Saturday, January 22, 2011
We're in Ethopia!!
Unfortunately, our phones still don’t work, and we are unable to contact AT&T. The good news is that the internet works great at the guest house.
We had a good time in Dubai. We are really glad that we got to do the city tour. It was raining in Dubai, and I guess it only rains there twice a year. We had to pay $8 for internet which only last 30 minutes. Hope you liked the pictures Jim posted yesterday and today. The buildings in Dubai are amazing! The houses/mansions/palaces are just shocking. It was also shocking to see that it was a real looking desert. It was neat to fly over it and see what a “real” desert looks like rather than Phoenix.
The hotel was a different story. It was pretty run down and we had two small twin beds in our room. It was almost impossible for me to try and get a hair dryer. The staff wasn’t that nice. We had vouchers for their restaurant, and while we did try the food, we definitely went to bed pretty hungry. We were tired so it didn’t matter much. There were no issues on our flight to Addis. It was 4 hours long. We easily made it through customs and immigration, and our driver from the guest house was waiting for us.
It was a nice drive to the guest house. The driver was so excited we were there. He said that he became a Christian when a missionary (from Indiana) lived here. He gets so excited to see people come to adopt because he knows that in some way God has been whispering to us and we are listening to his whispers. He was really, really excited. He said that on judgment day, it doesn’t matter how many bibles we have or how many times we attended church — but adopting our little girl is going to matter.
We had about a 15 minute drive to the guest house. The landscape of Ethiopia is really beautiful. It is in the mountains and it is normally in the 70s year round. You will see nicer buildings next to metal shacks. Driving is interesting. Lanes? What lanes? Speed? Who cares. Oh yeah, and watch out for the sheep, goats, cattle, horses, and people on the streets too. Yep, you can be driving fast as cattle are running on the road as well. Honking seems to be used as often as the brakes, gas, etc. Adam and I both saw people pulling a sheep along the road with one of its front paws. The person would pull the leg out straight and use it like a leash. The sheep looked like it was in pain. We also saw two men carrying a sheep down the road upside down. From our room, we hear dogs barking, rooster crowing, and a cat meowing. Being in Dubai was just simply a different country. Ethiopia is much more different.
At the guest house, we are in one tiny room. It fits one bed. There is no desk or chair or dresser. Just a bed and a closet. We have a private bathroom that is down the hall. The staff here is very nice although the language barrier can be a little difficult at times. We had spaghetti for lunch. We missed dinner and so we are eating crackers right now for dinner. We can’t go out by ourselves and we are the only ones here right now. 8 more families arrive tonight, and I think that will make it a little easier.
Adam had a first today — while we were waiting on the driver to take us to HOH (Allie’s home), we sat down by the small TV. The cook was watching TV and it was Ethiopian Idol. Adam has never seen American Idol, but he can now say that he watched Ethiopian Idol.
Well that’s all for today — oh wait, you mean you want to find out about our daughter??? Oh well,okay. :-)
We arrive at the HOH and were told to go upstairs in the waiting room. Keep in mind that we are the first family to arrive so we are completely on our own. One of the nannies brings in Allie. We were expecting her to cry — everyone was. She didn’t. She stared us down. She went right to me and then she kept looking at Adam and his camera. She reached out and to grab the camera. Then she grabbed Adam’s hand and held on tight. It was so special as I was holding her and she was holding Adam’s hand. It is common for an infant to only want to bond to one parent. Allie is not that way. She loves to be held by both of us, and she is fascinated with Adam.
She smiles a lot. She talks a lot. She sings too. We were with her for over 3 hours and she never cried. The nanny handed her to us and left. We didn’t see anyone else for hours. The director’s wife came in to give us water and bottled coke. There was a big language barrier and she was telling us that we cannot come on Sundays because they are closed. We were disappointed. After about 2 1/2 hours of us being there, Allie was singing and talking a lot. Her and I were face to face and I was mimicking her singing. Then she threw up all over me. A ton. She wouldn’t stop. All over my shirt, arms, and all down my pants. All on the couch and the floor. Everywhere. With the language barrier, it was so hard to get help. The nannies wouldn’t come help us. Adam found a towel for me to try and wipe the chunks off. I went to talk to a nanny, but the nanny just changed Allie and walked away. We had no idea what to do. I couldn’t sit or hold Allie. I stunk. I was so wet. About 20 minutes later, the director pulled into the HOH. He came upstairs and he speaks great English. He was immediately concerned about Allie and went to the nurse to see if she is on medication. He learned that she is completely healthy and this is the first time she has thrown up. (She does have a wet cough though.) She was happy before she threw up and happy after, so we hope that maybe she was overstimulated or something. He said she is not used to being held this much and is normally in a crib. When Adam asked what the schedule was, he assured us that we can come any day (even tomorrow) and stay for however long we would like. We can get there at 9 in the morning. He also said that our court time is at 10:30 on Tuesday.
Both the director and his wife were shocked that Allie never cried with us, but then they also said that she is an extremely happy baby. She just smiles all of the time. She is teething and so everything went into her mouth. I am glad we had brought some teething toys for her. Her favorite toy was the camera though.
Allie is perfect. She is still a little small. She wore a 0-3 month outfit (she is 7 1/2 months) that was definitely too short on her, but fit her around the body fine. It seems as though she fits better in 6 month clothing. I am guessing that she will be wearing 6-9 month clothing for a while when we bring her home.
It was so surreal and it was such a quick drop off. I am glad that it was just us there today because we really got to bond with her. Adam got great pictures and video and it is killing me not to be able to show it to you. It was a great day though.
We love you!