Saturday, May 19, 2012

Still in the middle of processing it all....

I am surrounded by amazing friends and family who want to hear all about our trip; to be honest, I have been so sick since landing on Wednesday night that I haven't felt very good.  It's not anything that I got from my trip....My body feels like it is in constant motion - I mean, I haven't flown since Wednesday and I am still taking's so weird.  I'm starting to feel better - thank goodness!

I am still processing it all and trying to figure out the best way to relay to you everything that I saw in a way that doesn't make me sound like a rambling, crazy, know - not like the normal Fran.  I want to be very articulate.  :)

If you had the opportunity to talk to me prior to last had a laugh or two at my expense....I so want to be like, I was cool, I was good......but I wasn't.  Poor Mikila, Carol, Judy, Christy and Paula got the worst of it......I mean they kinda saw me in a new way....sheer panic and terror was a cloak that I was wearing (and I was wearing it WELL).  I felt like we needed a sign up on my desk that said,
'Please don't feed the crazy person.
Don't look at her.  
Don't smile and for the love of everything.....DON'T ASK HER HOW SHE IS DOING!'

I can't wait to share with you how God perfectly orchestrated my hind-end sitting on a plane on it's way across the world completely at ease.......I remember looking up and whispering....'That's impressive.'

It involved many angels that were sent and my friends who covered me in prayer.  (I'm telling you my church family is something BEYOND special) they not only bless me everyday, but they covered me in prayer and they are so, so amazing!

Seriously though, repeatedly we were reminded that this wasn't us doing far!  Many people appeared out of what seemed like no where to help us or to guide us or just to give us a little information about what they knew or had saw in Africa.

Then there was an instant of me being super stalker.....kinda awkward, but again God's funny.  There is a couple from Louisville adopting...I have read their blog a few times and Eric had met the hubby JT before we even started our adoption journey....Guess who I see in Washington's airport....yep the Hendersons!  They are returning from their first trip to meet their second son.  They have already adopted once from Ethiopia (so I consider them pros).

I think once they got over the shock of some random chick yelling their names in the airport - we became instant friends.  Not only are they wonderful and nice - but I truly believe they are the reason that I got on the plane (prior to that I was planning how I was gonna bolt).  (Again recall the moment where I reminded God (in case He forgot) that He was indeed impressive).

Then we landed in Ethiopia, drove to the Transition Guest House and met our daughter.  We literally set our bags down and this beautiful couple, Kerri and Anthony were there with their newest daughter (her story coming later) and they kindly let us know of what was going to is how it went.

Kerri:  'They are going to bring your child in just a bit.'
Anthony:  'If you have a video camera or camera I will take pics for you.'

I immediately reached into my bag to give them all of the above and we turned around and there she was.....our precious new girl.  She was nervous at first (hands in her mouth).  The nanny let her know that we were her mama and daddy.  She smiled, gave me a shy hug and then it was on!  We began to play.  We played with a truck (none other than Tow Mater himself) - rolling it back and forth.

It has amazed me.  I know I have said it before but it is so similar to the same thing that I have gone through with my two biological children.  I was just as exhausted as I was the day  I met Ethan and Reagan and I was just as lost as what to do with them......but true to Runner form - we figured it out. We played dolls, we played kitchen, and we colored.  I knew instantly that this little girl was created to be a part of our family.  The love was overwhelming.

As I said in my earlier posts....we bonded easily, quickly and amazingly.  It was the one of my toughest balancing acts for Eric and I.....loving her, bonding with her but yet respecting that it will be hard for her to understand the moment we are gone.  I made the comment that white folk come in and out of this transition house all the time, once we are gone she will likely forget....Ms Bete, (OUR AMAZING tour guide and wife to the Director) told me very point blank...'they never forget their mommy and daddy.'

During our lil' time in Ethiopia - I saw more poverty than my heart could have dreamed.  I saw things that took my breath away.  I saw babies wondering the streets with no one to call mommy or daddy.......There are so many....I mean, so, so many.

So before I tell you more about my trip and this post becomes a short novel I will leave you with some pics.....

Ahhh, praise God for so many blessings....
Diet Coke is one  

the backyard to the transition home - 
clothes were washed and hung everyday.
They don't let it pile up like I do!  :)

the view from the play area 

view from our balcony

Just a few more of Hilina - cause come on!  this kid is cute! 

just some street shots

Just like home sweet home....someone's cow got out.

This man was carrying so many water cans tied perfectly together on 
his back.....they might not be heavy but it can't be easy going 
through all those people - (I thought a backpack in the airport was bad enough)

I will leave you with this for now.....again remember, I'm still processing it all.  

I don't think you can leave an area like this and not be completely affected and I want to be thoughtful and respectful in every way in what I say....more to come.  


  1. Please write the novel, I am hanging on every word. Not only has the Lord blessed you with a HUGE HEART, a gift for photography, but He has also blessed you with the ability to string words together in a beautiful and delightful way. Love you girl!

  2. OM gosh I just love love love your blogs! And you all are amazing & she is totally beautiful!

  3. Tears streaming down my cheeks...just like every time I read your blog! I'm ready for your novel :')

  4. Aww this and love you guys. Meeting you this trip has been one of God's greatest blessings to us. We think about you and Hilina constantly and LONG for the day she is HOME. It was incredible to watch the bond between the 3 of you develop so quickly and strongly. It was God ordained!!! Thanks for sharing such beautiful words and pictures!

  5. Yes, Fran, write the book! This teaser wasn't enough. Praise God for all He is doing in your life! I can't wait to meet this sweet baby... I might have to plan another trip to KY sooner than I thought. :)