Our first couple days in Addis have been great. We arrived about three hours later than expected, as we got a late start leaving
Anyway, we were exhausted when we arrived (I think we had been traveling a total of about 28 hours, counting layovers). As soon as we stepped off the plane, the smell of
Anyway, we slept well, and awoke to a cloudy and cool day today. We found out a little after 9am that we would be able to meet Noah today. Of course we were thrilled, and I immediately began gathering the things we had brought for him, and also the donations for the orphanage. When the ladies from our agency arrived, they said they had great news for us. I was thinking, "We get to take Noah home"? But that wasn't it. I knew that couldn't have been it, but I can dream J They said that the Kids Care orphanage (where Noah currently lives) director had agreed to let Noah come and stay at Layla House, the orphanage that is only about a 5 minute walk from the guest house and the orphanage where most of the kids being from adopted from AAI stay. I have to admit, though I greatly appreciated the intent of their gesture, I was very worried for Noah. He has been at his current orphanage since December, and I was very concerned that this would not be an easy transition for him. We didn't say anything and decided to see how it would go, but I wish I would have said something now.
It was about a 20 minute drive to the orphanage from where we were staying. I began to see lots of familiar sites, and as we got closer, I became more and more nervous. We approached the gate, and my adrenaline really started flowing. We got out of the van and went into the office to see the orphanage director. When I turned around, a little boy holding a photo album was walking toward Zack and
The one thing that struck me as we left the orphanage was that Noah left only with the clothes on his back and his medicine, and the two toys we had brought. Nothing else. He literally had nothing in terms of possessions. It was a striking feeling and put many things into perspective. We have so much.
In the van, Noah let me put my arm around him and he looked at some of the books I had brought in the car. He really likes Zack and smiled several times at him. Once we arrived at Layla House, he was very hesitant to go in. In fact, he somewhat refused. This is what I had feared. Nothing was familiar to him at this point. Nothing. So, we took him to the area where the toddler age kids were, and he seemed to do a bit better. We sat with him and played with him. It was lunch time for the kids, but he did not want to eat. I offered him some cheese and crackers that I had brought, and thankfully, he did eat those. It made my mom heart smile to think he would eat something I offered him. He also allowed us to carry him around the compound, and seemed very comfortable with us. He really actually seemed to already prefer us at this point, which shocked me. Then it was time for nap at the orphanage. Since Noah lived there now, they expected him to do what the other kids did. We walked him into the nap room and could tell this was not going to go well. The nannies told him we would be back when he woke up, but he began to cry a bit. We left to go eat with some of the orphanage staff, though I wished we could have stayed.
When we returned he was sitting inside and we took him to the toy room and showed him some toys. He caught on quickly to many of the toys and then some of the other children came in. He wasn't too interested in interacting them, and he guarded his car and stuffed animal with his life- after all, it is all he has. This broke our hearts. We stayed a little longer and then needed to leave to go make some new accommodation arrangements. As soon as we got up, he got up with us and followed us. As we walked out, he latched onto Zack and would not let go. We had to pry him away and he began sobbing. Both Zack and I could have lost it too, but we held it together long enough to make it outside the orphanage. To think that this child already understands who we are, and wants to be with us, and really, us only, blows us away. While it hurts us to see him in tears, it also reassures us and causes us to thank God, as our prayers for his capacity to accept us and begin to in some small way, love us have been answered. We are blown away by his response to us.
We walked about 15 minutes away and found a nice hotel that has private bathrooms, hot water, and a small restaurant attached. The prices were very good, so we decided to move there. It somewhat reminded me of the hotel we stayed at our first time in
Anyway, there was no sobbing this time, just a little welling up- We are really praying he has a good night there and makes some new buddies very soon.
We are now at our new hotel, after repacking from the guest house, and we have also been able to enjoy a good meal – pizza (along with French fries and fried ice cream, one of the only things I like to eat here). And, we have both had nice warm showers. God is too good to us.
Tomorrow we will be able to spend more time with Nigus. We are looking forward to getting to know him more and hopefully seeing that he is adjusting to his new home.
That's all for Tuesday!
Referral Received for our second son from Ethiopia! Court Date 7/21 & 8/5
Traveling to Ethiopia 8/1-8/9!!!
Home with our son, Caleb Samuel, from Ethiopia
Adoption is a GOoD thing :)