Sunday, August 24, 2008

Happy girl and the official day one on the ground!

I had to post some cutie pie pictures of the past few days!! Just a glimpse! :) Teddi squishes her face like this all the time when she's trying to hold in a belly laugh!

She's not too crazy for the head scarf thing but Mommy LOVES them on her!

We were up at 4:00 to be at breakfast for 5:00am, then off to the birth family visit. We had approx. a 4 and a half hour drive to the city of Awassa to pick up our translater and have a "pee break".... wow, they don't make tur-lits like back home in Ethiopia! YIKES, next time, don't drink ANY water to stay hydrated - do anything to avoid the pee-stop! :) Awassa was much larger than I had anticipated!
This was some of the scenery en route to Awassa, it was mostly flat with some mountains off in the distance. People were walking down the roads everywhere with heards of goats/cattle. It was breathtaking... every several miles we'd go through small towns where there were some shops on the side of the road. I just remember saying and thinking over and over "I can't believe we're in Africa"!

After Awassa and getting the translater the six of us (yes six, four in the back seat is a bit cozy to be "off roading") set off for the most extraordinary part of our adventure... we were headed to a dirt road that would take us deep into the mountains to Teddi's home village of Arbegona. It was almost three hours of crazy bumpy torraine and exquisite scenery like I've only seen on a television screen... Words can never describe it and this short video certainly cannot either. It was much too bumpy to film more than a few brief moments so we took several pictures. Side note; that one pit stop in Awassa was the only one in our 9 hours of driving that day - other than getting out to visit the b.families. I just wish somehow I could bring the scenes to you of this trip!
We were very fortunate to travel with someone that I had recently connected with online who was also adopting a three year old from the same village. She and her mom were with us for the whole week and I'm grateful that she was part of our "experience" in Ethiopia - she was wonderful!
I'm obviously not going to post pictures of the birth family visit and I don't really know what to say about it. I have watched the video footage of it a dozen times and cannot keep my eyes of the stunning woman who made the most difficult decision of her life. We were blessed to have the visit in the home that Teddi was most likely born in and lived for her three years until Horizon House - The entire visit was surreal and very emotional, it's still all foggy and I'm so glad we had those wonderful people with us to video and take pictures. After our visit we went to do there's - it was an entirely different experience and one I feel blessed to have been witness to.

Scenery along the journey into the mountains....

The view accross the street from Teddi's home...

Can you see the dirt road? This was the entire trip to the village from Awassa!

It blows my mind to think of the remote place she came from and to now be all the way accross the world to our little New England town.

Back at the hotel in Awassa after the long day - we changed and went to dinner with our trip-mates!

Drained - in every way.... next day, up for a 5:00am departure back to Addis to shower and head to the embassy appointment with the girl who cried, "I've been adopted by axe murderers", "don't make me go with them"! The scratches on my neck the next day when we went to pick her up proved her disgust with me!

Did we actually go to Africa?????????


  1. Amazing, Lori! What an incredible experience!

  2. Did she really say that at the embassy? Man that sounds rough!

    She's so beautiful... love the happy pictures!

    Oh, and I totally avoided fluids on the trip to Awassa just so I could avoid the "toilets" as much as possible. :)

  3. What an amazing adventure - both beautiful and I'm sure with meeting the birth family a little heartbreaking at the same time.
    Thank you for sharing .
    And oh yea the 'public toilets' in Africa - always an interesting experience!

  4. Wow. I love your honesty. I also love your sense of humor. For a family almost on the waiting list, you provide good insight into what we will be facing.

  5. Wow, what a trip! I didn't have scratches on my neck, but I had to sleep with the room key in my jammies!

    Welcome home again, and rest assured, she will love you all very soon.

  6. I really love hearing about your time in Africa. It makes me wish even more that we were already on our way!

    I LOVE the scarf too! She is adorable!

  7. She is so adorable and she doesn't appear to think you guys are "ax murderers" anymore. :)

    Gorgeous girl you have!

  8. First off, love the headscarf! So cute. Birhanu has some "do-rags", but isn't so into them. They do help for dry hair though.

    I love the last pic of you. Does that not speak volumes about how tired you are!

    I can tell you that being back for 4 weeks now, I still do not think that I really went to Africa. I hope it sinks in soon. I want to feel like I went to Africa! I did right?


  9. Beautiful pictures! She is lovely. I think it was an interpretation error ;)
    It's pretty clear she is happy, comfy and in love now. Thank you for sharing...I cherish each word and pic.

  10. Wow, what an amazing trip you all had...your princess is beautiful!!

  11. I ask myself "Did I really go to Ethiopia?" everyday. Unreal and surreal.
    Didn't you just LOVE the hotel in Awassa. Tim thought the bed was a slab of wood, but we both slept soooo good.

  12. She is so beautiful! Sounds like a little spit-fire, too! (Like you? :))

    Everyone should have to use a squat toilet at least once in their lives, right? Where we stopped, we had to walk through the men's section to get to the women's section. Same place?

    Take care, so glad to read your posts!!!

  13. What a beautiful girl. I loved reading about your time in Ethiopia. Thanks for posting.

  14. I can't even imagine what the experience must have been like visiting her birth family. You will remember that forever. I'm still in shock with the response that she had to you. Wow...

  15. I so appreciate your honesty in letting us know both the joys and struggle of adopting a toddler/older child (we would love to do the same when the time is right). I'm hanging on every word of these posts.