Monday, July 14, 2008

...more than just 2.

Well I suppose I should take a moment to update this blog. I’m trying to put on here a short video of us meeting the boys for the first time but I’m having issues with that at the moment. Hopefully I can get it on here before too long.

Anyway, on with the update. Since I last wrote, a whole lot has happened. Let’s see, I think I last left you with the fact that we passed the US Embassy appointment on Wed. afternoon. Afterwards, we had dinner that night at a nice restaurant, Top View, that was on a mountain overlooking the city. We returned to the hotel for yet another restless night on the beds that are so hard I am sure they are fashioned out of some medieval torture device.

Thursday was a very interesting day. In the morning we visited Kids Care Orphanage where both the boys had stayed. This was particularly special to Bereket as he had lived here his entire life. His nannies there were thrilled to see him but were even more thrilled that he was finally getting a family. We stayed at the orphanage most of the morning passing out gifts and playing with the children. Of course we also had to partake in another coffee ceremony and I’m sorry but coffee is just nasty. We really had a great time here. The kids were all just wonderful and many of us all quickly found a child that given the opportunity we would have gladly taken with us. It’s also amazing to see how happy these children are. In their short lives they have already suffered so much and they have so little but in their hearts there is a sweet, peaceful joy.

After the orphanage we went to have lunch and I noticed that I wasn’t feeling particularly well. The next 24 hours would find me either on the toilet or in bed. You got to love it.

Apparently while I was lost to the world my wife and kids had a great dinner and then spent most of Friday morning and afternoon shopping (lots of shopping). Later, with me still not feeling great we packed up and headed for the airport. At the airport we said our final good-bye to the incredible Robel and began the great journey through airport security. It was a bit time consuming but all in all it wasn’t really that bad. Had I been feeling better I probably would thought it all rather easy. Once we had our boarding passes it was time to sit back and wait. The boys needed dinner so we went to one of the restaurants in the airport. We quickly learned here that Feromsa simply does not like anything that is not spicy and he especially hates French fries. I, of course, ate nothing. Also, in the airport you quickly begin to realize that on the plane ride home you will have lots of company from others who have been in Addis picking up their newly adopted children.

The plane ride home was, well, it was long – very, very long. Luckily the boys did sleep quite a bit and when they weren’t sleeping they were entertained by the head phones and music. I must say Ethiopian Air does like to feed their passengers but I gladly would have given up dinner at 12:00am for a lights out airline and some sleep. For a good part of the flight Feromsa was headlining in the back of the plane. He was talking and talking and talking and the people around were intently listening and laughing. We have no idea what he was saying but it must have been one great story. By the time the plane landed in D.C. we were thrilled to be back home. It took exactly 2 hours to get through security, immigration, and customs but it was really quite painless. For those going after us my suggestion for you at this point is to just follow the crowd. Oh, one little bit of confusion we did have was that at Addis that asked if we were checking our luggage all the way through to Raleigh and we said yes. Well, they are tagged for Raleigh but everyone coming into the country had to claim their luggage in D.C. to go through customs. Anyway, we got through all of this and then learned are connecting flight was delayed an hour. We had one last lunch with the Ords (great people – well, Sarah is nice enough but that Bob guy is just strange) and then tried desperately to find some way to entertain the boys until our connecting flight. We also tried desperately to keep them somewhat quite, which wasn’t easy every time they saw another plane and they would leap with excitement.

We finally arrived in Raleigh and the boys were able to meet Joshua, Hannah, and both sets of grandparents. We also were greeted by some fellow AWAA adoptees (the Shmidts who hopefully will be traveling soon). After another 2 hours and a stop for dinner we were finally home. It is good to be home.

The kids, all 4, have adjusted well. Bereket is terrified of our dogs. Not sure what that is about. They all enjoy playing outside on the new swing set. Feromsa is especially impressed with the Nintendo wii. He loves boxing on wii sports. So far bed time has not been a problem. We have had some issues with Bereket getting up way to early and not wanting to go back to bed but this just may be a jet lag kind of thing. Bereket will eat just about anything, while Feromsa has been a little picky. They do love fruit of just about any kind but especially bananas. I think they eat about 4 or 5 a day.

It certainly is different in our house. What a drastic change 2 new boys have made. It is much louder. A little more crowded. A good deal messier and even though, as my family has so aptly noted, I am a little grumpy today because I’m just a guy who needs alone time and I haven’t had any for about 3 or 4 weeks now and I don’t see any on the near horizon, I wouldn’t change a thing. For one thing has also changed here – the love in the room has grown by much more than just 2.