Monday, August 3, 2009

Our home in Addis Ababa & School...

We had a fun day today. Today was the kind of day that has me dreading school. The girls stayed in their pjs allday. The big girls cut, colored, taped and glued just about every piece of paper in the house. At least the mess they left looked like it! They played with playdo, chased grasshoppers...and caught a few, rode around on their Barbie Jeep, recorded their voices & songs on digital voice recorders and watched the Flintstones for the first time on YouTube! I just can't imagine how much the dynamics in our home are going to change when Hill starts school! Sophie Le & Hillary Ashton play together all day. Today while Le was napping, Hillary Ashton recorded a song for her:

If you watch Veggie Tales, it is to the tune of "Oh, where is my hairbrush."

Oh where is my friend Le Le. Oh where is my friend Le Le. She's napping, I want to play with her, I need to wake her up. I love my Le Le.

I hear parents talking about how they can't wait for school to start. Not me! I am NOT looking forward to getting up early everyday at all! The little girls naps are going to be totally out of whack and most of all, I am going to miss my baby girl. It almost makes me want to homeschool...almost, but really not at all :o) Good thing we got Hillary Ashton into a half-day kindgergarten program! It really isn't the few hours a day she will be gone, it's more of the fact that she is growing up so fast!

Speaking of growing up fast, Julianne is taking four or five steps in a row now so she will probably be walking soon. Not real crazy about that one either :o) Tonight after the girls' bedtime story, Hillary Ashton and Sophie Le each took turns having Julianne walk to them. I don't think there is anything in the world they would rather do :o)

A little more about Ethiopia...

When you travel to pick up your child in Ethiopia, you have the option of staying at a hotel (Hilton or Sheraton) or at a guesthouse. If you stay at a guesthouse, you get custody of your child when you arrive in country. If you stay at a hotel, you can visit your child each day at the care center. Although, when we visited the Hilton to get on the internet we saw lots of adoptive families with babies. None from our agency so apparently all agencies don't have the same rules.

The guesthouse we stayed at, The Bejoe House, is owned by one of the Gladney in-country staff. We shared the house with four other adoptive families. We stayed in a room with a private bathroom with a great view of the garden. We shared a dining room, living room & kitchen with the other families.

The house is secured by a gate. When a car approaches the house, the driver honks their horn alerting the guard to open the gate.
The guard stays in a little building right by the gate.
The first thing that stood out to me when we drove up to the house was the beautiful flowers and yard.
Here's a shot of the front of the house. That's me and Julianne sitting in the white chair...just a few hours after we first met!!
She liked the flowers too!
When you walk through the front door, you see a reception area. That is two of the sweet girls that manage the house. They clean, cook and play with the babies :o)
Here's the living room. The two girls in white are caregivers that our agency sends over to watch the babies when we had to leave the house. The one looking down reading a magazine was the nanny that always came to watch "Fanny."
The dining room. Each morning the girls made breakfast for the house. The orange juice was WONDERFUL. Like the best I have EVER had!
The kitchen. Didn't do much in there expect get the bottle opener :o) Most of the cokes are in glass bottles.
The refrig was tiny! We didn't store any food in there because the electricity went out everyday.
Here is our room. We saw our baby girl for the first time while looking out of that window behind the crib :o) This picture was taken our last day in Ethiopia. We were busy packing! Look at my cuties!
There's the television. It picked up ONE English channel. I think it was called Fox movies or something. We watched some pretty interesting movies :o)
Sweet baby ready to go to America!
The bathroom. Each room has its own hot water heater. Ours was right above the potty. You had to plug in the heater a little while before you planned to take a shower. The first day we had it plugged in for hours waiting on the water to get warm. I cannot take cold showers so we just waited and waited. We finally discovered that the hot and cold was switched...oops! To our defense, we had just traveled 48 hours!
And one more of our little Ethiopian Princess.

We got Julianne's greencard in the mail this week! It is an actual plastic card. They listed her as a male so we need to figure out how to fix that. But most importantly, she is now free to live and work in the United States. She received a "Welcome to the United States. A Guide for New Immigrants" today. Looking through the book sure makes you thankful to be an American. I hope the process get her American citizenship doesn't take too long. Sophie Le was a citizen when we landed in Los Angeles so this is new to us.


Tanya said...

Wow! So neat to see these pics! We are staying there also! We go in 2 weeks. I love the garden area, too! You did a great job documenting everything with pics! It helps people like me who are a little shaky with "unknowns". I saw that they had a microwave. Did you use it? What did you do for meals since you couldn't take your daughter out in public?

Heather M. said...

I am loving your daily posts! The home in Ethiopia where you stayed looks very nice & more personal than a hotel. I would have chosen that too just to have my baby girl with me every day if for no other reason!!! Your pictures are so good!!! Wait until one of your girls is starting 3rd grade! Time flies!

Heather M.

The Garners said...

I love reading about your trip!

I feel the same way about R starting school!

Neil, Amy and The Girls said...

Hi Tanya & Tony,

No, we did not use the microwave during our visit. We actually only went to the grocery store once (on the way to the Bejoe from the airport to get water for the week). When we wanted something to eat, we called our driver (on his cell phone) and asked him to bring us something. He always brought us pizza or pasta. The prices were very reasonable. He got our food from a little restaurant very close to the Bejoe House.