Guest Blog: Update from Bill & Tracy in Ethiopia!

Sent by Bill Gottschalk at 5:24 Eastern, from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Wow! What a day! We awaken to a rooster crowing across the street.

After a peanut-buttered pancake breakfast at the guesthouse, a group of us headed to court for our interview with the judge assigned to adoption cases. Since we arrived late Saturday, we had not experienced traffic in Addis Ababa on a typical workday. The sights, smells and sounds were engrossing as we travelled along the road on our way to the courthouse. Children greeted our van offering great big smiles, eager to shine our shoes.

At this almost 8,000 foot altitude, we became winded easily as we climbed four flights of stairs to the waiting room outside the judge’s chambers. The room slowly filled with other hopeful parents, eagerly anticipating the call of their name by the clerk. After a two-hour wait that seemed like four, our group was beckoned into her chambers. The judge was so soft spoken that we had to lean forward and carefully listen to her questions. After several minutes the judge simply announced to us, “They are yours.”  It was immediate; we were now officially the parents of FOUR boys!

From court, we went directly to the orphanage to meet our son for the very first time. We entered the compound and proceeded to a small playroom. After about ten minutes, a group of about a dozen children was ushered in—our son leading the way—and obediently formed a line along the wall. One of the caregivers motioned to them, and they all rushed toward us at once to give us hugs and kisses. The new parents brought bubbles, balls and sunglasses to entertain the kids. They clearly loved having their pictures taken and being the center of attention, as they no doubt had become accustomed to visitors. Little did they know that that very morning they finally had been received forever into their respective families.

After a short while we moved out to the courtyard to play. We blew bubbles, kicked and threw balls, tickled, chased and laughed. Children delighted at being carted around up high on our shoulders. We watched our son interact with others, but he was clearly content playing on his own much like our other sons. We could already imagine him in our home blending in with our boys as they played with Legos on the floor with their extravagant creations. It was such a joy to play with all of the children today. How they will both be blessed and bless others!

All too soon our visit was over as the children prepared for their lunch routine. We too left for lunch, where we reflected on the day’s events. Later we attended a three-hour cultural training session where we learned more about Ethiopian food, customs and history. It has been a lot to process for one day (and the lengthy travel and time change has made the experience all the more surreal). We only have two more days to visit him and soak in more of the culture. We will be sad to leave our son here, but are confident he is in the care of a loving orphanage staff.

Between the replay of today’s events and the sounds of dogfighting in the streets, it will be a very long night with little rest, but this day will certainly remain one of our most cherished memories.


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13 thoughts on “Guest Blog: Update from Bill & Tracy in Ethiopia!

  1. I am sobbing with joy viewing the pictures you sent to the family. I cannot wait to see how you transform each other’s lives! We have such an AWESOME God!!!!!

  2. Amazing! Yes, its hard not to read your blog without becoming teary- eyed. God Bless you, and your growing family. Congrats Bill and Tracy. Keep us posted. Can’t wait to hear he’s home safe, and to see pic’s of your family!

  3. WOW!!! Seems like yesterday that you sat with our group of “sisters” in my living room and said aloud for the first time you were thinking of adopting. I have goosebumps, this is a MIRACLE. You are blessed and such a blessing to your new son and to us all!

  4. no words for this one…what joy! PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!!!! I was reading ur blog so fast I thought you ADOPTED four MORE boys!!! hahahaha 7 total!!!! hahahahah maybe next year.. prayers for everything good. Thanks for the great descriptions…i feel like i was almost there xox

  5. YEAH! I hope the return goes smoothly and my new nephew comes home soon! Any pics? We miss you!

  6. Bill and Tracy, Thank you Jesus!!!! God has given you grace and joy and a little boy a loving home!!! I can’t wait to meet him and welcome him to our extended family!!! I love you guys!!!! Blessings on the remainder of your stay….

  7. God is so good! As you describe your experience memories come flooding back as I think about the precious children we left behind in Kenya. Cherish every minute! We are so happy for you. You remain in our prayers. May God bless you abundantly above and beyond! God speed.

  8. I am so thrilled for you and your family. Can’t wait to hear that he is home. Blessings to you all!

  9. Wow, Wow and WOW!!! TEARS..that’s all I can say right now! Simply amazing and GLORY to God!
    Miss you guys!!! xoxo

  10. Praying that the time between this visit and his trip HOME is short. Blessings on your family of six! :-)

  11. Ohhhhhhh my word!!!!! Thank you soooo much for sharing your details of meeting your son with us!!!! God bless you all!!!! We are praying for another great day!!!