Monday, May 27, 2013

"Hi, Mom" Is The Most Beautiful Sentence

Day #2 started off really well, just like yesterday. We started our day at 9:00 a.m. (In Ethiopia, that means 9:45, everything is very laid back). The Addis View Hotel driver took us to the IAN offices to have a debriefing for court. Court will be on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. We were able to look through her file and discover a little more information on her. (***For the protection of her privacy, we are not allowed to share this information on a public media site, but would love to share all about our little girl with you in person!)

The meeting lasted about 30 minutes and then we were able to go back to the care center and see Tarikua! When we pulled up and I jumped out of the van, I heard a little voice yell "Hi, mom!" I looked up and Tarikua was hanging out the window waving at me! It was the most precious thing and my heart just melted.

She had me at hello.

We went into the care center and were greeted by all the little kids, who were enthralled by the zippers on my purse. Tarikua came downstairs and gave us big hugs and kisses, a much different response than yesterday. She took us by the hand and led us upstairs to her room. She showed us her bed and told us all her friends names.

At first, there was a language barrier and we kind of looked at each other like....uhhhhh...what do we do?

But then we got out the iPhones, and nobody can resist The Apple. We showed Tarikua the photos on Nick's phone and this turned into about an hour of showing her her family in photos and videos. She was starting to put two and two together, like who her brothers and sister are. We sat there on her bed surrounded by all the other girls laughing at silly pictures of Wrigley, watching videos of Owen roller skating, and learning the relationships between the kids.

Soon it was time for everyone to eat lunch. Nick and I sat on the floor while the kids ate. Injera and lamb were for lunch today. There were 4 nannies downstairs taking care of the kids. All the kids are so cute and so well behaved! They all sit in their chairs nicely and quietly. There is no arguing or grabbing or whining or asking for more. They patiently wait for their food to come. And afterwards they all clear their plates.

When Tarikua was done eating, she came and sat on Nick's lap. A minute later, a little boy, probably 2 years old, came over crying because he had gotten in trouble and wanted Nick to console him. It was very cute. They we asked Tarikua if she wanted to play again and she took our hands and led us upstairs. This time we played clapping games and sang some songs. Tarikua seems comfortable and happy with us now.

Then it was time to leave for the day. She gave us kisses and hugs, and I even got a kiss on the lips! I love this girl so incredibly much. Nick and I are completely smitten and can hardly wait for the minute we get to see her again! We are so blessed she is our daughter. Thank you Lord for allowing us to be her mommy and daddy!

After we got back to the Addis View, Joel was there to pick us up. He decided to take us to Entoto Mountain today. The ride up was crazy. It was up the mountain side with no guard rails and there were people everywhere going every which way. Entoto Mountain is the site of the first Ethiopian Orthodox church. It is also the site of the first Emperor's (Emperor Milinik) castle. Joel took us through the Emperor's museum, which was filled with royal clothing and artifacts from the Emperor's reign in the 1890's. It was very cool.

The we saw the first Orthodox church of Ethiopia, which was just a small round hut. Down the lane was a castle that consisted of three small buildings: the living quarters, the bedrooms, and the guest rooms. It was not what you or I would expect a castle to be.

Entoto mountain is said to have Holy Water on it that can heal the sick and elderly. Many people come to Entoto Mountain to drink the water so they will be healed. Some elderly people will come to live and pray on the mountain until they die. We saw both types of people living in small tents built on the side of the mountain waiting for healing.

After Entoto, we headed back down the mountain to a restaurant, Lucy, named after the oldest known discovered human bone. The food was really good and we got to spend time with Joel learning more about him. (Joel became a close personal friend during our trip, almost like a brother to us!).

Then we headed back to the hotel for a quick rest while it rained and stormed outside.

After our little rest, we headed down to the Addis Cafe for a machiatto (best ever!) and some dinner. We ordered a cheeseburger each and some french fries. When they brought the food out, we were shocked to find HUGE burgers (enough to feed two) and french fries PLUS the ones we ordered because we didn't know they came with the burgers. Needless to say, we didn't even eat 1/4 of the food and our total bill? $11.11!

We ended our night on a little walk up and down the street a couple times and to a market where we bought some berberi. It was a very fun, educational and relaxing day!

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