Sunday, May 22, 2011

love love love love...

I am so blessed.  I don't know what else to say but that.  We've been home from Addis for about 48 hours, and although I'm still exhausted and my stomach isn't quite right and I break into tears every now and then because I miss my baby boy... I overall feel this overwhelming sense of love and gratefulness.
When I felt this call on my heart that my child was in Ethiopia over four years ago, I can still recall the fearlessness and joy that charged me; I can only say that it was undeniably the Holy Spirit.  Two years following that, after our move to Indianapolis, God worked on Steve's heart too, and now two years following that:  here we are.
Jesse Getiso is the most beautiful creature I've ever laid eyes on, aside from our Alex.  He is my boy, and there's no denying that.  Ethiopia has a special place in my heart on many levels; right now, my baby boy is still there, and I know soon we'll be going back, but the time couldn't be sooner.  This morning I woke up, and in my heart, I could hear him cooing down the hall.
Our arduous trip to Ethiopia was an absolute adventure and more than that, it was one I will never forget.  Landing in Addis, Steve and I were overwhelmed with the sight of poverty.  We landed on a Sunday morning, and it looked as if everyone, including horses, goats, and cows, were just doing a walkabout if you will; I had so much to wrap my mind around.  As soon as we arrived at our hotel, we literally crashed on our bed (I have the plum sized bruise on my thigh to show) and slept until lunch time.  We were greeted by nine other couples in the lobby who I would now call wonderful friends.  They offered to take pictures for us as we boarded the bus to go meet Getiso for the very first time at Hannah's Hope.
Seeing the gate, which I heard so much about, at Hannah's Hope seemed like a significant milestone in our journey; we had finally arrived in person and were walking through to embrace this new life!  We were led into the baby house, amidst Kim and Truitt's little girl, Lea, yelling "mommy, daddy!" running into their arms; I am blessed enough to have this image in a picture someone caught!  We entered and Getiso and I laid wide eyes on one another as he lay in his bouncy seat.  The tears just started rolling down my cheeks as I picked him up and loved on him.  As I passed him to Steve, we were beaming with smiles and couldn't get enough of him.  It was nothing short of magical; one of those moments you just want to bottle up.
Our experience at Hannah's Hope was amazing.  We had heard how wonderful the special mothers and the staff were there, but to see it in person is quite another experience.  They LOVE those children so much.  You can see it in their smiles, hugs, and words as they feed, play, nurture, and care for these beautiful souls.  I have never been more grateful for a group of people in my entire life.  Throughout the week, I had the opportunity to get to know some of these women, and although some of their stories are tragic, they endure with grace and thankfulness.  They love being at Hannah's Hope, and I think it's because it represents just that:  hope and most of all, love.  Everyone there knew all of the children by name and greeted them with hugs.  I feel as if we have an extended family a world away, because anyone who can pour that much into my child, let alone all of those beautiful children, is my hero.
In this journey, I approached Wass (our driver) and Tsige (our coordinator) about TJ.  Without a beat, they said they knew that we were his family and allowed us the opportunity to see his resting place, here on earth.  Wass took us, with TJ's special mother who made the burial arrangements, to the cemetery in Addis the following day.  On first sight of the cemetery, the tears began to spill.  TJ's special mother held her hand drawn map of where in the cemetery he was laid; she had not forgotten where he was.  The cemetery could only be described in the pictures we took; nothing like what we would imagine.  We hiked through plots that had been used over and over again, which made it quite unnerving.  I was so afraid of disrespecting this hallow ground as I negotiated each step in the rubble.  Finally, Wass and the special mother brought me to a 2 foot pile of dirt; it was clear that my baby's body lay there, although no stone marked his spot.  She and I immediately knelt down, our hands in the dirt and cried for our little boy.  Saying goodbye again...  Praying...  mourning...  It all came up again, the memory of devastation that our little boy, TJ Sidrak, would not walk the halls of our home or sleep in my arms, but rather with Jesus.  Although grateful he is with Him, still difficult as we are here and missing him still.  TJ's special mother and I held each other in our tears, and Steve caught a picture of us, eyes red, as she waves goodbye.  I'm thankful to have had this moment.
The rest of our time was spent laughing, loving, and hugging with our boy!  We passed court on Wednesday, and I have never been more nervous in my life!  The three other families and us burst into tears when she said that the children were ours.
We said our goodbyes that day too.  Right before we had to leave Jesse, he was giving me kisses.  I will never forget that.  I long for that beautiful boy to be in my arms again.  We cried again, and I had fits of tears intermittently during our long flight home.
I had a moment with Steve in the Heathrow Airport as we looked at trinkets to bring home to Alex, whom we missed more than ever!  We were negotiating gifts to purchase for both of our children:  Jesse Getiso and Alex.  I never felt such an overwhelming sense of joy when I uttered that, and again, began to cry...
My tears are all over Addis; some from sadness, but many from complete joy!  Thank You, Father God, for this.  Thank You for MY CHILDREN!  I am humbled and grateful to be their mommy.  Bring home our boy sooner than soon.  You know how my heart aches.  I love you.  Thank You for your sovereignty and bringing me closer to You through every tear.  In Jesus' name I pray.  Amen.


  1. I think I pray that "Thank you for my children" prayer every day. Very touching blog, Kathy.

  2. Do you sell tissue with this blog? Gracious, girl. Luv you guys so much and can not wait to see ALL of you soon!!!

  3. Very Touching! I pray that you will have a wonderful life with your two children and your husband!