We are home. We arrived home last Sunday night really, really late. It is so good to be home. Oh so good. I decided I would start these updates day by day so..... Sunday Januray 15th at 10:00 am we boarded our first flight to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where we were, once and for all, picking up our sweet, sweet girl.
After about 23 hrs of a quite eventful travel we were finally in the country that is so close to my heart. We had prayed for this moment for so long. I can't even begin to tell you how many tears I have cried or how many pleas I have plead for this sweet moment. We got into Addis late Monday night so we were going to pick Emme up the next morning. Completely surreal. I could hardly sleep that night. Tuesday morning January 17th, Phillip woke feeling pretty bad. He had felt bad on the flight over and randomly broke out in this crazy itchy rash all over his body on the flight. We drugged him up with some Benadryl we bought in London and slathered him up with some anti-itch cream. It seemed to ease the discomfort for awhile but the poor guy had to fly all those hours with these crazy hive things. He is a trooper. The enemy is such a turd. He will try to rob your joy any way he can. Well Tuesday morning Phillip woke up in Addis with a crazy sore throat. *Note I had strep throat just the week before* So we had our driver call up one of his American friends that lives there in Addis (It just so happened to be Sumer Yates the founder of P61 ... Oh my stars) to see what hospital she recommended. Yes. You read that right. We were on the hunt for a good hospital for my husband. For those of you who know Phillip you know how uncomfortable and nerve racking this was for him and how hilarious is was for me. We ended up going to the Korean hospital before we went to pick up Emme. It was quit the experience. There you can buy Fast Passes to be seen first, before everyone else who is waiting. A Fast Pass cost 120birr which is hardly anything at all. Phillip offered the lady double to see right then. He was and I think the whole visit including the meds that the doctor prescribed ended up costing us like $25-30. INSANE!!
After our exciting hospital visit we were finally on our way to pick up our sweet Emme. On the car ride over, I was praying and just thanking God for this sweet moment and thanking him for his faithfulness during this whole process. Suddenly in the midst of thanking him he showed me that though this is a really exciting moment for us it is a terrifying moment for her. We are finally getting to pick up our sweet little that we have been long waiting for. But for her, it is more like "these
white crazy people who I barely know are coming and taking me from everything I have known for the last year." How terrifying for a 4 yr old. Though this home that she is in doesn't meet "my" standards for my children, it is good to her and it is her home. It is all she knows. It is where she is loved and where she is taken care of. It is where she eats and where she sleeps. It is where the nannies are her mothers and all the kids are her siblings. It is where her memories are. And we are taking her from it. Taking her from all that is safe and familiar to her. It is her home. Though it was temporary. She is to young to fully grasp that this is good. That this new life she has is better. I am thankful that God showed me this perspective on the way over there. I then had a different heart, a different compassion, and more empathy for her reactions when we showed up.
When we pulled through the gate I saw her immediately. She was standing there in her little black leggings and her turquoise cardigan I had left with her last time we were there. Her hair was poofed with a simple blue headband. It was a sight I will never forget. She saw me in the car and gave me a half smile and little wave. You could see and feel her uncertainty. My heart ached for her to know that this was good. I ran to her and scooped her up. I didn't care if she was afraid. God had brought us to the end and I needed to squeeze my little promise fulfilled.
We spent some time walking around her house where she has lived for the last year. The nannies there were explaining to her that she was leaving and that she was going to America, to her new home. As the many explained this, Emme's eyes filled with tears and she began to cry. It was hard. All I could do was pray that the Lord would intervene and that she would feel some peace. For some, this moment is magical and amazing, for us... it was hard and sad. But thats ok. I understood. My sweet girl was broken. Its ok though because she soon realized how crazy loved she is. And I plan on loving the snot out her everyday of her precious little life.
*Warning these pictures break my heart. We have more but they are just way, way to sad to share. These will have to do for now.*
Once we finally left the house things got better. While in the car she reached over and touched my hand. My heart melt and I cried. God was there. I could feel him. Things between her and Phillip were a little rough that first day. Like the trip before she was really hot and cold. She loved him one moment and loathed him the next. Like the last rip we were focusing on Connecting and not Correcting. That is so hard when you want to love on a child who is just hateful in return. At dinner that night Emme and Phillip had there first really good moment. She...all on her own reached over and touched his arm which lead to her climbing up in his lap. It was so sweet and Phillip was in Heaven.
Heres a little clip of her feeling and diving into her African roots. She loved the entertainment and was dancing along with them. She was completely worn out by the time we left.
*Turn off my music so that you can hear it better*