Saturday, November 9, 2013

First Moments

On the plane, Ethiopian airlines :)
There are not enough words.  Not enough time to type, and not enough space on the page.  In a nutshell: we made it safely to Ethiopia, the flight was looooooong, our guest house is perfectly simple and adequate, our hosts are sweet, we met our son at the orphanage, and hopefully we’ll meet our daughter in the next few days. 

View of the street from our guest house
Before we left for the orphanage, Philip and I spent some time in prayer.  Neither of us could focus, we were so jittery and nervous.  Blessings in abundance to our driver who came earlier than expected, so we could get to the orphanage quicker!  We specifically prayed that our kids wouldn’t look at us and start screaming.  Well, as it turns out, we were indeed the first white people our son had ever seen, and he took one look at us and started screaming!  It was pretty awesome, actually.  That boy has a healthy set of lungs!  He has a dimple in his chin like his daddy, and beautiful curly hair.  When he’s not screaming, his look of curiosity is enough to melt your heart.  The staff at the orphanage were great and were persistent at slowly adjusting him to being in the same vicinity.  He is indeed about 13 months, even though he looks older in one of the pictures we have of him.  He was a brave little fellow and let us pat his hand and leg, and later feed him pieces of popcorn while he sat on one of his caregiver’s lap.  With a little coaxing, he fed Philip and me popcorn- it was priceless and precious.  One of those remember-for-a-lifetime moments.  (Feeding someone by hand is a demonstration of love here.)  But overall, he was not thrilled at our presence, decidedly terrified in fact.  Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

We were given a wonderful coffee ceremony- our very first!  I can see why it is famous.  Thick, rich, flavorful, and so delicious! 

Daughter.  Well, nothing has gone wrong, necessarily, but…  Evidently her birth mom traveled to Addis last week to give testimony, which was according to plan.  However, because she doesn’t speak Amharic but rather a tribal language, there has been a delay to find an interpreter.  So, from what we understand, our daughter will be transferred here at the central orphanage in the next few days after the judge has been presented with the interpretation.  Or something like that. 
Ethiopian ingenuity: don't have a goat leash?  No worries! 
Dinner here at the guest house in a few minutes, so I’m wrapping up for the moment.  The plane ride home in a few months will be heck.  Philip declared that “heck” is too Christian of a word.  Pure Hell is more like it.  Oh, goodness, my poor little boy!  It’s so dramatic it’s almost comical.  At least he does not have a problem expressing emotion.  Much emotion.  The caregivers said he’d been transferred to this orphanage a few months ago, and it seemed like he had grown very attached to them in that amount of time, turning to them for comfort, being content to sit on their laps and have them cover him with affection. 

Dinner.  Ok, leaving now. 

Saturday: Up early and had breakfast, and then our driver, Tisfu, picked us up.  We thought we’d have internet by walking to the other guest house run by our hosts.  But, just as we got settled, the power went out again.  Our hostess, Yeshi, is quite upset, though there is nothing she can do about it. 
REALLY hoping that the cookies break the ice :)
We were at the orphanage around 10, and Jayce was up and waiting for us.  He did a little screaming at first, but again, the caregivers were dedicated to getting him warmed up to us.  He wasn’t as terrified this time- I think he just had bad memories of yesterday.  He eventually let Philip hold him on the couch, which was a HUGE milestone.  We were thrilled!  He continued to let us feed him (we brought him wafer cookies which was a great bribe!) and he fed us also.  The caregiver repeated Momma and Daddy over and over, and soon Jayce would feed me when the caregiver said Momma, and Philip when she said Daddy.  He continued to stuff my mouth with 3 cookies at once. 

He decided he did not like my hand on his teddy bear, and he promptly removed it.  I kissed his hand, and he looked at me with a “really?!” look and wiped off my kiss.  Priceless moments.  He’s making great eye contact, and is very snuggly with his caregivers—it’s obvious he likes them and is content just to sit on their laps and snuggle, and stare at us.

I brought out my phone and played some music, which interested him more than the scary white parents, at least for a little while.  My favorite picture I have is of his black little hand on Philip’s white one.  I can’t wait to share it with you when we get Internet again.

The battery is running low on the computer and we don’t’ have power to charge it, so I need to go.
Oh, Anya will be coming in from Gambella tomorrow, and we’ll get a chance to meet her either tomorrow afternoon or early Monday before our court date.  Poor baby girl, she’s going to have so many transitions and such a shock.  I don’t expect her to like us any more than Jayce did.  The caregivers said it took Jayce a week before he warmed up to them, after he was transferred from Gambella. 

Will write more later.

Keep prayin’!  Thanks!


  1. Oh my dear friend, my heart is so full for you four! Will keep in prayer that the kids get adjusted to you white people quickly and without too much trauma for your mommy heart. LOVE hearing the stories and memories you are making!

  2. This is the best thing I've read in a long while :) I am so thankful for the chance you have to keep building the trust and love in that relationship! (do you know if you will get to introduce your kids to each other? ) love you both!

  3. I'm so glad things are going smoothly. I'm glad you children will be in a safe place while you have to return for a little while here. It looks like a very nice orphanage.