We truly are a family redefined. We are husband, wife, son, daughter, step children, biological and adopted children and most importantly, Children of God.

A friend pointed out that I needed to update my blog header. After our adoption from Ethiopia, I had updated it stating how the adoption of Sara Joy completed our family. Well... the journey continues. After much prayer, we have decided to follow what we feel is God's calling for us...we went to Ghana with the intention of adopting a four year old girl, Isabella Hope. Little did we know that she would be the catalyst to bringing home not only her, but her half brother and sister. We will now be adding not only Isabella Hope to our family, but also Mary Grace (9) and Gilbert (6) who we will transition to the name Nathaniel Timothy. The shock is wearing off and the JOY and EXCITEMENT are overwhelming. Now truly, our family is complete. The great part of journeying with God, is that it's always an adventure. He knows where we are going, and for us it is all a marvelous surprise. Looking forward to sharing our family adventures as we walk daily through life and as we venture off to Ghana to bring home Mary, Nate and Isabella! It's always an adventure redefining our family!

Friday, October 1, 2010

We are officially her family!!!

I have been going thru blog withdrawl.... while we were in Ethiopia, the hotel that we were staying at, did not allow access to blogs.  Not sure why, but they didn't - so I was not able to blog about the AMAZING experiences we had while we were in Ethiopia.  There is so much to share - so much good, and so much heartbreak.  I won't be able to share it all in one post, but I will try to share it all over the next few days. 

First, let's focus on the reason we were there.  Sara Joy!  If you follow us (Tim or I) on facebook, you will already know a lot of the stories I'm going to tell - you can either move on, or read them in more detail here.... it's hard to tell a story on facebook!  Also, you will have already seen the revealing of Ms. Sara Joy Edom Roach.  But if not, you are in for something wonderful.  This was our first glimpse of Ms. Sara Joy Edom (pronounced eh-dom) Roach:
She was sleeping when we arrived.  I saw here right away.  She was the most beautiful little girl!  I fell in love with her right away.  I didn't get too excited though... because I didn't want to be disappointed if she was not my Sara Joy (but in my heart I knew immediately that she was).  I asked "Is this Edom" and that nanny said yes.  I asked if I could pick her up and the nanny said I could.  This is Sara's reaction:
Needless to say she was not as much in love with me, as I was with her!  And as for Tim.... she REALLY didn't like him.  If he even LOOKED at her, she would start to cry.  She cried some big croc tears and held her arms out to her nanny.  It broke my heart to give her to her nanny, but I didn't want her to be afraid.  So, the nanny took her and laid her down in her bed.  She was patting her back and bottom to soothe her.  I asked her if I could do it, and she said yes.  Well, Sara had covered her whole body with her blanket, including her face so she would not have to see us.  She must have known it was me who started patting her though, because she took her little arm out from under the blanket and tried to shoo my hand away from her.
(this is her with her whole body covered so she didn't have to look at us... with only her little arm sticking out.

Eventually she let me take her out of her crib.  Still Tim was not allowed to even look at her though.  We played together for awhile.  After about 30 minutes of me and Sara playing together (and Tim still had not gotten to touch her, poor guy) Sara dropped a toy.  I asked Tim to come over and pick it up and try to give it to her.  He didn't want to upset her, but he tried it.  It was the ice breaker.  She passed the toy back and forth between her and Tim and finally Tim was able to hold her.

 We were able to play with her and the other children for a couple of hours at the transition house that day.  We were not allowed to take the children out of the transition house, back to the hotel, but we did get to play with them there.  It was nice to be there and give  some attention to the other kids as well.  All of the children in the transition home were referred to families already.  They were waiting on their new parents to come and pass court or wait on their embassy appointment to take them home to their forever family.  As difficult as it was to be there with these kids that currently had no one or nothing to call their own... it was easier knowing that soon they would be with their families.  They had people who were DYING to come and get them and call them son or daughter.  The same was not true at the orphanage which we visited the next day and which I will share a story about in another post.  Here are some more pictures of our first day together:

The one picture stuck in the middle is a picture of the transition home.  I have so much to share about this place and about the actual orphanage.  That will be tomorrow's post.  This was our first day together.  Tomorrow.... court date and our visit with Sara Joy.  Then our orphanage experience. 

I am SO very thankful to God for sending us and seeing us through this journey.  Africa changed my life in so many ways.  I have never seen poverty like I saw in Africa.  I have never seen so many children without a home.  I have never cried as many tears as I cried in that orphanage.  My heart never ached so bad as the day I visited the orphanage.  I never saw what God really wanted me to see in adoption, until I saw the needs of SO MANY CHILDREN.  I'm going to write about a way you can help me help the children of Ethiopia soon....

I will say that if you ever have a chance to go on a mission trip and work in an orphanage... you need to go.  I have looked at pictures of orphanages a million times and have NEVER been touched the way God touched me by actually being there.  You can not capture in a photograph the desire of a child to be held and loved.  These are truly "the least of these".

In Christ,


Gina said...

I am glad that you are back. I received word from Muluken today that Yoseph is missing a document and hasn't gotten a court date because of that. He says he in taking care of the issue. I hope that is true. Looking forward to your future posts. I am heading down to Seabrook Island with a friend in the morning for a long weekend. Have a relaxing weekend!

Jennifer said...

Oh my goodness...she is the most beautiful, most precious - miss sara joy! Excited to read about your trip...and OH SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!

Paula said...

Charity, she is beautiful. I am so happy for you.

And I know EXACTLY what you mean about the orphanages and being in Africa. My life will never be the same.

Veronica said...

Charity, what a little beauty Sara is! I'm so glad that all went well, and you passed court. Can't wait to hear more about your trip and Sara Joy!

What you said about visiting an orphanage is so true - until you see and hold the children for yourself, the photos don't mean anything. Alan and I went to an orphanage in Guatemala while visiting with Miranda. We both were so moved by these little ones, vying for our attention, putting their hands in ours and crawling up into our laps. Some were waiting for their new parents, but others were most likely going to spend their childhood there, without a family. So heartbreaking....I am so drawn to adopt from Ethiopia or Haiti, there are so many children, but God will need to work on Alan's heart (and our finances!).