Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Caleb day 4

   Today was awesome. I don't even know where to start!! First off you guys must have been praying because not only did Caleb finally eat food, he also slept last night. He did get up twice, but he slept!! We were so thankful. We think he is teething bad. His gums are really swollen so we gave him tylenol and that seemed to help.

Before we headed out for the day, we had a coffee ceremony put on by Tsige. I am obsessed with the coffee.

When we headed out, we drove by Kora on our way to the Alert hospital. Kora is the city dump where people live. They eat off of the food that gets dumped there. It was just...... there are no words. The smell alone makes you want to run for the hills, but there are people who have no other choice but to live there. Children and all. I wanted so badly to go meet some of them and love on them, but with Caleb we didn't feel like it would have been a good idea. I did get some pictures so you can kind of see what I am talking about (they will be on my facebook when we get home) After that we went to the Alert hospital. This hospital is where they treat the people with Leprosy and HIV. We went there so we could buy some stuff. All the money goes to them so we wanted to support what we could. Besides they love having visitors. We ended up getting the girls beautiful Ethiopian dresses and also the boys Ethiopian clothes. My girls are going to die! They wanted a dress so bad. Shhhh don't tell them.

We then went to the Holy Trinity Church. This is very historic for Ethiopia. Every single item in that church symbolizes something from the bible. It was built  by the Greeks. You will die when you see the pictures, it is nothing short of astonishing. The history behind it is incredible. We had a wonderful tour guide. He just loved Caleb and we learned something pretty amazing today. He asked what Caleb's name was and we told him Leykun ( that is his given name and will be his middle name now) The man told me he would not pronounce it and then asked us if he was in the Ormoyion (sp?) region. We said yes! (the place where he is from is 2 hours southeast of Addis) We later found out that the first language of Ethiopia is called Geez. That language is only to be spoken by the high priest and Leykun is of that language and means "Let it be".  We could never find anything on his name and  I am so glad we did.

Later on that night we met a bunch of adopting parents at a restaurant called Island Breeze. It was a crazy, hectic time and I was thankful to be able to spend time with families who have all been through what we have been through. We also met someone there named Bizrat. He has a relationship with our church at home and it was only God that we finally got to meet him. He was so sweet and I asked him what Leykun meant and he said the same thing as our guide. He also was able to pin point what region he was from just by the name. I find that so interesting.

We then of course went to Kaldis and Caleb had his first chocolate milk shake. He is such a Maser, he LOVED it!!!

Everyone here has been so nice. They keep kissing on Caleb and  telling us they are so thankful to see us with him. We tell them that we are so thankful that WE get to be his parents.
We did not adopt because we are "saving him" we did this because God told us to. I can't tell you how thankful I am that God would allow us to do this! We had no plan to adopt, we had no idea how we would fund raise to even do it, we had no clue about anything and yet God did it all. All He wanted was an obedient heart and He would take care of the rest. And He did!

I am so torn because I LOVE it here. I really do. God is the one that is doing that. God is drawing our hearts more and more here and we are not sure why yet. I am dying to get home to see my babies and have us all together as a family, but I am so sad to leave. This place feels like home. Not Florida. Curious to see what God is doing.

There is so much that we have seen and experienced. It is really hard to put into words. Hopefully when things settle down I will be able to wrap my head around it all.

Thank you all for following our journey. We could never have done any of this with out your support and prayers. We will be leaving here tomorrow and headed to Germany first and then New York where Caleb will be an American Citizen :) and then home! We should be arriving in Tampa at 8 pm. Thursday night.

Please pray that everything goes as smoothly as it can. I get so exhausted just flying with hubby and now we will have Caleb.

Oh and one last thing. I don't understand how people lose weight when they come here. I can't stop eating their yummy food and I must drink my weight in coffee everyday.

All for His Glory,

Monday, November 21, 2011

Caleb days 2 and 3

We woke up early Sunday and went to church. Caleb was unsure at first, but loved the music. Everyone there was so nice and it was a great service. I was crying when we were singing the song "The wonderful cross." The part where it says " you bid me come and die to find that I may truly live." I think about all that God has done not only with Caleb but everything in my life and I can't help but praise Him and be in awe that He would allow me to die (cover my sin), so that I may live with Him ( his daughter, heir to the throne). Thank you Jesus!  After church we just went back to the guest house to try and nap. Caleb has not been sleeping at night so hubby and I are were exhausted.

Later on that night for dinner we went to a traditional Ethiopian restaurant with our driver and his fiance. We had a wonderful time. Caleb did awesome and he even ate his first injera. He went nuts when the dancers came out. He loved every minute of it. I ate my first raw meat..... .yep, I will take a moment to let that sink in. It was by complete accident. We were sharing a meal and I just started to try everything. I ate tons of it before someone started naming off everything and then said " oh and that one is raw meat." You should have seen the look on my face. I was so scared I was going to get sick. Thankfully all is well and I am fine. I am so adventurous LOL

Caleb is becoming a lot closer to hubby and I. He cries when one of us leaves the room and no matter what he is doing he has to be touching me or he gets upset. We are having a hard time with feeding him because most of our food for him was taken in Germany. They told us since we didn't have a baby with us then we can't have it. Also I know they fed him a lot in the orphanage but he doesn't seem to eat a lot with us. I know the food is so different then what he is use too. We bought formula here so that works, but please pray he starts to really eat soon. I know he needs it.

He is crawling and starting to stand. He is not walking but we think he will be by Christmas. He adores other kids. Anytime he sees them he cracks up and can't stop staring. I can not wait for him to meet his brothers and sisters. He is a talker, he loves baths, his laugh is contagious and I just might be slightly obsessed with his hair :)

We had to get up early on Monday for our visa appointment. Caleb did not sleep again. Well he sleeps if I am holding him, but I can't hold him all night. And we tried the co sleeping. I have never been a fan of it and it didn't work anyway he just wanted to play.

Our visa appointment went great. We didn't have to wait very long and when we left, we told Caleb he is a Maser and he is coming home and he started to laugh. I think he understood us ;) We were able to meet so many of the families that were caught up in this same mess we were. It was awesome seeing everyone with thier new children. We are all going to meet for dinner tomorrow night.

We then went site seeing around some beautiful mountains. It was just incredible. I must have taken a million pictures. Then we went shopping and then to lunch. We also stopped by the place where they harvest silk worms and make scarves. So amazing how they do it and I love how they don't waste anything. (I will show pictures when we get home) I of course had to get some more scarves :)

Caleb is now napping and hubby and I are enjoying our Kaldis that we took to go. We are having such an amazing time with our new son. He is such a joy! even when he is refusing to sleep!

Thank you all for your prayers!!!    I can't wait for you to meet our boy!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Caleb day#1

The plane ride from the US to Germany was no fun. We had bad turbulence pretty much the whole time and it didn't help that hubby kept saying the oxygen mask were going to fall any minute. When we arrived in Ethiopia everything went smooth. We even had all of our luggage!

It was so amazing pulling up to Providence again. It felt like coming home to family. I can't even explain how much we love and feel so comfortable in Ethiopia.

We slept really good last night. I think when you are on a plane for  almost 24 hours you will crash no matter how excited you are.

This morning we got up bright and early and had our driver take us to the House of Hope where our sweet Caleb was. We pulled up and were so excited to see Kati Foster, her hubby and their daughter Dagme. It was exciting because Kati was the first person to ever love on Caleb and tell him that he had a family waiting for him. Also Kati's daughter and Caleb's crib were right next to each other. We kept praying that we would get to meet in Ethiopia and God allowed that to happen. It was so awesome!

When they handed Caleb to us he cried. Wait til you see the pictures of our face and you won't blame him. We were beyond excited and it showed :) I calmed him down by rocking him and telling him that God had a plan for him and sometimes it seems scary,but that we were his parents and we have been praying for him for a long time.
He seemed scared and slowly started to warm up. He ended up falling asleep on me so when we said goodbye to all the nannies he wasn't awake. (we will be going back for a proper goodbye) it was really hard on the nannies to see him go. I was trying really hard not to cry. One nanny in particular took it hard. I have tons of pictures of her with Caleb and I told her that I would always tell him about her. I can tell they had a great relationship. I don't think she understood me, but I want Caleb to know and see how much these women loved him.

We left and went to Kaldis for a little celebration. Caleb was having so much fun, so we decided to do a little shopping and then went to lunch. He really started to warm up to us quickly and anytime someone came by him he would cling to me. He still loves his daddy and laughs like crazy at him. He loved being in the sling with me and still adores my hair. He likes it so much that he pulls it out. He cracks up when he does it, so I will let him :)

He loves the car and loves sticking his hand out the window.

We are at the guest house now and will be in for the rest of the day. We are all going to take a little nap. I can't wait for him to wake up so we can play some more :)

God is so good and I know that this whole journey is really just beginning for us. When we get home that is when it will get tough. He needs to learn and understand that we are his parents and we are the ones he can count on and feel safe with. That will take a long time, maybe even years. I am excited for this next chaper in our lives.

Thank you all for sharing in our joy!

Sorry there are no pictures. There won't be any until we get home. This is not my computer.

Tomorrow we are going to church and then who knows!

I can't wait for all my babies to be together, I think my heart will burst.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Falling on my knees..

                                Yesterday was one of many days that I will never forget.

Yesterday morning was rough for me. I woke up at 4 am and checked my phone for any emails from the USCIS and nothing. Then I checked our facebook board to see if anyone else heard anything and nothing. I began to get scared. or you can also say I was panicking :)  I had to be up early anyway for CC so I never went back to sleep.

I felt heavy and could barely get out of bed. When I got  in the shower I just lost it. I was on my knees crying  to God that I didn't know how I was going to keep going on. And then even just saying that out loud I was scared that God's plan was to give us an RFE so that He could show me  through Him I could go on.... See crazy mix of emotions.

I asked on Facebook for prayers because I needed them and I desperately needed to feel the Lord in a  big way.  After I spent sometime in prayer myself, I was feeling some peace and then headed to CC with my kiddos.

Every morning before we begin, all the CC tutors and leaders get together, hold hands, and pray. They all started to pray for me without evening knowing how horrible I was feeling and they all started asking the Lord to move this mountain and allow Caleb to come home now. I of course cried and this wave of peace came over me. I still wasn't sure if the Lord's plan was for us to have an RFE but even if it was, I was okay with it.

During class I have eight students and I was telling them that if I am not here next Tuesday it is because I will be in Africa finally picking up my son. The kids said  together, "Mrs. Maser, we are praying we don't see you next Tuesday."  It melted my heart!

I don't have my phone on while I am there and at around 11:30 I got a text from my friend asking if we cleared. Before I had time to answer I realized that I had several missed calls from my hubby, I called him and he yells " God did it!! We are getting our boy!." I burst into tears!! I could not believe it. I told the kids and  I ran out into the parking lot and hugged the first person I saw., (sorry poor Amie for scaring you ) and then my sweet friend Mary came running out screaming (someone thought a kid got hit by a car because she took off so fast) and before you know it we were all in shock (kids and adults) and praising the Lord together.

The funny thing about all of this craziness is that God really did give us the desires of our hearts.  If we would have picked up Caleb two months ago when we were suppose to, I would have had to leave him every Tuesday for CC. Hubby would have been with him, but I really was having a hard time thinking about leaving him.Plus tickets were so expensive that I would have had to fundraise again.  Also Hubby wanted so desperately to be the one that read the email this time. I am the one that had received everything first with this adoption and he wanted to be the one to tell me. I told him there would be no way because it always goes to my email and I have my phone.Another thing is, we really wanted to leave this Thursday so we could be with our boy on Thanksgiving. And look what God did!!!!  CC has a two month break coming up, Hubby hacked into my email account and found the email first, and we are leaving tomorrow to get our boy and we will be home with our whole family Thanksgiving night.  

Oh sweet Jesus, there are just no words!

I am going to be kissing this sweet face in 3 days and I will never stop!!

I can not thank you all enough for your continued prayers. There were so many of you texting me, emailing, facebooking, and letting me know you were praying. That is the body of Christ at work!!! Your prayers strengthen me when I didn't think I could go another day. Over and over again God gave me peace and Hope though all of your prayers. I will never be able to thank you for coming along side us, not judging my pain, but instead hurting with me and most of you I have never even met.  God is good and I am beyond thankful for each and every one of you!!

I bought this sling in June and in just a couple of days, I will finally be able to carry our boy in it!!
It has been over four long months since I last held our Caleb. I can not wait!!!!!!! Our kids are beyond excited to finally meet their little brother. Even they have been able to witness God's incredible faithfulness and power to say yes, when the world says no! Thank you Jesus!

 Thank you all so so much!!! I will be updating through facebook while we are gone. That seems to be the easier route. I will still blog while we are gone, I am just not sure if I will be able to publish it right away.

One more important thing....
If you all could please still pray for my dear friends who did get an RFE. They are hurting on a level that we can not comprehend. Praying that God would wrap His arms around them. And give them the strength that they will need to get through this next hurdle. Friends we love you and will not stop praying.

Oh and I am so thankful for family and friends (who are like family) that are going to  watch our kids while we are gone. The excitement that they have to watch them makes it so much easier for this momma to leave and get our boy! Another Blessing from the Lord,. Oh how undeserving we are!

For His Glory alone!