Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 1: January in Ethiopia

My trip so far.

Sunday morning started off stressful as the folks at United were extremely slow, unfriendly, and not very helpful! Once again we had an extra bag of donations and one bag too heavy by a pound and one bag under. They made us pay the extra fee and rearrange bags. They were not friendly at all about me having an extra bag. In the end the kids in Ethiopia get the needed supplies and that is what is important.

My first flight was at 6:00, out of Hartford. They were so slow with check in and security, I walked right on the plane with 10 minutes to take off. I arrived in DC without any problems. It is a large airport with many terminals and shuttles to get you where you need to be. Once in DC and checked into Ethiopian Air, I met two other AWAA families that were also traveling for Embassy! they were wonderful and have really watched out for me since I am traveling alone!

The flight was good. It is a new bigger airplane than what we flew on in November. There are 3 seats on each side and 3 in the center row! I had a window seat and it was really nice to be able to look out and see some of the places that we were flying over. This new plane now has these touch screen monitors in front of you. You can chose your movie, tv show, etc. And control when you start it, pause it, etc. It also has games that you can play and maps showing where you are going. We touched down at about 8:40 am (Ethiopia time). The other 2 families were seated way in front of me and were able to get off the plane way before me, but as I came around the corner there they were waiting for me to venture on through visas, customs, and baggage.

This was at least twice as long of a line for visas that I have ever experienced. We made it through. All bags made it and we were ready to head out of the airport. We were supposed to scan our bags one more time, but it was a super long line, so the guys said, just look down and keep going.... Act like we don't know what we are doing. We all made it through and out to our AWAA driver.

Next stop was Yebsabi Guest House!  We arrived to a full crew as, there was film and camera crew interviewing AW families for a documentary on international adoption! They were also at the Transition Home most of the day. We had about an hour and a half to shower, get things ready for the kids, relax etc. Before we left for lunch. Tamenech and I have a very small room with 2 beds, a bathroom, a small stand, and mini fridge on the second floor!

We were then off to lunch at a restaurant with an art gallery. I was begging for somewhere fast but they just told me to calm down and relax.... I just wanted to get to Sweet T! I had already been told that she was sobbing all morning because the court families were there with their kids and kids were taken for Embassy needs. She knew I was coming and that she was leaving with me today. When she did not see me first thing in the morning she thought I was not coming for her. After two hours of having lunch, fellow-shipping and learning and learning of all of T's (our guide) practical jokes it was time to head over to the Transition Home and once again see Sweet T!

We started our journey to the transition home. Once there we lined up with our video cameras and waited for the kids to run out! Tamenech came running right into my arms. She was excited. She hugged me and then kept asking where is Daddy! I told her that we would soon be meeting up with Daddy and her brothers and sisters! She is a very happy little girl, she is excited yet a little nervous with the new. She has this cute little attitude (cute for now maybe not later) when she is told No! They have been prepping for the cold, snow, airplane, going to America, the new family etc! When asked what she will need to wear when she comes to America she said big clothes to keep me warm. When asked what she wants when she comes to America she said a new name! Where did that come from, we were planning on keeping her name! I guess we will have some talking to do once she can understand us some more. At this point she does not know what she wants her name to be.

She picked up right where she left off from our last trip. She wants to get into everything! I took her new clothes, shoes, and a back pack. She was very excited about putting it all on, especially the sunglasses. She was very concerned about leaving the old stuff behind. We hung out there for several hours and then headed to a market to pick up a few supplies. She was taking it all in! We arrived at the guest house. She was very excited to run up the stairs to our room. I had a hard time keeping her out of things (other donations etc)! She went straight for the beds and started jumping on them and from one to another.... She just went from one thing to another - total over stimulation!

She is understanding some of what I am saying but not everything. Thank goodness for the guides and their translations! We hung out in the room and then headed down for dinner. We had beef tips with veggies, served with rice, injera, and bread. Tamenech loved it and went right at it using the injera. She ate more than me. The meat was good, but a little too spicy for me. We then returned to our room to play, shower, and get ready for bed. She seemed to like her shower and was very excited with her tooth brush and tooth paste. At 8:00 it was off to bed. She woke up at 10:30 a little scared and concerned at where she was. I had her climb into bed with me. She in now laying sideways across the bed kicking me. The dogs are really loud from time to time. Here it is 2:00 in the morning and I am wide awake writing to all of you! I am hoping to catch a few more hours of sleep before T wakes us.

In the morning we will have our paper party for Embassy, pray that they confirm us, go to lunch, back to the transition home to deliver care packages, take photos for other families, deliver our donations, etc. While there I will be meeting with a fried of Daniel's birth mom. This person was her boss for four years and Daniel lived at their house as a baby. He is supposed to be bringing some pictures for me to see and take pictures of. I am meeting with him at 2:30!


the Steiger's said...

I am so happy for you and we cannot wait to see you all this Saturday!!! Praying for embasy appt.!!!!!!
love, Lenka

Jason Webb said...

YEAH! God is so good! You have to promise that we get to meet her sometime!

jason webb

From a full heart... said...

Wow that brings back memories! I can't wait to keep reading! Tell sweet Tamanech that Amarech says HI!

Denise Moser said...

Had a thought on her statement about a new name, perhaps she just meant a new last name, which of course she will have now.

So happy for you guys! Congratulations.


Christina said...

Sounds like a great day. Praying for you to feel supernaturally rested! ;)

- Christina