Friday, February 18, 2011


Well, if you haven't heard it by now I will shout it from the rooftops... WE ARE HOME!!!!! Miss Olivia Bereket Michelle Cottongim has arrived home at 9 months and 8 days old. She is a whopping 17 lbs. 14 oz. and 27 inches long. The delivery was a 17 hour plane ride from Addis Ababa to Rome and then to DC... followed by 1 1/2 hours from DC to Indy. It was a long labor, but the results are so perfect. She is one amazing little girl. I cannot describe how much I love her and how wonderful it is to have her home. It is quite surreal actually. Many times I feel like I'm just babysitting this beautiful baby, but deep in my heart I know that she is mine and no one can take her away. The trip to get her home was absolutely wonderful and it was full of lots of STUFF!!! I have been home one week today and I am still trying to process everything that happened. I believe God is working something deep in my heart. A lot happened... good and bad, but God's hand was in it all... just like it has been throughout this entire journey. We met some amazing people along the way and watched lasting friendships begin anew. I will never forget the 8 days we spent in Ethiopia this time around; I am forever changed (again). A part of my heart remains there... with the culture, the countryside, but especially the people... people I will never forget. Burtikan - a woman wise beyond her years, whom I love with a passion. Abel - a young man with a heart of gold who loves his country. Firew - another young man working hard to please God and desires to do his job well. Blen - a social worker who loves the children she overseas and who cried as we pulled away. Olivia's nanny - like a mother to my baby, I will forever be grateful for the love she showed my daughter. Z - my baby's birthmother; a woman who gave me a gift I will cherish forever. All of these people have a special place nestled within the depths of my heart. I cannot describe my feelings for each of them. Words cannot do them justice. I will chronicle my days during this trip, but I could not begin this portion without addressing these very special people who made my trip so memorable and who have changed my life. Thank you.

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