Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Day 1

Ok, I wrote everything down in a journal while I was there so I am going to post what I wrote :) On My Way to Ethiopia!!! We are almost there!! (The pictures above were taken with our video camera because we lost our camera :( ) Today we arrived in Addis Ababa at 8:30 am Ethiopian time. The airport was kind of chaotic to say the least. We had to fill out our immigration cards and put them in this box thing along with a million other cards.(they probably won't know we were there until next year!) Next, we headed off to get our visas. The people were all very nice and Papa almost killed the man with his huge hikers backpack :) (not really, he just turned and smacked him, poor guy :) It was fairly calm inside the airport compared to when you get outside. Gracious!! We said that they should give you a Birr 101 class right after you exchange your money because you have to use it right away! (The men helping us with our luggage kind of ripped us off but at least we helped them out.) We got outside the doors and found Ryan and Tafesse waiting for us. It would have been just Tafesse but They had to use 2 cars to take all of our luggage! They took us to the Hilton and we washed up and rested for a little while before lunch. We ate at 'Bier Garden', it was a really good German restaurant. There we met Abby, Ryan's wife, Belay, Travis, Joanna, Silas and Avery. (Travis and Joanna are the new Gladney Reps in Ethiopia and Silas and Avery are their kids.) Of course everyone adopting from Ethiopia through Gladney knows who Belay is! After lunch, we went to the Gladney office and met Josiah!!!! It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! We walked into the office and waited outside the first door as Belay woke him up. (poor baby, he had been inside by himself so he just went to sleep :( As we walked in and saw him for the first time we all burst into tears! My first thought was 'Oh my goodness he is real!' he stood up and looked at us and then he burst into tears! (I think we scared him because even some of the staff were crying!) I mean, what a way to wake the poor kid! Bring in a bunch of crazy, crying, white people with cameras! He is just so cute you can not put it into words. The pictures do not do any of the children justice. We then went back to the hotel. Josiah did not do very well at first. As you can see from the picture above ^ (I can't blame him) He was afraid and he kept trying to walk out of the hotel room. He was crying and was kind of unresponsive. I started to play with him though and he warmed up in about an hour and has been happy and an absolute joy ever since. His first english word was 'Ellie'! How cute is that! He is no longer afraid of us and has been rattling off to us in amharic. Tafesse took us to a great little Italian place in an alley way. Josiah LOVES pasta! He ate an adult sized portion. No, he inhaled an adult sized portion of pasta and even ate some of Tafesse's lamb! He literally ate himself to sleep! He took a bite and then leaned over onto my mom and fell asleep with lamb still in his mouth. We got back to the hotel and crashed. Today was one of the coolest most wonderfully amazing days of my life. I was thinking about it and I told Mom, "He talks to us like we know amharic!" and then I realized, wait, we talk to him like he knows english! We have learned quite a bit of amharic because of him though. On our last day, we were talking to Josiah in amharic and our driver laughed and told us a story. There was a man that wanted more then anything for his son to speak english so he sent him to school. The son still did not learn english, he did not want to learn english, he liked amharic. So he hired an english teacher from Europe to teach his son english. In the end the english teacher ended up learning amharic!

9 comments:

nclighthousekeeper said...

More, Ellie! More! You are a great writer ~ hmmm, you must have had a very good writing teacher once....
<><
Ms. Beth

Enil said...

Thats funny. He is soo cute, you better keep a good hold of him (still working out the kinks in my plan:) Did you eat any hotdogs?

Scarlett_333 said...

Aww, he is adorable and I loved reading about meeting him! I can't wait til you post more (once you get a chance- you must be busy with 5 little sibs now!)
Nikki

ABIGAIL said...

I just love that last picture, Ellie! Both your faces are priceless.

And yes, MORE!!

Anna said...

Josiah is ADORABLE!!! I can't wait to hear more of your amazing journey! BTW, did you get me any dirt?:)

The Freeland Family said...

Welcome home, Ellie! Corinne and Emma miss you at co-op:) Hope to see you again...as soon as things "settle down" (ha!) at home. ~The Freelands

Eileen and Jerry Mestas said...

Ellers, This is just too funny. How did you get to be such a great writer?? HHHMMMMMMM?? I am so proud of you...I thank my God every day for you...I am so grateful to have had this amazing experience with you at my side. We are all so blessed to have you!

Love, Hugs and Kisses Forever & Always, Your MAMA
In His Timing & Care

Amanda said...

I'm Ready for Day #2!! lol
Great pictures! He's soo cute!

KelseyChristine said...

So cool! Thanks for sharing. And Josiah is absolutely gorgeous.