We had such a big day today! Up at around 6 because we couldn’t sleep anymore. We had breakfast of injera and scrambled eggs with tomatoes and berbere, and tried to pack everything we thought we’d need in order to take over care of the children today. Yes, I was totally at a loss. Fellow moms, I salute you! I’m humbled by my depth of inexperience, but we had some awesome successes today and I’m going to focus on those.
We walked over to Layla house a little after 7:30am. The first child we recognized was Zinaw, who remembered us and came over to give us a hug. Zinaw, about 9 or 10, is the child of a friend of ours on the forums and is looking forward to going home to his new family very soon. He took us to find Alex and Melkam. We had a great reunion with them! It was so great to see them again, we were just overjoyed. I would describe their reaction as cautiously joyful. It wasn’t like they ran into our arms, but they did come out of class to greet us with big smiles and permitted themselves to be hugged and kissed while their classmates looked on.
We went together to get Eliana, and when we arrived she was standing in the middle of the toddler room. Yes, Eliana is completely walking! She was a little uncertain of us, particularly Charles, but she spends her life thus far with female nannies and I’m sure has no real memory of us, so that was to be expected.
Soon Gail arrived to pick us up for the embassy appointment. Success number 1) the Ergo is awesome and worked great for me and Eliana from the first moment. Good news because she weighs over 20 pounds and my baby-carrying muscles have a ways to go. Success number 2) Picked up on time for embassy, with all of our documents, fees, and passports.
Once inside the embassy, which was PACKED, by the way, we made our way to the back area where there were was a playhouse and a small slide while Gail spoke to the officials and got a number. Eliana was totally quiet and calm. The boys sat with Charles taking it all in. We probably waited for 45 minutes before we were called. Gail was able to get the appointment for the boys added to the appointment for Eliana! Huge massive success number 3!!!
We went up to the counter, handed over our passports, and then raised our right hands to vow honesty in our answers. We signed some documents and answered a number of questions about our understanding of the childrens’ histories. The interaction took maybe 15 or 20 minutes, and then it was official! The children are ours, we can take them home! All our official business done before 10:30am our first day here. Unbelievable! Truly more than we had hoped to hope!
Next, Gail dropped us back at the Ritmo so the boys could change into their new clothes and shoes, and see some of the goodies we brought them. I dressed Eliana twice, just because. She is unbelievably accepting of me and this new situation. Just taking it all I; really a happy and quiet baby.
I started this post yesterday, but wow, the job of Mother of three sort of hit me like a train and I wasn’t able to finish it and post.
Here’s a summary before I go attempt to take a shower (I know, so many of you moms are saying “story of my life!”)
The kids are just awesome. The boys are happy and curious and beautiful. I can’t believe how brave they are! They play so well together and they are so receptive to what we ask of them. The language barrier is SIGNIFICANT, but pretty much what we expected. Ellie had some trouble falling asleep yesterday for her nap and then again last night for bed, but ended up sleeping for nice long stretches once she got there.
Charles and I are tired, happy, and completely overwhelmed by what we’ve taken on. We are so honored to be tasked with rearing these wonderful, wonderful children. Trust me, you can’t wait to meet them, and while they are still talking to each other in Amharic, it’s just the coolest thing.
So yesterday we also met their birth mother, which was kind of a crazy experience that I’ll have to tell you about in the next post. Today we take the kids and a group of their friends on a field trip to the playground.