Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Adventure:Ethiopia- Day Four

Okay, the crib? Big hit! Anna slept through the night, with only a few mini-fusses and coughing spells. She didn’t even need her bottle overnight! Yea! Definitely a step in the right direction.

Sadly, Momma did not sleep as well. My mind was going non-stop (probably assisted by the evening macchiato that I had!) I kept thinking that from now on, I would be introducing Abigail as my older daughter. Not just my daughter, as I used to do, but my older daughter. Because now I have 2 daughters. There are still moments where this whole thing is quite unreal.

When I finally fell asleep, I ended up having really strange dreams, so I just did not sleep well. Plus, the closet door swung open in the middle of the night, and even though I knew it was nothing, it still freaked me out! It was cool, dark, and rainy… and out of no where, a long, high-pitched squeak. Yeah, not so cool at 3am!

Simon had a good night, and he obviously is feeling much better! Hooray! He is not quite 100%, but he is well on the road to recovery! I know Meredith and Ryan are happy to see their little guy happy!

Once we finally got up and moving, I headed over to the “new” toddler house to start delivering some gifts and getting some pictures. It just so happened that the first room I stepped into had 2 babes that I did not have gifts for, but I know their parents and I couldn’t help but get some goods on them. They are both gorgeous! They bunk in the same “row” with only one baby between them, and that baby is also so beautiful! In fact, it may be the best-looking row of babies in the whole house… but it’s hard to say since all those little ones are so sweet!

I did get one gift delivered and took more pictures before Anbes whisked me away to lunch. For lunch we ate at “Family Restaurant.” They have a wide selection, but I opted for the burger. (I had the burger from Hill Bottom last night, and it was so flavored and spicy that it really didn’t fill my “burger” crave.) The burger was great, and the fries were awesome, but afterwards I had my first twinge of possible upset stomach. The feeling passed after a few hours, but still, I don’t know if I would eat there again, and if I do, I would definitely not eat there right before the embassy appointment!

It started raining during lunch, and it continued to rain most of the afternoon. We headed to the Hilton to try to confirm our flights and use the Internet. Unfortunately, the Internet was down, which meant that I could not log on, and Ethiopian Airlines could not confirm my flight! I did ask them to look into my missing purse, and they are supposed to email me to let me know if they are able to discover anything. It kind of felt like a wasted trip, especially since the traffic is so much worse in the rain!

To make up for it, my mom, Abigail and I went to do something fun! We went to the Boston Day Spa! My mom and Abigail got their hair braided, and I got a massage. Grand total for the braiding and massage was $335 ETB or about $34 USD. I thought that was a great deal! The braids are really cute, too.

My massage was good, but definitely different than American massages. Some of you may know that I have had some ongoing muscle issues in my back and butt/leg. The massage really reminded me of how much better some parts are and how much worse others are. When she touched my back, I almost cried. “Hurt?” she said. “Yes, a little,” I replied. “You have very much strong stress in back, You come back every week to make go away.” I sooooooo wish!

We stopped at the grocery and for a to-go macchiato, and then we headed home to our girl. We visited with Meredith, Ryan, and Simon. Then Ryan made a delicious pasta dinner and we had some fresh bread from the store. Yum! For dessert, we all had a Rice Krispie Treat bar and my mom popped some popcorn. The babies were both playful and talkative, and it was nice to spend time together. I sorted through the pictures I took this morning, and then I got to watch the video that they took for me when I took placement of Anna.

Oh my word, that girl has changed! In just 3 short days, she has totally come out of her shell! She babbles, screeches, and cries. She laughs and kisses and chases Abigail around the house. She has moments where no one but Momma will do (especially when she first wakes up) but by the end of the day, she is definitely torn between the silliness of Gaga, the boisterousness of big sissy, and the cuddles of Momma.

On a slightly off-topic note, I have an idea I would like to toss out here and see what you, beautiful Ethiopian adoption community, can do. I know that in the right hands, this idea could really go far and benefit many people, and I would really like to follow through on it.

I would guess that at least half of us that adopt end up needing some form of child care. I know I will need it! I know, too, that it is expensive, and center-based care doesn’t always work with my schedule. I have been looking into an au pair as well as nanny options.

At the same time, Gladney reps are in close contact with many young women who are aging out of the Ethiopian orphan care system. These are girls who have some education and no real skills/trade, but they know how to care for children, cook, clean, etc. They need an opportunity- a chance to pursue education, gain experience as an employee, while at the same time learning the life skills that they have not yet been taught, such as money management, budgeting, home living, and community/society involvement. How would these girls know how to budget money or how to choose which items should be stored in the refrigerator when they have not ever seen those skills in action? How will the know how to register to vote- or register for college courses? How will they learn to become involved in their community when much of what they have experienced has been institutional life?

Do you see where I am going with this?

I can’t wait to get home and see what can be done with some US-based au pair agencies or nanny agencies. I have not done a lot of research, but it seems that the most difficult issue would be gaining a visa. I know that this can happen if the word is put out to the right people, my wonderful community of adoptive/Internet friends… hook me up!

Here’s hoping for a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow we visit the orphanages.


Melissa said...

Thanks for writing in such detail about your trip. I think every waiting family reading it imagines themselves at the same place. Great to hear that you are home safe and Anna is feeling better. Your idea for an au pair is a good one. It would be awesome to see it come to fruition.

Aimee said...

So nice to hear about your trip. It brings back such great memories of my own.

I would be up for the Ethiopian aupair idea. Keep us posted!