The internet is slow today so I only had a chance to upload three pictures. I'll have to catch up on pictures once I get home!
It’s hard to say whether or not we’re on vacation here. The barking dogs, morning call to prayer from the local mosque, and minor jet lag have all precluded me from sleeping past 4 AM. But one can certainly accomplish a lot if the day starts before the sun comes up! We ate breakfast this morning on the porch of our guest house, watching the Ethiopians donning white head scarves head to the Orthodox church for Sunday worship. The color contrast of the white scarves against their dark skin was like the canvas of a painting. After eating, we walked to a different guest house where the other families from our agency are staying. There are two other couples from here with us making their court appearance. Both of them have Texas connections, and in fact one of them has some close connections with our good college friends, Beth & Lee Wilson. A very small world indeed! There is another couple here as well who is bringing home their two year-old son at the end of the week.
We were supposed to be heading to the care center together at 9:30 AM, which not surprisingly ended up being closer to 10 or 10:30. I’m glad I’m not in the habit of wearing a watch or really being punctual at all because I think it would have just caused excess stress on this trip.
The other families had not yet met their sons, so it was fun to watch these older children’s reactions to meeting their new parents. Kevin & I headed to the baby room to see Lao Da & Lao Er again. Unfortunately, Lao Er was sporting a hot pink, crushed velvet onsie, but that didn’t stop us from oozing over his pudgy cuteness all over again.
Lao Da had a lot more energy, most likely because we were there in the morning as opposed to the late afternoon like the first day. Again to no avail, we resumed the pointing-to-the-top-of-the-wardrobe game. I still have no clue what magical toy is up there that he wants.
There was a party going on in the courtyard in front of the house as the other families were showering their boys with the various toys and gifts they had brought from home. We carried Lao Da & Lao Er outside to enjoy the sunshine, blue skies, and rowdy kiddos. I told the boys several times to get their fill of the sun because they weren’t going to be seeing a lot of it once they come home with us.
Around noon, all the kids gathered upstairs for their lunch of injera (their staple carbohydrate) and a lentil-looking sauce. The adults were served popcorn and coffee. Lao Er was in the baby room sleeping, but Lao Da got his fair share of lunch. He seems to like to drink more than eat though. He can down cup after cup of water and doesn’t even need to use a sippy cup. So much for all those cups I had sent from the states! After he was done eating his four bites of lunch, Lao Da danced round a bit to the DVD of traditional Ethiopian music that was playing on the TV. That boy’s got rhythm!
We played with the boys another hour or so and didn’t end up getting back to our guest house until past 2 in the afternoon. We rested during the afternoon and then headed out for dinner with the other couples after the sun had set. Obviously, the highlight of the day was kissing & squeezing those boys but I’ll be honest and admit that when I stepped outside that night, I jumped up and down like a little girl and cried, “Stars! Stars! I see stars!” It’s been over two years since I’ve seen a starry sky. I counted constellations while we ate pizzas and listened to live music at a local bar.
Day 3 was another early morning but at least I made it to 5 AM instead of 4 AM. We had breakfast again on the porch of the guest house but instead of watching the church-goers, we watched the kids in their green uniforms flock to schools. After breakfast, we spent another leisurely hour at Kaldi’s Coffee because Kevin was served hot chocolate instead of a cappuccino during our guest house breakfast.
This was our third day with the boys at the care center. Lao Da seems to be warmer & warmer toward us. He was a bit grumpy this morning when we showed up, but I quickly found out the reason why when he fell asleep in my arms. I laid down and just listened to his baby breathing for about a half an hour. It was a dreamy experience, despite the large puddle of drool that he left on my chest.
I was thankful for Lao Da’s unexpected nap because it gave us some undivided time with Lao Er. We took him outside in the sunshine and changed him into one of the outfits we brought from home. I’m sad to say that the 6 month onsies we have for him are not going to contain his big ol’ belly when we pick him up this summer.
Lunch today was spaghetti. By that time, Lao Da had woken up and joined four of his little bib-wearing friends on the Spiderman rug in the baby room to eat. All he wanted to do was throw back more water. Looks like we’ll have some interesting meal times in our near future! He did let me feed him one bit of injera but then promptly spit it back out in my hand. Thank you, son.
Tomorrow is a big day, as we will go to court and find out if our MoWA letter has arrived or not. Following court, we will also visit the American embassy to have some documents notarized. We’re not sure if we will have time to make a trip to the care center again, so it was difficult to leave the boys today. Lao Da cried again, but I was able to put a stop to that when I gave him the cheerleader doll that he likes. Lao Er still doesn’t really know what’s going on, but I made Lao Da promise to take care of him while we’re gone.
We fly out Wednesday morning at 12:30 AM. Depending on whether or not the internet will cooperate, I’ll try to post an update of how the court hearing went. Thank you to everyone who is following us and praying for us!