Monday, November 3, 2008

Day One

Hi all. Just a quick note to let you know that we made it to the
transition home today. There are so many kids there. We took lots of
pictures and will send them out as soon as a) we figure out who they
belong to, and b) we have a decent network connection.

The city is amazing. It's a study of contrasts between the poverty
unlike most of us will never experience first hand, and the signs that
the city is trying to pull itself out of the overwhelming problems that
it faces. There are big highway projects, touted as the mechanism to
making Addis Ababa the commercial capital of Africa. Contrast that with
the highway (including a large tunnel) seeming being built totally with
human labor. We're so used to seeing large construction projects being
built with big rigs. Everything here is being done hand by hand, with
large masses of people, and as a result painstakingly slow.

The poverty is overwhelming. When you look out of the windows of the
hotel, you see miles and miles of huts and shacks. The air is smoggy
because of the people burning wood to cook and stay warm. Small children
approached our van several times today asking for food and money. As
hard as it was to say no, we were told that we had to say no, otherwise
we would have been overwhelmed with others coming to run for the same.
Traffic is terrible due to the mass of vehicles, the terrible roads, as
well as the pedestrians in the streets (no sidewalks to speak of). We
truly hope that the Ethiopian government is able to figure out how to
solve the countries problems to give the people here the lifestyle they


Today was a very emotional day. We got to meet Daniel for the first
time. He is really cute. We are so in love with him. I can't wait to
bring him home so you can all meet him. There are so many kids at the
transition home. We are in love with them all. We took lolly pops to
hand out, I was surrounded by all the walking children. Allison took
crafts, she was surrounded by a huge crowd of kids. She was loving every
minute of it. The kids are just precious, there are no words to describe
what we experienced today. The kids are so loving and affectionate. They
just melt your heart.

We spent 4 hours with Daniel. He was very happy. I gave him a little
soccer ball. He carried that around and played catch with us. If the
other kids took it or didn't throw it back soon enough, he would start
telling them off. He also carried around a little car. The Ven Wetten's
and Hutchinson's oldest girls love him and were carrying him around any
chance they got. He just loves being with the big kids. We took almost
600 pictures today. I can't wait to share them.

Tomorrow we will be taking the care packages, donations, gifts, and will
take more video and pictures. We truly enjoyed the time with all of the
children. Know that they were all loved on. It was really fun going
around saying which family does this child belong to...

We are all doing great just a little tired. We look forward to bringing
Daniel with us tomorrow.

Michael and Benjamin, we love you and miss you! You are going to love
Daniel and he is going to love you! Get ready to play catch with him.
See you soon,
Love to all,
Please know that we are doing the best that we can with the internet
that we have......


Sherry said...

What a precious picture! It's so fun to see you holding Daniel. Thanks for keeping us posted through your blog. It is a blessing to us!

Sherry Semlow
(mom to Fasika, Kassahun, & Ayane)

Kiki:) said...

We are thrilled with your updates & photo!!! Don't worry about figuring out who is who...just put them all on a picasa album. Its easy & private for all the families to enjoy:)))
Just a little suggestion to lessen the stress of all those darling kiddos!!
We can't wait to hear more soon!
love ya lots,

Jori said...

So glad you are holding Daniel!! Thank you Lord!! :):) You are sleeping now but while I am sleeping tonight you will be preparing to pick up your little man for good!!! So happy for you!! Thanks for posting!! Tell Allison thanks for playing and loving on my girls ~ I'm sure B loved the craft!!
love ya, jori

Linda DeMien said...

Lori I loved the pic of you all with Daniel. He is really a doll. Can't wait to see you . Love ya MOM

beBOLDjen said...

It's the pictures that get me every time (gulp) and make me cry! It's such a blessing to see you with Daniel in your arms! Praying the rest of your trip goes well.

Rob & Candy said...

so glad you met Daniel today! What a sweet day for you all.
I cannot wait to read more.

the Steiger's said...

You made it. I am crying as I see you at the TH. It only seem's like yesterday we were there. We can not wait to see you soon.
love, Lenka

Becka said...

Thanks for the updates. We are so happy for you and feel your tremendous affection and outpouring of love for all of the children. Daniel is so lucky...he has so much ahead of him! The boys are great and anxious to see all of you.

Carpenters said...

How wonderful to see Daniel in your arms finally! He sounds like a sweetheart and much like our Josiah. I remember the orphanage kids and they are so precious. Gabe was ready to take them all home.

With Love,