Ethiopia, Pt. Everyone Is Waiting For (3)

Thursday, June 28th, 2012 began when I woke up at 4:51am, and couldn't fall back asleep.
We were scheduled to leave our guest house at 9am.
I stayed in bed until 6am, just praying and thinking.

I did shaky devotions, because I was reading Psalm 22 and came to verses 9-10:
     "You made me trust in you, even at my mother's breast. 
       From birth I was cast upon you, from my mother's womb you have been my God."
And it makes me want to cry thinking about how God has been crafting our little boy's story for longer than we can even imagine. The handiwork of God is intricately evident all throughout our son's story, which we'll share in the future.

We ate breakfast, checked some social media, and were basically astonished that the world continued to operate normally when our lives were hinging upon such a momentous occasion.

Somehow the minutes and seconds passed, our driver arrived, and we were off, settled in for a 2 hour journey to Adama. We passed the time chatting with Agenyo (the driver) and Mark (the YWAM director of missions) and taking pictures of the scenery. We stopped about halfway to pick up our translator, Pastor Zerihun (who happens to know Pastor Teshale from Woliso!).

Finally... we reached Adama.
We pulled up to a gate, behind which we could see a building that was in the process of having a couple extra levels added. I had given my camera to Mark, asking him to take some pictures of us meeting our son for the first time. I can't thank him enough for capturing this incredible occasion for us. We stepped out of the van and walked through the gate. My heart was pounding and my hands were shaking. Mark asked us to pause in the doorway for a picture of this moment. I can't remember if it was audible, but at least inside my head, I kept saying, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh."
Mark and Pastor Z led us to a little room where we dropped off our donations and belongings, and then Pastor Z led us to a nanny and told her, "Bonsa's mommy and daddy." She led us into a quiet little nursery, to the third crib on the left and pulled back the mosquito netting...

and there he was.
Sleeping so peacefully. The lashes. The cheeks. The crazy hair. I started crying immediately (and yeah, I'm crying right now writing this).
He woke up and blinked and stared in confusion.
And then his nanny reached in to pick him up... 
... and handed him right to me.

All of these pictures took place in about 10 seconds.
And then this happened.
Because, honestly, who wants to be woken up in the middle of a delightful nap to find 4 people staring down at you, only to be picked up and put into the arms of some crazy, crying woman?! Boo, I feel ya.

I handed Bonsa back to his nanny, and he stopped crying immediately. The four of us (nanny, Bo, me & Doug) made our way to a little blanketed area that had been set up for us. She gave Bonsa a bottle while all three of us stroked his hair, his tummy, his sweet cheeks...
The whole time, he stared at us like WHAT IS GOING ON.
Thankfully, adoption agencies warn prospective parents ahead of time that this is what it's often like with younger children. We were expecting that he'd be totally freaked out by us ferengis. But he did warm up to us, and was totally content to be held and just watch the world.

What else can I type onto a blog about the experience?
There's no way I can express all our emotions... everything from the abundant joy of being in his presence to the overwhelming sadness of walking away from him...
It was truly incredible. Mind-boggling.

We were so encouraged by the nannies, by the other children there, the widows who live there. It is definitely a lively, fun place. We love knowing that Bonsa is loved and well cared for. We love hearing his story from people who have been instrumental in his little life so far.

I can't reiterate often enough how overwhelmed we are by this whole process.
The love & support we have been shown by family and friends, old and new.
The miracle of Bonsa's life.
The people who were acting on his behalf before we knew of his existence.
The power and grace of God that is so evident.
The fact that we get to be a part of all of this?
Our hearts just sing.


  1. I think you two are amazing. Not only is this a blessing for you, but without a doubt Bo is blessed as well. Wishing you many, many years of happiness, love and being amazing parents!


  2. An now I have to go into my appointment a tear stained mess. So, so happy for you!

  3. I'm sitting at my desk with tears streaming down my face. Thank you for sharing this amazing journey.

  4. Hey Rachel, thank you so much for sharing. I have good friends that are about to have their court date in Ethiopia to get their daughter and Deb and I have often talked about both of your situations, so I feel like in someway I've shared in your journey. The pictures are incredible and Bo is so precious!

  5. No way can you read this without tears- sooo excited for you both. What beautiful souls are both are :)

  6. i should stop checking your blog while i'm at my desk! ah! tears and more tears - of happiness for you all and of awe at the whole thing. i bet you're dying to get back there and scoop him up in your arms forever! :)

  7. "but God had a plan to save them all."

    this brought back the ache in my chest for all.of.them.... all over our planet. praying!!!!!!!

    p.s. amazing and beauty-full photos and words.

  8. oh wonderful and so amazing. just beautiful.

  9. i think i just read this 10 times in a row. i love you. i'm so happy for you, doug and bonsa.

  10. oh rachel, this is just so incredible! thank you for sharing your amazing journey with us. i just love it. love you. love little bo. and doug too. :)
    i love how bo is looking at you while the nanny is picking him up out of the crib.
    praying girlie!! xoxo

  11. Oh, my goodness. Thank you for sharing these precious pictures with us and telling us "the story". I must have read it about 5 times. I'm so over-the-moon thrilled. I really adore the one where you're kissing Bo's forehead, eyes closed. Wow! In awe of God's sovereignty! We love you all so dearly. Love, Deb

  12. definitely fighting back the tears myself. i love that you can see your teary eyes in the pic that bo starts crying in. he is stunningly handsome! i LOVE that on the wall of the nursery it is written, "But God had a plan to save them all". Love you, Doug, & cutie Bo! What a might God we serve!

  13. Thanks for taking the time to write this and share the pictures. It is just amazing.

  14. I'm crying just to hear the story. Love journeying with you guys through this process and seeing God's heart and love in you both. Thanks!

  15. beautiful story, for a beautiful family! Congratulations! You two will be wonderful parents to this beautiful little boy! -Tenneile

  16. I'm with Victoria...I've read this about 10 times now and cry every time. My heart is so full for your growing family! CANNOT wait to meet him.

  17. so incredibly precious and amazing. Bonsa's life will be so blessed by you--you're already wonderful parents! what joy. thanks for sharing it with us all. praying for you guys!