Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Remembering and Reconnecting

One year ago today, we landed in Ethiopia to bring our Sintay home. We spent 3 days stuck in the Riviera Hotel, waiting on his travel visa and getting acquainted with the A family: Michael, Mindy and their new daughter Alaysia. Mindy and I had connected the year before via e-mail after she had met my father-in-law, who was speaking at her church in Illinois. I had also been with her in Atlanta in March of last year at the Created for Care it turns out, on the very day that they received their referral for Miss Alaysia. Their case was a few weeks behind ours, but since our case was delayed at the Embassy level for a couple of weeks, we ended up in Ethiopia to pick up our kiddos at the same time. Really, it was a God thing all the way! We had some great conversations together, and connected on so many levels. Their sweet Alaysia was struggling with the transition, while Sintayehu was doing great, so we were able to spend some time lifting them up in prayer and walking the courtyard with them as they tried to calm their screaming daughter. Miss A seemed happier when Sintay was helping to entertain her, so we definitely logged some hours in that courtyard! Sometimes, some very strong friendships can be forged in the rough places....God is a master at bringing beauty from hard situations.


Ready to leave the Riviera for America! June 22, 2012

When I met Mindy again at this year's C4C retreat, she invited us to spend a weekend with them. We chose Father's Day weekend....just days away from our one-year anniversary of being together in Ethiopia. We had a wonderful time getting reacquainted and marveling at how much our little ones have changed over the intervening year. It was nice to meet their two sons as well, and we truly enjoyed being together again! Here are some photos from our weekend:
Miss Alaysia today....isn't she gorgeous?

Noah and Levi, Alaysia's big brothers

We took the short walk to a beautiful park right around the corner from Michael and Mindy's. It was a cool, cloudy day with a bit of rain every now and then, but that didn't stop my boys from getting soaking wet as soon as they saw the splash pad.

Mindy's children, clearly less crazy than mine, sat quietly (and warmly) on the sidelines, watching Y and S cavorting about in the water.
Saturday evening, we walked uptown to a great ice-cream/coffee shop, where we met another AGCI family, Ryan and Amber. I have known Amber's family since we were both little girls, and today she lives just a couple of miles from Mindy, who happens to be her close friend. It really is a small world sometimes! Alaysia and Sintay held hands all the way there....too cute!

The kids all walked around the fountain area in uptown, and of course my boys were the only ones who got completely soaked once again!
Amber, me and Mindy

After church on Sunday, we snapped some Father's Day photos of our men with the little ones.

I feel so blessed to get to parent our boys with David. He is such an awesome Daddy!

Sintayehu LOVED Mindy, and insisted on holding her hand whenever possible.
Aren't these two adorable?

We all look a lot more relaxed than in the photo taken a year ago!
After we left Michael and Mindy's, we drove to Indiana to stay with Jason and Lori, some more great friends. Lori and I became buddies in Sunday School, when we were four years old, and I still consider her to be one of my very favorite people. We've got lots of memories, good and bad, and I love seeing how God has changed and molded both of us during the last 30-odd years. We enjoyed seeing their new-to-them home, and the boys loved the pool in the backyard. Jason and Lori are expecting a little boy in September of this year, and we can't wait to meet him! Their girls, Lindsey and Elise were awesome with our wild boys....they'll do just great with a little brother!

Our weekend may not have been very restful, between the 16 or so hours of driving and staying up late talking for several nights in a row, but it was definitely a blessing!

1 comment:

  1. Love all the pics! Now I think it's time to get together with the M family in NW's been too long, I think. But when to find the time??? Maybe after ET.......