Hannah does miss her grandma bunches. Mahlet never got to meet grandma Rovang but grandma got to see photos of Mahlet before she passed away and thought she was very pretty.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Hannah does miss her grandma bunches. Mahlet never got to meet grandma Rovang but grandma got to see photos of Mahlet before she passed away and thought she was very pretty.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Mahlet loves ice cream
So the Rovang household has been invaded with chicken pox. I know Hannah will probably get them in the next couple of weeks since she has not yet been vaccinated. I am kind of bummed that Mahlet has them because she has been meeting with her ESL teacher and was scheduled to be tested Friday for placement and then start a couple of school classes next week. I don't think this will happen now...STUPID CHICKEN POX!!!!
I swear I will get around to sharing more about our time in ET and my thoughts about adopting an older child. I also have thoughts on instantly having to share my love between two very different children. One who speaks English and has been apart of our lives since she was 10 mo. old and has no recollection of her past and one who speaks almost no English and has every memory of her past. Mahlet is such a brave young girl who has lost both of her Bio. parents, her grandmother had to relinquish her because she couldn't care for any longer, and her Aunt and cousin that she left behind in ET. I'm still trying to process it myself...I can't imagine what she is feeling. I know how hard it was to loose my mother and MIL as an adult and I didn't have to leave my country or learn a new language or get chicken pox all in a week or so...
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Most of you know we adopted Hannah at 10 mo. old from China and her adoption was so easy...she instantly bonded with me. I can't explain how easy she was as a baby/toddler. She was just a gift from God to us as new parents. Fast forward to this next adoption. Mahlet is either 10 or 11 yrs. old (we are not quite sure) and was not what I had planned on when we began this journey for a second child. Our initial request was for an infant girl 0-12 months old. Once we saw Mahlet's photo on the waiting children's list we knew she was the child for our family. And God moved mountains to get us to her in record time. We received Mahlet's referral Feb. 3rd and we were assigned a court date of May 8th and if we passed we would have traveled at the end of May. Well God apparently didn't want us to be apart that long as our court date got miraculously moved up to March 26th and we ended up passing on March 27th because the judge wanted to talk to Mahlet (a first for a judge wanting to meet with an older child...I will share more on this later). We only had two weeks notice that we would be traveling to bring her home. This made for an interesting couple of weeks as we had to get her room ready, purchase our airline tickets, get things worked out with family that would be taking care of Hannah and dealing with very disorganized govt. agencies. We actually ended up getting our Senator involved to make sure our immigration paperwork got to the embassy in Addis Ababa on time.
Everything worked out and we are now at home transitioning from a family of three to four. It has gone remarkably well. The girls really bonded well quite quickly and now Hannah always wants to sleep in Mahlet's room (no problem because Mahlet has a trundle bed) and Mahlet wants her sister with her all the time. Hannah has now calls her sister Mahlee (Molly). I think this is what we we will all call her as nobody can seem to pronounce her name correctly.
Back to why the judge wanted to meet with Mahlet. I learned from Duni that Mahlet had turned down 3 families before us. I knew of one before we traveled but when I heard 3 I was a bit blown away. Duni told me that Mahlet was very grounded in her faith and was holding out for the family God had planned for her. I am so humbled to have such a child such as her. I am so amazed by my God and how he works. There are no words to describe how how blessed I feel. I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful girls. Yes, we have some language barriers but love is definitely a universal language and we are so thankful for the gift of adoption.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
We met with the ESL teacher at Mahlet's school today. She just explained that Mahlet will have to be tested to see what level she will need to start at. We go back again on Monday to meet with her. Mahlet does know some English words but does not speak in any kind of sentences. I think she will do just fine. She really wants to learn but I think she is intimidated at saying something wrong.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
|We went to Kids Care orphanage this morning. That is the orphanage that Mahlet spent a good deal of in and really wanted to see her friends and nannies. She really had fun hugging all her friends and the staff. Duni's mother Fortuna (the director) was there and she really has a special heart for Mahlet. She thank Ron and I and told us that Mahlet was a very special girl. So loving and giving with a big heart. She told us she was very helpful and and a responsible girl. |
I know we have pronouncing her name wrong from the day we inquired about her because we were told it wrong and given a wrong spelling. It is spelled Mahlet and pronounced Mall law wet. I' m not kidding this has been my biggest obstacle all week. And she insists on it being pronounced correctly so those family members meeting her soon better start practicing.
After Kids Care we ate lunch at Metro Pizza. It was pretty good despite the fact we ate Pizza the night before. Mahlet two big plates of spaghetti and a slice of pizza. Honestly I have no idea where she put it. But what I have noticed in the last couple of days is she eats very little breakfast, a huge lunch and very little for supper. I think they are fed a high carb diet at the TH because it is cheap.
After lunch we had to get our guide to the Embassy to pick our child's Visa. Only one family had a problem and had to go back to the hotel (meaning the bus full had to go to) to return a paper they were given by mistake. But we all have our Visa and we leave for home tomorrow evening. We are so ready to go home. We miss Hannah so much and just want to girls to meet.
We did visit another orphanage later in the day that our agency partners with. It was wonderful to see all the children but the conditions were very poor. Some of the children were happy to see us and came up and shook our hands. But most looked kind of sad and scared. The poverty of this country is unbelievable. I just wish I could help them all.
We came back and had dinner at the hotel and while at the restaurant I was told Hannah's nanny Tuti was in the lobby. So since we were on the 6th floor and didn't want to waste time running down all the stairs I decided to take the elevator not thinking Mahlet had never been on one. It was so funny she grabbed my arm and just smiled so I asked if this was her first ride...yes it was. She greeted Tuti with a big hug and they exchanged some words. Tuti had a gift for Mahlet waiting in her taxi so she went to get it and then we all went back up to the restaurant. Mahlet insisted using the lift (new toy) and I was more than willing at 9,000 ft. your lungs and legs really feel than thinner air. Tuti hugged all the other family's children that were dining before sitting down with us to share a little more time with her favorite girl. She only stayed a few minutes but gave Mahlet a beautiful head scarf that she modeled all during supper. We once again took the elevator down to the lobby where Mahlet goodbye to Tuti one last time. Unlike the goodbye at the TH Tuesday there were no tears shed. You could truly tell this woman loves Mahlet and knows this is the best for her. She gave me a hug and thanked me and then she was off. I am so very thankful for this woman and the whole staff at Kids Care and the Transition Home for the love and care they provided for our daughter while she waited for her forever family.
Tomorrow we will be shopping for coffee and then packing up. We all leave Friday night for the US and can tell you know one is as excited as one girl named Mahlet Maleah Rovang. Boy if she thought the the elevator was fun an 16:40 hour flight to the coast might just send her over the edge.
it being pronounced correctly. She is a stickler. So those family members that will meet her right away start practicing. I still think that name will become Mahlee (Molly).
After we were done at Kids Care we ate at Metro Pizza. It was pretty good despite the fact that we had pizza the night before. Considering we have the largest travel group ever we have all stayed healthy except one little illness that was resolved very quickly.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
|The photos are of Mahlet with her Nannies and her teacher. I will blog later about our day on Tuesday. The most emotional day of my life. Not much time to blog. We go to the embassy today to get Mahlet's Visa. We seem to be OK with the paper work. There is one family in our group that is still up in the air about whether they will get to leave Ethiopia. We are hoping and praying their Congressman gets the job done for them.|
Monday, April 13, 2009
You all might notice Daddy Ron missing from photos but as we were the last family to go they all had their little ones to deal with so had limited help in the photgraphing area and the family ones just didn't turn out so we fix the problem tomorrow and you will see she loves daddy also. She even attempted to braid his hair today. We all got a big laugh out of that.
It was the most amazing day since we met our little Hannah. Mahlet is truly an amazing and lovely little lady. I praise God that he changed my heart. She is so loving and came right to us and called my mom. We hugged forever. I know she is what God had planned for us all along. Some of you may have noticed the spelling of Mahlet's name. That is how it is really spelled. It is on her ET birth certificate and it is said as Ma Let...I don't like that as it sounds like that awful hair style. So we may just continue call her Mahelet or we did discuss with her if she would like to called Molly. She was open to this so we will wait and see what we all decide after the dusts settles. She was not actually at the transistion home when we got there as she was at the Embassy getting a TB and another shot. When they arrived back with her she ran around to another gate so we wouldn't see her (Ron did actaully catch a glimpse of her). We ended up being the last family and it was kind of funny because Duni came out and said you'll have to wait a little while longer. She said she is such a girl and needed to do her hair. She just washed it and I loved the Dianna Ross look she came out to greet us. She was the only older child of the day. I tell you there was an instant love and bond between us. I can't tell you affectionate and loving she is...she hugged us contrantly and told us she loved us very much. We would tell her we loved her in Amharic and she would say it right back. It was such a great day meeting all her care givers. We will meet her personal nanny tomorrow when we go to pick her up for good.
It was such a beautiful and emotional day watching all the families being united for the first time. It went really well but I was shaking like a leaf the whole time. We are in the largest travel group that our agency has ever sent to ET. So we got to witness so many little children see there mommy & daddy for the first time...so touching because we missed all this in China as we arrived so late.
I will try and post a photo but the internet is quite slow here (I have to also go and see if I can find my cable). I will write more about a wonderful night out at a traditional ET restaurant....so much fun. This group rocks.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
There a few men sitting behind us on the flight here and they were speaking Amharic. It was cool to listen to. This might be it for a while as I don't know if I will be able to blog in ET.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
We did get Mahelet's bed but they didn' set it as we had paid for so Ron will be doing that tonight.
I blogging from my phone because that is how I will have to do it in ET so thought I would practice.
As is that isn't enough on top of trying to get everything packed. We were scheduled to get Mahelet's bed delivered today and I called to see what time that would be and they said we were not on the schedule and they were full and couldn't deliver it today. OK that bed will be delivered today even if I have to get the Senator's help on that too.LOL
And now with all this stress I have a bad cold.
Very busy and that is all I have time for today.
Monday, April 6, 2009
OK seriously I have to get packing...FOCUS Bliss FOCUS.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Jones Family Story
When I saw Mahelet on the waiting children's list I was struck as if by lightning. The connection I felt with her can only be described as supernatural. It did not come from within me, but from God. I know that beyond any doubt. In fact, my husband and children fell instantly in love with her as well. We knew that this girl MUST have a family and we were in prayer as to whether we would have that honor. In the meantime, I contacted Duni and begged for AW to make an age range exception for our family to adopt this girl. Several phone calls and many tears later, AW agreed to make an exception IF our social worker would agree. Unbeknownst to us, AW put Mahelet on hold for us, meaning no one could adopt her while we were reviewing her case. Our social worker all but refused to approve us for a girl this old. No matter how many frustrating conversations we had with her, it always came down to two central issues: our ages and our children's ages. It would be terribly unwise, she cautioned. We were devastated, wondering why God would so obviously put this girl in our hearts and lives if we weren't going to be able to adopt her. Finally, we decided that we would get a new social worker and re-do everything if need be, but Mahelet would have a family!Meanwhile, I saw a thread post to the YG. For one thing, I hardly ever read the threads if they weren't about referrals and travel because of time constraints. Secondly, I didn't even recognize Bliss's name so that would normally mean I surely wouldn't read the post. Yet, something about her simple subject line requesting prayer caused me to stop and read it. Her post said how deeply disappointed she was that a certain 11 year old girl who they had fallen in love with on the waiting children's list was being held for another family. Immediately, I realized that this girl was Mahelet and that family holding her was us!! Remember, I did not even know they were holding her!I instantly knew what the Lord had done- He caused us to pray for and seek out Mahelet because she needed to be held for her family! If she hadn't been held at that time, Mahelet might never have been adopted- in fact, she had already been moved out of the orphanage and out of the city! Bliss can explain her part to you, but it became obvious after I contacted Bliss that those prayers our family was lifting up for Mahelet were directly affecting the Rovang family's hearts!!! Our God is a miracle working God!! Although it was very difficult letting go of our desire to bring Mahelet into our family, we KNEW the Rovangs were supposed to be Mahelet's family from the moment we read Bliss's post. Never think for a moment that each of our steps are not ordered of the Lord. We are just honored to be even a small part of this beautiful little girl being united with her family!!!
The Jones family's daughter Nya was delivered to the Transition Home the month they let go of Mahelet.
Nya Abrihet Jones
The Rovang Family Story
When we began our journey of a second adoption we began by pursuing another infant from China. After a couple years we felt God telling us he didn't need us in China but there was a child in Ethiopia that needed a family. So we dropped out of the China program and started our pursuit of an infant in ET. We saw Mahelet's photo on the "Waiting Children's" list. We both agreed that she was the one for our family. There was just an instant love in our hearts for this girl. We prayed about it and then called Terra to let her know we were interested in reviewing her file. She never mentioned another family at this time. I got a call back a few days later and was told we could not pursue Mahelet because our daughter was only 4 and this would be breaking the birth order. I was completely devastated. I'm the type of person that usually accepts a no when I hear it, but I could not let this one go. I called back and talked to Susan Maines (AWA Director) who I had served with on a mission trip in China back in 2004. She said she remembered my connection will all the older children while we were at the orphanage. She said she would talk to Duni about the matter. Duni called me the next day to say that after visiting with Susan and because of our ages (just the opposite of Jones) they would allow us to pursue Mahelet. Then I got the BUT there is another family that is wanting to review her file. Oh so maybe this is God closing a door. I posted on YG about the situation and then got a call from Amber saying they were that family. She explained because of all the issues they were having they would back out and let us pursue Mahelet. I was completely stunned (and am in tears right now as I think back to that call). OK, that door that I thought was closed was now swung wide open. So I contacted Terra as soon as I knew the Jones family had withdrew their request. So we moved forward. Here is where God worked on me. Remember we began this process seeking an infant because I still wanted an infant as well as Mahelet. I had a conversation with Terra about this and she basically said if you want an infant than we would have to refuse Mahelet's referral and just wait until a referral of an infant and then see if Mahelet was still available. My heart was just breaking inside as I so had the desire for an infant but at the same time not wanting to take a chance of losing Mahelet. I went to bed that night and had a wonderful conversation with my Heavenly Father for most of the night. In the end he told me this adoption was not about what I wanted but what he was calling us as a family to do. I woke up that morning with such a peace and no longer a desire for an infant. I emailed Terra and let her know I had total peace with the decision we would make. Two days later we had our referral for Mahelet and without a doubt in our minds we accepted it. We did know that Mahelet had previously turned down a family in Europe saying "my family is in the US and I just have to wait for them". I do believe this is why the judge wanted to talk to her. Here is where this story gets really exciting. The Jones family got there referral for Nya way before we got Mahelet's. Our original court date was May 8 but got moved up to March 26th...same court date as the Jones family (we were the only 2 AWA families that day). And now we will be traveling together and will meet Mahelet together. AMEN
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Mahelet got another care package that the Richardson family delivered for us. It had a Twins shirt in it. It is a warning that we are baseball fans (even Hannah knows the players). I hope we get a few pictures of her in the Twins shirt.
We got 11" of snow yesterday and the entire city was shutdown. This doesn't happen very often but it was a pretty brutal blizzard. We didn't even get to eat at McDonald's because it was closed. We always eat at McDonald's for lunch when it blizzards. We were so bummed when we got there and they were closed. Actually there was only one restaurant open in town (Hardees) so we ate there with everybody else looking for lunch out. When we got home Hannah and I whipped a batch of chocolate chip cookies and as soon as I but the first pan in the oven the power went out ugh. The power was out for about 3 hours (entire city) and we had to run our generator to keep the sump pumps running so our basement wouldn't flood. We get up this morning and the power goes out again. This time for nearly 5 hours...so frustrating.
So while the power was out I was trying to get things done that didn't need electricity. My dentist gave me 150 tooth brushes, toothpaste and sugarless gum to take as donations to the Transition Home and the orphanage. So Hannah and I spent some of the morning taking them all out of the packages so it would save space and some weight. We each are allowed to pieces of luggage weighing no more than 50lbs. Each extra piece is $150.
The other exciting news of the day was that three families passed court this morning and were finally able to share photos of their beautiful kiddos.
Click on the links to see for yourself Kulpfamily Rutlandfamily VanDrufffamily
Congrats to them all.