Lauren Casper »

coming home to our boy

Our trip to Ethiopia was sandwiched by two very hard goodbyes… we ended our trip saying goodbye to our precious girl and we started our trip with a very difficult goodbye to our boy. The decision to leave him at home was hard, but after thinking over all the options (him coming with us, one of us staying home with him and the other go alone, or both of us going without him) it became clear that the best decision was to leave him in the very capable hands of some of our best friends who would stay at our house. I agonized over this decision and I think we were all a little worried that he wouldn’t do well. We’d never left him for even a single night… so this was very challenging for me.

last snuggles before goodbye…

The morning we had to leave for the airport Anna came over about an hour before we left to play with Mareto while we packed the car. I had a lump in my throat all morning. Then we couldn’t put it off any longer so I hugged and cuddled him in the car one more time and when he started fussing we handed him over and pulled out of the driveway. I couldn’t stop crying for a good 30 minutes. Anna texted me the moment Mareto stopped crying (which was about 2 minutes after we pulled out of the driveway) and she kept me updated through text until we had to shut our phone off after boarding the plane. We landed in Ethiopia Friday night and I had tons of emails waiting for me to let me know how Mareto was doing with pictures included. But Saturday afternoon the internet went down and we never got it back… it was awful not knowing how our guy was doing. (I may have had a mini break down on Monday.) Tuesday night we boarded our plane to come home and I couldn’t wait to hold my boy again!

We got home late enough on Wednesday that Mareto was already asleep. That was fine with me since I’d been up for almost 48 hours and I really wanted to just take a shower and go to bed. We caught up with Anna for about an hour – hearing all about the week and how great Mareto did – and then she went home and we went to BED. We were up by 8am the next day but Mareto was still asleep. By 8:30am we just couldn’t wait any longer so we went to wake him up. It was hilarious and adorable! He was so confused and just kind of half smiled and looked from Daddy to Mama and finally lifted his arms to get down out of his crib. Then he stood on the floor and just looked at my face with a weird look and hugged me a few times. I would love to know what was going on inside that head of his! He warmed up pretty quickly after that and we had lots of snuggles on the couch. It was pure heaven.

couldn’t stop smooching him!!

wrestling with Daddy quickly turned to kisses!

 Mareto did great while we were gone. A lot of people were praying for him and I truly believe that got him through without any issues. He did struggle for a few weeks after we came home. I could tell very quickly that he was worried we were going to leave again so we’ve been pretty careful about making him feel secure. But he’s coming out of it and getting back to himself for the most part. We’re so thankful for all of those who loved on our little guy while we were gone. We’re even more thankful to have him back in our arms!

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