Hi, this is Anne-Marie. Eli has been extremely sick for the past couple days. The doctor at the kids' orphanage saw him and thinks he has food poisoning. She prescribed antibiotics and electrolytes. I hope he is feeling better for the flight home tomorrow! I was really sick last night also, but am feeling better today.
As far as the babies go, they seem to love us and are very attached to us already. They both cry when we put them down. Mariah Hani is a beautiful little baby girl who has the staff at the guest hotel wrapped around her fingers. They all call her Hani "gonjo", which is the Amharic word for beautiful. She is small for her supposed 9 months and fits better into 3-6 month clothes. Elisha Israel is a big, handsome boy who is proving to be very strong-willed already! He also is the center of attention when around the hotel staff. He loves music and loves to hear us sing. He hates naps, but has found out that Daddy is even more strong-willed than he is. Both Mariah and Elisha sleep through the night (approx. 7-6), and are used to taking naps due to the strict schedule at the orphanage. Eli and I bought them little hand-held African drums a couple days ago and both babies love to play with them. Sometimes in the middle of the night, I wake up and hear Mariah playing with hers. They have been completely in our care for several days now, and they are doing just fine. I feel like I'm getting the routine down pretty well. The only trouble is that they both want me at the same time. That's a nice problem. I think both babies are having much more fun and getting much more love and attention than they've ever experienced, and that is why they want to be held all the time. Both have been a little bit sick. Mariah has had some tummy problems, an ear infection and respiratory infection, and Elisha has a respiratory infection. Both babies are on antibiotics for these problems and are doing better.
We are glad and sad to be returning home tomorrow. The people here in Ethiopia are such sweet, friendly people, and we wish we had more time to travel outside of Addis. On the other hand, we cannot wait to get home so we can eat ice cream, hamburgers, milkshakes, drink tap water, sleep in our own bed, and spread out a bit. Tripping over suitcases, cribs, and furniture in our little room is getting very old. (I have multiple bruises on my shins).
We attended church Sunday morning at Beza church. (Beza means redemption in Amharic). It is a Protestant Pentecostal church. There were about 300 people in attendance for the first service, which just happened to be in English! Apparently their second service is in Amharic. It was wonderful. We took some pictures and a short video clip on our camera. Afterwards, we met a sweet lady with two little boys who invited us to her house. She was beyond happy to meet us and to have friends to visit with. It was an eye-opening experience.
I will let Eli fill you in on the rest when he gets better. We love you all and thank you for your thoughts and prayers. See you soon!