Friday, March 9, 2012

A long overdue update

I don't think anyone really reads this blog, and I can understand why:-) We've been home for six months now, and I really do wish I had taken the time at some point to journal about our time in Addis. It was great and feel God was so faithful to pave our way. The most memorable part for me was meeting Hiwot's was incredibly emotional and something I will cherish forever. I am so thankful that her mother made the trip and know it will be a huge gift to Hiwot in the future. I absolutely LOVE Ethiopia and felt such a sadness when we left that we were taking her away from her country. Thankfully Mark has a connection there that will keep us traveling back occasionally:-)

In many ways, things have really been much easier than I had expected. I expected hard days, tantrums, us not liking each other, having to stay home a lot, sibling adjustment issues and have experienced every bit of it. Being prepared made a huge difference, so I wasn't shocked along the way. Hiwot is very easy to love...generally a very happy, smiley, people pleaser by nature. She does have her moments but recovers quickly...picked up the language faster than you can imagine and is smart as a whip. As Mark said the other night, God kind of threw us a softball in giving her to us because she's pretty easy. I think the part that has been harder than I expected is all about me. I underestimated how hard it would be for me to attach, and I have become aware of my need for grace more than ever. At first I knew I would have to put in a ton of time to connect with her, and I did that. About three months in, I started slacking and would let her go next door to play with friends for way too long. She would play with friends all day long if I let her. I was getting my stuff done and thought things would be okay. I have come to realize though that my work is just beginning. I have had to the attachment work back in to high gear. I went to the Empowered to Connect Conference here in Dallas a couple of weeks ago, and I am sooo thankful for what I learned. I learned a ton about kids from hard places but probably just as much about my biological kids and me. It was fabulous, and I highly recommend going to a conference or at least ordering some of their materials. I think it should be required training for those of us adopting or fostering.

The other kids have had their moments too, but they have accepted Hiwot and love her even when they try not to. David (my 6 year old) is best buddies with Hiwot, and they play together constantly. So thankful he's not our little left-out guy anymore. I think it has been hardest on Margo as her spot as the only daughter is forever gone, and she shares a room now. She has been a champ though and loves being a second mom to Hiwot as much as I will let her.

So, overall I'm thankful. It has been hard, but the good far outweighs any negatives. We have lots of support and great people in our lives who have walked this road before us:-) Hiwot was curled up next to me on the couch tonight, put her little hand on my face and gave me a kiss. She's a sweetie, and I pray every day that God will help me be the mom she needs me to be.


  1. Wow! Since I've been home (2 weeks now after 2 months in Ethiopia) I haven't read any blogs. This morning I decided to check the FBI list and clicked on yours. I can't tell you how much I needed to hear how you, the mom, have been doing. It's almost like you are talking about me. Thank you for this post.

    Love your new family photo :) Beautiful.


  2. I've been one of the faithful...knew you'd update sometime!!

    You have handled new Mommyhood so beautifully. Hiwot is very blessed to be part of your family and you all are blessed God saw fit to make her a Girtz.

  3. I'm glad to hear your family is adjusting well. Thanks for the update! Great family photo.

  4. I am happy to have stumbled upon your blog... Hiwot was in the same room with my little girl Meseret. I have many photos of her. Please email me and I can send them to you. I am hoping you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!