Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Jesse's Gotcha Day: Hooray!!!!

As I was getting ready to write this post to celebrate Jesse's Gotcha Day, I was thinking of potential titles.  Here's what I came up with as runner ups:

  • Blurry Pictures
  • Party in the ET
  • One of the Best Days of My Life
The list could go on...
As cliche as it sounds, I honestly can't believe it's been one year since Steve and I were reunited with our little man, strapped him to me in Baby Ergo, and walked out of the gates of the amazing Hannah's Hope.  It was out of this world.
After a 24 hour flight with some of the most awesome people I've had the pleasure of knowing (our gaggle of other adoptive families whom we quickly loved and adored!), we arrived at our "home away from home" in Addis Ababa:  The Riviera, where we were warmly re-greeted by the familiar faces that made us feel so comfortable a few weeks earlier.  I was so happy.
There was time to shower and possibly close our eyes for an hour before Wass picked us up, giddy and exhausted to bring our babies home.
I remember singing Whitney Houston's "One Moment in Time" in the van as we approached the gates; I was out of my mind!  I didn't care about cameras, videos, nothing...I just wanted my Jesse Getiso.  I just wanted him in my arms.  So, as soon as the gate opened, I just went in with an utter abandonment that this would be a moment I would want to record.  I have a blurry picture of Steve holding Jesse.  It's hysterical.  That's how I remember this day:  blurry, giddy, running on absolute adrenaline.  My boy was coming home.
With all of the joy, came the sadness too.  When we arrived at the hotel, we brought Jesse up to our room to just have time to bond.  He began to cry that could only be described as utter loss.  Jesse was unmistakably grieving.  He was just torn from all that he knew.  But he held me, wailed, allowed me to love him, and I was not letting go.  After about two hours, he was exhausted and fell asleep in my arms.  The mama in me just knew he needed us more than anything. Steve and I took turns holding this emotionally exhausted boy as he slept.
When he woke up, he was happy again.  Amazing.  That week in ET was sleep deprived, joyous, full of laughter, and tons of community as we hung close with the other adoptive families.  I'm so grateful to have shared this journey with them.  My fondest memory was how Jesse would literally take my face while he was in the Baby Ergo and hold it right in front of his to peer into my eyes over and over and over with the biggest smile on his face.  He was memorizing me, taking me in, holding me tight.  Since then, we have always been close like peas and carrots.  He's a mama's boy, and I don't have one apology for it!
We love our boy, we love his big smiles and laughter.  We love the ups and downs that we have had as a family.  We are in awe of his heritage.  We think of his birth mama every day.  We are humbled to be on this journey.  
Happy Gotcha Day, Jesse.  We love you more than you can imagine.  We dream big for you:  to grow more dependent on God, to love with all of your heart, take risks, and know all along how much you are loved.
Mommy, Daddy, and Sissy

Friday, June 8, 2012

Holy Cannoli...I'm going to camp!

 My friend and colleague, Sarah Wright, is infectious.  Anyone who knows her, wants to do whatever she's doing.  It's that simple.  She's made friendship bracelet club the hottest thing to do at our school.  Who knew friendship bracelets could be hot?  This coo coo 24 year old, got me hook, line, and sinker.  She got me involved in Young Life.  I'm going to camp, y'all!
Yesterday, as I sat down with Jon, the super nice guy who runs the YL ministry here in Indianapolis and watched w/ a smile as my kids straight up destroyed his office and threw about four tantrums with in five minutes, got me started with "all I need to know for camp."  Although I had to cut our meeting short, for fear that I was going to have a moment with my kids in this nice man's office, I am on my way.
I'm getting older, that is no lie, but I still love the insane teenagers who roam the halls of my school and deliberately choose to make bad choices at their desks (I like to blame it on the 'ol non developed frontal lobe).  I love their messy journey, specifically at this crazy time of their lives.  Now, I'm going to live and breathe it for a week at camp this summer while getting to know them and see how I can serve them through this often intense time of their lives.
I'm asking for prayer from y'all as I gear up for camp on a few levels:

  • Please pray for Alex and Jesse.  I've never been away from Jesse for this long (let alone a night in itself).  Please pray for comfort and security for them while mama is away.
  • Please pray for Steve.  He's amazing in itself.  I love how he supports all the things I want to do.  I couldn't do anything without him.
  • Pray for me; that the Holy Spirit prepares me, fills me for what these kiddos need to hear from Him and gives me the opportunity to bond and build a spirit filled relationship with them!
  • Pray especially for the teenagers I'm going to be spending time with.  Pray for their journey with Christ!
Thanks for thinking of me.  I'm excited for this adventure.  I'm excited to serve and be used by God and to have these kiddos be a part of my life too.  Camp is at the end of July, so keep the kiddos and I in mind and heart.  Much love to my homies. 
Love, Kathy  

Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer Sanity?

Have you ever had one of those moments where you start crying for no apparent reason?  You just find yourself on the brink of tears, not for any good or bad's just there.  I tend to rationalize it with the 'ol I'm a woman, this is a part of who I am, blah blah blah blah.  But in all honesty, there's something deeper than a monthly moment coming on or a wave of depression, which is a reality for many, me especially.
Yesterday, while setting up the registration table at our church and getting ready for the kiddos to come in, I was overwhelmed with a sense of crying.  I looked at Steve and said, while attempting to hold it all together, that I was "having a moment," and I had no idea why.  My neighbor, who sensed something going on, came over and had a check in moment:  are you ok?  Yes, but I'm having a moment for no apparent reason.  I know I sound like a crazy woman.  
When I really think about it, I know there's more going on that just having a moment.  I feel an overwhelming movement/shift going on in my life.  Actually, I think it's been going on for awhile, but I'm overcome at times with the tectonic plate-like movements in my soul when these occur.  It comes like an earthquake, down to my core, out of nowhere.  
There have been many questions, wonderings that I've been wrestling with lately.  There's much that I'm talking to God about, sometimes more than I can verbalize in a sitting.  I've been reflecting on the moment six years ago when I looked at Steve and said that I wanted to grow our family through adoption, and then I start thinking about all of the moments that led up to that one.  It is as clear as day that Jesse, like Alex, was divinely given to us by God as the plan from day 1.  
A year ago, when we were in Ethiopia for those two trips, I felt an amazing sense of joy, laughter, community, love, patience, etc. in the juxtaposition of this developing country, and knew that our journey in Ethiopia was not over.  We were not only forming a beautiful relationship with our son but also with this country, this culture and its people.  I wanted more, but perhaps the better way to put it is I wanted different.  
Since then, the earthquake-like movements from the belly of my soul have been palpable.  It's beautiful, it's scary, it's hard.  I don't know where, when, how.  I am dedicated to prayer right now, asking God to lead me to each door.  I'm willing to walk through wherever He wants to lead me.  I'm opening myself up to ALL the possibilities that He wants to do with our family.  It's scary and exciting to really know that God can do anything to use us to bring glory to Him.  The walls have been knocked down.  We are in the adventure.
What it comes down to is that I think we all have this idea of how our lives will play out.  I'm not sure we have it right, or at least I don't think that I do.  I'm wrapping my mind around all of this, and I think that's where all of the emotion is coming from.  The uncomfortableness of my human-ness to be moved in such a way.  I'm asking that you join me in prayer for all of this.  Maybe you've been through a season like this, maybe you can give me some wisdom and insight!
Meanwhile, thanks for hearing my crazy truth and don't be surprised if you find me awkwardly "veclempt" at times.  Much love!