Thursday, September 17, 2009

Letters to Isaac

Dear Isaac,

One year ago today, we brought you home to the United States to begin life as a family of three. Looking back these last two weeks at how far you have come is truly overwhelming. I can still remember walking into the hospital room in Ethiopia on Sept. 7, 2008 and seeing this tiny baby, hooked up to all kinds of tubes, laying in an adult sized hospital bed. You looked so frail and helpless. I just wanted to scoop you up right then and tell you that everything will be ok now because mommy is here. As the doctors and nurses kept reassuring us that you were looking good and everything would be alright, your daddy and I were scared out of our minds. I don't think we have ever prayed so hard in our lives for God to protect you and give you strength to get better. Our prayers were answered on Sept. 12, 2008, we expected to see the same feeding tubes, oxygen tubes, IV's, etc. when we walked into your room, instead you were laying there completely free! Breathing on your own, drinking only .5-1 oz. of formula at a time but eating on your own, and all IV's were out. You still looked so frail to us, but we were told we could take you back to the Addis Guest House with us. Your daddy and I were terrified! I think we slept a total of 7 minutes that night because we kept checking to see if you were still breathing. Four days later, we left Ethiopia to travel 24+ hours home. We couldn't wait to introduce you to Memaw, Boppa, Paw Paw, and Grandma along with your aunts, uncles, and cousins. You have and will always be our little miracle. Daddy and I are so lucky to call you our son and feel so blessed to have you in our lives.


Dear Son,

The day we decided to adopt and start a family, I never imagined us traveling to Ethiopia and meeting you, laying in a hospital bed only days removed from almost losing your battle with pneumonia and a bacterial infection. The mere thought of you not being a part of this family makes me start to tear up and there is not a day that goes by that I don't thank God for the miracle that you are. You are the happiest, smiliest, most handsome boy that I have ever met. Just being around you brightens up my most miserable days. I can't believe that it has been one year since you landed in St. Louis and rode for the first time in a car seat (which you absolutely HATED for the first two weeks) to our home in Nixa. Your grandparents couldn't believe how tiny you were at 6 pounds, 20 inches and 4 months old. And now look at you. 20+ pounds, 30 inches, a full head of hair and a mouth full of teeth. Walking and almost running all over the place, babbling up a storm, and laughing and playing with your sister just as if you were always meant to be here. Most people said that you were so lucky to have survived and to be the newest member of our family. But it is mommy and daddy that are the lucky ones.

We love you! Daddy

September 2008

September 2009

*posted a day is busy!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Melkam Addis Amet

Today is New Year's Day in Addis Ababa. Here is just a little information about this holiday in Ethiopia. (I am lifting this from another blog I follow, if you click on the Family Without Borders blog you can follow Kristine's family and their journey to their 2 precious is a really good blog, one of my favs!)

Enkutatash or Ethiopian New Year is celebrated on September 11th according to the Western or Gregorian calendar. Ethiopia still follows the Orthodox Julian calendar which consists of 12 months of 30 days and a 13th month, Pagume, of five or six days, depending on whether or not it is a leap year. The Ethiopian calendar is seven years and eight months behind the Gregorian calendar, so September 2009 is Meskerem 2002 in Ethiopia.

Last year Jason and I were in Ethiopia picking up Isaac during this time. We actually got to celebrate the New Year at the orphanage on a day that we were visiting Tenaye. They had a special celebration for the kids. There was music and dancing and a festive atmosphere. All of the nannies were wearing beautiful traditional Ethiopian dresses and the cook had fixed a special bread, popcorn, and lots of traditional Ethiopian dishes. There was also a coffee ceremony. Something we noticed on this day was that the streets of Ethiopia which are normally bumper to bumper traffic and crowded with people were virtually bare. When we visited Isaac in the hospital the morning of New Years we were basically the only ones there. On previous days the waiting areas were full of people waiting to be seen by doctors or visiting patients. Also, the hundreds of goats and sheep that we had witnessed being herded through the streets earlier in the week were no longer there, just the hides. Sad, but a fact of life and at least the people got to eat a special meal. We will post much more next week on the official one year anniversary of Isaac becoming a member of the family. It is so hard to believe that it has been a year! It went so fast and he has changed so much!