Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Rest of Trip 1

SO this post may be a little long, but in an effort to catch up, I am going to finish up trip one. Keep in mind that this is a cut and paste job from our journals that we kept on the trip. There are even more spelling and grammar errors this time as I did do a little clean up on the last few posts but none on this one.:
Day 4:
"There was a guy with a sign waiting for us, and I thought he would be a little more cheerful but he didnt say a word the whole time to the hotel. the hotel staff was super nice and the hotel is pretty decent considering. Addis Ababa is a poor city. It looks like some one took a giant handful of buildings and poured them out like dice and that is how the city is laid out. Its just a jumble of what look like manufacturing buildings, hotels, houses, schools, stick huts, corrigated metal houses. People are walking everywhere, some have traditional garb on, some western style.
After we got to the hotel we went downstairs and met 3 other families and ate some french fries while we waited to get p[icked up to go to HH. Wass came and pikced us up, we made a deal with the Harleys to film/photo each other. When we pulled in the gates and got out, no one really said anything to us, and we were just kinda standing there. Then the Ladds little boy walked by and we wathced them meet him.
Wass said she is his most favorite baby ever, and that he is crazy for her. He said Salam is crazy for her too. He mentioned several times how much he loved her and had her pcitures everywhere. He came and started feeding her, I got a few spoonfuls in too. We then went up to her room and met her special mothers. It was fun to see her relax and start to play. She is crazy beautiful. I tried to love on her as much as I could and hopefully she will warm up to us. she is loved here, thats for sure." - Mike

Yesterday was the day we met our girl for the first time. She is everything I imagined. we went into the baby area abnd Itook pics for the Harleys.... they were going to video us after. But I looked up and there she was with here huge brown eyes looking at me. I immedietly started to cry and Mike could'nt figure out why, then I said "there she is" and we both saw here. I had to regain my composure and they brought her over. Tsige was holding her and then had her try and come to me and she started to cry but I took her. She was scared andwanted her special mother. She would quit down for a bit and nuggle into my neck, then see one of her special mothers andn then start screaming, all of which I expected :). They all left us in the room with her and she would quiet down then cry. off and on . then they told us to take her outside which helped alittle unti lshe saw and heard Was who she loves. then she would scream. Before we left they would clap and make almost a beebox sound and she would clap and dance back. We love her and can't wait to go back tomorrow. - Chantel

very first meet

first time

Day 5-6:
"When we got there in the morning all of the babies were sunning and playing in the outside court yard. Edlawit was sitting in a high chair and there was a little guy in a walker and as soon as he saw all of the white people walking around the corner he started screaming and taking quick steps backwards away from us, it was so funny. Edlawit was hesitant again so they had us feed her her mush away from everyone, by the big kids. She still cried so Itook her out of her seat and fed her. She did fine while she watched Mike play with the older kids. The older kids were so hungry for attention and they pretty much mauled Mike. He was taking pictures with them and showing them, which they loved. Then he threw them up in the air and they were all pushing and hitting eachother out of the way so they could have a turn. I could definitely see the order they had established, a smaller kid would be playing with a toy and a bigger kid would walk up and grab it from him... There was nothing the smaller kid could do. EDlawit cried a little but soon fell asleep in my arms..... I passed her to Mike and she screamed and reached for me.... I ate it up and took her back. It was thentime to go so i took her back inside and gave her to her special mother and she cried again... which I also loved. I feel so bad for her she is so confused wondering who her person is

"Edlawit didnt cry as much today but was still pretty sad with us most of the time. Its a little tough. She is definitely warming up to Chantel and seems to trust her now. We brought her outside again and kinda tried to isolate her from the special mothers. She still isnt very interested in playing with us, so once she fell asleep with Chantel I went over to hang with the older kids. It was crazy. They kinda started to swarm me and I was doing my best to give each a turn throwing them up, swinging them around, bouncing them on my knee. There were about 5 or 6 that just wouldnt leave me alone. It was really touching. They liked to rub my hair, and feel the hair on my arms. There was one in particular that I really liked, she is a 5 yr old little girl and kinda latched on to me as well. She is really sweet and just wanted me to hold her on my lap. They are learning to count and name the colors in english so it was pretty cute to hear them show their stuff. We came back for lunch and then headed back over. E was even better this time, Chantel gave her a bath and fed her. Then we went inside and the special mothers kinda took over, they brought her downstairs because their favorite soap was on tv. So we sat in the room with them and watched E. She is so cute when she opens up, its fun to see her play with the toys, crawl, stand up etc. We got to interact with us a teeny bit. It was time to go again and we gave her hugs and kisses.
Next we drove thru town to an Italian restaurant. It was sad/interesting/crazy to see Addis. It is just so jumbled. There is such a mix of shanties, nice buildings, garbage, beggars, people dressed super nice, really nice chromed out cars, junkers, and everything in between. I guess we have similar differences in the US but it seems like its specific to areas. The rich are in the rich area, poor in the poor. You can definitely tell its more poor than not. Its very dirty, smells like exhaust and smoke. People are walking all over and there are no traffic lights,crosswalks, you just have to manage your own way. The restaurant had really good food, it was a good change. It was weird to finally be "out" in Addis. I wasnt sure what to expect. There were some stares for sure and immedialty some beggars came to us. I felt so bad, but we had to get back in our bus. The next stop was the shopping market. It was pretty much what I expected, lots of shops with the same or very similar stuff, haggling, etc. Much like Mexico"- Mike

E and Wass

How she felt about me for the first half of the week

Day 7-8:
"Yesterday was an amazing day. We woke up, ate breakfast then headed to HH. 3 families had court in the morning so they left early and were then brought to HH a little later. All 3 families passed! When we got to HH the babies were outside and I took some pics for some families, I think Mike went and got E. She stated to cry s oa special mother took her from him for a bit then brought her back to him and she cried so he took her behind one of the buildings. I followed and when she saw me she screamed for me and reached for me... melt my heart. It didn't say much just that she preferred me over Mike. We hung outhen her diaper was really wet and i knew she would be falling asleep soon we took her in and changed her for the first time. Then she fell asleep and we went inside. Ipasssed her to Mike and she slept for a long time. The other babies were also brought in for ther nap. I played with another little girl who is so stinkin cute for a while. When E woke up we went outside.
Now when she sees her weekend ones or sometimes even Was it is way less of a cry fest, maybe just a whimper, but only for Was . He loves her soooo much and was taking pics of us with her. We went home for lunch but when i gave her back to her special mothers she cried and clung to me and reached for me. Everyone was cheering :) We decided to walk to another restaurant a litttle walk away. I was really tired but we went any way. I was a little nervous walking but we were fine. The food was good but took forever and everyone was staring at us most of the time. We hurried back and on our way gave some people our brownzey and coke. I saw a few more really poor men, one with the hugest lower legs probably from diabetes of congestive heart failure. it was sad cause if it is for any of those reasons, he willlikely die.
E has the most piercing huge beautiful eyes. She walked up to her reflection and gave it a big kiss. Soooo cute. We spent some time in the older kids class room writting numbers and letters with some of the older kids, E was diggin it and grabbing for stuff. I started walking with her again holding her hands then sneakliy transfered to Mike. Shse was good for a while then noticed and wanted me :- Chantel

cultural dinner

Tonight was the cultural dinner, it was really cool. The food was very unique, not my favorite but we saw the coffee ceremony, handwashing and the real way to do ethiopian. Then the dancing show started. It was pretty sweet. Some of the moves were crazy, they did like a running man hump move. The dances were definitley tribal. Wass said it was time to go and then Tsige talked him into one more. Well the next one they come out into the audience and pick people to kida dance challenge. Chantel got picked and it was really funny. The dancer was so intense. The last dance was from Oromila, E's area so it was cool to seee that, the craziest head whipping ever. It was a really fun night.

one of my favorite toddlers

Day 8-9
We walked after that but as soon as we got there we got on the bus with the Harleys and headed out to Bethzasa orphanage. It was fun to just have the small group with Wass. He opened up and told us a lot about Ethiopia, adoption, the people etc. Bezthasa was sad. It was a run down version of HH. The director took us on a tour, showed us where our kids were. The special needs room was especially sad. These kids suffer, the orphanage does its best but dont have the resources to take care of them I wished I had brought my donations directly here. The kids didnt get as much love because there arent near as many staff, but most had been matched to families.- Mike

We first went to the special needs room which was so unbelieviebly heart breaking. There was a little 5year old on te floor being fed by a SP. She was pretty severly handicaped and was having a hard time eating. The sm would put the liquid food in her mouth and she would be chocking on it and she would plug her nose so she would swallow and then do it all again,. I couldn't stop the tears. Another little 4 year old was blind and was laying in a crib. The director said they pretty much just stay in the bed all day long every day and will never be referred. Heartbreaking. There was also a little premie who was born at 7 months. She was the tinies thing I have ever seen in my life but tottally aware. we next went to infant room 1 where E spent her time. It was pretty stinky and they had about 2 babies to a bed. Some did not have diapers. It was pretty beat down but better than I had thougth. There were 2 toddler rooms and 2 infant rooms. There was also a room where they take all the new kiddos, it was their isolation room where the kids spend 10 days to make sure they don't have anything infectious. It looked like a prison cell with no bulb in the light and very small. Mike said it had a window with bars but I didn't see any window. One baby there had Leukemia, one had a brain yumor, one didn't have stomach muscles. Pretty sad. -chantel

at Bethzatha w/ the Harley's

Last Days:
Well...... we passed! ahhhh we have the most beautiful daughter, she is legally ours. They called both the Bults and us in and asked us a few question. When they said Edilawit?" I started to cry. then they asked us questions like are youprepared to deal with some identitiy issues, have you educated yourself about ethiopia and she said she thought it was important that we teach her about her heritage, she asked if we had other kids and if they knew about the adoption and she said once she declares her ours, she is ours. Then she daid all of the paperwork was there and "she is yours" Ahhh both Mike and i lost it. we walked out of the room and into the hall and gave each other a big hug. we are now a family of 5...
Our last day in ET was bitter sweet. We were really ready to leave Ethiopia, I was so sick of the hotel food and I was missing the kiddos at home but I was dreading leaving E.
We took her in the bigger kid area and I started balling. She was lookin ginto my eyes for the longest time (i'm sure wondering what was going on ) and she was playing with my sunglasses. We loved on her than took her to her special mothers in the infant house. I was balling my eyes out as I handed her to one of them and she was crying and reaching for my. SO they drove us back to the hotel and dropped us off. I cried the whole way and Wass said they would take good care of her, I knew they would but I was missing her so much already

How can you leave this little girl?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Introducing our girl

So sorry it has taken forever for us to post but we have been super busy. Here is a quick picture of our girl, she is doing wonderfully, sleeping between 10-12 hours at night and eating like a champ. The kids adore her... well adore might be a bit of a strong word to describe Jmans feelings but he is coming around. I will try and post again soon.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

DAY 3 Dubai to Addis

"So I kinda didn't think much about the next step on our trip today, it was just kinda surreal being here at such an international beach. I was quite bummed I didn't have my speedo though as I was the only one not wearing one. So now we are headed off to bed, its noon in Temecula and 11 pm here. Body is still adjusting, I don't think it has hit me even now what is going to happen tomorrow...its crazy. Its gonna be an adventure!!" - Mike

"Well, today is the day we meet our sweet heart. Yesterday was our full day in Dubai and it was nice and relaxing, just what I had hoped for. The weather was super hot so we swam a lot in the ocean, which was so warm and didn't keep you cool for very long. i loved that the water was so clear I could see the bottom and there was no coral, just the softest sand. It was fun to see all of the different people from different cultures, mostly Europeans. We then went up to the hotel room at about noon and had a 3 hour nap. I was so tired and my body was so confused when i made it get up since back home it was night time. We got up and went back to the beach and pool for a few more hours then went to eat Indian food. we headed to bed at about 11pm and i hoped I would be able to sleep. I knew it might be hard to sleep since I was getting so excited to see my girl. I fell asleep o.k but woke up almost every hour. Mike startled me at 3am when he couldn't sleep so went on the balcony... so i couldn't sleep. I was so excited, this is the day we have been waiting for. I wondered if baby E was awake yet but guessed not. She was probably sleeping and had no idea she would be meeting her new family today. I prayed she would be ready for us and we would be ready for her. We went to our gate and as we checked in they told us we were upgraded to Business class... woohoo Tons of leg room, massaging, reclining seats and yummy food. So now we have about an hour left until we land in Addis, then we head to the hotel and get ready to meet my love. Ahhh, it seems so surreal, I feel like iam just going through the motions but it isn't really happening. Can't wait to meet her and see how big she is, what she smells like, how her hair feels, what her cry sounds like. In a few hours we will know. I love this girl" Chantel

"They treat you pretty well up there but still wouldn't pay thousands of dollars for it. This flight was uneventful, when we came in for landing i was kinda nervous. So unsure of what to expect. The airport was a stark contrast to Dubai, which was the nicest airport I have ever been in, it was like a mall inside. The visa office was like a closet room with a fold out table or 2. We paid our 20 bucks, got our visas and went thru security. They checked our meds suitcase again, but just like in Dubai, they were kinda unsure what to do with us so they just let us go."- Mike

BUSINESS CLASS!!!!!! too bad it wasnt for the 16 hr flight but hey we'll take it

our plane

the Dubai airport was like one of the nicest US malls I have ever been too, and they had PINKBERRY which Chantel was dying to have. It was a little pricey but well worth it

Our hotel had this crazy chandelier that stretched down 10 floors or so

Chantel had just said " I wish we would see a camel walk by" and no more than 5 minutes later this guy walked right by us on the beach

This was pretty much what most of our day consisted of

Just making sure there wasn't still a genie in there! Dubai was awesome

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


So we are finally gonna start posts about our trip, one day at a time,so here is Day 1 (we both made daily journal entries so this will just be excerpts from those. you will have to excuse the grammar and punctuation since we typed on a tiny keyboard and I have no interest in correcting it all)

"So I worked a little today and Pat had to tell every patient that I was about to leave to Ethiopia. Every patient was like, "that's so great," or "have a safe trip." So I was kinda thinkin about it all day. Then I got BO, which is pretty rare for me so I realized I was pretty nervous. I was a little stressed for our baggage since everyone always says how strict emirates is, but when we got to lax there were no problems at all. Once that was behind us and we got thru security, I kinda realized what was happening. When we boarded the plane, I kinda had a couple mission flashbacks. I am so excited, this will be such an experience and really change our lives I think. Its hard for me to even imagine what it will really be like, this is so different from anything I have ever done. But I am in love with this little girl. I am proud to have the chance to be her father. I hope she learns to love me the way I love her."--Mike

"Well, the day is finally here, I woke up this morning at 5:00am and couldn't go back to sleep. I rolled over and grabbed Mike's face and squeezed his cheeks and said "we are going to Africa today". I keep imagining how E will react when we see her for the first time... I am almost positive she will cry for the first few days. It will be hard not to just go pick her up and snuggle her right away, but my plan is to take it easy and have her warm up to us first."--Chantel

Arabian Pepsi

Leaving LAX



"Well, we are in Dubai, we arrived last night at 7:45 after a pretty uneventful flight. I was really sick of the plane though and my booty was so sore and my legs were so swollen and tight. we weren't sure where to go so just followed the crowd which ended up taking us to transferring flights, not final destination as Dubai. So we had to go back through security and down the stairs to the Visa line (which took forever) and then to get our baggage. Ours was the last one there but I was glad it was all there. As we were leaving we got one of our bags searched at customs, it was full of vitamins and creams and stuff. We explained what it was and they eventually let us go, they didn't really understand what it was but eventually said it was o.k. The 20 mile car ride took us over an hour because of the crazy amount of traffic. The drivers are crazy here too, I thought for sure we were goint to crash but I guess it is even worse in Ethiopia so I better get used to it. we arrived at our hotel and it is super nice. I am a little stressed because you can't show any form of public affection so I have to stop myself from grabbing Mike's hand. They could arrest you if they see you. We toured the hotel a little and walked to the beach, the sand was so nice and the water was so warm. I woke up at 5:45am and couldn't sleep any more. Our hotel room has an amazing view of the Arabian Sea. I tried to Skype the kids again but no one was online. Now I am sitting on the balcony overlooking the beach and trying to elevate my swollen feet. I'm pretty sure this time change is going to rock me, I will definitely be taking a nap on the beach today.. possibly as I sip a virgin Pina Colada. I can't even believe we get to meet our sweet baby girl tomorrow. I can't wait to see her in person. "--Chantel

"So day 2 is over, but it was really day 3 I guess since we lost about 12 hours, which is weird and confusing but whatever. So the plane ride wasnt too bad, 3 movies, a nap and some old school atari type games. When we landed, I was expecting it to be more foreign. It was strange to see the Arabs in their traditional garb but otherwise it was just another airport. After taking a wrong turn or two we found our way to the line for Visas. When we went thru customs we did have one bag searched, the one with all our vitamins/creams/ointments for HH. They didnt really get why we had them, but we seemed innocent enough I guess and they let us thru. The letter from AGCI was worthless to them. Anyway, then we got vultured by some non-union taxi driver who wastn really a taxi driver and started what turned out to be an hour long 15 mile drive. Again, I wasn't expexcting to see what kind of looked like Mexico, tons of little shops/stores lined the roads and there were a lot of people out. I know there are the fancy spots of Dubai but we didnt see any of them. Our hotel was really nice and the staff was over helpful not letting you carry anything, pour your own water, etc. Got checked in, took a walk on the beach which was really cool, it finally felt really foreign. It was AZ hot too. We slept for maybe 5 hours, chatted with Jboy and Jgirl for a few minutes on Skype, ate an amazing buffet breakfast that inclued the regular US stuff (except the egg yolks were orange) and then an assortment of meats, cheeses, soups and other non breakfast items tha I guess other people eat for breakfast. Anyway, after that we went to the beach and swam in the Arabian Sea, and people watched. It was a nice relaxing day and it was frickin hot, the water was like a warm bathtub." --Mike




Monday, April 25, 2011

Donation Needs

We are leaving for Ethiopia in 16 days... you read that right only 16 more days until we are on our way to see our baby girl. The transition home baby E is in has a list of donations they are in need of at this time. We are able to take 4 bins on our flight over so we are hoping to collect and bring some of these items. If you would like to help out with donations please let me know, we would greatly appreciate it and I know the kiddos in the home would also appreciate it. Here is the list:

Infant Needs

***Baby Wipes
***Organic Unground Flaxseed
Infant and Children’s Vitamins
Powdered Similac Formula (regular, vegetable– and ****soy-based*** --> cannot get in Ethiopia and many of the kids are lactose intolerant)
Avent Bottles (8 and 12 oz sizes)
Rice Cereal
Diaper Rash Cream (Desitin is preferred)
Baby Shampoo
Baby Oil
Lotions specifically for dry/ashy skin
Toys for infants 0-16 months

Hydrocortisone cream
Neosporin (or generic Triple Antibiotic)
Clotrimazole cream
Infant and children's multi-vitamins

Towels (blue or pink, regular size)
Kids and Adult's toothpaste (do NOT need toothbrushes however)
Kleenex Boxes
Braun Thermometer Covers
Sidewalk Chalk
Twin Sheets (mainly flats in pink, purple, red, blue or green—solid or printed)

Children's Clothing Needs - Must be New or Like New (please consider slim clothing)
*At this time, infant clothing is not needed*
Toddler Clothing and Shoes
Light Jackets or Sweaters for all ages
Shorts and Tanks for tall, skinny kids
Boys' Clothing - Age 4-10 - especially pants and pajamas
Girls' Clothing - Age 4-10 - especially pants and pajamas
Underwear for all ages
Shoes for all ages, but especially older boys and girls (age 4-13)
(The popular "Croc" is great for these kids as well as sneakers)

Needs for Special Mothers and Staff
Adult-sized slippers (They don’t wear shoes inside)

Crocs for Adults in sizes 7, 8, and 9 (Easily cleaned for special mother's)
Scrubs (White, size medium, for the special mothers caring for the children)

LapTop Computer, New or Refurbished.

Thank you all for your support and help through out our adoption!

Easter Festivities

Things have been so super crazy around here. We moved on Friday... which will be saved for another post... so I had no idea Easter was this past Sunday until about Thursday of last week. We still managed to pull it off and the kids had a blast celebrating the Easter festivities. We decorated Easter eggs (at 9:30pm on Saturday night) and both kids got a ton of candy and goodies on Easter morning. Our new street has a lot of kids so they do an annual Easter egg hunt Sunday morning, so we were able to participate in that this year...Jgirl and Jboy ate candy ALL day yesterday.... Jboy tried to do it again today so I gave him a little info on type 1 diabetes... he is a little hesitant now :)Church was great, my mum sang in my aunts ward so we all went to watch, it was a great Easter program. I am so grateful to my Saviour for all he has done for us.
I gotta run and finish cleaning our old house but here are some pictures of our fun weekend.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy 11 Months Baby Girl

Happy 11 months sweet baby. We will be in Ethiopia for your happy 12 months.... Please don't learn to walk before then. We can't wait, only 26 more days until we leave.