Thursday, April 12, 2007

Family Together at Last

The moment we walked through the gate at the little orphanage, Yosef and Mihret were all smiles! It was so good to see them with their shining little faces. They were genuinely happy that we had come. And that made my heart so genuinely happy. In an instant, there we stood. A complete family. God does something amazing in the hearts of people in those moments. He miraculously makes strangers into a family. It only took a few minutes for the four kids to abandon the adults and go off on their own to play and get acquainted. What a blessed sight to a mother! My children playing together! All four of them!

We hadn't known what to expect as far as Yosef and Mihret's willingness or desire to leave the orphanage and come with us. They were legally our children, so we were able to take them. But we also didn't want to push the issue or rush them in their bonding. But that was absolutely a non-issue. They were both so ready to come with us. Even now as I remember, my heart is melting.

I don't know if anything has ever felt as good as walking out of those green gates that had once kept my children from me. Now we walked out of those gates, all six of us, hand-in-hand. It was such a sweet moment as we walked down the street. Mihret seemed like such a big girl to me in those moments as she proudly strutted down the street. Yosef walked with his arm gently around his little brother. So sweet. So peaceful. So complete.

As we walked the 20 minute walk to the restaurant where we were going to eat, I discovered that indeed, there was something that was more of a tourist attraction than four ferinj (white foreigner) in Ethiopia. Evidently, it's much more exciting to see two ferinj parents, two ferinj children, and two Habasha (Ethiopian) children! Honestly, it was a little bit unnerving! People were pointing at us, photographing us! And the streets were busy that night. I counted it a small miracle that we made it to the restaurant without losing anybody!

Oh my goodness- it just felt so good to sit down together and enjoy a meal as a family. It felt so good to pray, first in Ge'ez as the Ethiopian Orthodox do, then holding hands in English. For two years we have prayed that way every day, "Lord, please bring Yosef and Mihret to our family soon" (though for the first 6 months of that wait we didn't even know their names). How amazing to hold hands and pray, "Thank you Lord for bringing Yosef and Mihret to our family"

That night, we tucked four children into their beds and then Avery and I laid down to go to sleep. For two years, our house has felt somehow empty. There has been something very missing. You could truly feel the emptiness of these two children absent from our family. That first night felt so good. The emptiness was gone! That night, I prayed, "Lord, You are so good and so faithful! You have done this! Amasegenallo! Thank you!"

That was a truly good day. It says in the Bible that every good and perfect gift comes from God. This day was a good and perfect gift from a good and perfect Father.


emily said...

Praise God. You have an amazingly beautiful family :-)

Elizabeth F. said...

LOVED the video! It was so good to see Mihret's face the other day! Very surreal... :-)

Anonymous said...

Dear Parent’s


The Committee for the Celebration of the Ethiopian Millennium (CCEM), invites you to come to Washington D.C. to participate in welcoming the Year 2000 of the Ethiopian calendar. A new millennium!

In a few months, Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans will celebrate the dawning of a new millennium. It is equally exciting and humbling to find oneself at this juncture of Ethiopian history. It is exciting because we are part of the unique Ethiopian/human civilization since the time of Lucy/Dinqnesh and are coming up to close another millennium. It is also exciting to know that we are the only nation on earth with our own unique calendar and will have another millennium that is intimately ours. Yet again the coming of the third millennium is humbling. It is humbling because although so much has been accomplished in the millennium to pass, Ethiopians face daunting challenges from the onset in the Third Millennium.

Thus, recognizing that the coming New Year is distinct and needs to be accepted with confidence, a committee is organized to celebrate the Year 2000 E.C. The Committee for the Celebration of the Ethiopian Millennium (CCEM) is a registered non-profit organization and comprised of active community members across the United States. The place will be in Washington D.C. from Saturday September 8 – Wednesday September 12, 2007.

At the moment, the CCEM is putting together the necessary thoughts and organizational frameworks to arrange a five-days long festivity and other important social, historical and cultural reflections of the past, present and future ideals of the Ethiopian Millennium. The CCEM expects 50,000 Ethiopians to participate in the five-days event.

As an adaptive parent(s) of an Ethiopian child(ren), CCEM thought that participating in this once-in-a-thousand-year event with your child(ren) will be historical for your entire family. In addition, if you have the desire and capacity to be part of the millennium celebration effort, you can support CCEM with financial donation or solicitation of sponsors. CCEM has a PayPal system in its website or you can mail your check or money order to:
Ethiopian Millennium
1115 U Street N.W
Washington DC, 20009

For more information visit us at or e-mail us at