The very good news is that all the paper work is done. Well, I have one last little thing to do - have to get the super star seal from the state -- but it's very, very close to being done and sent off to D.C. and then on to Ethiopia. Whew!!
And now, we wait. I will admit that this waiting is hard for me -- and that may seem strange to some of you because you might think, "you haven't had them this whole time, why is waiting a few months so hard?". It's because I hate every minute that they are stuck in an orphanage. I hate that for them. I want them to be here with a FAMILY. I want them to get tucked in at night by their Mommy and Daddy, and I want the girls to play dress up with Gatlin. I can't wait to see Cooper and his little brother kicking around a soccer ball in our backyard. I want to hold them and brush their hair and sing to them and tickle them. I want them to get to be kids and not have to worry about taking care of themselves. I am so appreciative of the caretakers at the orphanage, please hear me say that. I know they are wonderful people who are doing their very best to love on the children. But there are a lot of children there. It's just not the same as having your own Mommy, your own Daddy. Not the same at all. Our kiddos are older...they're aware of what's missing. I'm very thankful that they have each other, but this time can't go by fast enough for me.
Last night I wrote them a letter. Honestly, it was a little odd to write. I had to check with the agency director a couple times to ask what was appropriate and what wasn't....wanted to make sure there was nothing "off limits". Could I say I was their Mommy? Could I tell them their new names? She replied that the only thing we couldn't do was give them some kind of a time line.
So, I wrote and told them how much we loved getting new pictures of them. I told Bemnet how beautiful she is and how much we looked forward to her being here with us. I told her that we would like to call her Bennet. I explained that it was very close to her name and would be a wonderful choice for her American name. I also told her that it means, "blessed". We are blessed to have Bennet as our new daughter.
I told Kalab that we have seen videos of him and that he is obviously a very good athlete. I told him that his big brother, Cooper, can't wait until he gets here so he can play baseball, or basketball, or soccer -- whatever he wants to play. I explained to him that his name would change just a little bit...that it would be spelled with an "e" instead of an "a" and be pronounced a little differently (right now it is Ka-lob). I told him that Kaleb is a name that means, "brave", and that we are very proud of our brave new son!
And then there was little Kalkidan. I told her that she is completely adorable and that she has the cutest dimples ever! I told her that we can't wait until she is dancing around our house with her sister, Gatlin (and Bennet, too). I said that we'd find all kinds of pretty outfits for her to dress in because I have heard she enjoys clothes and picks out all the pink things when given choices. I asked her if it would be ok if we call her Kali. I told her that that was a pretty name for a pretty girl. (We may keep her official name Kalkidan, but just call her Kali - not positive about this yet). I also told her that her middle name will be Hope (and that she has a precious new cousin named, Hope, who is very happy to share that name with her). The name Kalkidan means, "promise", and so her name will mean, "promise of hope". I told her that we want her name to always remind her (and her brother and sister) that our hope is found is Jesus and that He has promised them He will always be with them, whether they are in Africa or America.
I ended the letter by telling them that we can't wait until we get to see them and that we are praying that the time will go by quickly. I told them we loved them. And as we wait, we are praying daily for our hearts to be joined together supernaturally so that when they do get here it feels as if they have been with us forever.