When we called our attorney on Wednesday morning, we were pretty disappointed to hear that he was too busy with Embassy appointments to meet with us. We were told to come to his office on Friday morning, three long days away. Woops, that's two days. See how long it felt? But as you can see, we kept ourselves busy with parks and tantrums, and Friday morning we were ready to go. We headed off to his office at 9:00 am, anticipating meeting at least one of our new family members that day. We had been told that one of our children was at a care center in Addis, while the other was at a care center just outside Addis. Anyway, we were pumped to arrive at the attorney's office...only to discover that the U.S. Embassy had called a meeting with adoption agency staff for Friday morning, so we would have to come back at 3:00 pm. I know, I know, you would think that after two Ethiopian adoptions, I would be prepared for delays this time around. Not so much. I was pretty miffed. Luckily, Chris is pretty easygoing about things like that, so he pulled us all together and back onto the van. Otherwise, I may have tried to stage a sit-in.
The rest of the morning passed painfully slowly, at least for me. The kidlettes found ways to occupy themselves. Sisaye played an animal game with Etsub (she corrected my spelling from the last post, though Sisaye just calls her Soup, which is super cute). Dinkeneh created a makeshift basketball goal from the laundry line. Awesomeness.
Finally, 3:00 pm arrived, and we were off for try two. I won't lie, my stomach was pretty knotted up at this point. I'm generally an anxious person, couple that with all the uncertainties surrounding Ethiopian adoptions right now, and it makes for one stressed-out Christina. Our attorney greeted us at the door, apologized for the delay, and asked if we had already visited the care center to meet our children. Um...huh wha? No, we thought we had to meet with you first. Well, yes, but how did you get to the care center? Um, like I said, we didn't. This random confusing dialogue went on for about five minutes. Seriously, that's a long time to be talking in circles. Now, the smarty-pants reading this blog have already figured out what the issue was. I wish I had been that sharp. At long last, the source of his confusion finally dawned on me. No, no, these children are not the ones we are here to adopt, they are already our children. What followed was another five minute circular conversation, where I had to continuously reassure him that we were not, in fact, concurrently adopting from three different agencies. Good grief. :)
Eventually, things were cleared up, and we were pleasantly surprised to learn that both of our children were at the same care center, just outside of Addis. Now, at this point, it was approaching 4:00 pm, but of course, we were super excited to meet Baby T and Baby A, so we decided to go ahead and drive out for a very quick meeting. This is how the two biggest kidlettes looked on the drive out:
After a fifty minute car ride, we arrived at the care center. This care center was finished one year ago, and there is still a lot of construction going on. One of the great things was the playground in the center, which Dinkeneh and Sisaye were very excited to test out. After a couple of minutes, someone approached us and led us to a special room for families to meet their new children. Dinkeneh and Sisaye Claire were in heaven:
And then the big moment arrived:
I know, bummer that I can't post their photos yet. But I think the four of us are a perfect fit for the two of them, and there is lots of fun in store for all six of us in the coming years.
Baby T was pretty unsure of everything for the entirety of our visit. To be honest, he looked a little shell shocked. At one point, we weren't even certain he could see or hear us (which may have caused us to freak out, just a little ;) ). We finally convinced him to hold on to a toy, but for the most part, he just looked vaguely off into space, with his mouth open. Again, in complete honesty, we did not walk away from our first meeting with Baby T feeling very confident about his health. We did walk away thinking he was unbelievably precious, and very much looking forward to getting to know him more.
Baby A was exactly the way her photos always depict her: smiley, smiley, smiley. Chris had her belly laughing within 30 seconds of picking her up. She did get pretty nervous after the nannies left, so we got fewer smiles at that point. She has lots of lovely baby fat, so she is still learning to sit up on her own. I think she is already a Daddy's girl, since he got far more smiles than I did.
And what did D and SC think of their new siblings? Honestly, they didn't even realize T and A were in the room for about ten of our fifteen minutes. We finally had to call them over, and even then, D and SC just kind of shrugged and moved on. Not exactly how I had pictured the moment, but far more realistic than my fantasies of the same. We did get Sisaye Claire to hold Baby T for about ten seconds, but that was the sum total of their interactions.
And that's how our first fifteen minutes as a family of six went.
P.S. Could someone please post a comment to let me know if you can see the photos? I think I came up with a workaround, but I can't see the photos on my end to test it. Thanks!