Monday, February 28, 2011
Day 3 - Getting Alemitu
We slept okay last night. We woke up about every hour and a little before 5 this morning, I realized that I was just too excited to sleep anymore so I went ahead and got out of bed. The power was out (and remained out for half of the day), and I became worried because we weren’t getting any hot water. I haven’t taken a shower since Saturday morning. My hair managed to keep the faux hawk style the past few days without a shower, but I felt dirty and gross and I NEEDED a shower.
A couple hours later, I told Adam that I was just going to turn on the shower but stand outside it. I would put my head under the water (which is barely flowing) to wash my hair, and then stick one limb in at a time. He wished me luck but he was not about to attempt this freezing cold, crazy idea himself. The water barely comes out, but after a few minutes it started to warm up. I realized that there was still warm water in the tank but because the water was barely flowing, it was taking a long time to reach the shower. So I cracked open the bathroom door and yelled for Adam to hurry and get in the bathroom. I said, “Okay, here’s the deal. We are getting warm water and I don’t know how long it will last. So take off your clothes and let’s alternate getting in this shower.” The shower is super tiny and the shower head is equal to Adam’s chest, so he can’t fit in the shower anyway since he has to bend down so far. But it was worth trying just to get clean. So I wash my hair real fast as he is passing shampoo and conditioner into my hands. Then I jump out and he gets in and washes his hair and then jumps out. Then I jump back in and wash my body. We were laughing pretty hard at how absurd this situation was, but in the end, we were clean!
A little after 9 a.m. our driver arrived to take us to HOH to pick up our kids. I had so many feelings during that drive (okay, well, since I couldn’t sleep). Would Allie recognize us? Would she be happy to go home with us? Would she transition to the food and formula that we brought?
When our van pulled into the HOH, all of the children (older than 2) were outside chanting “Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!” They were lined up on the sidewalk greeting us. When we got out of the van, they came running over. Two children immediately held Adam’s hands. The kids were saying “Daddy! Daddy!” to Brian and reaching up for him. Seeing these kids immediately erased any nervousness I had.
We walk upstairs and what feels like 2 hours, was just a matter of minutes, as they prepared Alemitu for us. They always try to dress up the children when we arrive. We waited and waited and waited – and finally she came out of her room. She was in the cutest little yellow dress and her hair had been styled in tiny pony tails. She looks like she has had a growth spurt. I got so excited!
The nanny handed her to Adam first and she stared at both of us like she didn’t really know what to think about us. And then after about a minute, she started smiling and chatting away. Alemitu loves to talk! And play games. And blow bubbles. And make herself laugh. She is a super happy baby!
We hung out at the HOH for a while and then headed back to our guest house. I was so thankful that I brought a baby sling/carrier thing. That car ride back was so fast and it was nice to have her attached to me.
When we got back to the guest house, we played a little on the floor. She LOVES the mirror. She kept laughing at herself and then she would kiss it. (drool on it) We fed her baby food (apples) and water for lunch and she ate well and didn’t have a problem.
After we fed her, we went downstairs to have our lunch. I had requested a salad that I LOVED last time. At lunch, they told me that they didn’t have the salad dressing but will have it by tomorrow – so today, they just put mustard on it instead. Mustard? On a salad? Yep. I tried it just to be nice and I have to admit, mustard salad is pretty good. Hollie about died when she tried it telling us that her tongue got stuck to the roof of her mouth it was so tart. Brian just said he liked it too – he called it a “party in your mouth”.
We came upstairs to get Allie ready for her nap. We are trying to stick to the schedule that she is already on. We were told that Ethiopian children do not take to pacifiers, and we shouldn’t bother bringing them. I did bring a couple because I was hoping to transition her to a pacifier rather than have her suck on her fingers. As cute as I think that is, I know I can take a pacifier away when she turns one but I can’t exactly take her fingers away. She LOVED the pacifier. When she fell asleep, it was still in her mouth so Adam took it out. Immediately her fingers went in its place.
One really neat thing that happened today was that a friend Adam made last time, Tekabe, came by our guest house today. It was his day off but he told Adam that he wanted to shoot video of us getting Allie. He went with us to the HOH and took some photos and video, and Adam and Tekabe are going to go around the town and take some video on Wednesday. Tekabe is really interested in video and he has his own camera. It was sweet that he came to visit on his day off.
Allie took a great nap this afternoon and even switched to Infamil formula without an issue. We had pizza for dinner, and our Phoenix friends Paige and Jason came to join us. They are here for their first visit and just passed court today! Adam just put Allie down for bed for the night. Today was a great day!
More pictures to follow...