Thursday, September 17, 2009
A forever family
After leaving the Hilton on Tuesday our plan for going to the Merkato was 86'd and we went straight to Toukoul orphanage. This time they let us take the children to the guest house for the afternoon. It took us a long time to get all the details straight--which tends to happen with the language barrier--but the kids came to be with us in our room for a few hours. The kids fell asleep right away and they called us down for lunch along with the traditional singing and dancing in celebration of the new year, which started last Friday. The kids did fine upstairs in their cribs.
At five in the afternoon we took them back to the orphanage and arrived back at the guest house just in time to have dinner.
Wednesday morning was an early one because we needed to go to the American embassy and get passports for the children. We made it from the guest house to the lawyer's office to the orphanage to the embassy all within an hour and were in line with all kinds of people. We carried the kids through security screening, police and metal detectors. I even got "wanded"!
The embassy appointment was really easy. A couple of questions and some stamps and we got our paperwork. They'll have the kids passports ready on Friday the 18th.
Here's the big part. Once we got back to the orphanage we were told that we could bring the kids back to the guest house with us permanently. This was on the condition that we give Elisha the last few days of his antibiotics. So the kids got to spend the night--and will forever after spend all their nights--with us.
Mariah Hani loves to be held so she screamed when we put her in the crib for about 10 minutes before falling asleep like a rock. Elisha Israel rocks himself to sleep almost immediately when he knows it's bed time. This is common for orphans.
When I woke up, I knew Mariah was awake. She was playing with a toy in her crib and doing fine. I waited as long as I could, but as soon as she saw me get out of bed she started to cry. All she was lacking was attention. She can't get enough of it.
Two hours, two bottles and three diapers later, we arrived downstairs for breakfast.
Today I am spending the morning at the Sheraton taking care of money exchange and e-mail, along with a little shopping. In a little bit, I'll be going to Toukoul and then shopping with the whole gang (Eric and Deb, Becky and Naing and our hostess, Aster). And then the trip that I've been waiting for: getting to go to a restaurant. In America we call it Ethiopian food; here it's just food.
Tomorrow we'll go back to the orphanage to bring the famous Peterson shoes and Burlene Moore's quilts for a donation and then let the caregivers say goodbye to the children. Along with this it will be time to say goodbye to Eric and Deb and Naing and Becky. They leave on Saturday.
Thank you all for your prayers and for taking the time to read this. In case you are just skimming this post, know that the kids are doing great and we are bonding very well. I hope to post at least one more time on Saturday or Monday. Love you all.