In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ethiopia - Day One

 I've been home several days, but most of them have been corn-rowing hair (three of the four done) and recovering from jet-lag. We had such a wonderful trip and have so many pictures that I don't even know where to begin - so I decided to begin at the beginning. And since we saw Brooke on the first full day in Ethiopia, the beginning is also the most important story to tell. 

Here is Aunt Deb, Alei and me on our lay-over in Istanbul -

Here is Aunt Deb, my friend, Tonya, and Alei in Addis Ababa after landing and collecting our 16 suitcases. I don't know if I ever introduced my traveling companions, but it was the four of us women loose in Ethiopia with only a driver named Jimmy that didn't speak much English!
We stayed at a different guest house this time, which was right down town near the airport. This is the intersection that we could view from our balcony.

We got in during the middle of the night Wed. night/ Thurs. morning, but were up and on the road Thursday morning to Nazareth, or Adama, where Brooke's orphanage is. The scenes of Africa from the car window are always captivating.  


There is a sharp contrast between the cities along the way and the open country side.

Once we were in Adama, we checked in our hotel and shuffled our luggage that was orphanage and school donations. 

 Our first stop was to see Brooke. While I can't show her face, I hope to show some of the joy that she showed in seeing Alei and me return. She came running when she saw us.

I can only imagine how thrilled she was to know that Aunt Deb and friend Tonya (that we consider family) care enough about her to also make the trip to meet her. We had more challenges this time communicating with her since we did not have a full time interpreter. I brought her new toiletries, some clothes and a stuffed camel that made her face light up; somehow Alyssa found out that camels are her favorite animal.

After sitting a while, I asked her to show Aunt Deb and Tonya around the orphanage. It is an impressive orphanage that raises chickens for eggs and cows for milk and sells the surplus.

The girls' rooms now had lockers. Brooke even had a key to keep her things safe. I'm not showing the open picture of it because she has a photo of herself in there, but she had the family photo book Alyssa made her and things we have bought her neatly arranged. 

 After spending the afternoon with her and the other kids, we headed out. It wasn't difficult that day because we were coming back the very next morning. Brooke walked us out.  

 We enjoyed the sites of Adama. After spending time in three cities in Ethiopia, it is still my favorite.

We delivered the school supplies to the West Sands school. It wasn't near as fun as my previous trips since school had not started back for the new school year, but it's nice to know that when the kids show up, there will be notebooks, pencils and crayons waiting for them. 

 A group of white women attract attention where ever they go, so we spent a little time with the kids that gathered at the school gates. We talked to them and handed out Slim Jims. 

These are the only camels we saw this trip. Previously, there were several herds along the drive to Adama. 

Tomorrow I will tell about our second day in Adama and the progress I hope I accomplished in Brooke's adoption case.

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