Hearts for Haben: Our Adoption Story

 
 

February 2011

The wait continues and I try very hard to be patient but the calendar at my house is moving slower than normal I swear.  I am so blessed to have some new pictures sent of our sweet little Haben!!!  Tears came rolling down when I saw the first one.  Ok wait, a little back story.  Amazing enough, I somehow have met some other families in the area also adopting from Africa, also from Ethiopia, and also through my agency.  The few girls that have helped guide and inspire me have now helped me meet others sharing a similar journey.  This is the crazy part.  There are five children hanging out together in the same small square footage orphange that are coming home here to Florida very soon!  This is such a gift from God to have the support of others that are in the same process with us on our journey.  Haben will have friends that will be like family for life because of this.  Back to the photos.  One of these wonderful friends, Jessica, was in Africa recently for her court date and delivered a package for us to Haben.  I tried to limit the donation to only necessity items but it was too hard not to send a treat and toy in that teensy gallon zip lock bag.  I printed out some blown up pictures of Haben and me, hoping the nannies would put them up on the walls for him.  So as I got these pictures and saw him see me and even KISS the picture of me, I melted.  You see, all the work on showing love was so one sided when I was there that this made me feel so special.  This process from court until Embassy has been estimating to take 10-12 weeks which puts us going to get him some time in April.  We almost have 4 weeks down so far but this is so much harder than I thought.  I know it's all in God's timing and me fracturing my pinky toe was a great time consuming obstacle for me (ha ha) but another 6-8 weeks sounds like forever.  We did get word that we have been given our court decree and the next step is getting Haben's birth certificate and passport.  Yall cross your fingers those whip together quickly.  You know he's getting more attached to that sweet nanny he loves everyday.  Just kidding little one...bond away.

Posted by jdunn on February 23, 2011 at 11:22 pm
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You think you know what to expect but WOW, I wasn't totally prepared for what I saw.  There were so many beggars on the streets including a child not even two years old...children thin beyond belief, asking for food from my grocery bag...a frail mom with hungry babies on her back and front...a very malnourished sweet little baby boy at the orphanage that clung like a monkey and held on so tight with his head tucked tight on my neck...people working and walking everywhere...animals everywhere...  dirt and rocks everywhere. 

I never felt unsafe.  The only concerning part was the risk of being bombarded if you offered to give out something....understandably.  It broke my heart not to help so many times!  Hopefully when William and I go back I'll be able to pass out food or coins more comfortably.

About the people.....

I just loved the people.  I'm almost afraid I'll miss them.  By culture, everyone is reserved, respectful and kind. 

The men...

The men I encountered were wonderful.  They were protectors and gentlemen-like.  I kept getting in trouble for trying to lift and do things without allowing them to help.  Tips didn't seem expected either.  My favorite: they are all so amazing with the babies and kids.  It was the coolest sight to see them snatch up the babies, love on them and be so playful.  Side note:  It is customary for people to take your baby so you can eat...helllo!....amazing concept!

The women.... 

It seemed to me it's a cultural trait to love and care deeply for the children.  I was floored and thrilled by the care given by the Nannies at the care center.  I could not be more impressed by the love, attention, discipline and care they receive.  This makes it a tiny bit easier to leave Haben until I'm able to go back for my Embassy date and bring him home.  I can't say enough about how thankful, appreciative and lucky I am.

The children....

It was an absolute honor to spend time at the care center with the Ethiopian children.  They were all so wonderful.  They were respectful, loving, fun, appreciative and so poised with self-control.  It was truly one of my biggest highlights of life to get to know them and spend time with them.  Many are awaiting adoptive families and I know each family will be some of the luckiest parents on earth.  I'll never forget their, "Tank you God for my food" said so sincerely before any meal.  (I believe they eat breakfast and then just one other meal a day.)  "Tank you Mommy," several times for each small gift or treat I shared.  (All ladies seem to be called mommies.)  Their wonderful hugs, their excitement to see me, the dancing, the hair braiding (lice was worth it! but true apologies to those next to me on the flights home... I guess the shampoo needed more than one treatment!)  Oh, and those lovely young ladies are going to be wonderful mommies some day.  They were incredible with my sweet Haben especially when he wasn't so sure about his new mommy.  Just my luck, 25 or more babies and kids in a care center and my little guy seems to be the only one not loving me....but this mommy is patient.

The babies....

Ok so what baby is not dreamy?  But my babies were so different than these.  Given everything from the start, every need reached immediately, every comfort met, food, warmth and love a plenty.  How is it that these care center babies seem happier?  More content, more independent, more appreciative, more quiet, more settled, overall just easier.  OK, I'll stop there.  But wow, how can lives and upbringings be so different and effect us all so differently?  Please God help me to show my children some of these wonderful gifts in life of contentment and to be appreciate of God's gifts.

Overall, I just can't wait to go back to Ethiopia in 8 weeks (hopefully).  Not only to bring Haben home forever but to be there again, in the culture, with the kids and most importantly for William to see what I've seen and feel what I've felt.  I know William's probably worried right now about me being changed forever by the experience.  Wanting to save another life (given), wanting to do more to make a difference, wanting to change a lifestyle that's so comfortable.  It's all such a challenge....a mind boggling chore to change, to reach out, to step out of the box, balance needs and wants, to want to spoil yourself and your children or to fulfill God's call.  To hold a homeless child, to look at a starving child in the eyes, to walk next to a desparate mom, how can I not feel different....forgive me William.  I cannot stop here.

 

 

 

Posted by jdunn on February 6, 2011 at 10:37 am
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