This is the front which looks pretty normal.
Here is my little athlete, Mihiretu from at his game on Saturday. Can a mother brag a little?? He scored 5 goals this day!
This is the first picture we ever took of Mihiretu on the day we met him. Little cars are a great ice breaker for that first meeting with a young child.
This is the first picture with me holding Misganaw on the day we first met him. Even though he's adorable, he remained expressionless like this for a couple days with us. He began to come out of this 'coma' when we'd take him away from the orphanage and it would return as soon as we brought him back.
I thought since it was just Mother's Day I'd share what it was like to meet the boys for the first time. They took us up to see Misganaw first but since he was sound asleep, I suggested we go get to know Mihiretu a little. We went to the playroom area at the care center and played cars with him. He did a lot of squealing and was very loving toward us and very excited. We tried to tell him who each family member was...Katie-sister, Blake-brother by giving him a fruit snack, then asking him to bring one to Katie or Blake or Mommy or Daddy. He learned quickly and believe it or not was very willing to share 'his' treats with us.
When Misganaw woke up, they brought him to us. Mihiretu was excited to see him and hugged and kissed him. We all took turns holding him and helping him stand up, a skill he'd recently learned. He would occasionally make eye contact with us but only when we encouraged him to. He would not smile or cry or make any sound. He just looked around with those huge eyes. We were quickly smitten with him!
Soon all the kids from the care center came into the room where we were and all wanted hugs, to sit on our laps, or play with the toys we brought for Mihiretu. I completely understood but still was a little concerned when Mihiretu literally took a kid down and punched him hard in the back after the kid knocked a ball out of his hand simply because he wanted to play with it. He also did NOT want us touched, sat on or hugged by ANY other child because we were HIS family. It was a little difficult at the time because all these kids just wanted some love, too. Also, after never having any possessions of his own (literally) he wasn't about to let to of the couple cars and ball he now had. Totally understandable.
This left us with a situation I hadn't thought of before I brought the toys. If we left them with him, would they still be there to spend the day with him the next day? Not that it mattered to us, but what would ensue during the night with the other kids and 'his' toys? But if we took them back, what would he think of us? Would he think we weren't coming back, too? That we were temporary. The decision was made to leave them with him and believe it or not, the kid had his pockets full of cars the next morning! Don't mess with Mihiretu!
I had a wonderful Mother's Day! All the kids and Blaine made me feel so appreciated and loved. I got loads of flowers, cards with lovely things written on them, gift cards and lots of hugs. I don't know why God has blessed me with 4 great kids. I am sad that the boys' Ethiopian mom is not able to parent them. I have lots of emotions surrounding this. I am intensely grateful, humbled, honored, privileged to be the mother of all my kids. But I do get the disparity in the fact that I have these gorgeous boys and she is missing out on being their mom. What a sacrifice she made to see them live and have a future. Often I think about her and how she would think I was doing being their mom. I fail on so many points but pray that I am somehow worthy.
I think of our daughter who is in Ethiopia now. Are her parents sick, suffering, severely impoverished, dead? Sounds terrible but let's be honest - she wouldn't be an orphan if this wasn't the case. Is she taking care of a dying parent? Is she already in an orphanage? Has she just arrived or has she been there for years and years, waiting and longing for a family who will love her and give her their last name?
I am so unworthy but so incredibly blessed and privileged to be the mother of such children! May God bring homes for every one .