Thursday, December 20, 2012

1 year

We are so very quickly approaching the one year anniversary of welcoming Hope Bezualem into our family. Is that possible?? I have been thinking a lot lately of what was going on last year at this time. At this point we still didn't know when we would be going back to Ethiopia, and thinking it would be well into the next year. And then, on December 16 we got the e-mail of all e-mails, CLEARANCE. I remember it SO clearly, I had woken up early to work out and checked my e-mail as I had done every morning. When I saw it I could not believe it, re-read it over and over, sure that there was some mistake, and finally ran upstairs to wake up Aaron. He stumbled down and confirmed that is sure looked like we could finally go back to get our girl. That whole day was such a wonderful blur, I felt like I was floating on joy and excitement. And then the next few days were such a flurry of plane tickets, guest house reservations, e-mails, phone calls, trips to the store, and trying to finish Christmas prep. I remember telling my mom I was feeling sick to my stomach all the time and hoped I wasn't getting sick. She wisely suggested it was stress, which it was! I could hardly eat anything, and my mind was racing 24/7.

We celebrated Christmas with our boys the 22nd, and that night Micah threw up several times. Our flight was the next afternoon, and I didn't know if we should leave him. He was so sick, and I was just imagining the other two getting it, and passing it on to our parents who would be taking care of them while we were gone. After praying about it, checking into changing plane tickets, and talking to both sets of parents, we decided to go with their encouragement and blessing. And by the time we left, he was fine, and no one else got sick!

Our time in Ethiopia was hard. That's the part that is hard to think about, how scared Hope was, how helpless I felt, and the emotional crash when we finally got back home. But God was so faithful, so good, so patient, in the midst of all of that. It has been a year full of joy, confusion, thankfulness, fear, discouragement, growth, and hope. That is where I think I have landed, hope. Adoption is hard, every part of it. But there is so much hope, because we are not in it alone and never will be. He has walked with us every step, and will continue to, and He is the one who makes all things new and beautiful. Sometimes His definition of beautiful looks a bit different than ours, but I am so incredible thankful that I can trust Him completely. I think it was maybe the hardest year I have had, but at the same time one of the best, funny how that works. I needed Him this year, sometimes minute to minute for days and days, and HE IS FAITHFUL. Not once did I pray for help and He did not respond. I am so unworthy of that love, so unworthy of His goodness, and yet He continues to give it freely and abundantly.

Hope has grown so much over this year in every way, really all of us have, but it especially fun to see how far she has come. She is a little ball of motion, who loves people, activities, Larry Boy, and music. One of my favorite things is when we go to her class at church and she starts greeting the kids in her class by name. And her giggle, holy cow, cutest thing ever! When she giggles, we all just stop and listen because it is just so sweet. She follows and mostly keeps up with her brothers as best she can. She knows her colors, and can count to ten, and recognizes the first letter in her and her brothers names. She is definitely a mama's girl, but has grown a lot in her love for her dad too. And she and Isaac are quite the pair! I was most worried about their relationship, Isaac had the hardest time adjusting of the boys, and there just were not many peaceful moments during our day in the beginning with the two of them. I wouldn't necessarily say they are the best of friends now, but they are definitely buddies. :)

                                                       At the airport, December 31st, 2011

                                                          Family pictures, September 2012

So thankful for our girl, and what Christ has taught and shown us about His love through her.