Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Several of the families in Addis left this morning early to go to Ajuuja (WACAP's orphanage in Awassa where we first met Engida). One couple and I stayed behind and went to play again with our kids at the transition house. Here are the roads leading to our kids:

When we first got there, the adoptive father with us began to feel sick. Immediately his wife thought it might be his peanut allergy, and she was right. I am leaving out many of the details, but basically he had an anaphylactic reaction that required immediate medical attention. We somehow got the nannies to understand that we needed to talk to Mesfin, our driver, who returned to the compound. While the nannies prayed, we managed to get the dad into the van (who had fallen unconscious on the cement), and they flew away to the hospital. The whole scene was way more dramatic and with the adrenaline I had flowing through my muscles I could have picked up the car and carried it to the hospital. Ironically, adrenaline was what he needed in the emergency room and didn't get it until he crashed at the first clinic and took an ambulance to the second one.

All of the kids were in the back bedrooms (being really quiet- I wonder what they were doing!?) except for Engida and 2 friends. The nannies left the 3 of us to play with stickers and the cars, eat snacks, and of course play ball. It was SO MUCH FUN!!! Being the only adult there, when Engida needed anything he would motion for me to help him- if the ball got stuck in the drain, if he had to go potty, or if he couldn't get the stickers off the sheet. He does not like it I touch him, especially if I try to pick him up, but he doesn't mind playing with me:). Today his favorite discovery was that I can throw a beach ball pretty high in the air- and so we repeated this marvel over and over to his delight. I tried to get the kids to sing, and said "La-la-la-la," which they repeated the rest of the afternoon in the exact tone and tune. It was really cute even if they didn't understand my original intention.

Engida liked to put stickers everywhere, and plastered my face, shirt, arms, pants, etc with stickers. He has the sweetest smile and I am seeing it more and more. I asked his nanny if he could count, and she had him counting while I videoed- he was being really silly and trying to make jokes. She would say in Amharic "1, 2, 3" and he would respond "1, 2... 5" and burst into giggles. Little jokester.

When we left, he waved to me and said "Ciao!" I have his sweet little voice burned in my memory and can't wait to hear it again tomorrow.

For lunch, Yoseph invited me to a great little restaurant near his house (and really near the WACAP transition house!). Besides seeing Yoseph in his brand-new company car (er, the brand new car he will use at his new job), the best part was that Wednesday is FASTING day!!! He purposely chose to take me out on a Wednesday so we could enjoy my favorite Ethiopian food- vegetarian!!! Even when it is not a Wednesday or a Friday, I always ask for the fasting menu, and he remembered this from our travels. So thoughtful! Yoseph I already miss you!

In the afternoon, there was no where we needed to be and we weren't allowed to go back to the kiddos. One adoptive family had left their 2 daughters here in Addis with their grandma while they went to Ajuuja to meet birth family. I made up a scavanger hunt for them with clues between the guest house and the hotel- everyone had a part to play from the security guards to the receptionists, and even baby Demoze had a clue in his pants. I had them running to the top floors, out on the roofs, in their bathtub, in my room, etc, etc. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more, the creator or the participants:). I hope we can keep in touch because I know my big kids would love to play with Poppy and Ruby!

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