Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sabah and her Cousins

I just had to post a picture that Tina took of Sabah and her cousins. All four kids are looking at the camera and smiling at the same time. Those of you with more than one kid knows that this is just absolutely amazing. :)

Ethiopia Trip

I just got back from a week in Africa. No, I wasn't there to pick up daughter no. doesn't work that quick, even with a waiting child.

What can I say about the trip that won't take two days to read? It was fabulous(as expected) and horrible (not expected). I'm not going to write a lot of detail, but in bullet point format, here is how the trip went:

The Good:

* The staff at the guesthouse were even more amazing than the last trip. It was good to see them again, and meet new ones. Because I was the ONLY person staying at the guesthouse, I certainly got individualized attention. I feel like I really got a chance to connect with each of them, and enjoyed watching them play an impromtu game of soccer and also got to sit down during staff lunch and share a meal (an ethiopian meal) with them.

* I got to go on an overnight trip to Awassa. I enjoyed a fabulous visit to the fish market. If any of you go to Awassa, you HAVE to visit this place. Monkeys eat out of your hand, and the pelicans are as big as you are. SO SO SO worth a visit.

* I got to visit Sabah's FIRST orphanage. The director was able to find her paperwork with her very first picture ever on record (that we know of). Such a special and emotional visit. I took lots of pictues of the baby room and the outside courtyard. I can't fully express what it meant to me to be there and to see this place. Ugh, bringing tears to my eyes as I type.

* I drove by the bus station where she was found. I tried to picture exactly where she might have been left and tried to imagine what her mother must have been feeling like that day. Again, very emotional.

*I got to exerience part of the Rift VAlley! THE RIFT VALLEY! One word: AMAZING. I also got to see Lake Awassa and Lake Lagano up close, as well as several other large lakes from a distance.

* I'm ready to start adoption no. 2 for a waiting child. Visiting the orphanage and seeing the older children again, has made it clear to me that this is what I want to do. Sabah will have an older sister soon (if everything works out as planned).

The Horrible:

* We were in a car accident coming back from Awassa

* My wonderful driver, Katama, hit a boy as he (the boy) darted across the HIGHWAY!

* It wasn't his fault and by the grace of God, he was able to slam on his brakes hard enough to not KILL the boy.

* I keep picturing the impact in my replays itself over and over and over

* There is no emergency service in Ethiopia. We had no choice but to put the boy in the back seat and find the nearest hospital

* The boy has a head injury and as he is drapped across my lap in the backseat, all I could do to comfort him was to stroke his cheek while holding a sweatshirt to his bleeding head.

* Ugh...hospitals in the country of Ethiopia are shall we say...different.

* In the course of waiting, at some point I hear the most horrendous moaning coming from the father. A lot of chaos follows. Lots of talking in Oromo. No one tells me anything. My driver is upset, my lawyer is crying(yes, Abebe was on the trip with us...I didn't know whether to put that in good or in horrible section). I thought the boy had died. Apparently he passed out and had to be revived.

* After three hours, the staff decides the boy should go to Addis Hospital...there is no ambulance service for this, so we have to drive him (another car/driver had been dispatched from addis to get me).

* a four hour drive back to Addis with a dying boy in the car....who is puking the whole way....not fun

* My driver is taken to prison. Like Mexico, if you get in an accident in Ethiopia, you are thrown in jail until court decides you are not guilty. He was still in prison when I left on Thursday.

* Boy goes to Addis hospital and last I heard, he was going to be ok.

* In all the comotion at the hospital, my camera was stolen from the car. I lost ALL the pictures I took of Sabah's first orphanage.

* The slamming on the brakes threw me forward and then back, so a pre-existing neck injury has flared-up like you wouldn't believe, making rest of the trip, as well as the long journey home, almost unbearable.

* the guesthouse STILL charged me for the full trip to Awassa! Unbelievable!

There were other good and other not so good things, but these were the highlights of both (good and bad). Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures to post.

I'm so thankful to live in a country that has great emergency services and a justice system that says you are innocent until proven guilty. I pray everyday for Katama. It was his first accident ever (and he's been driving for a long time). He was visibly shaken up by what happened, and I didn't get a chance to say goodby to him and to tell him that it wasn't his fault. I still don't know how he is doing....

Pumpkin Patch

A couple of weeks ago (Yes, I know I'm behind in my blogging), Tina and I took the kids to the pumpkin patch. It was the first Pumpkin Patch visit for both Sabah and Elizabeth. We got to try Pumpkin Bowling. Elijah got a strike on his first throw. Sabah had one good throw and then threw one big fit, so she didn't get her three turns. Her cousins were happy to each have one of her turns. We got a hayride out to the field then spent about 20 minutes trying to find the perfect pumpkin. The rule was, if you can't carry it, you can't get it". How was it that Tina and I still ended up each carrying a pumpkin? The boys each got a good sized pumpkin in the patch, and the girls got baby pumpkins back at the check out line.

Fun Times.