What a WHIRLWIND this past week and a half has been! Sometimes I just have to stop and breathe, and ask myself if it really happened at ALL!;)
We arrived in Addis on Friday night about 8:30..and after about an hour of lines, visas, etc..we were on our way to the West Sands Guest House/Transition Home. It was cool and rainy and MUDDY...EVERYWHERE... When we got there, the staff had prepared DINNER for us...really?! At 10:00pm? They were SO sweet and kind!
We were so tired and went straight to bed, and can I say I was so glad I brought ear plugs because our room was on the side where the road was, and it was NOISY!
The next morning we met another family who is adopting 16 month old TWINS(boy and a girl), had breakfast, and turned around to see them bringing our daughter in!!! I didn't even know if she was there yet!!!
She came to me pretty easily and I got to feed her and rock her until she fell asleep:). Oh.my.word!! She is beyond precious and sweet!! She was very coy and quiet...a little serious...but we got a few smiles out of her. She was NOT feeling well and had a horrible cough...I felt so sorry for her:(.
We got to keep her with us as much as we wanted, and we could even take her to our room if we chose..but we stayed in the living room area most of the time. We took her back to the nannies for her naps, so we could rest a little too, but then we got her and kept her till bedtime every day.
The other family left that first day, and after that we were alone....I wish we had had other families there...we were lonely;)!!! Ben slept pretty much wherever he landed...chair, couch, table, bed...;)...so he was no company!
Saturday night our director, Woudneh, took us to the Abyssinian(?)...it's a beautiful restaurant with Ethiopian dancing. We enjoyed it VERY much! We tried most of the local dishes, and I discovered I don't like berbere;). I'm a cayenne pepper kinda girl;)! I did like the injera and mild dora wat, as well as a few other things I can't even describe...because they just looked like mush to me, LOL!
Sunday we again stayed at the guest house and played with our daughter...I wanted so much to go out and play with the other kiddos too, but every time I had a moment they were inside doing other things or it was raining..we got to get some pics later though.:)
Monday was our day to go to Nazret to tour the orphanage(Yoseph), but by the time we got there(a good hour and a half drive, in the rain...and potholes...and fumes...and crazy drivers) I was SICK! We took our director to the West Sands school for a meeting and went on to tour around a new "resort"...Ben fed the baboons...I tried not to puke... When we left, I decided to not go to the orphanage and head back to the guest house:(...TOTALLY BUMMED!!!! I slept for a couple of hours and I was fine, then spent the rest of the night with the baby:).
Tuesday was our court date and we were there by 9:00am SHARP! There were already lots of families there from other agencies...most white people I had seen in ET up until that point;p! We waited for about an hour for our turn...even though there is a "list", sometimes the judge chooses out of order...and then she called us.
She asked a few questions, like do we know other families with Ethiopian children, are we learning about the culture, taken our adoption classes, how long were we in process, how many kids do we have/are they excited?...etc.... It was just a room with two long tables..very empty..NOT overwhelming at all, but my heart was pounding!! She then stated that ALL the paperwork was there, she was legally our daughter and nothing could change that!! HALLELUJAH!!!!:) It took all of 5 minutes and it was DONE..SHE'S OURS! AMAZING!!
We spent the rest of the day loving our new baby girl and dreading leaving her behind:(!
Later that night she had a HUGE blowout and my husband had to carry her airplane style back to the nanny, as she dripped all along the way, and he gagged with every step!! SO STINKIN' FUNNY!!! And that's how we said goodbye to our sweet baby!
We left early the next morning....eager to see our kiddos back home, but with heavy hearts as well.
Now we wait for the court decree, birth certificate, and US Embassy dates...we were warned that because she was abandoned, her case will most likely be sent to Nairobi by the USE.....they will try to contact the Sheriff who found her/signed the police report..ask him for info he doesn't always have, and just basically delay my daughter coming home. I TOTALLY understand investigating suspicious adoptions...but abandonment occurs SO FREQUENTLY, and mothers do NOT come forward later when the police try to search for them, because it's ILLEGAL to abandon your child and they will be thrown in jail!!!! It's pointless and it just wastes precious time that a child COULD be with their family... That said, we will wait...and pray she gets through Embassy without being sent to Nairobi!:)
Now, without further delay...intoducing NAOMI BETELHEM!!:) Isn't she beautiful?!?!?