The Ethiopia Update: Volume 1

Here’s the top line: I’m approved but I can’t put away my warm weather clothes yet.

Yup, I have to keep my 80 degree wardrobe and my travel pillow handy. (I never used one of those donut-shaped pillows before, but by the grace of God, while changing planes, I found one in the airport in D.C.) Sure, I’d been told to purchase one for the 18-hour flight, I just didn’t. But after an ten hour flight from DC to Rome, an hour layover and crew change, then a  five and a half hour trek to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia ( not including the flight to get to Washington, D.C. from New York City— I was loving that pillow.

It was a long trip but worth it. After a second trip, by bus, from the capital of Ethiopia, three hours through every country hill and dale, ( more hills than dales) I finally, after close to three years, met…my baby.

She was everything the report said she would be: an amazingly, happy baby. With a beautiful smile.

Fortunately, I saw her on the first day. The next three days came with such challenges, two meetings at the adoption agency’s office, one Tuesday, the other Wednesday—and the big girl meeting, with the judge, Thursday afternoon. By Friday, I was emotionally depleted.

At 2:00 PM I sat in a large, bright room, four floors above downtown Addis Ababa, with 40 or so other nervous, nail-chewing, adoptive parents-to-be— all of us too stressed to put any real effort in not looking stressed.

I never realized before—never had the time to think about it to a deep degree— that when you’re really scared, all you can think of is the fear.

In the hour I spent in the judge’s outer chambers waiting for my name to be called, I only smiled once, when an older white couple, who by my estimate came in somewhere between 55 and 60 years of age, came out of the judge’s chamber’s, walked to the center of the room, planted their themselves and the husband announced,” Well, they gave us two old goats a kid!”

I smiled— briefly—then went back to my teeth grinding.

I hadn’t realized just how afraid I was until it was over.

It was the best “yes” I ever heard in my life.

The only time my mood dipped was the morning after the “yes,” after the celebration and release, with another couple Greg and Kim, who were also approved on that wonderful Thursday.

( Dirty Vodka Martini’s make a nice celebratory drink by the way…)

But after the Vodka and the sound of the yes faded, as I sat on the edge of my bed as the sun broke in a new day, I remembered my baby wasn’t coming home with me.

Not just yet.

Well, I’ve waited all this time, I can hang in there a little longer.

Besides, I have a heap of stroller research to do. Pronto.

2 thoughts on “The Ethiopia Update: Volume 1”

  1. A very special, nearly unbelievable miracle is slowly beginning to unfold in your life. There are no words that will accurately describe the joy you are about to experience. Patience may be difficult at times, but allow your joy overrides any anxiety or impatience you may feel. Consider this time your period of labor. You are truly laboring, just as any mother does before they experience the joy of bringing their child home. Remember, you are not the only one waiting for this wonderful blessing; your daughter waits as well. I celebrate with you and pray for both you and your daughter.

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