Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Day that Changed Us Forever!!

As I wrote today's date, April 22, it hit me that it has already been one month since we met our baby girl. I cannot believe how the time has flown by! In many ways, I feel like we just got home. But we can barely remember what life was like before Mercy came home.

Many people have asked me about our first meeting Mercy. This may be lengthy, but here's the story.

I will never forget that amazing day in Ethiopia!!! The trip was long and exhausting. We left Nashville on Mercy's first birthday, March 20th. We arrived in Ethiopia 27 hours later on Sunday night. We made arrangements with our driver who met us at the airport to come for us the very next morning and take us to get our baby. It hardly seemed real to me.

Even though our bodies were so exhausted, we were too excited to sleep once we finally reached the Guest House. In my mind, I kept imagining what it would be like to see our daughter for the very first time and got very little sleep at all.

On Monday morning, we were expecting our driver at 9:00a.m. It had been awhile since I had been in Africa and forgot how African time works. You see, 9:00a.m. is anytime before 9:59a.m. Typically, a long wait doesn't bother me,but those 40 minutes seemed eternal to us. Mike was making small talk to the man at the Guest House. I couldn't concentrate at all. Believe it or not, I had nothing to say.

We heard the driver coming through the gate and Mike grabbed my hand and said, "This is it! Let's go get our baby girl!" It was hard to hold back all the tears. The emotions were so heavy that I could hardly breath. Fortunately, the drive to the Transition House was short and the roads were relatively smooth.

We pulled up to the Transition House and were greeted by dozens of children that ran to give us hugs. The babies were all located on the second floor. We followed the drive and nanny upstairs to meet Mercy. She was not yet ready, so we waited in the hallway for them to get her dressed. Then with her thick African accent we finally hear the words we had been waiting for, "please, come in."

In the second crib, stood our beautiful baby girl! We walked over to her and I knelt down in front of the crib. I didn't want to scare her. Mercy was tilting her head from side to side making noises with her little tongue sticking out. She reached out her hand to touch my face as tears filled my eyes. Mike immediately picked her up! She cooed and touched his face. He passed her to me and Mercy wrapped those tiny arms around my neck as I just held her so tightly cheek to cheek. THIS is the moment that I had waited for my entire life! It was love at first sight!!

We played with our daughter. Our daughter. God melted our hearts and formed a family that moment. I honestly felt that she knew we were coming for her. Her smile, her big brown eyes, those tiny little fingers were all more amazing than I ever dreamed it would be!

We waited for the nurse, signed the paperwork, and left the place our daughter had called home for almost four months. Mercy has no idea how much her life is about to change! Nor do we.

Thank you, God! My heart is so full of love and gratitude.

"I will not leave you as orphans, I am coming for you!" John 14:18

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Before I was a Mom

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether
or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much, before I was a Mom.