Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ethiopia: Day 3: Part 1

This is a view from our hotel window.  The TeaPot room was where we had the BEST cup of coffee!

This is where the bar is, the "American" food restaurant and the "Cultural" restaurant.  We had breakfast and supper here every night with our friends.

This is the inside of the American restaurant.

Views on the way to the orphanage.

Views on the way to the orphanage.

HERE HE IS!!!!!!!!!

Look at that sweet face!

Loving on mommy...we were looking at his picture book.

He *loves* to be held.

Giving daddy a hug :)

First family picture....keeping the other 5 kiddoes in our hearts!  Wishing they were there.

Kalab (a sweet little 8 yr. old boy) was helping Abinet to figure out who was who.

Resting with mommy.

He took his own picture :)

This was the view from the Zebra Grill, where we ate lunch on the second day.

The Zebra Grill was VERY colorful.  The food was wonderful and there was toilet paper!

The homeless that were sleeping in the median of the road.

Some of the school children, in their uniforms.

New construction building and yes, the scaffolding was made out of wood :/

Traffic Laws?  NONE.  We saw one stoplight and one stop sign. Other than that, it was a game of chicken.

Denise and Eric Veal :)  Their daughter is at the same orphanage as our son.

Woudneh...could you not just eat him up!  Such a precious man and has a love and a passion for what he does.

This sweet young lady made our coffee in the Teapot Room.

The lady, above, gave me this flower in exchange for me taking our child to America and adopting her :(

Today was the day...they day that dreams are made of.  The day that I've held in my heart, since I was a child.  The day that we meet our son. WOW!  We all met in the restaurant, upstairs and ate breakfast (they do make fabulous omelets).  The conversation was light, the nerves and emotions were on the surface of all of us.  

Here comes Woudneh, ready to take us on our trip.  The Monks' left with their trusted driver.  They had anticipated spending the night in Nazret, where their boys are, but due to some unforeseen issues, they were not able to spend the night, but they did stay all day long and enjoy the company of those sweet boys. Yonas, our rockstar driver, loaded the rest of us up and off we went.  He spoke very little english, but he has such kind eyes and a sweet sweet smile.  He was an excellent driver!

We all tried to remain calm, not knowing how long our trip would be.  We tried to take pictures of what we saw and video, but we were all so uncertain of this crazy traffic, that it was quite mesmerizing.  2 lane roads turned into 3 or 4 lane roads....I could touch the people in the vehicles next to me.  The cheap gas, that was used, caused a lot of exhaust and the fumes made for very dry lips, mouth and lungs...we were all coughing and snotting throughout this whole trip.

The people lying in the median of the street....homeless...barely shelter.  It was humbling beyond belief.  If we stopped, for some reason, women with babies, children and elderly would come up to the window begging for food or money.  We weren't allowed to give them anything due to the strict laws forbidding it.  It was almost more than I could bear, having to turn them away.  At one point, not sure what day it was, I was looking out one side of the van, only to not notice this 8 yr. old boy, his mom and her baby standing outside of my window...politely waiting.  I turned and their appearance surprised me and I let out a bit of a squeal.  It scared them and me :)  I quickly apologized for frightening them, they were laughing at the mishap.  I couldn't let them go without food...I was picturing Boo looking to someone else for food and my heart was captured.  I gave them crackers, all I had, and before I knew it there was a flood of beggars surrounding the van.  It was so sad.  I just wanted to bring them all home and feed them all.
Those images will be forever etched in my mind.................

Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 1& Day 2 - Ethiopia Bound!

At the airport in N-ville.

Vince and Kelli Monks...they are also with our agency.  We were blessed to seriously bond with them and the Veals.  What a blessed trip!

This is the airport at Rome.  B was excited because he took a picture of a "real Italian"  LOL

Airport at Rome

The Mediterrean Sea

Coast of Africa

Overview of the African plains

This was our handy dandy map that we :)

Stunning African sunset.

Our HUGE bed at the Crown Royal Hotel

The sitting area of our room.

Our flush was a push button and our toilet paper was the hose :/  There was no toilet paper.  They did bring us about 1/4 of a roll....boy, did we make that last!

Our very own hot water heater that was placed above the tub.

We were blessed to have our neighbors take us to N-ville.  We certainly didn't want to drive and pay for parking, but that is minor.  They were sweet enough to haul us down there.  What a fun trip :)

In the N-ville airport, we had no problems getting in and through security.  We ended up sitting for 3 hrs LOL....we wanted to make sure we got there, in time, with no snafus!  We succeeded.  The first plane was a cracker jack plane, but we made it safely to DC, in what seemed like the blink of an eye.

We got through DC's security in no time, and again, we sat...for four.long.hours.  We were blessed to meet the Monks, not too long into our layover.  We introduced ourselves and had a lovely chat before our long flight.

The big plane was, big....but it was so scrunched.  B and I were really really close, during our trip.  I mean REALLY close!  I took some meds and rested for part of the trip, but in true nature of the Ethiopian culture, the flight attendants were very attentive...even when we were sleeping.  We'd feel the SMACK SMACK SMACK...wake up, there they you food, drink or a hot cloth.  

We watched 2 movies FOR THE ENTIRE TRIP.....The "New" Karate Kid and Grownups (you can only watch those 2 movies so much before you start to go a bit crazy).  B tried to read and sleep. I tried to work some puzzle books and little avail.

I finally decided to break down and go to the bathroom...sat in the shoebox on the plane and then I flushed the toilet...I wasn't prepared for the WHHHHOOOSSSSHHHHHHHHH and the force in which it flushes.  I squealed, peed a bit more and then opened the door, only to come face to face with an old man (that would be my introduction to Eric Veal LOL).  I know that he thought I was insane and my squealing at the flush of a toilet.  That's one way to be introduced to the other family that we were to be staying with, on our trip.  OOPS.

The Ethiopian airport was a bit overwhelming.  It was dark, I was tired, there were people and lines everywhere.....once we all got our ducks in a row, found our luggage...we shot out the door and there he was, Mr. Ethiopia himself, Woudneh.  His eyes could light up the darkest room and his smile is contagious.  He immediately put us at ease.  Off we all went, us, the Veals and the Monks'.....our adventure was beginning.

Woudneh took us straight to the hotel, which was lovely.  We settled in our room and then B and I decided to go to the "traditional" restaurant.  There was live music and the most stunning dancing I've ever seen.  The food was spicy, so we didn't eat alot of it.  We were simply mesmerized at the dancing.  Finally, we decided to head to our room and we slept...oh did we sleep.... be continued......


Cooking cooking and more cooking.  A mess of pancakes, enough lunches to last and 7 suppers.  Getting it all ready!

I love having the chalkboard painted on my kitchen wall.  Makes for easy message making.

Got the kids meds all lined out, with notes attached to everything!        
Can I just say, I had the best caregivers EVER while we were gone.  My kids were never alone, never wanting attention or love and they got all their schoolwork done, which is a feat, in itself :)  No one missed a beat.  We didn't have a busy schedule planned, while we were gone, but there were still things like therapy and church that had to be attended too.  I was so at ease, even with lack of phone communication, with the children.  The Lord saw fit to allow everything to come together smoothly.  I was pleased to have some internet access and text messaging to get me through the "I miss my kids" moments :)  A humble THANK YOU to all who helped whether physically, spiritually or any other way!  My family thanks you, from the bottom of our hearts.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Christmas Wreaths for Sale


If you are interested in buying some wreaths, as well as, helping with our adoption, please go to: 


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pics and News!!!

 First photo of mom, dad, and #6
 Seriously....could he look any more like Brandi?
 What a doll!
Today, we had court and it was so nerve wracking. There were lots of adoptive families and then there were beautiful, young girls giving up their children. It was hard to contain all my emotions. Seeing their strength just solidifies the love these people have for their children. I Have no doubt that Meseretu and Abinet were so loved.

We went up the mountain today to the church at Lalibella and WOW WOW. If you think Gatlinburg is great, you ain't seen nothing yet. It was amazing. We went to lunch at the Sheraton. It was very fancy and the food was wonderful, but more great than that was that they had a cool bathroom WITH toilet paper.'s the little things in life that makes me happy.

We also went shopping. It was a bit unnerving because there are SO many people and they ALL want you to buy something. We ended up having to get a guard because of the beggars. So very sad. Especially when the children come up to you.

Went to dinner at Woudneh's and his family is fantastic. We had such a good time. Woudneh said that it would take 15 days to 8 wks before we return. Can't be soon enough for me. I'm dreading the flight home, but it makes it a bit sweeter that he is letting us go to the orphanage one last time :)