All in All, a Pretty Great Day

I had written a great post this morning, when we woke up early to still more New Years music. But somehow, posting from the other side of the world, the post got fired off somewhere into the ether. So our observations of New Years will just have to wait. Sadly, because I brought the funny. As well as the bad music.

But that is not what you all want to hear about, is it? No, I did not think so.

Because today, we had an appointment to meet some very important people. And we had so many wonderful experiences today… be prepared for a very long post.

We were scheduled to meet Solomon (our liaison) downstairs at 10:30, but being as it was a nice morning, we got up early and went to the bakery to get coffee and breakfast. After that, we decided to meet him out at the front entrance rather than in the (increasingly smoke-filled) hotel lobby. So, just before 10:30, we were outside, waiting and excited.

And no Solomon.

We waited. We checked the lobby periodically. We checked the front desk for messages. BDH even returned to the room to check if there was a phone message. There was no word from Solomon.

Finally, after an hour of waiting, and getting increasingly frustrated, we came back to our room. We called Solomon on his cell phone, more out of concern that perhaps we had gotten the date or time wrong than anything else, because Solomon did not strike us as the type to just be late for something like this.

He was very apologetic on the phone and said he’d be here shortly.

He arrived here about 15 minutes later, very apologetic. As it turned out, he had gone to pick up another couple who had arrived late last night and were also scheduled to meet their son today. And when he arrived at the guesthouse where the couple were staying, he was asked to give a ride to several Canadian families — NOT EVEN FROM OUR AGENCY — to the Hilton. So we were delayed by an hour and a half by some families that he was not even obligated to help — who also, I should mention, did not even bother to thank Solomon and Germachew for driving them about town. NICE.

Anyway, Solomon is just the type of nice man that people will sometimes take advantage of. He was quite mortified at being late, I think, and of course we were not upset with him. And he once again greeted us with warm hugs which, we’re finding, is an outward gesture of the warm and welcoming people we are finding the Ethiopians to be. So we got into the van and off we went.

We met this great couple from Edmonton, Ken and Tiffany, who were here to meet their (quite frankly AWESOME) 2 1/2 year old son. So we went to the Toddlers Transition Home first, which is an oasis of calm and joy and love, full of toys and bright colours and smiling faces. It is also where Solomon, the agency’s lawyer, has his office (we think he loves being around the toddlers, and they absolutely adore him.) We got a bit of instruction from Solomon the lawyer, including the paperwork required to finish things off, and a stern warning NOT to take any photos or video of any other child but our own under ANY circumstances. Apparently some parent or other has taken video and photos of children who are not theirs and posted them on the internet — can you believe that? — and this is a gross violation of the agreement Solomon the lawyer takes so very seriously to put the needs and rights of these children first and foremost in everything he does. He was quite stern on this point, and justifiably so.

So, once done, we met the most awesome Prince of Ethiopia (Ken and Tiffany’s boy, who everyone refers to as the Prince, resplendent in traditional Ethiopian garb for the New Years celebration and to meet his parents) and then we went to hang with the toddlers while they had their traditional Ethiopian lunch to celebrate New Years Day. We were honoured to observe the traditional festival meal, and the children sang a song to the Prince’s parents to welcome them.

And then, it was our turn.

Off to the Babies’ Transition Home we went. It’s a beautiful, big home in a brand new and quite affluent development in Addis. We arrived to learn our daughter was not ready for us yet — a diva! how perfect! — so we waited a few minutes.

The door opened, and out came the head nurse with this breathtakingly gorgeous little girl. And into our arms she was passed.

We looked down at her, and cooed and talked to her.

She smiled a big grin.

And then she blew bubbles and raspberries at her Daddy.

We were, as you can imagine, instantly and completely smitten.

So we walked around with her and saw all the babies, most contentedly playing or cuddling with a caregiver or snoozing in their cribs. I have never seen 6 rooms so filled with beauty in my whole life.

(And Dianne? Your girl was asleep. But she has the most adorable little pigtails, all over her head.)

We carried our daughter, dressed herself in a traditional Ethiopian holiday dress, around to say hello to all the caregivers, who really, truly take incredible care of these babies. I was so impressed with the house, the healthy happy children, and the care and love these women and men lavish upon each and every child. The standard of care is exceptional — at both locations.

After the tour, we had a coffee ceremony. We had coffee and popcorn and some bread — all of which went over a big hit with all four of us parents, as well as Solomon and Germachew, our liaisons. And our girl began to fuss a wee bit — naptime was approaching — so I got up and rocked her to sleep. She fell asleep in my arms, and we marvelled at how any one little girl could be so immeasurably beautiful.

I handed her off to Solomon, who snuggled her for a while and then took her to her crib.

Once the coffee ceremony was done, Solomon urged us to go and say a goodbye to our daughter. We went in to find her sound asleep, tired out after all the excitement, blankie grasped in one tiny fist, knees tucked under her and bum in the air, like something out of a picture. If we hadn’t been completely smitten with her by then, that one glimpse of her sealed the deal. She’s an angel sent straight from heaven.

So we left our sleeping angel for the day.

Tomorrow we return. More visiting with the wonderful staff and rocking toddlers and sweet babes, more coffee ceremonies.

And then, we bring our girl into our life for good and ever.

31 thoughts on “All in All, a Pretty Great Day

  1. Oh Cinn, I just don’t have the words to thank you for sharing your journey with us. I’m so incredibly emotional for you – a bit weepy and happy and wistful – all at the same time.

    On a more *me* note….. I have two questions (and forgive me but you’ll have to hurry ’cause Ike is probably going to zap my internet service)

    FEET????
    And did she get a special kiss from Aunt Kelly? (Oh yeah, and all of BDH’s family peeps too)

  2. Your daughter has smiled and blown raspberries at you. Life is good and incredible.

    And thank you, thank you, thank you. I devour any and all information, right down to sweet pigtails.

  3. You finally did it. You got to hold her in your arms. How wonderful it must be after all this time waiting. My usual sing off is “love you both”. that will have to be changed to “Love you all”.

  4. Thanks everyone!

    Kelly: We checked the feet today — a good tickle went over with a squirm and a grin. So the feet are there and in working order. Kisses will come once she knows us a little better. Stay away from Ike… he was no good for Tina and he’s no good for you! (That’s from BDH. He is one with Teh Funny, as you well know.)

    Dianne: Rest assured your girl could not be in better hands that these very dedicated staff are providing (other than your own, obviously!) Hopefully she will be awake tomorrow when we visit and we can give her a bit of a cuddle. The pigtails rock!

    Mom: It was awesome! Thanks for all your love and support. We’ve already told everyone Grammie is impatiently waiting for her new grandbaby, and Solomon sagely nodded and said “of course!”

  5. I would like to know how Kelly and Dianne got ahead of me in today’s blog? I have been sitting here for about an hour waiting for you to blog and to be the first to reply. I missed by seconds.They had very important questions so I’m glad you could answer them. Honestly I am so happy for you all. God speed you home with your precious gift.

  6. Oh how truly amazing! The part where she was getting tired and you rocked her to sleep in your arms got me all teary and sniffly!
    How sweet and joyous and absolutely perfect!
    I am anxious to hear more!
    Ricki

  7. Congratulations! I can’t even imagine how that first moment with you & BDH & baby felt. Family – it’s a wonderful thing!

  8. The tears are flowing – how perfect that you got to rock her to sleep and see her sleeping bum in the air and all.

    Tomorrow that wee little bum and beautiful angel will be with you forever!

  9. I am so crying right now. It was the bum in the air that did it for me. Madd Dawn sleeps like that with the bum in the air, cute baby toes sticking out and tightly grasping blankie. It gets me everytime. Congratulations…raspberires even. What a wonderful day for you both.

  10. Thank doG! I would have gone NUTS during the hurricane if I didn’t have an answer to the feet question. I can’t believe how awesome it is that you’re FINALLY there with her. Man, she’s a superstar – for sure.

    Tell BDH that we are doing our best. I’ve blogged a bit about Ike, Texas’ uninvited party guest.

    It has been unbelievably CRAZY here.

    I’m SO glad I got to see this update (and hopefully one tomorrow) before the storm knocks out all our creature comforts.

    And my INTERNETS TOO!!!!

    I don’t like Ike.

  11. I’m so happy for you guys (and crying just like everyone else). What a wonderful day for you.
    Rocking your baby to sleep in your arms is one of the best things in the world. They truly are angels!

    Enjoy!
    Heather

  12. I am so happy for both of you , it is truly an amazing experience to share in the life of a new baby. Things will never be the same, but you will find it the most rewarding
    time of your lives. We send our love and good wishes to you both and your new bundle of joy. Can’t waot to see her.

  13. I am weeping happily. I’m so thrilled for you and BDH. I cannot wait for you to bring your angel home with you.

  14. You were all I could think about at work today and it was killing me that I had a long day today. All I wanted to do was come home and check your blog.

    I feel so warm and fuzzy now. Thanks so much for sharing such an important day of your life. What a great way to start the new year.

    Shannon

  15. Oh Cinn, what a beautiful day. You made me cry and cry. Life is good on New Year’s Day in Addis for your family. Can’t wait to hear more.

    Rhonda

  16. What a great, sweet, tear-jerking post. Nothing better than finally meeting your babe. Nice job of describing her sweetness. And so great to hear that these little ones are being so well cared for. You hear that from the agency, but to hear it from you is meaningful confirmation. Have a great trip. A new year and the complete birth of your family. It doesn’t get any better.

  17. CONGRATULATIONS! I bet she is beautiful.So happy to know you have finally got what you have wanted for sooo… long.Enjoy your first moments with her and have a safe journey home.-Melanie

  18. Ohhh its sooo nice that you are sharing this! YAY!!! I am soo glad that you have seen you sweet little girl and have had a chance to cuddle and love her!! WOW! Love the bum in the air sleeping..its the greatest!
    Louise

  19. The dictator sends love to you. Although, she appears to believe that being in Ethiopia means you’re with the crew from the Madagascar movie. *Sigh* She says to bring her a present. And by a present she said, “Not the BABY. I want a present for ME.” So I guess she’s made HER thoughts well know.

    The boy said to tell you that he is really happy for your daughter because she has really cool parents. He also thinks it is really cool that she got a Mom who loves SIMS and a Dad who likes Guitar Hero. He hopes you send pictures soon. He also said it would be cool if you had baby girl hold a sign that says, “Hello *Boysname*”.

    Obviously, my children are odd. But, hey, they ARE thinking of you too.

    I hope I get the next update before Ike crashes my weekend.

    Hugs to you all!

  20. Wow, a smile and raspberries in the first few moments! Took us five days to get the first smile out of our daughter …

    And it must be wonderful/reassuring to be able to get to see where she’s been nurtured, see the other beautiful babies awaiting parents.

    But you two must now know what it is to have strength of heart that’s superhuman, to have held your daughter, then give her back for a day’s wait. No doubt you won’t sleep much until she’s in your arms for good and forever!

    Best wishes

    Paddy and Kath in Waterloo

    P.S. Your big day was being talked about at the tupperware party Kath held last night, as well as at the Medicalis soccer game held last night … Everyone’s so excited dor you!

  21. Hey Everyone!

    Sorry no new post today. So I will add a quick comment instead. We have Zara with us now and aside from a minor equipment malfunction (us) that brought a couple of real tears to Zara’s eye it has been wonderful. She has just had her 10 o’clock feeding had a little Burpy McSpitup time with daddy, some playtime and is off to sleep once more. I am sure that we will see her again in a few hours but so far today has been great. We have much to tell but it will have to wait until tomorrow when we have our first full day with her all to ourselves. Until then, know that she is as we have found all of the Ethiopians to be: easy going, quick to smile and filled with an abundant love. She is a great joy. We hope to have loads more for everyone tomorrow.

    Thanks everyone for your encouragement and fond wishes. It has meant so much to us as two become three half way around the world.

    Love to all,

    BDH & Cinn

  22. Well, shoot! Sounds like things are going so well. I can’t imagine how fabulous it must be to finally get your daughter to yourselves. It makes me happy to know that you guys are settling in with each other well.

    I’ll probably not get to see the post tomorrow, unless I can get it to load on the iPhone. I hope I can. I don’t want to miss a minute!

    Hugs to you all!

  23. Thanks for the update.I have been on and off the internet all afternoon and thought you might have your hands full with Zara, so I was being very patient waiting for news.Tell BDH that he was the champ when it came to MacSpitup. (note the Mac) He managed to get his Dad every time he picked him up. Children are very adaptable to situations so keep heart and know that you are passing on your love to her even if she can’t tell you that she is feeling it. I know that you both have a pile of love there for Zara and it will be returned to you ten-fold. Love to all.

  24. Oh Wow! What a beautiful day. Your daughter sounds like a wee little angel and I am so happy for you both that you finally have her in your arms and you are all now a real family.

    Blowing raspberries. Bum in the air – perfect!!

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