Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I don't know how long I will have feelings of pure joy and an overwhelming sense of amazement at the fact of becoming a mother, but I hope it is for the rest of my life. This morning, as I was dropping Sintayehu off at school I became overwhelmed by a sense of gratitude towards God's awesome and perfect plan. I started thinking back to before our plan was reshaped by God's.

Our family began before Nick and I were even together. We were very good friends, even tried "going out" in the 8th grade, but in March of 1999, we were mere Juniors in High School. But across the world in a little village in Ethiopia, a woman, my age, was giving birth to a perfect little boy. While I was worrying about who I would go to Junior Prom with or giggling with excitement that I made CIF in swimming and was going to do an overnight swim meet with our Co-ed Swim team, a girl of the mere age of 16 was beginning her journey to motherhood. She was looking at our little angel. She walked to the hospital and gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. A boy that she would love, feed, hold, cuddle, and sing to. A boy that she would teach Jesus to, even though she couldn't read the Bible. A boy that she would teach to work hard and take pride in whatever he was doing. So, while I was doing traditional "American Teenage" activities: college prep, sports, dances, hanging out; our son was being raised very well by an incredibly loving woman.

I am grateful for their first mother. Grateful that she went on to have another son. Around the same time that Dawit was born, I was praying for a double line on a pregnancy stick. We had our first "scare." Scare for Nick, Dreams for me. I was two weeks late and while I knew we said we would wait two years before trying to have kids, I was ready and hopeful for this little skipped cycle. It stirred a yearning and desire to become a mom. Well, a week later and four negative sticks later, my cycle was back on track. There was never confirmation as to why it was so late, but in my heart of hearts, I had a very early miscarriage that never truly started enough to show positive on a test. But so started the quest for trying.

It took Nick 6 more months before he would actively try to start a family. We thought it would be easy. Huh, boy were we wrong. Little did we know that starting a family would test our marriage in ways we didn't know possible. But we clung to eachother, and finally laid it all out for God. We prayed, fasted, read, meditated on scripture, but month after month, the answer was no. All of our initial fertility tests came back inconclusive. At the same time I started undergoing allergy treatment and tests. Turns out, I am allergic to everything. So we weighed our options and prayed. We prayed for a family.

God definitely showed us that family doesn't have to share DNA. We both knew where we were being directed. All the while our family was growing across the world. First steps were being taken, first words were being spoken. Car crashes, falling off of horse drawn-carts, sibling fights. S started kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade and D was getting ready for preschool when their world was turned upside down. I am sure it crumbled and became dark. They didn't know what was going to happen to them. I know they were SAD. A sadness I can't comprehend. I have never lost a parent. They were scared. A fear so primal that they resorted to infant behaviors for a while. Again, something I can't fathom. I have always been safe.

But through the dark and across two continents and an ocean there was a couple who was praying for a family. Through the darkness, pain and grief, God was growing another family for these beautiful boys. God does not promise to keep us from suffering. But He does promise to deliver us from evil. If we choose to love Him, He promises to grant us the desires of our hearts. Even if our desires are not know fully to us. We prayed for the love of children. It didn't matter the age, gender or circumstances. We knew we had love to give and we just needed children who could receive it. So today I was in complete AWE of a God so grand.

This is what pure joy can look like if we trust in HIM.
It's not at all what I thought my family would look like in 1999 when I was 17 years old. But in 2010 at 28, I can't dream of it any other way.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Apple Picking, Soccer, Flu and Freak Storms

Last weekend we had the opportunity to get together with some of Nick's extended family. They came up for apple picking, or so they thought. Our weather has been weird enough this summer that the apples weren't quite ready. However the raspberries were delicious. We picked three baskets full and managed to avoid the bees. The bees were everywhere. Sintayehu DID NOT enjoy this activity and he made sure everyone knew it. It was really frustrating. Everyone else was having a good time though. We moseyed down the way to another family favorite ranch and no picking there either but we were able to make some Apple Cider. This was more Sintayehu's speed. (It was in the shade. He is not a heat kid and it was like the hottest weekend of the year.) Later we went to the park for a picnic with the family. The kids all got to play together and it was fun to see the boys hang out with their cousins.

We have been loving watching Sintayehu grow in his soccer skills. He is doing so well. We are just waiting for his confidence to grow. He plays to the ball and gets frustrated when he doesn't get the results he wants. But he's improved so much already.

Last week I managed to catch some kind of stomach bug. Ugg. Being sick is ten times worse as a mom. So much to do and I couldn't do anything but run back and forth from the bathroom to bed. But my mom came and helped while Nick was at work and Nick was awesome and got Dawit out of the house on Friday so I could get some more sleep. Today I am finally feeling better. By about noon I was able to stand with out the nausea. I can't tell you how many people thought we were pregnant. EVERYONE. But we aren't.

Today we had a great thunderstorm around 4:00. It was awesome. We played a family soccer game and had a great time. Sintayehu felt like he was back in Ethiopia. It was a lot of fun and fairly our of sorts for our neck of the woods. So we just enjoyed it.