...Our Family...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas in Ethiopia

Today was Christmas and we spent it first by going to worship at the International Evangelical Church in Addis. We sat in on a French service where the singing was absolutely amazing. Though we couldn't understand the words, we were able to sing several praise songs because we knew the melody.

I was taken over by the uninhibited love and adoration that Africans exhibit when they worship. Their love for God was palpable and their thankfulness for Jesus was intoxicating. I could have stayed with them and sang all day!

We then went to the Christmas service and worshiped with people from around the world. We heard at least 5 languages being spoken in the church, which as so awesome! We were both emotional when singing "Emmanuel" thinking of the perfect child who came to earth to bear the sins of the world. It is fitting that we are here, celebrating Emmanuel while at the same time bringing a new life into our family, a life that would be lost without the mercy and grace of Jesus. Such a heart-opening experience!

We then went to lunch at Metro Pizza, which we have eaten at before and the pizza is just as good! We met up with a few families who returned from Harra*, the region that Haddy is from in Northern Ethiopia. They had been to her orphanage and had asked the staff for photos of Haddy Cake. They were told that Haddy was too small and sick and they didn't want to take photos of her. This answers a lot for us regarding her health before coming into the care of our agency.

Our hearts break thinking of the hunger and struggle she must have experienced, yet we are amazed at her fighting spirit! A premie baby, undernourished, underdeveloped, abandoned-- yet she remains strong and a total delight to all who meet her. She, like our Devon and Micah, is a living miracle and testimony of God's grace and redemption on earth.

We then went to be with our girl at the Transitional Home. She was a bit distant at first, unresponsive, which made us very worried for her. Then, we took the hat off that we had brought for her and she perked right up. Mommy was sad about the hat, but at least she doesn't mind bows!

We were able to hook her up to our monitoring equipment (Chad is THE man and was able to procure some equipment from work) and watch her vital signs. Her heart rate was very fast at first, which made us very uneasy. Then, after she was fed, her heart rate normalized. Her pulse ox. was at 100%, which is absolute perfection! She cried a bit, which made us all melt as she has the sweetest little pouty cry we've ever heard. We weighed her and found that she has gained 1 pound in 2 weeks! We are hopeful that she will continue to gain weight in their care.

We are so thankful for the nursing staff at the TH. They dearly love her and have kept very good documentation on her life and health with them. They work so hard to care for the babies as best they can while providing love and support. We are forever grateful.

Today we go to court to give our consent to bring Haddy into our family. I would be lying if I said I wasn't on the verge of tears at all times. I've been up since 4:30 am praying and worrying (which defeats the praying, I know) over this day. Passing today would give us the BEST scenario to get her home within a few weeks. We are still unsure of when I (Kim) will be coming home. This is starting to take its tole on me, as is the jet lag. Please pray for a favorable court date and sound sleep for Kim!

We will keep you updated with the court results as soon as we have them! For now, enjoy a few photos from our journey.

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