Since we have been home, so much has been going on! First, we recently bought a home that needed quite a bit of renovation (I mentioned this in a previous post). While we were in Ethiopia, most of the painting was done, the hardwood was installed, the tile was installed, and a few other things were done. Since we have been home, the carpet has been installed, the counter tops have been installed, and we have managed to get into more projects than we anticipated :) Of course, our goal is to obviously have the house ready by the time we bring Noah home, but we also would like to have it ready a little bit earlier so that Caleb can get used to his new home for a few weeks before he also has to get used to having a brother :)
In the midst of all this work, last weekend was my 10 year high school reunion. I helped with a few preparations and also with the decorating and cleanup. It was a busy and fun weekend (the picture is from the reunion).
Also, since we have been home, I had a short stay in the emergency room. My stomach was not feeling right the first week home from Ethiopia- I was having extreme stomach pain and some other issues. I assumed I had picked up something in Ethiopia. At the beginning of our second week home, everything intensified, and Monday night I was laying in bed literally moaning with pain. I had not been sick to my stomach since I was 7 years old, so this was all new to me. Before I knew it, I was in the bathroom vomiting everywhere (sorry, gross, I know). I could not stop, and I quickly asked to be taken to the hospital. Thankfully whatever they gave me stopped the vomiting. Turns out it wasn't anything I caught in Ethiopia, just a bad virus going around. Thankfully by the end of the week I was eating solid foods and beginning to feel human again. I feel great now and I am making up for the days when all I could eat was Jello. That being said, I am praying God will completely restore my health so that when the time comes for us to make our second trip to Ethiopia, I will be ready to go!
Speaking of our second trip to Ethiopia- our embassy date is still tentatively scheduled for September 22, which would have us leaving on the 19th, and hopefully returning on the 25th. We should know in a couple weeks if that date is a go.
Needless to say, we have been thinking a lot about Noah lately. I can not get over the fact that we had to leave him in Ethiopia. We wonder if he thinks of us, or if he has forgotten about us. We wonder if he understands that we are coming back for him, and that when we do, he will be leaving with us to become a part of our family forever. It is hard to know what he is thinking, but one thing is for sure, we can't wait to have him here. We miss him so very much. Caleb often asks us about him, and asks us when he is coming home. He is going to be a great brother to Noah!
One things that has struck me since we have been home is just how blessed we are to have such wonderful family. Thank God for my parents and for Zack's parents. While we were gone, my parents took over managing the projects at the new house (until my dad had to have emergency gallbladder surgery). My mom has been giving all her free time to either watching Caleb while I work part time or to working on the new house. My dad helps out in the evening after work. Zack's parents and sisters took awesome care of Caleb in our absence and also relieved my mom of double care giving duties (for my dad and Caleb). I don't what we would have done without them during that time. We are so blessed and truly thankful!
That leads me to one more quick note- We were given the opportunity to establish a fund with Lifesong for Orphans so that individuals could contribute to our adoption as they felt led. At the end of the deadline for giving, around $4200 had been contributed! Amazing. Really amazing. We are overwhelmed at the generosity we have been show. And definitely a God thing. Why do I say that? Well, we had been praying that God would provide the cost of our travel for our first trip to Ethiopia. The new two trip rule is quite a financial burden for most families, as the cost is doubled for travel. I kid you not, our plane tickets for our first trip were just a few dollars over $4200- Is that not amazing! Almost to the dollar, God provided! How can we do anything but give him glory!