*Quick update on our situation- we talked to our agency today. The Ethiopian government and the US Embassy have both said that if the father relinquishes his rights, won’t take responsibility for her, or cannot be found after a good search, our girl will be eligible for adoption. The only way she would not be eligible is if he suddenly takes responsibility for her. We were warned that obtaining the documents for one of the above things could take quite some time, but overall we considered this good news for our adoption.*
Sunday, July 17th, we had a BBQ scheduled at our friend Lainey and Joe’s house. Our friend Kelly’s birthday was the day before, and we usually all get together to celebrate.
The BBQ was scheduled for 2:00. About 1:15, Lainey called and said she was running late and that 2:15 would be better. In typical Miller fashion, we pulled up around 2:20.
Mark pulled the cooler in the front door. Lainey and Kelly were on the couch.
I told Lainey that I loved her new planters. I noticed some streamers hanging in the kitchen. I figured they were for Kelly’s birthday. They happened to be the same colors as the Ethiopian flag. I commented that it looked like an Ethiopian party, and then I heard “SURPISE!”
I looked around and most of our closest friends were there. People from our small group. A pastor from church. Friends from college that we haven’t seen in awhile. People we’ve worked with post-college on Alumni Boards or Sprint groups. It seemed that everytime I looked somewhere, I saw someone from another walk of life.
We were SHOCKED.
I began to feel sad that Kelly’s celebration was being overtaken with our celebration, until I realized that it had been planned as our celebration all along.
I walked into the kitchen and viewed the sweet cake (kids’ names and our last name removed):
Things started to come together. I remembered the last week when I saw on facebook that Lainey had become friends with Helen, even though they had only met a few times before. I thought about how my work friend Anne had IM’d me recently asking how to spell the kids’ names.I remembered a random facebook message several weeks ago from Allison asking how my shower went (she thought it was June 17 instead of July 17- the message really confused me but she lied her way out of it like a champ). Not only was I shocked at this turn of events, I was equally shocked that my big-mouthed friends (who I see several times a week) had kept this a secret for two months! Two whole months!
Over the next hour or so we mingled over sandwiches, slaw, chips, and beer. Soon we all gathered around for gifts with a side of U.S. vs. Japanese soccer on in the background. We were overwhelmed with gifts and love. We got things we needed like bedding, books, backpacks, sleeping bags, Camelbak bottles, and games. We got lots of thoughtful gifts like a Build-A-Bear gift card, ABC flash cards, a world map, USA puzzles and games, a jewelry making set, dry erase books to help with writing, a fishing set, and so much more.
Throughout the afternoon we felt enamored with love. Our friends had thought of every detail- from the guest list to the decorations to the gifts. Everything was perfect. Thank you to all, especially to Lainey and Cassie, for giving us such a special day. We are incredibly lucky, and are very excited to (hopefully) introduce our kids to such an awesome group of people.
Oh, and Happy Birthday Kelly!
*Photography credits go to my college friend Seng. Not only does she take great pictures, but she is so crafty and blogs about lots of DIY projects. Check her out, and if you need a photographer for something give her a call!