Yesterday we were blessed yet again when many of our family and our friends got together to throw us an adoption shower. It was a beautiful day filled with a lot of laughter and a lot of tears. I want to say a deep and sincere thank-you to every person who came to share this day with us. And a thank-you to those who couldn’t be there, but who loved us from afar. Here are some pictures….
I have gotten so many questions about the number of children we are adopting. Is it 3? Is it 4? Why don’t you know about the sister yet? I love the fact that people are so interested in our story. I love the fact that whenever I run into someone I know in WinCo or Target or at the gym, they inevitably congratulate me and tell me how excited they are for me. I love the fact that the ripples from God’s providence in our lives have spread and touched so many.
We have to be very careful with the information that we share about our children. First of all, we believe that much of this is their story to either tell or to keep private and we are trying to respect that. Secondly, especially with this 4th child, we were given very strict rules about what we could share and what we couldn’t. We are not even allowed to post their names yet. What we can say is this…the oldest sister of our foursome is eight years old. We know this and we know her name. We know very little else. In our hearts we have named her Naomi. She is now a part of our family too. We will most likely not know if she will become legally ours until we are in the courts in Ethiopia. But, even if the courts tell us no, our children will have still have this sister! She will just be living in Ethiopia. And just because she is living in Ethiopia will not make her any less of their sister. We will do our best to love her from afar. But it is our hope and our prayer that we will be able to love her in our home and with our family surrounding her.
One of the beautiful touches at our shower was that our friend Amanda looked up how to make a very common Ethiopian spice mixture called Berbere.
Here is a list of ingredients that go into this mixture….
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1⁄8; teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1⁄8; teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 4 -6 tablespoons of a combination ground cayenne pepper (red pepper, dried chile peppers, or red pepper flakes) or 4 -6 tablespoons paprika (red pepper, dried chile peppers, or red pepper flakes)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
- 2 tablespoons onions (optional) or 2 tablespoons shallots , finely chopped, omit if making dry berbere (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garlic , minced, use dried garlic if making dry berbere (optional)
When she gathered all the ingredients and mixed them all together, the result was a fragrant and tasty mixture that flavors many foods in Ethiopia. For some reason, this has made me think of our family. I think of how we are all so different from each other. My husband is the patient, long-suffering, easy-going guy. I am the spicy, outgoing, type-A personality. My son is the tender-hearted peace maker. My daughter is full of life and personality and laughter. I wonder what personalities my new children have. Are they leaders or followers? Are they deep-thinkers or free spirits? Do they laugh easily or love deeply? How will their addition to our family change us? What will the new dynamics be? And then I think about how God has ordained this. How He chose those children to be mine and placed them in our hearts forever. And I know that when we are all gathered in one place and mixed together, the result will be a fragrant offering to our God.