Meeting our Daughter for the First Time

I will never forget the first time I saw K. Accompanied by Ray and Lauralee, the founders of our mission guest house, we walked to K’s orphanage. When we arrived, there was no one there who spoke English. We tried to explain who we were, but very quickly we were surrounded by excited children lifting their hands to be held. They were all excited to see Ray and one of the older children ran to get him a chair which she placed in the shade. He sat down to play with the children and all of a sudden I saw a little girl run from the building to join the crowd. I knew her face by heart and couldn’t believe I was finally seeing her. She didn’t see us, so we watched her for a moment. At one point she looked over her shoulder where we were standing – you can see the photo here.

After a few moments I went and knelt down next to her. I said, “Dimples, do you know who I am? I’m your Mommy.” Of course, she didn’t understand my English, but I put my hand on my chest and said, “Mommy”. I held my arms out to her and she came into my embrace. I scooped her up, and held her close. Russ came over to us and I touched his chest saying, “Daddy”. She repeated, “Daddy” and then went into his arms. We were crying and laughing a little bit and she had the biggest smile on her face. It was incredible.

Soon the nannies realized who we were and began to usher the other children back into the building. We were left alone with Dimples for a little while before the kids swarmed back out. Soon we were getting rocket balloons out of our backpack and enjoying the squeals of the children as the balloons were released making hilarious noises and flying wildly about the area.

When we ran out of rocket balloons I dug out a bag of regular balloons amid yells of “fa foo fah” (I have no idea how to spell it, but that is what the word for balloon sounds like in Amharic) Little hands grabbed balloons as quickly as I could get them out. Every child had at least one. Later when the balloons had run out and a fair number of them had popped, we got out some lollipops that my sister had sent for K. to pass out to her friends. She enjoyed passing them out to everybody and of course, candy is always a hit.

The social worker, Gelila, arrived and we went into her office to talk for a little bit and discuss our plans for the week. Through her we were able to explain to K. that we were going to leave soon to get her little brothers, but would be back later in the day to get her and keep her with us until after dinner that night.

More later.

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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.

1 Comment

  1. Raskell Party of 8
    March 12, 2007

    I am crying right now! I cannot wait until you get her home! How are you? WE miss you.


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