My heart, my mind, my body, completely disjointed. So forgive the bullet points but it's the only way I can oroganize some quick thoughts for an update type post.
- The babies. Beautiful. Gorgeous. Fairly healthy.There are no words to describe the experience of meeting them in person for the first time, even though the nanny tried to hand our son to someone else, thinking she was the mother! We are smitten, pure and simple.
- Ethiopia is beautiful. The people are wonderful, gracious, peaceful souls. They wanted nothing more than to please us. Despite all of the issues they face that would take our spoiled western selves down in a second, their spirit is inspiring.
- The foster home where the babies are now is good. The nannies (ratio of 1 to 3-4 babies) are loving and kind and extremely attentive. So attentive in fact that we were not 'allowed' to do anything--I did not get to feed them or change them once because they view that as their job, not ours. And we did not want to ruffle any feathers so we didn't fight it.
- We had unlimited time with the babies--endless hours to hold them, cuddle them, and play with them.
- We received our MOWA letter, the potential holdup that could have stalled our case for months.
- We did not pass court. . This was completely unexpected. Court was supposed to be easy, almost a formality. We do not travel back, though I would in a heartbeat, exorbitant airline costs be damned.
- Now we just wait. Instead of waiting for our Embassy date, we wait for the court issue to be resolved. We hope and pray it can be resolved because while not legally ours, they are ours in our hearts and minds and I cannot imagine anything otherwise.
- Leaving the babies. Most definitely the most heartbreaking thing I have ever done. I sobbed and sobbed and frankly freaked the nannies out.
- Poverty. I will post more on this later, but it is unimaginable for those of us here and no one deserves to face the hardships we saw everywhere.
- The orphanage where my babies lived for their first three and four months. I held it together during the 'tour' and then fell apart in the car leaving. I can't even describe it here, it still overwhelms me to think about it. They are no longer living at this orphanage but rather at the foster home run by our agency that I described above. But the orphanage is full of other babies, waiting to be adopted, and we will not forget them. More on this later as we organize the CD sale fundraiser and other fundraisers to benefit this orphanage. The needs are immense.
- I feel bad for even listing this as something bad because it feels incredibly petty in light of all we saw in Ethiopia, but it took us 48 hours of traveling to get home. Canceled flights, inept airline employees, and lots of tears and frustration and jet lag later, we are home.
For now I will just stare at the hundreds of photos we took, watch the video clips we shot, and dream about going back. It's all I can think about and all I can do.