Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sunday in Ethiopia

It has been exactly one week since we said goodbye to our daughter and left Ethiopia. I am so glad we were able to celebrate Christmas with our family. It was a good Christmas, but it was also hard to be so far away from our daughter. It has been hard to get back to normal. I'm not really sure what normal is right now. We are kind of caught in the middle of our old life before Mia and our new life with her. I am so ready to have her home!

I do want to go back and document more about our trip. I last told you about our first day with our daughter, so now I will write a little about our second full day in Ethiopia.

After our wonderful first day with Mia, we went to bed that evening so thankful to God for His goodness. I slept really good that night, probably the best I slept the whole trip. I woke up on Sunday morning feeling ok until I stood up. I was really queasy and dizzy. I slowly got ready and decided to skip breakfast downstairs. Justin met the Smith's for breakfast and had some hot tea sent upstairs to me.

I kept praying that I would feel better, so that I could enjoy my time with Mia. I felt ok, but not great, when we left to go to Hannah's Hope. Mia met us in the court yard again and she was ready to play. We had another fun day with her. She loved blowing bubbles, dancing, and running all around. She is such a busy girl with a big personality. She had fun walking all over the courtyard holding Justin's hand. It was so sweet.

We also learned something new about our daughter. She does not like to share!!! I know this is typical of most two year olds, but I believe it is exaggerated for her because she has never had anything that really belongs to her. When we first got to Hannah's Hope, she picked up a book and carried it around for a while. After a while, she got tired of the book and put it down. Justin started rolling a ball back and forth to her. She was playing happily, when out of the corner of her eye, she saw a little boy pick up "her" book. She started screaming and ran over to get her book back. The special mother that was watching made the little boy give the book back to Mia. Even after she got her book back, she was so upset. This was the first time we saw her really unhappy. It was hard to watch her so distraught, but it also gave us a chance to comfort her. She allowed me to hold her and rock her and she began to calm down.

Justin and I were able to have a really sweet moment with her as I held her and we sang "Jesus Loves Me". She just sat quietly and looked back and forth into our eyes. It was so nice to just hold her and rock her. I had to fight back tears as I thought about the fact that she didn't have a mom to hold her, rock her, and sing to her for the first 2 years of her life. I feel like I have missed so many special moments with her. Adoption is beautiful and full of joy, but there are also moments of sadness mixed in. As I sat and rocked my sweet girl, I was filled with joy and sadness at the same time.

We were able to feed M her lunch and play with her all by ourselves while the other babies were going down for their naps. We probably kept her up a little too late from nap, because she was exhausted by the time we left. When it was time for us to take her inside for her nap, she did not want to go. She screamed and threw a fit. It was so hard for me to walk her up those stairs and put her in her crib. She held onto me and cried and cried. Again, I had to fight back tears. Her sweet special mothers helped calm her down and soon she was happy again. We took a few pictures with her special mothers and then told her goodbye for the day. It was really hard for me to leave that day. I wish we could have stayed all day.

We went back to the hotel and got some lunch. I was still feeling a little queazy, but I forced myself to eat. I ate minestrone soup and drank a glass bottled coke (the best coke I ever tasted), and almost immediately felt better. We spent our afternoon relaxing and taking a long nap.

That evening our driver, Wass, took us to a cultural dinner.
We had a very fun and memorable evening with the Smiths. The Smiths were our travel buddies for the trip. They were there meeting their sweet little boy. I am so glad we were able to travel with them and become dear friends.
I love the way we washed our hands at the table. I think I should start doing this at home with my boys to make sure they was their hands before we eat.
I don't know why I cut off Wass's head, but here he is telling us all about the Ethiopian food we were about to eat. This was my first taste of Ethiopian food and it was pretty good. I don't know if it is something I would want to eat every day, but I liked most of it.
My favorite part of the whole experience was watching the performers. They were amazingly talented.
Wass was called up on stage to dance. He was really good and it was obvious he had previous experience. Then the dancer on stage said to Wass that since he had danced with his girl, now he was going to come take one of his girls. Well, I had no idea this is what the man said, and was in shock when he came to our table and took me by the hand. He literally dragged me to the stage as I yelled, "no, no, no." I could not believe I was standing on the stage in front of all those people about to perform and Ethiopian dance. Oh, my goodness, I still can't believe it.

If you are my friend on facebook, you probably already saw my sad attempt at dancing. It really was a lot of fun and we got a lot of laughs. At one point, when I was dancing, I looked at the audience, and everyone was laughing hysterically. How nice, that I was able to be the comic relief for the evening. Ha!! I like to think that Mia would have been proud of her mommy. I will have to show her my dancing some time.

All in all, our second day in Ethiopia was a good one. It was hard to believe that we were already half way done with our trip. The next day, Monday, was our court appointment. We went to bed that evening praising God for our time with our daughter, and praying that we would pass court the next day.

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