Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Psalm 82:3

What if there are children who will suffer somehow because I failed to obey God?
What if my cowardice costs even one child somewhere in the world his or her life?
(excerpt from The Hole in Our Gospel)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Our first few days together, as a family. Pictures are better than words.

Our welcoming party.
How sweet are they?  Well, everyone in this photo is waiting for their future children too.  No joke.  Two families waiting on referrals from Ethiopia and one with a referral already from Haiti :o) 
Our Chinese Princess meets our Grasmatch Ethiopian son. 
This would be the moment Corey (in the hat) and Habtamu "meet" for the first time.  Starring contest??  
Hum...wonder what's going though his mind right about now? 
Thank you for making him feel welcome (and by welcome, I'm sure I mean a little shell shocked :o)

We went to the library for the first time with Habtamu.  He loved it.  We told him he could choose 2 movies for the week and he came back with 5.  I said "two is will be busy this week".  He put one back, and asked how many Chelsea could have this week.  I said "She can have two movies, too."  He quickly looked at the four in his hand, pointed to the first two movies and said "Habtamu's, Habtamu's" and then pointed to the other two movies in his hand and said "Chelsea's, Chelsea's".  HA!  Told you he caught on quick!  We all had a good laugh about that one (and he did finally choose only 2 movies).

Well, I guess the "boys will be boys" thing is starting at home.

He loves movies.  Not necessarily watching them, but he loves to look at the box, read the back and talk to our resident movie expert about whether or not he likes them.  He and Corey seemingly have a few things in common, wouldn't ya say?

He learned to ride a bike in 10 minutes and within two hours, he was off and rode like he's been riding forever.  He was not putting that bike away until he figured it out either. 

And he's off.....

Our 5 kiddo's.  Wow...did I just write that I have 5 kiddo's?

Before we came home, we spent a couple of days in DC.  Yea, we were a little tired, but we had the sweetest hosts!  They made it feel like we were at a bed and breakfast, catered to our every whim, had 4 fun kids to hang out with and we had fun just being there.  Thanks Owens family!  We would love to do that again sometime :o)  By the way...that IS the White House behind us.

The 5 of us...and the 6 of them couldn't fit into one vehicle, so we split them up according to gender.  That's the only way to make it fair, right?    

Hey Emily Anderson....the girl in the green says to tell you "HI!"

And this would be Habtamu on his first airplane ride (obviously I'm not blogging in order of events here).  He traveled great and slept only 2 hours from Addis to DC (sort of like the rest of us) - then stayed awake all day long when we arrived in D.C.

Our fun friends :o) who live in a fun city!

Yea, we walked a little.  Yea, we were tired.  But it was so worth it!

This would be at the WWII Memorial.  It's breathtaking.

Happy Anniversary, sweetie!  This will be an anniversary I'll never forget :o)

Today we went to a fun center for bouncing and swimming.  Habtamu loved it (as did the rest of the kiddo's). 

Ahhh...much cooler now.

First time down a water slide (well, we're pretty sure it's his first time).

Is he waving?  Yea, I think he is.  And Jared apparently won the race down.

Hold your we go!

Wow...that was fast!

Gotta love dad's face on this one. 

Tired and worn out...NOT!

Parents of 5 far so good!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Yesterday's Adventures

Yesterday was a full day and lots of "hurry up and wait".  As a result, we came back to the guest house after two kids fell asleep in the van and put in a movie until our eyes couldn't stay open any longer. post last night (so sorry!).

We went to Korah (that's where all the sheets we brought with us went) and visited for a short time.  Kyle became a chin-up bar for the kids until his arms gave way.  Chelsea and Jared made some new friends and Habtamu was the only one who understood what some of the kids were asking.  I know for a fact that my kids have never seen poverty like this before.  Jared told me later in the day that he wonders why he was lucky and got to be born in the U.S.  Good question!  That's one I ask myself all the time too.  Chelsea was cute and I don't think she realized she was actually "visiting orphans" until I told her that some of the kids we met today may not have a mom or a dad any more.  She thought it was so sad that kids who were that little and that sweet didn't have a parent.  One little girl (the one in the very dirty red dress) didn't let go of her hand the entire time we were there.  Chels even went and sat in a ditch with the kids who led her to a "seat".  She said some girls were all talking and she thought they asked her a question, but she didn't know for sure.  She then told me, "So I just shook my head "no" and then they all started laughing at me.  I wonder what the question was?" 

This would be the trash dump these children and their families rely on for basic necessities. 

And this would be the hotel that has the best trash.  And after we visited Korah, we actually took the kids swimming at the Sheraton.  It felt sureal to go from "rags to riches", literally, and Kyle and I tried to not feel too guilty about it. 


It may not be Chili's but we got some great advice on where to go for dinner.  Island Breeze.  It has American dishes that are cooked as close to American-like as possible.  Jared loved his double cheese something-or-other.  We even had chips and salsa...and apparently Habtamu loves spicey.  Corey, I think you're going to have to share your favorite salsa with your new brother :o)

We went out for breakfast this morning (Saturday) and Habtamu ordered a fajita.  I guess that's not unusual???  Miranda...I think you will have some competition for who can eat the most :o)

The other two kids had hot chocolate with their breakfast (minus the chocolate, according to Jared), and it was very pretty on the top. 

Kyle and I had latte's and look at the milk!  We decided it was our anniversary gift to one another since tomorrow we'll be celebrating it on an airplane. 

Happy 17 years together :o) tomorrow!

We're going to pack up this afternoon after we go to a movie.  Yes, you read that right.  There is a movie theater in the "mall" and we're going to see MIB3.  It's in English - or so they say!

 Here is Kaldi's, which is the Ethiopian Starbucks.

And as Jared and Kyle came home from one last trip to the bank to exchange money (again), a salamander fell from the sky.  Literally.  Guess it scared them...and no, it didn't die.  I hear it was stunned, but it survived the fall from wherever! 

This is the last post until we get to D.C.  When we landed in Africa everyone clapped on the plane and Jared thought that was interesting.  He told me today that when we land in DC, he'll be the one clapping the loudest. 

All the kids continue to be doing great, and only minor tummy aches come from time to time, but they go away within a few hours.  We are thanking God for that!

See you all in America in a day or two-ish!