mind as you are about to make this huge transition. We know this may be scary and unfamiliar, so we promise to do our very best to make you feel safe and loved.  Like I said, WE CAN'T WAIT for the next first!

I really wanted to post the picture of you kissing our photo, but daddy says we can't break the law. He's right. This is a picture of your nanny handing you our package.

Orphan Sunday

This Sunday, many churches around America advocate for orphans through a program called Orphan Sunday. This is the short video that many churches will be starting their morning services with this year.  CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

Many of you know of the need, and today, I challenge you to be a part of the solution. Here are a few ways you can help with advocating for orphans.

1. Pray for orphans here in the United States and globally.
2. Find a foster/ adoptive family and figure out a way to love on them.
3. Begin researching foster care in your state.
4. Begin researching adoption and thinking about what that would look like for your family.
5. Consider being a respite family (you would have a child in your home for 1-5 days while a foster family is out of town, needs a break, or has an emergency)
5. Donate to organizations such as ShowHope that help adoptive families financially (They really do!) or organization that help with orphan care.
6. BE CREATIVE and think of your own way to be a part for advocating for these children that God's loves so deeply.