May 20, 2010
I miss Eli. He opens doors, left and right. I miss him. This is too long of a trip. I wonder how he is really doing. I wonder if he has had a melt-down. I wonder if he will be okay when we get back or be worried and miss us. I am sure our family, Carol and Ed, Aunt Jodi, Uncle Bob and Justin and Ally are all taking great care of him, but this is too long away for me. I suddenly want to be back.
Lulu B is pretty great. Turns out that people in Addis think Belyanesh is “old fashioned,” a polite way of saying, what a name, the moral equivalent of Gertrude. That said, people in Bahir Dar might think it a beautiful name. It is her name, although now in the middle, so there you go. Assaye says it is beautiful, going against the general opinion of everyone else who works at the guest house! We are keeping it as it is hers, but will use it as a middle name.
Tomorrow we have our final adoption event, the second part of checking out of the orphanage, meeting with the doctor and reviewing her chart. Unfortunately, Lufthanza doesn't fly out of Addis on Thursdays. Why? Who knows? So we head back to the states on Friday.
About Toukoul Guest house. What an experience. The people that work here are lovely; they reach out and are very kind people. From the chef to the front desk and everywhere else, such nice people. They kiss the babies, swoop them up and bring them inside when us crazy Americans are hanging out in the, for Addis, cold air, but without lecturing, just doing.
One thing the new nurse let us know is that the babies go outside, in the sun for a half an hour in the morning every day (not in the rain!) in their diaper, to soak up the Vitimin D. It is important for the African babies to skip sunscreen, have direct sunlight; this helps them stay healthy. Fun to find out and fun to watch, a beautiful thing.
She played with her friend who is soon to hail from Indiana. Ms. A hails from the southern nations tribes, i think. She has gorgous eyes and a winning smile and attached to her new parents in record time. Her parents are university people and fun to hang out with. I hope Miss A comes to visit soon! She is a few months older than Miss B, but…in a year or two, no one will notice!
Such a fun group of children, getting their US Visa on May 17, 2010, they are the class of 2010. So cool to stay with everyone at Toukoul, have lunch, trade stories, wait to see if everyone passes. A few people got traveler’s sickness; luckily, it passed a lot of people over.
The group had a wide variety of people and places represented, a physician, one special ed teacher, two grade school teachers who have an organic farm, a university professor, an IT person, a musician, a programer.....and from all over the US, mostly midwest and then Az, Ca and Oregon.
On Toukoul. It feels really good to be part of a history that stretches back 30 years. To meet our new friend from France, Nicole, a lovely man from northern france, and his mother, returning to Ethiopia for the first time since his adoption at 5 was incredible. Since our french is non-existent, he was kind to try and express himself in English. By the end of the week, he was a champion. His mother was incredible and that when they arrived they had discovered his birth family was an incredible story. I feel so lucky to have met him and watched this journey from another view.
And the staff. The guest house isnt fancy. It doesnt have internet in the rooms or deluxe accommodations, but the staff and the history combined make the trip an amazing event. Not the adventure travel some aspire to or being in an american bubble like staying at the Sheraton or Hilton would provide, but a place in the middle, with support for you while you are adopting. And a chance to go on the journey with other families, another connection for your child and a touchstone to return to in the future.
I hope we return again and again.