Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm home

Hello friends and family!
After 30 hours traveling, my feet hit ground in Seattle yesterday. I thought 24 hours to Addis Ababa was hard....30 on the way back was horrid.
However, I met our little Kepler! I got a call from our coordinator on my way from the airport. She said, "Welcome to Ethiopia! Would you like to meet your little boy this morning?". I eagerly said, "Yes!" and after literally dropping our bags at the guesthouse, Andrea and I hopped in a van and headed to the orphanage. Kepler was sleeping when they brought him into the waiting room to me. I took him, held him and kissed him and looked at his little hands and toes. He is beautiful. I was glad he was asleep because I was exhausted. I just held him and marveled at the fact that I was finally holding him in my arms. He woke up and was startled to see a strange white woman looking at him. He started to cry but was happy to be snuggled up on my shoulder. The first two visits were similar. He was very cautious and observant. He tried to avoid looking at me but was content to have me snuggle him.
After visiting with him twice, I headed to court on the 21st. We rushed up 6 flights of stairs at very high elevation in a packed court house. I felt sick as we were told to sit in a room and wait. It was at this point that I learned that Kepler's birth mother was most likely sitting in the room with me. This was horrible. I was totally unaware of this and not prepared. All the adoptive parents were looking around trying to figure out who was their child's birth parents while the Ethiopian women scanned the white faces to see who would be raising their child. I cried there in that room thinking about how those mothers felt. At this point, our attorney called me out into the hall to tell me that Kepler's biomother could not find transportation to the court hearing so she would not be there. My heart fell. I gave testimony to the judge and presented the power of attorney on Amos' behalf. After leaving the court house I was assured that Kepler's birthmother would come into court the following Monday. I asked if there was any way to help her get there and I was told very clearly that we are not allowed to help in any way. It is illegal. Kepler's hometown is quite a distance from Addis so it costs money to travel there. She relinquished Kepler because she doesn't have any money. I have hope that she will make it to court on Monday however. I feel like the fact that she took him to a receiving center rather than abandoning him and the fact that she called into the court to explain her absence speaks a lot for her. Please pray her her, especially this week.
My last visit with Kepler was amazing. His nurse let me visit with him longer than usual and in a room by ourselves. He fell asleep on me and then woke up and remembered me. He started studying my face and interacting with me!
Saying goodbye was so difficult. I missed Amos so bad and was excited to go home and see him but now my heart aches for Kepler knowing he is far away.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Getting ready to go!

I am so excited! Andrea and I leave for Ethiopia in 5 days! Did you read that?! 5 days!!!! I can't believe I get to meet our little guy in a week! I was really freaking out (to the point of tears!) yesterday because there is so much to do and everything has to be perfect. It is very overwhelming. I do know that next Monday when I get on that plane I will be able to relax and know that I have done everything I could in my power to prepare for this trip. If our taxes aren't done, I'll just have to settle with leaving those lines blank and worry about it when I get back.
When I booked my airline tickets I heard that folks are booking their second trip (the take home trip!) about 4 weeks after their first trip! That is about HALF the time we are expecting! Wouldn't that be the best surprise ever?!
We got new pictures today. Kepler either has a fever or just had his face washed off because he is all shiny and his shirt is wet:) He got a hair cut too! He looks so sweet. I can't wait to hold him!
We've had quite a month of baby showers and prep. Amos and I feel so loved and blessed by good friends:) It's happening! He's coming home soon!