Saturday, April 24, 2010
Well it is official. We have named this little sweetie, bought her a few dresses and gave her a given her a little American Bling. I would say that she is as cute as ever, but judge for yourself.
We have decided to keep her Ethiopian name "Tarikua". We think it is fitting because names are very powerful in Ethiopia. She was given a name by her mother and it means "I have a story". She was born in the small town in the south. This town only 11% of the people have access to electricity. She was born at home (not in a hospital) and most likely with out any running water or power. Her mother spent some time with her before she relinquished her. She was placed in an orphanage in Dilla and moved to Awassa. There she lived at EVADO for several months until we adopted her. EVADO is not a luxury spa, they do not have running water, diapers or any of the items you would think to have while raising a baby. We visited there and it is a very poor orphanage, but know the people running are doing things for the right reasons...to save lives. We then adopted little Tarikua and she moved to Enat Alem. This orphanage was in the capital and was just a transition home for Tarikua. We then put her on a plane and she traveled 31 hours through Sudan, Holland and finally into the USA where she met her new sister, friends and extended family. Here she has started an entire new story in her life.
Now some of you are now wondering how in the world am I going to say the name Tarikua? We are going to make it easy. You can just call her Tara (pronounced Tarr-ruh). We will say it as they say it in most of the world, not Terra like some Americans say it. Any easy way to remember is that it it is "tar" like we "are" family! Not tera, like terrible, terracotta, terrorist, tear a paper, and definitely not full of air.
For those who want to call her by her official Ethiopian name, go ahead. You pronounce it TaRR-Rea-kwa and roll the r on the Rea part. I had to practice this, so I am sure you will too.
When we look back at the conditions that Tara was born in and what might had happen to her if it was not for adoption, we are overwhelmed with joy that she is in our arms and flurishing. For this reason, we have given her the middle name Vianne, which means "Alive". We are grateful that she is able to have a life and that we will be blessed by her sharing it with us!
You pronounce Vianne, Vee-enne. Just like the heroine in the movie released in 2000 called Chocolat. A great fun romance flick. If you have not seen it, you should. Don't forget to buy a few dark chocolate truffles prior to playing it!
Tara is definitely full of life! She is constantly smiling, singing and touching you when ever she can. She is just beautiful! We have some minor health issues to clear up, but all easily solved with proper diet, a healthy environment and lots of tender care. We promise to give her all these plus some!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Some may wonder if our plane has crashed do to the volcanic ash in Iceland, but that is not the case. We have actually arrived home safely and have been adjusting for the last few weeks.
Our trip home was eventful. The girls screamed pretty much the entire flight. The ear infections did not help a bit. Getting though customs and transfers through out the night were hectic. Ruhama (now Emiri) was having breathing issues. We ended up giving Rachel and Travis our bassinet seats in hope she would feel better and would take a snooze. We got to the airport in Addis around 7pm and our flight took off just before midnight. We flew to Khartoum, Sudan and then to Amsterdam, Holland. From Amsterdam to Detroit. Then Grand Rapids and finally home. The whole trip took just under 32 hours. We thought it might go faster if the girls screamed just a little be louder, but we found out that did not work. It was a toss up, which baby was the loudest, but they seemed to time it out so that at least one was screaming most of the time. By this point, we were like a big family and it did not matter which girl was unhappy, we still all felt bad.
There was a big scare in Detroit because Ruhama (now Emiri) was unresponsive. The paramedics piled over her in the main terminal. Our names were being paged over the loud speaker and our plane was already boarding. Slightly stressful would be an understatement. She seemed to have recovered and we jumped on the plane with only one word on our minds…home.
When we arrived in GR Travis and Rachel made it out of the gate first to meet up with Travis’s son and extended family. We did our best to get a quick “freshie” on Tara, because boy did her diaper stink. Then we made it down to our ride at the luggage area. We knew for sure that Jen, Frank and Ellen would be there to greet us. We also knew that my Aunt and Uncle would be there with our truck too. However we had no idea that there would be a big crowd.
Gobs of our friends cheered us in at our gate. Liviann ran full blast up the runway (yes past the legal security point). She said mommy-daddy-mommy-daddy over and over. I scooped her up and she just touched my face over and over (probably to make sure I was real). She was so happy to see us! From the corner of my eye I saw a big black curl. One I would know anywhere. I said, “Is that Tonie”? And it was. She had flown all the way from China to meet Tara on her got-cha day. Wow. And it just got even better. Tina too. Yes, all the way from Seattle. Both sisters were here in Grand Rapids at once, celebrating Tara’s arrival. I was so happy to see everyone in the crowd. Everyone looked so happy and most had one thing in common: A clenched tissue in one hand, a smile on their face and the other hand touching their chest as if they were checking that their hearts did not skip a beat. What a touching moment! Praise God we made it!