Monday, March 15, 2010

Looking Back . . . Monday

Monday, March 1, started out with our "paperwork party" at the hotel. We met with Fami, finished some paperwork, and were given a folder with some more information on our children. In our folder for Isaiah were some medical reports as well as a schedule for what his days looked like at the transition home. What almost knocked me over was looking in the left-hand pocket of our folder and seeing two pictures that Isaiah had colored!

Duni on the left (with Dale & Kristi Hall) and Fami on the right.

We were joking around about how the women were all doing the paperwork, so I had to get a picture of Joe writing his signature ;o
"T" and Robel

Robel was cold. It was 70 degrees, but that was chilly for the Ethiopians. I offered to lend him my jacket, and he said that'd be fine, as long as it wasn't pink ;o) I had to get a picture!

Then we met Duni, who is the in-country director of AWAA. It was neat listening to her talk about alot of the aspects of adoption. A couple of things stuck out to me. In talking about the possibility of meeting birth parents, she told a story of one man who could not care for his child and so, had given that child up for adoption. In his village, the people did not understand what he had done and told him he had given his child to the devil. They told him it would've been better for his child to stay there and die than to be given to the devil. After meeting his child's adoptive parents and receiving a photo of them, he was able to show that picture to his village and spread the understanding of what was really going on. It was neat to hear this from their perspective.

She also mentioned a new program that they are implementing over there. I have learned so much about Ethiopia and their adoption process over the last year. One thing I have been impressed with over and over is their care, as a society, for their children. They do not take the giving up of or the adoption of children lightly. There is a long investigation into each child's background to be sure they are truly orphaned. If they are a "true orphan", meaning their parents are both dead, they look for a family member to care for the child. If a parent feels they cannot care for their child, they have to prove that to the government, and bring three witnesses to that fact. The child can then be declared adoptable and matched with an adoptive family. That parent and the witnesses must then, also, appear at the court date in order for that child to be adopted. The question has been brought up to us of why they wouldn't just help the parent to then care for the child themselves. What we learned is that every effort is made to do that. If the government (who gets no money from international adoption, by the way) feels the parent can take care of their child, they refuse the parents request. The program that Duni mentioned is that she is raising money to be able to try to help get mothers back on their feet to be able to care for their children. We bought some scarves and books while we were there to support that ministry. She wants to provide some financial help, but mostly counseling for these women, as there are usually more and deeper issues that just not having money.

Whew, anyway ;o) I could talk for hours on adoption, let alone our experience on this trip. Of course this was the day we met Isaiah for the first time, but I have already written about that in my post on that day. This is a short video of Joe getting Isaiah to smile for us for the first time - playing basketball ;o) Be patient, I had the lens closed when I first started filming - oops!

In the afternoon, the ladies went to a spa and had our nails done. Maria, who's 8, got her hair braided and looked adorable! Joe didn't think I should try it ;o) Joe got to spend his afternoon on the phone with the airlines. Later in the evening, we all went to a traditional Ethiopian dinner.
They come around and wash your hands before and after the meal, since you eat with your hands. Notice my hot pink nails ;o)
injera - you use the bread to pick up the food and eat. Theoretically, the plate should be completely clean when we were done, but I guess us Americans didn't have big appetites that night! Apparently the egg in the middle is a special treat. And "T", David and Robel said they eat it with raw meat. Ewww!! Ours was all cooked meat, but they tried to talk Joe into having it with them. The cooked food was more than enough for his stomach to handle, so he passed on that offer!

Below are some short video clips of the entertainment for the evening. Unfortunately, we didn't bring our video camera with us to dinner, so these are not as high quality b/c they were on my digital camera.

Just some more scenery!


Josh, Candace & Cole said...

Um, wow, all I can say is I sure hope Sarah came back able to do that crazy hair swinging dance!

Courtney said...

Great videos!!! :-) Truly love the one of Joe and Isaiah w/the basketball.