I could keep writing about boring and sad things, but I know you have really been waiting to hear about the trip and the KIDS... the amazing, beautiful, funny, precious, sweet incredible kids!
We left Denver on July 31st and flew to Washington D.C.
After an overnight in D.C. we boarded a plane to Ethiopia! Here we are before take off.
After 13 hours we finally arrived in Addis Ababa at about 8am local time.
We were taken by a driver to our hotel. Here are the first things we saw as we traveled to the hotel. (... taken from inside a van with my phone)
Upon checking in we were handed an itinerary for the week. It said that we would be picked up in just two hours and taken to Hannah's Hope. Exhausted and excited we went to our room to prepare for meeting our kids for the very first time. (as if you can really prepare for that) We packed some toys, activities, candy, and a headband for our girl.
The hotel is very close to Hannah's Hope. We soon arrived at the gate and my eyes began to water. This is it... we are about to meet our children. Words can not describe the feeling unless you've been there yourself.
We walked in and were asked who our child or children were. A few minutes later a precious and scared little girl holding the hand of a caregiver walked up to us... our daughter, even more beautiful than the pictures we had seen was standing there with giant brown eyes looking up at us. A moment later our son was brought to us, in the arms of another caregiver he too looked a bit frightened. He was placed in Dave's arms. I knelt down to our daughter and gestured to ask her if I could hold her. I picked her up and hugged her as tears streamed down my face. WE ARE A FAMILY. I looked at Dave and we each hugged the precious child in our arms and kissed the head of the one in the other's arms.
We took the kids into a room to get to know each other. There is of course a language barrier between us and the kids, but also the kids and the caregivers. Our kids are from a region where a different language is spoken than Amharic, that of the caregivers and staff at HH. We opened the bag and pulled out a sucker for each kid... yes I know promoting cavities while coaxing our children to sit in our laps... bad parents right? Seriously though, it was recommended and worked like a charm! We opened the books that I had made for each of the kids. I had scrapbooked photos of them, us, and our home. Our girl was very interested in the book and pointed at every picture. She would point to our faces on the picture and then to us.... so sweet. The little man loved being held close.
I pulled a headband that I'd made out of the bag and showed it to our daughter she smiled and nodded yes for me to put it on her. I took a picture and showed it to her on the camera. She had the greatest grin.
On that first day we got to spend about six hours with them, falling so in love with who they are and rejoicing in God's beautiful plan for our family.
Keep reading and I will keep writing tomorrow.