Saturday, July 4, 2009


We are back! Home yesterday at 3pm after over 40 hours of being awake and traveling. I am surprised I'm still standing!

Hannah's Hope was truly an experience, as was Ethiopia...but in a hugely different way. We will probably never see that kind of poverty and suffering again, unless we continue to travel to third world countries. Outside of the gates of Hannah's Hope, there is a world of sadness, but inside, there is utopia and heaven on earth. The children at Hannah's Hope are blessed to have made it to this transition point where the next step is a forever family. My only hope is that we can offer the same level of love, acceptance and nurturing that our man received at this amazing place.

Bereket found us at HH and recognized us from our photo album. It was so sweet. He first found Lauren as she was filming another family's first meeting with their new baby. She felt a little tug on her jacket and looked down into the eyes of her new little brother and a warm smile of hello. She was in love! We were called in and here he stood holding her hand with a beautiful smile of welcome. I will never forget it.

I am actually able to post as Bereket now sits with his daddy watching Spiderman on this quiet fourth of July morning. He slept peacefully through the night and had a full breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage and a pop tart! He loves hot tea, so I brought home two boxes and we shared some Ethiopian tea with honey this morning. If you are traveling soon, the little boy "Danny" that hangs ouside of the Union Apartments Hotel is an amazing resource. He can take you anywhere and run errands. I gave him 50 birr (a little less than 5 bucks) to find me two boxes of Addis Tea and he came back in ten minutes with it. He told me it cost him 9 birr, less than 90 cents for two boxes! I was so amazed and told him to keep the change! You should have seen his face! He just got tipped almost $5 for running an errand! Then, I worried he would get mugged crossing the street back to his home...but he made it. You will LOVE this kid! His english is pretty good too!

Speaking of English, Bereket (who now wants to be called Eli), is writing in English at about a 3rd to 4th grade level, although probably doesn't understand it. He can read English pretty well too, like maybe first to 2nd grade? He does multiplication and division, and can draw like an artist! I believe in his language he is easily in 4th grade. He plays soccer like a pro, and showed us his hand stand, push-ups, cartwheel, and how he puts out a lit match with his mouth!! Whoa!!! Wasn't expecting that trick!

So far, we are doing well and loving having a little one around...keeping us young! We are waiting for the shoe to drop, but maybe shouldn't. He is respectuful, kind, energetic, happy, smart and so affectionate. He constantly holds our hands and gives us hugs and kisses. He loved on all the babies at HH and we constantly heard them calling his name to be picked up! We are enjoying him after a week and he says he is very happy. I am so relieved. I will post some pics later with more updates.

For now, Happy 4th of July! We can now celebrate our new citizen of the U.S.!


  1. Welcome home. Bereket sounds wonderful :)

  2. hurray!!!!!!!!! he sounds amazing, soooo very happy for you and your family, can't wait to hear more

  3. Just saw your post on AGCI site and when I saw MN, decided to check out your blog. Congratulations...what a handsome boy! We live in Lakeville and are adopting from India , using AGCI!

  4. Welcome home Tina! Tell Bereket that Biruktawit says Hi! I'm so glad your trip went good! I can't wait to see some pictures. I wish Ethiopia wasn't so far. I really want to go back to HH someday.

  5. Can't wait to see some pics. He sounds sooo wonderful!!!! Enjoy your 4th!!!

  6. Congrats Tina, Dave, Lauren and Bereket! We were thinking and praying for you all weekend. I can't wait to hear more and meet Bereket. Sounds like an amazing joureny that was meant to be. Take care, Lisa

  7. So happy for you guys! Have a blessed first week!