This is the blog of Erin, wife to Josh, and mom to 9 awesome kids. We are using this blog to chronicle the adoption of our son Benjamin Eli Bekalu from Ethiopia. Ben was born 12/23/00 and we can't wait to get him home. We will travel on
Feb. 11 to bring Ben home. Our kids already at home are Mercades, 10 years old, adopted at age 9 domestically, Nathan, 9 years old, bio son, Ryan, 8 years old, bio son, Destinee, almost 8 years old, adopted at age 6 domestically,Shane, 6 years old, bio son, Amanda, 4 years old, adopted at age 2 from South Korea, Maggie, 4 years old, adopted at age 3 months from Vietnam, and Marcus, 21 months, adopted at birth from South Carolina. If you want to eamil me, my address is email@example.com
For those of you that don't know, Ben's Ethiopian name is Bekalu Tesfaye, which means "In God's Name I have Hope". Pretty awesome. We are starting to work on our photo album for him. We're making a picture book with photos of our family, home, snow, and other aspects of his new life! I can't wait until he knows about us and gets our package. They won't tell him he has a family until the paperwork is all on it's way to Ethiopia. Mercades prays every night that he'll know he has a family that loves him. When we were waiting for Amanda we sent her a photo album and it was her prized possession. She recognized us right away too, so I really think it helped. Anyway, that's what's going on today. No real progress being made, but I am not as crabby as yesterday. :)
Ok, I have to share the awesome news, too. This week our dear friends Chet and Beth told us that they have decided to adopt Ben's best friend in Ethiopia! Terefe is 5 1/2 years old and is cute as a button. We have been told that Ben and Terefe are very good friends and the agency is thrilled that these two boys are going to be able to grow up together in America. Too awesome! Josh and Chet are planning on traveling to Ethiopia together to bring the boys home. My Nathan said, "Mom, this will sort of make our two families be like family, right?" I would have to say yes. :) I am attaching a picture of the boys in their "class" at the orphanage. Ben is in the middle in the back row, and Terefe is all the way to the right, standing in the back. Beth and Chet are just starting their homestudy so they are a little bit behind us, but they are working hard to get things done asap. It is so much fun to have someone to go through all of this with, and to know that our son will have an Ethiopian friend here in Wyoming. :)
We got this photo this morning from a family that traveled! We also got a short video of him playing musical chairs with a bunch of other kids. They are so much fun! Isn't he gorgeous???
In the last few days we have gotten to talk to three different families who recently traveled to Ethiopia with our agency and got to meet Ben. Getting to hear about him has been such a blessing. Everyone seems to be really impressed with him. Here are some quotes from the families (these are all taken from emails sent to me) : " I did meet Bekalu - he is such a nice boy! He is polite, respectful and very smart." "He seemed more mature and mellow than the "younger" kids who were running around, grabbing people's cameras and trying to be in every picture." "He is a very happy child." " He happily and willingly helped out with some of the younger children." " He is a wonderful little boy!!" "Mark and Kathy, who traveled a week before us, said Bekalu was "delightful" and I would have to agree. He is always smiling and has a beautiful smile. I would have guessed that he was an older five year old. He seems mature for his age and intelligent. He colors with crayons very well. I was quite taken with him! Also, he doesn't run around like a maniac like some of the other boys his age. He seems very happy and somewhat quiet." "You are welcoming a wonderful little boy into your family - he is a delight! " Congratulations!" "Bekalu is very gentle, especially with the younger children. He was our daughter's special pal. Whenever she sees his picture she gets very excited. He loved "class" (which is what they called the school). We are glad he will soon be with his family." These have been so great to hear! I am starting to feel like I have an idea of what his little personality is like...I told Josh it wasn't fair that all these people were getting to go to Ethiopia and hang out with MY Ben. No progress with the paperwork...we were promised to have the homestudy within a week which would have been three days ago, and when I called tonight, the social worker didn't return our call. I hate not being able to do anything to speed things along. We should still be looking at January, but now late January. I'll keep you all posted!
Its not a surprise that families come in all shapes and sizes!
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Includes the "bible" of homeland visit planning a
A beautiful adoptee story
Changes are difficult. Think ahead of what you can do during the crucial transition period for both you and your child.
A reflection on adopting an older child with special needs
Be prepared to be amazed!
US Department of State Poses Extreme Restrictions on Child Advocacy for Adoption