Friday, April 13, 2012

.Ethiopia - Day 2.

coffee to start the day

Day Two was THE DAY.  The day we took custody of our son.  Preparing to leave, before Ethiopia, I was told by other adoptive parents that we would not get him until the end of the week.  Most told us to be prepared to not have him with us until our Embassy date, possibly a day before.  Hearing that we were shocked when Abel told us we would get him Monday, not that Thursday we had prepared ourselves for.  Part of me, a big part, was really sad we would only be going to his orphanage once.  It is not a hidden fact that I love ALL the kids there.  Only seeing their precious faces once that week brought many tears out of me, both before and after.

Waking up Monday morning I had butterfly's.  I was still shocked to be in Ethiopia.  And I really didn't believe that it was going to happen, it was almost as if I was just watching it play out with the other couples and not expecting it to be me as well.  That morning we all got ready and headed to our agencies office.  There we were briefed on what would go down at embassy.  This was not really anything new - just questions on our child's history.

lunch before picking up the kids

After our meeting we all went out for lunch at Tivoli Restaurant.  We all got comfort food to calm our nerves.  Aaron and I split a pizza that was too good for words and french fries!  So good.

Summer and her daughter Violet :) 

Then we were headed to pick up Summers daughter Violet.  She is a 1 year old doll!  Summer was about to become a first time mom and sharing in her delight of the day was really fun, I am so glad we got to share in her happiness.  We all stood outside the orphanage while Summer spend her first moments with Violet and Summers sister Dawanna.  I sorta felt like the paperazzi taking pictures through the flowery gate.

Yosie not cooperating....

patiently waiting....

After picking up Violet we dropped them off at the Guest House and went to Yezalelem Minch to witness the reunion and pick up of Teil and Calude's baby boy Yosie.  Yosie is a 18 month old big boy, who totally reminds me of Asher - they are built the exact same.  Their reunion was sorta funny as they has Yosie up on the balcony with a staff member and Claude & Teil waited at the bottom.  The film crew that was there to 'capture' the moment was trying to get a good shot of Yosie, but he didn't want much to do with them so the crew had him walk across the balcony about 7 times before they finally were finished.  After that Teil, Claude, and their daughter Nini were finally able to go into a small room and get him.  They stayed for a small going away ceremony for Yosie.

waiting for him to be done bathing....

Then it was our turn!  CRAZY.  When we got to the orphanage we went into the office to give them a few donations first.  Then we went into the baby room, where our son had been living for the past 15 months of his life.  We were told Tariku was getting a bath and he would be ready soon.  While we waited all the kiddos were waking up from their naps and I was able to snuggle with a few.  Then Tariku walked in dripping wet and butt naked.....perfect reunion right.  We asked the camera crew not to film that, haha.  I helped get him dressed and he gave us hugs.  Then we went outside and played with just Tariku for a while, while the camera crew filmed us together.

getting dressed....

first moments....

playing with bubbles....

He loves his daddy 

After the crew got their footage we were able to gather the kids together and play with them outside.  I tried to soak up as much time with all of them as I could.  Part of me was already mourning the fact that we would have to leave and that Tariku would be leaving his friends.  There are no words to describe the love I have for Tariku's Ethiopian family, his brothers and sisters, they are all too precious.

We can't show the other kiddos faces, but this little girl is precious to us....

Somewhere in this time I went and talked to the nurses and nannies that helped care for Tariku.  It was good to spend time with them and get to thank them for their care on my child.  They all said we were blessed to have him join our home as he is a good boy.

I tried to pay attention to this guy because I have a feeling many don't.  He has special needs and I pray that a forever family is coming for him. 

After a good hour of playing the older kids came home from school and we prepared for Tariku's going away ceremony.  I had witnessed his friends in January and I knew what it would be like.  I also knew I would cry through most of it, which is why when they sang a special song to start the ceremony it was Barney's 'I love you' which totally cracked me up instead.  Plenty of tears followed as kids were telling Tariku how they loved him and how he had been a blessing in their life.  At one point an older child got to offer Tariku a gift - the boy they chose to present him with it was the one who helped lead Tariku to that particular orphanage.  I kinda lost it there and became a crying mess.  This boy literally saved Tarikus life and although I can't write about the details right now I can tell you we will always love him and he will always be special to us.  The present was a traditional outfit.

Saying goodbye to his best friend.

After the gift we all had cookies and suckers.  The kids laughed and ate and enjoyed this time.  I tried to love on all the littles.  Then we had a group photo of all the kids at the orphanage and some staff members.  When it was time to leave I called over Tariku's best buddy and had them say goodbye to each other.  As I type this I have tears as it was such a Godly moment.  Tariku went and kissed his best friend on the cheek, then the other.  And his buddy did the same to him then they hugged for a minute.  Then his buddy reached up to me and pulled my face down offering me a kiss on my cheek.  We know his friends day to come home will happen and we pray it happens soon.

Leaving the orphanage.

On the drive home my tears started to cease as Tariku sat in my lap and held my hand.  Tariku didn't cry at all as he was excited to be out and in a beep beep car.  Once we were at the Guest House Tariku introduced himself to everyone else and started going through the clothes and toys we brought for him.  He was excited to be there and to be with us.

On our drive to the Guest House. 

Our first night together went well.  We ate pizza and french fries (which I chipped my tooth on), we read, he got a bath, and we went to bed.  He slept in the middle of us and non of us fell asleep until late because we were all giggling.


Dana and Jack said...

What a beautiful, wonderful post! Tears of joy!

Future Mama said...

So amazing! Beautiful post!!

Jen Price said...

So beautiful! I love how each adoption journey is unique. Thanks for sharing a bit of yours and your heart for all those kids in the orphanage! Blessings!

Kim said...

Oh, I love reading your story, seeing the familiar faces and places. Praying for you daily, friend.