We awoke at the crack of dawn to the sound of Mosque chanting. I forgotten that Addis is half Muslim and we would hear this daily.
Awesome breakfast. Very heavy on ultra ripe mangoes, which I love.
Next we are escorted up the hill to the older kids house. It is behind an unmarked concrete wall and iron gate. You could never find this place nor recognize what it is, and that is intentional for security purposes.
Now inside, it is quiet. We can see many kids inside a glassed porch across the courtyard. Colleen and I are about a nanometer away from bursting into tears. The anticipation is killing us and it is so emotional.
The social worker holds our arms to pause us and says "I just want to warn you, the girls are very tiny. Much smaller than the photos indicate. I am telling you now so you won't be surprised when you see them."
Finally, Nanny Esegedich appears with Emnet, hands Emnet to Colleen, and explains to Emnet who Colleen is. Then Meron. Colleen and Meron are both dressed head to toe in the same shade of pink. It is a hilarious coincidence. Meron flashed her beautiful smile and clutched at Colleen. Esegedich told Meron we are Emama and Baba. Meron smiled and nodded her head yes.
The girls are really petite. There is no doubt they are only ages 2 and 4. Their limbs are so thin, almost fragile. The girls relaxed a bit as we gently stroked their faces and permitted them to touch our faces.
We spent the rest of the AM playing with all the kids. Soccer, singing, dancing, etc. The kids are so lovable. The kids we are most drawn to (other than our own) are:
Lidet and Abaynish - two sisters aged 3 and 5 going to New Hampshire
Adbit - a beautiful girl of about 10, mildly crippled by Polio, and possibly going to Atlanta
Yohannes and Rowina - of course. We came close to adopting them ourselves, and I had already nicknamed them Jay and Nina. This is a wonderful brother sister pair.
Mimi - an adorable 4 year old going to Connecticut. A total spitfire. I hope her family is prepared!
Nathaniel - a great six year old who loves all things camera, electronic, and gadget.
Rahel and Abram - Another brother/sister pair that are beautiful, smart, fun, and athletic.
Tizita - an adorable little girl of about 3 years old going to the Syracuse area.
After lunch, Pete and I went to Merkato. I had not planned to buy, but found myself wanting to buy pieces of the girls heritage to put in their room and give them a bond to their homeland. Clothes, carvings, paintings, tableware, music CDs. Spend away!!!!!!! What I loved about Merkato was the herds of goals and donkeys barrelling down the wide streets and narrow alleys. It was total pandemonium.
Late in the day we went back to the older kids house. Meron ran to us and Emnet ran away. She kept looking back over her shoulder and laughing, so we hope she was just playing.
A brief description of the orphanage. It is clean with lots of adult supervision, good discipline, and routines. During one visit, a truckload of new orphans arrived. The poor kids looked so frightened. They were immediately given a bath and clean clothes. THen they had blood drawn for tests, then they had lunch.
I have to say, every kid at HH is beautiful and fun. There is not one child here that I would refuse to adopt.