Ethiopia, Day 2–Morning

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This was the big day, the day I finally would get to hold Baby G!!! We both woke up around 6 am. Daddy-O called around 7 am using the prepaid card we purchased from African Prepaid. Unfortunately, even though I could hear him, apparently all he could hear on his end was static. So around 8 he called backing using a service he found on the internet called Skype. He basically talked to me through our computer. This worked much better and we could could hear each other very clearly. We talked about the trip, our hotel, the view from the balcony. My dad was actually out on the balcony with his video camera 🙂

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We had actually just decided perhaps we should get off of the phone soon in case Gail (our in-country coordinator) was trying to call.  She was supposed to call before she came to pick us up.  About this time the phone beeped.  Who on earth knew they had call-waiting in Ethiopia??? 🙂  I hung up with Michael to be greeted by Gail’s voice.  I immediately became ridiculously excited.  Heart pounding, thoughts racing, my dad and I went downstairs to exchange money and wait for Gail.  The drive to Layla was our first daytime driving experience.  Wow.  That’s about all I can say.  So many cars so close together, so many people in the streets beside the streets, everywhere.  So so so many boys shining shoes.  I was amazed that so many shoes could ever need to be shined (I figured this out later after the rain, the dirt in the streets is simply waiting for the rain to become wonderfully muddy–and there were lots of people walking around in very nice shoes…).

Just a few hundred yards from Layla we turned onto our final street only to be greeted by a small (perhaps 2-year-old) girl walking out right in front of our car.  Gail had to slam on her brakes.  This was one of the most memorable (and upsetting) moments of our trip.  One I will never forget.  This tiny girl, covered in mud and dirt, just walking right out in front of this quickly moving vehicle.  Her mom was sitting on the other side of the road, with a baby and another girl who was maybe 4. 

We pulled up to the gate of the compound and honked.  Everything from this moment on is really a blur.  We pulled in and headed for Wanna (the baby house).  I immediately recognized the door with Winnie the Pooh painted on the outside.  For so long now I have been staring and staring at pictures of this place.  Now it was real.  We walked into a room I recognized from many of our pictures of Baby G.  Gail asked one of the nannies where he was and she pointed at a crib and said something in Amharic.  Gail picked him up and handed him to me.  We had only been there for not even a minute!  It was all so overwhelming.  Very much like a dream.

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I sat down with him and he just looked at me and played with my necklace.  One of the nannies brought a bottle that smelled strongly of orange juice.  He mostly just put it into his mouth and then spit it out onto his shirt.  He became one very orangy baby.  My dad finally had a moment to break out the video camera, which is a good thing.  Gail began go over his schedule, what he usually eats, etc.  Most of which neither my dad or I remembered later, but were able to watch the video to figure it out 🙂  I think she lost me about the time she told me he usually drinks a little water or TEA!! 

My dad sat on the floor for awhile and played with the babies.  They all crawled all over him.  One in particular was winning him over.  He even pointed at the swing for my dad to swing him (which he quickly obliged).  Our driver arrived and we sat in the van while we waited for another family to finish up their meeting with the social worker so they could get a ride to the guest house.  As we sat in the van the little girl we almost ran over came and stood next to it.  Her and her sister were having a conversation about something.  Soon some boys came by with a herd of goats.  My dad and I just sat and tried to soak all of this in.  Baby G was quickly asleep.  We stopped at a grocery store and picked up some formula, water and baby cereal.  When we got back to the hotel we just sort of sat and stared at Baby G as he slept…

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Malía's mama
    Aug 19, 2007 @ 17:33:27

    Your posts are bringing back memories and making me all teary… 🙂 Your son is lovely, really lovely! Can that be said about a boy! lol


  2. Dianne
    Aug 20, 2007 @ 21:08:37

    This brings tears to my eyes and makes me look even more forward (if that’s possible!) to the day we finally meet our little one.


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