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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Our Trip To Ethiopia Day 3 Part 2

Court yard/driveway at HOH where kids play

View from second floor HOH
My first pic with Annsleigh


Brad's first pic with Annsleigh





Finally! A nap in our room!


Finally we get to the HOH. It is not in a good area...and the picture in the CHI booklet is very very deceiving.... there are no signs up front to let you know you are there.... there are big trucks parked all along this small road. And if you want to call it a road....it is dirt and holes. Very very bumpy. Men urinating freely outside the gates of the HOH. Well, the gates open and in we go..... When you drive in there is baby laundry drying on the lines above the concrete driveway. That is also the only place the older children play. A concrete courtyard so to speak. There is a metal merrygoround type of playground toy on the right but it always has laundry drying on it. As soon as you get out of the van the older children come up to you smiling and hugging you and they just dont want to let go. I just want to bring them all home, except for the fact that fortunately I am sure all these children have waiting families or will soon. They are precious. One little boy about 2 was playing with a yoyo and doing tricks like walk the dog with it. He taught me how to do that! He must play with that thing all day long. Anyway.... We are led to the stairway and Almaz, a familiar face from the CHI booklet, stands at the top of the stairs. I hug her. She leads us up to the upstairs room on the left corner & tells us she will go get Tihune. I am emotional & nervous. Will we recognize her? ( In some of her pics other families took for us it did not really look like her so you cant help but wonder this)...Will she cry? Will she like us? When we get into the room where you wait to receive your baby there are already 2 families in there united with their babies. Jorga and Clint have baby Ruths sitting on a blanket on the floor playing with her. So glad to see her sitting up!!! Rachel and David have Jacob and he is glued to his new momma. How precious! Then we see Almaz pass by the window carrying a baby!!! Is that Annsleigh???? As soon as she walked in with her that was all she wrote! There is no doubt that precious buttercup was our Annsleigh! They had her all dolled up in a bright buttercup yellow jumper dress and even a yellow headband!.....Boy, she is GORGEOUS!!!!! Brad did grab her first simply because he is taller than me and could reach her......but he kissed her cheek and had her just long enough to hand her to me.......we both held her and teared up....she didnt even cry....but we did...She is not crying!!! We were told she is very serious and leary to go to others. We dont see that. We spent the next 1 1/2 hours in that room playing with her...amazed at her abilities.....this child being in an orphanage that long and she is not the least developmentally delayed...This is what we learned about Annsleigh in the first hour together......random.....She is amazing! She smiles alot! She scrunches her nose up somethimes when she does a silly smile! She giggled for us! She can crawl! She can stand all by herself! She has 2 teeth! She pooped and I changed her! She needs to hold on to something while we change because she is busy!!! She is perfectly normal "down there". (No FGM thank God). She babbles alot! She is so animated! She is busy....active like a toddler...Then Almaz gave us a can of Promil formula and a box of wheat/milk cereal and a box of honey/wheat cereal. All the instruction we got was feed a bottle every 3 hours and cereal at 9 AM/ cereal at 6 PM. Thats it?!?!? For an 11 month old!!!???!!? Wow!She has some eating to catch up on!!! We just missed her 3PM bottle :( Oh well, by this time, there was another family there united with their 2 beautiful new daughters aged about 7 and 10 maybe. We were all given the choice of leaving to go on a city tour. One family went...the rest of us stayed so we could bond with our babies.. We couldnt keep our eyes off of Annsleigh. She is sooooo healthy. We kiss those cheeks and lips! Annsleighs nurse came up to her and reached for her. Annsleigh cried for her and went to her. Her nurse hugged her and hugged her and cried holding her. When I reached for Annsleigh she did not want me. This was hard to take. I took her anyway and the nurse let go.... I saw how much they loved each other, but now it was my turn....her nurse asked if we would be back tomorrow... I said yes.... and she left. As soon as the city tour returned with the folks that went, we loaded up in the van to take Annsleigh with us to the Melkam. Unbelieveable....no crying....and she fell asleep on my shoulder on the way. I teared up holding her as there were beggars coming up to the van windows, some already familiar to us....When we got back to the room I carried Annsleigh upstairs....my heart was racing and I was winded....oh....that was the altitude change I read about. I laid her down on the bed & she napped. I took pics of her and watched her sleep & we phoned home with the good news that she was in our arms safe & sound & healthy! She she woke, we bathed her, fed her and us and went to bed. She felt asleep very easy this first night with a bottle.....Now.....at night.....Addis sounds like any big city....car alarms....sirens...bar music from 10:30PM - 1:30AM, dogs barking, cats fighting....airplanes over head....this was the noise at night at the Melkam....then....before daybreak....rooster crows and prayerful chanting....Annsleigh awakes....but that is the beginning of day 4!

3 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Fran, I am loving reading your journal. I go from smiling, to chills, to crying. I feel like I am there, your a good writer!
I am dying to see you and your precious daughter!! Wendy said she was coming over one day this week. If you dont come up to work soon I may have to some over also. :-)
She is just SO cute!!! She looks adorable in the yellow!

elisa said...

I love reading these. Can't wait for day 4! And I can't wait for my very own day 4!

The Williams Family Blog said...

so i loved reading, gives me flashbacks of when we got Yonni. his nurse held on as well and cried. it was harder at that moment than when we met his actual bio mom! keep them coming!