Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Home at Last!

Our first family photo after returning home...and we look pretty good for being on an airplane for the previous 24 hours!!! What a joy to return to Knoxville to the hugs and cheers of friends and family at the airport! Papy (7 yr old...pronounced 'pop-ee'...to be called Nate) ran into the arms of his big brother and squeezed him so hard Matt thought he was going to pop! Kiya (4yr old...pronounced 'key-yah'...to be called Isaiah) also gave his big bro a big hug...and at last our family was together again. Of course, as many of you know, we did not get to bring our baby girl, Kalu (8 months...pronounced Kah-lu...to be called McKinley) home on this trip due to additional US Immigration paperwork that won't be completed until early September. While it was very hard to leave her in Ethiopia...we know God is in control and knows what is best for us all. It is a blessing to have these 8 weeks to get the boys' settled and secure before the demands of an infant...so we are looking at the bright side! Also, she is in great care at our agency's transition home...spoiled actually, as the director told me, "we usually feed on a 3-hour schedule, but with Kalu...we just feed her anytime she cries!" Oh, my! That will be fun when she gets home! :) I am thankful, though, as she is growing and very strong as you can see on the video I will post soon.
It is impossible to put into words our experience in Ethiopia...though I will try bit by bit as time goes on to share parts of our journey there. Suffice it to say that our hearts continue to fall in love with this country and its people who are beautiful, strong, resilient, loving and kind. They are poor physically but rich in culture and in love for one another.
For now, I simply want to share some pictures of our time with the boys and Kalu there...Enjoy!

Day One: Waiting to meet Papy, Kiya and Kalu for the first time!!!!!!

Day One: "Well, hey there!" Our first embrace! :)

Day One: Papy-Nate hugs his new sister!

Day One: Kiya looks happy about his new family!

Together at last!!! (but missing Matthew big-time!!!)

Day One: Madison and Papy-Nate!

Day One: Daddy and Sweet Kalu!

Day One: Mommy and Papy-Nate read a book. (Madi has Kalu!)

Day One: Daddy and Papy-Nate play soccer. (Papy won!)

Day Two: We are here to take you home forever! Papy, Mom, Madi and Kiya

Kiya is great at blowing bubbles!

Papy-Nate and Kiya-Isaiah love to show off the pics of their families!!!

Madison entertained the TH kids with her animal balloon making...who cares that she can only make a poodle? :) She was AMAZING!

Mommy and Kiya by the Transition Home school room.

Baby Kalu...Precious!

Anyone have a spoon handy? :)

I love my big sis! Can't wait to have this bundle HOME!!!!

There's more folks...we took over 350 photos...but I'm tired and naptime is over! Thank you for your prayers...keep 'em coming as the transition is going well but there are bumps along the way! We know God's grace IS sufficient and He will certainly finish what He has begun! All for His renown!!! We love you!


Julie said...

Your pics are fantastic. It was so great to see you guys at the airport- I loved meeting your sweet boys. Can't wait till little Kalu gets to come home, too. Prayers for a smooth transition with your boys. Can't wait for more stories and pics from Ethiopia

Eastiopians said...


I don't know if we have formally met, but I am in the East Tn Ethiopia adoption group, and we came to welcome you guys at the airport. It was so wonderful to be there to celebrate with you all and to see your beautiful boys. I hope our airport welcoming is soon...we are #2 on the waiting list with AGCI. I love your pictures and we will keep you guys and your sweet baby girl in Ethiopia in our prayers!


Anonymous said...

Greetings Hamiltons;

Team Tapper here. So great to hear you made it back safely and are adjusting well. It was a great privilege of ours to travel with you last week. You were (and are) a great inspiration to us. We'll be praying for you as you anticipate a September trip to reunite with Kalu. We'd appreciate the same as we hope for a similar fate to pick up Abu!

Mike Tapper

KM said...

How sweet! Too amazing for my words! Praying for your entire family!

Ethioguatemama said...

Love the pictures...looks like the boys are settling in and LOVING their new family. You guys look like you've always been together. Praying that adorable baby girl will be home soon.


Melanie said...

Hi Mike and Beth---what an amazing blessing to see our prayers answered--God is so faithful and loving! The children are beautiful and we can not wait to meet them. Their joyful faces say it all! We are thrilled for you guys and pray that kalu will be home with you soon. love you lots, Melanie and Tyler

Tracy said...

Your kiddos are precious. Just read about the feeding every 3 hour thing. We just brought home a 4 month old and he is like clockwork. At night sometimes he eats every 2 though. He is only taking about 4 oz max. at a time too. When we picked him up he did 1-2 oz. unlike what we were told. 6oz every 7 hours.