Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Travel Journal Trip 2: Day 4

June 27, 2001

Getting To Know You

Dear Lil' Miss,

Good morning sunshine!  What a joy and a pleasure to wake up to your smiling face this morning!  I know it is probably very disorienting to you, and that breaks my heart...but you sure do hide it well!

Our first night together went relatively smooth, with you only waking three times.  Twice for a bottle...and one time, you didn't really wake up, just cried and cried in your sleep.  I cried right along with you, tears streamed down my face as I could only imagine what your little heart was experiencing.  But you only seem sad at nights...during the day you have so much love to offer and never fail to bring smiles to our faces.

You woke up for the day rather early, and daddy decided to run downstairs to call the airport and check on our luggage status.  The airline was hoping it was going to make it in on a flight with Ethiopian Airlines last night.  They had no information for us, but said they would look around and call us if they found anything.  We weren't very hopeful.  But now that you were in our arms...you had turned into our complete focus.

When daddy got back up to the room, we thought it might be a good time to Skype your big brother, who was staying at Grandpa and Grandma VG's again.  It was early enough in the morning for us that we knew he wouldn't be in bed yet.  Sure enough we got to say hello....Grandma's eyes filled with tears and your brother lit up in smiles!  You weren't quite sure what to think of the moment.  About half way through the call, daddy noticed our battery and freaked out.  I didn't know what the problem was until he mentioned that our charger was in our LUGGAGE!  Well crap!  We abruptly ended the conversation and shut down the entire computer to save it for contacting our travel agent later in the day.  Daddy loaded up his Tablet to see if we could get internet on that.  It was slow and annoying to type on the touchy screen, but it was a way to contact...on FB at least.  Skype did not work, however.

We decided to start getting ready.  Since we picked you up on a Sunday, Almaz wasn't there to do orientation with us, so we were headed back for that this morning.  Part of me was annoyed that we had to do it on two separate days...but it was much better than waiting until today to hold you in our arms, so I wasn't about to complain.  That, and we were already going stir crazy in our hotel room so it was kind of nice to get out.  I did wonder how you would react to seeing your normal caregivers again so soon after we took you away.  I worried it would confuse you, or scare you, or maybe you wouldn't want to come back to us.

I dressed you in an outfit I had been picturing in for months....it did not disappoint!  Although looking back at the pictures, it makes me laugh how BIG everything was on you.  =)

After a quick shower (with hot water - what a delightful surprise after last trip!) but no conditioner (my hair was a disaster at this point...ugh) we quickly got dressed and sneakily listened outside the S's door again.  After hearing footprints and voices, we decided to knock.  They welcomed us in and we were surprised to see they were already ready for the day.  Today was their Embassy appointment!  Baby E was clinging to her mama and a little scared of us.  You however were active and smiley as ever!  We compared the baby's schedules and laughed at how similar they were.  Once they finished getting their diaper bag packed for the day, we all headed downstairs for breakfast.  They ate quickly and skipped out as soon as they saw Wass drive up in the van.  We wished them luck at their appointment as they rushed out the door, then headed up for your morning nap.

As you took your snooze, we sat gazing at today's schedule, noticing there was another family joining us for orientation.  It was the same baby's name as the L family...we were sure it was just a mix-up with the wrong last name on our paperwork.  We checked over and over again with the front desk to see if they (the L family) had arrived yet, and they kept telling us no.  Imagine our surprise then, when another family showed up in the van with us when Danny came to pick us up that morning!!  Hahaha...there really were TWO Baby B's coming home this week!  We introduced ourselves to Lindsay, but we had already met Tim on our last day of our first trip.  We were so excited knowing there was another family here this week!!!  This whole trip (to us) felt so completely disorganized...but only because everything was so last minute.  With our first trip, we had months to plan and get to know the other families traveling with us, whereas this time it all happened in two weeks time!  We offered to take pictures for them as they reunited with their daughter, and then we quickly said hello's to Mekdes and Hirut before being led to orientation (who were beyond delighted to see you...I can only imagine how it must have felt for them to get on shift that morning with you gone).  We assured your special mother's we would come back to say hello before we headed back to the hotel!

After meeting Almaz, she led us (with Tsige) to a small classroom for orien- tation.  The two of them went over what to expect from our Embassy appointments the next day...how long it would take, what it would be like, what we needed, what time of questions would be asked.  It all seemed very straight-forward....but as with anything, it can be nerve-wracking going into the unexpected.  We appreciated their efforts to make this as easy as possible.  They gave us an opportunity to ask questions once they were finished explaining...but we were all kind of in a haze.  It was hard to know what to even ask...but thankfully Tsige would be at the appointment with us in case we had further questions.

Saying hello to your buddy Mihret!
There was a huge rainstorm while we were sitting in the small class- room, so we waited for it to finish before we took you back to the baby house to see your friends and special mothers.  You responded far better than I expected!  You were happy to see them, but you were still happy when we took you back.  Hirut and Mekdes took turns holding you and kissing you, and when it was time for your bottle, Mekdes happily cradled and fed you and then put you to sleep.  Which, in all honesty, completely screwed up your schedule for the day since we had to leave in the middle of the babies' nap time.  I would have rather put you to sleep myself in the baby carrier...but after all your special mothers had done for you over the course of four months, I was not about to deny them one last opportunity to snuggle with you.  When we packed up to head back to the hotel with Tim and Lindsay, we told Mekdes and Hirut that we would be back one more time and that we had gifts for them.  They still had tears in their eyes when we left, but I think they understood enough English to know that we would be back! =)

Teasing you with a bottle =)

The four of us and our babies hopped into Almaz' sedan so that she could take us back to the Riviera.  Apparently Danny had some important errands to run.  Daddy sat up front (being the tallest), while you and I squeezed in back with Tim and Lindsay and Baby B.  Although you were not quite used to these tight quarters, you were snuggled (wide eyed and alert, but slightly sleepy, since we woke you up) in the Moby.  Your friend, little Baby B was terrified and screamed the entire drive to the hotel.  A lip quivering, arms flailing type of scream.  It was the saddest thing in the world.  Again...heartbreak and joy...I can only imagine that's what Tim and Lindsay were thinking at that time.  I was so thankful we hadn't had tears like that when we took you away for the first time.  I had prayed every day that you would have peace.  God is so good!

Back at the hotel, daddy convinced Almaz to wait in front of the hotel for a minute so he could grab Mike and they could go pick us up some doughnuts form Sister's Cafe (down the street).  Mike has been talking about them ever since we arrived, and now we were curious.  We ran up to the S's room to say hello and daddy said the word "sister" and they were down and out!  Hahaha!  I told Chantel that I had to put you down for a nap, and she agreed to meet us in our room once Baby E woke up.

Back at our room, you were rubbing your eyes.  Obviously you had not had a long enough nap earlier.  Once you were snuggled and sleeping on our bed, Chantel and Baby E came up in no time.  We talked about their Embassy appointment...it had gone really quickly and they had been waiting patiently in the room for the rest of us to come back to the hotel!  The boys were gone for a WHILE, but it was well worth it.  They came back with a box full of doughnuts, two...maybe four (hahaha) large pizzas, and some fruit drink for us that was bottled in...I don't know a safer country for fruit...so one we could drink! =)  It was the MOST amazing lunch.....mmmmm!

We hung around our room talking and eating for the rest of the after- noon.  Soon we noticed it was dinner time, but none of us were even CLOSE to being hungry.  Besides, we had enough leftovers here to feed the rest of the hotel! =)  Since you and Baby E were showing signs of being tired, we all turned in early.  But before we did, we decided to run upstairs and check in with the I family to see how Baby B was adjusting....we hadn't seen any sign of them since we returned from Hannah's Hope!  We walked up to their room and they quietly opened their door and came out in the hall to talk.  Baby B had cried for two hours straight until she completely zonked out, and none of us wanted to wake her.  As we were talking, you started grunting...our hope was that you had to poo since you hadn't gone yet since you were in our custody!  Well you poo'd alright!  And you pushed SO hard that you threw up the entire bottle we had just fed you downstairs!!!  Sooo funny....Lindsay was sweet and quickly grabbed a towel from the bathroom to clean it up while we rushed downstairs to change you.  We went back up to chat a little longer and Baby B was just waking up.  I think she was happy to see you and Baby E!  She was all smiles now and seemed completely content in her parent's arms from then on out.  Tim and Lindsay decided to head down for dinner at that point...since they hadn't eaten since they got back.  You started fussing and we knew we had to start our bedtime routine before the meltdown occurred.  We said our good nights and went down to our room.

The fussing didn't seem to matter once your bathwater started.  You were all smiles in the tub (ahem, sink) again...maybe because you knew that bath meant pajamas which meant bottle!  =)  We continue to be amazed by you...we had been warned that bedtime can be really hard, but you seemed to be breezing through it!  We laid you down for the night and spent sometime updating FB before turning in for the night.  We wanted to make sure we got as much rest as possible for our big day at Embassy tomorrow!

Until then...
Your Mama