We've safely arrived in Addis Ababa. The flight was as bad as it seems with the 24 hours of travel stretching to 34 as we waited for a visa (1 1/2 hours), waited to get our luggage (1/2 hour) and got through "customs" (one x-ray machine and no clear line or direction... "single pile" line as Lee calls it).
We met the children today and that was as awesome as you imagine. There was another couple adopting older children as well as us, so we got to go 1st because our children were all crowding around the door as we came in. Yordanos cried and wept and hugged me around my neck for a long time. Habtamu and Lee hugged, then we all switched. The children were overwhelmed of course and it took awhile to warm up to us. We spent several hours with them and the other adopting families. Sometimes I took pictures of other people with their babies, and I'd turn around and I didn't know where my children were. I said to Lee, "Um, we're not very good at this! Where are our children?" Lest you think they were off playing in the street, the Transition Center is a walled in barb-wired compound, so there were not that many places to go. The children always came back to us with hugs, and kisses from Yordanos. She's a great hugger and kisser. I could get used to that.
They have been learning English, so they were very proud to write out letters and numbers for us on the magna-doodles we got them. I think they understand a bit more than they probably let on. We got to meet their teacher who said they are very good students. We got to see some of their workbooks and their writing is pretty good! Lee spelled out BANANA on Habtamu's magna-doodle and then Habtamu spelled it out for Yordanos who wrote it on hers.
Everybody loves Y and H. It will be sad for the nannies to say good-bye. The older kids there don't have one particular nanny like the babies sometimes do. Lots of nannies called out to Yordanos when she did something they didn't like. Mostly it was when she'd copy something I just did... for example, I kissed her up her arm in 4 places, and then she pushed my sleeve up and did the same. They said something to her about that.
Nurse Fortuna, the administrator of the TC, said that Y&H's aunt (H&Y's mother's sister) just called and would we be willing to meet her. We said of course! After a little bit she said the aunt could come right now. Yikes. The meeting went well... lots of hand gestures. She hugged and kissed my neck a bunch of times, and patted her heart while saying "ow, ow, ow" (That's "yes, yes, yes.") We got pictures with her and the children. Also with them was their mother's aunt and their mother's cousin. The children handled it well. I'm not sure how well Y knows them. H was a little down? confused? The aunt held his face in her hands and admonished him with something, pointing at him and then me and kissing his face a bunch of times.
A couple hours into our visit the children were calling us Mommy and Daddy and leading us by the hand to show us their world.
More later. I'm not able to get to my blog here, so I'm having Uncle Paul do it for us. Thanks Paul!