Well, we have been home 3 weeks all ready. I can't believe it. The kids have come so far all ready in this short amount of time. The first night home, they seemed so unsure of themselves and scared. They are now running around laughing and playing tricks, fighting over toys, and crying because they didn't get their way. All normal 4 year old stuff! We do have some issues with still getting them used to our routine and the difference in cultures and of course LANGUAGE!! That is so a struggle sometimes. But Ash can understand so much and can translate for me if Mekie is just not getting it. One thing that was kind of a shock to me is all the doctor appts. I don't know if I just thought one appt and that would be it. But we have been to the hospital 4-5 different times, the dr office 3-4 times, and (a surprise) the TB clinic 2 times. (Ash was exposed to TB and has to be treated but not contagious. He was tested in ET before coming home and it didn't show up at all). So we haven't even started our dentist appts. and have 2 more dr. appts for the month of Sept. And for the most part, they are healthy. I would hate to see how many appts. I would have to go to if they weren't healthy.
We have also enrolled them in preschool this year. Mekie will be going 2 days a week and Ash 3 days. I will send them a few weeks late to let the other children get settled. They are so excited about school. Derek and I were so impressed with the things the teacher taught them at the orphanage. They just told me the other day all the days of the week and the months of the year. They impress me each day with the amount of things they know.
Garrett and Ethan have seemed to be adjusting well. Ethan has had issues and is still having issues with sharing. He was struggling with that before we left but now that he has 3 other siblings he has a lot more tantrums because there's more kids taking his toys. Garrett did really good at the beginning but I think the newness is wearing off. He is also having a hard time with sharing and the toys that were just his is not his anymore. But for the most part they all get a long pretty good. Right now, it seems there is at least one kid really happy, 2 that are okay and one kid crying at all times in our house. Hopefully that will get better with time.
Derek and I have also struggled with getting back to "Normal" after seeing what we saw in Ethiopia. The images that we saw will forever be sketched in our minds.
Towards the end of the week there I was getting so home sick. I missed all those little luxuries that we have here. Clean water, clean sidewalks, food you didn't have to worry if it was safe to eat or not, TV, and internet. All those things that we take for granted, I missed. But I got to come home and get all those things back. There were so many beggers on the streets that didn't have water, food, and some with no clothes on their backs. It was so hard to walk into our house and live like we do and know there are men, women, and children with out a house, without clean water, and without food to eat. How many times do we or our children say "We're hungry or I'm starving"? We have no idea what starving is or what true hunger is. In America or biggest dilema is "What should we eat tonight or where should we eat". So many parents in Ethiopia have to choose what child should eat that day. Holding and trying to comfort their child screaming because they have hunger pain. Finally crying themselves to sleep knowing that they will wake with even more more pain. How would you choose??
We saw men and women on the street and you didn't know if they were alive or dead. Babies on their mother's hip with ripped and dirty clothes and the mother's begging for food knowing she didn't have any breast milk for that baby because she wasn't getting enough food (and I could tell because her breast was out!) We would fill out backpacks with granola bars and pass those out with money. Derek and Jason (the other family we traveled with) went out a couple times with bags full of bananas (one time they said they passed out probably 500 bananas). They said the crowds got so bad and they would start reaching into their bags to get the bananas. And fights would break out as the bags were getting empty. They passed out bananas in one side of the road and they were trying to see if everyone in that one area would be able to get food. But there were always more beggars coming up. Some just asked for a loaf of bread as Derek bought them it. A man also asked Derek for a pair of shoes, Derek gave him money for shoes. They asked for things that we don't think twice about buying. Simple things as food and clothes. In one of my pictures you can see the men and women going through these big dumpsters for trash and I'm assuming their looking for food. EVERYDAY 30,000 CHILDREN DIE FROM STARVATION OR A PREVENTABLE DISEASES!
I want to do so much more for Ethiopia. It is a great country with so many nice people. The people of Ethiopia were so positive even though they were suffering and having hardships. We miss them so much. Derek and I have also sponsored a child from Ethiopia. His name is Amanueal. He is 7 and lives with his mother. We send money to him so he is able to eat everyday and get an education plus the greatest gift is learning about Jesus! We sponsor him through Compassion. But there is still so much more that needs to be done. We love Ethiopia as it is the country our children our from.
Lord, I pray that through you, even though we're small, we will be able to do great, big things in Ethiopia. Please pray about what God would put on your heart to help the orphans and the starving, whether it be bring a child home through adoption, sponsor a child that needs to hear the love of Jesus, or go on a mission trip. Derek and I would love to go back to Ethiopia in a year or so and do a mission trip and we would love you to join us. Lord, YOU ARE A MIGHTY GOD and I can't wait to see what you have planned for our lives!!