Sunday, November 2, 2008

Day One Begins...

Dear Family and Friends,
I am sitting here in the Addis View Hotel, it is Monday at about 6 am.
Here is our Journey so far.

We left home at 9 am on Saturday. We drove to Boston airport. We had 6 large
suitcases to check in and 3 small suitcases and 3 back packs to carry on.
When we got to the check in counter, two of our bags were overweight. They
need to be under 50 pounds. No matter how many times you weigh them on the tiny
bathroom scale at home, it is just not the same as the scales at the airport.
One bag was 52 pounds and one was 59. I immediately started to pull things
out and try to reaarange so we could save $100. I started saying look this is
mostly all donations, we are adopting, look at our little guy we are going to
pick up.... and she put the tags on the bags and said they are fine. Whew, we
made it through that one. We made it through Boston without any problems.

We fly to Dulles (DC), we had about 4 1/2 hours before our next flight. It took a
long time for us to check in with Ethiopian Air. They will weigh every carry on
that you have. They need to be under 20 pounds. The sign says 15 pounds, but they
were letting people through up to 20 pounds. Our small suitcases became checked
bags and came out at baggage claim. We took on our back packs and camera equipment.

While at DC, Allison makes many new friends. We were sitting at our gate for
Ehtiopian Air, and Allison has all of these little Ethiopian children following
her around and playing with her. There was one little 7 year old girl that was
particuarly fond of her. Her name was El-Bechtel. I am including a picture of

While waiting on our flight we met the Anna and Sam Nunnez, Lisa and Ray hammond,and
Val Robinson all in our travel group. We also met another family adopting
through All of God's Children. We had a nice time of getting to know each other.
It was then time to fly to Ethiopia.

We left DC at 9:30 pm Saturday. After getting on the plane, Allison's little friend
El-Becthel came to sit with us, we told her she needed to be in her seat until
after take off. As soon as the fasten seat belt sign went out, she joined us.
She spent the entire 15 hour flight in our row. So we had 4 people in 3 seats.
She was a beautiful little girl who was wise beyond her years. She was leaving
her mom in the states to go spend a month in Ethiopia with her dad. She was feeling
homesick and decided to use our family for a substitute. She kept telling me
that I reminded her of her mom. I asked her how and she said "my mom has brown skin,
and curly hair", I guess it was the curly hair. She was either next to Allison or curled
up on my lap the entire trip. By the end of our flight Allison also had two
little Ehtiopian boys in our row, either crowding her or on her lap. Let's just
say that our seats were not spacious or quiet. El-Bechtel was trying to teach Allison
Amharic. she sang us songs in Amharic, that Tom recorded, we will try to post those another
time. Most went well, Allison did get a little sleep snuggled next to El-Bechtel,
however she woke up cranky wanting to know why her pant leg was wet... she found out
the kid in front of her had gotten sick and threw up all over her sock and pant leg....
oops we packed all our clothes... that was an interesting clean up, and thank goodness
for Ethiopian Air socks they give you. Allison showed a lot of patience with no time to her self
during that flight.

We arrived in Addis at about 8:15. It took us until about 10:00 pm to get our Visa, money
exchanged, get our luggage and make it through customs. I was feeling pretty scared...
our bags were last to be found. I was thinking that they didn't make it.
We then met up with Robel from America World and headed to our hotel. By the time
we checked in and grabbed a bite to eat it was midnight. We had stopped up at the
restaraunt in our hotel and Robel asked us to join him. We had a very nice
dinner getting to know him and learning more about Ethiopia through his eyes.

It was then off to bed, we were just a little bit tired, alright beyond exhausted...

So here it is morning, we are meeting at 10 am for a meeting, then lunch, and
coffee. Then it is the moment we have all been waiting for..... We get to enter
the "GREEN GATES". We are going to get to see Daniel and hold him for the first time.

For those of you who sent a Flat Stanley or Flat Lindsey... they made it to Ethiopia safely.
I am going to try to enclose a photo of the Flat Family on our flight. (For the rest of you,
We have a Flat Stanley from MA., a Flat Stanley from OK., and a Flat Lindsey from AZ. traveling
with us. If you don't know about Flat Stanley then check out the book.....

So we are off for now and will post more later...
Michael and Benjamin we love you and can't wait to talk to you. We will give
Daniel hugs from you. Hugs and Kisses, we will see you soon.
Love to all,


Rob & Candy said...

YAH! so glad you are in ET! I cannot wait to see your gotcha picyures.

Sherry said...

Lori- We are so glad to hear you made it, AND your bags too! What a sweet picture I have of your family loving on the little ET girls all the way there. We are so excited for your Green Gate date. Can't wait to hear all about it!

Blessings - Sherry :)

ethiHOPEia said...

Yeah!!!!! We are so happy for you! I couldn't get a package out to you, we had house guests all week. If you could just try on the 24m clothing on our little man that would be great. We would love photos too! We don't have one of him smiling yet.

Hope you have a fantastic day! We're jealous!
Hilary Forrest

Zack and Rebecca Caldwell said...

WOw! What a trip already :) So sweet! Look forward to hearing more :)

Kiki:) said...

Good morning...but 5PM in your neck of the woods. You've already had "Meetcha Day" and we can't wait to hear & see all about it!!!
Your amazing post on your journey to ET was so vivid & fun to read!!
Thank you!!!!

Jaime said...

Glad you made it! Cannot wait to hear about your Meetcha Day!

Jori said...

So gald you made it - What a trooper Allison was!! She must have been such a joy to all those kiddos!!! What a fun time in a not so fun (very cramped) place!! :):) Hope today went well!!
love ya, jori

Sean said...

Thanks for sharing this special adventure! I am so happy for you. Godspeed and God bless!