Saturday, September 11, 2010

Melkam Addis Amet

Melkam Addis Amet, this means Happy New Year. Today is Enkutatash, the Ethiopian new year. To celebrate today I attempted to make a big Ethiopian lunch. It was wonderful as the house filled with smells that reminded us of being in Africa. The spices, onions and sauces all smelled wonderful cooking in our kitchen, the house still smells like it 4 hours later! To my knowledge this is Daniels first time having traditional Ethiopian food since he was so little when we got him. For lunch we had, Injera (which I bought online and would totally recommend, it was excellent) Doro Wat (an Ethiopian Chicken Stew, quite spicy) and Mesir Wat (a lentil stew). Both of our parents came down to be guinea pigs for us as this was our first time making traditional food. Reviews were great and we found out Daniel loves Injera and he liked the lentils. Here are some pictures of the food preparation and Daniel taking his first bites.

After lunch we all watched our video of our trip to Ethiopia and to meet our Daniel. What a nice day! Here is to many many more Enkutatash's to come!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Questions without answers

Yesterday we received our 3 month post placement report to review. Yes we have been home almost 4 months now! Another adoptive parent also posted a great post about how adoption is not all happiness and kisses. Adoption is here because someone had to give up a child. With adoption comes heartache, trauma, confusion and tears. A mother has to watch someone take her kid away, hand them to a police officer and walk away or lay the baby on the street and hide hoping someone will pick the baby up. This is the side of adoption that I have not spent much time posting about. Our posts so far have been about our journey, our struggles and our needs. When I read the other families post I started thinking. What about her journey? What about Daniel's moms journey? Did she hide as he was carried into the orphanage just to see him one more time? Did she get to see that precious smile that melts your heart? Did she pray for him to find a loving family that would raise him to know God? Did she know God? Was she scared? The questions keep coming over and over and I can't stop them. I don't know if I want to stop them. My heart aches for the woman that gave me the most precious gift we could have ever been given. We don't know anything about her or her circumstances. Which makes the questions even harder since we don't and will most likely never have answers. You see most people focus on the adoptive family, their joy, their happiness. Very rarely does anyone outside the adoption stop to think about the mother that gave the child life. My heart hurts that we don't know these answers and someday Daniel will ask about her. When he does what will we say? These questions are the questions I am struggling with now as we are home and have found our new normal. Every morning I get to wake up and see those precious brown eyes, white smile and chocolate face smiling back at me from his crib. We get to hear those sweet sounding Hi mama or Hi daddy. We get to receive those tender kisses. We get to wipe away the tears and wrap our arms around him in love. We get to tell him every day "I love you my son". Does she think about the things that she will miss? The biggest question on my heart right now is will we see her again someday? Did she know the Lord and did she invite Him into her heart? The questions just keep coming.

People still say "He doesn't know how lucky he is". To me he is not the lucky one. We are because his mommy loved him so much that she gave him to us. We are the lucky ones because we get to call him our son, we are the lucky ones because we get to love him! I thank God everyday for this joy in our lives. I thank God everyday for the woman who gave Daniel life. I thank God that I get to look into this face whenever I want:

“His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave Him great pleasure”
-Ephesians 1:5

Friday, September 3, 2010

Not a baby anymore

Tonight I realized that my baby (who I have only had for 4 months) is no longer a baby. He is turning into quite the independent toddler. He wants to do things for himself now and wants little help from mommy or daddy. Tonight at dinner since daddy wasn't going to be home Daniel got a special treat, a happy meal from McDonald's. He loves the chicken nuggets there. When we got home, he did not want to sit in the high chair. This has been slowly coming on since he can now pull himself up onto one of our kitchen chairs and sit down at the table. He is so proud of himself when he does this. So I got out the booster seat and strapped it on the chair. He didn't like the fact that I also buckled him into the booster seat since he is quite the wiggle worm, especially when he is done eating! Then I put the chicken nuggets and his favorite, Hot Mustard dip in front of him. I grabbed a chicken nugget to dip a little for him and he screamed and took it from my hand. That was all it took, he dipped his own nuggets, quite well I might add, and ate his dinner all by himself. I know it is good that he is thriving so well and wanting to be independent but can't he need mommy's help just a little bit for just a little bit longer? As sad as I was that he didn't need my help, I loved watching him take this step to being a big boy. As an adoptive mother, I love watching how well he is doing with adjusting and learning new things. I am so grateful and thankful that he is comfortable and knows that we are his Forever Family so he is able to continue to mold into my very special toddler (I will still miss him being my baby). Plus my very best friend Laura told me, "He still needs you, he needs you to clean him up after". This is so true since there was mustard completely across his face! Here is my very big boy, sitting all by himself eating:

This picture makes me smile. I still thank God everyday that I get to be Daniels mom. I think I will for the rest of his life!