Thursday, January 20, 2011

October 26-27 (Days 12-13)

AHOPE, Kechene, Mercato, Matt leaves

October 26th - The morning started off by going to Khaldis. Yum Yum!

 Joanna and I
 Matt and Travis-making fun of sugar that is everywhere!

We had arranged to go to AHOPE- an organization that cares for orphans who are HIV positive. The home was well cared for and the children were very sweet. They have a website that includes their list of needs which I wish I had known about.
When we got back to the guesthouse this was in our "backyard". We took the boys to see the cows.

Later that night we went to Yod Abyssinia for a traditional dinner and dancing with the Lovins and Plumbs. The dinner and show start around 7pm, but we were so tired being new parents that at about 8:30 we were ready to go home.
 Joanna and Travis Lovin
 Me and Matt
 Brain and Shannon Plumb

October 27th - The morning started off by going to the Gladney office for what we thought was an appointment for the boys - unfortunately there was a mix up and after an hour we were told we actually did not have an appointment. Remember to always be flexible while in Ethiopia:) We decided to go back to Kechene government orphanage and visit with the children. Matt and Travis both connected with some of the children and wanted to go back to see them before they left. While we were there, a preschool was letting out and there were hundreds of little kids who all wanted to shake our was so cute. We then drove through the mercado..our driver told us that we were not allowed to get out and walk around as he didn't think it was safe for us. There were people everywhere!

We then headed back to our guesthouse. It was time for Matt to pack up and leave. I tried not to really think about Matt leaving because I wasn't sure how I was going to be a "single mom" and be without him. For the last 3 hours or so that Matt was there the power was off..something that happened frequently we were told due to the BNB being more outside of the city. Luckily he was on the same flight with Travis to Germany so they got to be together.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

October 25 (day 11)

met birthmother, shopping

I am so glad that we were able to meet with Solomon's birthmother. She traveled about 6 hours and spent the night in order to meet us. She came in the room and I knew it must be his mom because she had similar big wide set eyes like him. She shook Matt's hand and gave me the biggest hug...I will always remember that hug. I was very grateful that Solomon let her hold him and love on him. Throughout our time with her she let us video tape and take lots of pictures for Solomon to have. Here are a few questions that we asked her that I can remember off the top of my head.

Where she lived and what it was like, what kind of work she did, did she like it, family history, medical information, favorite meal, favorite color, why she gave Solomon up for adoption, about his father, asked who Solomon looked like, what was Solomon like as a baby, what did she want for Solomon, her favorite holiday, favorite time of year, we heard she loved to sing and asked her what her favorite song and she began to sing a song for us..such a treasure to have

Now I think of tons of things I should have asked her..such as about her childhood..did she go to school, what did she like to do as a child, I wish I had asked more questions about Solomon's birthfather and how they met.

The most important part for Matt and I throughout the whole morning with Solomon's birthmother was finding out that she was a Christian and how important her faith is to her.

After that emotional morning, we all went to eat with the Plumb family at Island Breeze. This restaurant has the most americanized food (I thought they had the best pizza). SIncethe hubby's were leaving soon, we decided to do some more shopping...we went to Tomoca for coffee, got some baskets, went to a map store. Our driver-Solomon- is the best haggler there is. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

October 24 (Day 10)

October 24- We went to the Kuriftu resort with the Lovins, Travis, and another Gladney family Lisa and Andy. We got to take Solomon with us and it was nice to have him out of the guesthouse...and get our first look at what it is like out of the city of Addis.  The resort had a lake, beautiful gardens and the dinner was good. I would recommend going.

 (traveling in the van)
 (Love this face)

 (some of the buffet food)

October 21-23 (Days 7-9)

playing with Solomon, Holy Trinity Tour, government orphanage tours

On October 21,we stayed in that morning with Solomon getting to know him better. He loved playing with some nesting cups-banging them together and any stray water bottles he could find. He got around by army crawling. He was pretty easy and didn't cry too much, only woke up once that first night.

 Later that afternoon we went to lunch at Family Restaurant (this place had everything from italian, mexican, american, etc. -it was ok) and then took a Gladney led tour of the Holy Trinity Church with Travis (in country staff member, unfortunately Belay was leaving for the US the next day for a month). It was interesting to learn more about the Ethiopian Orthodox religion and learning more about Belay's history. The church was beautiful.

(King Solomon)

While on the tour Solomon had an amazing babysitter (provided by our agency) who was with us the entire time we were in Ethiopia whenever we needed her. She watched both Solomon and John and actually brought both boys (at different times) from Awassa to the Gladney care center in Addis.

October 22, we went to eat lunch at Blue Tops (very good...good ice cream) and then headed out for a tour of 3 government orphanges in Addis. The first one was the boys orphange - Kolfe. We watched them play soccer and then went on a tour of their facility. The younger boys enjoyed having their pictures taken. 

We then went to the baby orphange -Kebebe Tsehai Government Orphanage. The day before we had arrived new workers had started all because of Janet Belleme . It was an overwhelming experience and one I will not forget.

We then toured another government orphanage-Kechene. The children there love to hold your hand, have their picture taken, have you play with them and follow you around everywhere. The older girls performed our first coffee ceremony. And there was lots of dancing--even from Belay and driver Solomon.

It is hard to describe what we saw this day, but after visiting these 3 government orphanages and seeing ALL that Gladney has done for them I had such huge pride in our agency and was so glad that we decided to go with them. I was also ready to get back to the guesthouse to see Solomon! He was so excited to see us it made our day.

October 23-we stayed in all day.