We are the Snyder family and ... we are different

This is the story of our journey to our daughter in Ethiopia. God is preparing our family for her and preparing her heart to come home to her family. We chose the difficult road of trusting and obeying God. It is worth every step!

Monday, July 18, 2011

beginning of a new week

Sorry I didn't update the end of the week, I just haven't had a chance to get online and update the past few days.  We have been having lots of fun getting to know each other more and getting to see more and more of Aliya's personality.  We have had so much fun playing up on the terrace and in the playroom eventhough there aren't a ton of toys up there it's still an open space that is different scenery than our room.  We blow bubbles off the terrace, play soccer, play with balls and balloons and chase each other around.  One day when we were blowing bubbles two little girls out in the street in front of the guest house were waving and calling to us.  I convinced Aliya to go downstairs and give them a couple granola bars, raisins and hair clips.  The girls were so excited to ge them that they were squeeling with delight.  They kept saying, "thank you, thank you, we love you so much."  It was so sweet.  When I went to put the flower clips in their hair they had lice just crawling all over the braids in their hair and they were just filthy.  Those girls hang out quite a bit at the store next to our guest house and are so sweet, I just want to give them a bath and put some new clothes on them.

We have discovered how silly Aliya is.  She makes the funniest faces and does some crazy things.  She is teaching us a few things in Amharic and Wolatigna which is so wonderful.  Her little accent is absolutely adorable and she surprises us everyday with more and more English.  The other day she and Dustin were playing and teasing each other and she kept saying, "No Dad, Go Dad Go!"  She then told Dustin, "dad you go America, see you tomorrow!"  It was so hilarious!  He then pretended to leave and walk out the door but he didn't have shoes on so she told him, "Dad shoes, Dad shoes, Dad go America!"  She is definitely sassy pants ;)  We have also found out that she loves to flip and be upside down and all those other fun 5 year old girl things.  She is constantly climbing on, jumping off and rolling all over the furniture.  Definitely something that will be changing once we get home.

This weekend LOTS of other families have come for court and embassy appointments.  Many families I have been following along on the yahoo group, blogs and facebook for months.  It's so nice to finally meet these people in person and talk with them.  It's amazing to hear everyone's stories and the ways God has moved and changed them.  There are so many wonderful stories of God's provision that it makes my heart sing to hear them.  What a blessing to be part of this group!  There is also another family staying at our guest house that is adopting a four year old girl from another agency so it's interesting to hear about their experiences as well.  The guest house is filled to the brim this week and I love having all these people around to share this experience with and to have community with.  I look forward to keeping in contact with many of these families in the future.

Today we went to the embassy to "say hello" and let them know that yes we are still here in country and would greatly appreciate an appointment this week.  We were basically met with the same response we have gotten via email "the embassy is short staffed, they are very busy, there are no appointments but if one does open up they will let us know".  Basically, we will see you on the 26th.  Oh well, at least we tried.  So for now it looks like Dustin will come home this Sunday but Aliya and I will not come home for almost 2 more weeks.  We are all ready to come home, but at least we are together.  Aliya even said to me the other day, "we go America".  Yes we will get to go to America  very soon :)

Just in case you are wondering how our bonding is going, it's going very well so far.  We have had lots of hugs and kisses and many "I love you" as well as lots of eye contact.  She is eating well, although her tummy has been upset the last day or two.  She knows who "mommy" and "daddy" are and stays very close to us for the most part.  When we went to the orphanages with her she did not get in the mix of kids trying to get stuff from the people handing out toys and snacks.  She likes to sit on our laps and be held quite a bit and she loves to have her arm around my neck and stroke my hair.  She is such a sweet girl and actually reminds me a lot of our son Christian who also loves to snuggle and just be close.  Today I did see some potential fits and got some screaming so we will be exiting the "honeymoon" phase shortly.  She is getting more comfortable with us and others around us as she actually played tonight after dinner downstairs in the lobby with all the other families around.  It's the first time people really got to see a glimpse of the real Aliya.

I will probably not be updating a lot for the next week or two just because we are still really staying low key and not going too many places because of her comfort level and budget.  With me staying another week that is another week at the guest house, another week of meals and another week to pay for a driver if we go anywhere.  You can tell as time is going on we are taking fewer pictures.  There's only so many pictures you can take of us playing with the same toys day after day.  There are some pictures that other families took I hope to be getting soon so I will post those once I get them.

Continue to pray for us as we will be here for a while longer, pray for safe travel and pray for all the families that are here for court and embassy this week.  Our God is greater, greater than any other, our God is stronger.