I didn't get to know Ashenafi very well while I was there, but the time I did spend with him was wonderful. Very sweet and quiet. He spent most of our time together on my lap. I wish I knew he was mine while I was there, but that is the way it goes.
But I did spend lots of time with Terefu, and I love her dearly. She is very devout Orthodox, and Marta says she REALLY prays. Such a good fit for our family.
Terefu's last letter told me that Ashenafi likes to play soccer and swimming (which for Ethiopian kids at Layla usually means they like to get in the water, but can't swim at all), and she likes gymnastics (she is really good), basketball and swimming.
The rest is yet to come, and we can't wait to see what passions are just waiting to be discovered. One of my favorite things about adopting older kids is the constancy of "ah-ha" moments when they discover something new that we just take for granted. It is fun to see their innocent delight in our everyday things, and I wish we could find such joy in the everyday too.
Bring them home soon Lord. Layla is a wonderful place, but they need their family.
Wow! First post since April 15th! So much to say the whole time, so much of it couldn't be shared, and I had no desire to write a word. Burned out all around from constant change...but, today I feel like jumping back in, so here goes.
As I said before I have been writing letters to many of the older children since I came home with Meklit. Every few weeks I write a bunch of letters, include self-addressed and stamped return envelopes, and send them with a traveling family. I usually write to about 5 or 6 kids, with the one common letter in each bundle being a letter to my daughter and son. The fruit of this effort is the return letters from many different kids. Days when they come in the mail are the highlight of my weeks. Today was one of those days.
Five letters from 5 different kids, and one of them from my daughter. The letter opens like this (the spelling is hers, and remember that they do not know about us yet - very soon, but not yet):
Hi Habtamu (this is the name she gave me while I was there in March, and I proudly answer to it),
Think for your letter. I am so fine. Ashenafi is good. I tell him Habtamu say "Hi" and he loves you. Ashenafi answer is "oh my dad say this!" I excited for he answer. I say you don't have a family. He say I have a family. I say who is you family? He say Habtamu love me so he is my family.
A bunch of other stuff...and,
Love, Terefu and Ashenafi
He knows...soon they will both officially know, but for now he just knows. A child who hears God speaking truth to his heart.
So, now the cat is out of the bag, and for those of you who don't know, Terefu and Ashenafi are ours. Our dossier is in, and our new home study is done and being sent to AAI. Soon we can sign placement documents and send our gift bags so they will know for sure.
Here they are on my first day at Layla in March. The picture on my previous post is of Ashenafi and I, and the one later on in this post is of Terefu and I. She is 13, and he is 5.
Believe it or not, I just jumped over to see my blog to make sure the picture of Ashenafi is there, and realized what my last post was about.
The post is titled Let Them Know Lord, and ends with this ...So God, here is my prayer. Tell our kids who we are. Give them dreams, and visions, and insights into who we are, and give us the same insight. Give them (and us) eyes to see and ears to hear, so that our first meetings with them are like long awaited reunions. Not times of butterflies and nervousness, of wondering and questioning if we are right for them or they are right for us. Lord, let them KNOW without a doubt, and give them peace because they know.
I really hadn't remembered, and here is this letter from Terefu with the answer to my prayer. Even when we don't remember, He does. He is the faithful one, and He listens, and He answers - even when we don't remember that we asked. Thanks God.
I am a person of destiny and purpose. I’ve been chosen, hand picked by royalty for a job; trained and possessed by the great King to complete what I’ve been called to do. Nothing else matters. - David Hogan