I wrote this email early Wednesday morning, February 28, and had to send it before it was complete, but this should give you another glimpse into our trip.
“To our dear children,
“We miss you all so much and wish you were here to experience Ethiopia with us. We are having a truly amazing time here and are so grateful that we are here together. I told Daddy yesterday that I feel as if I am living in the midst of a miracle. It is a privilege and blessing to be adopting our children.
“I know I won’t be able to tell you all that I want to in this email – E. may wake soon and need my attention, so I’ll tell you as much as I can.
“E. is a lovely, sweet boy. When we first got him he was very anxious and didn’t understand where he was or who we were. It was so sad to see his confusion. Daddy had him most of the time and I had W., so he began to bond with Daddy. Sunday he was a little bit better, and by Monday we really began to see him relax. He still wasn’t too sure about me, but yesterday morning we cuddled in bed with him and I played with him. Then I showed him some movie clips we had made with the little camera and he loved it! He loves being at the guest house where he can wander outside and play. Yesterday one of the guards played with him while I got ready for our embassy appt.
“At first he did not talk at all and the only sounds he made were crying noises. Now he seems to be mixing baby sounds and words – which we can’t understand – but we think he may have said Daddy once. He is like a baby in that he doesn’t seem too verbal yet and he only learned to walk about two months ago, but he is really big! I think he weighs nearly 30 lb, which is amazing given that most Ethiopian children are so thin. He also has a huge belly that I am sure must be filled with parasites. We actually took the boys to an Ethiopian clinic to have them examined and we had stool samples checked on both boys and both came back with no parasites. I think that is accurate for W., but not for E. His poop is the most unbelievably smelly stuff you’ve ever seen. I’ve changed a lot of diapers in my day, and it makes me gag to change his. Luckily Daddy has a poor sense of smell; Also, the Smiths also took their children to the doctor and they are loaded with parasites and they are from the same orphanage. We may try one more stool test before we leave, but we may not have an opportunity.
“W. is absolutely adorable. Everywhere we go people comment on how beautiful he is. He has already grown accustomed to being held constantly and I can get nothing done! He loves the sling and I’ve had him in that many hours each day. He has been doing some major spitting up which is tough since we are going through clothes like crazy. He is a real snuggler which I know you will all enjoy.
“K. is amazing. We have had her with us as much as possible since Saturday. We kept her out of school yesterday for our embassy appt. (we did all three children at once!), but today and the rest of the week she will go to school. We agree with the staff that since she is not coming home on this trip, it would be more painful for her if we completely disrupt her routine. We had made plans to go meet her on Saturday morning and we said we would arrive around 10:00. Then Dagne from CWA called to say he wanted to pick us up after lunch to take us to get the boys, so Ray and Lauralee (the wonderful missionaries who manage the guest house) said they would walk with us to the orphanage if we wanted to leave right away. It is only three blocks or so which has been incredibly convenient. When we arrived the children all came running they were so excited and swarmed around us. They were especially excited to see Ray who is older and has white hair. One of the older children ran to get him a chair and put it in the shade. Then I saw a little girl come running out to join the children gathered around Ray – it was your little sister, K.
“Kids, I hate to end this here, but I haven’t been able to write anymore since early this morning. W. and E. take 100% of our time and we have had many appointments and commitments. We are longing for some down time, but it doesn’t look like it will happen.
“We were supposed to leave to go shopping at 9:30 this morning, but Daddy only now got back from the pharmacy. E’s second stool sample came back with giardia – we are very thankful for this because we can begin treating him. The total cost for the lab test, doctor visit, and meds was $8.00.
“We love you so much and wish we could call you. You can try to call us here at the house or at least call and leave us a message at the mission office, so we know you are okay. I’m really ready to be home with you, but I know that our trip to Soddo is important.
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