Friday, June 22, 2012

The Boy Who Waits for Us

June 10, 2012.

Brad and I decided to get out of town on Sunday, to see some of the Ethiopian countryside. Our agency only allows us to visit Eli for two hours each day, which leaves a lot of extra hours in the day.

So we had Fekadu take us northwest of Addis to the Blue Nile River Canyon.

It was a beautiful drive, and we saw some pretty fun things.  Like this pick-up truck (next to our white van), which apparently was a crew of people shooting a music video for a local pop singer.

And these baboons; they were fun.

We hiked down to the "atractiv" Portuges Bridge, built in the 16th century, where you can go "sweeming."  That would've been fun.

If there was water.  (Apparently, during the rainy season, the water comes almost to the top of the bridge.)

But what I really wanted was kid fun.  Specifically, one particular kid.

Our trip to the Blue Nile took a bit longer than we'd expected, prolonged in part by a lengthy traffic stop on our return to Addis.  The police in the countryside flag down vehicles to check paperwork and verify the number of passengers on board don't exceed the maximum.  At one such stop on the way back to the city, the officer requested a permit we didn't have.  There was much confusion and many heated words exchanged, and we could see the officer's companion (not in uniform, not sure what his role was) pulling a little rule book out of his pocket and waving it around.

The officer finally let us go with a warning.  Not sure what paperwork she was requesting--paperwork that none of the other police officers had requested--but I was glad our driver didn't get a ticket.  My lawyer's "spidey sense" was not feeling too good about what that might've meant for our driver, from a due process standpoint.  Or for us, from a getting back to Addis standpoint.  I credit Fekadu's skilled persuasion; perhaps he should be a lawyer, too.

When we returned to Addis it was kind of late and everyone was tired and hungry.  And I was cranky.  We stopped for a (really) late lunch, which I knew was the right thing to do because it had been a long time since any of us had eaten, but I was distressed about the time.  And then the restaurant brought everyone's food but mine.  So I waited.  And waited.  Fekadu's friend who was with us that day tried several times to get the waiter to bring my food, but my guess is they just plain forgot to make it.  When it finally arrived I saw my chicken kabobs were barely cooked.  "Thank goodness I'm still taking Cipro" I said to myself and dove in.  We had our sweet boy to go see!

It was 4:00 by the time we arrived at the care center, which caused our visit to be pretty short.  And I'll be totally honest, it was a hard day at the care center anyway, being the only visiting family.  All the kids were starving for attention and there was only Brad and me to give it.  We loved playing and laughing and just generally hanging out with them; they are such sweet, sweet kids.  But it's exhausting.

Eli was content to just sit on my lap the entire time, while the other kids climbed all over us. The other kids who weren't off playing soccer, basketball and volleyball with Brad.  I never knew Brad could simultaneously play three different sports.  Talented man, that one.

Eli checking out some photos we brought, taken the day before.

And Brad never had the chance to pass the camera to me (or to Eli, haha).  I'm a little sad that we have a day at the care center with no pictures of him and Eli.

Four days into forming our new family, Eli may not have really understood Brad and I were his parents but he seemed to understand we were there at the care center to see him.  And he may have been waiting for us to visit.  When the gate to the care center was first opened that afternoon, Eli was the first of the kids to poke his little head out.  And when he saw it was us, he walked right out to join us.

How I wish we could've just taken his little hand and walked away.

Soon, I pray.


  1. I love your blog Kathleen! I can only imagine how anxious you guys are to get back to that adorable little man!