Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 3 - Visiting Gladney

Special Mother! She dressed him in traditional Ethiopian attire as a gift!

Sleeping on me most of the afternoon.

His favorite Caregiver.

Wednesday was the day when we all visited Gladney's four foster care centers and had a coffee ceremony. The coffee ceremony is a very important part of Ethiopian culture. As you may know, coffee basically started in Ethiopia (like everything else) and is unbelievable. It is their main export. The ceremony consists of roasting the beans, adding the spices, and pouring which are all done in a very intricate manner. It was also the time to meet the other parents traveling to pick up their children too. I so enjoyed getting to know these couples throughout the week.

Unfortunately Sam threw up twice before we even got to Gladney's centers that day. He was feverish so we actually visited the Gladney doctor while we were there. Talk about a guy who works under tough conditions!

There are two main reasons to visit the care centers: 1) to see where your child has been living and 2) to thank and meet the amazing caregivers. It was so awesome to see how clean, organized, and loving the environment was at these four centers. We spent a lot of time tracking down kids whose parents have not yet traveled to meet them and the caregivers knew who everyone was and someone was always getting held. They really are saints because it was LOUD in there! We got to meet Sam's "Special Mother" and some other caregivers he was really close to as well. But mainly it was so amazing to see all the kids! I won't post the pictures I took but trust me when I say that these kids will remain in my heart forever.

FOR ADOPTIVE PARENTS TRAVELING: The hardest part about the week in Ethiopia for me was having to hand Sam over constantly. Because of Ethiopian law, we couldn't take him in public with us so we had to hand him over to a caregiver babysitter a few times. In addition, we were constantly handing him over to other people, other caregivers, people we met, etc. Most of the time I loved it (when Wegayu and Zimmet and Binyam would take him it was wonderful!) but it was really hard to leave him when all I wanted to do was hug him non-stop.

When we finished the coffee ceremony, we skipped lunch and went back home where Sam proceeded to throw up three more times. Luckily I brought Pedialite. By the end of the day he was doing better but he spent the entire afternoon sleeping on my chest. I didn't mind one bit...

1 comment:

Chris and Dawn said...

Sam is sooooo precious!!!! Those eyes are amazing!