Thursday, August 22, 2013

Packing Up and Preparing to Head HOME ~

Greetings from Addis Ababa ~
The last time I will write that for awhile!  Hard to believe that my month here is coming to a close - and yet GOD has done some most amazing things with my time here.  Anyone who knows me knows I plan (I mean HELLO it's what I do for a living!!) so I entered this month with a plan and you know HE laughed and threw it right out the window!!  And so I became okay with that because HIS plan was soooo much better.

I visited friends (who are way more like family)
I played with sweet little ones who are waiting on their moms and dads to arrive (SOON I pray)
I watched FOREVER FAMILIES be born
I witnessed heartbreak and loss as friends lost loved ones
I survived a midnight journey to Awassa - and anyone who has ridden those roads in the dead of night can understand
I produced an event that was 6 months in the making and it was PRETTY AWESOME
I spent time in the word - time like I had never spent before
I worked on a manuscript (that was suppose to be done LONG ago!)
I continued to run my business full time from half way around the world - that my friends is a whole blog post in itself
I tried foods I had vowed in years past would never pass my lips
I secured Tariku's injera plate and the boys traditional clothing that they put on a list for me to bring home
I watched and studied in awe the people of Addis - the joy, the contentment, the family values that exist in this country and vow to bring it home to my family
I stood at the edge of waterfalls and looked in AWE at ALL that HE has created
I laughed I laughed in ways I have not laughed in I cannot tell you how long
I loved
I missed my boys and my family - but knew they were safe and doing what they were suppose to be doing in this time -
I trusted HIM with every day and night

And now I return to the states - a different person - for this time a piece of me remains in Addis - I pray that I will continue to be as faithful to him at home as I have been here - that I will remember the lessons and that I will continue this journey - for a much bigger project was born on this trip - a project that will take HIS faithfulness and guidance to bring to life but I now know it's what I was called to do and so it will be done. (I will share more on this one as it moves forward)

So the duffles are packed and I am headed out to spend my last full day here in my second home.  To soak in the incense and coffee smells, to hear the honking horns a few more times!

Sweet sweet boy that I have LOVED watching grow up!  He was just born the 1st time I came to Addis and now he is 3

Boys are boys no matter where they live!  

Don't know Ordinary Hero?  Check them out - you will be sooo glad you did -

Ferengie (white person!) with a camera - means they want their pictures

Just another day another futbol game

No words for the sweetness of this boy

My friend in Awassa

Ciao for now from Addis ~


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

1st day of school

Greetings ~
Well this year the first day of school looked a little different at the Hammons house!  There is no cute pinterest worthy photo of the boys.  There were no tears shed as the boys headed to the bus to start 1st and 2nd grade.  Nope not this year ~ GOD had different plans for this mama and boy did he stretch me this year!  You see I am still working in Addis Ababa Ethiopia some 7,300 miles away from the 1st day of school.  And yet I wouldn't change a moment of it for anything - not for me or for the boys.  So alright the outfits they wore were surely chosen by them, and no I didn't pack their lunch (but I did take them to buy lunch boxes before I left!!!) Instead their dad and their papa had this moment with them and for that I am eternally grateful.  The boys ADORE their papa to the ends of the earth and had I not been away he would not have been there for their 1st day of school.  And thanks to modern technology I am blessed to follow their day via email, facebook and twitter.  Their most amazing nanny (who leaves for college this Friday) posts photos and videos of them after school.  Their teachers email me and I facetime with the boys ~ so no the 1st day of school was not a traditional one but it was also not one to soon be forgotten!  Hello 2013/2014 we are soooo excited to see you and cannot wait for all that is in store with Ms. Clark and Ms. Gatlin this year!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Dear Tariku James ~ Happy 3 year GOTCHA!!

Dear Tariku James ~
3 years ago today your life once ago changed forever – you entered your forever family when you were placed in my arms to be your forever mama.  As I look back over the last year here are the things I want you to remember about your 3rd year in America.

It was the year you turned 8 and stood 4’11
It was the second year you received a gold medal at school
It was the year of Marilyn – you had the most amazing nanny after school – who loves you like crazy and because of you she has now seen Ethiopia
It is the year you raised enough money to build a well for your sisters in Southern Ethiopia
It was the year of your 1st Disney Cruise (and we went with the ENTIRE family!!)
It was the year you met the Grinch
It was the year you successfully completed 1st grade and read 100 books in 45 days
It was the year you came into your own with your ASL not only at home but also in public
It was the 1st year you played travel soccer
It was the 1st year you played basketball
It was another year you were still OBSESSED with trans formers
It was the year your first best friend moved far away – and not a day goes by that we don’t still talk about Jack and look forward to his coming back
You still love the color yellow
You still eat tibs fir fir like there is no tomorrow (and wish this mama would learn to make injera)

My sweet boy I am blessed to call you my son and honored that God called me to be your mama.  Your heart for Teddy is huge and you make sure he is taken care of all the time.  You love your daddy and nana and papa like no other.  You are an amazing friend and huge help at home.  May you always know how incredibly special you are in the eyes of God and in my heart!

I love you to Ethiopia and back sweet boy