It has been 1 week since we got back from Ethiopia..It is so amazing how quickly you fall in love with the people and the country. You can feel love where ever you go. You know even in the worst environments and worst situation there is..Love..Faith..and such a love for their children and families. We met so many wonderful people there. It will be hard once our adoption is over, we will miss them all! I secretly think the reason many families adopt again is not just because they want to adopt another child but because they miss Ethiopia! Now don't quote me on that:) That is another thing that I know we will struggle with..the NEED!! There are millions of children there that need homes that are aching for a family. I am so thankful for the 2 that we are so blessed to be adopting. Although my heart aches for the ones that are left behind. I think that's why us adoptive parents become such advocates for adoption. We see the need, we experience the blessing. We so want to grab everyone we know and say " Please Help!!!!" We know not everyone is wanting to be an adoptive parent but there are so many ways to help and so many children that need it. We visited 2 orphanages while we were there and it was heartbreaking. After what I saw in Haiti I thought I would be prepared but nothing can ever prepare you for the heartbreak in a child's eyes. Many of them were sick, or skinny. Some had rashes on their skin. Most children were in tattered clothes with shoes 2 sizes too small. Babies were 3 to a crib with no mattresses, no sheets or blankets and most disturbing of all NO DIAPERS!!! All of the children are starving for love, many are reaching to be picked up but you can only hold so many. They all try to hold your hand and get your attention. How do you walk away??? How do you say I cant help??? If your child was dirty, hungry, lonely, scared..what would you do??? I know our children are loved and being taken care of but they are still in an orphanage. They all sleep in 1 room, they eat on the floor, and although they get hugs here and there I'm not there. They don't get held just because, they don't get read a book to sleep..they don't get lots of kisses..they don't get told I love you! For months we looked at pictures and knew they were going to be ours but they were there and we were here. Now that I have held them and seen my heart is aching for them. If I did not have 3 children at home I would be there..They are now legally ours so if I were in Ethiopia they could stay with me. We are now waiting on all papers to be compiled so that the US Embassy can issue their visas. They cant leave Ethiopia without them. Pulling out of the driveway that day was so incredibly difficult. They are young so I do not know how much they understand of this whole process or even realize that they are now our family. I know I got it! Hugging them and kissing them and saying goodbye was awful. I left my heart there with them that day and everyday away from them is so painful. I really pray that as others watch us go through this journey their hearts are and eyes are opened..there are children all over the world..over 147 million orphans!!! If all of us helped in someway think of the lives we could be changing.
Here are just a few of my favorite shots..most were taken when driving through Addis.
The women of Ethiopia are so beautiful
Daddy and Million
Boys all over the city shine shoes to make money to help support their families