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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day 3

We woke up in the morning and headed to Kaldi for some macchiatos and breakfast.  Then we met Amy and her dad back at the hotel to head out to the orphanage for our second day with the boys.  We were more comfortable at the orphanage this time.  The pressure was off, we were already in love with Leo. (we had decided on his name the night before, after our first meeting with him)  We snuggled, played, giggled, and got to interact with some of the other children in the orphanage as well.  There were only 6 children there total.  We fell in love with all them!  There was one sweet little girl in particular, Saluna.  She was the oldest child there at 15 months.  She had amazing, big, dark eyes and was soooo sweet.  She was pretending to talk on a cell phone and was kissing everyone on the cheek.  It was a fun day.  I may or may not have caught the adoption bug again...:)

It was harder to say goodbye to Leo when we left because we would not see him again for a few days.  But the caregivers there are so reassuring with there sweet voices and big smiles.  It makes it easier to say goodbye to the kids.


After the orphanage we stopped for a little more shopping with Amy and her dad.  They had not experienced the streets like Andrew and I had so we were hoping to make the experience a little easier for them then it was for us.  I tried to prepare them a little for what they were walking into, although I don't think you can ever prepare yourself for some of the things you see in Ethiopia.

There are some places of sheer desperation.  That is one of the only words that I can think of that really describes parts of the city.  Desperate.  There are adults, and children...young children...who are just desperate.  They are desperate for anything you can offer them.  And they need so much.  In a perfect world, we could help them.  We could give them money, or clothes, or food.  But it's not that simple.  One of the hardest things for me, and one of the reasons it has taken me so long to write about this, is the feeling of helplessness.  You want to help and you want to give.  But there are times when you cannot do this.  You are in a position where you might be compromising your own safety by doing so.  The crowd of people that surrounded us got larger as we shopped.  More people following us, waiting for us outside of shops.  When there are that many people around you, all wanting something from you, it's hard to give anything.  If you give to one, you must give to all.  And it gets a little unsettling when there are hands grasping at you and so many hungry eyes looking at you.  Desperation.  So, what do you do?  You are told to just keep walking.  You do not make eye contact.  You do not acknowledge them at all.  You ignore them.  THIS is what makes me ill.  This is what I struggle with, even now that I am home.  I am not better than these people.  I am not above them.  Yet I walked past them as if I were.  It is very hard to hold your head up while you are turning down the least of these.  In fact, it makes me cringe.  What must they think of me?  Is this what Jesus would do?  Surely not.  It makes me feel ashamed.  I don't like being in that position.  And now that I am home in my big comfortable house full of food and fully furnished with all that I need, I cannot help but think of those people still out there.  The ones who are still walking the streets, waiting for someone to help them....I am now desperate.  I am desperate to help in some way or another...

After shopping we headed back to the room to rest a bit before going to court.  I was nervous about court.  I didn't really know what to expect.  I pictured standing in a court room in front of a judge who would be determining whether or not I was a suitable parent for my son.  I got sweaty just thinking about it.  I was also not feeling well.  I felt very shaky and light headed for some reason.  I kept thinking it was something I had eaten...now I wonder if it was just nerves?  Our guide, Alemu, picked us up and we headed to the courthouse.  We had to stop to make copies of our passports.  It was so hot out and there was a small shop across the street from the copy place that had raw meat hanging out.  I have never felt so close to passing out in my life.  Luckily I was able to hold myself together.  When we got to the courthouse we sat down in a small waiting room.  There were other families there too.  I assume they were all adopting as well.  They got called in one by one.  I had time to eat a granola bar that I had in my purse and I started feeling better.  We were called in all together, Andrew and I, and Amy and her father, along with Alemu.  It was just a small room with a female judge and someone collecting the paperwork.  She asked us a couple questions each.  "Do you have any other children at home?  Does she know about the adoption?  What does she think of it?  Have you met your son and spent time with him?  Do you understand this is final and once it is done, nothing can reverse it?  Do you still wish to proceed with this adoption?"  YES!!!  Then it was done.  She declared him ours by Ethiopian law, and we were excused.  I had a huge lump in my throat again...but this time is was from holding back happy tears.  He was mine.  After all of the waiting...he was ours.

We grabbed a quick celebratory coffee with Alemu.  Then we headed back to the room and decided to grab some dinner at The Friendship Cafe.  Amy and her dad were leaving that night so we said goodbye to them.  It was kind of sad because it was so nice having another family to do things with and experience this with.  We were on our own again.  But we enjoyed our dinner and had to walk back to the hotel in the dark.  I was really nervous, but it turned out to be fine.  We were leaving for Dire Dawa at 5am the next morning so knew we needed some sleep.  We watched some 30 Rock on the laptop, and went to bed.

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