Thursday, August 8, 2013

Photo dump

As we've been home from our awesome trip for 2 weeks now, I figure I should update the blog.  Get ready for a lot of pictures and a few words.  Maybe the words will come later but for now, here is a small glimpse of our trip meeting our little bird Wren Hidase Ann.  She's about 18 months and just a punkin.
 This is the first picture taken after we met her.  Lovely, I know.  It was so, just...right, meeting her.  My first thought was, "Yep, that's the right child".  It wasn't a super high or super low feeling, it was just normal.  Which was perfect for me.  I had prayed God would help me feel whatever He wanted me to feel and I believe He did.  We bonded right away and she preferred me to everyone else the whole trip.  Filled my mama heart.
 Pete feeding his daughter a bottle.
 Love that profile.  Yummy.

If you bring toys to your daughter in a 3rd world country, don't bring bowl toys.  Very confusing.
 Sweet giggles
 One of the views from our room at our guest house.  It was a lovely home and my husband quickly charmed the staff and we look forward to seeing them again when we travel back to pick up Miss Wren!  When will that be?  Good question.  We're hoping for sometime in September but as we know in the adoption world, nothing is a guarantee. 
 Pete made some friends across the street through the universal language of soccer.
 She had us convinced she couldn't walk until a specific toy across the room caught her attention.  Not only can she walk, she can run.  She's pretty wobbly but she gets the job done.

 We traveled 280 kilometers south of Addis to Awassa where Hidase/Wren was born and lived until 4 days before we go to Addis.  After we cleared the congestion and traffic of Addis, we saw Africa as I had always imagined.  This picture makes me think of the Lion King.  Cliche, I know. 
 Just a random monkey on the side of the road. 
 Awassa is located on Lake Awassa and is a smaller, higher end city.  Although the lake is lined with resorts, there are still 12 orphanages in the city of roughly 100,000 people.
 Just a random monkey trying to steal some fries.  There was a guy walking around with a sling shot shooing them away.
 We visited the orphanage Wren spent the majority of her life in.  To explain it, here is an email I wrote right after:  "I'm not sure what I was expecting but since the foster home here in Addis is so well stocked, in my ignorance, I thought that was what every orphanage was like. It is not the case. We walked into a room with about 15 babies sitting on a mat on the floor. A few cried and a few smiled when they saw us. It took me a bit to realize that none of them were wearing diapers. Just shirts wrapped around as a diaper. And not very tightly. One baby crawled over to me as he dragged his soiled shirt/diaper. There were about 2 workers for the 15 babies. As our driver explained that we were Hidasse's parents, the workers were thrilled and spoke of how she was a quiet girl just as we have seen. Other than the babies there was a girl about 12? And a boy maybe 7. It was more to process than I can write or explain. We have seen Wren try to lay back as we are feeding her a bottle and now we know why. The orphanage is just as I've been told. Babies in cribs with bottles and that's how they fall asleep. I know it could be worse but I am so sad that she spent nearly a year of her life here. When we have been with her at the foster home she has wanted to go outside a lot. We now know it is because she has never been outside. At the orphanage they don't take the babies outside. We saw her crib and from the number of children compared to the number of beds, it is clear they all share. As ugly as this sounds, I was ready to leave quickly. Watching the little boy watch us drive away was more than I could take. I kept imagining Kale standing there, wanting someone to love him.

As I thought about how it all made God feel I was comforted that He was sad and sorry that this happened to our precious girl. I am thankful she is out and as I think about the enormous responsibility of raising this broken girl, I am comforted by what my friend Stephanie told me before I left. All I have to do right now is love and hug and kiss this baby girl and tuck her in at night.  That doesn't scare me. And I am reminded it isn't my job to heal her or make her whole. Jesus is here for that and I get to witness it.

So as I get ready to go visit her this afternoon I am not anxious or worried as I was this morning.  I get to love her where she's at and trust God to meet us all there."

 Showing some of the staff pictures of Hidase/Wren.

 Our driver Eshetu making Peter laugh.  This was a common occurrence and he is someone we are so excited to see when we travel back. 
 Just a monkey in a park.  We also saw a hippo's eyes come out of the lake while we were at the lake.  I have just been telling people we have seen a hippo and leave out the part it was just his eyes.
 These kids loved having their pictures taken.

 Wren was hesitant to open up to Peter but she knew we wanted her to go to him.  This was a rare occurrence and she made it into a game.  She would get close to him and turn around and walk away.  Tricky little girl.
Gotcha!  Can't wait to go back and scoop this girl up!  


lanerdoo said...

Oh goodness. The immense flood of emotion that hit me when I imagined this scene "Watching the little boy watch us drive away was more than I could take. I kept imagining Kale standing there, wanting someone to love him."
Absolutely heart wrenching. Thank you for sharing... frankly.

You know when you experience certain things in pregnancy and wonder, "why didn't anyone warn me about this"?!
I imagine you experienced many moments like that, but to share your thoughts and feelings earnestly can be such a help to others.

I am thrilled for your family and especially your beautiful Wren :)

kelsey said...

Wow. Thank you for sharing. If just your words could bring tears to my eyes with a gut wrenching feeling, I can't imagine being there. This is so inspiring, Naomi. thank you again for sharing. Can't wait for Wren to be with you!

Justin and Racquel said...

Thanks for sharing all of these! She is a beautiful girl ~I'll be praying for you all as you wait to bring her home and for the transition for all of you!

Jessica said...

I'm so happy for you all. What a precious girl!! My sister in law and her family just adopted a little boy from Kenya. It's incredible to see. Caleb and I are planning on started the process in January and I'm feeling so many emotions already. Reading your story is encouraging. We have no money to do this and we have no idea where we want to adopt from but I know God will lead and provide. Thanks for sharing all that He's done in your family. Jessica