Today we received word that our embassy appointment had been confirmed- but we also were given two different dates to choose from...hmmm, interesting! The first, which we had been told about in Ethiopia, was for September 20! That would mean we would need to leave a week from today or tomorrow to get to Ethiopia in plenty of time. Wow! The other date we were given as an option was October 6.
As soon as I found out the dates, I called Zack and emailed our amazing travel agent. I then immediately began praying that God would lead us to make the best decision for our family. I prayed that he would make it abundantly clear if we were too not choose the sooner date. Of course, we instinctively wanted to take the soonest date. We want to be with Noah Nigus as soon as we can. However, after praying that God would lead us to make the best decision, I began to realize just how extremely crazy the next week would be. First of all, we have yet to be able to spend a night in our new home (we are dealing with a non-functional shower, and it is the only one in the house), and we were really hoping for a little time there so Caleb could adjust to his new home before he also has to adjust to a new brother. Also, there are lots of loose ends I need to tie up at work (and if we left in a week I would be working every day, and probably on the weekend too :). And finally, the flights are several hundred dollars cheaper in October. So, after much prayer and thought, we have decided to choose the October date. It is only two weeks later than the original date we were given, and we can live with that!
It is so refreshing to actually have a "for sure" date that we can plan for. Tomorrow is our shower at church for Noah, and we are super excited about that as well.
To continue to prepare for Noah's homecoming, I have been reading a book called The Connected Child. It is a book for anyone who has welcomed children from adoption, trouble backgrounds, etc. It is written by an amazing Christian doctor with lots of experience in adoption and child psychology. It has been so helpful and has helped us prepare for what we may or may not face once Noah comes home. We also continue to pray for God to open his heart to us, and for our hearts to be understanding and patient with him as he adjusts to a totally new life. It is our honor to be his new family! We are so thankful.
I have also been speaking (via email) about how to facilitate changing Noah's name. For a child that can't yet understand English, how do you explain to them that there name is changing? We thought strongly about not changing his name and pronouncing Nigus
(which is pronounced Ni-goo-so in Amharic) as Ni-jus. I really love that, and we did decide to keep his name with that pronunciation as his middle name. But, as a first name, we were just too worried that people would pronounce it completely wrong, and that could be bad (just think about it). Anyway, thankfully I have received great advice from other parents that have successfully changed their children's names. Their advice, which makes perfect sense, is to begin calling the child by their American first name, and incorporating their Ethiopian name into their middle name. So, for example, when we address Nigus, we will say, "Noah Nigus (but pronounce Nigus with the Amharic pronunciation).
Tonight while we were working some more on our house, Caleb was playing in his and Noah's room and bouncing around on his bed. I looked over at the other bed. It looks really cute as it is decorated with a cute comforter and pillow (thanks mom). But one thing is still missing :) How awesome it will be to look into this cute room and see both my boys!