Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Some More of the Story and Our Video

I can't believe we have now had Addis for 2 weeks. It still feels like we just got back and are just now starting to catch our breath!

That said, things are really wonderful. Addis is sleeping through the night like a champ and eating great. The girls are loving their new baby brother, I went back to work and Ellie even started pre-school for the first time on Monday! It has been a whirlwind, but everything really is going much smoother than we imagined it would at this stage. The Lord has been good to us!

Switching gears, we realize that we have not done a great job filling in everyone on the details of our trip and we really feel badly about it. It is especially hard to look at the blogs of some of the friends we traveled with and see posts out the wazzoo regarding every detail of their trip. It is not that we don't want to share or had a terrible trip, it is just the opposite. We had such an amazing trip that we don't even know where to start. Also, having 3 kids under the age of 4 tends to fill things up a bit. But enough procrastinating.

The first thing we wanted to do for all of our loyal readers was to cut our hour or so of video footage from our trip down to a crisp 5 or 6 minute video to tell most of the story. While that took longer than expected, we are thrilled to finally include it below. We are going to detail other parts of our trip in later posts, but this really gets to the good stuff - our trip South to meet the woman who found Addis and then ultimately holding him in our arms.

Before our trip, the only detail we knew about Addis was that he was found abandoned by a woman in the Sodo region and taken to a police station. We really wanted more info, so our wonderful adoption agency found the woman and arranged a meeting. We still did not know if this would just be a coffee or if she would even show up, but it proved to be so much more.

After many hours in a bumpy Land Cruiser, we arrived in Sodo and then had to back track to Arika for a last minute location change. We then followed the literal entourage of people with this woman (local town leader, three Ethiopians from our adoption agency, head of the local orphanage and a host of different translators) off the main road and down a very rough road for about 8 KM. When that road became impassible for the van, everyone piled in our Land Cruiser until the road really ended in the village of Giragouda. We then hiked back into the village for another 30 minutes where we got to see the exact spot where Addis was found.

Miracle does not do justice the Lord's providence in Addis' little life. Giragouda is about as rural Ethiopia as you get. No electricity or running water and basically a sustenance farming village of about 300 people. As we walked back, the whole village came to life. Children, mothers and fathers all ran to greet us, asking only in their regional language, "Is the baby alive?" We were overjoyed to be able to tell them the good news and were overwhelmed as we stood in a field of Teff with about 40 villagers crowding around us listening to the circumstances of Addis' first days and looking down into the tall grass he was lifted out of. Discovered by early morning grazing cows in a field about 200 yards behind the last hut in the village with his placenta and umbilical cord still attached, we were told that Addis had been left for the hyenas. He did not even cry when he was found but thankfully he was still alive.

Our trip to Giragouda and learning so much about Addis was amazing and yet we still had not gotten to the best part. When we returned to Addis Ababa two days later, we were told they would bring him to us in the morning. Neither of us could sleep that whole night and the next morning was virtually no different than sitting in the delivery room waiting for the OK to push. The moment they brought him in was surreal. To have been where he was birthed onto the ground and left for dead and to then hold this healthy but timid little boy in my arms as my own was more than I could ever put into words.

So, we hope this video will express it in a way no blog post ever could.


video

P.S. In case ou are wondering, the music is my brother Neal's new song. Check him out here

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

i just cried my way through that video, so happy for you and excited to meet addis, and for jethro to have a new friend!

ali ward

Olivia said...

Congrats on your beautiful baby boy. What an AWESOME video!!!!! Blessings to your family.

J, A and T said...

AWESOME...thanks for sharing this. God can do AMAZING things! I love the song too!

The Elliott's Adventures said...

ok, friends..i'm gonna have to watch that again since i couldn't really see if through all of tears streaming down my face. i just cannot wait to meet this precious little boy in 3 weeks. wow..the feelings and emotions that this brings having been adopted myself. i love you guys!

Mary Mills said...

Wow! What a beautiful story and tribute to God's providence and love for us. Thank you for sharing the whole experience. It was amazing to see you in the place where he was found and then to see him in your arms. Spencer and I cannot wait to meet this precious little boy!

Kristin Vanzant said...

AMAZING... I'm left without words... only tears of joy!

The Albertsons said...

There are really no words to describe the depth of love and beauty captured by adoption. I just relived our own "moment" through you. We love you all so much and can't wait to see you in person. God bless, and welcome home :).
With an abundance of love... (and tears)...
becca

Clay and Tracy said...

AMAZING! Thank you for sharing. That was precious. What a precious story you have.

Dillon said...

tom and leah,
I'm so incredibly happy for you guys. I've always known that you all are more than capable of taking children not of your own blood, much like you did with me and the others. I also know that if you give even just half of the amount of love you two showed us, this boy will never feel alone in this world.

Much love and I can't wait to see you all and meet Addis when I get back from Praha,
Dillon

Blog Shmog said...

What an incredible story this sweet boy has. God bless your little family.

Anonymous said...

I just cried all the way through this video. What an incredible testimony of God's provision for Addis' life and for yours. perfect scripture and song...I CANNOT WAIT to meet Addis. Love you guys - Eich

rvangfamily@comcast.net said...

Leah & Tom,
What a wonderful beautiful thing that God has done for all of you. We are touched by God's grace and love alive in well in DC coming to us live at Carpenter's chaos....
Rob, Shelley and the boys

503 Photography said...

What an amazing ending to a beautiful journey. It has been such a blessing to watch your story....as Addis lay in a field alone to you all at home praying for a child whose face you did not know ... to today. I am overwhelmed with God's kindness. Congrats to all 5 of you!

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!!

-Darrell Vanzant

Sarah said...

So beautiful!!! Seeing your video is further proof that adoption is one of the most beautiful things that God has created. I'm so thankful that Addis is home- what hope for those of us still waiting!

Kathryn said...

I was very relieved to read from your other comments that I was not the only person who cried my way through the video. Now that I have pulled myself together I just wanted to say God Bless you!! A friend passed this blog on to me, I don't know you, but your story is amazing and inspiring. My husband very much wants to adopt one day. We will be praying for your family!

Anonymous said...

Tom and Leah,
At this point I am wiping tears away in my cube thanking God for His provision in Addis' life and in the Carpenter's... SOOOO FREAKING AMAZING and I am overwhelmed by the images of the Gospel all over the story. Can't wait to be with you guys!
bryan connor

The Crenshaws said...

Oh, my goodness! I read that post and watched the video and just cried and cried and cried! What an amazing story. I am blown away by God's provision and sovereignty! I wish I could just come over and see him and grab some coffee with you guys and talk! We miss you a lot!

Purifoy Family said...

Oh wow- how sweet. What a journey. Love Neal's song too.

coffeemom said...

Amazing. just well, amazing and what a video, what a story. What a life you have and he has. Yes, more tears. Thank you for sharing this post. M

Kathryn said...

Incredible… you both are an inspiration and a perfect example of how God uses his children to spread His love and Word. Thank you so much for sharing and thank you for sharing your faith.
Love, Kathryn, Chris, M&P

Chris and Jess said...

Oh, Carpenters, what an amazing video. I can barely see my typing through my tears!!!! I am so, so happy that God has blessed you with this little boy- he was so meant to be with you!
So happy you're home and all is well!

The Trone's: James, Misty, and Bella Grace said...

just got back from vacation and your blog was one of the first things i checked online. the story and video is just amazing.. really, no words right now- just amazing. can't wait to talk soon.

Anonymous said...

Yall that was awesome! I cried through the whole thing! He is so beautiful. Leah, bring him to the beach in may so we can all meet him!!! love yall.court

Anonymous said...

I just realized how much I miss you guys being a part of my life. I'm still crying SO HARD!!!! Time and distance breaks my heart. I can honestly say I don't know better parents than you both and it inspires me to look outside the box. Love to all 5 of you. I enjoyed the video and I want to buy the music.
Missy Crawford

hollagrigga said...

what a story, to be told far and wide!

Lauren said...

LOVE, LOVE that video. So precious. We've watched it numerous times. Also, love Neal's song...what a talent!

ellen v said...

You know what? Addis' little life and his adoption story is blessing MY life today. Thank you for sharing in such a beautiful way.

Mommy of Tyler and Chase said...

Congrats! I know God has incredible plans for your family. What a powerful story and he is so cute! I know your girls are just loving all over him!

Heather said...

Hi there,
I am so happy to come across your blog! We would LOVE to talk with you about your trip down to Sodo. We leave on Nov. 19th to meet our daughter and we want to make the same trip. Would you mind emailing us? henie@earthlink.net

Did Gladney take care of the travel arrangements? How long was the drive? Did you stay overnight? Did you have to take anti-malaria meds?

The video is BEAUTIFUL! Your son is beautiful!

Thanks, Heather
http://2b3soon.blogspot.com/