Friday, October 5, 2012

The embassy trip and home again - Part 2!

I left off the last post as we landed in Washington DC... So to continue... We had 2 more flights to go before we made it to Florida... The last flight was amazing. I have never appreciated an airline (US Airways) so much before.  Our seats were all separated, so when we got on the plane, Michael explained that we were all separated, and that we had been travelling for over 24 hours, we are bringing home two boys from Ethiopia who are new at flying, and would really love to sit together if possible.  They totally accomodated us and helped us throughout the flight. One of the attendants stopped halfway through the flight to tell us thank you for what we did and asked us what made us adopt. It's funny when people ask that because my first answer is always "Well... God!" It's a great way to start off our amazing testimony! He then explained that he was adopted and so he just loved what we did. Before the plane landed, they gave us a large water bottle to take with us because they knew that we still had quite a drive and thought it'd be helpful in case we needed to make a bottle for Eyob. Then, as we were landing, they announced on the intercom that they had a special family travelling, then announced our names and told a bit of our story and asked if everyone could please remain seating when we land so that we could be the first ones off. It was definitely NOT needed, but so appreciated. It was such a great ending to our long travel!

As we got off the plane, we made a quick stop to the bathroom for a diaper change and then rode the train to the main terminal, not having a clue how many people would be there! As we walked out, we were greeted with around 40+ people, tons of signs and balloons, and loud cheering. It was amazing! I was SO excited for Ilana and Aydan to meet their brothers and for everyone else to meet them, too. Poor Eyob was tired and way overwhelmed and wasn't sure of all the people, but Mikiyas ate up all the attention! Thankfully we had an amazing photographer from Tampa donate her time who got a ton of amazing photos- thank you again, Melissa from Contemporary Captures Photography . She not only got great photos, but truly captured some amazing memories! Thank you to each and every person (and a special thank you to my momma who flew all the way down, just to be a part of it) who came all the way to the airport to not only support us but to welcome home our boys. You have NO idea how much it means to Michael and I and how thankful we are for each and every one of you and grateful that you were a part of that special moment! The ride home was interesting... Mikiyas and Eyob had NEVER been in a car seat before and were not happy about the restriction. Eventually everyone calmed down and fell asleep, and then I became the emotional one and cried all the way home. Partly from being exhausted, partly from being so overwhelmed (in a good way), partly scared that I was finally becoming a mom of 4 (what if I couldn't do it?!), and lots of other emotions all in one. The biggest was that I was SO happy and SO thankful about our amazing homecoming, but so disappointed that one of our absolute biggest supporters - one of whom we had told first 2 years ago when we had decided to adopt - One that had loved these boys before they even knew of them and anytime we talked about the adoption, got tears in his eyes - my daddy... He wasn't there... Never would I have imagined that he would never get to meet the boys, much less even know their names... When we started the journey, I pictured him being one of the first to hug and kiss my child... But alas, he wasn't... The blessing, though. He had the best seat in the "house" to view it all... I was just really missing my Daddy at that moment...

After a 2 hour journey, we made it home. It was dark, but we were greeted with balloons outside the house, and a huge "Welcome Home" sign created by our amazingly talented niece Kaelyn. We carried all the kids inside where Mikiyas just walked silently from room to room checking everything out. He was amazed about everything and had to gently touch just about everything. He couldn't believe he had his OWN bed, but was more comfortable sleeping with Aydan that first night. Eventually everyone crashed in their beds (Eyob in the pack'n'play in our room) and we all slept until about 7am. We woke up with 4 wide awake kids in our room. It seemed like I was dreaming. Still couldn't believe ALL my kids were together...

As the kids ate breakfast and I began putting stuff away, I found sweet notes and Bible verses put up throughout the kids' rooms and a fridge and freezer full of food. I still don't know to this day just who all gave us food or wrote the notes, but I just want to say thank you to whoever did. It meant so much to us and the food helped us out SO much for a few weeks! You have NO idea how helpful premade meals are at times like these! So thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone!!

So it's been 5 weeks since we've been home with our boys... I can hardly believe it! Sometimes it's hard to believe it's already been 5 weeks, other times, it seems like they've always been here... Watching all of their firsts, especially Mikiyas can be SO entertaining. His first escalator ride at the airport was so very humorous. He kinda did the splits and just giggled the whole way. By the time we made it to Tampa, he was an escalator and moving sidewalk pro! He was amazed by the ice dispenser, a bathtub, putting milk in cereal (another outrageous giggle), the abundance of toys (which in our house is NOT much compared to the average American household), and the fact that he had a whole closet full of clothes. Just for him. Never have I seen a little boy SO excited to have clothes... Oh, and the microwave? He was amazed and said "Mommy, flashlight?" thinking that it was one giant flashlight because of the light in the microwave.

Mikiyas came home knowing very little English and now after five weeks his English has grown astoundingly. And if he doesn't know what something is in English, he asks, "Mommy, in English?" and will point or use hand signals to show me what he wants to know. He's a very smart little boy!

Eyob has gone from sleeping in our room to now sleeping in the boys' room in his crib. He had some issues sleeping through the night for the first week or so, but thankfully quickly transitioned and sleeps all night! This momma is happy about that! :) Both of them transitioned/adjusted so much quicker than we had planned, so we ventured out after a couple weeks cooped up in our home. First the beach, and then a week later we tried church. They loved it!! Mikiyas is especially a huge fan of church and asks daily "Church today, Mommy?" and is always disappointed when it's not a Wednesday or Sunday!

Anyway, there's so much more to write, but I have to wrap this up for tonight! Will try to write another blog post again soon!

Here's a video we created with the rest of our journey:


  1. Amanda,
    Reading this story brought tears to my eyes. I am so glad that your family is finally together. I have been following your journey the last few months via your blog and facebook, and it is such a joy to see that it has all paid off. I look forward to more updates on the boys transitioning to life in America :) God Bless!

  2. I love this!!!! What God has done in your and Michael's family is remarkable--it is so evident that those boys know who loves them! I am blessed to "know" you and share our stories of adding to our families :) You six are doing so well!

  3. It was an honor to photography your family! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of such a great outpouring of Jesus' love!