Sunday, April 29, 2012

Morning Walk, before picking up Hambisa

"Construction Zone" - this is the main street from Airport to City Center. They claim to be putting in a Tunnel. Not sure it's deep enough!

At least they were conscientious enough to build a pedestrian bridge.  Hey a ladder would have been a lot easier.  Can you imagine the litigation that would ensue in the US?

Our last meal as "2"...injera, lamb tibs, split pea shirew all washed down with a few beers.

Guess Who..

Celebrates Christmas in April?  This guy!

Guess who fell asleep 2 minutes after getting in the car?  This Guy!
Guess who slept in his mommy's arms for an hour after getting back to the Lodge?  This guy!

Guess who is bonding with his Mommy already and won't let her out of his sight?  This Guy!

Guess who is still having tummy troubles and pooped through two diapers and two sets of clothes today?  This Guy!
Guess who just finished doing laundry in the sink, has clothes hanging all over the hotel room to dry, is eating a dinner of protein bars and coke at 10PM while Mommy and Hambisa sleep and couldn't be happier?  This Guy!

Sadula Lodge

Got to sleep until 8:45AM today.  Latest I think I've slept in 10 years.  Granted I had some help from the time change and a little pill.  Woke up feel refreshed, excited, scared, and generally just kind of smug about the reality of what we are doing here. 

We went on a walk this morning, taking in the air, and stares of the capital city.  We stopped by a supermarket and picked up a large amount of bottled water and some diapers for the frenzy that will hit this afternoon.

At 2PM we are scheduled to return to the orphanage and following a coffee ceremony, emerge with Hambisa from the large steel gates. Sure he lives behind razor wire and steel gates, but Hambisa is a very safe young man.  He has had the pleasure of having kind and protective caregivers feed him and keep him healthy.  Though we come with the best of intentions, this transition will be scary for him.  He will emerge into an unknown world, with unknown people who don't look or smell like him.   He will be scared and for that...we are a bit anxious. 

I love this country, but it's very different this time.  I just want to be home with all our babies.  This trip isn't about getting to know our surroundings, the culture, the life.  It's about us getting to know each other.

I can hardly wait just to hold him close.  We talked this morning about how it would be less anxiety inducing to be watching someone's child for two days in a hotel that we knew nothing of their routine.  Why is it scarier when he's ours?  It's also funny to have a child that we cannot even begin to predict what it will be like.  We know Macabe and Bennett's every waking move and can usually come pretty close to knowing what to expect for them.  We can at least guess what things might be a real wild card for them.

It's all a part of the adventure right?!  Here we go!!!  Ahh!!??!!???!!!

A Tale of Two Airplanes

It was the best of flights, it was the worst of, I've probably been on worse flights...

Two Airplanes converged (in Frankfurt), I preferred the one less traveled...I'll spare you the details, but anyone who has flown internationally, would probably agree that the soonest you can get off of a domestic US air carrier, the sooner you will likely start to observe comfort and service the way they all claim to provide in the commercials.  In this case, Lufthansa gets a thumbs up from us.  On our last trip, it was British Midland Airways.

Flights were good.  We connected through Frankfurt, Germany and Khartoum, Sudan this time.  We did not leave the plane in Sudan.  This trip has definitely steared our attention towards Sudan through a series of unpredicted encounters.  The first, is all the attention that the viral video Kony 2012 has generated, the second is an article in this weeks Newsweek magazine about Kony and the LRA.  The third is a movie that happened to be showing on our flight from Chicago to Frankfurt, Germany titled "Machine Gun Preacher".  It is a real life story, one continuing to this day that will likely leave you assessing where the line falls between moral right and wrong.  It is a very mature movie, not intended for kids and I'd say the first 30 minutes is a little long, but be ready for some soul searching after that. I will likely be buying a few copies upon our return to Hudsonville to share with folks.

Now, before you start thinking this is a horrible place, I'd like to point out that this stuff happens in the good 'ole United States of America as well.  It just takes a slightly different face and is a little more underground.  Need an example, how about Saginaw, MI, as highlighted in Forbes magazine on 4/26/2012.  The fact of the matter is, Ethiopia (and Sudan for that matter) is a beautiful place, with happy and hospitable people.  There are simply a few not so nice people mixed in. 

We were once again greeted by the driver for our lodge.  Wth the excitement of a child he hugged us, grabbed our bags and said "Welcome Back!".  This time I was ready and this little, old dude probably got one of the biggest american Bear hugs he's ever had.  An observer might have even seen his feet leave the ground.  We're glad to be back!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

On April 19th, 2012, Hambisa's father had an appointment with the US Embassy to confirm his intent to give Hambisa for adoption.  It was 1 month to the day from our court appointment in Ethiopia.  We were fairly confident he would show up, despite the long arduous journey he was forced to take from his hometown, a mutliple day trip for him. We eagerly awaited the news from the Embassy, hearning nothing on the 19th.  On the 20th we received an email at 4AM stating we were cleared to return to Ethiopia and bring Hambisa home!

Tickets are purchased, and bags are being packed.  If all goes well, we will reunite with Hambisa on Sunday April 29 for good..forever.