It's 5:30am in Ethiopia and I am sitting in our hotel room. Let me say that again, I AM IN ETHIOPIA!!!
We made it here with no issues, a couple flight delays but made it here on schedule.
I have never been out of the US, not to Mexico, not even Canada. I really thought I was ready for what they called "culture shock". I have seen pics, videos, read about Ethiopia but nothing prepared me for what I saw as we drove to the hotel. It was almost more than I could take in, I was sad, curious, scared, amazed at the beautiful people, all at once.
We didn't sleep for over 24 hours, so that with the jet lag and high altitude, wiped us out. When we got to the hotel we basically slept for the next day and a half. We felt much better after that and ready to meet our little girl.
Every person I see here in Ethiopia I stare at, wondering if that is what Addis will look like when she grows up or if that is what her father looked like. I watch them interact with each other and listen to them speak broken English but mostly Amharic. I sometimes feel badly for taking Addis away from this place. It is beautiful to witness their culture.
We met a man named Henry at the hotel. He sells Ethiopian gifts and toiletries for guests at the hotel. He was very friendly(as they all are) and asked us if we were from the US and if this was the first time in Ethiopia. We chatted for a while with him about the city and he was very curious to hear what we thought about it all. He said his hopes are to visit the US sometime. I asked him where he learned English and he said in school, that everyone learns English. Which I find so strange because we as Americans aren't required to learn any one specific language. He explained it as Americans are "Up here" and everyone is "down here" so they learn it to be able to do business and such. I am hoping he didn't mean that they view us as better than them just because we are Americans. Yes we have a wonderful country but that doesn't mean if you aren't fortunate enough to be born in America, you are somehow less of a person.
Sunday afternoon we met with Almaz the director of HH to fill out paperwork and she gave us instructions for the rest of the week.
We were able to buy coffee and water(the hotel triples the cost:( )
Then we were off to see our Addis. I was so nervous I could have thrown up, I was shaking inside and out. It was so fun to share the excitement with other families getting ready to meet their children.
Here's where my question comes in, "do you believe in miracles?"
We have been praying for Addis and that God would help with the transition of leaving HH and meeting us for the first time. Almaz told us that she is worried about Addis the most, she was ready for screams of terror. So we thought, ok God, you can do this.
When it was our turn to meet her, she did immediately start crying and leaning away from us. We started to try and give her toys and then we handed her some gerber graduate snacks, bingo!
She still wouldn't look at us or go to us, so we went outside and sat on the ground with her. We interacted with her for a couple of minutes with her special mother there also, and then she left. Addis started crying and I picked her up, she resisted a bit but quickly stopped. She let me hold her and kiss her and talk to her. She has been fine ever since. She even went to bed perfectly and has slept all night.
Almaz is amazed-shocked-stunned! She used the word miracle. God answered our prayers and we were able to have a beautiful gotcha day. Travis didn't get to hold her because we didn't want to disturb her contentment.(which I totally didn't mind getting her ALL to myself)
Addis wasn't walking or talking from the last update we had gotten. We were a little worried that there might be something more serious going on because of that. But we of course loved her and wanted her in our family no matter what. Talking with Almaz before we went to HH, we learned that she is now WALKING and TALKING.
Our adoption journey is full of miracles just like these. God's fingerprints pointing out His love, grace, and sovereignty.
More to come......