I'll start by saying that there is so much to write, I wil in no way do justice to how things went today. Here are a few thoughts:
We arrived at the transition home this afternoon after filling out paperwork and having lunch with the other families. Everyone was nervous. So much waiting on this moment. We knew we would be going first since families meet their children in alphabetical order. We have thought about this moment for months and yet we were so unprepared. They called our name out and we were still getting cameras out to give to another family to take pictures. We went and stood in the courtyard facing the door. I first saw a woman holding our daughter. Then I saw she was also holding my sons hand. He ran to me and hugged me for what seemed like many minutes. I had prepared what I would say, eh-NAY deste Ba-lan-ua (which means "I am very happy for you"). I'm sure it didn't come out anything like I had prepared.
Kris held Minalush. She kept trying to hug Haile but he was busy hugging me. Minalush was happy and laughed when Kris made noises at her. She was perfect in every way. She took her little hand and would hold Kris' arm.
Kris gave Haile paper and markers. He drew his numbers and ABC for us. Then he drew a picture of a soccer ball and a house. Kris brought the airplane lego set that the Crary's gave us for Haile and I to build together. He is very smart. We had a great time building it together and communicating in very limited ways. He knows more English than I thought he would. We asked him if he was hungry. He said yes so we gave him some snacks (cookies, animal crackers, etc.). We enjoyed eating together. (Later he asked if he could give some to his friends. He is so kind. He ran around the orphanage sharing the snacks with the other kids and nannies.) He also really got into our camera. He wanted to take pictures of us. You would have thought he had been using a camera for years. At one point, he motioned to us that he wanted to take a picture of where he slept. With that he led me throughout the compound wanting me to take a picture with him and every nannie. I couldn't keep from crying. My eight year old son had the foresight to document his stay with these special people. He honored each of them so much. Each nanny would say, "What a good boy", as they hugged him for a picture. Regrettably, we couldn't take pictures of him with the other kids. It's not allowed. But it was fun to meet them and to see and take a picture of where he sleeps. We also got a picture of his classroom and his seat. Then he went looking for a soccer ball. He seems to love soccer. I don't....but Kris does. They had a great time kicking the ball back and forth. (He has some pretty sweet moves.)
Haile has a really good sense of humor. Minalush wasn't afraid of us. She took a bottle and fell asleep on Kris' chest. It couldn't have been a better match for our family and these wonderful kids. God is so very good!
Again, so much to write. It has been a wonderful day. Thank you to everyone for all your support and prayers.
Ben (and Kris)