cultivate (kuhl - tuh - veyt)
v. 1) develop 2) nurture

graft (grahft)
n. 1) transplant 2) bud 3) union

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Two Years Down, And A Lifetime To Go!

A legion of butterflies fought for space in my stomach. It is a van ride of which I have tried to commit every turn, every jostle to memory. My eyes took in the long-awaited sign; one we had seen in other meetcha videos and pictures. We pulled up to a tall, metal gate set in a concrete wall. The wall, like many others had broken bottles embedded along the top-poor man's razor wire. The driver honked the horn and a face appeared at the gate. The gatekeeper/guard permitted our entry. 

And we were there. 

All the paperwork, all the months of prayer, all the packing and fundraising was about to take on human form. We could see little faces crowding around a gate toward the back of the property, and little brown noses pressed against a large window set in a nondescript building. It was impossible to tell if Sophia was among the runny noses smearing the glass. Part of me hoped to catch a glimpse of her and part of me didn't want to spoil the moment of meeting her on the steps of the transition home. We were the first family in the line-up. Several families had arrived in the days prior to our arrival and they stood off to the side, preparing to share in the wonder of our moment and identifying with the scope of emotions we were encountering. I felt an unbidden pressure to respond with just the right amount of warmth and love, lest the nannies think I was unfit to become her mama. We were told they were changing her diaper and would bring her out in a minute. I heard her protesting this upset in her day. At the time I swore Ethiopian minutes must be longer than sixty seconds. Just when I felt my nerves would burst, her nanny brought her through the doors and my heart skipped a beat (or three). Pictures had done her little justice. Her solemn expression as they handed her to Timothy held none of the exuberance we see now. Timothy held her for a handful of moments as I gingerly touched her brittle hair. She didn't cry. She seemed resigned to the hand-off. My sweet husband asked if I wanted to hold her. Do I want to hold her? Ummmm...YES! I held it together until she was tucked in my arms. Then I bawled like a baby (much like I'm doing as I type these words). She fit. She was mine and she was precious. 

The most animation from her was when she was facing
away from us, looking into the only home she knew.

Sophia, that was two years ago. We held you, rocked you to sleep, fed you and tried desperately to eek a smile out of you in the short time we were with you on our court trip. We knew you could crawl and walk, but you refused to do anything except dully hold a toy and stare past us. Now not a day goes by that you aren't full of infectious giggles and smiles. You are inquisitive and engage the world around you in a way that is fresh, unique and ALL YOU! You have rocked our world and we are changed forever. Thank you for teaching us to love in another dimension. You opened our eyes to the beautiful tragedy that is adoption. You reached a part of our hearts that was barren before your touch. I love you, my sweet daughter, and I would do it all over again.

To Ethiopia And Back,


  1. Happy Two-year Adoption Anniversary! Much love to your family.

  2. I love hearing your joy in this! Thank you for sharing it with us!

    1. It's my pleasure! It took a long time before the joy was evident. It will get there.

  3. Happy Anniversary. Sophia is so lucky to have such a loving family. Thank you for sharing your story!

    ~Pam (a friend of your moms)

    1. Thank you! We are blessed to have her as our daughter.

  4. And some tears from the Grammy, too! It has been an amazing, eye opening, heart wrenching, beautiful journey! Praying the Lord will richly bless you all.

  5. I am basically speechless. My heart feels your anxiety and your joy.
    many blessings!


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