Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Tues Oct 15
As I write this on Tuesday evening, there is a baby screaming down the hall crying with angry, fearful cries. I imagine the child has been recently adopted and maybe this is the first night with the new family, and they are bonding, I mean, surviving. Simultaneously, two cats are screaming right below my window, also working on survival. I can hear the Muslim call to prayer in the distance, dogs barking, roosters crowing and there's that familiar but not very pleasant smell that periodically comes from the drain in the bathroom. Maybe it's that I'm still getting used to time away from the volume and chaos of my own home, but these sounds and smells make me smile with nostalgia for my time here with my family. I'm glad I have ear plugs, headphones, and some good smelling essential oils too.

My flight landed at 6am, ET time. As I stood waiting for my visa, I hear women talking about adoption behind me. I was feeling too tired to contribute to the conversation until I heard one woman say, "actually, I am not here to adopt, I work for an agency out of Colorado." Our adoption agency we used for Wynray is Colorado based, so I whipped around and asked, "are you Tami?" and she replied, "are you the person taking medicine to the baby in Awassa?"…and there you have it, folks. Small world. Tami is relatively new to the adoption agency, and had actually taken over our family's casework after our adoption coordinator changed jobs and left the agency. Tami and I chatted as we waited to get through customs and baggage claim, and then I offered her a ride with Fekadu because we were both staying at the Addis View Hotel. 

And as small world stories go, as we are packing luggage into Fekadu's car, in the chaos of the Bole International Airport parking lot, Yared, the Ethiopian director of our adoption agency walks up recognizing me looking for Tami, the new employee he has never met in person. Within minutes of being off the plane I was surrounded by familiar faces, voices, and friends.

After unpacking a bit, Fekadu and I headed down to the outdoor Addis View cafe. It was like a reunion. Hugs from the manager, wait staff, drivers, front desk girls all asking about my family. I proudly showed photos on my phone. And then, it was time for my long awaited macchiato. The BEST. Tami joined us and I was able to ask lots of questions about the state of adoption in Ethiopia as well as the adoption agency in general. I was very grateful for the face time with Tami and after speaking with her I remain hopeful for the future of adoption in Ethiopia. I have certainly had my concerns.

After our time with Tami, Fekadu and I went to Lucy's for lunch. Today was a Muslim holiday and most everything was closed which meant no shopping. I had hoped shopping would keep me active through the afternoon to help get me on ET time, but I gave in to a nap around 2:00. Internet has been down here for several days so I had given up on talking with my family, but Fredrik surprised me with a call on the hotel phone, probably costing a fortune but giving us both peace of mind as I leave tomorrow for Gambella and opportunities for communication will be few. 

Soon, after I make some notes on questions I want to ask Wynray's birth family, I will take a little sleeping pill and go to bed. I have a terrible track record for insomnia in Ethiopia, so let's hope some good sleep is in my future. I think I'm going to need it.

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