Sunday, February 3, 2013


FEBRUARY 3, 2011.

This is the date that Kaleab and I arrived HOME from Ethiopia after living over there for five weeks!!!

It was a joy and privilege to share those five weeks with brother Sami.  It was comforting to have Dad with us the first two weeks, before work beckoned him home.

It was unnerving to have our American Embassy not advocate for our case with Kaleab, and instead, turn his birth mom away and request her return in two more weeks!  This, after her traveling a great and challenging distance to give her final consent!

Oh, the difficulty in saying "See ya soon!" to Sami, as we readied to depart from Addis.  Tears still sting my eyes as I remember that final moment.

But on today, this official day, I choose to remember the pure and total JOY of enduring the 30+ hour flight from Addis Ababa to Washington DC with my baby boy.  That sense of security stepping foot on US soil for.the.first.time!  That relief in feeling "He is HOME!"  "We are HERE!"  "No one can keep him away from me any longer!"

"Our life with Kaleab at HOME begins TODAY!"
{knowing we would be blessed to add Sami to the picture soon!}

I snuggled my baby ~ and prayed incessantly ~ on the long flight to the US.  Kaleab was so cuddly and sweet, and even slept a good portion of the flight!

Jeff was so sweet, he actually wrote down each step he endured with gaining clearance from immigration, and then emailed me the step-by-step instructions!  This gave me a sense of security of knowing what to expect next at the DC airport!

I remember calling Jeff and family once getting through customs and immigration in DC.  It all seemed so surreal!

And then there was the threat of not getting all the way home due to weather!

But God prevailed!  There was NOTHING stopping us from joining up with Daddy and all of our dear friends who were there to greet us at the airport that evening!!!!

A year ago today.
Still brings tears to my eyes!

One son was still halfway around the world, and that made for a deep hole in my heart.

But there is no denying the RELIEF of finally getting little Kaleab HOME and being reunited with Daddy again!!!!  The support and love of friends at the airport was overwhelming in a very, very GOOD WAY!!!!!

Oh, the EXCITEMENT and JOY of this day.  A year ago.  Has it really been a year!?!?!?!?!?!?

 Friends gathered to wait our arrival.......

 .....and more friends gathered......
....and more!......

Our first embrace, 
having just walked through the doors!

 AWED by the HUGE welcome crew!

Still not believing we were HOME!!!

 Touched by each person I saw.....

Peanut and Daddy.  
K not sure what he thinks of all the commotion....

 Surrounded by love, gifts and excitement!

 Feeling safe in mama's arms




Rachel Pehl said...

I love reading you blog posts and hearing your heart for these kids

Randee said...

Deb- reading with emotion (and teary eyes) as my own WE ARE FINALLY HOME day is fresh in my mind. There is nothing like the joy/ relief in that moment! So happy for your family =)

Debb said...

Thanks for the comments, girls! Yes, Rachel, my heart is FULL for our boys! God is sooooo GOOD!!!! Can't wait to see pics of you HOME with your sweetie!

And Randee, can you believe it!?!? We are HOME with our boys! Finally! SO.WORTH the extended waiting!!!!!

HUGS to both of you fabulous women!

joyinthejourney said...

Debb, I haven't read any of your posts for far too long. Reading this today my mother heart was definitely full for you and your sweet family! I LOVE the picture of Kaleab snuggling into you for comfort. How precious these bonds of love we form are! So grateful you and the boys have each other, and that you have been brought together. Blessings to your journey!

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