Our never before seen referral pictures.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Our never before seen referral pictures.
Posted by Matt and Emily at 3:24 PM
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Posted by Matt and Emily at 6:52 PM
Thursday, February 26, 2009
One month ago today I held my daughter Lidya for the first time. It was a very surreal moment. This child that I longed for and prayed for for a year and half was now finally in my arms. Matt and I felt that until we got home and were in our car as a new family of 4 is when it finally hit us. Our desires had come true after all that time. It was real. I truly felt from the time I took Lidya from the arms of her special mother that she was mine. I loved her so much already and felt that connection. Today as I gazed into her eyes thinking back on that moment a month ago I realized how much more my love for her has grown. I can tell that as the days continue to pass we are bonding more and more. She fits right into our family. She is such a joy. Her smile just takes your breath away. Her eyes sparkle with such joy and laughter. I still have many moments when I grieve for her birth mother. I pray for her daily. I pray that God comforts her and gives her peace. Looking into her eyes that day we met, as I held Lidya on my lap and cried I couldn't imagine anything else in my life being harder than that moment. I can't imagine being in her position. My heart truly broke for her. I asked God why she couldn't be the one to raise her daughter, why is there so much poverty that she can't raise her own child. Why couldn't he help her somehow. Then I realized that God did make the way through adoption. Just like he made the way for us to be in relationship with him again through Christ. Just as Jesus is the answer; adoption is the answer. God has chosen our family to care, love, and raise HIS child. The longer that we're home the easier it is to forget Ethiopia, to forget her birth mother, special mothers, even Hannah's Hope. But I never want to forget. I have put pictures in Lidya's room of her with one of the special mothers and a picture that we have of her mother holding her and Almaz. These are the women that first loved her and cared for her. I NEVER want to forget them. I NEVER want her to forget them or where she came from and WHOSE she is. So as the months fly by as this first one did I am making a promise to myself and Lidya to NOT FORGET. Here is the video of first meeting Lidya. Thank you Clark for capturing this moment for us. I'd like to add too, that may we never forget what Christ did for us. How he adopted us into his family and how one day we will go to be with our forever family. This earth is not our home.
Posted by Matt and Emily at 6:13 PM
Monday, February 23, 2009
Just so you all know Katelyn dressed herself this day.
Posted by Matt and Emily at 10:55 AM
Sunday, February 15, 2009
While we were in Ethiopia, it got extremely cold, then warmed up, got cold again, and then warmed up to a little over 60 degrees. When you have that combination next to a body of water you get what we like to call an ICE JAM. We got a phone call from Emily's brother about 1:30 in the morning telling us, HERE IT COMES. The ice broke up and stacked tight together. With no where for the water to go, it starts spilling over the banks. The ice finally came apart a little bit later and the pictures above are the aftermath. It was definitely a unique experience for me coming from the city, but to Emily and her family it was no big deal. Emily's dad always told me about the ice jams, but I never had any clue what he was talking about. Lidya would never have experienced anything like snow and ice in Ethiopia, so I hope she enjoys it.
Posted by Matt and Emily at 6:53 AM
Friday, February 6, 2009
Posted by Matt and Emily at 4:21 PM
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Here's the explaination for my comment about the 500,000 Ethiopians in my last post. Our buddy Clark had arranged for a group of us to go to one of the ancient stone churches Ethiopia is known for on Thurday our last day (or so we thought). Almaz said we could go, but didn't suggest both parents go and one stay back with our kids. That morning starting at midnight, loud speakers all over Addis started with some type of religious chant that lasted until 6:00 in the morning. None of us had any clue what it was and possibly thought it was a Muslim call to worship. That morning when Johannas and Daniel come to pick us up, they informed us it was the Christian church proclaiming St. Mary's Day. So we got in the van and proceeded on our little site seeing adventure. The main thing we didn't realize is that we weren't going to a stone church, but to St. Mary's church about 10,000 ft above sea level and where half of Addis was also making their way. It took us about an hour in a van to make it to the top and we passed A LOT of people making their way up the mountain with A LOT of people already at the church. It was definitely an interesting experience and I'm glad we went because we got a private tour of the museum at the church and learned about the history of St. Mary's church. Needless to say, we were the only white people there and with camera's in hand, kind of brought a little attention on ourselves. These pictures don't do it justice on exactly how many people there were and what a weird feeling it was. We did get approached by a few people looking for money or food, but never felt in any danger. It was an experience that I will never forget.
Posted by Matt and Emily at 4:43 PM
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Emily in front of the gate to Hanna's Hope.
Emily and Lidya getting to know each other.
Here are just a few pictures from our trip to pick up Lidya. To say that this trip was life changing would be an understatement. Of course it would be because of getting our daughter, but it was also because of the Ethiopian people and how they live, how friendly they are, and how differently they view life as opposed to us Americans. I had to go to Wal-Mart this afternoon and I came back and told Emily, I would rather deal with 500,000 Ethiopians than 500 Americans (that's a shout out to Leann, Brett, Jared, Clark, Travis, Mike, and Leslyn with our trip to St Mary's church, but that's a whole other update). Forgetting that it was the Saturday before the Super Bowl in Pittsburgh, needless to say it was crazy. People were rude, in a rush, and not very considerate of others, so those of you who have been the Ethiopia already know that they are the exact opposite of that. Emily and I had a wonderful time and know it was all because of everyone's thoughts and prayers. We definitely couldn't have done this journey without the support from our friends and family. Katelyn is loving being a big sister and cries everytime Lidya takes a nap because she wants to play with her every second she can. Well, that's enough for now. We are still very jet-lagged and our bodies can't figure out if they should be on Ethiopian time or USA time.
Posted by Matt and Emily at 4:54 PM
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Sorry I am late posting today. Got the new update and Emily said everyone got 8 hours of sleep last night!!What a blessing and I know it was simply answered prayers. She said Lidya only woke for a half an hour and went right back to sleep and didn't get up until 7:30!! Tonight they have the cultural ceremony and are really looking forward to it. Tomorrow they will actually be leaving Ethiopia in the evening to begin their long trip home. Thank you in advance for your prayers to continue a safe and "enjoyable" (if that is possible on a 17 hour flight with a 6 month old) but ALL things ARE possible with our God!!
Posted by Matt and Emily at 1:57 PM
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Just received another update from Matt and Emily and all is going well. Prayers are being answered as Lidya did sleep some last night and only got up once. Matt had taken a Tylenol PM and got a couple hours of sleep but Em did not and tossed and turned. She did get about 3 hours after Lidya went back to sleep but is getting pretty exhausted. Please pray tonight maybe she can relax some and get a few really good hours of physical and emotional rest. They have the "special" meeting tomorrow at 11 AM (3AM our time) so please if you wake during the night send prayers for this meeting to go well. Emily has always had a special place in a Mother's heart for her and I know this will be very emotional for her and Matt.All you who have gone through this will know how to really pray for them and I thank you in advance.
They went shopping and bought a matching Ethiopian outfit for Katelyn and Lidya which I'm sure are really awesome.
Keep the prayers going - I'll keep you posted.
Posted by Matt and Emily at 6:16 AM
Monday, January 26, 2009
Matt and Emily were united with Lidya this morning and she smiled at them right away! I can not even imagine what they must have been feeling. After all these months to finally be with the sweet baby God hand-picked for this special family is truly unimaginable. God is good - all the time - and all the time- God is good. She said the Embassy appt. went off without a hitch and took all of 2 minutes. They go shopping tomorrow. She said they are hoping Lidya sleeps since they only got about 4 hours of sleep last night and are very tired. She thanked everyone for all their prayers and knows they are being answered as everything has been GREAT!! Thanks again and I'll post as soon as I learn anything new.
Posted by Matt and Emily at 3:37 PM
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Hi Everyone-This is Emily's Mom and I've agreed to keep everyone updated on Matt and Emily's trip to bring their precious one home. I just got an email saying they arrived safe. Both flights went well. Hurray!!!! At least the first half of the grueling flights are done. They were going to bed as it was 10:15 there. In the morning they will go to Hannah's Hope. There is a chance of another Special meeting on Wednesday AM so please keep this covered in your prayers as I can not imagine how emotional that would be. For those of you who have already had that happen I know you will know exactly how to pray for them.
Katelyn is doing well and having a good time so far. She's getting a lot of special attention so I'm sure the week will go quickly for her. Thanks for all your support to Matt and Emily.
When I hear anything else I'll post again.
Posted by Matt and Emily at 4:49 PM
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I can't believe we only have 1 more day until we board the plane for Ethiopia!!!! 72 hours until I can finally hold my sweet Lidya! Words can not describe the joy that I feel to finally be at this part of our adoption journey.
Posted by Matt and Emily at 7:24 PM
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Posted by Matt and Emily at 6:10 PM