Friday, March 23, 2012

On March 23, 2011 we stood in a waiting room of an Ethiopian court.

It was crowded. There was no room to sit. It was hot; no air conditioning.

There was no specific appointed time, just a time that the court opened that we were told to arrive.

We rode over in the back of an old Toyota, through streets crowded with cars and livestock and people, over horrible roads that jangled us about in our seatbeltless back seat. The air was full of smog and burned our lungs as the windows were down. When we first arrived our car was immediately surrounded by school aged boys who weren't in school because instead, they begged for the chance to polish our shoes for money to feed their families. Women approached with babies on their backs who looked at us with malnourished and hollow eyes as they signed hunger, bringing their tiny hands to their open mouths.

We went before the judge as she sternly asked us questions. We were nervous. It was over quickly.

Today, exactly one year later, we went before a judge again.

We rode over in our comfortable car, on a super highway, with food in our bellies and clean air in our lungs. As we got out we were met by my sister and mother in the parking lot. No one was begging. No one was hungry. We went into a comfortable building, air conditioned to the point of being uncomfortably cold, and waited our turn. We carried our well fed twenty-six pound toddlers in front of the judge and sought her approval of our adoption.

I am happy.
I am sad.
I have so many mixed emotions as our so many of our 'moments' have been literally presided over by a stranger.

But that's minor. It's just part of the nature of adoption.

We have full bellies. We have access to health care. My children have the chance to frolic in the bluebonnets versus begging someone for a few coins for polishing their shoes.

Some days it all hurts so much, the reality of the direction our lives have taken. Because once you know, you cannot un-know.

Tonight I have a grateful heart. I want my heart to always be bursting with gratitude.

Today the State of Texas recognized my children as my children. But they are the world's children, and there are literally millions more who do not have any luxuries in life, not a single one. And we can't forget them.

I don't want to end on a sad note, so I'll share some photos of the day.


  1. Bitter sweet and overwhelming it so many ways... Love the pics, congrats to you all!

  2. Great post, as always. Congrats on becoming a forever family (Though you clearly were already...)

  3. Beautiful and bittersweet. Wishing you all a long and lovely life together.

  4. oh! congratulations on this final step on being recognized as the family you are! Mo

  5. Congratulations. You are a lovely family.
    Amy x

  6. Congratulations on having another milestone completed in this process. It's amazing how different your experiences are from a year ago vs. today. But seeing the photos of your children (no longer babies! how fast they are growing) and your family gives me hope not only for myself but for the world. Seeing how healthy and happy they are is truly inspiring.

  7. I'll start on a happy note- Congrats! What a full-circle sort of day. And I still want to eat those yummy toddlers right up they are sooo cute :)

    But wow, what a contrast. It is hard to imagine worlds so different, but I know they are.

  8. i'm remember reading your posts about your trip a year ago. can't believe it's been that long already. huge congrats on today and kuddos for not trying to un-know that you've seen which no doubt leads to even deeper gratefulness if that's possible.

  9. Has it really been a year? Man, oh man--hard to believe. I'm sure the difference in courts is very hard to comprehend. A huge congrats to you all, you make one gorgeous family!

  10. Congratulations to you and your beautiful family!

  11. Another beautiful, tearjerker post from you! It is amazing the turn that your life has taken in the past year. I'm wishing you continued happiness.

  12. It's so easy to forget just how good we have it here in the U.S. *sigh* It's just good to see that your little family is happy and thriving. You all are so darn cute!
    Congratulations on being official!

  13. Congratulations! Yes, I can remember where you were a year ago - even longer. Life is amazing that way.

  14. Congratulations! I'm so so happy for you.
    Since your post on my blog today I've been reading yours for the last few hours. And then I remembered!!! I had seen that amazing video of yours a few years ago before even knowing what CC.RM was. Even Dan remembers watching it! I remember crying then and of course I've cried again today. So happy to see your story has a happy ending, a beautiful ending, for all four of you! It would have been such a waste of amazing people like you to end up without children. So happy that did not happen. xoxo

  15. I'm in tears - this is beautiful! Congratulations!

  16. Congratulations on your beautiful family! Tracy