To Love a Rose: An Ethiopian Adoption Journal

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Measure Your Life in Love: A Year (and a half!) of Adoption Care Packages

Today, my son is 27 months old.  I first beheld his sweet face when he was just 9 months old; and yet, I've still never had the privilege of viewing it in person.

It's so hard to wrap my mind around this adoption process sometimes.  On May 22nd of this year, Mr. C and I will have been on this journey for three years.  THREE years.  Let's type that again and really think about it: THREE YEARS!!!!

***NOTE: I realize this may be confusing for those following our timeline.  We signed on with our adoption agency in May of 2011 with a different country program. A couple months later we were moved to the K*rea program due to the first program being temporarily shut down.  Desmond was born that December, 2011.  We got our referral of him on our anniversary in October of 2012; and we've been waiting to bring him home ever since.***

Most of our married life (5 1/2 years) has been spent either trying to get pregnant or trying to adopt.  Many friends and acquaintances have had two children (in a couple cases, three!) in the time we've been trying to start a family and bring Desmond home.

I can honestly say I am at the end of my rope.  I am tired.  I am weary.  I am SO incredibly over people telling me, "It's all in God's timing" or "God has a plan".  YES, thank you kindly, I KNOW that.  But, if you had missed out on YEARS of your first child's life due to ever-changing requirements, I doubt you would be so care-free in chiding me to "be patient".  I think Mr. C and I have been plenty patient.  It's time for favor.  It's time for movement.  It's time for our son to be home.

Last night, we were organizing photos from the past few years; and I noticed all the pictures from the numerous care packages we've sent Des through the years.  It makes me break down into ugly sobs to see these; because with so many of them I remember telling Mr. C, "This will probably be the last one before we get to hold him in real life."

There were countless outfits sent that I had longed to dress him in myself.  Countless toys I thought I'd watch him play with in person.  Countless bath goods and snacks I thought I would have the opportunity to use.  Yet, I've had to send them all on.  It makes me incredibly sad.

I thought I'd try to compile all these photos into one place for posterity's sake.  One day, years down the road, I hope that Des will look at this blog post and see how much we care for him, how much we are fighting for him, how incredibly worth it he was/is/always will be.

It's difficult to put into mere words; so, I think I'll just leave the pictures to do the talking.  How do you measure "a year (and a half) in the life?  How about love"...and care packages?!

The first care package we sent Des in October/November of 2012. I just LOVED that cute raccoon hat!

We made a Build-A-Be*r doggy for his first care package.  In his paws are recorded messages from us both saying we love him in K*rean.  We have since seen MANY photos of this dog at his foster family's house. The t-shirt and hat are long gone, but it makes us both feel so good to know something we sent is so well-loved.
December 2012 care package.  These were gifts for his birthday, but it had to go in with his Christmas package since his birthday is only 5 days later.

Christmas pj's!  So cute!

An outfit mom picked out for Des while in-patient at the Cancer Treatment Center in Zion.

Phat Farm socks - loves!

Another outift my mom helped pick out.

A super nice lady on Etsy made two different sizes of tol (first birthday) shirts for Des even though I only ordered one, just because she felt bad about our situation.  So thankful for little mercies like that during this process. <3 td="">

More December 2012 care package goodies. (We kinda maybe sorta went over-board, ha!)

Cute leather slip-on shoes!  December 2012.

Handmade caramels and chocolates for the foster family.  We got them several gifts that year, but I can't find pictures of them for some reason.  December, 2012.

More December 2012...yeah, we totally DID go over-board; but hey, we had only been parents for two months, we were pretty darn excited! ;-)

NOTE: I cannot find January, 2013's care package photos anywhere. :-(  So, moving right along..........

I can't find the pictures to just the February, 2013 care package; so, here's a pic of it with Des and his foster parents.  All faces covered for their protection.
LOTS of goodies for March 2013.  We sent this package just days before mom passed away.

Mr. C and I in some of the Irish goodies we sent Des for St. Paddy's in 2013.  In this picture, we are in the plastic gowns we had to wear in mom's hospial room at the Cancer Center.  She died just four days later.

We included our picture in his St. Paddy's Day card.  I sent a card or letter (sometimes both in EVERY package we send).  Also, "adeul" means "son".
Easter outfit - March/April 2013.

Easter goodies care package - March/April, 2013.

Eagan wearing the bunny ears we sent Des.  He looks so cute; although also a little sad. ;-)
Late April/early May care package.

Handmade gold and pearl earrings for Des' foster mom for Mother's Day, 2013.

Goodies from Desmond's first baby shower held on April 29th, 2013.  It was a "meant to bee" themed shower - so bittersweet as mom had only been gone a month and a half.

More goodies from late April/early May care package.
Mr. C with the jacket and tie we got Des' foster dad for Father's Day, 2013.
June, 2013 care package.

I was SO SAD about sending this romper!  I loved it so much and really wanted to see Des in it in person; but alas, it was not to be...June, 2013.
July, 2013 care package.

July, 2013 care package.

July, 2013 care package.

I had a portrait of the foster mom, dad, and Des printed on fabric; then, I embroidered it and framed it. Sent in the July, 2013 care package.  (We have since received pictures of it hanging on their wall with this very picture next to it - *tears*.)
August, 2013 care package.

I remember Mr. C and I thinking maybe the foster mom would hate us for this present?  LOL, I hope not!  August, 2013 care package.
September/October, 2013 care package.
I was pretty sad about this coat/hat and gloves set too. *sniff sniff* October/November, 2013 care package.

October/November, 2013 care package.

October/November, 2013 care package.

October/November, 2013 care package.

October/November, 2013 care package.
Hat and scarf combo for foster dad.  December, 2013.

Hat, scarf, mitten combo for foster mom (can't see it all in there, but it's there!). December, 2013 care package.

Gifts for foster family. December, 2013.

Christmas and birthday presents for Desmond and foster parents.  December, 2013.

Diapers from the diaper cake from his "Meant to Bee" shower and wipes. December, 2013 care package.

December, 2013 care package.

December, 2013 care package.

December, 2013 care package.

December, 2013.

December, 2013.

December, 2013.

Desmond's SECOND birthday t-shirt made by my sister, M.  REALLY never thought we'd miss his second birthday too.

December, 2013 care package ready for shipment!
January/February, 2014.  It's getting sadder and sadder and harder and harder to send things.  We stop shopping for themed gifts.  We send smaller packages.
March/April, 2014. Some of these items were gifts, but he is out-growing everything (in the 90th+ percentile; so, it's either send it, or he may never wear it - bring on the tears).

March/April, 2014.

So, I think that's it. Whew!  It was crazy looking back through all of those pictures again!  We are hoping and praying for good news this week; although, we're trying not to get our hopes up as we've had them dashed so many times before.

If you think of us, we're asking for prayer.  Prayer for favor and movement in order to bring our son home.  Thank you in advance for remembering us in that way; we GREATLY appreciate it more than you know.

From my heart to yours...


  1. Mandie, we are on the exact same timeline with Korean adoption. I would love to connect. We have been waiting for EP approval 90 days now:( if you would like, contact me on at <>

  2. I will definitely be in touch! I pray you get good news soon!

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