Monday, March 3, 2008

We Made It!

After a four hour delay in Washington DC, we finally arrived in Addis a little after noon local time.  It has been a whirlwind ever since.  While we were still in the airport, we talked by cell with an AAI contact and she asked if we wanted to go get Anna in 40 minutes or if we needed a little time.  After the grueling trip, we decided we needed a little time.  We went to the guest house, unloaded luggage, took a quick shower, and then were off to meet Anna.


We were taken to the KM care center and, after meeting Sister Lutgarta, we were led through a gate, a walkway, another gate, across a courtyard, up some steps, and into an upper hallway.  As we were going down the hall we saw Anna sitting on a counter through a window.  She was all smiles, which was refreshing to see since she was somber in all of the photos we had seen so far.  After waving through the green iron grid window for a moment, we went around and into the room.


There were 25 kids, a dozen cribs, two strollers, three workers, and now our escort and us.  CrazyMom made here way through to Anna and picked her up.  Anna was all hugs and smiles.  The room was so small and there were so many bodies, I could not physically get through, so I started interacting with some of the other kids for the moment.  This was officially naptime and it was clear that our arrival had ruined any hope for that.  Things were getting pretty chaotic and so we were led off to another room where we could spend a few minutes alone with Anna.  After a few more minutes of interacting in the courtyard with lots of kids, we were off.


For dinner we ate at an Ethiopian restaurant that redefines for me the term "hole-in-the-wall."  The 11 x 18 foot dining room had holes in the walls, had tiles coming off of the floor, and had 6-8 random wall decorations.  An 8x10 of a white person passed out on a bed with a keg took the cake.  Anna ate and ate and ate.  Part way through the meal, I stopped eating to make sure there would be enough for her.  She ate as much as I did, and then kept going.  "Bacca?" CrazyMom would say, which means "done."  Anna would shake her head no.  Once, CrazyMom picked up the tray with the food on it to take it away and Anna interpreted the move as CrazyMom handing her the tray.  She reached out and pulled it closer to her.  We did eventually cut her off because we were afraid of what would happen if she ate any more.


Anna is now asleep in the room.  Today she appears to be a happy 4 year old girl.  She may be a little small, but she seems heavier than what we were told, which is good.  She prefers to sit and kiss the photos in the albums we brought her rather than run around and play.  But that is just today.  It will be fun to discover more about her tomorrow.



Carissa said...

That is wonderful! Thank you for letting us take this trip with you. I just discovered your blog a month or two ago, and I have enjoyed getting to know your family through the stories and pictures.
My husband and I are in the paperwork stages of adopting our third (first two are bio) and seeing your transracial family has been a blessing and inspiration.
God bless you!

elisabeth said...

Congratulations on reaching Anna! Matthew and I keep up with your blog regularly, and we so appreciate all that you share. We will continue to pray for your safe return home and for the introduction of Anna into your family.

The Merricks said...

It's so good to hear that you've made it safe and are already bonding with Anna. We can't wait to meet her when you get back. The pastor mentioned you during prayer requests on Sunday and when he mentioned Anna, K.D. was just all smiles and giggles. You are in our prayers. God Speed.

Kris Long said...

Awesome Wonderful Thrilling~ I can't wait to meet her!
Hey, Crazymom asked if she could get anything for me while in ET. At the time I said "no" but I didn't realize I could get a cool 8x10 like the one you saw in the restaurant. I would like one of those, thanks so much.

mom2babybirds said...

Yeah! Congratulations and she is just beautiful; even more so when she is smiling. And good job on restraining yourselves from taking a few more kids on your way out:)

Norah said...

Woo Hoo!!!!! I am so happy to read your post. Congratulations on adding a wonderful daughter to your family.

Jacquie said...

So glad you made it safely. Anna is adorable and I can't wait to see her in person! Looking forward to hearing more about your trip!

Andrea said...

Wow thanks for writing so in detail about your trip especially KM. As I read the story I imagined myself being there. That is where Anna's two friends are(H & B). Hopefully I will get to pick them up in October.