The morning of March 9 we woke up in Ethiopia full of anticipation. I was nervous and excited and ready. We picked up a few more families and then headed to Tikuret, the orphanage our children have been at since last summer. We were with our now good friends Clint and Amanda from Minnesota who would also be meeting their children for the first time. What a blessing it was to share this moment with another family.
As the gates of Tikuret opened and we pulled in, I think I spied Kaleb washing his hands. We were brought into the room I had seen in others photos and we waited. It was decided that our children would come first since they were older while Clint and Amanda took pictures and video for us. Then they came down the stairs. Emnet was beaming and Kaleb was hesitant. It is a moment which is so difficult to describe and yet I believe anyone who has adopted can relate perfectly. Kaleb gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek which I am pretty sure he was told to do, but it was so precious to me. The next two pictures say a lot our about our boy, and I love them. They were taken minutes apart.
We gave them the picture albums I had made and went through all the pictures with them. Neither Kaleb nor Ement set their books down during our time there. Every time Emnet came to a picture of Wingnut, our dog, she said Woosha (Amharic for dog) then hit the picture. That might be an interesting relationship. We brought out the balloons which were a huge hit and we played. Emnet didn't stop moving or smiling although she did give Jeff some sass which I must admit was kind of cute. I will probably feel much differently about that after she is home. Kaleb was fascinated with the I-pod and loved taking pictures with our camera. He said very little during our first visit, but was definitely more comfortable with us towards the end. One of the most special moments for me was feeding Ement and sitting with her as she relaxed into my arms and almost fell asleep.
After a lot of playing and tyring to take in every moment, the drivers came. We knew we would see them again in a couple of days but leaving was hard. It was especially hard on Jeff and Kaleb. And now three months have passed and my heart aches to hold them again, to hug them again, to know them as my children.