Today our family celebrated our 1st year anniversary of adoption. The weeks leading up to this event were filled with tears. Tears of sorrow....tears of anger....and tears of why? I believe it has finally taken our oldest daughter Kidan a year to let her tears begin to flow; Gerima has had tears of anger toward her Ethiopian family which became evident as she stopped praying for her them during our morning prayer time. Abenezer has matured at expressing his tears with words that give me a better understanding of his thoughts. Mizan shares her dreams of her Ethiopian family and tells me when she misses them and asks the why questions.
But today was different. Today we celebrated. They put on their traditional Ethiopian attire. Streamers of both Ethiopian and American colors hung in our dining room. Aliza made an Ethiopian flag out of construction paper.
We brought out some Ethiopian memorabilia and placed it on the table. We watched movies of our trip to Africa and relived some of our precious memories, especially seeing their Ethiopian mom, sisters, Grandpa, and Grandma at their home near Adwa. Ethiopian music was played, and of course dancing followed. We had a wonderful breakfast at home for which Auburn made special pancakes that had chocolate chip smiley faces, shapes of Africa and even letters that spelled E-T-H-I-O-P-I-A. Some played outside, while others went for a walk on this 85 degree (!) April day.
Later, banana splits were made, and what a treat that was! We ended with a movie that the littlest ones enjoyed the most.
We made the one-year mark, which some adoptions do not make. I know without a doubt it was nothing short of the Grace of God that covered us this last year. There was no adoption support group for us -- we had two families bring a meal, and one of those was from a family of 13 with the dad being unemployed; their love to us was amazing. The adoption blog world wasn't as supportive as I thought it would be, most of them were more concerned about building up their blog empire then giving you any individual attention, which I really could have used. Our homeschool group was pretty silent with the exception of two families congratulating us. Our church family has been kind to us, yet relationships are distant, leaving very little adoption support there. I guess you can say I have felt pretty much alone in this process, and when you are alone in something you know is so right, you can get kinda sad and down and yeah, even somewhat mad. I have wondered, "Why does it have to be like this God?" He was silent... so very silent....
Upon reading other blogs I saw some of them getting help, from churches to volunteers helping teach English, to family members being available to relieve the load. We had none of this; it was all on us, or it wasn't gonna happen. I began to feel burned out and wished I had someone to share this load with. My husband is my best friend, but we still needed people with skin on to be there for us.
Encouragement can sustain you when you walk a path less traveled. I wish I could say everything's better now, but that would not be true. I may be walking with a limp, but I'm pressing forward into God's heart; its the heart of Love that holds me when all others fail. Would I do it again, what else would I do? Spend my time counting down the Big empty nest days? Get my nails done each week? Sell Norwex or Tupperware? Watch TV every night to fill my mind with the imaginations of Hollywood? How about investing my time in a great diet plan that promises me hope for a "new me" (heaven knows I could use it)? Or how about going to the mall every Saturday to fill that empty Love spot in my heart by buying more material possessions?
Herein lies my problem: I want to do something, be something and feel something for the One who has my heart, because all else pales when I'm with Him. And when I do His stuff.... His way ....it's pretty much just Him and Him alone who sees me. There's just not alot of glamour in that, but it sure is addicting as it exhilarates every fiber of my being.