Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ethiopia part I

Father and daughter's first hug

Our first night together at the guest house
Daddy showing Rachel Sifan pics of her new home

Jordan LOVED the camara; both to take pics and to have himself photographed!

Rachel getting her hair braided by one of the sweet girls at the guest house.

I have so many things in my head I want to share, but I know everyone is waiting for pictures :-). It has been a wild first week as we adjust, so forgive me for taking so long!

We flew in at 11:30 am on Monday and had an eventful day. We got lunch at our guest house of spaghetti (we ate a LOT of pasta while we were there). The other family we flew in with went to get their little girl while we rested at the guest house. It was hard to rest, but proved to be a blessing in the end. The plan was to go meet the birth mom and pick up the kids the next morning. Mom lived 45 km outside of Addis which took over 2 hours to drive when you accounted for traffic and occasionally road blocks of horses and goats on the highway, lol :-). The meeting with mom was a wonderful experience and one I am so glad we had the opportunity to do. She was able to give us insight into the life our children had lived with her including seeing the home they lived in with her. We took pictures, but do not feel the blog is the place to show them. It was a home she was very proud of; she called it her "family home." She explained to us why she named them as she did and that she wished for them a better life than what she could give. It was a very emotional, spiritual experience. One that will always be in a category by itself. By the time it was over, we were emotionally and mentally drained.

We had our driver (who is employed by our agency) with us to interpret and the orphanage director from the kids orphange to show us how to find the mom. She told us that the kids were expecting us that day so when we got back to Addis, we went to pick them up. It was late and they were all getting ready for bed. The scene was not how I had played it out in my mind. It was dark and we have very few pictures (but lots of video) of the actual first embrace. We were disappointed that we don't have more pics, but kept telling ourselves that this is not about a "Hallmark card" photo, but about these kids lives. We went back to the guest house and ate a late dinner, played and got ready for bed. They went to bed the first night with full tummies, new jammies and a comfy bed. Jordan tossed and turned all night, but Rachel slept hard. The next day we went shopping for new shoes and a few souvenirs. It was a great bonding day.

On Wednesday we went back to El Olam and I am going to do that in a post by itself. I have a lot of pictures of kids both with and without families. I can't show them on my blog, but if you are interested in seeing them, email me and I will send them to you and give you more info.


  1. Becky
    Hi. Can you please send me your email address? We got back from visiting ET in July. We were at El Olam. We have also started our adoption journey. I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions! Your children are beautiful!!! Congratulations!!! Blessings! My email is
    thank you!

  2. so sweet...can't wait to see you all..Tuesday night is great and now I just need to know where ya live :) ..I'll email ya...kristi

  3. I feel like I'm getting a sneak peak into our family's future when I read your posts now. Love all the photos. Wondering how your kids did with your new shoes that you bought in country. We had someone suggest this to us, but worried about having time to do it before we actually needed to take the kids somewhere (and have shoes on their feet!). I also am worried about blisters from trying to break in new shoes (especially walking around airports on the way home). Did it work out O.K. for you guys?

  4. Sitting here reading your latest post just makes me cry with joy! Words cannot even begin to express how much my life was blessed getting to spend it with all of you this past week, but especially getting to spend it with Rachel and Jordan and bond with them. Some of the first that will be etched in my mind forever is seeing Rachel and Jordan for the first time at the airport, seeing them with their new brother, Ryan, and sisters, Hayley and Whitney, and the love they all have for each other; seeing their Mom and Dad loving them unconditional with such a gentle spirit. God has truly blessed our family with Rachel and Jordan. Thank you for letting me be part of their first week home. Now I have 5 Rutland nephews and nieces to love....:D)
    With all my love,
    Aunt Wanda :-)