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?


Mama Mimi said...

Oh man...I remember watching you say goodbye. It was torture knowing we would have to do the same just days later.

I loved reading your journal and i can't wait to catch up on how life has been with her home!

Becca Harley said...

okay - this just makes me miss you more! when are you coming to NY?!!!! I need some skidmore time and a bronzie:)

April and Nate said...

LOVED this post. I was tearing up at some points and laughing at others. You guys have been soooo blessed. We are really happy for you.