Russ and K. in Addis: Monday and Tuesday

The children at K’s orphanage praying at her farewell ceremony.

K. with Galela, her social worker who she loved so much that she named her new doll after her.

I called Russ today and my 63 min. phone card ran out after 45 minutes, so I had to buy another one to call him back and finish our conversation. We miss each other so much and 43 min. was not enough!

I hope Russ will write about his time with K. later, but for now, I will do my best relating what he has said.

Russ went to K.’s orphanage on Monday morning and she was gone to school, so he played with the kids while waiting for her case manager to arrive. Eventually they brought K. from school and he got to see our little girl again – it had been over two months since we said goodbye to her. She warmed up to him quickly and did not want to be away from him.

That evening we talked on the phone and K. said, “Hi Mommy!” and then asked for her little brothers. Later she said, “Mommy America?” She has a little tiny voice and says everything very quickly – it is super cute to hear her talk. She was climbing on Russ’ back trying to hear me talking through the phone. She went to bed after a bath, a game of Memory, stories, prayers, and songs. Russ is a really great “tucking in” Daddy so I’m sure she loved it.

Today they tried to visit Trinity Cathedral, but it was an Orthodox holy day and not only was the cathedral packed, but the roads surrounding it were dense with people. The driver tried to get through the crowd but had to back out once he realized it was impossible. They changed their plans and went to the Museum of Natural History which has “Lucy” on display.

Here is a little tidbit about “Lucy” I found when I googled her:

“Australopithicus afarensis is a recently discovered Hominid species which lived in north east Africa, in the Hadar region of Ethiopia). Until 1995, this species was the earliest known member of the Hominid family. Australopithicus afarensis lived from approximately 4 to 2.7 million years ago along the northern Rift valley of east Africa, and perhaps even earlier.

Fragments of more than 300 individuals of Australopithicus afarensis have been discovered so far, including a remarkably complete skeleton of an adult female (nick- named “Lucy”) shown above and to the right. “Lucy” was found in 1974 near Hadar in Ethiopia. Her skeleton has provided a wealth of information about the ancestral line of human beings, some of it quite surprising.”

Back to Russ and K.:

K. was interested in the museum for about thirty seconds, so after they took a photo of her standing near the “Lucy” display, they gave up on the museum and went out for lunch. Getachew, our favorite driver, took them to the “Milk House” or a name similar to that, which is on the tenth floor of a building. Russ thinks it was the first time that K. had ever been in an elevator, especially one with a wall of glass on the outside of the building. They got in, the doors closed and they began to go up. Russ tapped K. on the shoulder and gestured for her to look out the back wall and he said she jumped very close to him. He said at that point he began to look for those familiar elevator inspection certificates that we routinely see in American elevators, but couldn’t locate one.

He specifically took her to this restaurant because they serve both traditional food and other foods, and last time she had wanted Ethiopian food. They looked at the menus and Russ asked K. if she wanted injera. She scowled and shook her head. The waitress came and asked K. what she wanted, suggesting different Ethiopian dishes. K. then loudly announced, “Pizza”, so pizza it was, and Russ said she ate half of it herself.

They then went to Churchill street where they did some shopping. Russ did a great job getting through the shopping list we had written before he left. He even got little traditional outfits for the boys.

After shopping they headed back to the guest house to get ready for K’s farewell ceremony at her orphanage. Another little girl was also leaving today, so both of them were honored. Russ and the other girl’s mother were in the office talking with the social worker when the two girls came running in dressed in beautiful traditional Ethiopian outfits, a gift from their orphanage. They were both so excited and looked beautiful.

They went into the main room of the orphanage where all of the children were gathered. There were grasses on the floor and in the corner one of the nannies was washing and roasting the coffee beans for the traditional coffee ceremony. The children were arranged on the floor in a “U” shape with two chairs at the top for K and her friend. The children sang songs and then K and her friend got up to sing their own song. I was crying just hearing about it from Russ. Then the children prayed for the girls – one at a time standing up to pray. I can just see the precious children we met last time blessing K and her friend – it makes me cry to think of it. Keep in mind that the oldest child there is probably seven, so these are young children.

Then treats were served, lollipops, kolo (a roasted grain), and a cookie which was sort of like a mini muffin. Russ said that one little girl had a handful of kolo which she was rolling her lollipop in and then licking it off. Yum.

When the ceremony was over they went back to the guest house for dinner and then out again to visit a friend whom we met on our last trip.

All in all, it was a very full and rewarding day. Russ filmed the entire farewell ceremony which will be great to see.

I’m sure he could tell this so much better himself, but until then I will do my best. I still hope to finish the posts about our first trip!

The most exciting event here was on Monday morning when we woke up to no hot water and a hot water heater that was leaking all over. The plumber was able to come and replace it that very day for which we were all very thankful. It was stressful at the time, but resolved within eight hours which isn’t too bad. It wasn’t nearly as difficult as the time Russ was out of town and our well broke – no water at all!

Russ hopes to do something fun with K. tomorrow. I’ll post more soon.


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Raskell Party of 8
    May 16, 2007

    Oh my. I am shaking thinking of when I get to do this! We ate and the Milk Maid 3 times. Loved the food, the location, the price, the workers! Each time one of the kids had a meltdown, but oh well. Their pancakes are fabulous! I am so glad you heard from him! 2 more days, my friend.

  2. Lori
    May 16, 2007

    Thanks for sharing all the news. I’m on pins and needles waiting for my brother and niece to come home. We’re praying for their return trip.
    July seems so far off, waiting to meet these precious new members of our family.


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