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Saturday, December 19, 2009

last day- a long day!

(about to hop on a plane so this post is unedited and long)
As is often the case in Ethiopia, you learn to be flexible! Moody had many patients lined up for him to work on this morning at the Luke Clinic, but we got a call about something else and Belay happened to say, "we will see you at the office at 9 for the meeting with Eyasu's uncle, ok??" We knew several other families had birth family meetings, but we thought that because the uncle had made so many additional trips to Addis to resolve the ID issue so we could pass court, that he would not be making the trip to meet us. We were thrilled to be wrong.
9:00 just happened to be the time Moody was scheduled to see his first patient. A few phone calls later, we were on our way to meet Eyasu's uncle. We felt so blessed to be able to have this meeting as meeting Abe's birthmom is one of the hardest and most rewarding things that we have ever done.
I don't think I have shared much of our little mans story and I feel the need to as it shows the amazing grace of our Lord, and the incredible resiliancy of a child. Below is the picture of Eyasu coming into care- he was about 23 months old. He weighed 16 lbs. 16. 16 pounds is the average weight of a 6 month old. Abe was TINY at 5 1/2 months old and weighed 13 lbs. Eyasu was clearly severly malnourished and very sick. I do not write this to sensationalize or criticize the uncle. He is my hero. He realized that he simply couldn't care for this beautiful child any longer. His brother passed away when the brothers wife was pregnant with Eyasu. Then his sister in law died when Eyasu was only 4 months old. He stepped in and took Eyasu and his older siblings, even though he already had 4 children of his own that he was raising alone. He is a farmer, and he was doing the very best that he could with his current situation. He loves him so much that he sought out help. This is the sad, sad reality of Ethiopia. This country loves their children- SO MUCH. They often have no other option, but adoption. How I pray this isn't the case in years to come, but today, with 6 million orphans in Ethiopia alone, it absolutely is necessary. Here is the sweet man that raised Eyasu from infancy until almost 2. He is from Sidamo so the translation went from English, Amharic, Sidamo and back again so getting questions answered took time, we were more than happy to wait for the answers. He simply wanted us to know that Eyasu was loved very much, and he desired that Eyasu be raised in a Christian home and receive a good education. We assured him of both and promised to send pictures. He smiled through his crocodille tears and Moody just held his hand. What a gift. Eyasu didn't appear to recognize him at all which made me sad, but he was happy to give him a kiss when asked. :) We raced from there to the Luke Society Clinic where Moody was going to help out several patients with dental needs. We didn't have time to get Eyasu back to the guest house, so he sat in the car with Yoftahe for a minute while we got Moody settled. This clinic is in a very poor area and services those most in need. Moody met Dr. Wondossen this summer and I was very impressed with the clinic immediately. You could just feel such warmth and love as you walked around the grounds. Getting ready to hand out toothbrushes, tooth paste, bubbles, stickers, toys and candy to the kiddos! Always such a blessing to give in this way. The kids were so grateful. We had some bracelets and candy left over and the women were so excited to be given treats as well. This is how I left my fabulous spouse, he leaned in and said, "pray for me, pray that the Lord would guide my hands as I am about to do my first extraction since dental school. " What a guy. I love his love for people and seeing him get to use his gifts in Ethiopia fills me up!
This was the drive down the road to the Luke Clinic. Yes it was that bumpy. :) Yoftaye and I ran Eyasu back to the Bejoe where Miss Betti was waiting for him.This beautiful woman is Betti. She was one of Eyasu's caregivers. One of the many things that I love about Gladney is that they often hire orphans that are about to age out of the orphanages. Many of the nannies are from Kechene, and they love these kids as they GET these kids. They know what it is like to be an orphan, to not have a family. Miss Betti came to take care of Eyasu a few times while we were there. We love her!

I just thought this was hilarious! Makes me love Ethiopia so much more.
We went back to get Moody and apparently he did really well. :) He did that extraction and the dear woman had to sit in an office chair to have her tooth removed.
Next Moody and I got to meet with the Glimmer of Hope staff. Glimmer of Hope is an incredible organization that was started by a couple from Austin. My brother in law helped us get this meeting and as typical Ethiopian hospitality- they met us as they were literally in the process of moving offices. charity:water is a large partner with their work as are many others. We were impressed with their model and ability to get the work done in an efficient manner. Overall it was an encouraging time together. This is the awesome painting we bought at Markush, a cool art gallery/restaurant on Bole Road. Great local artists sell their work there and the food is yummy! About to leave the Bejoe for the last time (this trip anyways). We can't say enough wonderful things about this guest house. With all of our bags packed, we headed to a cultural dinner with several dear friends. It was so much fun and Eyasu loved every minute of it. Next stop,the airport. Our flight didn't take off until 2:35 am so we had some time to kill. He was a big fan of the luggage carts and not so much a fan when we had to say good bye to it. :) As only the Lord could orchestrate, a dear friend was on our flight from Addis to Frankfurt. He had been in Yemen and ended up being a huge help on our layover in Frankfurt. Thanks Mike! Airplanes are fun! It was long but oh so worth it. Click here to see the homecoming video if you haven't already!

Off to Colorado for a week of snow, skiing and family! :)

Merry Christmas.


Annie said...

Hey Emily! You guys are awesome! As we are preparing to make travelling plans to pick up our daughter in Ethiopia, I have a question. Did you need a transit visa for Eyasu when you landed in Frankfurt? We are getting mixed answers. You can answer me here, or email me at Congratulations on your new addition!

Kat said...

Ok, so much of this brought back memories of the reality in Ethiopia. I ached at the pictures of the Uncle...such a hard and brave decision. Thank you so much for sharing this journey with us. I can't wait to go back!!!

Sydney said...

Oooooh! I had no idea you were writing out all the days, I can't wait to sit down with a cup of coffee and read this during naptime in a few minutes.

Yall have a WONDERFUL trip together- I wish I could see Seth's face see SNOW!

dawn said...

Beautiful words, Emily. I could not help but cry as I read what you wrote and looked into his uncle's face. Such love and longing there. Thanks for sharing this sweet story.

Mark and Heidi said...

Emily, thank you for sharing so much of your story. We are still waiting for our referral, but we are fairly certain that we will be adopting toddlers and it is both comforting and exciting for us to read about your journey. XO and Merry Christmas! Heidi

Deena / TEAM MARQUIS said...

Emily, I so look forward to your posts and am devouring the posts about your trip. You do an awesome job of sharing your experiences - so many of us (who are waiting to have the opportunity to travel) benefit from them! What a beautiful meeting with Eyasu's uncle. What an honor to meet with him. Thanks again for sharing your experiences! Have a wonderful vacation and Merry Christmas!

Holli said...

.....16 pounds......Eyasu and his heart just breaks.....
I am so happy that you were able to meet his Unlce and that His uncle knows the Lord -or at least wants Eyaus to!!!
PRAISE BE TO HIM for your FAMILY!!! What a blessing you are to so many!!! (me being one of them!!)
Have a GREAT TIME IN CO!!! Merry Christmas!!!

Neil, Amy and The Girls said...

I loved reading this post. Your son and our daughter share a vary similiar story...given up by their problems during court...they are even from the same place so I can fully appreciate the two translator experience :o) I just admire these selfless family members that go through so much to ensure the kids end up with a family that can provide for them.

Great pics! Thank you so much for the work you and your husband did while you were in Ethiopia...awesome!

Rebecca said...

Love, love, love it. Love the pictures, the video, your heart.

da momma said...

the story is so beautiful and has only just begun! I just love your family and barely know you! :) Thank you for sharing all the sweet details of this miracle life!

Beth said...

Our son is from the same region as your boy. His story is so very similiar and the photos of Eyasu's uncle actually resemble the ones we have of Adonu's family. Thank you for sharing your story.

missy said...

thanks for sharing this part of eyasu's story with us. happy skiing and family time!

The Funkhouser Family said...

Love reading about all this. It is truly amazing. He is such a cute little man. I love the brown shirt Moody is wearing in one of the pictures. Looks like a cross on their. Can you point me in the direction of wear you got it? Hav a a wonderful trip and a beautiful Christmas together being with the ones you love. Wewill be praying for you guys!

Gayla said...

Again, lovin' your story!!! Thanks for sharing. Hope your fam has a wonderful Christmas!

Robbin Hopkins said...

Thank you. I am so full of tears. To see what you have done is overwhelming but there is more than that. My daughter is from the Sidama region. Her father died while her mother was pregnant, her mother died just after she was born, her father's brother took in her and all the siblings, she was very ill when she came into care. Looking at the picture with Eyasu's uncle and remembering the multiple translations.... it was the ONLY time I was moved to complete breakdown. I promised to raise her as a Christian and it is a promise I am praying for. I love your family. Love your little boys and love your writing.

Thank you

Jess said...

Can't wait to hear what he thinks of snow!

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us! I love to hear all that God is doing with your family and how he is orchestrating your lives around Ethiopia!

Have a Merry Christmas!

Bethany said...

Sweet babe. His early pic brings me to tears!!! At 23months Leul was barely 17lbs. We've come leaps and bounds, but everyday is a work in progress to build that strength and learn to trust foods. Have fun skiing, Merry xmas!!!! Great job recaping your trip!

Katie said...

Emily! Okay I just read through some of your latest posts & realized that you got to meet with Courtney! She's one of my best friends! Right after your family came back from Ethiopia the first time, I told Dr. Moody that y'all should get together with my friend, Courtney, before she traveled to Africa again.....And you got to meet her IN Africa, that's awesome! Aww, isn't she super sweet? I'm loving the pictures and your stories, btw, blessings to you!
-katie thornton

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for some time now. I met your family at Kanakuk family camp a few years ago when I was camp nurse. I started reading because we are adopting and I just found your blog randomly. I was intrigued to read your thoughts on your adoption of Abe. We have a daughter with special needs and my journey at her birth was not as encouraging as yours. It has taken us some time to embrace all that she is. However, God is so faithful and is now using that experience to open our heart to adopting a little boy with spina bifida from China. I certainly couldn't have planned that. He will be a toddler too so it was good to read your report.

Edie Martin

texasjennyj said...

Hi Emily - what a blessing to me to meet you amd Moody in the airport. I just think yall are amazing!

Have a great time in already home and wish i was still there!

-Jenny Johnston

Leah said...

Looks like an amazing experience. :-D

Joy Portis said...

What a wonderful synopsis and testimony! Thanks for journaling your experiences and allowing us to share in them! Praying you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas and enjoy your ime in Colorado with family!

Polly said...

Thank you for chronicling your amazing journey for those of us just starting out. Enjoy your skiing!

Kristi J said...

have a great trip..LOVED seeing every detail of your trip..I can't wait to get back there some day :) miss you all, kj

Yoli said...

What an amazing and beautiful family.

CB said...

I love all of your pictures. Helen screamed "Betti" when she saw her picture. Of course, she loves to see Eyasu!
Merry Christmas!

Lori said...

I just finally read all your trip posts and videos! I cannot wait to talk to you - tell me when it's a good time to skype. I want to see you all!!! And catch up... plus I need you to help me with ideas!

Oatsvall Team said...

what an amazing story sister ... it always takes me a moment to digest a child's story ... your sweet sweet boy and all that he has already endured ... thanks for sharing w/ us and for always speaking truth ...

love ya !!!

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"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from becoming polluted by the world." James 1:27
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