Monday, July 20, 2009

Another day in my daughter's birthcountry and FIRST tooth!

Julianne is such a sweetheart. I am so blessed be her mommy. I can tell she is getting more comfortable with her new home...new family...new life. When she first came home, everything was new and of course, she is hearing English for the first time and didn't understand what we were telling her. She is a very happy baby, but just like anyone else, she didn't like being in situations she didn't understand. When I sit her down on the floor of her room to get a diaper out of the closet, she cried. When I put her in her highchair to make dinner, she cried. When I put her in her car seat...you guessed it, she cried. She was crying because she didn't understand what was happening. Over the last couple weeks, she is definitely getting into a groove :o) She knows that when we sit her down, we are coming right back :o) She knows that when we get into the car, we will eventually be getting out :o) She has learned that being in the kitchen means that food is coming...she would like if we could figure out a way to make the food come faster...haha. She is eating soooooo good. I am so incredibly relieved that she a good eater and a good eliminator :o) Last week I noticed that her FIRST, sweet little tooth was just about to break through and on Saturday it popped up :o) My baby is growing up. We took her to the lake for the first time this weekend and she LOVED it!!! Yea!!! Big relief. I am just in awe at how well she is adjusting. She fits perfectly into our family and she seems to like us :o) The girls are still in love with their little sister. I hear "I love Julianne," "Julianne is so soft/cute/cuddly/sweet/pretty" about a hundred times a day. The girls are slowly learning how best to play with her. Surprisingly she doesn't like to be put into a choke hold :o) She has taken after her sisters and seems to love church. We walked through the door Sunday morning and she started waving at everyone :o)

I have a lot of pictures to post from the last few months so I am going to try my best to get all of the Ethiopia pictures posted this week.

So, back to the Ethiopia trip...

Thank the Lord, when I woke up in the morning, my ankle felt so much better. It was still pretty swollen, but definitely good enough to walk around. Our "housemates" were master packers and were so generous to share a cold pack and ankle brace with me. A great benefit of sharing a house with fellow adoptive parents.

We started out the day at the Holy Trinity Church. The regular tour guide was not available so Travis, our in-country staff, filled in as our guide. He is such an entertaining guy. He is so brutally honest and it is refreshing. The church was beautiful. Watching the Ethiopian people worship the same God I worship was simply amazing. It was a beautiful sight.
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Women were not allowed to enter the church in the front so we all entered on the side.
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Donation box
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Stain glass windows lined each side of the church
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The people would wrap themselves in the white cloth when worshipping. We were told that it is sometimes hard to distinguish between people of Orthodox and Muslim faith. There is a difference of how the cloth is wrapped, but not easy for an outsider to recognize.
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After we left the church, we ate at the Family Restaurant. The fried ice-cream was delicious!!!!!
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After lunch, we had our driver take us to the top of a mountain to see an awesome view of the Addis Ababa. The road had no guard rails and was steep and winding. Women (all ages...from very young, around 8, to very old, around 70) would collect firewood from the top of the mountain and carry it down the mountain to sell at the bottom. Each load would sell for about $2. The loads looked so heavy and I can't imagine how long it would take to carry one load down the steep road. These women are so hard-working. I imagine that the old women carrying the loads have been doing this everyday of their lives since they were able to carry the wood. The old ladies were bent over at their waist from the weight of the load.
Young girls at the bottom of the mountain, ready to sell their wood.
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Children carrying water up the mountain.
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Life on the mountain seemed so different than the city.
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There were churches, houses and shops leading up the mountain.
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Beautiful view
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Beautiful child
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Carrying water on their backs.
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Can you imagine carrying heavy loads down this road?
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These beautiful ladies do it everyday.
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This lady was taking a break on the side of the road.
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The wood load is so wide that the women have to turn to the side when a car passes.
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One of the families staying at the Bejoe House with us adopted sisters, one and six years old. They were precious. Here is the older sister holding Julianne.
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Julianne after her first bath.
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For dinner our agency treated us to an Ethiopian cultural dinner. The traditional meal of ingera with all of the sides was served and we enjoyed a show. Boy, was it a show! A band performed while two women and two men performed dances from many regions of Ethiopia. We took pictures and video, but justice is not served! You just had to be there :o) It was soooo great.
Dancers
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Ceiling
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Before the food was served, they came around with a pitcher of warm water, bowl and soap and everyone washed their hands. You eat Ethiopian food with your hands and it is shared with everyone in your group.
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One of the dances was from Julianne's region. As I watched the dancers and listened to the singer, I couldn't help but cry. As wonderful as it is to adopt a child, it is so hard to take them out of their birth country. No matter what challenges Ethiopia may have, it is a BEAUTIFUL country with AMAZING people. And this dance was way cooler than anything we have in Arkansas...haha!
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The food...and yes they had a vegetarian option :o)
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The veggie option....you can just say you are "fasting" to get the meatless meal.
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Neil was so surprised I tried the food that he had to document it! This was my first and last bite :o)
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At the end of the night (while coffee and YUMMY popcorn was served), the dancers taught the audience a few moves. You could definitely tell the Gladney staff had been here before :o)
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Sorry Julianne, we don't have anything as cool as this guy back home!
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They used those sticks to tap the girl dancers on the behind...the girls won't be watching that part of the video until they are older :o) Haha.
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I am telling you...it is almost worth a trip to Ethiopia just to see these guys dance.
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1 comment:

Ellen said...

Awesome post - what a wonderful chronicle of the trip and the photos are amazing. Your daughters are beautiful.

Hope all is well - it was so nice to meet you.

ellen