Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Wednesday was a big day. We began at the Gladney Toddler House which is kind of like a transition home for the babies that are referred. Really it should be called the Baby House because it only houses babies, almost all under 1 year. It was very nice in comparison to the orphanages. If your child comes from there, your child is in great care. There were 18 babies, almost all were referred. There were a couple who have been referred but not accepted and they are still there. It is an awesome place and very clean. Belay said they are working on opening another one for the older kids to transition to, as well, but single story so they don't worry about the toddlers. Ethiopia makes some really good looking babies, I tell ya.
We also participated in the coffee ceremony which is a traditional ceremony where they roast and brew the coffee beans and popcorn is served with the coffee. During this time, Piper's mom came. I held it together until she began to cry. One of the other couple's birthmom came too, but wasn't very emotional. Piper's mom was. She was SOOO young and tiny. If she is 5 foot tall, I would be surprised. Piper really didn't act much different with her. I have a feeling that someone older, maybe a relative really was who took care of her, rather than her mom. Especially since she was so young. We brought her a photo album with all the pictures I had of Piper at the time and pictures of the family. We also got her a locket that I put two pictures of her in and wrote her a letter. I am so glad that we did that. I had questions, but you can tell that she is not used to being able to answer for herself or maybe even think for herself. She even had a hard time getting out of work to get to come see us. What kind of #@!* gives a young girl a hard time about meeting her little girl and parents? She is a housemaid somewhere. What kind of life does she have? Anyways, it was brutal. I told her, through tears, of course, that I am proud to share the position of mom with her. She is not a birthmom, she is mom. She made the most "Mom" decision anyone could make when she put herself aside and placed her for adoption so that Piper may have a life with more opportunity and an education. And that is an incredible legacy for her to leave with Piper. Many times over people have oohed and aahhed over the fact that she will have an education while we have been here, so I know how important it is. They also hope, as did her mom, that she will come back someday and help Ethiopia. I couldn't be more proud of her if she did.
After that, we went to the Top View Restaurant with a great view and not so great food. All the kids decided to poop at the restaurant, so that ain't easy when they don't have changing tables.
Helpful hint: Bring a folding changing pad or something like the ones you have seen in those nice diaper bags because you change diapers on bathroom floors(yeah, disgusting, but you have no other option)! Pack ziplocs and something to put smelly diapers in so your hotel room doesn't stink. And plenty of travel size hand sanitizer!
After that, we went to our embassy appointment, where it became official that Piper is coming home with me!
And then it was home to the hotel, thankfully. We went to bed early at 8 something...a pretty draining day.