Saturday, October 24, 2009

We've Had A Birthday!

We have had a big first birthday at our house on Oct 16! It was, of course, a princess party. Our princess is always so active that almost all the pics are blurry, but I think you can still see thru it all that she is a precious one! We are still running on adrenaline here and more in love with her than EVER!!!!! She has brought so much fun to our family. She is a truly a joy in our lives.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Since We've Been Home

Since I am done writing all about our trip, I am sooooo excited to tell you now all about what life has been like since we have been home.....Its FABULOUS! Annsleigh is so well adjusted already....sleeping all night....eating non stop....perfect clean bill of health from the pediatrician, and he checked EVERYTHING....and her personality is just precious....she is cuddly and loves to be rocked and hugged....yet she is bubbly and silly and giggles all the time. The giggles always give her the hiccups! She babbles all the time like Pebbles does. Sounds just like her...How precious! Everything that I prayed to God about such concerns as bonding and sleepless nights and attachment just never were issues. He took care of all of that! She instantly took to the whole family, but is very attached to me. I do housework with her in the sling, or I do nothing but hold her and cuddle, which sometimes is what I do...cuz she will grow quick...and she is walking now. I am just so grateful I got to see her first steps before I have to go back to work on Sunday, night shift....YUCK! But, it will be ok....gotta do what you gotta do! Anyway, we also already had our court appearance here in TN for our readoption, so we are all done with major paperwork and expense now.... and I will post mostly pics for a while to catch you up....thanks for reading!

Home coming on Sunday at the airport

Asleep at last in the bassinet on the plane

Annsleigh meets her Uncle Chris

Annsleigh meets big brother Bradley

Bradley truly adores his sister and is very very protective of her. He cries if she falls down like all babies do. This is one happy boy! He helps change her diapers and helps sing her to sleep and rubs her back with me when we lay her down. He could not be a better big brother. He is such a big help and everyone is adjusting fabulously!

Our Journey To Ethiopia Day 9 - Sunday

Annsliegh meets her NeNe!

Annsleigh meets her Pa!

Annsleigh meets her ciocia Terri! (thats Polish for aunt/I grew up with that one!)

Annsleigh meets her cousin Jon-Thomas!

Annsleigh meets her cousin Jacob!

At about 1AM we got into Dubai and we are to get another hotel stay for some sleep....and this time the Dubai airport was very very busy...and we had to get a transit visa for Annsleigh...this was very confusing for us at the airport...go to one desk...he says go here and there.....we go here and there....and that guy doesnt know why we are at his we go back and forth....stand in a long line for them to scan Annsleighs to the front of that line and he didnt know why I was there...they dont do that on babies....well....I just about had enough at that point....and I learned something about myself that I just never ever knew after 46 years.....when I am beyond exhausted....I there I was in the middle of the Dubai airport just crying and balling ...... walking in circles going here and there!...I just wanted to blink my eyes and I us be HOME!!!!!poor Brad....trying to put up with me....but finally we got it to the hotel, took hot showers and took a 5 hour nap..left for the airport by 7AM and the 16 hour flight began....It was quite interesting....Annsleigh cried EVERY time I left her to go to the bathroom. She cried ANY time Brad held her. I had to hold her the entire time. We had a the way....dont ever let your travel agent talk you out of bulkhead seats at least on Emirates. The bassinet is wonderful if you can get your baby up in there asleep...but....make sure your TV screen is pulled up and out before she sets it up or you will not be able to see your own screen. Such as the case with me....the bassinet is in the way of getting your own screen up....but most of the time watching anything was out of the question for me anyway. Annsleigh fought sleep most of the way...she was hyper....hyper ...hyper...what a handful!!!! Finally she fell asleep over Canada somewhere and she really never woke up until we got to Houston....She fell asleep again and woke up in Nashville and it was just beyond words to describe how well she instantly took to the whole family. and them to her...the pictures say it all!

Our Journey To Ethiopia Day 8 - Saturday

This morning Brad went shopping at the open markets while Annsleigh & I had girl time. And I got our packing done because we are heading for home tonight!!!! Cannot wait to get back & introduce Annsleigh to her brother. This night we caught a 7PMish flight back to Dubai....

Our Journey To Ethiopia Day 7 - Part 4

After a little while in the van all of us took a vote on if we wanted to stop & eat. One of the guys was starving so we stopped at a really nice restaurant to grab a bite to eat. It took a very long time for our food and all we all ordered was soup and sandwiches. So that put us even later at getting back to the HOH. We ate & went on. After a while Tesfu's cell phone rang & he handed it to Brad. Brad couldnt understand & hear what was being said so he handed it to me. All I got was "Tihune's mother is...." so we gave the phone back to Tesfu & he told us that Tihunes mother will be at the HOH tomorrow 8AM. WE said OK....although we thought that was strange. Birth parents at the HOH? So they get to go there? Do they EVER? What if she saw Annsleigh?(Tihune)? We found out that the sick birth mother in the hospital had recent contact with her 2 girls who were being adopted in our group. WHAT?!? Didnt know birth families went to the HOH or even knew where it was. Didnt like hearing this....thought about it long enough to get another call on Tesfus cell & we were told Tihunes mother there now! What? Ok....but is she at the HOH NOW? All I can think is what if she sees Annsleigh? All this confusion! Its is getting late and there is lots of traffic on the roads now....dusk. Other folks in the van were mentioning they were missing their already prepared and paid for suppers at the HOH and Ethiopian Guest mind wandered when the van pulls over in the middle of nowhere.....Why? Someone says "Its Tihunes mother!" WHAT?!? WHAT IN THE WORLD?!?....and.....sure enough Brad & I get out of the van to meet this very pretty well kept small framed woman & her 3 year old daughter....I was in shock and fumbled to find my list of questions for the birth mother that I had prepared hours & hours earlier. And I had to ask someone in the van for a there....on the side of a very busy road on the edge of the town of Addis....van door wide open with engine running....& beggars coming around we proceed to interview Annsleighs birth mother....not at all the way I expected her interview to go. It sure took away all the emotion I was afraid I would show when talking with her. We hugged her, learned some things we can share with Annsleigh like she has 4 sisters, one of whom we met....precious 3 year old. She did allow a picture of her and the 3 year old with us on the side of the road...WOW! We got back in the van & on & on to Addis. We got back to the HOH when it was dark out. We picked up Annsleigh and Tsegay handed us her ticket to ride! .....her birthcertificate & passport! Be sure NOT to open this brown envelope....only airport immigrations in America open it...I also asked Tsegay why we never saw the orphanage & he said they were in the process of moving....and this was what they thought was best... maybe so...but they could have told us. Anyway, we got back to the Melkam & shared our Fig Newtons and Raman noodles with the Rahals since they missed their supper at the HOH tonight. We also heard back from our travel agent....we go home tomorrow! YAY!!!! We all slept very good that night. I guess we finally adjusted to the time change and all just in time to head home....but we are very ready for home....end of day 7!

The sugarcane in WenjiTypical street with houses in Wenji? I wonder.....could this be the street Annsleigh was born on?

Typical homes in Wenji.....I wonder.....could she have been born here?

Sugarcane plantation in Wenji

Our Journey To Ethiopia Day 7 - Part 3

Something I must say is that I am so happy to have seen the village that Annsleigh was born in. Wenji is a very beautiful quiet village...seemed very peaceful... lots of open spaces...grassy playing in green fields...sugarcane everywhere. No wonder she is just SOOOO SWEET!!! :) I loved her village & was so glad to see it & get pics of it. I dont care if she never sees Addis Ababa again, in fact, I would rather she not see it....but I do hope that some day she can see her village in person. Most of the civilians from this village though have terribly stained teeth...We found out that it was from excess flouride that the sugarcane factory leatched out into the water....see, too much of a good thing is not good! Anyway, we pulled up to the sugarcane factory long enough to be told this is it....dont take any pics....and drive off. Strange....very strange....on we go! To the hospital...Oh boy! We pull up to the hospital & all get out just so we can sit in the hospital "lobby" on more comfortable benches than in that scrunched cramped van. The couple that was here to meet their birth mom was taken in ahead of us and led up to her room. We sat in the lobby and started diveying up whatever snacks and drink we had as we were all getting pretty hungry at this 8 of us shared turkey jerky, fruit snacks and a little bottled water...Then a man from the hospital comes & says we are to go with him to visit family....we all acted confused....said no.....he said we all went. I really did not want to walk the halls of this hospital and I am a nurse! Thats the problem, my downfall....I can see the germs everywhere! But, here we go! At this point I got the giggles because this was all so ridiculous....10 adults and none of us ever knew where we were going or doing, just going along with what we are told....But I do know we all should not go in and see this birth mother!!! CHI and the government is so strict about what we can and cant ask a birth mother or give to her and now this guy wants all 10 of us to bombard this poor sick lady's room? Most of us said no & stood outside her door in the hall. The little hospital man asked whe needed to use the toilet? We all quickly said NOPE! No Thank You!!! :) We all were then led down the hall to the nursery. Now, I was glad to see this, being a NICU nurse back home...old metal bar cribs....all empty.... & then he shows us this small white wooden box with a lid made only of screening.....its to keep the malaria away from the premature baby! No extra warmth just netting....with mosquitos buzzing around it...then it dawned on me.....WE ARE IN MALARIA TERRITORY!!!!! WE DIDNT TAKE OUR MALARIA MEDICATIONS!!!! (because we were supposedly not leaving Addis Ababa where there is no malaria!) What can we do now....oh well! Hope for the best! We all were drawn to walk out an a large connecting balcony as all the windows were open. The breeze felt great and we welcomed to breathe fresh fresh air! We then were asked if we wanted to see the HIV floor....why not? At this point? Why not? we go...we all were taken to a very very small doctors office and we filed in and piled up in there. A few chairs....and a doctor in the middle of consulting his patient on taking her medications while we all just stared at them!!!!! What in the world. Talk about uncomfortable for us and them. Although they acted like they didnt see all of us. No HIPPA policies here. But we couldnt understand the language. But still. No privacy!??!! Seemed very awkward like such an invasion of privacy. We left the office when that patient did & we were off to tour the business office. All of us....cram in there, smile & wave and they all were just so sweet and friendly and looked up from their desks, welcomed us, smiled and waved back....unreal.. we were all just slap happy by now...and then we were done...led out the door and into the van. We started the long bumpy ride back to Addis. As if the day wasnt strange enough already....the best was yet to happen....

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Day 7 Part 2

On the way to Wenji

So...the road is getting worse as the terrain is getting drier & drier. There were cactus and deep dry gulches. As we went further along, closer to Wenji, we notice more use of drawn carriages (with truck tires) and horse pulled plows. It felt like Amish country! Except, here were some horses just standing in the middle of the road, in the middle of a 2 lane road....we are told that is what they do with the old horses that are of no use to anyone anymore...they put them out there hoping they would just get hit....that is too sad to me....Anyway, we kept on & on & finally began to see the sugarcane. Wenji's sole survival revolves around the sugarcane plantations & the sugarcane production that season for the jobs....abundant rain...abundant crops...lots of jobs...Rumor had it we were to tour the factory. We all voiced that we thought we should see birth families first...we've kept them waiting long enough. We finally got to Wenji & the van stops at this place that had a rose garden. After we picked up one man, another man came up to the van door and shook most everyones hand. It wasnt until much much later that we figured out who these 2 guys were. The first was from the sugarcane factory, the other was the orphanage director. At first we had them confused....but it didnt really matter....we were clueless the whole trip thus far anyway.... The orphanage director said it was so much (dont remember how much) to get the sugarcane factory tour. Somehow, the Harrris' ended up paying for everyone....we go in this building I dont know what it a community center...some people were sitting at tables having drinks...some were watching a movie on a screen...We all made a BEE line for the bathroom....a stinky 1 seater in the pitch black...I dropped my sunglasses on the floor in there and left them....we all shared our TP and hand sanitizer... We kind of then wandered out the back door when I first heard word that the birth families were here!?!? What? What in the world? Was this the orphanage? Where were we anyway? We get outside nervous, anxious and emotional. Slowly but surely each couple was hooking up with their birth families. We found out that one family's birth mother was not here because she was sick in the hospital. It was not Annsleigh's birth mother? We asked about Tihunes (Annsleigh ) mother? Tesfu asks the orphanage director and he said something back...Tesfu tells us Tihunes mother is not coming, but the orphanage director acted like he didnt know she was supposed to be here. Anyway, we just stood around with the other couple whose birth mother was sick and took some time to take pictures of the grounds for they were pretty. The other couple was told that they were going to get to go to the hospital to visit the birth mother. I thought that was great & we wondered where the hospital was. We tried to pass the time but man, this was a sad emotional moment for me....not getting to meet Annsleighs birth mother. Anyway, finally the other families all took their pics and said their goodbyes & hugs & we were told we were going to the factory now. The one family needing to visit their birth family in the hospital said, "No, visit birth family first!" They were told "No, hospital not near here..." So..... we were all herded along to walk thru the rose garden. We took a group pic there & then we were all told to get in the van so we can get to the hospital so this family can visit their birth we all go....Just as the van was pulling away... the orphanage director took whatever donations we had and left...that was the only way we knew he was the orphanage director. As we left I asked..."What about the orphanage?" No answer.... Then it seemed to all of us that "Did we really just pay for families to visit birth mothers?" Alot of this just really didnt feel right....strange.....just very very strange....the day goes on and gets even more strange...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Our Trip To Ethiopia Day 7 - Friday Part 1

The Flat Tire

Donkeys walking by

The children are responsible for the herd

This day is very long & will be hard to describe to anyone who wasnt there to truly feel the emotion and confusion and exhaustion we all had by the end of the day. This is the day we are to visit the orphanage where the birth parent meeting will take place....or so we thought.... It starts off with us getting picked up at approximately 8:15AM. This excursion is supposedly 8AM - 12PM. I distinctly remember our caseworker telling us that Holy Savior Orphanage "Is right there in its close..." We based our immunizations on this....we did not take the malaria meds because we were staying in Addis....a higher elevations with no malaria.....wrong! We ask Zeyedeh from the Melkam how far it is to Wenji, the village Annsleigh is from where the orphanage is.....he says...."Um...... lets go about 10km then take a left.....and then about 100km & turns into such & such & then another 200km you do this and that..." He lost me! Clearly it is far, supposedly 2 1/2 hour ride 1 way. We took our nondrowsy dramamine & off we went. First, the van collected all the families that were adopting chihldren from Holy Savior... 5 of us couples...Once all collected all the families were taken to the HOH to drop the children off so the nannys could watch them...cannot take the children with you when you visit birth families...Going back again and again to the HOH I did not think was such a good idea. When we got there, we stood around for sometime just waiting for one more couple to get dropped off. This was too long of a wait especially for the older kids. The longer we hung around the more behavior issues were coming out of shear confusion on a childs part not quite sure why again they have to go to this HOH. I cant help but wonder if they think...are they leaving me here? Are they going to come back? Alot of the older kids were just really ready to board the plane & go home. Our Annsleigh....well she went nicely to her nurse & her took her as she smiled, clapped and cooed....her nurse said "Oh, shes changed so much already!!! She is sooo happy!" That made Brad and I feel sooooo good! :) We stood around the HOH for some time just waiting & waiting for another couple to arrive. This was too long of a wait especially for the older kids. The longer we hung around the more behavior issues were coming out of sheer confusion on a childs part not quite sure why again they have to go to the HOH again. Alot of the older kids were reallly just ready to board the plane & go home. Well.... finally the other couple is dropped off & we all pile into the van. Off we go......little did we know we would not be back to our little one until dark (7PMish!!!) We bounce along the road & take pics right & left. The further we went the more beautiful it became. Mountains, open plaines, streams, fresher air...After quite some time now, we started passing dramamine around the van for some folks...then the van pulled over onto the shoulder & someone said we had a flat tire....we all got out of the van to stretch our legs while the driver & Tesfu changed the tire. We took some pics of the surroundings & a herd of donkeys walking across the road. After a while the spare tire was on & we continued on. ...we drove & drove & drove & made a pit stop at a restaurant because, get this, THE MEN HAD TO GO PEE!!!!!! HeHeHe! Then we drove on & on & then the van pulled over again, this time at a tire shop. We thought we were just going to drop the tire off & pick it up on the way back...instead we waited on it to be fixed because we were told from this point on the road gets very very bad & we wont want to be stuck without a spare...ok sounds good to me....we better wait...We all got out of the van again to strectch our legs... Tesfu's cell phone rings. Its the orphanage director wondering where we are because he has the birth families waiting? Tesfu tells him what is going on.... beggars start coming around....we are getting better at saying no.....finally we get the tire fixed & we all get back in the van and we are on our way once again...and they were right....the road got worse & worse...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Our Trip To Ethiopia Day 6 - Thursday

Tired of riding

No car seat & in the front seat?!?!?

Love this picture of the Ethiopian flag

Addis Ababa from Entoto Mountain

The market place at the base of the mountain

Tsegay and Annsleigh

Annsleigh and her nurse

This day was one excursion we wouldnt miss. We got picked up at the Melkam Guest House at approximately 9AM for a ride up to Entoto mountain. This was an absolutely beautiful short ride. At the base of the mountain was the open markets where we are to shop on Saturday. Masses of people everywhere. Then as you work your way up the mountain the mood completely changed. Everything became more beautiful....the air cooled and cleared & it felt soooooo good to breath fresh air. We all enjoyed taking some deep breaths. There was still mud sided houses & shacks with mud roofs to live in but they dotted the hillside with grassy spaces in between. These children can play in the grass! Still had lots of women carrying heavy loads of sticks or water buckets, or bushels up the mountain.....and lots and lots of little donkeys trotting along with similar loads. They looked like they were doing it effortlessly. We stopped near the top for great pictures. Funny that from far away, Addis Ababa looks orderly & quaint. At the top we also visited a couple of very old Christain/Catholic churces and the old emperor and emperess castle. That was something to see....except the beggars outside the church. Did not expect that...and our tour guide scolded them for bothering us. From here on ...we were discouraged from handing out to the beggars because once you do, you will be hounded and harassed. Its hard to not give give give, but we started to get used to saying no. Well, the whole time Annsleigh of course slept in the sling. Thank God for the sling! When we came back down the mountain we were the only ones that needed to go to the Melkam so 1/2 way back our van stops and we are told to get out and get in this other van with someone we have no idea who and off we go....and everytime you go somewhere, it doesnt matter if you've been there before or not, they always go a different way. So, we drove along felt like forever and we began to wonder why we would trust someone to tell us get out here and go in a strange country....when lo and behold, we finally pull up to the Melkam....just very strange how we never really knew who we were with or where we were going....but we made it. Anyway, back at the Melkam just in time for a much needed nap which we didnt get because Annsleigh was now wide awake.....and again soaked thru her diaper, outfit and sling. We got picked back up at about 2PM so we could go back to the HOH to take pictures of 2 babys for some waiting families back home and to take our donations there. We get close to the HOH and our van cannot get closer to the HOH because there are big fuel trucks parked all in that road and one truck just parked in the middle of it all. We sat in the van for awhile and finally we are told to just get out and walk. By now, civilians have congregated around the van. So we get out and have to walk about 1/2 block & Im shielding my baby from the coughing people around there. The stench was horrible too...When we got to the HOH Annsleigh was asleep in her sling again which I was grateful for because I thought at least none of the nanny's would be able to take her from me. Well, we asked to see the crib she slept in & the nannys prepared the crib next to it so she could lay down. After they went thru all that trouble, I hated to not oblige so I reluctantly laid her down. She stayed asleep & we left the room. We went a few doors down and took pics and videos of both babys. I knew how precious these pics and videos would be for the 2 families back home. That was all we lived for when we were in their shoes. When we were done taking pics, we went out the door onto the walkway upstairs and there Annsleigh her nurses arms, all dressed up in a little traditional Ethiopian dress complete with head wrap. How precious was that? And I asked her to show me how to do the wrap. Now I felt bad for not letting Annsleigh's nurse just hold her as much as she wanted. I have the rest of my life with Annsleigh. and she had to let go....well, this time Annsleigh did not really cry when she left the nurse to come to me. We then were ready to go, but we were told our ride was still out down the street corner so the driver walked us to the corner. I did not like walking out there with my baby....too many people loitering, coughing, hacking, peeing....I would try to walk around & away from the crowd. We get to the corner & our van is not there, but bouncing up the road to the corner...full of the other families who are going to the HOH also for some go walk back to the HOH & everyone gets out of the van & we just have to wait around until everyone is ready to leave....Kinda confusing....kinda tiring....Anway finally we leave and on the way back to the Melkam the van stopped at a grocery store for more formula & cereal so we can replace what the HOH gave us. By the way on the very first day you pick up your baby, the van can take you to the corner grocery for formula/diapers/bottled water. And if you stay at the Melkam, it is in what they say is a good neighborhood although you wouldnt know it by looking, and one day Brad & a couple of dads walked to the grocery around the corner from the Melkam to get more water and formula. Brad said it was fine...he felt very one harassed them (beggars) & the grocery store folks were very helpful. We got back to the Melkam once again exhausted and once again Annsleigh soaked thru those Ethiopian disposable diapers. Tonight we had to try everything to get her to sleep, even dancing. Sucking on the empty bottle worked. We slelpt wrestless again....End of day 6

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Our Trip To Ethiopia Day 5 - Wednesday

  • On the grounds of the Ethnic Museum
    Outside the Ethnic Museum

    Annsleighs favorite spot.....asleep in the sling :)

    Annsleighs favorite spot when awake.... caught digging in the food suitcase :)

    We got up this AM in our best dressed clothes for our Visa appointment. Brad wore Khakis and a nice button up shirt and I wore a long black and white skirt and black sweater. White sandals. We were still exhausted but adrenaline kept us going. We rode the bumpy van but it wasnt too long of a ride. The Embassy is a very unimpressive building. We were prodded along to all sit outside on rows of benches under a canopy. I remember thinking that I never read about this....maybe we dont have to sit in the hot stuffy room I had read about. They were taking in a few families at a time to go thru a security check point. Ahhhh! Thats what this line is about.....just to get in the building. It didnt take long for our turn and really all of our agency peoples turns to get security checked. You have to leave your cell phone there and any cameras. We went thru that area and did not know where we were going after that....they just pointed like we should know....we came to the end of that hall where there was an open door to the outside....& finally saw a very small arrow pointing to another little have to walk outside across a small area to the next building. Ok, this is where the long wait is... I recognized it by the descriptions reading other family's blogs...Not enough seats for everyone....dimly room....We waited for about 1 1/2 hours. Annsleigh was a very good girl as she was making friends with everyone we sat around once a seat opened up. A little social butterfly! It really did not seem too long a wait as we talked with other families. Then they started the CHI agency group. Almost seemed like our large group skipped line...but finally our name was called. We went up the stairs to the window which is where you conduct your appointment. The lady in the window sounded and looked American. Was friendly enough. The entire time, CHI agency folk was right behind us to help answer any questions we stumbled over. But they prepared us well the day before, I must say..all was well as she thumbed thru the papers. She asked us all the questions we were prepared to answer....then the big hiccup!!! She looks at the papers and shuffles them around and says. "Oh wait just one minute!......." as she is flipping thru all the papers. Brad & I are sick to our stomachs....."Hold on...hold on..." she says... WHAT DOES SHE MEAN HOLD ON WAIT A MINUTE...EVERYTHING SHOULD BE IN ORDER!!!!!! NOW WHAT?!?! She says..."When was this child referred to you?" March 30 we said.... So she starts counting up on her fingers then says...."Oh thank God! I first read your request as for a child 0 - 6 years. Then saw it said 0 - 6 months and thought she was surely out of the range for age of child you requested. But she made it just by a biscuit!" I said yes, she was 5 1/2 months old when we got her referral. SHEW! That was a nervous moment. But all was well. And I dont know what would have happened if they did find some loophole....this was the baby we were taking home and thats all there was to that! After a BIG sigh of relief, we were free to go. Her passport should be ready by Friday AM. We went outside to get some fresh air because everyone has to wait for the entire group to be done before we all leave. We thought this was a perfect chance to change a very soggy diaper. But the only spot we saw was outside on this shelf like thing and another baby was getting changed. So we waited....then all of a sudden no time for that! Everyone in the group was finished with their appointments so it was time to leave and leave quickly for some reason. We were once again correlled along the way into the crowded van with one very soggy diaper. On the way back to the Melkam we made a pit stop off at the HOH (not sure why). Annsleigh's nurse comes up to the van and sees Annsleigh. She comes up to the van with a care package for her.....another beautiful traditional Ethiopian dress and wrap....and her name and email address.....that was so sweet. How touching. This nurse really does love our baby....I must find a way to send her pics of our Annsleigh in this dress.....Anyway, then off we the Melkam. Got there with another soaked thru outfit on Annsleigh. As soon as we got there and chaged her we went to the kitchen to make lunch. I should have known better, but I carried Annsleigh down to the kitchen in a diaper only.They had the back door open and it felt so good. Not cold, not hot. Well, the sweet lady that cooks and cleans at the Melkam very very kindly looked at Annsleigh, rubbed her arm smiled at me and nodded and said..."It is cold..." I had read about how they do like to bundle their babys and I really should have know. So, I respectfully marched right back up the stairs and put some clothes on Annsleigh and went back down. Then we emailed our travel agent to try to change our return flight tickets so we can come home earlier!!! YAY!!! Cannot wait to see our 6 year old boy at home!....Cannot wait to get all settled at home!....We have to wait on a response....At about 2:30PM we got picked up at the Melkam so we could visit the Ethnic Museum. It is very beautiful...This was the only time during our entire trip where the electicity was out. But not for long. It soon came back on and we saw the entire museum. We thought we were then headed back to the Melkam but instead headed to the Hilton so some folks could use the internet cafe there. By the way, internet is free at the is dial up...but it was sufficient. We got to the is gorgeous. Wish we could stay there and have our baby stay with us. We are not allowed to stay in the public hotels with our newly adopted babys because the towns people do not like seeing "their babies" being adopted out, supposedly. Anyway, probably too expensive anyway. We went ahead and paid to use the internet at the Hilton and never even got on...we got a rain check to use the next time we came...but we never went back....and no one else needed it. So...finally back to the Melkam...Once again Annsleigh fell asleep in the sling in the van so when we got back to the room we learned that Annsleigh fights sleep when over tired and then gets just plain hyper. We also began to believe that all the excursions and pick up times were babys nap times. Made it for really messed up days and we were beyond exhausted. Again, when bedtime came we quickly fell asleep when she did, but for some reason after 3 hours Brad and I could not sleep. Still tired, but unable to sleep. What in the world? Then, laying long enough we finally fall back asleep just in time for the rooster to crow....end of day 5......