Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Boy and His Dad

June 11, 2012.

Our visit on Monday was pretty awesome.  We slept in, had a little breakfast and then headed over to the care center.  When we first arrived, we asked to see Eli's file and our agency's staff helped us review the paperwork.  Most had been translated into English, but a few bits were still in Amharic.  We learned more about his background, which will hopefully help us help Eli understand his past and how he came to be our boy.

Then we had some one-on-one time with our guy, which was great.  Brad had brought his iPad, and we showed Eli some of the videos we'd taken of him during our trip.


And we gave him a few photos we'd taken the day before.  He seemed to really enjoy seeing videos and photos of himself.


Then we played a little Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds--ah, the universal appeal of silly video games.



The soccer ball in Eli's lap is one of two we brought.  It was amazing to see how near-constant play and the rough surface of the courtyard wears out these balls so quickly.  We made a note to bring a few more to leave with the care center when we return to bring Eli home.

The basketball at the care center is a little big for four year old hands.


But the junior-sized soccer ball worked pretty well.


We found this squishy ball in the dollar bin at Target, and it was a bit hit.




Eli and Brad played a little catch with it.


Eli kicked it around.


Shot some hoops with it.



And brought it on the slide with him.


We'd also brought this flying thing with us, another dollar bin find, which was fun until it ended up on the roof (oops).  Hopefully the rain will wash it back down into the courtyard.



It seemed that as our time with him was ending, Eli sensed we were about to leave.  He didn't cry, but his mood definitely shifted.  The nannies were preparing lunch, so I tried to coax him over to wash up.  Each day it's turned out that our visiting time has ended with a meal, so perhaps he was making that association.

I gave him a big hug, which he accepted but didn't return.  He gave Brad a fist bump and we were off.


We had the hotel driver drop us at Lucy Restaurant, where we had lunch and then toured the Ethiopian National Museum.  The Lucy exhibit was really interesting, but more entertaining was the group of schoolchildren who seemed to be having loads of fun practicing their English on us and then giggling up a storm.

Then it was back to the hotel to while away our time until dinner, sleep and our last visit with Eli the following day.  

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