Sorting through our feelings and thoughts of the recent trip has proven difficult. It will take evaluating and much consideration before I even feel half equipped to transcribe the things we saw, felt and experienced in Ethiopia.
There is one moment...almost separated from the hustle and bustle of the trip which stands out clearly in my mind for all time: the day we got our son.
We had arrived the night before on the late flight. By 12:00am we were in our bed.
Morning came quickly and with it the bright sun and new sounds of the streets of Addis. It was a relaxing morning and yet filled with much pacing, hopping, and wiggling from the anticipation of the events of the day (and perhaps too much water from attempting to bring back my milk supply for Oliver). As I waited for the clock to wind its way around to 9:00...the time given to call our Lawyer...I was called into the office for a phone call.
"Sintayew here. Can you be at the office in 15 min?"
"Of course! We will be there!"
Under normal circumstances, this would have been an impossible feat and I would have bargained for 30 min., but I was not about to risk having to reschedule, so I agreed and we flew out the gate...still swallowing what we could of our coffee as we hopped into the car. The only thing stopping us from going to the orphanage was this meeting and by golly we were going to make it!
The streets were abuzz with new sights; strange sights which appeared too much like the pictures to be real; as though someone had installed screens on the windows and inserted a video. If it was not for the constant turns of heads staring at us and the smiles which came when we acknowledged them, I might have wondered if this was the case. I was yet to grow accustomed to the life which filled these streets. The air is full of pollution, yet it is thin. I breath in Africa and pray that I will never forget.
The car is pulled to the side of the road and our driver steps out onto the sidewalk. We hesitintly open the doors...not sure what is "the right thing to do". All is so foreign...including us. There is a rift between "us" and "them" that I naively hope to conquer but later realize I never will. This is the beginning of the realization that we will always be "ferenge."
I see the welcomed face of our Lawyer, Mr. Sintayew - another "photo face" I recognize from the adoption paperwork. He smiles and leads us into his office. Small chit chat brings us to realize that it was he who tapped us on the shoulder at the airport the night before followed by an "I'm sorry...wrong person." He was not expecting Oliver to be in tow and thought he must be mistaken.
We are given our choice of drinks. Josh takes coffee...I take water. Papers are signed and a bit more chit chat. We get our first taste of Ethiopian baby magic as within a moment, Sintayew gets Ollie to laugh. One of his first laughs. It is comfortable in his office, but I am ready to go.
"Shall I call the orphanage and tell them you are on your way?"
Do you really need to ask that??? "YES!"
TO BE CONTINUED...