Monday, November 11, 2013

"All Yours"

"You understand that this commitment cannot be canceled for any reason?"


"The court grants your petition and these kids are all yours."

Life changing words.  Eternity changing words.

God has placed two orphans in families, He has provided an earthly father to the fatherless.  And we are overwhelmed and grateful.

There you have it!  This morning, at 8:30am was our court appointment (which happened at 9:30).  And in a matter of minutes, we officially became parents to the two most beautiful kiddos in the world.

Last night Anya came in from Gambella.  Goodness, she is BEAUTIFUL!  She has such large eyes, an expressive face, and loves to look and wonder at the world.  She was kinda overwhelmed and content to just be held and stare, which was refreshing after more screaming from Jayce.  (That boy's lungs are healthy!  Have I mentioned that before??)

We introduced Jayce to Anya and they were quite enraptured with each other.  More staring.

This morning after court, we went back to the orphanage.  Jayce began his customary holler, and I took Anya out into the yard area to get some peace and quiet.  She promptly peed all over me.

After about 45 minutes of crying, Philip called me into the room where he and Jayce were- Jayce was now just whimpering and not struggling nearly as much.  Anya and I settled down and, praise God, they both fell asleep!  Yup.  Jayce fell asleep on Philip.  And snored.  Anya fell asleep all cuddled up with me, after peeing on me a few more times.

Both kiddos made huge progress today, we're so proud of them!  We're so thankful for your prayers- after hours of screaming, having Jayce settle down and be held was an act of God.  I expect more screaming in the future, but for today, we gained ground.

Anya certainly loves motion and activity, she is most comfortable when I'm walking around and is observing life around her with very wide eyes.  She becomes worried when Jayce is crying, and will fuss a little when he's unhappy.  She also looked worried when Philip and Jayce left the room.  If I tried putting her down, she fussed and reached for me, which was wonderful.

Jayce is all eyes for his sister (who wouldn't be?).  He seems to prefer to be stationary and too much activity is scary.  As Philip sat with him and comforted him for so long, he began reaching to hold Philip's neck, which was super encouraging.

So, we're walking on thin ice here... It's legal but not really appropriate to post pics of our kids right now.  Because adoption is born of great loss and pain, it is important to remember the hurt in the midst of our joy.  That being said, we desire to introduce you to our children.  So many of you have prayed for them, even before they were born.  You have encouraged us and blessed us, have shared in our joy and craziness.  Because of that,  please join us in welcoming:

Jayce Andrew Niyal Ahrens

Anya Nebiyat Rose Ahrens

A few more momentous pics:
Jayce asleep with his daddy

Jayce and Anya meeting for the first time

A daddy-daughter moment

Please continue to keep us in your prayers in the coming weeks as we continue our stay in Ethiopia, and as our kiddos continue to adjust and get to know us!


  1. I am crying all over my computer… What a wonderful day it is. We continue to pray as you all adjust and Anya and Jayce learn that you are their forever family. Also continued prayers as you need to leave them behind to come home for final preparations. We love you and are beyond the moon estatic for you!! Welcome tiny Ahrens children, welcome!

  2. Beautiful!!!! I'm so thrilled to see you with your beautiful children!!

  3. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh! Philip and Anna.... just... congratulations! It's the biggest, bestest, most important project you'll ever have, just wrapped up in those little beautiful brown bodies. Hello, next generation of Ahrens! What a blessing to see and hear from you.

    Sometime if you have a minute, could you share what the process is between now and coming home??? How long are you staying there.... do you make a second trip to bring them home or do they come home with you from this trip? What are they eating and what's their daily schedule there? And oh, my heart hurts for their losses and I'm so glad that their transitions are nearing the end and they'll be home and with you... never to lose family again soon.

  4. Wow. I'm quite literally overcome with joy for your family. We are continuing to pray as you embark on the biggest discipleship journey you'll ever encounter. We love you!

  5. Congratulations, So very happy for you. Thanks for sharing this part of your lives with us. You'll be great parents.

  6. Wow. Your kids are beautiful. You all make a beautiful family. I cannot wait to meet them. I am praying that your time with them gets sweeter every day.

  7. Absolutely wonderful! Very precious, important moments for all of you!!! Thank you for sharing!

  8. Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh! Your family is all together!!!!!!! Sweet, precious moments and memories to carry you through until you are all together here! So glad Anya's reception of you was a little easier! She is indeed beautiful! And, erm, I believe she is wearing a PINK shirt, Anna! :D So good to hear that Jayce gained some ground today! Will continue praying for him to get used to you white people. :) Can't wait to meet these precious ones in person.

  9. God is sooo good! I wish I could be there to celebrate with you!!

  10. "The court grants your petition and these kids are all yours." Sure sounds easy. Eleven words and so many things are set in motion. Life changing words for way more then 4. I am confident you are ready and congratulate you on the additions to the family. Have a safe trip home.

  11. Crying tears of joy here. Wanting to hug all of you through my phone. Praying for all of you as you walk, this new journey in your lives. Lord bless you.

  12. Praying for all y'all, but Jayce especially. Hugs to the little ones from me, and congrats to the new parents!

  13. So great to see your little ones; it will be hard to leave them and come home, so praying for you. Tal & Joan

  14. The greatest moments ever. I am so excited for the 4 of you and am praying so much for you both to have wisdom as you try to connect and bond with these 2 very precious children and for them to bond very quickly. Looking forward to meeting them face to face. Love all 4 of you.

  15. Love!!!! Your babies are beautiful! thank you for sharing all of this while it's going on, I can't even imagine the emotions and what you are experiencing as you bond with and get to know your little ones. We are praising Jesus with you, and can't wait to meet them too! Give hugs and kisses from us!!

  16. I don't tear up easily... but this is just too beautiful! I am bursting with joy for you all! Praise to the God who orchestrated this family before the foundation of the earth!

  17. Wow! A wonderful end to a long, long story.
    Thrilling! Fantastic! Super!
    Congratulations does not adequately express it.
    But, "Congratulations" from both me and your Grandmother.