Friday, July 30, 2010

Our Children in Ethiopia

Having spent almost a month in Ethiopia gave our children a lot of time to bond. What an amazing opportunity that was to witness. Total strangers put together as siblings. Here are some pictures of those precious moments.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tegegn and Darryl are famous!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Home at Last!

Well it's been a while since I was able to post I know. Ethiopia's Internet was slow, slow, slow and I couldn't update, so be prepared other blogger. We had a great time. What an experience the whole trip was.

I can't describe how meeting Tegegn felt. It was incredible, the end of one journey and the beginning of another. He felt like part of our family from the moment that I picked him up. It was right!

The 3 weeks in Ethiopia after, brought alot of joy, discovery, excitement, tears, frustration and love.

Joy is obvious this was a very long journey for us with lots of twists turns, ups, downs so joyous seems like a very weak word now that I think about it.

Discovery in getting to know Tegegn, and the country where he was born. We have now been to the other side of the world, and let me tell you, that is a perfect way to describe it. The people of Ethiopia are wonderful, full of life and most have nothing, and I mean nothing. We were able to visit 4 areas of Ethiopia, and all were different. The Sodo area is so mountainous and lush this time of the year (rainy season) that it looked like it could be somewhere tropical (Hawaii maybe). It was gorgeous. Banana trees, huts ect, but you didn't have to look very far (about 3 feet beside the car) to see the reality. Children playing in the mud and collecting water from the disease infested puddles on the side of the road in rags, plowing fields on the side of a mountain with an ox, begging for food or $ from anyone passing by. This is Ethiopia. This is their life.

Addis Ababa is a crazy place. Safe, full of life and CRAZY. There are people walking down the streets who look like they should be in Paris, Toronto, London next to beggers and shanty town. After a few days in Addis we wanted to get out. The pollution is horrible and the mud, oh the mud (did I mention it is rainy season). It is like any other big city. Alot of construction, alot of people however this is Africa so it is different. There are very few if any social systems in Ethiopia, and there government doesn't have a good infrastructure so things that we have like shelters, proper sidewalks, driving laws don't really exist. I would NEVER drive in this city. Walking across the road is scary enough. I guess if you get in trouble, it's not that bad, all you have to do is take out some cash and the police look the other way (yes we witnessed this with a driver of ours).

Adama is another world, even though it is only 100kms outside of Addis. Dry barren and organized. Don't get me wrong you still have beggers, poverty, donkey's cow's or other livestock walking down the middle of the street, but it is more organized with large cobblestone walking sidewalks ect, and the weather, oh the weather. We spend 10 days in Addis and it didn't rain for 1 day, most days the rains lasted hours in the middle of the day. In the 9 days in Adama it didn't rain at all during the day, only at night and it was a wonderful 25-27 degrees every day.

Lake Langano is beautiful. Obviously the lake, cliffs, birds..... it is peaceful there, but once again sever poverty outside of the few "resorts" the surround the lake.

There was alot of excitement in Ethiopia, for both the kids as well as Darryl and I. Every day brought a new adventure. Celine never got tired of seeing donkey's crossing the road in the middle of traffic, or the beautiful birds, monkeys, warthogs ect... that we saw. Watching what Tegegn got excited about was an eye opener. The light switch still one month later is not old and he laughs with excitement every time he gets to turn it on or off. The excitement he had the first day we brought him to the hotel and he put on his buzz lightyear pj's was so cute. But I think the moment that really opened my eyes to how amazing it is for him was when we walked into the airport and he saw a ceiling fan. He couldn't believe it. He was in awe. That's when the reality of just how new (and overwhelming) this journey would be for him.

There were alot of tears and frustration on this trip. Adopting a 3.5 year old with his own personality and not being able to understand the language that is being forced onto him doesn't come without challenges. And like any 3 year old his is constantly testing us. He has shed tears and we have been frustrated but we will get through it.

We love him so much. He is our son!

Well that is all for now. Jet lag is true and Tegegn is now awake, but here are two of our first family pics.