Forever Day 2010

Three years ago today we met all four of our Ethiopian children for the first time.  I’ll always remember that day which was filled with so many unknowns and emotion.  […] We stayed at a missionary guest house near Little AHOPE, where Dimples lived.  We didn’t realize that we were supposed to wait for the social worker to come get us, so when our hosts told us they would walk us over to Little AHOPE, we were glad to go.

It was stressful for us because we were also meeting our little boys that morning and that agency did not know we were adopting Dimples – they had refused to place her with us due to her medical status. We had to get to AHOPE and back before they came to pick us up.

We walked down the dirt road and found the blue gate.  When it was opened we saw many little ones playing in the courtyard.  The children were excited to see visitors, especially our hosts who were grandparent-age.  I scanned the children’s faces and caught a glimpse of Dimples.  She took my breath away – I nudged Russ and pointed toward her. She was running and playing, occasionally grabbing her too-large pants and pulling them up.   An older girl decided to get a chair for our friend and ran inside returning to place the chair in the shade.  The children gathered in a circle around him.  I didn’t know it then but the helpful little girl would become our daughter seventeen months later.

Finally I couldn’t wait any longer and I knelt down next to Dimples.  I said, “Do you know who I am?  I’m Mommy.”  She smiled, not understanding a word I said.  “I touched my chest and said, ‘Mommy’, then I pointed to Russ and said, ‘Daddy’.”  All at once the caregivers figured out who we were.  They began ushering the other children inside leaving us to take photos and get to know Dimples.  Our hosts spoke to her in Amharic explaining who we were.  She had a huge smile on her face and hugged us.  We took lots of pictures and played with her until one of the AHOPE staff arrived.

Eventually the other children came back outside and played with the toys we had brought.  Dimples passed out candy to her friends while we talked with Gelila.  Honeybee was one of the oldest children there, so she helped blow up balloons and make sure everyone got candy.  Much too soon it was time to walk back to the guest house where we were being picked up by the other agency driver to meet out little boys.  Gelila explained to Dimples that we were going to meet her brothers and would be back later with them.

Can you even imagine how strange this all must have been for Dimples??

We hurried back to the guest house where we were met by the agency van which drove through the busy streets finally arriving at another gate.  The grounds of this facility were very nice, with grass, gardens, and large buildings.  We were taken to the back door where a group of children was eating lunch.  There, sitting in a row of toddlers, was Eby being fed by a nanny.  He seemed confused that we were interested in him…and a little bit nervous.  We said hello to him, and I gave him a little kiss, but I knew it would not be wise to pick him up.  The Director called us into the next room to meet Little Man, so I reluctantly left Eby and walked into the room where we would meet our baby boy.

He was in the arms of his nanny being fed a bottle.  At less than five months old, he was tiny.  The nanny smiled at me and transferred him to my arms.  He looked up at me with his huge eyes and his body felt light in my arms.  I was clumsy with the bottle, having only given them on rare occasions to babies I was caring for. When the Director said they had made lunch for us and I could give Little Man back to the nanny while we ate, I declined to part with him.  I had years of experience eating while holding my babies.

There is much more to the story, but no time to tell it.  I am exceedingly popular with my children today.

We are celebrating Forever Day tonight with one of the kids’ favorite chicken curry dishes and a cake that Ladybug and Honeybee are going to make this afternoon.  We’ll tell the story of meeting each one of them and give thanks to God.

If you have a few extra moments, please take look at our Forever Day video.  Rusty made it for me two years ago on the first anniversary of Forever Day.  We have come a long way since then!

~Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Donna
    February 25, 2010

    Beautiful!! I will never get tired of hearing the stories of first meetings!!!

    Reply
  2. Nancy
    February 25, 2010

    Thank you for sharing these very personal moments. The words are treasures.
    Nancy-The Crazy 8

    Reply
  3. Julie
    February 25, 2010

    Oh Lisa, you've got me bawling…

    May God continue to bless you and your precious family.

    Reply
  4. Jennifer
    February 25, 2010

    Beautiful Blessings!

    Reply
  5. laurad
    February 25, 2010

    So did y'all adopt all 4 at the same time? Or did you need to return at a later date? And you went with 2 different agencies? How does that work? Anyhoo, I'll stop the questions. ;o)

    Reply
  6. Mandy
    February 25, 2010

    Thank you for posting that! I've followed your blog for a while now. My husband & I are in the process of adopting. I've been so fearful lately & overwhelmed at times, that this video was exactly what I needed! Thank you! And thank you for your transparency & honesty in this blog. Your life story and the wisdom you've gleaned has helped so many people who read this blog, I'm sure. thanks again!
    -Mandy

    Reply
    1. OneThankfulmom
      February 26, 2010

      Mandy, thank you for your encouraging words.

      Reply
  7. OneThankfulmom
    February 26, 2010

    We adopted three children through two agencies simultaneously. Eby and Little Man came home in March 2007, and Dimples followed in May 2007 when her visa was approved. We began the process to adopt Honeybee in February 2008 and brought her home in August 2008. It is a little bit confusing!

    Reply
  8. Tanya
    February 25, 2010

    Wow! What a beautiful video! Happy Forever Day! Your children are precious! What an inspiration you are to us all. Blessings!

    Reply
    1. OneThankfulmom
      February 26, 2010

      Tanya, thank you so much.

      Reply
  9. Becky
    February 26, 2010

    Lisa,
    This was so fun to read and hear how you met and adopted each of your little ones. Thank you for sharing this beautiful experience. It brings back memories of 1 year ago this month when we met and brought home our 3 children from Ethiopia.

    Reply
    1. OneThankfulmom
      February 26, 2010

      Becky, it was the most strange and wonderful experience! I'm glad it brought back good memories.

      Reply
  10. Kathrin
    February 26, 2010

    I have tears in my eyes. It's so beautiful.

    Reply
    1. OneThankfulmom
      February 26, 2010

      Thank you Kathrin. I still get teared up when I watch it.

      Reply

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