Saturday, June 9, 2012

Fails and Success

So far, I've been here since Thursday morning (although I left Baby Finn Tuesday night, and I have missed him every moment...), I can tell you about several FAILS and several SUCCESSes in our journey with our sweet baby boy.
This beginning part of the journey will certainly be a rocky road with lots of beautiful scenery and lots of beautiful stops along the way.  Eventually, the road will smooth out and we will forget that the rocks were ever there.  That is how things have been so far, and I assume that is how they will be as we introduce Finn into the picture.  I want to be realistic here.  Sweet little Eli has been (I don't know) where for 7 months, then in an orphanage after that for about one to two months, then in the transition home for about 11 months.  These nanines are much more his momma than I am, at the moment.  I don't know how to meet his needs yet.  He doesn't trust that I"m in this for the long haul yet.  We've got a ways to go.  But SUCCESS number one is I write, he is napping in my arms, in the ergo carrier.  Snoozing and snoring and snuggling, as we speak.  Now, I don't know if we need to talk about the FAILED hour of crying that ensued before he fell alseep, now do we?!

Brandon arrived in ethiopia two days before I did. I needed to get Finn settled, and I didn't have enough milk to last longer than 7 days.  So, I settled little man in and headed over.  Brandon said little Eli cried right away when he saw him, and we're not talking the happy cry...FAIL.  Then, Brandon walked him around in the stroller, crying ceased, and they were somewhat friends again, even taking a four hour nap together! SUCCESS!  Brandon took him back to the nannies that night after a great day together.  He got him the next morning and he seemed happy to see Brandon.  They played all day, ate meals together, and Eli was pretty happy.  He even slept in the room with Brandon, and that was also a SUCCESS! 
I got here and went to see Eli.  The first time I held him, he cried. FAIL.  (momma's worst nightmare, but my heart was prepared...)  We warmed up and he began playing with me, but he clearly preferred Brandon.  SUCCESS.  My first night with him, we think we overfed him because he threw up (yes, projectile) all over our entire room. FAIL :)  Then we put him to bed and he woke up crying at least two or three times.  Was he hungry? sick? Confused?  These are all the things that will get easier as we get to know him.
Yesterday, my second day here, we wanted to go to Nazret (Adama) to see the place where he lived before.  We went to his orphanage where we saw 6 and 7 month old babies the size of Finn when he was BRAND NEW (9lbs 8oz).  They wore no diapers or bottoms at all. They  had flies all over them. (note to self: if you are a nursing mom with a baby in another country, don't visit an orphanage. You will want to feed all the childen.  I'm just being honest... :).  We also visited the health center he was found near, and a local school (where the kids treated us like rockstars, very weird. I loved them and think that my next teaching job might be in a school like that.  These kids LOVED TO LEARN.  55 kids in one tiny room...and they were SO EAGER to learn. Unlike our kids, we have smart boards, white boards, colorful rooms, etc.. and they just wish we were human video games...I used to feel like I needed to be spitting out candy and singing a song to get them to learn anything...).  They sang beautiful songs and they loved hearing us speak english.  They wanted to kiss our hands, so I kissed them back.  These children are mostly orphaned or have very little money, but they are unadoptable for various reasons.  They were dirty and had tattered clothes.  But they were so sweet and kind.  They loved us.  I said, "My name is Brooke.  Say, "Brooke"".  They responded, "Say Brooke".  Language barriors.. :) haha!  They loved high fives..and loved to shake hands.  If you asked their name, in very proper english they would say, "My name is Abudagahaaa" and then I would FAIL very much while trying to repeat their name back to them! :)

Then we went to a local resort, which left me feeling guilty but had very good food, and a massage for $11 ..for an hour...don't be jealous!  There was the minor side effect that I couldn't relax b/c I could only think of Finn in America and sweet Eli back at the transition home. 
When we got back, Eli did not want anythign to do with us, in fact, he cried when I held him FAIL. So sad :(  We were going to our director's home for dinner, which was nice to see a family in action...a traditional ethiopian family. We made a paper mache volcano with the oldest boy and tried a soda pop bomb...very American... :) 

We got Eli this morning and things have not gone well.  FAIL :( It is almost like he is mad that we were gone all day yesterday!  It explains to me VERY WELL why I should not leave him when we get home, for quite a while, until that trust is well established.  Right now he just doesn't trust us as care givers.  We have been walking him around with a scowl on his face. He loves puffs SUCCESS and would be thrilled if we let him eat them all day.  He likes crunchy things.  We are almost out of puffs and want to save the rest for the plane.  So we tried cheeze its.  Good idea, right? No....he was chewing them  up and then choked.  For real, choked.  It was terrifying.  We almost lost our baby and haven't even brought him home.  dramatic, he was fine, but gosh...good way to earn trust, eh? :)

He loves noodles. Spaghetti is tops, in case you happen to bring food when we get home.  :) although it is very light on sauce here. He loves bread and milk porridge (hmm...?!).

So much to learn about this sweet boy, but we are so lucky to have him.  I love him so much!  SUCCESS!
Talk soon...
gray ric rac copy


  1. Hi friend! I am so glad to see that you are posting from your boy's home country. Very exciting. I am praying big time for you today! Everything you are doing right now...being in Ethiopia, loving Eli in his brokeness, bringing him home with you...all successes, my friend. In fact, those cries that feel like failure...they are successes. With each cry, you are breaking a new barrier with that sweet boy, and I hope that as he may have tears running down his face, you can be somewhat joyous inside for this very reason. You are his parents teaching him to be Christ-like so that he can do great things for the Kingdom. I am proud of you and Brandon...praying and loving on you from hours away! :)

  2. WHAT a JOURNEY!! I have no wisdom, just prayers! I would say, though, that as with any new "baby" we are usually more scared of "breaking" them than we should be. That boy is STRONG! He has survived being abandoned, malnourished, orphaned, etc. - surely he can survive anything B & B Whitis might screw up! Y'all are doing a GREAT job!! SUCCESS!!! :)

  3. So thankful that you're sharing your journey. We know exactly how to pray for you and Brandon and Eli! Soon you'll be having so many successes! But believe me, I have had these kiddos for YEARS and we have plenty of fails, still. Keep believing God for his direction and guidance. As you gently lead Eli, the same way He leads us.

  4. you're adventure has begun! i know it may not be all that you had imagined it to be with everything being a success but you will soon look back on it all and laugh about the good memories! what a day that will be when you and eli can laugh about choking on cheezits! my fav by the way!
    this post pulls on my heart strings and makes me want to go on another missions trip! i miss them so much but obviously the timing is not right at this time. hopefully in the future!
    god will grant you the wisdom that you both need! trust him for it!