Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We're Home!!!

It still is surreal to me, but all four of my children are tucked in their beds for the night in the same house!  (I guess it's equally surreal that I have four children, period)!

My trip for our embassy appointment and to bring Karis Lemlem home was amazing.  Never before have I so literally felt the prayers of others lifting us up before the throne of God!  Some day soon I will sit down and write out all the details of our homecoming, as they are a testimony to the greatness and faithfulness of our God!

Meanwhile, I'm recovering from jet lag and a head cold, and Mark and I are both tired from a baby that's having trouble figuring out how to sleep here. 

My sister Tricia took amazing pictures of our airport reunion.  She was hesitant to post them, as she's always considerate not to "steal my thunder" in posting things about my family before I get to. 

However, any thunder I may have is currently buried under a heap of spit-up cloths and diapers, so I told her to post away-and she did!

So, check out the homecoming party they staged for Karis Lemlem, and share our joy as she's united with her family!  It's all right here...unless you find this link well after the fact, in which case you'll have to scroll down till you get to Dec. 13!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Embassy Appt

Posted on FB Weds. morning:

"Our embassy appointment is complete!!!! As soon as we land in Chicago, lil' miss Lemlem is a citizen of the good ole US of A!!! She was a trooper through the wait, and even finally gave in and feel asleep! God is taking such good care of us through such good people! Our travel group guys have been incredibly helpful w/ carting bags and such as I go this alone w/ baby girl. And the staff here is amazing as always, covering our backs on everything. We actually made it through embassy simply by the grace of God, as we weren't informed that I needed a copy of Mark's visa from court travel-thankfully they let it slide!"

- IT girl

First Day/Night with Karis Lemlem

Posted on FB Tuesday afternoon:

"Karis Lemlem and I are here at the computer, and we could seriously use some prayer! She basically was inconsolable for the first hour we've been here. She did finally sleep for a bout 10 min, but the moment I moved, she was awake & crying again. And she doesn't like the bottle type I have for her either. But, she's mesmerized by the computer screen, so at least she's calm for the moment!"

(a few hours later.......)
"THANK YOU for praying! In hopes of distracting her, we went down to dinner, & I had over an hr. of smiles from her till she got fussy @ bedtime. We tried 4 different bottle/nipple combos-all met w/ crying. I finally just sat her up on my lap, held the bottle in front of her-she got it in her mouth herself, chugged it all sitting up, fell asleep, burped, & was (& still is!) snug in bed...all in 15 mins! Hallelujah!"

(Next morning.........)
"We had a fantastic night! She was asleep by 8:30 pm, then woke up @3:30 for her bottle, practically stayed asleep while drinking it, then went back to bed and I had to wake her up at 8 this morning! We're both smiling, happy campers this a.m. as we head out for our embassy appt...please pray that it goes smoothly!"

- IT girl

Made it to Addis!

Posted on FB late Monday evening:
"I'm safe & sound in Addis! Nearly cried w/ joy @ seeing the bassinet waiting in my room! Learned some things along the way...Frankfurt has the least efficient & most poorly laid-out airport of any I've ever seen, & the smell of German beer on the breath of those sitting next to me on the plane makes me nauseous. Other than that, it's all good. "Paperwork party" in the a.m., then to get my girl in just 12 hours!!! Finally got my contacts out, took an incredibly long, hot shower, and am ready to go horizontal for the first time in two days. Will report back tmo with my baby in tow!"

- IT girl

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bringing her home...

Well, we're finally on the final leg of this adoption process!  (Well, excluding the next 18 years of raising her...but you know what I mean)!

I am currently en route to Ethiopia to finally bring our daughter home!!!

There are so many emotions coursing through me right now...joy being prevalent, but also mixed with concern for our trip home, grief for Karis Lemlem to be losing all that she knows and is comfortable with, all layered through the normal excitement and surreal acknowledgment that we're actually having a fourth child!  In so many ways it's like giving birth...and in so many ways it's not!  It was very hard to leave Mark and the kids last night, and I came to realize that I didn't really want to leave to bring her home...I just want her magically home!  But, since that's not possible, I'll do what I have to do!

To that end, I have several specific prayer requests that I would humbly ask you to be seeking the Lord for us about.
1.  For my time in Ethiopia...that Karis Lemlem and I would have a relaxing time of bonding together, so that as she experiences the new and possibly frightening surroundings on the way home, that she would truly feel comforted by me...and that I would feel the comfort and peace of the Holy Spirit that will flood through me to her.
2.  For our embassy appointment on Wednesday, that everything would go smoothly and that there are no issues in getting her travel visa issued.
3.  For our travel home...
  • For favor with the many airline attendants from whom I will need help!
  • For extra seats next to us on our flights
  • For Karis Lemlem to be healthy and to sleep well much of the time
  • For our flight connections...I have just 3 hours in Chicago to get through Customs and Immigration, hauling bags and baby and getting to our connecting flight
  • For our flight home with Mark from Pittsburgh, as we have a connecting flight in Detroit with only a 45 minute layover
4.  For our kids:  Adding a new baby to any family by any means is stressful.  Good stress, yes, but stressful all the same. Anna will especially need grace through this adjustment.  Also, she really had a difficult time when we last went to Ethiopia, and I know me being gone for yet another week will be hard for her (when it's the day before you leave and your three-year-old tells you every four minutes "I lub you, mommy," you know she's thinking about it too much...as heart-warming as it is to hear)!
5.  Pray for Mark and everyone holding down the fort at home, and for Mark's flights to meet me in PA to be safe and smooth.

We're so grateful to have so many standing with us in prayer.  I'll be posting updates throughout the week via facebook...if there's anything lengthy or incredibly noteworthy, Rebecca will post it here for those of you not on facebook! 

If you're local, we'd love to see you in Anchorage when we get in on the 12th!  One week and we'll all be home!!!