May 18, 2010
We arrived in Addis Ababa last night at around 7:00 pm. It was a long trip, but Emma was a rock star traveler. We’re so proud of her. We crashed at about 9:00 pm and slept all night until 7:00 am this morning. Sleep felt great! We had a great breakfast this morning, and then got unpacked a bit and played. David, our driver, and Robel , our AWAA travel coordinator, came and picked us up at 12:30 pm for lunch. We ate pizza. It was really good. We’d heard they had good Italian food here, because of the Italian occupation. Well, it was really good. After that, we headed to the transition home. That’s really where we wanted to be all day.
When we got there, they found out who we were and said they would get Yabsira. So we waited outside at the front. What a crazy feeling, waiting for them to bring our daughter…Katie, Emma and I were all looking at each other, anticipating the moment…nervous, excited, almost crying, etc. When they finally brought her out, it was surprising that no tears were present. But joy overtook the moment and we were all just completely excited! Emma gave her hugs and kisses, Katie held her, I looked on and took pictures, then we all sat down together. What joy! Katie fed her a bottle and she just slurped it down without wasting any time at all. I guess when you start out that small, you don’t mess around when there is food present. Both Katie and I could have stayed there all day – staring into her eyes, feeding her, holding her, just being together. It’s been so long. We spent two hours together, and of course didn’t want to leave. But Emma had been such a trooper all day, and we can’t take Lilia home yet, so we left. She’s in a great place. The transition home is beautiful, and the people are so kind and great with the kids. Lilia has been in good hands.
Tonight, Emma fell asleep at dinner. One second she was chowing on pasta, the next she was asleep on Katie’s lap. I’m not joking either. I think she fell asleep in the course of 30 seconds. What a day. Well, we’re all heading for bed soon. Sweet dreams for us!
As a final note, we love Addis, and all the people we’ve met. The people of this country seem to be so proud of their place and all its history. Not a tourist kind of proud, but a deep rooted pride in being from this place. The people here also seem to have a deep love for children. We saw it over and over again. It’s such a beautiful thing, considering that children are often overlooked or treated as inconveniences in our country. We can’t wait to learn more about where our daughter is from.
Dulles Airport (note how rested we looked then)
On the airplane- two 8 hour flights
Outside the Transition Home,
waiting for Lilia to be brought out so we could meet her for the first time!
And more waiting (it took forever)
Here she is! I recognized those amazing eyes halfway
down the hallway as a nanny brought her out to us