We wanted Joni, my mother in law, to see a little of the culture and the city before we had kids, so we went again to the post office market where we were in November. Joni was able to do a little shopping, and I picked up a few things that I liked. After some glorious coffee, we went to the orphanage.
We were prepared for anything. Jayce and Anya were just up from a nap. My prayer was answered that Jayce recognized us. He didn't scream when I picked him up. Later, after a bit of fussing I put him down, and he stood and looked at me. When I held out my hands he came over and I was able to pick him up again.
They are both so much bigger, of course. SO changed, yet so much the same. Anya is walking now. Jayce carries himself even more like a little man.
I have to \\
<insert break in which kiddos go to bed>>
Ok, so when I first saw the kids when we first arrived, I was not prepared for the sudden rush of emotions I felt. Holding my little man and smiling and bawling my eyeballs out at the same time. It was just so happy! And all the caregivers looking at me. ha ha
They did a coffee ceremony for us. Joni was not sure that she liked coffee just for kicks, but after tasting this, she is in love. She also found her favorite new foods: shiro, firfir, and injera. I'm super glad she likes it. She's doing really well with keeping up and taking care of herself and managing her pain. She needs to sit or lay on occasion, but I think it's gonna be ok. She survived the plane ride with super human strength, and everyone is taking good care of her here.
So after about 45 minutes of hanging out at the orphanage, it was time to get the kids changed into the clothes we brought for them. Neither kiddo is fond of being changed. :/ Hmm. We'll need to work on that. Both prefer snuggling to clothes-changing. go figure.
Having little fruit snacks and cookies was a GREAT bribe for both of them. ha ha, I accidentally scared Anya and got her crying. She responded well to cookies and we're friends again.
When our time there was winding down, it became very emotional for everyone. Very. It was evident to us how much our children were loved. Each of the nannies showed grief over loosing these kiddos, and at one point, we were ALL sobbing together. It may sound silly, but seeing the realization hit that they would never see these kids again was painful. They were giving and getting kisses from each kiddo, knowing that they had to entrust them to us, but also seeing months and months of their investment, love, and compassion walk through the gates into the unknown. I am forever grateful for those men and women who care that deeply for my kids. The orphanage is poor. Ethiopia as a nation is poor, but these blessed people gave my kids the gift of love, which is the best gift they could have given. My children have been loved.
It is as if Jayce knew what was coming. He cried, but they were cries of grief, not fear or tantrum. Anya promptly fell asleep curled up on me in the van. Jayce settled into Philip and was all Mr. Observant as we drive through the city. He was fascinated (and thankfully distracted) by the sights and sounds passing by.
At the guest house, we went straight to our room and let the kids explore and chill a little. Anya liked her goat's milk (praise Jesus) and Jayce decided he liked the little food pouches. ::score one for the parents!::
Oh, Jayce is about a size 7 shoe, and Anya is in a 5. Just a note for my future self.
The most precious moment of the evening was watching Jayce and Anya interact: Jayce sharing his toy with Anya, both hanging out together, making baby noises at each other, and being comfortable with each other. Yup, VERY thankful we have them both.
Ok, since I can't think well enough to type, and since a picture is worth a thousand words.....
|Waiting impatiently for our driver to|
take us to the market and orphanage
|mom-in-law and daughter-in-law|
|Some of the caregivers with the donations|
we were able to bring. Even the suitcases were
donated, so we could leave them there and make
transportation easier. :)
|Three generations... sorta. :)|
|Baby girl and her bottle|
|A father-daughter moment|
|Selfies with Mommy|
|Much to think about|
|Daddy trying to show Anya what to do with a teether.|
It didn't work.
|Mommy-son book time|
|Putting baby girl to sleep|
|The two most blessed parents in the world|