what i did last week.

Sept 1 : Doug & I left for Ethiopia.
(Thanks to Patrick & Kennerly for taking us to the airport!)
Here we are waiting to board.
And texting with my dad while I get fun alerts.
Sept. 2 : We arrived in Ethiopia. Our bags made it this time, to our joy & delight!

Sept. 3 : We go to pick up Bonsa.
To be reunited with our son forever.
Here's Doug, outside the Thomas Center, where Bonsa has lived for the past couple months.
And here, my friends, is our reunion.
The nannies gave me a bouquet and handed Bonsa to Doug.
He had been woken up from a nap again, but didn't cry this time.
AND. He was wearing BLUE!!
I didn't cry this time either. 
But I couldn't stop laughing and smiling.
On a very trivial note... why didn't I really do my hair?
Didn't I know it'd be the last day I had time to do my hair?
Bonsa's bed the past couple months.
And after a brief tour of the facilities and a little chit chat with the nurse and nanny, we were off.
Fun fact: no car seats in Ethiopia!
Thus began one of the most indescribable weeks of my life.
I've tried to tell people how AMAZING it was. Being with Bo 24-7.
The cuddles, the laughs, the bonding.
Um, prepare your hearts.
SWEET MERCY. I can't even.
Bo loves his baths. Would you look at that sudsy little bean?! MY WORD.

Sept. 4 - Sept. 8 : Learning to be a family of three.
There were some difficulties.
First of all - I just don't know if anyone can be prepared for the poop. Oh, the poop.
(Sorry, Bo.)
Thankfully, his cuteness far outweighs the nastiness of those diapers.
It was a little stressful having a new baby in a guest house.
Not being able to just run to the store or call up a doctor or anything like that.
And we were tired too. 
And I was really emotional.
One night, we were going to go out to dinner, but Bonsa started spitting up repeatedly in the car.
I got scared and started crying.
Our driver, Solomon, was amazing. He told me, "Don't be scared! It's normal!"
He pulled over, ran into a shop and got us some Ethiopian Pedialyte.
He called the next day to see how Bo was doing.
(He was totally fine - don't worry, friends.)

One night, as I was holding my sleeping boy, I started sobbing,
because, as I hiccuped to Doug, 
"What about all the other babies?"
And sometimes I would just get teary watching my husband and my son.
So much happiness that my heart couldn't contain it.
Embassy was a breeze - we waited for 45 minutes and were interviewed for about 5 minutes.
The Thomas Center had a farewell ceremony for Bo,
and another family who was picking up their daughter.
They had our families cut the bread, and while we were cutting,
the children were chanting, "Bonsa! Bonsa! Bonsa!"
And once the cut was finished, they cheered.
And of course, they had a coffee ceremony for us.
And the children sang songs. And I wanted to bring them all home.

And the director and his wife gave Bonsa a farewell gift - a traditional Ethiopian outfit.
Bo was more interested in the wrapping paper.
Our days were filled with:
figuring out what Bonsa liked (being held)
and what he didn't like (being put down)
and what he did when he was angry (flailed backwards)
and what he did when he was happy (the most amazing, eyelid-fluttering giggle)
We took naps.
Or rather... I watched my baby nap.
And I could do that all day long.
Okay, and one time I accidentally woke him up because I couldn't NOT touch him.
And I just fell more in love with my boys than I ever dreamed possible.

So that's how I spent last week.

More coming soon about the flight home & our first few days at home.


  1. Oh my goodness. I couldn't be happier for you right now.

  2. So beautiful! The pictures. Your story. Love. So happy for you!

  3. Oh my heart is so full of love and joy when I read this post. I want to hug you and hear every detail. That bath picture…shut your mouth and slam the door because that is the most a-mazing little picture ever. He is too much! I love him. Your a wonderful momma already with all the love you have for him. I cannot wait until our 2 families are together. I show Colden Bo's pics everyday. He'll always ask for more pics. He loves his little buddy already too! I AM SO HAPPY!!! I want to cry (happy tears) and shout and dance and sing. I love you!!

  4. oops *you're not your…i know that's a pet peeve!

  5. Wow, this is so emotional. I'm so happy for you guys!! May the Lord truly bless you these days to come!

  6. I cried the whole time reading this! It's incredible to see so much love. Thank you for letting us be a part of this wonderful journey. You are and have been a blessing. My heart is so full for the three of you. Love you lots, R-Kelly!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this incredible part of your journey! I loved every bit of it. I had to re-read portions of it just to take it all in...so it took me a while to get through it ;) I'm in love with the last photo of Bonsa and Doug napping. Whoa. You guys are a beautiful family. I look forward to seeing those big, brown eyes in person. And I know Linc will want to hug Bo. :) Love you so much. --DT

  8. The meaning of true love. . .how beautiful.

  9. i'm crying...this is so amazing! I know I already said it, but I am just so happy for you guys :)

  10. I absolutely loved reading this! What a blessing to have Bo home. He is the most adorable little man, and he is so incredibly blessed to have you as a mom! Prayers for all of you.

  11. So happy for you all. The ones left behind was really hard for us, still is. Enjoy. Catherine

  12. This awesome story just made my day. You two are going to be wonderful parents. Bo is so lucky!

  13. A picture is worth a thousand words...you have said so much. Such a beautiful boy!! Love his eyelashes! Family.....

  14. Beautiful story, friend! Crying happy tears :)

  15. Loved hearing of those first days and seeing how comfy you three are together. p.s. Welcome to the world of mom hair.

  16. So beautiful. I love how you captured some of the stress but mainly focused on the wonder and joy of it all.

  17. oh.my.goodness. that picture of bo in the bathtub is too freaking cute. i can't even handle it. is it weird if i put pictures of your son instead of one of mine on my desktop?! haa!
    ahh yes - the poop. welcome to motherhood! i've been changing diapers for the last 6 years straight. 6 years!!! and i'll be wiping fannies for who knows how long...
    i love that they gave you flowers when you came to pick him up. and had a little ceremony. so sweet!
    such an amazing journey - i'm so thrilled you finally have your son home in your arms! love you three!! xox

  18. You don't know ME at all....I saw this on Rachel Spink's post, but thank you thank you thank you! I haven't seen anything quite this beautiful in a long time. Bless you both for opening your hearts and home to this little angel. God is certainly at work (and at His best) through you. He is a lucky little boy and we can pray for all the others, that they aren't left behind....just waiting. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Martha.
      WE are the lucky ones! We are so blessed to have this amazing boy in our life.

  19. He is too precious for words. God chose you and Doug to be his parents... doesn't that just get ya sometimes? I think that about my children too. I simply cannot get over God's abundant blessing in giving me my wonderful boys. So happy for your sweet family!!!!!

  20. thank you for sharing. I cried the whole way reading this.

  21. LOVE this! You have no idea what this means to our family and friends who were in ET when he came into the orphanage. Such a tiny thing! And look at him now! LOVED and beautiful and perfect in every way! Beauty for ashes. Praise God. I am so happy you are his family!!!!! loved this post! thanks for sharing mama, and welcome to the club!

  22. Hi Rachel, In October 2011, I had the privilege of carrying your sweet Bonsa in the van in Ethiopia from his original orphanage to the Adama orphanage where he received the health care he needed. He was so tiny then and we didn't know if he would survive. His lips were bluish and when we had challenges with paperwork and we thought we would have to turn around and take him back, I cried and protested, knowing he needed to get health care fast. Thankfully we were able to continue. My husband and I have 5 kids- three of whom are from Ethiopia and we have been praying for Bonsa since. We were thrilled when he was referred and thrilled more to see that he is home with his forever family. I have pics of him on that trip so email me and I could send them to you. Many blessings to you and your hubby and your sweet baby!! My email is angiejoluvuso@gmail.com