Glory Be! She's FREE! We have a new Daughter!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

We are Blessed!  Jesus is doing a wonderful work in our daughter's life.  We are turning the corner a little more each day.  She is broken and scared but we are seeing a true personality come forth.  She is feeling better.  Berhanesh still has a terrible cough but hopefully the antiobiotic shots and medications will help her feel better soon!

Let me tell you a little of what we DO know:

She is a BIG eater--we are not sure if this is really how she is or if she is afraid she won't get more.  She continues to eat and eat.  If she sees food, she wants it.  She is slow in eating, chewing each bite completely gone before getting another.

She is tickelish and kinda goofy!  

She hums and sorta grunts.  No real words--she does say "akoo" a lot.  It is not an Amharic word--not sure what she is saying.  She is quiet, again not sure if this will be the norm.  

She had her first bath.  She was unsure (not sure she ever had a bath before) but we showed her how to splash. 

She gave mommy a kiss today.  Shook her head NO when daddy asked.  Daddy is GREAT!!!  He is very patient and gentle with her.  Berhanesh does okay with him in our hotel.  He is allowed to feed her at each meal.  However, when we go out, she wants nothing to do with him.   We are trying to ease in a little more "daddy time" each day.  The progress will be slow and we have to remain patient.  She was very interested in daddy kissing mommy.  You can tell she wants to interact.  

She has a great smile, which was displayed throughout the day.  

She naps great and goes to bed easy.  We are sure this will change once she becomes more familiar with is and her soon-to-be new surroundings.  She is used to being placed in a crib and left to sleep on her own.  We have tried to establish a basic routine at bedtime.  She does love books.  

Berhanesh watched her first Elmo movie.  We played about 6 minutes of a DVD we brought and she was in a trance.  She later saw the Elmo band-aides and had to wear as a sticker!

Today we went to an orphanage called Kids' Care.  I was nervous about how she would do.  She was not at this orphanage so I knew there would not be any memories.  Upon arrival, she saw the gray gate; the same color gate as the transition home where she has been the last 5 1/2 months.  She got excited, smiling and waving her little hands.  When we got off the van (she was in a sling on me) she immediately knew this was different.  She got very close to me, tucking herself farther into the sling.  She put her hand on my chest and rubbed my skin.  This was a great sign to me that she is bonding.  She did not want Tulio out of her sight.  When he walked to far away, she grunted and reached her hand out.  She did not want to touch him but wanted him closer.  We stayed at the orphanage for awhile and she did great.  We got to play with some of the children and participate in a traditional ethiopian coffee ceremony.  We did not drink the coffee, we poured it into a bush.  We did not want to get sick.  The children were beautiful.  I had to turn away several times for fear of "losing it" in front of them.   Major reality check for Tulio and I both.  Our priorities are so silly in comparison to those in this country.  I think I will spend a while processing all I saw today.  Things I cannot even put into words.  

We then ate at a Metro Pizza.  Super yummy, but different.  After lunch, we came back to the guest home and took naps.  Last minute shopping was done after naps.  Shopping is such an experience.  Amazing, hand-crafted items are to be found.  We found several interesting pieces to give to Berhanesh throughout her life.  

As I type, it is 9:00 ET time, my baby is sleeping and Tulio is at a guys' night with the other dads and our fabulous guides.  

ABBY AND BEN---Ava Joy LOVES the photo album we sent to her back in March.  We got to bring it with us from the transition home.  She opens it up to your pictures and looks at you both for a long time.  Today she was rubbing your faces.  I can't promise you she will play with you at first but she will open up and realize how AWESOME you ARE!!!   Mommy and Daddy love and miss you soooooooo much!  Only 2 more nights until we are together!  Can't wait!  Please be good for your Uncle Nano and Aunt Andrea.  

Blessings to you from Ethiopia!

Tulio, Kara and Ava Joy Berhanesh

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Cindy Foote said...

So So Wonderful!!! I loved seeing the new photos!!!! I am ecstatic for you! Now COME HOME!!!

Susan Aldana said...

Your video was beautiful and has me thinking on your question at the beginning. She is beautiful and I will be praying for her cough and adjustment to the major changes in her and your lives.

hlsrmimi said...

I cannot even begin to imagine all that you are experiencing.
May God wrap all of you in His arms and hold you tightly.
It's hard to believe that you are my little Kara...what a beautiful and mature woman you have become....I cannot find the words to tell you how proud I am of you and,of course, Tulio.
Have a safe trip home!
Aunt Jeanne