I didn't sleep very well during the night. I got to bed late, and at 1:40, the phone rang on the nightstand right beside me. I picked it up and very groggily answered. (Is groggily a word? If not, it should be, because it's very fun to say.....groggily, groggily, groggily! Anyway, I digress.....). It was a worker at the hotel. "I think you tried to call me," he said. I told him that I had not. "Is this room 706? I got a call from this room," he insisted. I asked Chris, who was awake by this time, if he had called the front desk. I assured the man that neither of us had called, and he said, "Well, what can I do for you? I'm here to serve you." Ummmm........how about letting us get back to sleep? (I didn't say this, but the thought was running through my head.) I told him that we didn't need anything at the moment, but he didn't seem convinced. He started talking really fast, and I finally told him that I couldn't understand what he was saying. He finally said, "OK, goodbye," and hung up. Sleep eluded me after that. :-)
We had breakfast in the morning and talked a bit with the "L" family. Then we went back to our room to start packing. A little after 10:00, Wass called and said he was there to take us to Hannah's Hope to get the boys' exit paperwork. We, along with the "L" family, climbed into the van to go meet with Almaz. Almaz went through the Embassy information with us and gave us the boys' passports, visas, a translated transcript of the birth mother interview, and the sealed immigration packets that we need to turn over to officials upon our return to the U.S. Then, she asked us if we wanted to go on an adventure with her. She told us that AGCI helps out a child prison/rehabilitation center in Addis. Today, a mission group was going to be serving lunch to the inmates, and she wanted to know if we would like to go with her. Of course we said yes, so she told us to feed the boys lunch and then we would go. I took Uchan to eat while Chris packed up the coffee that Yohannes had gotten for us into totes. Opiyew didn't want to eat, and again, Chris thought it was because on our last trip, when it was time for us to leave, the special mothers would distract the boys by taking them to eat. This time, he was having none of it. Finally, Alem explained to him what was going on, and we got him to eat a little.
Then Danny, Almaz, the "L" family and their little boy, and Chris, Opiyew, Uchan and I all piled into the van to head to the prison. The "L" family wanted to stop on the way and buy some goats to donate, so Danny picked out two goats for us. The men tied up the goats and put them on top of the van, and away we went! When we got there, the men untied the goats while we went inside the gates.
The detention center houses about 150 kids from ages 10-15. Most of them were children who lived on the streets and were caught stealing food, shoes, etc. They loved coming up to us, giving us hugs and talking to the boys. They also loved getting their pictures taken and then looking at them on the camera screen. They were so sweet, and I'm so glad that we got the chance to meet them.
The mission group that was there was from Washington and included 2 couples who had adopted children through AGCI. They served the children a huge meal, much nicer than the ones they are used to. We found out that the mission team was going to be on our flight to Frankfurt, and they offered to help us out with the boys if we needed it. After hanging around for a little while, we went back to the hotel. We took the boys' picture with Almaz and Haile, AGCI's business/lawyer guy, and then said goodbye. When we left for the prison, I thought we would be going back to Hannah's Hope in the afternoon, but that wasn't the case. So....the boys never really got to say goodbye to their friends and special mothers. I don't think they realize that they won't be seeing them anymore, so I think I took it a lot harder than they did. A very bittersweet feeling; I'm glad to be taking the boys home, but it's hard taking them away from everything and everyone they've ever known.
We took the boys up to our room so they could sleep. Uchan took a nap, but Opi didn't. When he gets tired, he gets wild! I was really hoping that meant he would sleep good on the flights home...... After awhile, we packed up our stuff, showered, and changed clothes. We went down to the lobby to pay our bill for the week, and one of the hotel workers took the boys on a motorcycle ride around the courtyard. They loved it!
The check-in line at the airport was tremendously long, but thankfully we were towards the front of it. We found out that Lufthansa's computer system was down, so it took an extra-long time to check everyone in manually. A nice Ethiopian man helped us with our luggage and filled out our visa cards for us since we were holding the boys. We finally made it out of check-in and went through the 2nd security checkpoint before heading to our gate. We boarded the plane, and the boys were amazed that they were actually on an "ahroplahn." However, since the computer system was down, it couldn't assign us to the correct seats. So instead of all of us being together, 3 were side-by-side and 1 was separate. Thankfully, a nice lady gave up her aisle seat for a middle one so that we could all be together. I think that both boys would have been too much for just one of us to handle on that long flight!
The plane left about an hour late at around midnight. The boys did great and were totally enthralled with the fact that every seat had its own TV screen. They soon fell asleep. Tomorrow we'll land in Frankfurt before continuing on the last leg of our journey home!