Sorry it has been so long since we've had time to update. Our days here have been very full!
We are very emotionally spent. What we have seen and heard has definitely changed us..........it's hard to explain the heartache we have felt for so many of the people here. I can't help but cry now as I even think of it. Last night Sammy, a wonderful young Christian man that drives/translates here for our guest house took us over by Kora, the leper colony. Sammy (and also his friend that accompanied us) grew up there and mostly lived at the nearby city garbage dump because they were so poor that was where they got their food. We went to the dump...........Sammy knows all the people who live there now because he tries to minister to all of them. Just these huge massive mountains of filth and garbage............... some piles are burned as they are dumped and the stench was more than I could bear! There were mothers living there with babies strapped on their backs.........there are pigs and dogs that live there, too. All the children there had on two different shoes on.......whatever they find in the piles of garbage. It's just hard to process it all........so hard to believe people really live like this and children grow up digging for scraps of food in a garbage dump.
Over the weekend, it was arranged for us to go and visit Leku, 5 hours south of the city where Hana's birth family lives. Hana's birth mom had been brought into the city to meet us, and so we were given the option of going with them to take her back home. She is just the most beautiful Christian woman who is very, very destitute. Actually, the entire community she lives in is very poor. She attends a protestant church in her community and her faith is very strong. She told us she had been praying for a long time that a wonderful Christian family would adopt Hana. She was so happy to be able to meet us. It was such a huge blessing to all of us to be able to meet together! I really feel like the details of our meeting were ordained by God. But also, it was one of the most difficult things emotionally. Eric and I just wept and so did all of her family as we said goodbye. Meseret, Hana's mom, and her older brother and sister all live in a very small little dirt floor room ( maybe 6 x 8 ft?) with a small grass filled mattress on the floor where they all sleep. Everything they own is in a little corner of that room. The walls and ceiling have large holes everywhere so there is no shelter from the rain. This is where Hana lived before her mother brought her to the orphanage. It was so much to take in emotionally.........I felt like I was going to break in two from the pain of seeing it. We also met Hana's aunt, Meseret's sister, and her children and husband. Please pray for them. They hugged us and didn't want to let go as we wept. We were able to take Meseret to the local store to get some groceries for her family............mostly dried beans, rice, and corn and some spices. As diffiult as all of this was, we feel SO very blessed to have had this time. It was priceless!
Today we have our Embassy appointment and we'll be bringing the kids back to stay with us for good tonight. We've really enjoyed getting to vist them twice and spend time with them. Edilu, I think will be a fairly easy transition.......he is such a sweetie. Hana has done pretty well. She's taken to Eric and I pretty well, but for SOME reason she is not so sure about Caleb. Poor Caleb keeps trying........but she doesn't really want anything to do with him. Hopefully it's short lived! They told us she gets homesick sometimes and can be a little bit sensitive. I think with time she'll be just fine, but she has so much to process. She is old enough to remember her mother and brother and sister. She's been moved to different orphanges 3 times........ I think I would be feeling much the same as she is . Confused, sad and wondering if THESE people (us) are going to go away after a while, too, just like all the others do. Please pray for her little heart. I can see sadness in her eyes and I can tell she is thinking/remembering.
That's all for now. Love to you all!