Hello! This is Amanda and I’m taking a moment to try to figure out how to update everyone from Travis’ blog. I have received some wonderful updates from him over the last two days. Some of his messages are listed below along with some pictures. Thank you for all of the prayers and support. Eli and Travis are doing great and enjoying their bonding time. I can hardly wait to meet the new addition to our family. God has been and is taking care of every step of this process. Hope you enjoy.
It has been a whirlwind, but it has been wonderful. Our son is precious!
I got in too late on Sunday evening to visit with him, but I got to see him asleep in his crib. I took some pictures of him, prayed over him, and held his hand. It was so surreal.
When I met the other families and told them which one was our son, the table of people erupted with laughter and smiles. They said that Botela was full of energy, smiles, and a deep hearty laugh. They also said that he held onto the crib rails and danced. The ladies said we were going to have to run the girls off from this cutie. Most of them thought that he entertained himself so well we wouldn’t have any problem on the plane ride. His favorite toy is this tiny block with a bell in it which he shakes constantly in very good rhythm. While they were describing Botela, I felt like they were speaking of Obadiah.
Monday morning was a little challenging. I eat breakfast with the families, then I finally get to meet Eli Botela. He was standing up in the crib just looking towards the door when I walked up. It was almost if he was waiting. He smiled at me, I reached down, he reached out, and I picked him up with no fussing. It was a sweet moment, but it was a moment, because we then had to be briefed on the Embassy visit. When we walked into the other building, Eli became very uneasy. I walked up to my room to get our bag, and he began to cry. One of the workers took him away from me to console him, and he started crying worse and then reached out for me. That was a good sign.
He was fine on me until we changed environments again. Once we got in the van, he became very scared. He eventually calmed down. I was doing everything I could think of!
When we got to the Embassy, we had to wait a long time. He is like other 2 year olds. He doesn’t like someone to take his toys. But the cries I have heard today are not vicious or out of control, it’s almost like whimpering. It is pitiful to listen to. But once he gets a moment out and regains composure, he’s fine. While we were outside, I tried to stand him up, he stepped towards me to cuddle a bit, then started to take some steps. I held him under the shoulders and he walked across the courtyard twice. Huge progress already! The people there were shocked – our God is so good!
He fell asleep in my arms while we were in line. While I could handle it, the nannies commented that Eli loves to eat. There has been a huge difference in his size over these last weeks. After waiting in line for hours with him in my arms, my back is worn out. All worth it though!
I think what was difficult about today was that I took him out of his environment right away and he had to stay in unfamiliar and boring settings. He was very sweet for me, but he probably was confused.
At lunch time, I got to watch how the nanny feeds them. 6 kids facing her on the floor and she just goes around. When I walked in (after his nap), he saw me and starting squealing with delight, bouncing up and down, and showing me his food. His appetite’s is an Agnew for sure.
Just got to go play with him again for a moment before nap time. He was excited to see me and starting doing this most precious dance in the crib.
Tomorrow I leave at 6am to go meet his uncle. It is an 8-hour car ride. I will meet the family, we will drive 4 more hours back our way, stay in the monkey-infested hotel, then drive the following 4 hours the next morning. After that, I just get to hang with Eli
He is absolutely precious. I haven’t been emotional really, I just feel connected, protective, and at peace. It’s unexpected. It just is right, so it hasn’t been that emotional. He is adorable though. We have 2 very expressive 2 year olds.