For months, I couldn't sleep at night wondering what the first day home with the kids would be like and what we would eat. I now realize that in the two years that I've walked, run, cried, shouted and crawled through this process that I've also obsessed over every decision playing out hundereds of scenarios in my head. At the same time I was also doing some important preparation work for the life we would have together; however nothing prepared me more than going to spend three days with my children in December. They aren't just pictures on a page to me, I know their personalities, I've heard their voices, held their hands, kissed them, wiped their snotty noses, measured their feet, pressed my hands against their hands, and looked deep into their eyes with our foreheads pressed together. I walked out of the gate that night after kissing them on their cheeks knowing that I would return. I can't believe that six months will have passed before I see them again.
I've thought through most decisions that I needed to make for them hundreds of times like church, summer activities, school, language, family introductions, friends, doctors, food, clothes sizes, shoe sizes, sleeping arrangements, and crisis plans. I thought I'd feel more anxious now, more hurried, more how-do-I-get prepared but I just feel very calm and more steady. I'm not frantic about what I will pack or making travel plans that is the easy stuff.
I've researched, made decisions, revised decisions several times and now I am loving not having to wonder how to decide and if I'm making the right decisions. Now, I can just do and undo! I'm much better at doing than talking about doing, And, I've been busy doing things to help make their homecoming and transition a little easier (I hope).
The only unease that I do have is knowing that my children who were two of nine when I was there in December are now the last two of nine older children left at the orphanage. The director has decided to not take more children and they have watched their friends go off to live in Denmark and America and I'm sure they must be wondering what's taking me so long. When I think about that I do get a bit uneasy but, we are at the point of counting days now so even that will be of no more concern. I predict that all the time that has lapsed in between will instantly melt into the right here, right now and we will be in Illinois talking about, the do-you-remember-whens.
I know you all have had questions and I'll try to answer the big one:
- How old are the kids? My son is 5(ish) and my daughter is 6(ish) probably 7.
- What are their names? They are Meron and Wondessen. When I'm thinking about them they are affectionately known as Mimi and Desi or Baby Des but since I'm not a nicknames kind of person they may only hear those names sparingly in private moments. I am keeping their names and have chosen to give them Ethiopian middle names that are also Bible place names, much to my Robbin's dismay; however in some circles my baby girl will always be Merin Robbin.
- Do they know about you and are they excited? They met me in December without knowing that I would be their mother. Since then they have been told and Kelly assures me that they remember me and are excited.
- Where are their pictures? There are a bunch of them on Facebook and I'm just not comfortable at this point putting them on the blog. I'm still working through this one.
- When do you travel? I'm keeping that to myself at this point, but I am making plans. Say a prayer that all of the travels go smoothly.