Franklin Five

Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Our First Day in Ethiopia

It's hard to describe such an intense week we have had. I think we are both still trying to process things. We had an amazing week in Ethiopia and it is one we will never forget.

We flew into Addis Ababa at night, and David, our driver, was waiting for us at the airport with a small, homemade sign that said, "America World". We were so happy to see him! Later we realized he is a maniac driver on the streets, and every time I was in the car with him, I was praying for our safety. Actually, I think everyone there drives like crazy people, and there are no stop signs and very few stop lights. Fortunately, we did not see any accidents, and we did make it safely through the streets of Addis. The streets are full of diesel fumes and just riding through them can make you sick to your stomach.

Despite the nasty fumes, I was so happy to be in this city where I knew I would meet our little girl. We just couldn't believe we were finally here. David took us to our guest house where we fell into bed. Amazingly, we both slept fairly well despite the barking dogs and noisy rooster just outside our window. We awoke the next morning and couldn't wait to get the day started.

We went downstairs and had a delicious breakfast that consisted of fresh squeezed pineapple juice and scrambled eggs. Every morning, the wonderful chef at our guest home would make a fantastic breakfast for the guests. I really enjoyed that treat.

We met another family that had just flown in and they joined us for the drive to the transition home. Together, we would start the week, and it was a joy to share the adventure with this family that became dear friends.

Once we arrived at the transition home that is run by our adoption agency, we nervously stood outside the front porch and waited for the nannies to bring out our children. Talk about a surreal experience!! After a few moments, Lidiya appeared and the nanny handed her to me while wiping her face with a cloth. I was overcome with emotions and started crying. I think Lidiya didn't know what to think at first. Once I was able to calm down and start smiling at her, she quickly relaxed and smiled back. What a sweet moment it was to finally hold my daughter and gaze into her eyes instead of a photograph. She was even more beautiful and precious than the pictures portrayed, and my heart felt so much peace.

We got to stay at the home for several hours and play with Lidiya. She took a nap in my arms and we fed her a bottle after she awoke. I just couldn't stop smiling. It was so wonderful to be with her. a view of Addis from our window at the guest house

my sweet, sleeping child

one of the first smiles

a view of the neighbor's yard where a woman is washing her clothes
It is hard to describe the life there because it is so different from what we know here. The hardships they face are heartbreaking, and so many of the conveniences we enjoy here are not even imagined there. From washing machines to a good education to great health care...these are things I take for granted here that many people in Ethiopia can only dream of.
The people of Ethiopia have captured my heart. I hope to share more of the amazing people and culture in the coming blog posts.

1 comment:

Anne Rodgers said...

I'm so glad for this part of your story! Can't wait to hear more.
Love you-