Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Big Steps

It’s Wednesday, and we are praising God for answering prayers!  Thank you for praying for Jayce as he struggles to warm up to us and continues to grieve these transitions that are out of his control. 

This morning Jayce only cried for a few minutes when I picked him up, and then promptly fell asleep.  On my shoulder.  Content and snuggled.  It was glorious!  After 45 minutes or so, he woke up and wanted to keep snuggling for another half hour or so.  He was wide awake, aware of who was holding him, and was happy to just sit and watch his daddy and sister and lean up against his mommy.  Oh. My. Goodness.  God answers prayers!  This was a HUGE step for all of us!

My handsome little man!
After a bit, he wiggled and got down, and romped outside looking for his friends.  He is the youngest boy that we’ve seen at the orphanage- the others being about 3-5 or so.  He certainly acts older than his 13 months in so many ways.  It’s so funny to watch him be a little man with a scholarly look and take himself so seriously.  On the flip side, he’s had more life experience than most adults, and the hurt is written on his wise, mature expressions.  Sometimes when he’s crying he reaches to tear at his hair, just like you’d expect an old man would.  Honestly, my heart aches just watching him.  I feel his grief as his pain mirrors my own in some of the hardest times in my life.  His name, Jayce, means “healer”, and I trust that God, his Abba, will heal Jayce’s heart in time as He is working to heal mine. 

Towards the end of the visit, Philip got to play with him and some of the older boys.  Jayce, in perfect introvert style, was truly happy to watch the others play.  He is totally my son.  He sat and giggled as Philip tickled the other boys, and after a while he walked over to Philip (a first!!!) and got tickled a little, too.  We had been praying that soon we could see his smile.  Again, God answers prayers!  His smile is the cutest you’ll ever see!  It’s a relief to see him more relaxed and comfortable.  It give me hope that maybe he won’t hate us forever!  Ha ha!  But, it also made me miss him when I left today.  Rrrr.

Please be praying for Anya- she developed a cough since Monday.  She coughs when she cries, and it is the most pitiful hoarse wail/wheeze.  The caregivers are aware of it, and I hope it’s just something she caught on the plane rider over, or maybe the change in weather is affecting her.  Gambella is hot and dry, and it’s been drizzly here for a few days.  Still hard to see my baby girl not feeling good.

Philip held her for most of the visit.  Hallelujah, she had a diaper on today!  J  She was fussy for most of the time.  She does enjoy activity more than Jayce, and her head is always spinning to look around her.  She is totally her daddy’s little girl! 

After our stay at the orphanage, we went to eat at the Ethiopian equivalent of a Starbucks.  There is one within walking distance of our guest house, and we’ve frequented it several times.  They have super yummy lattes for about $1.50.  I totally approve.  The three of us (Philip, me, and our driver, Tisfu) ate
Baby girl not feelin' good
a nice lunch for about $12.  After that, we had some time to kill before our meeting with our lawyer, so we walked around the mall nearby.  It was interesting to see what was more expensive and less expensive than what we were used to.  Average American tennis shoes sold for about $150, and a suit jacket was $250.  Electronics were super expensive as well.

Our driver was telling us that to live in an apartment in Addis is about $400/month, but to live out of the city is about $100/month.  We figured out that his salary is about $200/month.  It really puts things in perspective for us.  It feels so irresponsible to spend much money here, knowing that what we might spend on a nice dinner is a week’s wages for a middle class Ethiopian. 

Tomorrow we’ll go early to buy plane tickets to Gambella.  Hopefully we’ll get seats for Monday.  It won’t be a long visit, but enough time to see the area where my kids were born.

Last night our hostess, Yeshi, gave Ashley and I cooking lessons.  We made 4 Ethiopian dishes and ate with our hands.  It was sooooo delicious!  I videotaped snippets of the cooking lessons, so hopefully I can reconstruct the dishes later. 

Before I forget, some general info that some may be wondering about.  We are NOT bringing kiddos home this trip.  We need to travel twice for the adoption process- once for “court” in which we legally become parents in Ethiopia, and the second time (8-10 weeks later, usually) for “Embassy” where our kids get US passports, travel visas, birth certificates with our names on them, etc.  Then, after Embassy, we take them home and they become US citizens when their little brown feet tough American soil. 

We will be home Thanksgiving night, after 33 hours of travel.  We land in Rome, but don’t leave the airplane. 

Thank you for your encouragement and prayers! 


  1. Thank you so much for all your updates. Makes me so happy and fell like crying all at the same time. Praying for all 4 of you. God is so very loving, kind and gracious <3
    Love you, Dave and Paula

  2. Thank you for sharing this fantastic journey of your lives. It has been great to hear of the adventures with your new family! You both are truly blessed.

  3. So thankful for the update but especially for the good news of Jayce's continued adjustment. How special that even before you knew him and his struggles, his name was perfect for who he is! We will continue to pray for his healing and that he grows in love with you both! I LOVE that picture of him looking up at you and Anya! And his giggle!!!! Gaahhhhh! Can't wait to see that in person--he is soooo adorable! Hope Anya girl is feeling better soon! Rylea is getting a sniffly nose which isn't huge at all, but still I hate seeing her not at her best.
    ~Ali W.

  4. Very exciting update. When I first viewed the picture of Jayce standing alone with his giraffe, I say Philip. Praying for strength for Anya and continued strength for you and Philip. Annette

  5. Great pics and story. God be praised. The prophetic significance of you coming home on Thanksgiving blessed me. What a joy.

  6. How amazing is our Lord, He gives us what we need when we need it. I can't imagine that your son wouldn't come to be comfortable with you. Not with God's hand in your lives. Thank you for the updates. The children are beautiful. My heart is bursting with joy for you and the little ones.

  7. Really enjoy reading about your journey and seeing the pictures. Praying for you and Jayce and his adjustment and for Anya's cough. Can't wait to come to Oregon and see them in person. Safe trip home.

  8. I can't stop looking at these pictures. Your children are beautiful, and I can't wait to meet them. We are praying!