So I got some sleep and I’m ready to tell you more…here’s the continued update of our trip…be sure to read the last post, So Good To Be Home, first.
We went to the Christian World Adoption office, along with several other couples/families, on Monday to pick up our children and finish the last of our paperwork. We all sat excitedly waiting for them to bring our kids in… When they arrived, the kids were all so cute! The older kids went around the room saying hello and shaking everyone’s hands, then all the families found each other and there was a lot of hugging going on along with babies being “delivered”. It was a special moment. Teddy and Endrias walked in carrying their photo albums of us. They kept pointing to the pictures and then to us, saying Daddy, Mommy, Nate, Nick. You could tell they were looking for Kaleb, but one of the CWA staff spoke to them in Amheric to tell them that they would meet him soon. They went back to the guest home with us from there and have been with us since. They adjusted so well!! They have been so happy and loving. They had no problem climbing into bed that first night and drifting off to sleep after we tucked them in. The next morning they woke up happy again… and it was such a blessing to see their excitement when I pulled out the bag of clothes that we brought for them. I’ve never seen children so excited over clothing! They were laughing and literally jumping up and down when they realized the clothes were for them. They changed outfits so many times during the week just because they were excited about their new clothes. I kept thinking about all of the toys at home that they had yet to see, and what a huge change they are going through!! That afternoon was our appointment at the U.S. Embassy, which went smoothly, except for the ride home when Endrias got car sick. The caregivers at the foster home had warned us that he gets motion sickness. Luckily he was able to tell me by covering his mouth and pointing to his tummy. One of the ladies with us fotunately had a large ziploc and was quick to get it out, just in time. We later went to the pharmacy to pick up Dramamine which we gave him for the car and plane ride home. Unfortunately he wasn’t the only one to get sick during the rest of the week. I don’t know if it was a virus being passed around, or if our stomachs just had a hard time with the food, but several of the people staying at the guest home got sick over the next few days, including Adam and Nicholas. And the rest of us, though we didn’t get throw up sick, we still experienced some queezyness. Between that and the power outages and a couple days of no running water and toilets that weren’t flushing…. we were all feeling a bit homesick. Apparently, because we arrived at the end of their dry season, just before the rain, that is why we experienced the power outages, etc. They depend on the rain, which usually arrives around June and lasts a few months, because thier power is hydro-(water) generated. Which also explained why there are no traffic signals… they need power to run… and in a country where there is a drought and water is needed to generate electricity.. well…it makes sense. But in the midst of our minor discomforts we did have the blessing of getting to know some wonderful people as we spent the week just hanging out at the guest home and playing soccer, volleyball, and jump rope out in the yard with the kids, the other families, and the staff. Teddy, Endrias, and the other kids had so much fun discovering new things and it was so great to see Nate and Nick interact so well with them. You could see Nick’s excitement to finally be a big brother and he was helping them and showing them everything. The other families staying there were all so nice. We really enjoyed their company and hope to stay in touch with them. The staff was also wonderful! They were out there on the lawn playing soccer and other games with us and the kids. Two of the families headed home on Thursday evening after recieving their kids visas, and we spent Friday with one of the remaining families and our new friends Gecho and Aki (the driver and guide) who took us all out shopping for the day. That family received their kids visas and headed home that evening. So Friday night and Saturday were really quiet with only one other family there. Saturday was a relaxing day at the guest home as we packed and got ready to come home ourselves. We were picked up by CWA staff around 6pm and taken to the airport. That began our LONG trip home. Even longer than our trip there since we had to be at the airport 3 hours early, then the flight from Ethiopia to Washington D.C. took longer because of the weather. They had to fly a slightly longer path and our stop in Rome was longer as well. So when we arrived in D.C. and finished going through customs, we headed to our connecting flight only to find it had been delayed due to our flights late arrival, which meant we would not make our next connecting flight in Denver. So we had the choice of going to Denver and hoping to make a later flight from there to Sacramento, but probably not until the next day… or staying in D.C. for an additional 8 hours and flying non-stop from there to Sacramento. We chose the non-stop, which meant that we spent 10 hours in the Dulles airport. It was a long wait and since we didn’t have car seats for the younger two, we couldn’t go anywhere. (Not an issue in Ethiopia since they have no car-seat or seatbelt laws. In fact they usually sat on our laps when we drove around there.) We later found out that there were several tornadoes in Denver at that time and we had a lot of family concerned and praying for us. God was watching out for us and kept us out of tornadoe land. We ended up arriving home just after midnight on Sunday night/Monday morning. So we left Ethiopia Saturday around 8am California time and 40 hours later walked into the comfort of home sweet home. We are so glad to be here! And thankful that all of the kids were so good on the long travel home. Teddy and Endy were really excited about going in the “awroplan”. We could see the plane through the window as we waited to get on in Ethiopia and they had the biggest smiles as they spoke to each other in their Wolita language and laughed and pointed at the plane. They slept for a good portion of the trip, which probably made it seem a little quicker for them… I wish I could say the same for Adam and I. But Adam, Nate, and Nick all napped in the Dulles Airport, and Adam is napping agian now. I’m next!! It’s early to bed for me. So that is our trip in a nutshell. We are feeling truly blessed by the Lord!! and praying for the wisdom and patience to raise and train these precious children God has blessed us with. We know there is still a huge transition ahead of us as we attempt to get back into the groove of daily life. We would truly appreciate continued prayer as we work through the little adjustments of family life.