Friday, April 20, 2012

Court Trip Day 5- Order in the Court!!

Thursday night was the best night of sleep we had all week, just in time for court on Friday! I met Job downstairs after breakfast & took the short ride to court. The judge was a little late, and we were the last family called. It was nerve-wracking. While waiting, I read Psalms 103-105 and most of Hebrews, while simultaneously trying not to pass out, reaquainting myself with my good friend Imodium, and texting Dear Hubby about the joys of waiting & also a fellow waiting room occupant who looked almost exactly like Sylar (from the sadly cancelled NBC "Heroes"). Regrettably, Sylar did not speed up the clock, but after about 2 hours of waiting we PASSED court!!! This means that we are now officially their parents, and they are our children, and the adoption is irrevocable. #BEAUTIFUL We celebrated with lunch at Island Breeze, where I met a Show Hope sponsor (I had on my SH shirt), and enjoyed the BEST chips and salsa of my life. *The food was safe at all of the restaurants we ate at and we did not get sick. We went coffee shopping, visited a government orphanage, and spent the last afternoon with J4 & G5 before heading out for home. Kind of goes without saying, but it was hard to say goodbye, and hard when the airplane took off from Ethiopian soil. We are hoping to have our paperwork submitted to the US Embassy in 3-5 weeks (one Wednesday in May), and then it will take an additional 1-8 weeks to receive clearance to bring the kids home! You may notice that I'm not going to say much about our 32 hour trip home. Well, on the first flight I almost flung my (clean) spare underpants on unsuspecting passengers, when struggling to wrestle my pillow out of my carry-on from the overhead compartment. If this was the SAT's it would read: Pillow is to carry-on luggage as Woman who loves cheesecake is to control-top pantyhose. Necessary, but a very snug fit. The laughter that ensued over this event/non-event  was the highlight of our 32 hour journey. That and the ice. Imagine how sanctifying the next trip will be when we bring home our 2 new children:)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Court Trip Day 4

Thursday, April 19th: We met early morning for paperwork, rejoice that our fellow traveling family passed court with their daughter, and enjoy reading the bazillion Facebook comments of our Meetcha Day photos. We shopped for souvenirs in the Post Office district (my favorites are the traditional clothing, wood carved salad fork/spoon, and bead necklaces) and ate lunch at Sishu. They have an outdoor play area that is pretty spiffy that would be great to visit on our Embassy trip. The mushroom gouda burger was yummy & the fried banana crepes would have made N'Orleans proud! After being greeted at the Transition Home gate by the cutest boy in Ethiopia (J4), we visited all afternoon where I got my portion of squeezes from J4 & G5. We met with the psychologist, took pictures & distributed care packages for matched kids/families, and bonded some more over chalk, bubbles, smooches, and soccer. Did I mention that G5 cried for me when I left everyday? (Heartbreaking, but it means bonding is going well.) We enjoyed a traditional Ethiopian dinner at Habesha 2000, which was spicy but very good. The Ethiopian dancing and music was great and I was happy to join in the fun when they called on me to dance. Sadly, there is no video footage of the display of my "mad skillz" because I was 2 legit 2 quit (as the young people would have said back in my day), and since you, fair reader, weren't present, you can't dispute it!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Court Trip Day Three- Meeting Day!

Wednesday, April 18th: After Becky dreams of being chased by dogs in the Hunger Games because of the incessant howling/barking we heard all night, we head down for coffee!, breakfast, and MEETING THE KIDS!! It went beautifully. J4 greeted me with a hug, and called me "mom" right from the start. We played lots of soccer (he's really good!), he sung the alphabet, and told me he wants to be a pilot when he grows up. He is very active, but I was able to hold his attention for many short periods of time. He would give me good eye contact, especially when looking at pictures or playing soccer. He can name every animal in the book in English. His accent is perfect, and he sings like a dream. G5 is a chubby bundle of love! She came to me cautiously, but once she latched on she was VERY happy being held by me. She enjoyed looking at pictures of Daddy & siblings, blowing bubbles, and looking at books. She also gave good eye contact and let me feed her.  We went to Metro Pizza which was delish, and after the meeting time going so well, my appetite was back in force! We visited Abenezer and KVI orphanages and ate a relaxing dinner at the Guest House. I talked to my home team via Facetime for iPhone with no delay.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Court Trip Day 2

Tuesday, April 17: After riding in a row next to 4 babies for the last flight to Germany, I was feeling disgruntled that a cyanide pill was not included free with every plane ticket. While awake on the same flight, we note that there is a new European pony tail style (with the bottom banded also) that we feel certain will catch on in the US if we embrace it wholeheartedly. (Look for it soon in Glamor magazine!) After landing in Frankfort, we have no clue what time or day it is because there is a 7 hour time change, it is bright outside, 3 degrees (Celsius), and we realize that we have to take an even longer flight next. Becky orders water & I order the only coffee drink that I can understand since the menu is in German. It costs around $16. Starbucks is beginning to look pretty darn affordable right now. Imodium is starting to be consumed in bulk. On the flight to Addis, we have almost-Tiramisu,  Becky watches a movie about people being kidnapped, while I toss, turn & take more Imodium. Then we land in the Sudan. The capital city was very reddish brown (like Georgia clay) but we were only able to look out the windows. At different points of the journey Becky starts begging the pilot to land. Anywhere. She starts naming random countries she would rather be in than in our plane seat. We arrive in the capital city of Ethiopia around 9 pm (Addis time), which is exactly 24 hours after we took off from the capital of Louisiana. Finally in the city with my children, I am excited. We stand in a LONG line for visas, then customs, then luggage, then meet our driver/guide. The Yesabi Guest house (where we also stayed with our adoption in 2009) is lovely. We are told to be downstairs the next day at 9:30 am to meet the driver who will take us to meet the children. How you are supposed to rest after being hyped up with that amazing news, with dogs barking loudly, and club music pounding in your ears, I'm not sure!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Court Trip Day One

Monday, April 16th: Fly out of Louisiana. Becky & I leave combined 2 husbands & 7 children behind. There were tears. Pretty sure the kids' were mainly of joy that they were going to eat cereal, pizza, chicken nuggets, and pancakes all week since that is the sum of Daddy's culinary expertise. Flights were delayed. There was some panic that a domino effect would take place, causing us to miss all of our connecting flights. Houston was crazy stressful and we had to run & while Becky is athletic, I have a strict "no running unless being chased by someone with a knife" policy.  We were smelly, but made our flight on time.