My friend and I got on a plane last Friday afternoon. We made it to Ethiopia late Saturday. On Sunday morning, we got up and got ready to go meet Mihretu's grandmother. I'm not going to post details about his story or what all she told us because it's his story and I want to keep it private but... I will say that it was a complete honor and blessing to meet her. She spoke a blessing over me and I know that it was sacred that time I had with her to be able to ask questions and find out about my son's story. This will be incredibly helpful to him when he grows up and begins asking about his birth family. So thankful I had that chance.
After we left there, we ate a quick lunch and then headed onto the care center to get my boy. After almost 3 months, it was so surreal to walk in there knowing I was leaving with him forever. He looked confused for a few minutes but quickly warmed up and was in mommy's arms. We hung out there for a few hours before we left with him and we decided to come back the next day for a final goodbye after our Embassy appointment. Mihretu was super curious in the car and seemed quite content to be strapped to mommy in the Ergo baby carrier. That thing is a life saver (and back saver too). We headed back to the guest house where we had dinner. My boy did so great - he ate dinner in a big boy chair with his own kid bowl and silverware the guest house provided and even wore his Baby Bjorn bib I brought him. He loves to eat and isn't picky - he ate carrots, chicken, potatoes and almost anything we put in front of him. He wants mommy to hold him all the time and I'm so thankful for that connection. I gave him a bath in the guest house sink and he LOVED it so much. Cutest thing ever. My boy loves to play in the water. He got out without a fuss when I grabbed the towel and then I got him dressed and ready for bed. He likes to go in the carrier on my back at bed time. He was fast asleep in 10 minutes and I layed him down on the bed where he slept for 10 hours. Holy cow - what a good sleeper!!! I slept next to him but really didn't sleep much. I kept staring at him - hard to believe he was finally there next to me. Sunday night, after I was in bed, my friend Megin and her husband arrived. They were there in August for court and we both were adopting kiddos who came from the same orphanage. Our kids grew up together there and then got transferred to our agencies care center at the same time. They are buddies - Mihretu and Sitota who is now 3 years old and super cute!!! Their process took over 2 years but what a joy to be able to be there at the same time and have our kiddos transition one more time together.
Monday morning was our embassy appointment at 9am. It was super quick and very different than what I would have pictured. I was so overjoyed when they handed me his documents and told me I was good to go - I about lost it in the lobby in front of the 100 or so people. Still so surreal. He came along in the ergo and fell asleep in the car. We went back to the care center to say goodbye. It was kind of emotional - even in only 3 months of being there, the nannies were already really attached to him. One looked like she was gonna cry. He went to her but after hugging on her, reached his arms back for me. This is a huge thing - that he would still want me even over the nannies. Very unusual - it's usually the opposite. I am a thankful momma. He didn't cry at all when we left - seemed happy to go for another car ride. And Sitota's parents were there too so they rode with us back to the care center. Mihretu and Sitota got to leave together. Very neat. We went back to the guest house and had another lovely dinner where my big boy sat up at the table like a pro and so did his buddy at the other side of the table with her mommy and daddy. Mihretu is so cute with such a big personality - he makes funny faces and loves to be the center of attention. He loves to snuggle and be close to mommy. And he's just a fun little guy. I can't wait for everyone to get to see his personality. Love him soooo much!!!!
We played at the guest house and got another bath and then mommy put him on her back in the ergo and he was asleep again. He slept 12 hours this night. I went to bed soon after he did and thankfully I slept 11 hours. After several nights of practically no sleep at all - a good nights sleep made all the difference.
Tuesday, we stayed at the guest house all day. Sitota's mommy and daddy had Embassy and some other things to do so we were there by ourselves. Merrill got to take a nap while Mihretu and I played outside. We played in the front courtyard with the stroller that Sitota's parents left for us to try out. He loved being pushed around in it. When Sitota got back - the two of them were so cute running around shouting out high pitched Amharic words to each other in the front courtyard. Adorable!!!! He's got a lot of energy and I certainly got a workout in that day chasing him around, walking him up and down the stairs in tow. He's an active little guy. I just can't believe how well he's doing - he just goes with the flow and hardly even acted like anything was outside the norm. He did have a few afternoon overtired meltdowns. I've already learned the different cries and I have seen the over tired one a lot - especially in the last 48 hours with all the crazy travel we just did. Whew.
Speaking of which, I'm going to end here so I can wake him up. His little body thinks it's nighttime and he's already taken a crazy long nap. I know he needs sleep so I let him sleep for quite awhile but I think I better go wake him so he will want to sleep tonight. Oh jet lag - good times.