Day 5 I am exhausted. I am tired and I am cold. It is raining again. My shoes are still dirty from the trash dump and it is so muddy here. Flip flops and crocs are not the ideal choice in this mud. I am emotionally tired. I am not looking forward to going to anymore orphanages today. I need a day to fill up my love tank. It is depleted. I am keeping this honest and real. This is how I feel. After breakfast we found out that the orphange we were going to didn't call back with directions, so we were going into town to shop! Ye Haw! This is what this American girl NEEDED! Something LESS emotional. I think I was just beginning to process what I had seen at the first orphange, at the trash dump and at Ararat. I was thinking about all that I had seen and I was somewhere between mad, sad, disgusted and numb.
We spent the morning shopping which was so fun! I was grateful I had my mathematician Robby with me to help me figure out how much birr an item is to the American dollar! This was exactly what I needed! I felt so much better afterwards! Retail therapy worked! Afterwards, Kelly, our team leader, announced that we were splitting into 3 groups for the rest of the day. One group was going back to the trashdump for the afternoon, one group was going to a new orphanage that just had 8 children arrive the day before, and the last group was going to a transitional home (where children who have been placed with adoptive families are waiting for all of their paperwork and court work to be completed.) Robby and I went to the new orphange with the new children.
As many of you know, we are considering adoption and I have been hoping for a "connection" with a child on this trip that I could possibly go home and try to bring home. No, this is not the normal way things are done here. I was just hoping that it MIGHT work out that way. I realize this is a LONG shot. There were 8 kids who had just arrived the day before. Driving here, I started thinking that this was going to be tough. This was going to be different from the other orphanages and the trashdump. These children were probably going to be in shock. Their world as they had known it had changed for them forever, just the day before. I simply can't imagine how they would be feeling. They didn't have any clothes except the clothes they were wearing. When we pulled in they were all holding 2 toys each, with some type of death grip. I went up to one adorable little girl and she hit me with her toy and ran away. Ok, this was a first. It was ok, I'd be mad too if my whole world had changed overnight. It was a lot to take in. ALL of the kids here were amazingly cute, funny and precious! They lit up when we got them in their new clothes. We gave them some toys and we handed out makenas ( matchbox cars) again. Thanks to all of you who donated them! They were quite a hit! We stopped at a grocery on the way there and Robby & I bought juice and cookies for the kids. Robby had a blast playing with the boys-- there was a BASEBALL BAT at this orphange and he had so much fun helping them learn the Great, All American Pasttime! Robby LOVES baseball, so this was RIGHT up his alley! He and the agency directors huband were teaching the kids (and the adults) how to swing a bat! It was great! I helped clothe the children and watched them SHINE after they put on some underwear, new clothes and new shoes! There was one little girl that was such a diva! Yes, girls in AFRICA who have virtually nothing, like sparkles, skirts and anything PINK!!!! See, that is a GOD thing! He MAKES them this way! She was adorable and she was sooo trying to squeeze her foot into the shoes with the bling! They didn't fit, but she wanted them anyway!!Ha! Ha! Sounds like some of my girlfriends! What we do for the perfect pair of shoes!!!!
This was a very short visit to this orphanage but a GREAT short visit. I met a little one there who stole my heart. I don't know what God's plans are for this child, but Philip and I are officially starting our homestudy this Thursday (tomorrow). I texted Philip from Africa and he set up our first appointment for us. I know that that sweet, precious child will find a loving family. Selfishly, I hope and pray it is mine. This orphange visit was NOT scheduled on our iteniary. Our family picture was NOT planned to be taken in front of the African continent. I know there are NO such things as accidents or coincidences. Robby and I found this mission trip 3 days before they purchased airfare. It was a really a 24 hour decision to go or NOT to go. AND WE WENT. God is in control. I was crabby, moody, tired and cold today when I woke up. I didn't want to go to an orphanage. I felt completley IN LOVE by the end of the day. I know that if this is God's will for my family, then it will be. I know that he already has a child picked out for us. THIS I know and will leave the rest to him!
To make this day even a little bit better, after we left the orphanage we went to Starbucks! :) but it is called Kaldi's in Ethiopia! Their logo is a knockoff of Starbucks and Yes, it looks and smells like Starbucks! Hallelujah! It was soo wonderful! After that we went OUT for dinner and Robby and I had good ol' PIZZA! It was so stinking good! This was a great ending to a very emotional day for me! My battery is now recharged...bring on more Orphans! :)
Feel free to use anything that you find useful on this blog. We are all in this together, all trying to advocate for the orphan and raise awareness of the need to ADOPT. I am not trying to attach my name to anything, just trying to bring attention to the fatherless.
We are a family that has truly been blessed! Phil and I were married 9 years ago and we NOW have 3 amazing children! Robby is 15 and Caitlin is age 13, and Mamo age 5. God sent Robby and Caitlin into our lives shortly after we were married and each moment has been a joyous one! In December 2010, we adopted our youngest from Ethiopia, Africa. We are a family who has been created by adoption and have been blessed beyond measure! I have the most amazing husband in the world...Philip you are my ROCK and my BEST friend! :)
July 20 Met Daniel Mamo in Ethiopia on Mission Trip with Ordianry Hero
July 21 Phil says YES and schedules Homestudy AppointmentJuly 24-Robby and I Return Home from Ethiopia
Jul 29 FIRST Homestudy Visit
July 29 Sue with CCI agrees that we may pursue Mamo!
Sept 8 Dossier completed and submitted
Sept 9 I-600a completed and sumbitted
Sept 20 - Daniel receives care package from us and learns he we are coming to him to be his FOREVER family!!
Sept 28 Ethiopian Courts RE-OPEN!!
Sept 28 Payne/Mamo case submitted to the ET courts Oct 12 Received FIRST Court Date of Nov 10th! Travel booked! Woo hoo!
Oct 19th Fingerprinting Appointment for I600-A Nov 4 Begin Journey to Ethiopia Nov 10 Court Date in Ethiopia - WE PASSED!!!!
Nov 12 Come home! Praying to go back SOON to bring him home FOREVER!! Nov 22 Mamo's Birth Certificate issued!
Nov 29th Mamo's Medical Clearance and Passport Issued Dec 8 Receive email that we have been cleared for travel for Embassy appt Dec 16 Dec 13 Begin Journey back to Ethiopia Dec 16 US Embassy Appointment Dec 19 Return HOME as a family of 5 Forever!!!