When we arrived back in Addis, we ate lunch at a restaurant called Green View and had pizza. Well, Alemu still had injera and fish. Then we went a couple businesses down the sidewalk and had Macchiatos again at a coffee place. This is where we met our driver for the rest of our trip, Joel. Joel has a small car so we crammed all our luggage in, said goodbye to Alemu and Biniyam, and then Joel took us to the Family Morning Coffee Guesthouse where we would be staying the rest of our trip. Joel is super nice and speaks English very well and is super knowledgable about Ethiopian as he is Ethiopian. He also knows a lot about international adoption as he has worked for an agency in the past.
When we arrived at the guesthouse, we met Birtukan, the wife of the owner of the guesthouse. Birtukan also knows a ton of English and runs the guesthouse with her 5 children, a niece and several others. She led us to our room and it immediately felt like home. There is a queen bed, twi bunkbeds, a crib she added the next morning, a bathroom with a shower, and a balcony. This guesthouse has 5 stories and a tiled roof which has amazing views of Addis. The building right next to the guesthouse is under construction so we have been able to witness men using the crazy scaffolding firsthand.
We met a family of 9 staying here (2 sets of Grandparents, 2 daughters not related, and 3 children adopted from Ethiopia about 5 years ago). Crazy story about how this blended family came to be and why they are traveling in Ethiopia right now. Ask me later about their awesome story.
We ate dinner Friday night at the guesthouse with this group of 9. It is amazing how quickly you can get to know people when your hearts share similar passions!
Saturday morning, we ate breakfast again with the group of 9 (pancakes, bananas and mangos, coffee and fresh squeezed juice). Then we got ready for Joel to pick us up at 10 to TAKE CUSTODY OF DAWIT! I have to admit, I was quite scared about how Dawit would react to us taking him away from everything and everyone he knows. And how I would respond to him. I admitted these feelings at breakfast and these two amazing adoptive mamas totally related and understood. They were leaving at 10 as well for their day and we made a circle and they prayed for us and Dawit. Like I said, amazing new friends!
We drove about 10-15 minutes to Engida and had to walk down the gravel road again as it was "closed" for repairs (large rocks were put on the road at the end to block cars from driving through). We rang the bell and knocked on the metal gate and were let inside the Engida gate. Dawit was playing with his friends in the first room inside, which is the playroom (maybe 10' by 14'?) Our awesome driver started taking pictures with our camera for us so we got our first picture with all three of us.
|Dawit found my sunglasses in his diaper bag. What a cutie pie!!|
Then the nurse called us in another room with Dawit to change the bandage on his finger. His finger got caught in a door hinge when another child was closing a door - maybe a week ago or so. It was ex-rayed and it is not broken, but he did loose his little finger nail. He did not like getting the bandage changed at all, but he was so brave despite.
After this time, Josh asked the nurse all of our questions about Dawit so that we could make his adjustment as seamless as possible. Joel helped us translate when we couldn't understand eachother, which was wonderful.
Then we gathered in the playroom again for a group picture. After the picture, the caregivers all gave Dawit very quick and loving hugs and sort of shuffled us out the door. And that was it, we were walking down the road on our way back to Joel's car but this time with Dawit on my hip. I had tears streaming down my face as I tried to pull it together for my son.
All four of the caregivers that were there that morning were fighting tears as we said goodbye. I cannot imagine how difficult it is for them to say goodbye. And in the next 2 weeks, there will be several more goodbyes as there are 6 other families coming to finalize their adoptions. Please pray with me both for the children being adopted, the children left behind and these precious caregivers.
While Joel drove us back to the guesthouse, I sat in the back with Dawit on my lap. He was doing great until all of a sudden he got scared and started crying. But the snack cup with sweet potato puffs did wonders by distracting him.
We spent most of the afternoon and evening in our room getting to know each other. Josh was able to get him to smile and giggle. He says "ababa", which means Daddy, but he has not said Mommy yet. He loved infant Oatmeal cereal and the puffs. He definitely knows what he likes and doesn't like. He also loves the board book that I made him with pictures of him and his new family and home. He carried it with him everywhere on Saturday. He took a 2 and a half hour nap on Saturday and slept through the night without any struggles. We are in awe of how well he is doing so far, but I can also tell it will take a lot more time to attach to us. Thank you for your continued prayers.