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.