In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

We Are Home

We pulled into home about mid-night last night, which was the second night on a plane to our Ethiopian-adjusted bodies! The girls were rather panicked at the idea of any bed, so I ended up going to sleep with Selah and Bella slept with Alei. Bella is still hanging on Alei, but we are forcing about four rounds of Alei leaving today in preparation of her going to work all day  tomorrow. So far, Bella has decided that JD is an acceptable second person in her life; thankfully he is working from home this week!  They are both scared to death of the animals, so most of them are banned from the house temporarily. 

I am debating if I need to cater to the bed time fears and just wait a week until they are adjusted to make them sleep with each other instead of us big people or if that is just going to make it harder in the long run. Last night we were all just so tired that I couldn't even consider options, we were just all desperate to sleep. My sweet sister took Selah to bed with her, but she cried for quite a while until I gave up and slept with her. I think reading this, I would think it is just making a tougher routine in the long run, but the terror that they feel is justified and I am concerned that we not traumatize them anymore than necessary. 

I can't wait to tell more stories about the trip and show pictures, but my brain is too tired and jet-lagged right now to do more than cope. So, I'm going to just bless you with some random pictures of our trip home.

We had to leave at 10 p.m. in Ethiopia, so I dressed the girls for the trip down to their shoes and jackets and had the nannies put them to bed at the usual 7:30. I so wish I could show the pictures of the girls in bed, since they sleep seven in a double bed (four across the top and three across the bottom), but I can't since it would show other adoptable children. Here is a good-bye picture with one of the sweetest ladies there - 


We woke the girls at 10:00 p.m. to begin our long trip home. It is amazing how cheerful they were being up in the middle of their night. 

The plane out of Ethiopia was late and we weren't on board until about 2:30 a.m. The girls only  slept only about three to four hours until we landed in Turkey for our long lay-over.

This is Alei and her travel buddy in a phone booth in Istanbul - 

Here is our group departing the air-port in D.C. I have to say that Americans are just so much more friendly than the rest of the world. We were stared at for hours in airports and the planes and seldom would anyone even smile at the girls. Once we hit America, we had people respond so favorably to the girls. Culturally, we love America!

Julia was very excited to meet her new sisters! 

This morning we handed out African souvenirs. Ben wanted an Ethiopian drum and we came through.

We got the girls Ethiopian baby dolls - 

On Alei's second trip away from Bella, she fell asleep on JD. She only stayed asleep until he put her in bed, however. At this point, we aren't going to force naps, just start working on bed on the earlier side tonight.



  1. Your crazy life!!! Can't wait to talk to you! Glad you made it home.

  2. While it is "nice" and "cute" and "sweet" that Bella has wanted to bond with Alei . . . I believe it is imperative that Mommy and Daddy become the source of her comfort.

    We brought 3 "cute little African kids" home . . . to a house full of older teen bio. kids. The new older siblings loved to dote on the "poor little orphans" . . . rushed to bond with them . . . and wreaked havoc on the proper bonding that should have been taking place between the children and Mommy and Daddy. Mom and Dad became the "mean ones" with rules, etc . . . the older siblings became the go-to people for love and hugs.

    Somehow . . . I would encourage you to try to find a balance. it is GOOD to have older siblings to love on and help with the new younger children, yet at the same time Mommy needs to be the primary person that little Bella learns to go to.

    Only warning here . . . because we have walked through the devastating consequences of not truly understanding all of this before bringing our children home.

    Bedtime? How about you make up little "beds" on the floor next to Daddy and Mommy's bed? You will be right there to comfort if needed, while you should also be able to get a bit of sleep, yourselves.

    Good that Daddy is working from home this week. May your time with your new Young Ones be BLESSED.

    Laurel :)
    mama of 12

  3. Congratulations! The girls are beautiful.

  4. Congratulations! I'm praying for you to be supernaturally sustained as you go through a type of newborn bonding stage with the girls.

  5. So excited you all are home! We had a similar issue with Joshua...only wanted Kevin. When he went back to work it was rough, but he quickly learned that I am the one with the food and toys and comfort, etc. Now, 3.5 months later, I am the go-to person in his little life. It was a rough transition, but turning the corner did come. Just try to make it through today. One minute at a time.

    Praying for you, my friend!

  6. I missed following your trip, due to flu and surgeries here. Glad you are all back home, together. The girls are sooo cute=)