One year ago…

I am amazed when I look back to this time in our lives last year. There was simply so much big stuff going on in our hearts and in our home. We were redoing my husband’s office, or shall I say a spectacular team, was redoing my husband’s office and we were getting him all set to relocate after 26 years and three generations in the same location. At the same time we finally knew who would be coming to our home and she was already deeply rooted in our hearts. Sweet Argene was half way around the world being well cared for by the dear Mother’s of Hannah’s Hope. A few AGCI Mommas had just touched down in Ethiopia and they were meeting their new babes for the first time but carried our daughter’s information so they could love and photograph her for us. We knew God’s plan was enough but all the changes and all the unknowns were often hard during those summer days. My friends, Cheri and Andrea, were able to send me the photos below and I remember just sinking down in my chair and feeling such a sense of relief and comfort that two adoptive mom’s were there in Ethiopia, a land we were just beginning to connect to… They were there and able to meet and hold our dear daughter.  They were there for me in a way they may never fully understand. It is one of the coolest things about being in the adoption community. So many adoptive parents have helped me to see that my life is no my own and that helping others and supporting one another’s children is the greatest gift. Here is one of the first photos we saw of our daughter without seeing her all bundled up. There are  some chilly days in Ethiopia and boy do they bundle the babies! All the children were layered up and I remember thinking it was so funny considering all Americans think Africa is so hot!

To Andrea and Cheri… words cannot express how filled with joy we were last fourth of July weekend to have new photos of our little peanut to share with family and friends. We had waited for her for nearly two years and it was so wonderful to know you were there holding, kissing and loving her. Seeing her through your motherly eyes helped our family to be at ease. God placed her perfectly and I marvel daily at how perfect a fit she is for our wild and crazy family. The girl has a seriously set of lungs and if she does not grow up to be a singer, I will be shocked. Thank you for being a part of  Ava’s story. What a difference a year has made!

Ava’s first week of walking from melanie Strobel on Vimeo.