I'm going to post about our trip, just so we have a record of it somewhere. I don't want to forget any of these details!
Monday, December 26
It's hard to even know how to start this, but I don't want to forget anything about these last few days. Coming to Ethiopia for the 2nd time, this time to have our daughter with us, and knowing we will be bringing her home has been so different. Wonderfully different. The stress, and anxiety, the weight of waiting, all that is gone. I don't feel sick to my stomach, and I find myself thinking more about the future again.
The night before we left, Thursday, Micah came down with the stomach flu. He ended up throwing up twice Thursday night, and 2 more times during the night (poor guy didn't even call for us), and when he woke up Friday morning he still looked so sick and felt pretty bad. We had to be at the airport by 11, and needed to drop the boys off first at Aaron's mom's, so we didn't really have much time to make a decision. I didn't feel like I could leave him, he was so sick, and I didn't want anyone else to get sick either, so Aaron called the travel agency. There really weren't any good options for postponing, plus we had our embassy appointment set, and they would be closed until the 27th. Anyway, we prayed about it, called both of our families, and finally decided we would go. Right after we prayed, my mom called us again, and told us to go. Micah started feeling better, and by the time we left he was fine.
Our trip here was uneventful and long, and thankfully all of our bags made it with us! We arrived Saturday night around 9:30, and met another family who is also staying at the Bejoe guest house with us. We also got to see our driver again from our last trip, Bruke. Sunday we woke up bright and early, and spent the morning talking with the other family staying here. Around 1:30, they brought Hope to us. Bless her heart, she was so scared. And she was sick, and it was right in the middle of her nap time. She whimpered a lot, and I will never forget the look on her face. We held her, rocked her and took her back to our room where she promptly threw up. We both just felt terrible for her. I knew it would be hard for her, but I didn't really understand it until I saw her face. I know what we can give her in terms of a parents and a family is really good, but giving up everything she has and being left with two strangers in a strange place is incredibly traumatic. She finally fell asleep in my arms and I just held her while she slept. When she woke up she seemed better, more calm, and like she felt better too. We sat on the bed, and looked at her book (she had the little photo album we had sent for her birthday, and would not let go of it), and then I showed her another little bear we had brought. We still didn't know if she could walk or not, but all of a sudden she stood up on the bed. I set her on the floor, and she just took off! She has clearly been walking for quite some time! We played in our room for a while, and after a few hours we saw her first smile. She is really quiet, but will definitely let you know if she doesn't like something! Her caregivers had sent a couple different kinds of medicine, something for her throat, and actual little pills she is supposed to take. They look like aspirin, and we have not had much luck in getting her to take those. She fought sleep hard last night, but went down about 8. She woke up crying pretty hard at 9:20, and would not go back in her crib. So, she slept between us last night, she was pretty restless, but went back to sleep easily when she would wake up.
And this morning she woke up happy, and ready to go. She still is not eating much, she won't touch any of the baby food I brought, and is drinking only a little bit of milk. But she is smiling and laughing so much more today, and she gives me so many hugs and snuggles. She isn't as attached to Aaron yet, but we are working on that. Not pushing her, but giving him opportunities to be with her and give her special attention. I just can't believe we are with her, she is unbelievably cute, and I am just so thankful.