Nov. 18th, 2014 Josh and I were in Ethiopia and the judge said, "Congratulations, you have a son!" We passed court and Grayson was officially a Burt!
Holding Grayson at the Orphanage
Some families do a "Gotcha Day" celebration where they celebrate the day they brought their adopted child home. For us, we decided to do this a little bit different. For one, Grayson actually came home a month later on December 21st. (The Ethiopian adoption process includes two trip; one to pass court with the Ethiopian government and another to get his visa from the US embassy).
Grayson's first birthday was December 23rd. Josh's birthday is on Christmas Eve, and then there was Christmas.
With all of that in mind, we didn't want to lose this special day in the midst of all the other celebrations. And He was technically ours in November, even though he was mine the minute I saw his face!!
We opted out of the "Gotcha Day" title as well. Adoption is beautiful, but also sad. We don't want Grayson to ever feel like he has to be happy about the fact he lost his first family. Putting the focus on solely him may make him feel that pressure, or make our other kids feel not as important. We wanted this day to be a day that we celebrate annually and the focus to be family unity and reflection on all the the Lord has done for us that year. And so we named it Burt Family Bash!
|We made Yemarina Yewotet Dabo (Ethiopian honey bread) for our Ethiopian dinner. Recipe here|
|Doro tibs , Mesir Wat, Tikel Gomen, Injera (from Meskerem in St. Louis)|
We had a big Ethiopian meal and I cooked all of it but the injera! The doro tibs (chicken) and tikel gomen (cabbage dish) were great! The mesir wat (red lentils) was not the best so I didn't link a recipe. If you have a recipe that you love please share it with me in the comments! The kids loved the honey bread best!
After dinner we headed to Bounce U for some fun! We are all at great ages for a bounce house so that's what we chose, but if you wanted to celebrate your family (adoptive or not) pick something you all would love! I can't wait until they are all old enough to go to the indoor rock climbing place or play dodge ball at Sky Zone! The possibilities are endless!
We ended the night with Dairy Queen Blizzards and an attempt to send up floating lanterns. Blizzards yes. Lanterns no. The wind was not our friend and we didn't want to catch anyone's house on fire so that was a bust.
|Photo taken before the paper caught on fire and Josh had to stomp it out in the street!|
We did get to pray and thank God for everything he's done for us this year. We prayed for each child individually and for Grayson's birth mother. We prayed for our marriage and asked God to help us follow Him in the year to come. It was a great way to end our celebration and remind all of us that our God is so good and faithful!
After the day was over my heart was so full. This is not something only for adoptive families. I would encourage anyone to pick a day (maybe in the summer when it's nicer out!) and celebrate. Focus on loving each other well, just as you are. Pray blessings over your kids. Tell each other how you feel and praise God for all your gifts.