Ethiopia, Day 2
We had breakfast at the guest house this morning—french toast, bananas, juice and coffee/tea. I don't usually like tea, but this was delicious! I must buy some to take home with us!
At 9:30 Abel (our guide) came to pick us up to go visit the orphanages. We went to N's first. We had to wait a little while so that the camera crew that does the lifebooks could get there. They wanted to film our first meeting with N!
It was almost like a dream. We had to take off our shoes, then climb the stairs to the baby room—the camera man filming us the whole time. We looked into the doorway and could see N on his hands and knees on a blanket on the floor, holding a toy.
We walked over to him and sat down next to him. I rubbed his back a little and then slowly picked him up. He didn't seem to be too scared or sad, but he was curious!
He like Steve's beard and my necklace. We just talked to him and played with him for quite some time. It was wonderful to be able to kiss his cheeks and run our hands through his beautiful curly hair!
There were 8 other babies in his room, all about the same age. The very young infants were in the room next door. N was definitely the most active of them all!
N did not want to let go of a toy once he had it—he has a very tight grip! He loved playing on the floor with toys and crawling around. He even crawled on the other babies! (None of them appreciated this!)
All the babies started to get just a bit fussy, and about 10 minutes later a big bowl of some sort of cereal was brought in. I held N on my lap and fed him. Part way through he became quite fussy, and then just fell asleep. They seem to have the babies on a pretty tight schedule! All of the others began to fall asleep one by one.
Holding my precious sleeping baby was amazing. So very sweet! After a while I passed him on to Steve, and then later he woke up pretty cranky. We're pretty sure he normally would have slept longer, but I guess we'll find out in a few days how long he usually sleeps...
It was difficult trying to care for N with the nannies watching. Due to the language barrier, we couldn't ask questions, and they couldn't give explanations. I kept questioning whether or not I was doing the right thing in the right way, but everyone seemed reasonable happy so we went with it.
Finally, it was time to leave. It was very difficult to go, but knowing we would come to get him on Monday made it much easier.
We went to lunch at a restaurant that served mostly Mexican food, and we met two more families who had just arrived that morning.
After lunch we went to the market. We were able to buy some things, including shirts for the boys and a pretty table cloth for our dining room.
Several boys followed us very closely the whole time, in the hopes that we would offer them something. After we got back in the van and were driving, more people came up to the van asking for hand-outs. We were wishing we could give them something, but also didn't want to have tons of people coming to the van—very, very difficult. (It's also illegal to give to beggars from vehicles in Addis.)
Back at the guest house we had fried chicken, vegetables, and rice for dinner. It was very good! I especially liked the rice. After dinner we were able to send an email to our family, which was so nice.
We all headed to bed quite early after a tiring day.
We got to meet you and hold you today! Oh my, but you are an active boy! You wanted to stand, crawl, grab toys and see the rain.
Mom fed you, then she held you while I got to feed you. (rice cereal of some sort.) Then you fell asleep in Mom's arms. Ah, so cute! I got to hold you too, then a bad dream woke you.
But, that did give us a chance to hold and play with you more before we had to go. I so loved holding you watching the rain together. We'll have to do that on the porch at home.
Our first meeting: