Thursday, May 28, 2009

Little Brother or Sister?

Eli, our 3-year-old, doesn't really have much of a clue that we are adopting. It's a bit of a hard concept to explain... much harder than mommy's growing tummy that has a "baby inside." The other day I had my first "real" conversation with him on this topic, and I was actually impressed with how much sank in...

Me: "Guess what Eli? You are going to have a baby brother or sister someday soon who will come live in our house!"

Eli: Looking confused "Who's it gonna be?"

Me: "I don't know yet, but it will be a baby brother or sister."

Eli: "I'm going to have a baby sister" (smiling) "And she will be Emmie" (referring to his beloved cousin)

Me: "No, it won't be Emmie. Emmie already has a mommy or daddy. Our baby will come from a place called Ethiopia. Our baby will need a mommy and daddy, so we will bring the baby home to our house to be part of our family!"

Eli: "When's he gonna come?"

Me: "We don't know yet, but hopefully someday soon."

That was the end of the conversation, but apparently Eli continued thinking about it. The next morning when Micah woke him up, the first thing Eli said was... "I'm going to have a baby sister but we don't know who it is yet." Ha Ha! So cute! Hopefully he won't be too disappointed if it ends up being a baby brother :) I'm sure once we have some pictures and a name this will be the excitement of his life!

It has also been interesting to watch how God is moving in his little-boy heart to help him understand this treasure of adoption, even though we haven't tried to explain it. Lately, whenver we are reading stories, Eli seems to point out any "baby/child" (whether human or animal) who doesn't have an obvious mommy or daddy nearby. He repeatedly asks "Where's his mommy?" or "Where's his daddy?" The other day he told me that the baby bunny in one of our stories "needs a family." I was like... what?!? How do you even comprehend the concept of "family" at such a young age? But he does, and I think this is part of God's beautiful plan in helping our"big brother" gain a heart of compassion and love for his new sibling, as well as giving him a childlike understanding of the beauty of adoption - finding families for children.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Welcome Home!

It is always so exciting for EVERYONE when other Holt families travel to Ethiopia to pick up their children. Many of us have gotten to know one another through a Yahoo group, blogs, and emailing... even though we've never met face to face. It's such a great support system to have since we are all going through the same thing. As families return from Ethiopia, it's wonderful to hear about their time there - how the other children are doing (they usually bring back reports for parents who have been matched with children, but are waiting to pass court or travel), what's happening at the care center, updates on travel tips, and of course their individual stories of holding their beautiful children for the first time. I just love it, and it's still so surreal to me that one day this will be US.

So today, we are rejocing with the Czarnecki Family, the Bertram Family, and the DeAndrea Family who all returned home within the past few days with their gorgeous children and are transitioning back to "normal" life, or at least a NEW normal life! Be sure to click on the family names to visit their blogs and see pictures of these cuties! Blessings to all three families!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Drawn From Water

Drawn From Water is an incredible ministry that I discovered last month, and am glad to finally have the chance to highlight it on this blog. There is a tribe in a rural area of Ethiopia, called the Karo tribe, who are very superstitious and believe that certain children are born as "mingi" or "cursed" and will bring bad fortune to their tribe unless they are killed. An example of a child who would be considered "cursed" is one whose top teeth come in before the bottom teeth. This ministry, Drawn From Water, exists to save these children. They have given the tribe an alternative to killing the children, by far-removing them from the tribal land. Recently, Levi Benkert and his wife left their successful business in California (LJ Urban) to relocate their entire family to Ethiopia to help establish an orphanage for the rescued children, and care for them (this occurred approximately 10 days ago... so please pray for them in their transition). You can visit their website and view the video below to find out more information about this amazing ministry. I know God has great plans in store for this ministry, this family, and the beautiful children from the Karo tribe.

Drawn from Water from Drawn From Water on Vimeo.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Lots of Shots!!

This morning we went to the travel clinic and started our immunizations for traveling to Ethiopia. I really hate shots, so my desire in getting these done so early just stemmed from my desire to not think about them anymore :) We had a total of six shots today: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Meningitis, Polio Booster, and Yellow Fever. The typhoid shot was the worst of them all - left a welt on my arm, and is especially sore tonight. The rest weren't too bad, my arms are both just sore. The worst part of the whole thing though, was the COST. Yikes!! Who knew that most insurance companies don't think travel shots are "medically necessary." So are they saying they would pay for the cost of treating me if I come down with typhoid, meningitis, or yellow fever? Seriously. I still have to get two more Hep B shots, and Micah has one more Hep A shot. We also both need tetanus boosters, but we will be happily paying for those at our regular doctor's office since fortunately tetanus is considered by the insurance to be "medically necessary."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Highlights of Attending Summit V

What a great conference, it was such a privilege to be able to attend! If you are interested to hear about some of our highlights from the trip, you can read about them HERE.