Court Anniversary

This week is so ridiculously full of meaning, I fear I'm not capable of capturing all it means to us and all it means in the heavens. So, I bought a $3.99 bouquet of fall flowers .

This past Sunday was November 6th, one year since we first held and kissed Judah and Addise on our first trip to Ethiopia. [Read about that day HERE] This past Sunday we also dedicated J&A to God at our church...on Orphan Sunday. A separate blog post is coming on this momentous, epic day.

Here's a sneak peak of Judah's dedication...

If you wanna take a walk down memory lane with me, check out our Meetchya Day video...


This whole week I've found myself drifting back to those days in Ethiopia: The rich, historic Ethiopian culture. The sounds of Amharic rolling off tongues, animals passing on the street, and cars honking at everything. Our guest house. The American friends we met who were also adopting and our new Ethiopians friends, whom we fell in love with.

Of course, my heart mostly remembers those precious hours at Tikuret Orphanage where we began bonding with 9 month old Tarike and 28 month old Abebayehu. I remember how stoic and somber Addise Aster Tarike was, and how she was totally unsure of Brian. However, she always fell asleep in his arms. I remember that sweet pink polka-dot sweatsuit she wore and how she loved kissing my lips [that 30 second video is HERE]. I remember being amazed with how chunky and strong this "little orphan" was.

And I remember how shut down Judah Abebayehu was. Brian and I commented and cried over what a locked up little guy he was. His big eyes searching for understanding and meaning. His body small and recovering from malnutrition. I remember a few times when his eyes lit up and he bravely showed us his bright white Chiclets teeth [here is proof in a quick 40 second video]. I remember how our 2 year old calmly sat on our laps, barely moving. We both remember praying so much for his healing and health. Even writing these words on my couch with my ever-so-talkative son sitting next to me, giggling while watching Dumbo, I'm tearfully in awe at the healing God's done in his little soul these past 12 months. Judah is a different little boy. Praise God!

Today, November 10th was the best and worst day of my life [Read about that day HERE]. Today is the day we went to court to testify before an Ethiopian judge our promise to love Tarike and Abebayehu forever. After our court appearance, Brian and I were gifted with some unexpected time with their birth mothers. Still, one year later, words barely form as I reflect upon these women, our mutual love for the same little boy and girl, and the impossible choice they made to give up their children because they could not care them. It is a mother's love beyond human capacity. Today, I think about their birth mothers and wonder if they are still alive and healthy. I'm aware that as I've held and loved and raised J&A, they've probably thought about them millions of times. And wondered if their offspring are well loved and care for. I pray God would speak to them and assure them.

Only hours after our court date, we kissed them goodbye as we left for the Addis Ababa airport without confirmation that we passed court. I sobbed leaving the orphanage. I got physically sick as our plane took-off out of Ethiopia. It was an entirely good, yet completely unnatural day.

Tomorrow, November 11th Brian and I were spending a few reflective and carefree days in Frankfurt, Germany. We received an email that we were dying to read: "THEY ARE YOURS." In the eyes of Ethiopia, we were Judah and Addise's legal parents.

A year later, we cannot believe all God has done and is doing in our family. It's beyond our expectations and imagination. I never imagined how many poopy diapers I'd changed (including one that's smelling out to me at this moment]. I never imagine how much they'd make me laugh and show me a mirror into my own character and soul. I never imagined how many kisses I'd give, or hair product I'd use, or cheese sticks they'd eat. I never imagined how angry they'd make me.

Yet, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'd love them as my own, that they'd forever change me, that I'd be grateful for our devastating infertility that lead us directly to these specific children. Forever we are grateful. Tonight, I'll tuck them in a little tighter, kiss them a few more times, and whisper a few more prayers to God for them. Thank you, Jesus, for the miracle of adoption.

Today. Home. Forever.