Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.
Think about the time in your life when you were the most thirsty that you have ever been. Maybe you were hot and sweaty. Perhaps you had to finish a hike or complete a race, knowing that water was just ahead. Towards the end, water becomes all that you can think about. Now remember how wonderful, how refreshing and energizing the cold water tasted after you had to wait such a long time to receive it.
That's me right now. We have endured to the end of our long hike. Toward the end, I thought that I might not make it at times, but we are here. We are at the finish line, and my oh my, our hearts have been refreshed by the "cold water" that we received yesterday. Benjamin is OUR SON. It is legal; it is real; it is un-reversible.
You should have seen me yesterday. I was literally leaping for joy. I prayed and cried and ran around my house like a crazy woman. I even wrote a song. (You won't ever see it here, though... It's not exactly my gift. It just flowed out of a heart filled with praise to God.) I got a ton of house cleaning done yesterday afternoon because my energy level was so high.
Thank you so much for all of your comments on this blog, all of the "facebook love" and precious emails. You guys have made me cry over and over again. It's an unbelievable encouragement to know that people that I have never met are actually praying for us and care enough to send kind words our way. Thank you.
So about his name: Benjamin Tamirat Dubois. We chose his first name because of the meaning. In the Bible when God changed the direction of someone's life in a major way, he often gave them a new name. We wanted our guy to have a new name that symbolized the love that we have for him and the new heritage that he has been given. Benjamin means "Son of My Right Hand." What could be more appropriate? He will always be our son. Not our adopted son. Just our SON. We have two kids now, and we see no difference between them. He is favored as highly as Madeline, and we want him to be completely confident of that.
Tamirat is the name that his birth mother gave him. It means "Miracle." His Ethiopian heritage will always be an important part of who he is, and so it was important to us to not just discard the first name that he was given. Someday, if he chooses, he would have the option to go by his middle name. My dream is that he will be a missionary/leader/world changer in Ethiopia someday. So when that happens and he moves back, he can go by Tamirat. :)
We were told yesterday that we would find out in a couple of weeks when we get to travel to go get him. Our travel revolves around when our appointment with the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia is. We will have to finalize paperwork, visa stuff, etc., while we are there. It will be between 6-12 weeks from now. If it's on the shorter end of that, then we will be going sooner than I anticipated.
He is currently seven-and-a-half months old. (His birthday is 8/28.) So he will be 9-10 months old when we get to bring him home.
So here are more of the pictures that I have been DYING to share over the past few months. Finally, FINALLY I get to share them all!
This is the first photo that we ever saw of him - on the day that we got our referral back in December.
I am absolutely in love with these referral pictures. They are all over my house, in a photo album in my purse, stuck in my Bible, and given to any friends or relatives who showed an interest. The day that we got our referral, I immediately had ten copies printed of each of these, and then had more printed later. They are literally everywhere. :)
He was 4 months old here, and had just come to the transition home (the orphanage run by our adoption agency for kids who are about to be adopted.) He was only in the 3rd percentile for his height and weight at the time, but he has beefed up quite a bit since then. He is in the 78th percentile for his weight now!
We get an update once a month, complete with new photos. These are from our first monthly update when he was five months old.
Love that little lip. :)
These photos were taken around the same time by another adoptive family who went to pick up their child from the transition home. The online network of adoptive families has been so supportive throughout this process.
We sent a baby photo album with pictures of us with this family. He was seeing our pictures for the first time in this photo.
Here he is with one of his nannies.
Soon after that, another adoptive family took these for us. He looks like he had just woken up from a nap in these pictures.
Then here is my absolute favorite photo so far. He is six months old and getting nice and chubby. He looks so happy and well cared for. The joy on his face tells me that he loves the nannies that he was interacting with when these photos were taken.
This is in his bed. It's just a little cubby.
This was received at the same time. I'm not sure why he has on different clothes.
My precious, heart-of-gold friend Tracy went to pick up the FOUR children that she just adopted in February. She made a special trip to visit Benjamin and take these pictures for us. It gives me such joy to see him in her arms.
Tracy's biological daughter Elle and Benjamin.
Two of the four that Tracy just brought home playing with B.
These are the latest pictures that we have gotten. He is seven months old. He had pink eye, impetigo, a rash, and an upper respiratory infection all during this month. You can see ointment in his eyes and the lingering effects of the rash on his face and neck.
I just love this! He looks like he has so much personality. They tell us that he loves to laugh and loves to be around people.
So that's every photo that we have of him so far. I can't tell you how fun it is to finally be able to share them!