May 11, 2011 Noon
We are all 5, Matthew, Emma and Meg (our daughters 13 and 10,) my mother and I, in our seats on Ethiopian Airlines about to depart Washington DC straight, nonstop, to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A 13 hour flight.
From Oklahoma City you must do a 16 hour layover to connect to the flight in DC to Ethiopia. So we decided to take an extra day and do the highlights in DC for our daughters. Perfect school, especially since we did American History this year.
May 9th we arrived at our hotel at about 6pm, had a nice Thai dinner and then went to bed early. The next morning we left our airport hotel at 8:30am,
took a bus to the closest Metro station (subway)
and rode it into the mall area in DC.
We went to the Smithsonian Castle,
the Air and Space Museum,
Actual Wright Brothers plane. That’s cool!
the National Gallery of Art.
Then we met a family friend, Hope Russell, at Old Ebbits Grill for lunch. Next we saw the Washington,
World War II,
and Jefferson Memorials.
I had never seen the WWII or the Jefferson Memorials.
So impressive. My grandfather, my mother’s father, was a doctor in Guadalcanal during WWII.
It was a very full day!
Sitting on the floor of the Lincoln Memorial. We were beat!
It was all uneventful this morning getting to the airport. It was nice to know our way everywhere this time.
Getting on the plane, being around all these African people, I am reminded that I really love Africa. Matt does too. I hope we can return many times.
Everyone is settled now watching movies. Sounds good to me.
Well, neither my mother, Meg nor I slept at all. Matt and Emma did. But I’ve had some of that good Ethiopian coffee so I’m feeling pretty fair right now. We land in 30 minutes.
Not sure where we are staying. I requested that we be put on the lower floors so my mom wouldn’t have to walk up all the stairs. The reply I got to that was that they put us in a different guest house. Really? But I want the same guest house. I told my mom and she said, oh I can do the stairs fine. So then I told them and they say we are confirmed in the other guest house. Ok, but if you can change it back to the original one, that would be great. It is a known quantity and quite nice. Like the breakfast area, our rooms, wifi. Well, God has this too!
After landing, getting visas, changing money, going through customs, getting bags, and putting through X-ray, we finally get to reunite with David and Yonas.
We had another couple with us that we met on the plane who are also adopting with our same agency. We have really enjoyed them. Rob is a pastor in North Carolina. They adopted their first in Russia, the second in Ethiopia and now their third, also in Ethiopia. 2 boys and now a girl. This is their first trip.
They are staying at Yebsabi and we are staying at a different place. Ok. Lets be positive.
Well, it turns out we love our new hotel.
It is more hotelish than the guest house. Is up on a hill with a view, has an outdoor cafe looking out to the view.
Our rooms connect and are on the 1st floor. Beds are bigger and more comfortable. We are very happy to be here.
Thank you God! I should have been positive from the start that you had something even better planned for us.
So after getting into our rooms, we force ourselves to stay up, have a nice lunch with our new friends then head to the Transition Home. This is Rob and Candy’s first time to meet their daughter who is 22 months. She and Selamawit are in the same room. They are also both from the Wolayta region.
My mom and I both teared up watching and filming for them their first meeting with their daughter. Such a moment for people.
Selamawit had a fever this morning so when we arrived they had just taken her to the clinic to have blood drawn. We waited about 30 minutes to see her. She was a bit listless. Could tell she didn’t feel good.
Ma got bit on her face by buffalo gnats right before we left the states. That’s why it’s red. It was that way most of the trip. Oh well. We joked about telling people she got beat up, but never did :-)
I could hear a rumbly chest again. These kids get sick in these orphanages all the time. She was not teething as much this time.
We, the girls and my mom were, of course, very thrilled to see her.
We just all sat on the front porch again and hung out. Matt could tell she had grown.
After that we came back to the hotel. Had some homemade Tiramisu from our cafe and are now in various stages of going to sleep. Hoping it goes well.
My mom has to be on arm hold (mostly with me) everywhere we go. We cannot have her falling on this trip!
Everywhere we go, the roads, sidewalks, driveways, stairs and paths are all pretty uneven, so we really have to be careful.
That is some serious uneven stuff!
Tomorrow the plan is to go to the Transition House in the morning to have our final visit with the doctor and then we will take the girls and my mom back up Mount Entoto. It’s a must-see along with the traditional Ethiopian dinner and dancing. The next day we fly to Lalibela for an overnight and then back to get our girl.