Has it really been more then a month since I updated the blog?? Wow! Sorry about that! I will say the last few weeks have been a whirlwind and honestly, most of it just a big blur. So many changes and so much to say! As I sit here and type this, my new sweet baby girl is fast asleep in her bed and I'm bouncing a balloon with Liyone between every third letter. Sorry if some of this sounds like gibberish, but I haven't fully figured out how to juggle four kids yet :)
So much has happened...I'll try to use the next few blog posts to catch everybody up :)
We booked our tickets to go pick up Kidist because she was the only one cleared by the U.S. Embassy. It would be me, my best friend and my daughter travelling this time. The day we boarded a plane, we received word that Liyone cleared too and they would let us interview for both children at the same time. What a relief! I was prepared to stay there as long as it took to bring him home, but was overjoyed things were resolved before I arrived. I LOVE Ethiopia. I love being there with my children and experiencing their culture. I was even happier to have all four of my kids together, riding home in the same car from the airport. Pure bliss.
On our way to Addis, we had short layover in Dubai. If any other travelling parents get a chance, take the metro to the Burj Khalifa. It was incredible!!! The metro was modern and spotless and we felt very safe, even late at night. The Burj Khalifa is the tallest tower in the world and you can buy tickets and enter via the mall. The elevator takes less then one minute to get to the 124th floor. Yea, I typed that right. Now, I live in Texas and it's super hot here. Even though it's the same temperature in Dubai, there is a BIG difference. I've never felt so hot - internally. Even at 11:00 at night, it feels like your lungs are burning. My eyelids hurt. It was fun to experience for just a few hours, and I highly recommend Dubai. It was a very beautiful city.
After our plane did a weird circle in the air, we finally arrived to Ethiopia Saturday morning. This wasn't a - fly around the airport waiting to land circle - just a tight circle in mid-air. Makes you wonder if the pilot had a bet with somebody :) At the airport, our driver finally arrived and we booked into the Addis View hotel. It does have a great view of the city from the restaurant on the sixth floor. They didn't have the right room when we arrived, so we spent the first few nights with five of us in a room with one bed and a cot blocking our hall. Oh, and within the first few minutes, my best friend got locked in the bathroom for a while. Even the lady that worked there had a hard time getting the door open. Good Times!
The hotel took us right over to the care center where we were able to see the kids again!! The day had finally arrived and I couldn't wait to wrap my arms around them. They were finally and officially OURS!! You have so many emotions going around in your head - all ruled by exhaustion. But all you can think about is how this day is going to change the rest of your life. I would REALLY be a mother to four kids. So scared and excited, all at the same time.
We pulled into the care center and I was looking all over for Liyone. They had moved the boys' room since we were there last. They nanny led him out and he went to wash his hands. He was so shy again. He looked like he remembered me and understood what was happening. He gave me a hug and then wouldn't look at anybody for a long time. When we asked if he wanted to get in the car (in Amharic), he willingly climbed in. He sat quietly in the van playing with the toys we brought him. Every once in a while, you could see him sneak a peek at us or smile when he saw something interesting outside the window. He didn't say a word. When we arrived back to the hotel, we showed him the rest of the new toys. He was so excited to have toys of his own. Rocket balloons were his favorite and we eventually had a huge pile of them in our hotel room. After a while, we gave him a bath (maybe his first?) and put on his new pajamas. Even though it was bedtime, he wanted to play with his new light-up shoes and wear his rain jacket. The two of us stayed up late that night and had some great one-on-one time playing together. Incredible!!
(one of the many pictures of his shoes taken by Liyone)
Kidist just glowed when we picked her up. She craves attention so much and just giggles and grins when anybody talks to her. We found out she was very congested and they were giving her shots and medication. Even so, she was a happy baby. We were able to just hold her in the van - no car seats in Ethiopia. That is so strange :) This was probably one of a few times she has ever been outside of the walls of one of her orphanages. She was so curious and just wanted to be held and play with anything she could get her hands on. We found out very shortly how important her bottle is to her! We heard she was fed every two hours and I'm really starting to believe it. She likes to hold her bottle - even if it's empty. And she is a hawk at spotting it across the room!! The first night with her was wonderful. I love snuggling with this little bug!
I'll try to keep posting until I catch up!