Friday, February 4, 2011

Conflicting Emotions...

Today has been an emotional day.  As we’ve grown closer to the nannies, and as we grow closer to our babies, conflicting emotions are starting to sprout. 

Today I was in the twins’ room with Desta, their favorite nanny.  She was changing Eliana’s diaper (don’t worry, I do it too!  She’s just a LOT faster than me!), and then she asked me when we were taking Alex & Eliana.  She said, “One month?  Two month?”  I said, “No, in a few days.  We aren’t leaving Ethiopia for maybe another month or so, but the babies will leave the orphanage in a few days.”  With that she suddenly looked down at the ground, put her hands over her eyes, and then just left Eliana laying there, and left the room.  She was crying.  Then I started to cry.  It was awful. 

This 20 year old girl has watched over our little ones for the last 6 months, day and night.  She never stops playing with them.  She loves them so much.  And at this point, I’m pretty sure they love her more than anyone else (including wes and i).  When she comes into the room, their eyes light up, and big smiles spread across their faces.  In some ways, it is difficult to watch this on a daily basis.  I want so badly to be the one that makes them light up.  But at the same time I am so very grateful that they have been so cared for and loved throughout their time at the orphanage.  I can almost feel the ache she must be feeling, knowing that soon these children will no longer be a part of her daily life.

Beautiful Desta.  Alex & Eliana's favorite nanny.

As soon as Desta walked back into the room (after wiping away her tears), it was my turn to make an exit.  Tears were coming fast and furiously.  I walked out into the courtyard where Wes was sitting and chatting with another adoptive father (and our new friend!  We love you Kevin and Christina!).  I sat down on the bench next to him, pulled my glasses off,  and just started bawling.  I told him what had happened, and how I didn’t know how I was going to be able to take Alex & Eliana away from the people who have loved them so much every day for first several months of their lives.   It’s not that I don’t want to have them with me.  I’m so excited to have them with us 24/7.  It just hurts so much at the same time.  Does that make sense?

We weren’t sitting far from the manager’s office, and all of a sudden I hear, “Nina?  Nina?”  He walked out and wanted to know why I was so upset.  I think he was worried somebody had done something to me, or had upset me in some way.  I explained to him why I was crying, and he immediately understood.  He said that they loved the children so much, and that it was hard when they had to say goodbye.

Yeah, I love this place.  I love this journey.  But no matter how many times I have seen the gotcha day videos, or read blogs about these kinds of experiences, there is nothing that can prepare you for the gamut of emotions you will feel once it is your turn to experience it.  It is beautiful.  It is hard.  It is joyful.  It is painful.  But it is all so so worth it.

p.s.  Our case has been delayed once again.  This time only four more days.  It’s just how it goes here in Ethiopia sometimes.  There’s no point in freaking out about it.  If you do that, you’ll not only make yourself depressed, but you’ll make others depressed too.  I definitely don’t want to do that.  So with that said, we are doing really well, all things considered.  All you can do is go with the flow, and than ask God what He wants to teach you in the meanwhile.  There is so much to learn!

p.s.s.  For those of you with children at our orphanage, you may have heard that they are closing this location soon.  BUT…..let me reiterate that this will NOT affect any adoptions.  It is simply a budgetary thing, and has nothing to do with their license or anything else. All is well, and your babies are ALL well cared for.  They will simply be in a new location close by.  With all that said, and the main thing I ask prayer for is that the staff get to keep their jobs.  The children are fine!  ☺


  1. xx HUGS xx

    I feel for you guys, it makes my heart ache just thinking about it. Adoption is such an emotional human journey, it nourishes your soul and expands your heart in a way that nothing else can.

  2. Nina,

    I fully understand your emotions. I went through them also when we went to get Sam. It broke my heart to see the hurt and fear in his eyes and the sadness in the nannies eyes when we took him away. I have also seen it with domestic adoptions in the States when the A.P. get to know the birth mother and realize that she is amazing and how can they take this child from her and watch her pain. Just remember they are normal and as you are going through your journey, so is Desta. Whether she knows it or not God placed her there to love your babies and he is taking her on her own journey with your adoption. Emotional... yes. Hard.... yes. But beautiful to watch it through your words and prespective and also that of Desta's. One of the bests gifts you can give Desta is to cry with her. You are showing Christ in your love and doing a beautiful job.


  3. I completely, completely know how you feel. Our orphanage is set up differently, but there was no doubt that the nannies loved Rebeka. I haven't blogged about the day I saw them all kissing on her, when they didn't know we were there. It's definitely made me thankful that she was loved. It was heart breaking though, completely.

  4. P.S. Your attitude is amazing. Delays are tough, but when there's nothing you can do, the only thing to do is go with it.

  5. Until you've experienced this, you really have no idea the wave of emotions. I remember also feeling so torn while in Ethiopia. The nannies that had to say goodbye, the children who had to leave everything familiar to them. It was very very hard. But it's all worth it. Thinking of you.

  6. I share your emotions today.. we will NEVER forget Zoie's nanny and love her deeply! Zoie only knew love and that is such a gift to my heart. We are praying for you and can't wait to see you in a few weeks in Ethiopia sister!! Love you!!

  7. THis has just been a very emotional ride to get Eliana and Alex. I can certainly understand how difficult it must be on these nannies. Just feel with them. They poor their lives into these babies. Thank them and pray for them. As far as the babies are concerned their memory is not very long, so when you and Wes picks them up to keep, it will not be many days before you are their all.
    Can't wait to see them. We are leaving in 3 1/2 hours. Finally!!!!!

  8. Completely understand. Some of our son's caretakers loved him so much and took care of him as their own. It was so hard to say goodbye to them and take him away from them. It was hard for the caretakers too.

  9. I wish I was there to give you a hug. You and Wes are so strong and brave. You're attitude of grace is a testimony of the Lord's love!

  10. So so true.

    And trust, as you say, they will have the rest of their lives to cherish you.

    These nannies are so amazing and deserve a ton of credit for how well these ET kids do when they come home with us. They've been loved, so they can love. It's so important. And so hard to do well which is why the ET program is so unique and so wonderful I think.

  11. Oh, Desta... it's so good to see her smile again!! Without a doubt, she absolutely loves your children. While I was there she wasn't assigned to their room, but would always find a way to sneak in and play with them. Alex and Eliana have had so much love in their first few months but nobody will ever be more special to them than their mom and dad. :) I wish you could have met Yodi, a nanny who left the same week I did. She left so she could go to school. She spent everyday in their room and was so incredible; her love for the twins was so amazing. :)

  12. Reading this post was like reliving our adoption experience. The emotions and grief are profound. I think many people see the wonderfulness of adoption without realizing what profound loss is experienced by so many people in the process. Every time I think of you I am so happy you have had this opportunity to get to know your kids and their nannies before taking them home. We had a similar experience and a year later are now heading back with our daughter for a visit. One of the most exciting parts of the trip will be revisiting her favorite nannies I am anticipating a healing experience...

  13. I just wanted to say a quick hello...I am Grants sister, Kelli. Thank you so much for being a part of their meetcha day. We are praying for you and your family and a successful court day! I love your photographs and can't wait to see the pics of Denver from today. Thanks again! Kelli

  14. Glad to hear you were there with Grant and Vanessa today. They said it was a big help. We re praying for your adoption. Thanks for your help with baby Denver. Grant's mom

  15. Just want to send good vibes your way. We miss you both and cannot wait to meet those beautiful babies!!! Love you guys!