She is finally home! It has been a hectic few weeks with no time to blog. Apart from a lack of time, I am having difficulty organizing my thoughts.
It is so wonderful to have Abigail home with us. She is a beautiful baby and she is incredibly easy. So long as we feed her when she is hungry she stays content and offers everyone smiles. She gently whimpers when she is hungry and generally everyone in the house jumps. If we are too slow to act her gentle whimpers quickly turn to urgent demands and she wails like no body's business. Joshua and Aaron get stressed out and run around the kitchen frantically scooping Similac. They are clearly smitten--devoted big brothers and huge helpers for me! It is all a mother's dream:-) Sometimes in the early hours of the morning I just hold Abby close and feel her sweet warmth nestled against me. There is nothing in this world like holding your sleeping baby close--quiet and content.
Our trip to Africa was one we will never forget. It was obviously a life changing, family expanding event for us. I have never been more proud of my boys. We tried to prepare them for the poverty, but it was futile. The fact is that Shawn and I were not prepared for what we encountered. Abigail's homeland is vastly different than the world we live in. The majority of people struggle to obtain daily sustenance. I know the United States has poor people--a lot of them, but they can generally find food and water. This is not the case in Ethiopia.
The poverty is undeniable, but it is also beautiful and simple. Our cells and blackberries were not functional so we were completely incommunicato. Even hungry, the people seem to be happy and friendly. Most of them were curious about us and eager to interact. We ate at the local restaurants and shopped at the local market without much difficulty. We even attended an international church service while we were there. We did not blend and attracted attention everywhere we went, but I felt much less awkward than I anticipated.
I am still not really ready to blog about the orphanage visits. The sights, sounds and smells are hard to describe with mere words. My heart broke as I walked past each little bed. Many of the toddlers ran to us and wanted to hold hands. They were just so eager to be touched and held. I am brutally honest when I say that I am ashamed because there was a part of me that wanted to recoil. Most of them had obvious infections. All of them were filthy. Each and every one of them was crying out for a home and a family. There was one little girl who looked to be about 2 years old and she instantly captured my heart. Her eyes were big and round (just like Abigail's) and she flashed us a beautiful smile. If there had been any way to scoop her up and whisk her off she would be here too. What would that smile look like with every physical and emotional need met? I still see her face when I close my eyes.
Lately I have been pondering why we are where we are. I mean why was I born here in America--land of plenty? Why was I given this lot in life and others born there in Africa struggling to even have food and shelter? I saw mothers trying to soothe starving babies, toddlers scooping their water from ditches, and men wandering around aimlessly with nowhere to go, utterly helpless to change their circumstance. While the questions echo in my heart and soul, I know there is a God. I know He is a great God who loves each and every one of His children. I also know we live in a fallen world and there are questions that will simply have to wait until the other side. For now Shawn and I have determined to be good stewards of all that we have. There are so many like our precious Abigail. More than ever I am convinced there is a special purpose in bringing us together. I am not sure what God has in store for us, but it is big and we have determined to get ready.