They say home is where the heart is and yes that is generally the case but today I am feeling like my heart still lies in Ethiopia. Our daughter is there and now that we finally know her I know both my husband and I would agree that we left a piece of our hearts with her at Hannah’s Hope in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The whole idea of meeting her. beginning to bond with her, legally stating we want her to become a part of our family and then leaving her just does not sit right as a Mother. We are doing what we need to do in order to bring sweet baby Strobel home but this process, this roller coaster ride we are on sure as my heart feeling mighty dizzy. As we took off Saturday night from Addis headed for Frankfurt, then Chicago and then home many tears began to flow. We will hope and pray that the Embassy date is assigned quickly so we can return to Ethiopia, appear in court and then finally receive the papers that legally allow us to bring her home. Yahoo!
Of course our Ava is the reason for our journey to Ethiopia but the story has become so much bigger. We were so fortunate to make several new friends and a few that we got to know very well and we hope to stay connected to for years to come as we raise our Ethiopian children. We were also very blessed to experience a third world country for the first time and I am now convinced that doing so should be mandatory for all Americans. It was so eye opening and helped me to become even more aware of what others endure but that ultimately we are all just people. We are God’s people and we all require the same things. I saw that no matter your country of origin, the color of your skin or the size of your home we all just need to be loved. We all need a kind smile or a gentle touch. We all need a nourishing meal and water that is suitable to drink. No matter the street you roam or the relatives you have we all need a place to lay our heads at night. We all need clothing to keep us dry and warm. My week in Ethiopia helped me to better understand that basic needs are universal. Basic needs are essential and without them it is so challenging to survive especially as a child. The call to adopt Baby Ava is as big as the hearts of the children of Korah, or as wide as the smiles of the Special Mother’s loving our babies at Hannah’s Hope. The call to adopt lead us to the bigger picture of feeling what it was like to be the minority on the streets. Our adoption journey lead us to the Kolfe Boy’s Home where new soccer balls and pizza are luxury items and where a boy who reached for his assigned pieces of pizza first turned to me to ask if I needed some before taking his first bite.
There is simply too much to share so I will continue to process it all for now. I will continue to pray for the safety and the health of our new daughter. I will continue to pray for the quick paperwork process in the Ethiopian courts. I will pray for Almaz and Was and all the many others who touched our heart this week with their dedication to the little souls of Ethiopia. I will pray that others are touched by adoption such as we have been. My heart feels so full it could burst and that is a very good thing.
Photos are soon to come…