Sunday, April 28, 2013

Just Three Words

I stopped blogging over a year ago, because I could no longer figure out a way to share the difficult days with any sense of hope. The road seemed too long, too hard, and it felt like all I had to share would seem like complaining. We had settled into our new normal, and there was nothing encouraging to report.

I blogged for the first time last week, and took some time to read through some of my past posts. I was surprised how much I had forgotten ... from his cute toddler face, the sound of his voice and the progress of our journey from the time we got home. It made me sad that by not blogging I have missed the chance to record things that have happened in the past year or so.

Part of our story has included many of the hard aspects of RAD. Expressions of love or affection from him are in general restricted by him to the appropriate, directed moments. He hugs goodnight when we tell him it's time for hugs, Hugs grandparents good-bye because he sees everyone else do it, and when I say "I love you.", he says, "Ok". This is how it has been for 2 1/2 years.

Last night, he climbed up in my lap, and as he was snuggling in, blurted out, "I love you!"

Just three words ...  I don't want to forget this moment.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Three years ago day today we saw his face for the first time. I remember that day so clearly. Our paperwork had been in Ethiopia for 2 months, and I had just started wondering when the call would come. The call came while I was at work with my dear friend, Jennifer Bridges. I called Dave at work, and shortly after that, our coordinator called us back with the link to this picture (Isn't he cute?) and a report with the details of Kenenisa Nigatu’s story. Based on the story we had been given, we knew from the start that our journey would not be an easy one … but we believed that God was entrusting him to us, as much as our other three children had been.

Three years later … We continue on a journey that we could not have imagined. There have been so many tears. And we have wondered … how this could be the path we were being asked to walk? Our family is not what it used to be, and at this point, I would not say that it is better. However, we know that we are all being refined by our Creator. We are being asked to be more loving, more patient, more understanding, less controlling … and it is HARD!

This “referral-versary” comes at a time when we just learned that someone close to us is disrupting their adoption. That has been difficult news to process, but it has helped me remember the calling that we felt so strongly when we received this picture.

We still do not know where this journey will take us … we do not have any promises that we will see the healing that we long for this side of heaven … but Kenenisa David Elder … 3 years later, I promise you that we will not give up trying to change, grow and learn how to parent you, and learn how to help you receive and give the love you desperately long for.