Thursday, August 23, 2007

Gotcha Day!

I can not believe that its been a whole year since Ayana and Moses legally became ours. Its completely surreal! Its been a packed year of new beginnings, of crying, of first steps, of laughter, of stress (no, it hasn't been perfect!), of happiness, and of all around love.

Looking back, its amazing to me how much they've changed, and grown.. how much we all have! Our family is so much better with them in it. Its like it was almost complete, but something was missing.. when Ayana and Moses came along, they stepped right in, and filled that gap perfectly.

These are three of the pictures from our referral. Its incredible how different they look! Moses was still a chubby little baby back then, but Ayana looks so sad and alone. To see the life in her eyes now, and the joy she emits to everyone around is just amazing.

We could even see the difference from our referral, to our 6 week update. They were both looking happier, and healthier.. its incredible what 6 weeks of love, care, and good food can do to a child!

The day we finally got to meet them (I didn't get a chance to post about it, but the Anniversary of the day we first laid eyes- and hugs and kisses!- on them was yesterday!) was one of the best days of my life. After months of preparing, and hoping and dreaming and waiting and longing, there they were. It was like a picture coming to life. We had stared at those pictures for so long, and suddenly, they were there in front of us, big as life, and completely real... it was actually a very strange experience at first.

The very next day, we went back, and got ready to take them away from the foster home, to be ours forever. That was a very emotional day. You could telll the staff had really loved the children, and it was hard for them to let them go. They wanted them to have a new life, with a family that really loved them, but they had become so attached to them.. there were many tears that day! But when we were finally in the car, heading back to the Weygoss Guest House, it really hit; they were ours! Ayana Kalkidan and Moses Ermias were Wiebes, and were part of our family forever!

They had never been in a car before, but they took to it surprisingly well. Moses even managed to get one or two bounces in! (He could hear the music playing.. he's loved music, right from the beginning!) Ayana fell asleep straight away, in my dad's lap, but Moses was content to sit with my mom and stare out the window, occasionally taking quick peeks at us.

The first few weeks went by in a blur, what with adding two new kids to our family, traveling back from Ethiopia, and major jet lag.. we were glad to be finished with that, and be able to start settling into our new lives.
Ever since then, Ayana and Moses have bloomed. From inching his way across the floor to crawling, to walking and running all the way to beginning to peddle on his little tricyle all by himself (a new development, first occuring today!), Moses has grown out of being a chubby little baby, to being a chubby little toddler. Ayana has gone from being a shy, quiet nervous toddler to a beautiful little girl, bubbling over with laughter and sunshine.
There have been so many firsts in this year...

~ Moses had his first birthday
~ Ayana had her first birthday with us (she turned 2!)
~ Their first car ride
~ Their first plane ride (what a disaster that was!)
~ Their first Christmas
~ Their first snowfall
~ Their first Halloween (complete with cowboy and princess costumes!)
~ Their first Thanksgiving
~ Moses' first wobbly steps
~ Ayana and Moses' first bike rides (Ayana can now ride around very well by herself- with training wheels of course!- and Moses runs around behind her, pushing his!)
~ Their first family vacations (to Pender Island, and this summer to Pentiction and Thetis Island.. which I will be sure to write about soon!)
~ Ayana's first English word (she now chatters away!)
~Moses' first words (he now chatters away as well, although half the time you have no clue what he's talking about!)
It seems like just yesterday they were coming back to the Guest House with us, in Ethiopia, all nervous.. its hard to believe so much has happened since then!
I love them so much, and I'm so happy that they are part of my life. Tonight we are going to our family favourite; an Ethiopian Restaurant! We'll have fun celebrating their first year in our family.. our forever family!


Scarlett_333 said...

What a great post! How lucky you guys are to have them in your life, and how lucky THEY are to have such an awesome family!!

Caitie said...

Your brother and sister are just beautiful! My family and I are in the process of adopting a special needs baby from China! She should be home probably late December beggining or mid January. This wait is really killing us right now. Feel free to visit my blog anytime!