Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Comeback Post

We were on a "blog break". Apparently, posting was something too difficult to keep up with as we poised ourselves to make it through the days. However, now that Thanksgiving is upon us how could I not take a moment and share my thanks for everything that has happened in our lives since last Thanksgiving.

Almost one year ago we received the referral our little man, Sintayehu. He was appx 8 weeks at the time and we spent days staring at his pictures willing him home. We are so thankful for the hands that brought him to the orphanage, the caretakers who did their best with what they had to care for him and Alemu who worked on our behalf to connect our family.

Fast forward a few months to the day we discovered that Sintayehu was not getting formula. We are so thankful at the response we and others received to help kids who live over 7000 miles away get the nourishment they desperately need. Since that day, over 500 lbs of formula have been sent over with various travelers from people who answered our call for help.

When it was finally time to travel and bring him home, we couldn't be more thankful to our parents who made the long journey with us to help care for Mikias and see their grandson's birth country....a gift like no other.

When we were in country...we had the best day of our lives thus far! On the same day, we had the opportunity to reconnect with Mikias' African Mommy in the morning and meet Sintayehu for the first time in the afternoon. We are so thankful she was willing to meet with us, play with him and join me in holding our son. And....our new baby. There is nothing more authentic than picking up your child for the first time and having his head nestle in to your neck. I am thankful every day that he is our son.

And of course just 14 days after the best day of our lives, came the worst. We can't even begin to express our gratitude for the depth of support that surrounded us. We are so thankful for the quick medical responses of the ER team, the skillful hands of a surgeon and the hours of round the clock care in ICU. Not to mention, the levels of people who lifted Taye and our family and held us so close for many days. We could not have survived something like that alone. We are so thankful for the strength given by our family and friends.

It is difficult to find words to show graciousness for the last 8 months of recovery for Taye. His medical team, rehabilitation specialist, therapists, school therapists and advocates have played such an integral role in his journey. We are so thankful for the careful attention given to one little boy. To aid in this, we have had numerous people support us in being able to attend to his needs and his aggressive schedule. We are so grateful to our family and friends for the countless hours they helped in watching Mikias, making meals and overall attentiveness to Taye. Being able to celebrate with others as he overcame each obstacle was wonderful. Thank you.

We are so thankful for health. We watched Taye grow from his starting point of not being able to bear weight on his legs at 6.5 months old to walking across our room babbling after a serious accident. We are eternally grateful for his spirit and resiliency. This little fighter has taught me more than I thought I would ever know.

On a personal note, I can't help but be very thankful for Benjamin. My husband is a man with an unwavering commitment to us. He easily supported my new position which created more responsibility for him. He eagerly took a paternity leave, as we decided, when Taye came home. (Despite the fact he encountered bit of discrimination from a few people who have things to learn yet) Most importantly, he became Taye's #1 advocate and medical coordinator. His stamina through all these months (with nothing more than a grimace when he was laid off) reminds me daily of someone else I have to be thankful for.

As this year is almost all said and done, I realize I am most thankful for the clarity I have in life.

Three of the four people in our house are napping right now, laundry is not done, we still have a suitcase packed under our bed from Africa (no joke), piles of paper are stacked strategically around the house---but hey, the basement is almost finished.

I have never been happier.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Beth & Rico said...

Great post and welcome back to the blog world!! We need you! It's also great to know that you aren't super humans and have unfinished business under you bed and papers stacked...I'm very thankful to be your friend.

Anonymous said...

HAPPY, HAPPY THANKSGIVING! SO glad that your famly is adjusting to your "new normal". I have decided that a messy house = happy children. I don't have time to pick up because I am enjoying this time with my children. You too should adopt this mantra!


Heidi said...

I am so happy and thankful with you Joanna! Your family rocks! :)

Wendy said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! What a whirlwind year you have all had - so many things to be happy and thankful for. We're feeling SO incredibly thankful, too and can't wait for the holidays to begin!

Wendy, Steve, and Zoe

Ryan and Julie said...

Really enjoyed that post. You do have so much to be thankful for and certainly couldn't deserve it more. Hope to see you sometime soon.

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Wendy said...

I know you may not be checking this right now, but I wanted to let you know that I left a blogger "award" for you on my blog. :)

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