Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ethiopia: Day One

Ethiopia: Day One 10/30/2011

We went to the guest house to get ready as quickly as we could to go meet C.T. In hindsight I do wish I had showered and looked halfway presentable in the pictures of our first moments with C.T. but I was just far too excited to take any time to look nice!

our guest house

We gathered our donations for his orphanage (at least what was left after the airport pillage). And got in the van to make the 2.5 hour trek out into the country.

His orphanage is in the village of Chetu outside of Wolisso (always spelled differently everywhere that I see it!) which is about 2.5 hours south west of Addis Ababa, the capital city that we were staying in.

The drive out to the country was just absolutely amazing. We got to see different parts of the city of Addis as we were headed out and the countryside was absolutely breathtaking!! We didn't say much for the half of the ride as we were just soaking it all in.

I just kept thinking to myself, "I'M IN AFRICA!!!". It was totally surreal! We have only been here for a short time and I already love this place so much...I loved it the second we stepped foot out of the airport and after our drive today to the countryside I am in total awe of this place!

Our driver's name was Solomon and he was SO great!! I asked a lot of questions and he gave me so much great information and history of Ethiopia.  I tried very hard to take it all in and learn as much as I could about the birthplace of my son!

We finally pulled up to the gates of the orphanage and I thought at this point I just might burst. I looked at Nate and didn't really have any words that could do this moment justice. After six months of looking at pictures and praying fervently, we were about to meet our son for the first time!

 We met the nannies who all SO wonderful and went into the orphanage compound. C.T. was sound asleep in his crib and we just got to stand and stare in wonder at the precious little boy! Eventually the Nannies woke him up (which, let me tell you was not easy...the boy was dead asleep!). He was so NOT happy to be woken up!! He was 100% ticked off at the situation and did not want anything to do with Nathaniel and I. Luckily, we have raised two toddlers (and in the midst of it, actually) so we were not offended by this!  On top of the fact that our director already warned us that he is VERY shy, he is about 18 months old and at the height of stranger anxiety, so we expected nothing less of him!

We started to play with the other children at the orphanage and i did not push him to like us. Actually we played toddler mind games on him and acted like we weren't even about to pay any attention to him and he eventually came over to check us out and started to play with us :) Blowing bubbles was the critical ice breaker and energetically tried to pop each one.  He L-O-V-E-D the truck we brought him and had a ton of fun with it. Eventually he thought we were okay and warmed up to us. He sat in our laps and let us put our arms around him.

His love for his Nannies is strong and it's clear that he has been well cared for and loved in his +1 year at the orphanage. For this we are eternally grateful and thankful!! Our number one prayer was that he was loved and cared for while we could not be there for him ourselves.

The orphanage director had lunch and coffee made for us and we were able to eat together as she answered any questions we had about C.T. It was great to get to know her and more about our little boy.

After lunch we played more with C.T. and the other children at the orphanage and had a great time. Unfortunately the time to leave came too soon and we had to head back to Addis before it started to get dark.

C.T. gave us kisses and even came to the gate to wave "chow" to us! Oh it just melted my heart!!

Tonight we ate a dinner of Tibs and Injera (a traditional Ethiopian meal) at the guest house with the other family that is staying here.  It was so nice to get to know them and their sweet girls over dinner.  We are already blessed by the relationships that we are forming here!

Tomorrow we will head back out to C.T's orphanage!