First, I wanted to write a brief update on our family. My cousin Kayla came down yesterday and, let me tell you, that girl has been a LIFE SAVER. My sister left on Saturday, my mom on Sunday. They were so helpful to us; playing with the kids, cleaning, cooking and doing laundry. When they left, I felt quite overwhelmed frankly. Coming back from Ethiopia has felt a lot like birth. I feel like I got hit by a truck! Like a newborn, the baby was up most of the night the first few nights. The difference is that you don't have the sympathy of the outside world, since your body didn't go through pregnancy and birth. It kind of feels like everyone just expects it to be business as usual. Or it could be my sleep-deprived brain perceiving it that way... I include this not to try to drum up sympathy but to raise awareness that adoptive families need support, too! We have been fortunate to have family here to help!
Jude has been doing great with the transition, but Indigo has been having a little more trouble. She was so in love with baby Violet and so excited about baby Evangeline that I thought she would be in heaven. She's going through some typical regression stuff - extra sensitive, wanting to suck on the pacifier we bought for Evie, asking me to carry her a lot, wanting me to change her clothes, her diaper. This is all coming from the previously independent, "I can do it myself" girl. I am sure she will work through this all in time.
Then yesterday Jude barfed in the car as we were on the way to the airport to pick up Kayla. That was after having diarrhea and complaining of stomach pain most of the day.
Can I repeat that we are so happy to have Kayla here?
I'm not trying to complain, just keepin' it real. We are so happy to have Evie home and there is such peace and contentment in having completed our adoption. So this transition phase is to be expected.
Now, on to the airport stories!
We had a long layover in Houston on the 18th. Dan was making phone calls trying to sort out our Embassy mess. I got a text from my friend Heather, who had been in Mexico, saying that she was around and that I could call her if I wanted. I called and mentioned I was in Houston. She responded that she was, too! She was on a layover from her trip to Mexico. Heather is one of my dearest friends but she lives in Madison, WI, so I hadn't seen her since last summer. Lo and behold, we were soon having lunch together in the Houston airport! It was an incredible way to start our journey to Ethiopia
We had a nine hour flight from Houston to Frankfurt. When we got to our gate at the Frankfurt airport, we saw a team of Compassion International folks headed to Ethiopia. They were all wearing Compassion name tags and one was carrying quite possibly the largest cameras I have ever seen. I love Compassion, we sponsor a child through their org and we also adore their magazine! So, me, being the Chatty Cathy that I am, struck up a conversation with them, telling them that I am a huge Compassion fan. We talked all things Compassion for awhile and then they asked why we were going to Ethiopia. I shared that we were adopting Evangeline. Dan was on the phone, again, trying to sort out our Embassy mess. I motioned toward Dan, pointing out that he was my husband, but that he was working on our Embassy disaster. They asked me if I wanted them to pray about it. I of course said YES! and then they asked if I wanted to pray right then and there. So we did, right at our gate in the Frankfurt airport. They recorded it as a part of their travel DVD.
When we got news that everything was going to work out with the Embassy, I thought of those kind people from Compassion and how I wished that they could know that we were bringing Evie home.
Fast-forward to Feb 25th. We were at the airport getting ready to leave Ethiopia. I was holding Evie in my arms when I was approached by one of the Compassion guys! They were there, too! They got to meet Evie and were overjoyed that we were bringing her home - an answer to prayer. We asked to take a picture of them, to share the story on our blog. They agreed.
Evie had fallen asleep in my arms. We laid her in our carry on bag, because our flight had been canceled and we had a 5 hour wait ahead of us at the airport. The guys at Compassion took a picture of her like this, to document our answered prayer.
WOW! Thanks for sharing! We always have so much to catch up on when we are on the phone and I didn't even give you the chance to share any of this. What amazing little blessings along the way! How great!ReplyDelete
Happy Birthday, Rachel!
Love Love Love the picture of Evie and the Compassion guys! God is Good!ReplyDelete
Is it your BIRTHDAY??!
COOL! Happy 21st!
Well my gosh...happy birthday!! :)
Thank you for sharing this ~ for sharing ALL of it too. I think your insights having been on both sides now of adoption and pregnancy are so valuable.
SO glad you have the support you need ~ IT IS a big transition so matter what!
During both of our travels we received acts of kindness and friendship from strangers and found strangers that became friends.
Adoption brings a touch of magic and the threads that entwine are far reaching and often surprising.
Hugs to you all....hope Jude is feeling better and that Indi continues to gradually work through the big changes.
Such cool travel stories!! Amazing how things work out sometimes, huh?!?! Sorry to hear about sickness and no sleep...sleepless nights can be rough!!! Yea for lots of help, though!!!!ReplyDelete
Oh, Rachel...you hit on something very important about adoptive mamas following the homecoming. I brought M home around the same time that a number of women I knew were having babies. I was asked in all of their cases to donate dinners and dishes to help them out after they gave birth. Not one person offered to organize any dinners for us when M came home. Like you, not wanting to sound like a pity party but just to make adoptive mamas aware that the world perceives you differently than bio mamas. They don;t see the lack of sleep you are getting or the emotional adjustments your family is going through, they just see that you look the exact same as last week!ReplyDelete
GREAT airport stories!!!
Oh what a wonderful story. Let me know if you need help sometime. Not just giving sympathy. Brenna and I would be happy to come help some day if you would like. We come to SA several times a month.ReplyDelete
Welcome home!! She is stunning!!! LOVE those eyes!!!ReplyDelete
Oh I remember coming home and just feeling like I would never feel normal and alert again:( Glad you have helpers!!
What a wonderful trip it sounds like and from our family to yours...Many congrats and blessings!!!
Hey Dan and Rachel. Just checking in after being out of town for a while, and wanted to say, Congratulations! The pictures of all 3 kids together are just precious!!! Can't wait to see official family pics!ReplyDelete
On the adoption vs birth discussion: we're lucky we have a great group of friends who realized that we'd be feeling pretty rough after traveling so far. We had a stocked freezer and pantry when we got home, and I will forever be touched and grateful for that. Having said that, I can't tell you how many times I heard, "Oh, he'll be 10 months when you bring him home? You're so lucky you'll be missing out on the sleep-deprivation stages of infancy, because he'll be sleeping through the night by then." Yeah, right! Luckily, we'd read enough about adoption to know better, but it took a good couple of months to wean him off that midnight bottle they do at Toukoul, and then another couple of months before he was comfortable enough to sleep well. And, of course, every time he goes through a change/transition or gets sick, we still have sleep-deprivation...
Welcome home, and hang in there--it will get better! ;)
Wow, what amazing stories you have from your travels!! I am SO happy things went well, we have been praying for you in my Bible Study for months and they were all so giddy when I told them you were back with baby in arms this week! :)ReplyDelete