Our trip went great. The flights were all on time, our luggage arrived with us, and we made it back to the guesthouse to unpack on Saturday night.
Sunday morning we woke up early, got ourselves ready (a little nervously, mind you), triple checked that we had everything we needed, and we headed to the bus. We took a trip 3.5 hours south of Addis. We arrived at Hosanna, and began our wait to meet an extremely important person. Finally it was our turn, my stomach was in knots, I probably didn't make much eye contact at first because I was SO nervous.
We were in a small little room with the one person that my son will have questions about for the rest of his life. What do we ask this person? We fumbled through our meeting with questions and comments for our son's birth family. About an hour after the meeting I started to think of more questions for them. I cried at the mid point of the meeting, and I was nervous wreck. I just kept thinking "how can I express what I am feeling right now". After the meeting we took our picture with them, and I just looked at those eyes (my son's eyes), and I said "Thank you" and then I remembered that they didn't understand English. So I said "AH-mah-say-guh-NAH-loh" (thank you in Amharic), then I shrugged, held up a finger and said "One word, the only word I know in Amharic". I got a small laugh from this special person, and then I said "Oh, actually it's TWO words" while holding up two fingers, "Ee-Shee" (okay in Amharic). I got a bigger laugh this time and a response of "Ee-shee, ee-shee".
Then we had the Entrustment Ceremony. This is where the Birth Family passes a candle over to the Adoptive Family, and we all pray for the child that connects us and creates our own special family unit. We then had to say good-bye. Oh boy, was this hard! We got the customary three kisses on the cheek, and then an extra hand kiss. I just wanted to grab onto that hand again and say "thank you" over and over again. But I just watched them walk out of the room, a little piece of my heart walking out of the room with them. The bus ride home was long, after such an emotional day. That night we were ready for a good nights sleep, after such a hard day.
The next day we went to go see the little man! We walked into the room and he just looked at us pretty non chalantly. Our agency tapes our first meeting, so we received this video at the end of our trip. We spent a couple of hours with him at the care center, and then we brought him back to the guest house that afternoon for a trial run. He took pictures of him, we video taped him giggling (he has an awesome giggle), and we just took him ALL in! He took a bottle right away, so we had no worries with him bottle feeding. He sure likes his food!
Tuesday morning was Embassy, and he was a champ in the waiting room. At one point we had him giggling like crazy (he had the whole waiting room watching him), and when he was done he looked around at everyone and gave this look like "what, can't a kid giggle?". He was perfect! The appointment went seamlessly, and we headed back to the Care Center to drop the kids off for the last time. We returned to the Care Center at 3 for the Farewell Ceremony. Oh, don't worry, I didn't cry AT ALL through this (just kidding), and then he was placed in our arms forever. And then he pooped through his traditional Ethiopian clothes! It was truly a special moment (ha ha). We cleaned him up, and then we headed back to the guest house.
The rest of our time was spent getting to know little Leo. He is a great kid, and we are so Blessed with such a fun little guy! Oh, and our big news on the little man front...
HE CRAWLS!! And he doesn't stop! Already he has gotten into more predicaments than Emme EVER did! Oh well, I guess that's Boys vs. Girls! We are so proud of our little boy, he has gone through SO much in his short life and we can't believe how far he has come!
Our flight home was okay, we didn't have a bassinet seat for the first 6.5 hour flight. So we struggled through bed time with him (he just wanted to stretch out), but the second and third flight went AWESOME! We arrived home, so excited to see Miss E.
Here we are the first time as a family of FOUR!
Leo loves his big siter, Emme doesn't quite know what to think. She THINKS she likes him... Until he takes her baby, or knocks over her tray, or grabs her hair. But we keep telling her that is what little brothers do. She does love to give him bottles, and feed him. I love hearing her say "It's okay baby" whenever he cries, and she loves to pat his head.
This week we have been dealing with a double ear infection (Leo), and strep (Emme, my mom, and I). So we have had illnesses and schedule changes to deal with. But all in all, it feels like we have been a family of four for a LONG time. I have tons more pictures to share, and those will come with time.
Right now, I have a baby to get back to and a little girl that needs help with her Barbie... Later!