busy busy day!
To start the day Bristol finally got to open the card from her Padre that had been in the missing suitcase. I cried the nite he drove over after work to bring it to me. He let me read it then sealed it. It was moving to read his words and thoughts to Bristol... His love for her, a granddaughter he had yet to meet but had prayed for this entire time, poured out in his quick note. Bristol didn't cry when I read it to her but I'm sure she will some day:)
This gate marks the entrance to the place where our daughter spent several months of her life waiting on God to choose a family for her and then bring that family over to finally hold her and love her forever.
This gate stirs in me emotions hard to keep down.
For about 3 hours this morning we hung out at the Transition Home where Bristol has lived since early April. We loved on the nannies there and they loved on our babies.
We loved on the other precious children who are there awaiting being united with their forever family. We saw the nursery Bristol was in during her stay and her crib. The crib she was in for each and every pic we received of her the past couple of months.
We saw all the clothes hanging on the line, including the pink collared outfit Bristol had worn in one of the pics we had held on to as we waited to come pick her up. I had an immediate sadness come over me as I stood by this bed that held our daughter for the past few months. I felt such relief she was out of that bed. It wasn't that the bad or place was bad it was just that she spent so very much time confined there. And I was even more overcome when she was placed back in it...I wanted to grab her out and reassure her she didn't have to stay there in it anymore...but she so nonchalently stood there and was fine...
We saw kids in "school".
We watched the nannies wash dirty cloth diapers in a stone "sink".
We watched a hair washing in a bucket.
Back in early '09 when we decided to make t-shirts as a fun project announcing our adoption I prayed over what verse to choose for Bristol. I know that it is not ironic that the exact verse is painted in one of the nurseries at Bristol's transistion home. I had to capture a pic of it. It was such an affirmation from the Lord.
We felt so blessed to "observe daily life" at the transition home. It was wonderful to be a part of their day and see how it was for Bristol.
Bristol fell asleep on me around noon and her nanny came to tell me it was lunch time. They go on a schedule and she wasn't concerned Bristol was asleep. I told her I wanted to let her sleep a wee bit and then I'd bring her up to be fed. She wasn't too sure about this:) Later we did go upstairs and another precious nanny helped feed her and pour on the love.
The nannies here are amazing but still the babies spend lots of time in their cribs just chilling. I am so glad to have Bristol in our arms and seeing the world. The nannies are sad to see the children in their care leave- it is bittersweet- they know they are going to a life of love, hope, adventure but they have cared for them and became so close to them. They asked questions about America and life here. They smile and laugh and speak in high pitched tones that the babies love. These women are treasures. One told me they take care of the children b/c they love Jesus... Now that is a testimony!
After our lunch we hit our next stop...the U.S. Embassy. It was raining and so we were greeted at our van with boys holding umbrellas (yes...more tips). We were there about 2 hours waiting for our grand total of 5 minutes standing before the glass window talking to the embassy folks. It really wasn't a bad wait- I can't complain. We received the infamous sealed packet we were to travel home with and only let the officials in the U.S. open and Bristol's birth certificate and other necessary paperwork. Boy oh boy...this official business feels good.
Tonite we called our kids back home...so good to hear their voices. Only 2 more sleeps in Ethiopia, 1 sleep on the plane and then we are home and united as a family.
And tomorrow...it is going to be a big big emotional day...we meet Bristol's birthmom...