Posted by: Kristin W | December 17, 2011

Day 4 – Sunday

(Note: to read about our trip from the beginning, start HERE.)

Well, as disappointing as yesterday was, today was joyful to the same extent.  Maybe more.  Today, we met A and H.  Today, I fell in love.

This morning started off with a great pancake breakfast and some down time.  We were wondering whether we should walk over to the big kids’ house or stay where we were and just hang out, when Mulat arrived.  We asked if he could take us to the Hilton, where we could get an Internet connection and send some emails to let everyone know what was going on.  Kim and her dad, Greg went with us and we used the business center for about an hour, then hopped in the van to come back.  As we’re driving down the street that both the care centers are on, Mulat suddenly just stops the van and I realize that we’re outside the big kids’s house and that there is a van in the driveway.  He says “this may be them, let me check,” and hops out of the van before I had a chance to understand what he meant.  We sat in the van while he talked to the other driver, then he came around nodding, so I practically knocked Greg out of the way scrambling to crawl out of the back of the van.  We went inside only to learn that A was taking a bath and getting cleaned up, so we went back to the van (where I realized that Kim and Greg were patiently waiting) and drove back to the baby house.  When we walked in, one of the nannies was holding H giving her a bottle, and she quickly stood up, handed her over, and I sat there, feeding this little girl and staring into the most amazing eyes I’ve ever seen.  Her eyes are fascinating to me…they are so dark that you almost can’t tell the difference between the pupil and the rest of her eye.

 

Our first meeting

After just a few minutes, we heard a commotion and realized that they had brought A over to visit.  So, still holding H with the bottle in her mouth, I went over to meet my son.  I knelt down in front of him, and he looked so small and shy.  He held out his hand like a handshake, so I took it and kissed his little fingers.  (Get the tissues ready…good part coming…)  Then, he pulled my hand up and kissed it back.  It was the sweetest moment ever.  He did the same thing with Andrew.  Only later, did we learn that this is the customary greeting where he’s from.  Next, Mulat asked him about his sister and he said H’s name…his voice is so quiet and reserved.

 

Sweet Greeting

Mulat produced a soccer ball and A and Andrew played in the courtyard.  He is amazing.  Not just at soccer, but at how expressive his face is.  He does this amazing thing with his eyebrows – I can’t explain it, but it’s kind of sweet and mischievous all at once.  He has a great smile, too, and sticks out his tongue when he plays soccer, just Iike S.  At one point, he also put his hands on his hips, which totally cracked me up.  Andrew let him ride on his back a while, and he just petted and stroked Andrew’s hair like it was fascinating.  We got out his photo book and he was very excited, pointing to each face in our family picture.  He also told us the word for cat and dog.

All the while, I am holding H and getting to know her.  She, too, has a wicked cute smile, and I was able to make her giggle a little.  She is sitting up well, and was very alert about what was going on in the courtyard.

After naps, I gave H a bottle, then we went back for evening play time.  A pretty quickly gravitated toward the car.  We pushed him all around the courtyard about a million times.  He was talking almost the whole time in a quiet, soft voice that we couldn’t understand, but he made his wishes known by pointing which way he wanted us to go and using those expressive eyebrows to signal displeasure when we didn’t do it right.  Problem was, about an hour and a half later, we were bored with the car and wanted to do something else, but he would have none of it.  He parked the car and just sat there.  Eventually, we pulled the car over to where we were sitting, but he still didn’t want to get out.  Finally, I opened the door and pulled him out onto my lap, and the exhaustion of the day set in.  He crumpled, and melted into me, completely limp.  What a sweet, sweet boy.

Exhausted After a Long Day

I can’t even imagine what today was like for these kids.  It was emotionally exhausting for me and A) I’m an adult and B) I know what’s going on.  These two on the other hand, got up at the crack of dawn and left caretakers and an environment they’ve been in for six months.  They showed up here, we’re bathed and given new clothes, then introduced to strange white people called mommy and daddy, when they don’t even know what that means.  I wonder how A will look back on today years from now.  What will he remember?  What moments touched him, scared him or excited him?  Did he like us or was he bummed he didn’t get a different pair of white people?  We still don’t know exactly what he’s been told about his adoption, or what it will mean to him in the future.

But for now, they are here.  They are close.  I have met them and held them.  And I love them.

The Car

She sucks her index finger.

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Responses

  1. The great thing about having been to HH is that I can visualize it all so well. Happy for you and looking forward to reading more.

  2. Thankyou for this. Our experiences are so similar… big brother, little sister. The disappointment of them not being there when we arrived, the whisper A used his first day. Our M spoke to us in a whisper the entire first trip! Your children are lovely and I don’t have the words to express how happy I am for you and your family. I hope your time between trips is short. =) But know they are well taken care of. Between trips M got the mumps…I totally freaked out, but a visiting family told me all was well. If you can connect with families traveling soon it will bring you peace of mind. I sent pictures with a family and when we arrived in Addis for our second trip the first thing M did was grab the new photos to show us. Can’t wait to read more!

  3. Well, the old car, must have died. Yes, I spent WAY too many hours during my month there on the second trip pushing a very similar car around the big kid house. It is always the favorite toy.

  4. So happy for you guys! I can relate to your feelings for the kids and worrying about how they must be struggling to process the events. J and I had many of the same feelings. Every now and then, C or V will say something about their thoughts or feelings about our first meeting, or the time we spent in Ghana. It is always so interesting to hear what they felt or thought, now that they are old enough to process it, have the english to express it, and have enough distances from it to feel secure about sharing it. Every time they talk about it, it is a treasure to me.

    What an adventure! Isn’t amazing how your whole life can shift in an instance? And even though you were prepared for it, it never comes how you think it would have and still catches you off guard.

  5. So happy for you! You met your children and they are just adorable. I love that the way you met H was by feeding her a bottle. That must have been a comforting first meeting experience for her. And I love the hand-kissing by A. So sweet. What an amazing experience.


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