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Guess I need to clarify (because of the many private comments I've

I did not intend to sound snippie in my previous post...no one has
made me mad, or anything like that!! However, I have sensed
impatience here and there from different people, and I imagine even
more people will join them as we continue to focus on bonding with
Micah in the months to come...so, guess you could say I was just pro-
actively speaking my mind!

Isn't that the fun of blogging!!??

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Cord of Three Strands

Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Eccl. 4:12

Today, we have been home with Micah Yoseph for one month! I can hardly believe it -- I had to look at a calender to double-check! I am exhausted...my back is terribly sore...but, I am thankful for my weary mind and body that continually remind me how very blessed I am!

Micah seems to be adjusting to us very well! Does he understand that we are his parents? Well, probably not just yet. But he does look to us when he's hungry, tired or has a wet diaper. These are all good indicators that he is seeking us as his care-providers...he has obviously found a significant measure of trust with us. Less and less is he exhibiting what I call a general frustration, which usually surfaces when he's beyond exhausted. I am not sure what he's frustrated about...new surroundings, funny smells, too many white faces...missing his nanny, or the many crying/cooing babies he once shared a room with??? Only he really knows, but whatever the frustration is, it is subsiding.

One of the most surprising things that I've experienced personally (even though I read plenty about it) is my intense desire for mutual bonding & attachment with Micah. I want him to know that I am his mommy; that he is safe with me; that he can look to me with his every need!! I truly did not appreciate the complexity of this process until we got home. It has not been a difficult process at all, but it does require a certain environment: low stimulation & familiar surroundings. Which means we spend alot of time at home, away from friends & family. Just me & Micah; or me, Micah & daddy.

The reality is, Micah was with his birth family for about one month, then he was in an orphanage for at most two months, and then in the transitional home with his nanny for almost five months. So, technically he has been with us the least amount of time during his first year of life.

Is he wondering if we're just another stopping-point on his way to who knows where?

When he is introduced & held by strangers (friends & family), is he wondering, will they be my care-givers next?

So, until he has been with us for at least five months will continue to go solo, so to speak. Some might think we're weird or over-reacting, and I'm perfectly OK with that! Anyone who thinks they can parent an adopted child any better...some thoughts for you: there are plenty of children that need homes...go, adopt your own...then, you can do it your own way!

But, for the most part, we've received unconditional support in Micah's transition. We are thankful beyond words that so many of you are eager to get know Micah and be apart of his life...we want that as well!!! But we also know that what we're doing often looks different from parenting biological children -- and you've given us the freedom to establish ourselves as a family...a cord of three strands...that we pray will not be easily broken in the days & years ahead!


FRIDAY- last day in Ethiopia...arriving HOME!!

On our final day in Ethiopia we visited a coffee factory and did some last-minute shopping -- then headed back to the guest house to pack...and off to the airport at 7pm.
Nearing the end of such an emotional & exhausting week, I had no idea that departing Ethiopia with Micah Yoseph would cause such deep anguish & turmoil within. I was sad to leave Ethiopia so soon -- 7 days is just enough time to get acclimated and feel comfortable. But the real grief came from taking our son from his birth country, his culture, his people...yes, Micah was gaining much, but also losing much. I guess life is always about a trade-off...a sacrifice...pursuing a greater good. Adoption was not originally my idea of what the greater good for Micah is, but I am confident that it was, is and always has been God's original idea...we simply followed His lead! And so I have peace. We will be diligent to teach Micah Yoseph about his Ethiopian identity and celebrate every aspect of his God-given and God-ordained life!

Here we are with the Sapp's, our travel buddies, and Robel, our agency's travel coordinator for us -- but he was really much, much more than that (we LOVE you Robel)...very, very special people.
Stenciling coffee sacks.
These women are picking out the inferior coffee beans prior to export.
I intend to hang this picture in Micah's room...our little produce of Ethiopia!
Micah's cousins...anxiously awaiting his arrival!!
30+ hours later...home!


SHOWERED with love

Last night our Singles Ministry at HSBC threw Micah a surprise shower.

It was a surprise indeed!!

Vince's assistant, Shannon, asked me last week if Micah would be attending Singles Worship -- she said she wanted to know because she/the singles were planning a 'little something' for him. A little something my foot!!!!! Vince, Micah & I were so blessed by all who joined us as we continue to celebrate Micah's home-coming!! Micah received so many wonderful (and much needed) items!!!

Thank You...

Hey! What are you boys doing in here???

Way to go, daddy!!

Tigers, elephants, and war eagles...OH MY!!!

Ah...decisions, decision...no pressure...ha!! :)


Back to normal...ish

Well, I still have more one post recapping our last day in Ethiopia & our return to the states...I promise I'll get to it soon.

I also confess I've been a bloggy-slacker...copping-out by feeding you pics. Soon...I'll share the verbiage of our journey and our recent days home with Micah -- I've just needed to marinate before I surface again!

So many thoughts & emotions...not quite coherent just yet...but, again, soon...

Who needs cartoons, when you've got Fox News?!?!


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Resurrection Rolls

This was a first for me...I have never heard of 'Resurrection Rolls'. Our sweet neighbor, Lenna, brought them to us (well, probably really Micah) to celebrate our Risen Savior! They were super yummy! I look forward to making them many Easters to come!!!


THURSDAY- visiting Micah's orphanage

On Thursday we got to visit the orphanage, Gelgela, that Micah was admitted to when he was only one-month old. Micah is from south of Addis Ababa, but this orphanage has several facilities thru out the country, so he eventually made his way to the capital.

Here we are with the founder/manager of Gelgela. She has quite a story! She began working with orphaned children several years ago, but when her husband passed away this became her life! She remembered Micah, and was a personal friend of his mother's. We were not aware of that before hand, so needless to say, it was a very emotional visit.

Even though Micah had been away from Gelgela since 10/08, all the staff remembered him & his story.

This is the nanny who cared for Micah during his brief stay at Gelgela.

That evening, we got to "welcome" the Whipple's & the Richardson's as soon as they arrived in Ethiopia -- they were united with their children the week after we left.


A Few Firsts!!

I'm still recapping our trip to Ethiopia, but thought I'd give you a peek at a few a Micah's "firsts"!! He's an amazing little boy, and adjusting to life as a Martin very well!!

First introduction to our Basset, Kobi. Micah wasn't afraid at all -- now Kobi, on the other hand, isn't quite sure what to think...

First medicine!! Micah seems to think it's a treat...let's hope he keeps thinking that way!!

First sweet potatoes!! That's right! Good lil' southern boy!!


TUESDAY- Gotcha Day

Before we returned to the transition home to pick-up Micah and deliver donations/care packages, Robel took us to Mt. Entoto for a little more culture & history. Mt. Entoto is covered with eucalyptus trees (transplanted from Australia). Women, called 'fire-wood carriers', trek up and down the mountain with eucalyptus strapped to their back -- they sell the wood for fire word to support their families. I can't remember the elevation of the mountain, but Robel said elite runners use the mountain to train for races, by running up and down...seriously amazing! The wood carrying women also have a textile shop where they weave scarfs/wraps to subsidize their income...of course, we bought a few!!

At the top of the mountain, we toured King Menelik 2's palace/compound. (Above is the view of Addis from the palace) Ethiopians have a special affection for this king because of all the social progress he brought to the country. It is also said the king never wore shoes -- he said if his people didn't have shoes to wear, then he did not deserve to wear them either.
(Man, we could use that perspective here in the states!!)
His palace was not extravagant by any measure -- just another indication that his priority was his people, not his pleasure.

This is Duni, she is AWAA staff who facilitated our adoption for us. She is an amazing woman (wife & mommy, too). I cannot tell you what an inspiration & encouragement she has been to us during this process!! She is Ethiopian and moved to the states when she was 14 -- after working with AWAA for about a year state-side, she moved back to Ethiopia in December to over-see the transition home and court proceedings.

Saying good-bye to the nannies. Micah's nanny is holding him. Ohhh, she loves him so much and was quite grieved to watch him go. We will send her a package with another family in a couple of weeks with a photo album of Micah's transition -- she will be so proud of him!! He's been such a brave little boy!!!

Back at the guest house, our first bath -- in the kitchen sink (Whipples, I promised I cleaned it afterward!!). Boy, did we have a sleepless night ahead of us...

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