We witness a miracle each time a child enters a life. But those who must make their journey home across time and miles, growing in the hearts of those waiting to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny. And placed among us by God's own hands.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Letters to Leo: In Our Arms

Dear Leo,

Today we met you for the first time. We arrived to Rwanda on Saturday night after spending 3 hours on a flight to DC, 7.5 hours on a flight to Brussels and another 7.5 hours on a flight into Kigali. Your brother and sister did so well on the long flights and really enjoyed eating on the plane! Our POA met us at the airport and our massive pile of luggage was transported to the hotel. There was some mix up at the hotel and our room only has one king size bed. We were so tired that mom, dad, big brother and sister all slept well despite the crowded room. Turns out that there are no rooms with double beds so our POA negotiated with the hotel and they set up a single bed in a larger room that has a king size bed in it. We woke up early this morning and enjoyed the breakfast buffet (included in the price of the room) and met the other families who are ending their trip in Rwanda to adopt their little ones. After breakfast we loaded up our suitcases with donations and headed to the orphanage. We tried to pay attention to as much as possible on the way and took pictures to remember all of this for you. At the orphanage there was some confusion and we were taken down and out to the area where you and all your friends were running around. We were immediately met by tons of toddlers, some coming straight to me wanting to be held. Our POA then arrived and we were shuffled back out to the entrance area where after waiting a few minutes a nun brought you out to us. You were so brave! You looked worried but you did not cry. I was amazed at how small you looked compared to your picture. We held you for a bit, took some pictures, and played with some toys that we brought with for you. This seemed to relax you. We then loaded back up into the van and you held on tight to me and fell asleep on the way to the hotel. We spent the day relaxing and playing. Within a few hours with us you were smiling and laughing! Your 2T pants fit and while your 3T shirt was a bit big it was o.k. Since we could not obtain our travel letter from the Ministry's office on a Sunday we had to take you back the orphanage at 5pm. You fell asleep again on the way there and looked worried when we handed you back to the nun but you did not cry. We then went straight to a coffee shop/cafe that had great coffee. The other two families who are here from our agency were there (one family flew out to Ethiopia this afternoon) and we were also joined by the CEO of the adoption agency. I actually did not realize who he was at first but we had some good conversation about international adoption issues and ethics. We headed back to the hotel with the other families so that your brother and sister could go to bed early and dad walked across the street to a little super market to buy us some bottled water. Tommorrow morning we will come pick you up again and will work on some paperwork to start the process to obtain your passport. I am hoping we can also stop by the Minister's office and check in on obtaining your travel letter but that may not happen untill Tuesday. If so it will be very difficult to bring you back to the orphanage again tommorrow, especially after you adjusted so well today.

Love, Mom


  1. SOOOOOOOOOO excited you're there!!! Give our love to our son and keep up the blogging if you can. of course if you can tell us anything about seeing our son that would be AMAZING. we hang on to every word :)

  2. Ohhhh thank you for sharing this letter! We are praying so hard that you will be able to be together all the time. We know too well that feeling of going back to "school" each night after amazing days of bonding. SO THANKFUL that you are there, you are together, and you are well--and cozy in your snuggly hotel room. Praise God!

    PS--(can we talk adoption ethics sometime?!)

  3. Can I join in on the adoption ethics convo? My husband and I talk about these issues all the time. Adrienne and I even started talking about it during our brief phone call. Such an interesting discussion it would be.....

    Anyway, so happy you are there safe and sound. This letter made me CRY CRY CRY. See you Thurs.
    xo Rebecca

  4. Kari,

    I'm so glad you made it safely and got to give Leo some loving. I'm also glad to hear the kids traveled well. We are bringing Adalae with us when we go. My heart stops when I hear people that get to see the toddlers. Our son might just be one of them.

    Safe travels,


  5. Oh, Congratulations! And your account gives me tingles...my little one could have been in that room!