As for me, I know of nothing else but miracles. - Walt Whitman

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ethiopia - Trip Two - Day Three...GOTCHA DAY!!

November 13, 2011
We woke up a little before 8:00 this morning. I tried to take a shower, but the water shut off halfway through. I had to wash my hair by dumping cold bottled water over my head. Brrr! I was glad to get out of there! After we were ready for the day, we packed the gifts for the workers at Hannah's Hope and some clothes for the boys in our bags. I then opened the Bible to Ecclesiastes 3, which I thought was very fitting for the day:

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven....a time to embrace....a time to get....a time to keep....a time to love. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time."

We ate breakfast in the hotel restaurant, and at 10:00, Danny came to pick us up. We loaded our donations into the van and then headed to Hannah's Hope! On the way, Danny told us that every day, the boys ask, "Where is my ferengi (white person)?" We soon pulled up to the familiar black gates and honked. As soon as the guard opened the gate, I saw Opiyew playing with the other children. We climbed out of the van and walked toward the boys. They definitely seemed to recognize and remember us, and they were wearing the shirts that we had sent them for their birthdays. We ran up and gave them hugs, and all the other children gathered around and began chanting, "Opiyew, Opiyew, Opiyew! Uchan, Uchan, Uchan!" I think most of the older ones knew and understood that Opiyew's and Uchan's "ferengis" had come back, and that the boys would be going to live in "Amedica" now.

We played with the boys for awhile and took some photos of them with their friends. I visited with Tsige, who told me that the boys' birth mother had come back to Hannah's Hope when she had her Embassy appointment  a week and a half ago. The HH staff gave her the 2nd photo book we made for her, and took lots of pictures of her and the boys together, which they put on a CD for us. What a precious, precious gift. In the pictures, she is still wearing the necklace that she made - the same one that she made for each of the boys as well. Theirs are stored away safely at home.

We handed out the presents we brought. Everyone was very thankful. After changing Opiyew and Uchan into the underwear, pants, and socks we had with us, I went into the baby house. I took photos of some of the children whose parents we knew so I could send them some updated pictures. Then, it was time for the boys to eat. Uchan ate fine, but Opiyew was sad and wouldn't eat. Chris figured out later that it was because on our first trip, when it was time for us to leave each day, the special mothers would take the boys to eat. Poor Opiyew thought that if he ate, we would leave him again!

Tsige gave us some information on what to expect for our U.S. Embassy appointment tomorrow, along with the boys' vaccination records. Then it was time to go. Tomea, the guard, took some photos of us outside the gates, and the boys looked around in wonder at everything going on in the street.
Gotcha Day photo outside the gates of Hannah's Hope

We then climbed into the van, and the boys were thrilled to be able to ride in the "mekina". They stared out the windows for the entire ride.

Danny stopped to buy us a case of bottled water (a necessity in Ethiopia!), and then we drove the short distance to the hotel. When we walked in, Opi immediately started crying. When Uchan heard him, he started whimpering, too. They were definitely outside their comfort zones. Chris took Opi right to the room, and he cried the whole way. I carried Uchan, and a hotel worker followed us carrying our case of water. As soon as we got into our room, I showed the boys the soccer balls and cars we had brought, and they settled down. They loved the little firetruck and police car that make noises and light up when the buttons are pushed. We gave them some Goldfish crackers, which they loved, and filled up their water bottles for them. 

Soon it was nap-time.  We prayed with them, and then Uchan fell asleep quickly. Opiyew cried for awhile and did not want to sleep. We rocked him, massaged him, and played some music for him (Amazing Grace, which I thought was fitting for the day - "I once was lost, but now am found...."). He finally went to sleep, so Chris and I napped, too. Uchan woke up first, so we took him in the other room to play so that he wouldn't wake up Opi. We also played ball with him out on the balcony. Opi woke up soon after this, and we played ball and blew bubbles down in the courtyard.

Back in the room, the boys entertained themselves very well. We skyped with my mom, who was watching our other kids. As soon as Opiyew and Uchan saw Shana on the computer screen, they got very excited and yelled, "Shana! Shana!" They definitely remembered her from our first trip as well. Then it was bath time. The boys loved the tub and kept splashing and sticking their heads under the water.

A little later, we went down to the hotel restaurant for dinner. We ordered spaghetti for the boys, and they loved it! They ate it all, and then helped me eat my injera and tibs. We were amazed at how much food they could put away, especially since they had snacked all afternoon. And they absolutely adore pop, which they call "Coka."
 Opiyew and Daddy

Uchan and his beloved "Coka"

When we got back to the room, we dressed them in their PJ's and brushed their teeth. We said their prayers with them, and it was so cute hearing them repeat the words after us. They did really well at bedtime, although Opiyew took a lot longer to fall asleep.

Tomorrow is Embassy!


  1. I love reading the commentary on your trip - it brings back so many memories! I can't wait until it's our turn again!

  2. Oh my goodness, I about started crying when you talked about how Opi wouldn't eat because he thought you would leave - that breaks my heart! What sweet sweet boys you have!