Friday, August 21, 2009

Ethiopia: Day 1 continued


After our trip to Woliso, we were finally back at the Transition House to meet Ellie. This was the moment we had been waiting for all this time. I was a nut!! I was nervous and excited all at once, not sure of how she would respond to us. It was all surreal, to be honest.

We entered the Transition House, where Ellie had been living since early June. We were greeted by several children, excited to see us come in. I kept looking for that sweet little face I've memorized in pictures for the past 8 months. But I couldn't find her.

We walked through different rooms, and then we entered this tiny little dining room with little tiny tables. The staff were serving lunch, and a few kids were already seated and ready to eat. Ellie was sitting there, smaller than I ever had imagined and more beautiful that I could have ever dreamed.

Sue spoke to her to tell her that her Mommy and Daddy were here. She was shy, but she looked up to see us briefly. Then, her attention was back on her lunch (After seeing her eat for the past 2 weeks, I understand that!). We knelt down to talk to her, but she was so shy. It was obvious that she wasn't going to eat with us staring at her either, so we took a tour of the rest of the house to let her finish her lunch.

I'm glad that Jeff was videoing the house because honestly I can't remember any of it. I just wanted to hold my little girl! I couldn't wait to get back downstairs! We went from room to room, meeting other babies that will soon be going home. We also met some workers, but mostly, we were killing time to get to our Ellie.

Once we were back downstairs, we walked back into the dining room, only to find that Ellie wasn't there! One of the nannies pointed outside, and we found her out the door on her potty chair. We waited again while she finished, then washed her hands with the staff. Once she had washed, she came right to me, and I picked her up. She threw those tiny little arms around my neck, and it was all over. I didn't sob; I didn't want to scare her. But so much emotion was welling up in me! It's hard to explain here, and to be honest, I don't want to explain it to everyone. It's too personal. I'll share it all with Ellie one day, but I will tell you that I was just overwhelmed with gratitude to God for allowing me to be a part of this journey to bring her home!

We went inside where the other children were playing. You see, Ellie has never known doing anything without other kids around. She was much more comfortable with her friends around. We had a gift for her, so we gave that to her and read a book together, just trying to give her a chance to get used to us a little.

I have to say that one of my favorite moments of all was seeing Jeff holding Ellie for the first time. I know how much I love my dad, and I have prayed that she will be a daddy's girl through and through! I think she will be, based on what I saw that first day! It didn't take long til Ellie was smiling for all of our pics together and showing her friends her new toys! I love that she shares everything. She has no concept of owning anything, so it was not a big deal to her to let others play with the things we had brought to her. I hope that remains in her as it is so different from what alot of kids are like today.

We weren't there long, really. Just long enough to meet, take some pics with the nannies and other kids, then leave to go back to the Guest House. We did get to thank Tesfanesh, her nanny at the Transition House, for caring so well for Ellie! This woman deserves a medal for her work. I'm so grateful to God for women like her in Ellie's life thus far! It was a whirlwind visit really. Ellie fell asleep in Bryan's arms on the way to our Guest House. How amazing it was to see him with her! What a terrific big brother he is to her!! I'm so proud of him.. this is a real adjustment for him too!!
a little shy at first

Bryan's first time holding Ellie

safe in Daddy's arms

first of many books with Mommy

there's a smile...

Daddys' little girl


Tesfanesh...Ellie's nanny!

some of the Transition House staff


AnD Winn said...

Okay so you don't know me but I feel as though I know you. My husband and I are friends of Geron and Lydia Brown. I've been reading their family blog for a while now and about a month ago I started reading your blog, because they have a link to your page on their's. I have enjoyed reading about your journey to motherhood... again... and about your family. I have been waiting to read these blogs about your little Ellie and praying for your family during the waiting process. So glad you made it home safe with YOUR little girl!

CHRISTY said...

Tears! Happy tears, broken tears, I wanna go back there tears...tears! We're delighted for you guys, and I have to ask, what about the baby? Are you saying that you transported the baby sister? How did you keep from putting her in the luggage- short of the whole felony thing!?!

Kimmie said...

Congratulations! She is absolutely darling, what a precious, beautiful face she has.

I was reading your timeline of!

May God bless you. May you see His hand upon your lives and may His favor rest upon you as you walk life out together.

mama to 7
one homemade and 6 adopted

Bird's Words said...

Yes! we transported her baby sister back to the city to have her medical stuff done to be paper ready for adoption. We were given first choice to adopt, but we do not feel God's call to bring her home. I do know that someone is feeling that call though, and I trust that they will be obedient. In the meantime, I am just praying earnestly fo rher while she waits for her forever family! If more people could be there in person, more people would be opening their hearts and homes to this miracle! No doubt about that! You can't help but love these kids!

Jo Ann said...

Oh, how precious is HIS love for us to allow us to have this sweet little girl in our family and to be raised in that home with her wonderful brother!

Chris and Terri said...

Thanks for sharing your journey! It's amazing and I pray for your transition and bonding! Ellie is so beautiful. And how wonderful to meet Ellie's birth mother. I am praying for a photograph or two of M's first family.