Glory Be! She's FREE! We have a new Daughter!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

All about Ethiopia!

****  CANNOT UPLOAD PHOTOS---the connections is soooo slow today!  I will try again before I go to bed ****



What an experience this has been.  Let me update from where I left off.  I have so much to share.  Please forgive if I am random in my thoughts.


We went to a traditional Ethiopian dinner on Monday evening that featured great food that Tulio and I both enjoyed.  Then came the dancing…something I have never seen!  I  The moves they made!  WOW!  I think Abby and Ben would have sat with their mouths wide open.  Simply Amazing.


The guest home that we are staying at is wonderful.  Great food, friendly staff.   We only have electricity every other day.  This is why it has been hard to post updates for those of you following at home.  Speaking of which, I miss.  I miss my home, my children, my pets, the smell of America.  We are soaking up as much culture as possible so we may be prepared in future years to tell our precious Berhanesh of her birth land.


Tuesday was an exciting and difficult day.  We shopped in the morning in the post office district.  We bought many items, mostly traditional Ethiopian.  We then headed to lunch at a local café.  I was not feeling well but Tulio said the lasagna tasted wonderful.  We are both feeling pretty good but I am dealing with nauseusy off and on throughout most of the day.  It is probably a mixture of the smells that are so strong EVERYWHERE you go and just the fact that I am in Africa.    After lunch we headed to the Transition Home to pick up our children and bring them home with us to the guest home.  Upon arrival, we gave our donations and Tulio and I managed to take photos for seven families and deliver care packages.  To these families, your children are precious.  They were gracious and cuddly.  We prayed special blessings over each one and held them all for awhile.  Thank you for that opportunity!


Do you remember how on Monday, we asked the nannies to check on Berhanesh about her cough and wheezing?  While at the transition home on Tuesday, we got to talk to the head nurse about Berhanesh, she informed us that Berhanesh was taken to the hospital on Monday evening because she was having difficulty breathing.  She was on an IV and oxygen. Apparently she has brionchial ashthma. She was released Tuesday am and brought back to the transition home just before we arrived.  Needless to say, we were very concerned.  It was very hard to understand the nurse because of the obvious language barrier.  The nurse also informed us that Berhanesh would need to be given an antibiotic shot every morning until we leave for home.  She also has 3 oral medications.   At this point; I was spent, just emotionally empty.   A short while later it was time to go back to the guest home.  As soon as we began loading up the van, Berhanesh began to cry.  We totally expected this.  For the entire 30 minutes van ride back to the guest home, she cried and wailed the most pitiful cry.  She said the same word over and over.  Our guide said she was crying out for her nanny.  As you can imagine, Tulio and I were both in tears, joining our daughter in the grieving process.    Our hearts were breaking for her, not knowing exactly all she has lost.   When we got to our room, we pulled out every toy and piece of food we could to help distract and begin to build some trust.  Playing worked for awhile, then the grieving would began again.  A deep, wounded cry…none I have ever seen or heard.  After about an hour, Tulio and I just continued praying over her and we put her in between us and just hugged.  She fought and cried as we told her over and over that we loved her and we would never leave her.  We made a major breakthrough!  Praise the Lord!  I asked God to let me see this child through his eyes and it is by the grace of God that we made it through the day!  We are only asking God for enough strength for one day at a time.  Berhanesh is still very timid and reserved.  She checks out everything and everyone around her.  She is so observant.    She ate well at dinner, sitting in my lap.  She feeds herself and drinks from a regular, big girl cup.  No sippy!  She is also completely potty trained.  We expected accidents but the pull-ups remain dry.  Major bladder control! 


Bedtime was pretty simple. After bathing with a little fuss (she was fascinated with the shower head), we read a story and put her straight to bed in the crib.  She fell asleep immediately. 


It is now Wednesday afternoon and things are progressing slowly, as expected.  We have not fully earned her trust, but we are progressing in the right direction.  Just when she starts feeling comfortable and playing, she begins to close up again.  We are willing to take all the time she needs.  She is a sweet child, she likes to touch us, rubbing our faces or our arm.  She has a soft giggle.  She is warming up to her daddy but prefers mommy.   We had a slow morning, just getting to know each other.   A nurse came this morning and gave her another shot.  The nurse said the shot was very painful.  She cried for a little but let daddy comfort her.  She had scrambled eggs and a chocolate donut (not Shipley's) for breakfast.  Berhanesh is a good eater.  At noon we headed to the US Embassy for our appointment.  I was very scared.  I am not sure of what, but I was scared.  We waited for 2 hours and then our name was called.  Berhanesh is ours, officially!  She did great at the embassy!   2 families had some paperwork issues and have to return tomorrow, please pray for them! 


It is now 5:00 pm, ET time, and Tulio is sleeping and Berhanesh is resting in her bed.  We have not begun to call her Ava yet, it just doesn't feel right.  We are so happy to be here and are thrilled at what the future holds for our daughter.  However, we miss home.  I miss my Abby and my Ben.  My love for you has grown stronger than I ever thought possible through this journey.  I always knew, but never truly grasped the fact that I am one lucky woman.  I have an incredible life partner and three beautiful children.  We love you!  We are going to try and call today!  Pray that we can!


Just a few more days until we are home!  I am excited! 


ABBY----she wore her bow ALL DAY!!!  Never tried taking it off.  She also likes all her babies NAKED!!!  Typical 2 yr. old.


P.S.  Could someone PLEASE bring me a LARGE CHICK-FIL-A Sweet Tea to the airport?  I am having total withdrawl!


Love to you all!


Tulio, Kara and Berhanesh

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Dietrich & Amy Lusse said...

Oh! I'm totally crying remembering the sad wailing/crying as I read your's so hard on the heart, yet so understandable. Praise God he is helping you guys to bond! The whole week is so emotionally/physically draining, but really, it will be over before you know it. :) YOu guys are doing great!! We continue to pray for you and the other families. It's so awesome you are there!!
~Amy & Dietrich

Cindy Foote said...

Kara, we are praying for you guys as you bond with your baby girl and her with you! Know that you are going to see a delightful, confident, comfortable, happy girl emerge as she attaches to you. Its a beautiful thing watching our adopted children change and grow as they discover constant, individual love and care. Its what I imagine the Lord delights in as He watches us grow in our knowledge and relationship with Him.

The Crazy Roots said...

Your sweet tea comment made me laugh out loud! Thanks for all the details in your posts, preparing those of us coming behind you on the journey!

We're praying for Ava to get better and for you guys to have a safe trip home!