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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Meeting my 2 in Addis

I woke up at 5:30am on Monday.  There were dogs barking outside, a rooster who wanted the world the wake up, and all my mind could do was imagine what it would be like to hold my son for the first time.  All the months of paperwork, waiting, and the emotional roller coaster of it all, was finally going to be worth it.  I could not go back to sleep.  Thank goodness for wireless internet, even on the other side of the world.  Andrew and I got up and ready for the day and headed to our saving grace, Kaldi Coffee.  We have a new addiction for Ethiopian coffee...well...macchiatos really.  After a big breakfast of french toast and a good dose of caffeine, we headed back to meet with Amy and her father.  She is the other women from our agency who was also in Ethiopia to meet her son.  We hadn't met yet but I was anxious for some English speaking company.

Meeting Amy was great, she is so sweet and her Georgia accent is so charming.  Our driver arrived to take us to Engida and we headed off to meet our boys.  The drive there was much like the rest of the city we had seen.  There were people everywhere, walking down the road, laying in the grass, sitting against buildings, selling sunglasses and belts, and just hanging out.  But we had a good 20-30 minutes to chat a little, and think about our first meeting.  I had butterflies!!!!  I didn't know how it would be when we got there.  I sort of had this vision in my head of us waiting in a room and someone bringing him in...then there would be this big moment of pure joy as they passed us our son...

We pulled in to this super bumpy gravel drive with tiny little buildings on either side.  We stopped in front of a little gate and our driver got out and knocked.  We followed.  The lump in my throat was huge!  None of us really knew what to we just stood there waiting for direction.  Someone came to the gate and let us in...I honestly cannot remember who it was.  But we went in and followed her up a windy staircase.  When we got to the top there were two rooms and a couple nannies caring for babies.  I was looking around trying to spot Amin.  Amy was told her son was asleep and we were ushered into the other small room.  Someone told us Amin was being washed.  So we stood there, waiting anxiously and smiling at the other babies.  I spotted a familiar face in an album in one of the cribs.  It was my friend Heidi who's son was also at Engida.  Then, a nanny came out of the tiny bathroom holding Amin.  She laid him on the changing table and took what felt like 10 minutes to put his diaper on and clothe him.  We just stood back watching.  No big anticipated moment, but amazing all the same.  Then she picked him up and handed him to me.  I held him close and kissed him over and over.  I was so overwhelmed with emotions.  It wasn't how I had imagined...but I was holding my boy.  He was soooooo sweet!  He is little, but chubby.  His skin is so smooth and soft.  He has these dark eyes that literally pierce your heart.  I could see my reflection in them.  I let Andrew have a turn as well and we took lots of pictures.  Our driver was sweet enough to record the meeting on my camera, but I don't think he knew it was a video b/c he was kind of all over the place.:)

By now Amy's son Michael was awake too and we were taken downstairs to the "sitting room."  We had about an hour and a half to hold him, kiss him, and play with him.  His smile is enormous!  He is getting a tiny tooth on the bottom as well.  It was great!  He never cried once.  I got to feed him, and then he fell asleep in my arms...all the waiting was truly worth it.  He is perfect.

After saying goodbye to the boys, we headed back to the hotel and grabbed some lunch at the Lime Tree with Amy and her dad.  Next, we had some time to rest in our rooms.  We were sooooo tired!  I guess all the emotions of the morning had wore us all out.

Our guide came and picked us up at 7pm to take us to a traditional Ethiopian restaurant.  It was soooo cool!  We all sat around a small round table and were served coffee and drinks.  Then we had some amazing Ethiopian food.  We let our guide choose what to order, and it was all yummy!  There was a big stage with performers singing and dancing all night.  It was so entertaining to watch the traditional dances that tell a story.  The music was great and the performers really got the crowd involved.

Overall, it was just a fabulous day.  I needed that after day one.  We slept great when we got back to the hotel.

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