Well yesterday marked two exciting days. It was Ethiopian New year which we celebrated in Toronto with the 2 other families that we traveled to Ethiopia with and it happened to be 3 months to the day that we all met our beautiful sons together. What an unbelievable experience to share with total strangers that have now become our friends.
3 months have gone by so fast. It seems like yesterday that we arrived at the green gates and walked in. Although we knew it would change our lives, I don't think anyone is ready for it. I have never posted about that day, so I thought that it was fitting to do it now.
After arriving at the Hotel, we all quickly put our belongings in our room and loaded into the van waiting for us. We had called ahead and let Kids Link know that we all wanted to go and see our children right away. So off we went. The van ride was a mixture of trying to get to know each other, awe about the country we were now experiencing, and dis-belief that this day was finally here. After what I think was approx 15 min we were at the head office of kids link. We all emotionally signed the papers that legally allowed us to take our children, we were off again. This time it was only a few minutes and we were at the green gate. We all knew that once it opened, that was it. Life as we knew it was different. For us we would become a family of 4, and no one, not a bankruptcy, a person at the high commission in a foreign country or our own government could change this now!
As they opened the gate, and we drove in, we were comforted by a basic but very pleasant courtyard. There was a swing set, beautiful flowers, laundry hanging and the pictures of children that we were all use to seeing around the kids link logo.
After introducing ourselves to some of the staff we waited. It is a weird feeling to be waiting for a total stranger to walk out with your child. A child that they know and have learned to love. So there we were, making small talk with each other, trying not to look nervous and out of the corner of my eye Hana, the head nurse appears walking down the outside hallway with a shy little boy holding her hand. Any one who knows me can imagine what happened next..........
Tears, tears, and more tears. Darryl and Celine were facing the other way, but I guess the look on my face and the waterfall coming from my eyes made them turn around and see our new family member. As I am writing this today, the hairs on my arms are standing up and my eyes are holding back those same tears. This was a moment that one year earlier, I didn't believe would ever happen.
All of the families there that day had been through their own hell to start or complete their families. The roller coaster to get us there had more loops, drops, and turns then anyone could have imagined or warned us about, but it didn't matter. Within a 1/2 hour we were all holding our beautiful boys and all that was gone. WE DID IT. WE MADE IT.
So fast forward 3 months and Tegegn is in Canada. He is doing so well. He understands most English, and speaks it regularly, plays like a normal almost 4 year old, gets into fights with his sister like all siblings. He just fits. Don't get me wrong, we did have a few weeks that I thought "oh my god, how will we ever get through this", but most of that seems to have past. Although I will never forget the struggles we had to get him to us, the anger about it is mostly gone, because it just feels right, like it was meant to be.
Like I said before, we were lucky enough to be able to share the experience of meeting our son with other families, and we were very honoured to be there to see them welcome their sons. Yesterday was the second time we have gotten together since arriving back form Ethiopia, and it was great. All of the boys have grown and when they get older, it will be wonderful to be able to tell them stories about the day that strangers flew half way around the world together to meet their children!!!!