Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Day 1

Day One
I hope to write more about our plane ride in another post, but I just wanted to say that it was long, arduous and very, very difficult. But we arrived safely in Addis last night, made it through the VISA line and customs without a problem!! The time zone difference is a bit of adjustment. We should have taken to help us sleep because we woke up at 2:00 am Addis time and had a difficult time going back to sleep.
Now, to what all of you are waiting for…………………………

Wow, there are no words to describe the actual moment we saw our daughter. I cried, David cried. And oh my goodness, she is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
And she’s such a good baby!!! She’s mellow, calm. Ok, now I know those of you that really know us are asking “how did they match up her with us??” Those exact thoughts have crossed are minds today too!!!
This morning, after going to the Gladney Foster Care home, (we got LOTS of pictures!!!))) we went to the Starbucks knockoff for breakfast and some Ethiopian coffee. The hair on the back of David’s neck is still standing up -- whew, it his caffeine high octain for sure!
Then we went to the dreaded Embassy appointment where they draw blood. Admittedly I gave David the dirty job of holding Pickles while they drew blood for her final blood test. It was horrible!!! 12 tries right arm before they went to the left arm!!! I wish I was kidding. Afterwards, Pickles fell asleep in my arms, whimpering for about a half hour in the car.
We just had lunch with Abby, Ryan, Belay, two caregivers from the Foster Care home, Ryan’s dad, Belay’s best friend, the only pediatric surgeon in Ethiopia, and a few other Gladney people from Texas. We ate at the Eastern Dragon Chinese restaurant -- the very best Chinese food I ever had. We chatted a lot with Ryan and Abby; found out they spent 2 years on Chinese teaching the English language, then 8 months in Russia. Very well traveled for such young people -- I was so impressed with their maturity and commitment to helping others.
Right now we are sitting in the Swiss CafĂ© drinking Maccaito, which is a coffee drink which is much better than the Starbucks knock-off from this morning. Our wonder driver, Enbes, is holding Pickles whileI’m typing and David is drinking his Maccaito (this is a site to see!!!). They have free WiFI here, but it is down today.
We’ve also driven around Addis, seen Sicilian pack donkeys carrying all sorts of stuff, but mainly concrete and dirt to the construction sites. We’ve also seen sheep herders, and goats for sale for slaughter (yes, we are definitely in a third-world country!!!)
The most difficult part of the day, besides the Embassy appointment, was we were approached outside the US Embassy while waiting for Belay. A young girl, not more than 14 or 15, telling Enbes in Amharic that our little girl was very lucky to being going to America. And this part really got to me: she asked Enbes if we could take her little baby home with us. Of course, he said no, but it really does make you look at things differently when a mother would voluntarily ask someone on the street to take her baby. This is definitely to be a life changing experiencing.
Day 1, Part 2
Later in the afternoon, we went to visit two of the government run orphanages. Of course, we forgot to bring the bags of candy with us, but we plan on going back Monday night. The children are absolutely wonderful! The older girls ages 10-14 were absolutely precious -- I could have taken a few of them home with me, but fortunately, most of the older girls we already referred to other families in the states.
For dinner, we ate take-out pizza. Ok, now don’t laugh, but we were pretty tired, jet lag setting in, plus the lack of sleep was starting to show.
Pickles was amazing throughout the entire day. She is an very easy baby, already a daddy’s girl. We learned a few things about her just in the first day:
(1) She loves to eat (like we couldn’t already tell??)
(2) She does not like to be wet!!!
(3) She’s a projectile vomited. We are officially her parents because she got both of us!
(4) She already loves her big brother, Squeeker!

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