Thursday, February 11, 2010

Journaling our Journey-Day 1

On Friday, January 31, C and J left with Meme at about noon. It was so hard seeing them go. Cole has been having difficulty with us leaving, so it made it especially hard. After they left I slumped on the chair and had myself a good cry. I think it was all of my emotions coming to a head. I pulled myself together, with Jim's help, and I don't really recall what we did until Clint and Tom came to pick us up to drive us to the airport. It was finally time. Rick and Cindy, our traveling companions, aka angels sent straight from heaven and our drivers, again, pure sweetness, arrived. I took the last few minutes before we left to clean J's room. It's kinda my thing. When I'm nervous, I clean, more like straighten. I get this weird craving to have everything around me neat and symmetrical. I have issues. Our flight on Emirates left around 11:30pm. If you haven't flown Emirates, you should. Wow, are they fantastic! On the way to Dubai (12 hour flight), we had a few meals, snacks, hot drinks. You also had your very own entertainment system. Crazy. I watched a few episodes of Friends (just for you, Ashley) and a movie or two. The crew on the plan was wonderful: young, sweet, and took care of your every whim. The hotel in Dubai was incredible. We landed at 8:30pm (their time). They gave us a meal ticket for dinner, a refreshment (for that late night craving-that's what I'm talkin' bout, and breakfast. The food was delicious, until I ate the hottest thing to ever touch my tongue. I thought it was a vegetable and ate the whole thing. Shamwow! I could feel it from my ears to my toes. Another funny, at dinner, Cindy didn't see them pour her water out of the bottle. So upon realizing this as she took her first mouthful of water, she held the water in a mouth for a few seconds and spit it back into the glass. Jim and I just stared at her. I was thinking the water must be gross. When she told us what had happened, it pretty funny.

We left in the morning at 8:30 am to travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We were so excited! We weren't sure if we would meet the babies or not, so we were trying to keep our excitement at bay. We landed and made it through the airport. We were told to not allow men to help you with your bags unless you have birr (their currency) to tip them. So, what happens?. A few men come and put our luggage on a luggage rack to take it a few yards away. I was little confused b/c we were still in the airport and I didn't know if they were hired by the airport to help us or not. Communication was definitely an issue at various times. Cindy and I ended up exchanging our money for birr, the men wouldn't take no for an answer, and we tipped them. However, they followed us, telling us we didn't tip them enough. Not a good way to start the day in Addis. A man asked if he could help me. I told him I'm looking for our lawyer, Sintayew, from Dove Adoptions. Finally, a man came over, told us he is our lawyer, and said, "I was holding the sign. You didn't look at me." Apparently Rick was looking, but
Rick's so tall and our lawyer's on the short side, that Rick didn't see him. I think our lawyer realized I was going
to cry and eventually said that everything was okay. Jim thought it was a language barrier, not that he was upset with us. So, we're loaded in the van, meet our driver for the week (Ephraim), and Sintayew asks if we want to meet our children today. UH...YEAH!!! It was about a 5 minute drive to the YGF guesthouse where we stayed for the week. We unloaded our things and we went for lunch. My stomach was not feeling well (blame it on the pepper of death), but lunch looked delightful. Jim, Rick and Cindy enjoyed it. We had a few hours to kill while we waited to see the babies. It was finally time. We hopped into our van and off we went to Toukoul. The door is where the babies would enter.