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ITY’s successful surgery! Yay…tubes are in!

We are home…and ALL FOUR little ones are napping AT THE SAME TIME! I’m working on a Wiphan video to share SOON…and I also have MORE helpful pointers and details on the “It’s a Girl Thing: Pad Party Project”. SO…that comes tomorrow:). Sorry for the delay. Babies come first at our house…so now that all is well with tubes and rest might happen–I can catch up on my “to-do” list! FIRST though—I wanted to document our morning!!!

We arrived at the hospital at 6:30am…which means we LEFT at 6am…which means we got up at 5am…which really didn’t matter because guess who did NOT sleep a wink last night pulling on his ears?! BUT he was all smiles before surgery this morning. And he even got to pick out a special prize to take back with him.

He was a HIT among the nurses–and he showed off by smiling, waving and even being a big boy and doing another breathing treatment before anesthesia. We have been doing breathing treatments every 4 hours around the clock for almost a week now…so it’s old hat to him and he will even some times HOLD the breathing mask to his little nose and mouth himself. SWEET thing! They didn’t allow Richard or I to go back at all—so we didn’t get to stay beside him while he went to sleep. His wheezing had started back, and they said it was best if we weren’t there in case breathing problems occured and they had to insert tubes…that mommy or daddy might be in the way:(. This news brought the dreaded LUMP IN MY THROAT. I held it together…and the anesthesiologist came to get him and he cried as they walked away with him…another lump in my throat.

Then we headed back to recovery and waited and waited and waited…and I endured 15 minutes (possibly more;) of Isaac’s daddy’s goofiness. If you want to be entertained–you really need to be stuck in an empty hospital room with my husband. The man isn’t right. He proceded to tell me funny stories and then finally they brought our baby back. He was very hungry since he wasn’t allowed to eat before the surgery since the night before…

My friend Tiffini who has endured many hospital visits with her sons and procedures much like we have, encouraged me in all the craziness that although you would think this would make bonding harder–it really makes you closer. I’ll agree. This was one of those moments that no one else in the world was there—and time stood still…and I just wanted him to feel better…

How I love my little man–and moments like this…really does make me realize how deep our love is for him.

We came home–and Isaac and I CRASHED. We slept until the alarm woke us up at noon telling us to go get Frank from preschool and Laney and Parker from my friend Christy who was doing carpool today. We had to run in the dance store real quick to get my niece something for her dance class–and ironically after this mornings bonding–the clerk asked me a question that didn’t throw me off…but instead made me a bit sad that she doesn’t know what adoption feels like. I was standing there with my 4 children listening and she asked about our son…

“Is he yours?”

“Yes, he is.”

“How?” (Trust me…people ask everything. And it’s most interesting to watch Parker and Laney’s faces during these ‘adult’ conversations…I am thankful that THEY get it!)

“He is adopted, and we love him so.”

“You mean, really? You love him as much as much as you love your own?” (Really–in front of Laney and Parker…this could be confusing–and I could probably get upset…but this sweet clerk doesn’t know any better–and she doesn’t know the miracle of adoption…so I just smile…and think, “Bless her heart.”)

“Absolutely. I love him as much because HE IS my own. He is my son…of course I love him just like I love all of my children…” At this, I hold him higher…and can’t help but kiss him all over the cheeks…not to show her my words are true–but because I just can’t help but kiss his big cheeks almost every moment of the day. Then…Frank interupts my fog by throwing hair bun nets and a tutu across the room. Parker is dying laughing at Frank, and Laney is asking if we can buy the tutu…which I respond with my famous, “No–hun…put that back—we’ll make one at home.” (You know ME;). And with all the craziness from my other three, I can’t help but bask in Isaac’s sweetness and offer him two more kisses—because we all know in just a year or two he’ll be right there with them.

As I drove home, I thought about the clerk’s question–and I felt so thankful to be blessed with ALL of my children. I felt a bit sad for her too that she didn’t know how much a mother loves her child no matter how the Lord chose to bring that baby into their life. But then again–who can blame her. I can remember being pregnant with Laney and being SO worried that I could never love another baby the way I loved Parker…oh the tears of worry make me smile now at my not knowing. And then she came…AND MY HEART OVERFLOWETH! Really, I just didn’t know it was possible. ONE DAY…I know Isaac Temesgen will ask that SAME question. “Well, do you mom? Do you love me just as much?” And one day Isaac Temesgen will read these words. And if I could go to coffee with that sweet clerk I would want to tell her about what she didn’t see…and for Isaac T to read this…

Sweet lady behind the desk—all you got to see in our 5 minutes together was our differences…but what you didn’t get to see was…the almost 365 days of my heart’s longing to bring him home…the tears that fell throughout the WAIT–not even KNOWING or UNDERSTANDING why I ACHED for a baby I didn’t know YET so much–yet God knew the ache was because he was born the week our journey officially began and He miraculously caused my heart to ache–and to LABOR through desire, prayer and longing for our baby…

She didn’t get to see the paper chase across town for nearly four months…the juggling schedules so I could be at every appointment…definitely more appointments and hoops than my past pregnancies…but already–I loved him so much…

She didn’t see me on my knees in December crying…only a month officially on the waitlist but I KNEW in my heart something was happening…and just a few days later our son was at Bethzatha waiting for us…God was miraculously lining up our hearts with what was happening in His world…she didn’t see how I struggled to focus on the “now” and the routines of my children already home…I was utterly distracted by my love and longing for a son I had yet to lay eyes on…

She didn’t hear my voice on the other line with Kiersten, our case worker, said, “I have a little boy I want to talk to you about…” or the tears as Richard and I were on that plane after the phone call…we had YET to see his picture and all we had was his name and a medical review that told us this 8 month old miracle wasn’t holding his head up yet–but he was smiling–and when Almaz saw his face she saw the grace and power of God…and not knowing what the future held…and BEFORE seeing his pictures…our hearts said YES!!!

She didn’t see my tears as we finally saw his face…knowing he was our son. And that already–I would do ANYTHING for him.

Oh and if she could have been with me as I walked away from my entire family to board a plane to bring him home…there was fear in my mind boarding that plane with “what if something happens”…but all the while my heart was shouting “YOU ARE WORTH IT!” Because…already…I loved him. Or the moment I didn’t know what to say when he was placed in my arms…so like a crazy mommy I bounced him up and down just hoping he wouldn’t cry. Already longing to ease his heart and mind…just wanting him to be okay and happy.

If she could have seen the tears I cried with every poke and test upon returning home…wanting to look away but knowing I could not and instead pressing my cheek to his and reminding him, “Momma’s here. Momma’s here.”

I’m afraid if she had seen those moments…and then compared them to the scene of Frank throwing bun holders, Parker laughing at him and Laney begging for a tutu…her question might have been worded differently;). Yes, I do love them all with an unexplainable, deep God-given love…although to be honest with you clerk lady–I’m really working on my patience with the older three;). Hmmm…I think I might just have come up with a new response to raise the eyebrows of the next clerk lady who just doesn’t know.

To those of you waiting on waitlists for your little ones you have yet to see or hold…I get your heart—your longing—and I promise, in time…it will all make sense and it will be worth it. Your feelings are real, valid and for a purpose. It’s labor…yes, a long one–but God is preparing your hearts for one of the greatest miracles to ever grace your life! To those of you already home–wasn’t it worth it…and isn’t it AMAZING the love that abounds with being a mommy again…and through the miracle of adoption?! What a blessing to get to be a mom over and over and over again…I can’t imagine a better job…a higher calling or any other way I’d want to spend my time. I think I hear one stirring…so my time is up. But just in case you ever wondered…there is a deep miracle in the wait and longing and the love that God gives a momma for each child no matter how they come into her heart…and I’m just thankful my quiver is full (…oh but–Richard, if you are reading this…don’t you think there MIGHT be room for JUST one more?!)

Hope you all have a blessed day.

Tiffany - September 1, 2010 - 4:44 pm

When those questions arise imagine how wonderful it would be to share this answer with each person. I love this post…love it. There is so much that goes into an adoption, more than a pregnancy even…and people just don’t know and I want them to know. As always, you’ve said it better than I ever could. Amazing post.

Elle J - September 1, 2010 - 4:59 pm

… and my son just walked by and said, “Hello Cutie” to Isaac’s photo in your post. =) Beautifully written. So clear. I can feel your energy and love for all of your children.

Catherine Besk - September 1, 2010 - 5:11 pm

We are currently living with my parents because CA state law requires a 3rd bedroom, since we already have 2 little girls. We haven’t been here even a month yet, and I’m going so stir crazy – BECAUSE while we are waiting for the right home, our adoption is on hold, since our homestudy has to be done in OUR home. Your last paragraph really spoke to me. It will all be worth it, and I will understand it all one day when I’m holding our precious child in my arms. A child that God planned for us before time, just like he planned our girls for us. So glad Isaac is going to be feeling so much better!

Lara - September 1, 2010 - 5:21 pm

Thanks for sharing that. I thought of little Isaac as I was doing our adoption education course about medical issues in adoption and it mentioned ear infections as a common problem adopted babes have.

Ashley - September 1, 2010 - 5:32 pm

your posts always seem to be just what i need to hear! tonight we have our final walk-thru with the social worker for our home study, and we just launched our first fundraiser. in the last few days i have really felt the weight of the mountain before us…so sweet to be reminded of the amazing miracle waiting on the other side!

Katie Dunlap - September 1, 2010 - 6:09 pm

Okay. Tears . . . lots of tears! This is beautifully written. Thank you, Andrea, for putting into words what so many of us adoptive moms feel. I’m so glad things went well with Isaac today, and I hope he finally feels completely healthy soon!

melissa - September 1, 2010 - 6:14 pm

I am so glad Isaac T. is doing well and it went so smoothly. I am praying that much relieve is ahead of him and for you. I could not contain the tears as I read how much you loves Isaac T. and how much you have longed for him. It is beautiful! There is so much the world does not know about adoption. Wow! What a blessing we have to really experience it and get a glimpse of Christ’s love for us. Love this! Can’t wait to experience it along side of you. (:

Nina - September 1, 2010 - 6:20 pm

I was overwhelmed and moved by today’s post. I sobbed through everything after the clerk encounter. It connected straight to my heart when you spoke of the ache you felt for Isaac before you even knew him or saw his face. I struggle with this feeling, because I don’t understand it. Oh how I long for my little one….the feelings are so fresh today! These are feelings that even my closest friends don’t understand, because they have not been through it. And so often I feel so alone because of that. But then there is this whole world of people I’ve connected with through blogs and emails. If only we could transport ourselves to the same spot once a month so we could all hug and cry it out! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your heart, Andrea. Don’t stop writing, because what you write is SO worth it.

Jill Dupras - September 1, 2010 - 6:25 pm

it took us an entire year to complete our paperwork due to crazy setbacks and we have been waiting for a referral for almost six months. the most difficult and unexpected part has been the maternal feelings i have for our children in ethiopia. we are not adopting an infants so i know they are there probably waiting too. this breaks my heart for them because like you said, i already love them. thankfully i know the One who knows all things and can trust in Him. i have been incredibly encouraged by your journey.

Debb - September 1, 2010 - 7:42 pm

You bring such precious tears to my eyes. We are adopting and are only one month into the waiting phase. Your words are precious to me. So real. So beautiful. You have described my very own heart. I am so in love with our son (and possibly siblings!), and I have not even met him/them yet! I so wish those outside of adoption understood tall that you have said so eloquently. I pray Isaac continues to heal, and that this whole experience helped to bury deep the love and trust between the two of you!

Dawn - September 1, 2010 - 8:31 pm

So glad things went well…..what a beautifully written post! AMEN!!! Wish we could all walk around with a little video about how we waited, cried- tears of joy and sorrow and fret, and all that went on in our heads and hearts along the way. That would be powerful!!!!!!!!

Tara - September 1, 2010 - 10:48 pm

Such great news and what a great story you have to share, praying for your family

Nicole - September 1, 2010 - 11:32 pm

BEAUTIFUL!!!! We are in the paper chase and today was one of those days for us. God knew that your words would comfort someone else today, so thank you.

Bobi Bobbitt - September 1, 2010 - 11:45 pm

I have been feeling very discouraged lately about my longing to adopt (that it just may never happen)… I really needed to hear this tonight! As always, thanks for being so real! Love, Bobi

Shannon - September 2, 2010 - 1:11 am

Such sweet moments with Isaac and I’m so glad everything went so smooth. Thank for this post! You ALWAYS seem to speak right to my heart. I am so desperately wanting to be finished with the paperwork and homestudy and be on the list but I know there is much to be learned in the process. But my heart aches and I wonder about him and we talk about him everyday and pray for him each night. I thought being pregnant felt long! This is truly a lesson in patience! So thankful for the gift of words the Lord has blessed you with…you bless so many others with your writing and encouragement! P.S. You look beautiful at 6:30 in the morning!!

Karen - September 2, 2010 - 2:25 am

I love this post. It is so true that the people with all the outside questions, they haven’t seen our journey and our adoration for our child, nor have they felt the calling from God the way we did. What a very gracious response you had to this woman!!

Megan - September 2, 2010 - 3:04 am

Oh I LOVE this post, and I love your heart Andrea! I hope I have the patience one day that you do with ignorant questions. Thanks for the encouragement today….I’m definately feeling…exhausted? in this wait.

Makenzie - September 2, 2010 - 7:43 am

Love this post Andrea! I really wish everyone could read these words and understand waht adoption is all about!

Becca - September 2, 2010 - 11:59 am

I’m so glad everything went well – and I love your words about adoption! I cant wait to meet him tonight 🙂

Meg - September 2, 2010 - 10:49 pm

Lots of friends in common have referred me to your blog and I’m so thankful. We, too, are adopting from Ethiopia and I get so much encouragement from reading about you and your beautiful family. Thanks for sharing!