Lilypie Maternity tickers

Lilypie Maternity tickers

Days since DTE!

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Journey to Levi- Saturday March 28

A little more on this day.  After our long flight, we made our way through the LONG line at customs and another long line to get our visas, we found Yonas, our guide, waiting for us.  After we checked-in our guest house and rested a bit before we went to lunch and then met our boy!
After no food, and dehydration and motion sickness, I got anxious and sick and dizzy.  We went to lunch at Makrush and bought a pricey piece of art and a pizza. :) This classy restaurant holds local artists' work.  It is a gallery and wonderful restaurant in one.  I had my first Pizza with dark meat chicken (of many) and VERY cooked veggies to be safe.  I began to feel better as I drank water and ate real food after eating all gluten free granola bars etc. The owner even teased me that my pizza was the very first one he had ever made without cheese.  Ha!  Welcome to my world friend!!!
Lee had beef peppered tips and we both felt much better.  After an hour nap we headed to meet our son!!! I was overwhelmed the moment our plane landed in Addis and a lifelong dream was realized.  Again I cried as the children stormed our van.  And when a 4-5 year old girl kissed my face and said
"I love" I melted and I loved her right back.  She will always own a piece of my heart.  And a story of the Transition Home would no be complete without Mr. Friendly 1 and Mr. Friendly 2, brothers who just craved your arms draping over their shoulders.  BIG WHITE SMILES from ear to ear.  ALWAYS.  Then there was "CAMO" as we called him because he ha on camo pants most of the time.  Then there were the toddlers beating on the glass in their room,looking out on us where they would call  "Ababu" over and over.  And then we saw "L', the happiest sweetest boy who has a family we would soon meet and a great answered prayer would occur after a heartbreaking failed adoption, he would become their redemption and we got to witness it with our own eyes.

Then they brought you out and the blubbering started.  You were timid and shy and leery to come to your new mama.  I took a step back so you could just check us out, but soon the years of longing for you in my arms took over and I immediately reached for you with no longer a reservation.  We loved you immediately and without hesitation.  You were overloaded and fell easily asleep on us both those next two days.  I can't imagine what that little brain is trying to process.  It was ok for you to sleep in and cuddle with me, for that had been my prayer all along.  To have a snuggly boy!

The Platts arrived next, and met their sweet Abigar.  After playtime we went back to the guest house and ordered a bag burger from the delivery joint next door and decided not to eat it and Daddy made Raman noodles and we cuddled to sleep by 7:00 pm, while listening to the sounds of the Saturday night Club scene and dogs barking. :)

Ethiopia-Day One to Levi: part two

Today truly began our journey.  A 14 hour plane ride began,
but at least it was direct, no layovers and once you get there, you are there.  :)  I won't mention much of the drunkard who was double fisting Heinekans and bottles of wine for ALL 14 hours!!!!  And I quickly learned that Ethiopians have no regard for personal space, as I would learn on BOTH my flights, if you are seated in the middle seat, then you are in fact, fare game for lounging on and being slept and slobbered on, and being sang to loudly. 




Let's Do This! 
 Silly Video
We were ON OUR WAY TO MEET OUR BOY!  The precious boy we had waited for all these years!  I was taken to how many years I had dreamed of this little life in mine.  I had stopped journaling and writing, it was just too much of nothing.  Sometimes I think I quit because I wasn't quite sure this day would actually come!  But now it has!!!
In a very dark year of grief in my own life, this little boy came to us, as a bright and shining star!!!  It led me to ponder Grampy's involvement in God's plan and how he would have loved this precious boy.  I'm sure that they already know one another.  And I know that Grampy gets to watch!  And though it hurts badly to know that he can't play with this precioud boy on earth, I now he gets a front row seat!
6 years waiting and 30 dreaming.  The years crept slowly by as we watched our number slowly rise on the list.  Slowly but surely and God's timing!  I'm not sure why he took my dad first, but you, our son have brought smiles back to our faces and much needed joy unto our hearts!
Son, you have been longed for, prayed for, anticipated and loved for so many years!  ANd now we ride our airplane to come and get you!  A day I've imagined in my mind for so many years!  You are my dream come true!!!   You are my perfect gift!
We are so close!
I have extreme butterflies!!!
This flight was SO.  LONG. but totally worth it! 
I have to share that landing in  Addis was the most beautiful descent I'd ever  seen.   We were literally watching the sun rise for the last hour and then it was literally like we flew from the darkness, down through the orange clouds, INTO the day, INTO the light and when our wheels touched down, I cried and sobbed and cried.  My feet were about to touch Ethiopian soil!  The soil I wanted to touch since I was 9.  A knowing I'd always held dear and true to my heart, that ONE DAY I would be in this country in the continent of AFRICA.  It blew my mind and was too much for my heart.  The culmination of a lifetime of dreaming was about to come to fruition. 
A couple of divine stories to share.
We met a lady on the hotel shuttle who started a non-profit for pro-life and pro-adoption ministry! A Christian. we were on the wrong shuttle to the hotel but by divine intervention we learned of her ministry and she had had a tough day  of cancelled flights and needed encouragement. :) 
On this plane there is a group on young adults on a mission trip and its founder has an adopted daughter from Ethiopia! 
Finally, in line at the Visa place, we met a couple who were coming to visit her daughter's family who had their adopted kid! 
The other families we met when we got off the plane were amazing.  People are so loving in Ethiopia.  Our guides and drivers were superb. 
And how can I describe meeting my SON???? The video speaks volumes. I was giddy and in shock, and couldn't speak and wouldn't let go of him.  It was all I ever dreamed and I think our son felt the same as indicated by his comfort level with us and ability to sleep ON US. :)  This cuddle-deprived mama was in heaven!!!
video
Oh! And those children coming right up to the van as we pulled in. Children reaching our arms around them saying "love" and reaching their arms up to us to hold them.  JUST TO HOLD THEM. These children, all the want is love.  The universal desire of ANY CHILD is LOVE.
There was a precious 5 year old who I've since learned is unadoptable, was my girl soul mate.  We  clicked and spent a week together.  She would light up when she saw us and would stroke my cheek and say "Mama love."  Oh BE STILL MY HEART!!!!  I wanted to take her (and about 50 more) home with me.
This was a quick and exhausting day and visit after arriving that morning after flying all night with no sleep.  Emotions were running high after meeting our son and wanting to take him with us.  We got back to our room and we crashed at 7 pm after we ordered a burger from an area restaurant.  (Ick)
Had to get some sleep for Day #2!
Our first shot of the city! :)  BEAUTIFUL!



The Airport
Ethiopian Diet coke get in my belly!!!!

GOING TO MEET OUR SON!!!!


Meeting our Son!





FAMILY





THE SIGN!  I had seen it in SO MANY Other family videos!!! FINALLY




THE COUCH!  That so many families have sat on with their children!

 THE PORCH!


 BLISS!!!




TIRED BOY!

Next Update: International Evangelical Church! SO FUN!!!

A little more on this day.  After our long flight, we made our way through the LONG line at customs and another long line to get our visas, we found Yonas, our guide, waiting for us.  After we checked-in our guest house and rested a bit before we went to lunch and then met our boy!
After no food, and dehydration and motion sickness, I got anxious and sick and dizzy.  We went to lunch at Makrush and bought a pricey piece of art and a pizza. :) This classy restaurant holds local artists' work.  It is a gallery and wonderful restaurant in one.  I had my first Pizza with dark meat chicken (of many) and VERY cooked veggies to be safe.  I began to feel better as I drank water and ate real food after eating all gluten free granola bars etc. The owner even teased me that my pizza was the very first one he had ever made without cheese.  Ha!  Welcome to my world friend!!!
Lee had beef peppered tips and we both felt much better.  After an hour nap we headed to meet our son!!! I was overwhelmed the moment our plane landed in Addis and a lifelong dream was realized.  Again I cried as the children stormed our van.  And when a 4-5 year old girl kissed my face and said
"I love" I melted and I loved her right back.  She will always own a piece of my heart.  And a story of the Transition Home would no be complete without Mr. Friendly 1 and Mr. Friendly 2, brothers who just craved your arms draping over their shoulders.  BIG WHITE SMILES from ear to ear.  ALWAYS.  Then there was "CAMO" as we called him because he ha on camo pants most of the time.  Then there were the toddlers beating on the glass in their room,looking out on us where they would call  "Ababu" over and over.  And then we saw "L', the happiest sweetest boy who has a family we would soon meet and a great answered prayer would occur after a heartbreaking failed adoption, he would become their redemption and we got to witness it with our own eyes.

Then they brought you out and the blubbering started.  You were timid and shy and leery to come to your new mama.  I took a step back so you could just check us out, but soon the years of longing for you in my arms took over and I immediately reached for you with no longer a reservation.  We loved you immediately and without hesitation.  You were overloaded and fell easily asleep on us both those next two days.  I can't imagine what that little brain is trying to process.  It was ok for you to sleep in and cuddle with me, for that had been my prayer all along.  To have a snuggly boy!

The Platts arrived next, and met their sweet Abigar.  After playtime we went back to the guest house and ordered a bag burger from the delivery joint next door and decided not to eat it and Daddy made Raman noodles and we cuddled to sleep by 7:00 pm, while listening to the sounds of the Saturday night Club scene and dogs barking. :)


Monday, April 27, 2015

Ethiopia: Day One-Journey to Levi!

Since we were flying Ethiopian Airlines and the take off  was from DC, we decided to spend a couple of nights there to break up the LONG flights!  Lee had never been there and loves history and museums so why not?  We rode the metro into the Mall area and saw about as much as one can see on foot in one day.  We walked from the Washington Monument to Lincoln Memorial, seeing the World War II and Vietnam Memorials on the way.  My eyes caught the sign for the Holocaust Museum but that would have taken the whole day in itself for me!  We grabbed a cab over the Ford Theater, thinking we could just pop on in.  Now it is all run by tours, so there wasn't even the option to walk across the street to the guest house where Lincoln  passed away, unless you were part of the tour.  SHUCKS!!!!  So we walked all the way back to the mall area, and actually took a nice walk all the way around the White House and Lee said "That's all it is!??? I thought it would be bigger than that! ha!" 

We decided to do two quick museums, so we ventured into the Museum of Natural History and The Museum of American History.  Just touched the tip of the iceberg there!!!  So ready to go back!!!





Here we are getting ready to take off for DC



Washington Monument



Hello Mr. Lincon!

 And when you can't get a tour to Ford Theater, you drink vodka cocktails at noon at Hard Rock Cafe. :)



 The whole plan for our day was to get back to our upgraded suite (that's a long story) and watch Wichita State and Arizona play in the NCAA tourney. :) Forget DC, we had a comfy bed and ordered in!  Big flight tomorrow!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

TWO PROCESSES

I am so glad that our agency gives us the process in small chunks.  Some days I can't believe we made it through the paperwork.  After referral, we began two simultaneous processes, one with the Ethiopian government and one with our own.  We were told that both could take many many months and it could be 8-10 months before we were traveling to bring our son home.
 
Many times I have thought my Daddy was up there with his hand in this process.  God was saying "Don, I control everything but I'm going to let you help out."  Our process went FAST!  The two governments seemed to flow through their processes at the same time.  We are fortunate that we didn't get caught up in anything like other families have and do.
 
The American side of the process basically calls for all the paperwork to be pre-approved.  This used to be done AFTER Ethiopian court, but although it takes a little longer on the front end, it helps to enable a shorter wait on the back end to bringing your child home.  We received the final paperwork for our PAIR process on December 17, again a fitting day.  One year from the day of losing my Daddy.  Redeeming the date indeed.  We were traveling to Arizona for Christmas so we couldn't complete the LONG and tedious process of submitting while there.  So, we waited to complete that task and got it in on December 29.  At the same time, we were issued a MOWYCA (Ministry of Womens, Youth and Children's Affairs) paperwork court date of December 30th.  We knew we wouldn't "pass" because we had to get a few documents updated, per the new rules and have them translated for Ethiopia.  We didn't pass and were issued a new court date of February 16th and were told that all our paperwork was there and would ensure a positive letter be written.  We didn't have a letter on that date, no surprise, but were shocked to receive one just a few days later!!!  Things were moving fast, in fact, we were one of the quickest families to fly through these processes!  Back to the American government, we were assigned a PAIR officer and our case was approved state side in one week (again we were told it could be a month).  The case was sent onto the US Embassy in Ethiopia where we needed an interview in our child's region of birth (Harar).  That would take a couple weeks, but once it was complete, we literally were cleared OVER NIGHT!  Our caseworker told us to have on our radar to travel in March, which was what I had in my mind! :)
 
We were issued a court date of March 17, but we requested to put it off because I had a serious case of the flu.  The court obliged and we were slated for Ethiopian court on March 31! We learned that we would travel with two dear families that we had been friends with for years in the process! 
 
Ready to post about our trip!!!

THE CALL!!!

I haven't posted an adoption update for so long because honestly, nothing much was happening.  Slowly we crept up the "list" but we only moved 1-2 spots in months and months.  And then suddenly things began to speed forward.  People above us on the list went "on hold" due to concurrent adoptions and pregnancies.  And suddenly, we were thrust into the 3rd spot.  We knew it was coming.  Our caseworker kept calling us to update things we'd grown lax in doing.  The anticipation was building. 
 
I should preface this story with some background.  In early October of  2014 we got another call.  It was not what we expected, as we were asked if we would consider the referral of another child that did not fit our specific age and health parameters.  We lamented.  We agonized.  We sought counsel from other families who had adopted children with similar issues.  We talked to the pastor who married us.  We prayed with our small group.  We talked to our dearest adoption friends.  We said "Lord, we will take this child if it is your will!"  We experienced unrelenting fear that dissipated and was replaced with unbelievable assurance.  But there was never true Godly peace.  Each day we would check in with one another and say "Where are you on this?" and most days we both rested firmly on the fence as we started calling it.  50/50.  It just wasn't what we had always imagined, the call wasn't joyful, it was apprehensive.  We weren't excited.  It just didn't feel right.  And so, on October 24, 2015, a Friday night, we decided our answer was "No."  This was just not our son.  We called our caseworker that Monday morning and gave her our answer.  There was nothing but support on the other end of the phone line.  And stay tuned, because this story has a wonderful ending.  We prayed for that baby boy daily.  Macie prayed for him.  And prayers were answered.
 
BIG TIME!
 
And then, our REAL CALL would come!  And it would be everything we had anticipated and more!  And the fury of paperwork completion would begin again.  And joy and light would pierce through our dark year.
 
It was November 11, 2014.  Veterans Day.  I was already thinking of my Daddy so much that day, his service and love of his country.  It couldn't have been more fitting.  Since the previous call I quit watching my phone obsessively.  It was no way to live, constantly staring and waiting, so I decided to let life be and as everyone said, the call would come when we least expected it. 
 
I was pulling into the garage about 1:30 ish when the phone rang.  I remember thinking "well it's 4pm in Virgina (where our agency is) so don't think the call is coming today."  I saw the "703" area code but since we had been talking to our caseworker so much I didn't totally freak out.  It was the most inopportune time, it was nap time, I needed to get Macie down but I took the call anyway.  Elise said "Kylie? This is Elise.  Has anything changed with your family?  Pregnancy? Job? Adoption status?"  Of course then I knew and I screamed "No!"  She said "Do you have time to chat?" (No, not really but of course I do!") She proceeded to tell me that there was a 5 months old little boy who they would like to match to us.  I was jumping up and down and trying to get Macie inside to go potty for her nap.  Elise tried conferencing Lee but had his old number, and while I was on hold I was able to tend to Macie somewhat.  She came back on and I had to scramble for Lee's new number, because we all know we don't truly know people's phone numbers anymore.  Again, she put me on hold to conference Lee in and I put Macie in bed.  I knew that would backfire because she likes to wind down, sit on the couch and read before nap.  I literally put her in and walked away to hear her crying upstairs.  I found myself thinking I hoped Elise couldn't hear her or she may not give me this child! :)  I ran to the basement and Lee was on now.  She proceeded to tell us our sons story (which we won't share in detail here) and we said "Can we say yes now?"  She wanted us to review his file and take a day or two to think and pray on it.  There was no thinking needed!  I don't even remember what all she said at that point, my heart was racing and my head was swimming!  We hung up and Lee and I stayed on the line and talked some more!  Lee had meetings so we would talk later.  I didn't look at his picture because I had this idea in my head and thought my husband agreed, that we would only look at our referral together. I had wanted to freshen up, and set up the video camera, get a video of us looking for the first time.   In a couple hours I got a text that said "Our son" with his picture!  Lee had already looked! I was waiting for HOURS to see him!!! CRAZY! I so wanted to do it together, but got over it quickly as I saw him and KNEW that was our son!





 
 

I began making calls and sending the photos to family.  We couldn't post any online for months until we passed court in Ethiopia!  At that point we began printing off all the paperwork to begin working on the referral acceptance process.  We had a big check to write and tons of agreements to sign.  We also had to contact our pediatrician to review his medical paperwork.  We were going to be busy!  We chose instead to pause and enjoy the call and happiness for those days!  Let me tell you how wonderfully joyful it was to call our friends and family and let them know but also agonizing to now be able to share online with those who had been following our story until all the calls were made!
 
IT.  HAD.  FINALLY.  HAPPENED!
 
I wish I remembered more detail to share but it seems to all be a blur.  And Yes, I was able to get Macie calm and to sleep. 
 
JUMP AHEAD 4 months to our first trip to Ethiopia.   Remember that first referral call?  Well, one of our prayers was that we would get to meet him and see him with his family.  And guess what?  THAT HAPPENED.  We saw him GO HOME with them and we knew we had sought the Lord and He brought the best family for that precious boy.  He was a joy and we loved him too.  He was prayed for us all along.
 
And the other amazing story?  We had decided on October 24th, that we would say no to our other referral. We would later learn that that was the SAME DAY that our son came into the care of our agency.  Elise received all of his referral paperwork THE VERY MONDAY that we said no!  Our baby arrived as we made the decision to wait for him.  The details in how God orchestrated it are undeniable and still blow me away!  Isn't that just like the Lord to just go big when He does something!?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Family of 4
 
 
She is soooo b-cited!!!
 
 
 
 
Daddy signing "YES!"
 
A little teary. :)
 
 
Writing the BIG check. :) Easiest check I've ever written!

 
God is Good.