Monday, November 19, 2007
An Update From Ethiopia
This is Melissa filling everyone in. I got an email from my parents this afternoon that I am pasting below. They lost their digital camera at the Dulles airport, but that seems to have been the extent of their troubles...thank you, GOD!
From Jerry: "Our flight was pretty good. It was long but not unbearable. The Ethiopian staff were wonderful and really laid back. We actually got to sleep a few hours. They served us about three meals and the food was ok.
We got through the immigration stuff pretty painlessly at the airport and we were met by Ryan and Tafesse. They took us to the hotel with all our 8 suitcases and 5 carry-ons. The hotel has internet but for some reason we can't access our blog site.
We showered and then Tafesse came back for us around 12:30 to go buy another camera before we went to lunch. We ended up paying WAY too much for it but it was well worth it.
We then had lunch at a German restaurant with Ryan and Abby from Gladney, Belay, and a new couple that has been added to work alongside Ryan and Abby. The food was very good.
We then went to the Gladney office where another worker had taken Josiah for us to meet. We wanted to spend a day with him and get a chance to bond with him before we picked up the girls. We were so excited to meet him we were about ready to jump out of our skin. When we arrived we gave the camera and video camera to Ryan and Travis and they went into the room where Josiah was waiting for us. The poor little guy fell asleep waiting for us. They woke him up and we walked in at 3:13 p.m. (Ethiopia time) to see the cutest little guy you ever did see. He was quiet and shy. Belay was holding him and telling him who we were and then he gave him to Eileen. Of course she could not hold back the tears as she held him in her lap and kissed his face. She tried not to cry so as not to upset him but she just couldn't. The poor little guy got scared and started crying, too, which really was no surprise to us, we kind of expected he might do that. He wanted Belay, and wanted nothing to do with us. So Belay took him back, gently consoled him, told him again who we were and then put him on the couch between us. We gave him a toy car and he seemed to calm down. Then Belay left the room as did everyone else. We just sat with him and talked, and then he sat in Mama's lap. After about 15 minutes we left to take him back to the hotel.
When we got back to the hotel, Josiah got scared again and wanted to run out of the room. He ran to the door and tried to get out. So Eileen picked him up and did the humming song and rocked him and did tickle-tickles to his head and back. He calmed down again. We put new clothes on him and they looked really good. He really liked them; he kept looking at them and he really liked the shoes. He fit into the largest size shoes that we brought. Eileen was able to calm him down and we gave him some cute toys to play with.
Eileen and I were so tired that we both decided to take a nap before dinner. Ellie stayed up and played with Josiah. She played with him and took him for little walks and got him to play peek-a-boo with her. She really bonded with him! Eventually they were kicking the little inflatable ball back and forth in the room. He finally started laughing and talking to her. Up to that point he had not said a word. He is so cute. He really loves kicking the ball.
After we got up from our naps, Tafesse picked us up and we went out to an Italian restaurant to eat. He ate a bruschetta like it was candy. He licked his fingers and ate every single tomato speck. Then he ate a huge plate of penne pasta and a piece of lamb that Tafesse had shared with him. He no sooner took his last bite and literally leaned over for Mama to hold him and he fell asleep within 2 minutes in her arms. He ate himself to the point of unconsciousness. It was hilarious! We got back to the hotel, woke him up for bath time, and put him back to bed where he is now sleeping like a little angel. This day went absolutely superb. Tomorrow they pick us up at 9:00 we go to breakfast and then pick up the twinettes.
The Hotel is really great too. So much better than we expected. We have two rooms adjoining with two twin beds in both. Two portable cribs that are all metal and cold but the quilts will warm them up. We are very comfortable and happy!"
From Eileen:"This place is wonderful. It really looks like CA!! Rolling Hills, palm trees, tropical plants, and the weather was perfect today. The actual city is a lot like Mexico. So, we feel very much at home.
Let me tell you how our trip started! The big suitcase was over the limit and the international rate was going to cost $540 just for that one. We explained it was humanitarian aid for orphanage and she said there was nothing she could do except split it into another extra bag that would lower the weight at least. Then the other extra bag was still $85. So, by having BJ bring another suitcase, it would have gone down to another $85. While we were repacking the lady walked over to us and said, hey, I've decided not to charge you for anything. Just bring it over here and I'll load it up. I don't know what will happen in DC but this is all I can do. We were shocked!!!! Blessings abounding. Then we got to DC and the agent asked for our receipt for the extra luggage. We didn't know what to do so we just said we didn't have one. He said he had to call his manager to see what to do. So we sat there looking at each other like "BUSTED" He said it was going to cost $380 for them. After about 5-10 minutes Jerry asked to speak to him privately. He told him it was humanitarian aid and we didn't have a receipt because they let us through at RDU. He then handed him our passports back and said OK go ahead and have a seat. Blessings abound again.
So, now we were just sitting there waiting to board. We saw several other Americans in the crowd of Ethiopians so we started to talk with them. Two of them were adoptive families w/ other agencies. Jerry was talking to them and started telling them our "HIS STORY" and suddenly the guy says: "HEY, I just heard your story yesterday on the radio. On the way to the airport this morning I was telling my wife all about it. You said you were going in four weeks so I figured you were going in December. I never expected to meet you here today!! I heard it on Focus on the Family Weekend Edition"! Can you believe this???????? They are both staying at the Hotel with us so we will be seeing each other a lot this week.
So, while we are talking this very old Ethiopian lady is sitting there crying because she lost her ticket. She flew in from Seattle and she did not speak English. The Ethiopian people around her were all trying to help her as were the agents. They were all so compassionate and nice. She was all alone. So, she finally calms down, sits on the floor and starts throwing up blood all over. Then at the same time, another African lady with three small children, 5,3,1yr. started calling out for help. Her 3 year old little girl fell in the bathroom and she was unconscious. Another adoptive mom and I ran over to help. The little girl was out of it. She was listless, we opened her eyelids and she didn't flinch. The agent is now calling 911. The mama is crying, I put my arms around her, started crying and just hugged her. Then the spirit told me to lay hands on this little girl. I literally walked around the crowd, laid a hand on her head raised the other way up to the LORD and I prayed "Our Heavenly Father in Jesus holy name please heal this precious child immediately. LORD restore her to perfect health in your name we beg you" It was miraculous. She immediately, sat up looked at her mama and started smiling like nothing was wrong. She stood up and started dancing and playing. It was unbelievable. The mother was shocked as was the crowd and she said, "Oh maybe she was just sleeping, we did get up really early this morning" There was no doubt that this little girl was unconscious. The paramedics got there just then, checked her out and said she was fine. Then they went to the old lady and checked her out. She was able to board the plane. So, this is how we lost the camera. Just as this all settled down, we had to board the plane. Ellie had the camera, she gave it to me, I could have sworn I put it in the duffel bag just before I ran to the little girl. So, either someone took it from the top of the bag or it fell out??? Who knows. It was just an unbelievable event.
So, the rest of the journey was going great. We were making friends with bunches of people on the plane, everyone was so friendly and there was such a spirit of love and unity. Our pictures were being passed all around and it was really amazing. Then, the lady w/the 3 little kids called out to me to come to her. This time the one year old was burning up w/fever. She said "Will you please pray for my son, I believe God sent you to me like an angel, help me please" So I did, I took his clothes off, got melted ice from the crew and wiped him down with a cold rag. He screamed and did not like it. We gave him tylenol and he seemed to calm down. This poor lady was on her way to Ghana to visit her parents. She was all alone and we adopted her throughout the flight. Ellie really helped her and the little girls fell in love with Ellie. They wanted our phone number to keep in touch. We parted with hugs kisses and prayers as she had to go board another plane. WHAT A DAY!!
That's all for today. WE love you and miss you. Stay tuned as this story continues.
LOVE HUGS & KISSES
Mama, Papa, Ellie and Josiah!!!