There are close to 147 million orphans in the world.
Welcome Bag Photos
After incredible delays with paperwork and a great deal of upheaval in Ethiopia and in our agency, we boarded a plane to Addis Ababa in January 2012 to go to court and legally adopt our daughters and son. It is impossible to describe what it is like to have little arms flung around your neck, though they don't even know really if you are worthy of their trust and their love. How can you explain what it means to be called "daddy" within a week by a child who has lost everything, but holds enough hope and strength to risk having a "daddy" again? Our visit was only two weeks long, and it held excruciating complications in our court processes, but it cemented our family and left us in awe. Then the hardest part of all — we had to say goodbye.
And so in September 2012, 21 months after we began the process, we once again landed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and snatched our children up into our arms. We would never have to leave them behind again. We struggled through a week in a local guest house where we tried to get to know each other and initiate a parent-child relationship. We picked lice, ate traditional food, shopped for spices and traditional clothes and other Ethiopian memoirs, said goodbyes, took care of official business and came home. The flight from Addis to DC is a grueling 17.5 hours, but when we landed in Indianapolis to be greeted by family and friends who had longed for this day with us, JOY and relief marked the day.