Monday, July 27, 2009

Proud to be Ethiopian American

We went to the annual 4th of July Parade in our county. It is small, but the kids love it. Sam and Cora loved the candy of course. Eli clapped at the loud firetrucks and the band, and he said "vroom, vroom" at all the tractors.

I am very patriotic, I get it from my dad. I almost always tear up at the parade and often at events during the national anthem. This year, as I was watching Eli at the parade, decked out in his red, white, and blue, I really had a hard time. I felt joy for the opportunities he now has in America. I felt great sadness for all the children on the streets in Ethiopia. As we were celebrating on the street, in Ethiopia children were being abandoned on the street, dirt streets that are littered with trash and housing sick and poor people.
Will Eli ever go back there? How will he feel? I hope he is proud to Ethiopian and American. God has truly worked a miracle in bringing our family together. I pray he works miracles for many more Ethiopian children. I also pray that many of the Ethiopian Americans will use their great opportunities to serve their native country.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Growing boy

August is right around the corner, which means kids will start school. We have long discussed homeschooling the kids, but now that the time is near I am nervous. It seems like an overwhelming responsibility. I recently downloaded the Indiana academic standards for Kindergarten and am reviewing them. I think I can handle it, and more importantly, I know Sam can handle it. Its just the idea that we will be officallially doing it that gets to me. Thankfully, I know that this is God's plan for us so He will see us through.

Two people have commented this week on how grown up Sam seems now. I have to agree, and I am glad that he is entering a new phase with less karate moves, but I am sad to see the preschool years ending. Here is one of my favorite pictures from vacation. It is Sam fishing by his Papaw. They only caught two fish that evening, but Sam did not give up. Sam's great-grandparents, Papaw, and Daddy used to visit this park. This time we had 4 generations together.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Congrats to Tisha

Congratulations to Tisha and her family, who just brought home two beautiful new Ethiopian Hoosiers! We can't wait to meet these girls someday. Aren't they precious?! Praise the Lord for another family united.

We are having a post-adoption visit with our social worker today. Belinda has been a pleasure to work with since we were just getting started on the paperwork for our adoption. She will come one more time, when Eli has been home a year. In the adoption world, your social worker has to learn EVERYTHING about you in order to write the homestudy, so we feel like we've shared our lives with her. Amazingly, even after knowing us, she still recommended us for adoption:) We will miss seeing her, but maybe she will come again someday...

I love this picture of Cora and my farmer brother David. They were at the county fair, assessing the corn cob toss with their hands on their hips. Our fair had some fun farm games for kids sponsored by Farm Bureau. Some of the others included corn shelling, stick horse race, and Old McDonald sing along. They even gave them money for participating. It burned a hole in Sam's pocket right to the ice cream vendor!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Happy (BUSY!) Summer

We are still here and having a great summer! Between VBS, vacations, visits from family, county fair, and swimming in the pond, I haven't found a time to write. I guess I needed a summer break, I just hope someone comes back to read:)
Our adjustment to a family of 5 has been harder than we expected. We are pretty much beat each evening while the kids are still going strong. Slowly we getting a new "normal". Eli loves us all very well, but I think we took attachment for granted, so we are backing up a bit to give him more attention too. And he's just so cute, who wouldn't want to lay and cuddle and tickle him?!

Eli loved this slide on vacation!

We just returned from a weeks vacation, and found out that while we were gone the judge signed our adoption papers (in our county you don't go see the judge). Ethiopian courts had already done this, but we re-adopt here to complete the process. This also included changing his name. As of July 6, 2009 our son is officially Eli Tamru Ausbrooks. (Ethiopian court had given him the name Tamru Joshua Ausbrooks.)

All God's Children included this poem in their newsletter recently, and it touched my mother's heart. I remember the months of waiting for Eli to come home, and my feelings are still fresh. But how did he feel? I shouldn't wonder that its taking time for him adjust to us. One thing is for sure, when I kiss him good night there is no doubt God made us for each other.

I am waiting…somewhere far, far away…on the other side of the world.
I may not know who you are or what you look like.
But somehow, deep in my heart, I know you are out there.
That one day you will come and find me.
It's a long journey, and it takes a lot of time.
I wish it could be easier.
But I know that the ones who come for me will not count the cost.
They will only see the joy of finding me.

For now I abide in the fields of the fatherless.
Day by day wondering, "Why was I born here and not somewhere else?"
Asking, "Why couldn't my life have been different?"
It is so lonely…
Even though I am surrounded by hundreds of other children,I know that something is missing.
I know in my heart I need a place to call home.
My arms long to be wrapped in a father's embrace…
I long to be saved by a mother's love.
Gazing out the orphanage window, I offer a prayer of hope,
"Oh God, please help them come quickly."
Even as I lay in the darkness each night somehow I feel assured.
That no matter how lost I appear I am not alone.
Holy hands guard my steps;
sacred fingers wipe my tears…Touching my lonely heart.
The one who made me,
The God who knew me before I was born,
Hears me every time I call.
He whispers His promises in my ear.
I listen with hope to His voice.
But what I worry about most is that no one wants to look for me.
The fields are vast, and there are so many scattered all over the earth.
I wonder how one little child, so lost, can be found.
Yet He calms my heart and assures me that He will find you.
That He will make sure you hear His voice clearly.
He has promised me that He will make a way through the fields.
That He will personally cut a path, and lead you right to my orphanage door.

My prayer is…
When He speaks, please don't forget to listen.
When He calls, don't be too afraid to go.
For I am waiting…somewhere far, far away.

Are you listening for the voice of God?