Monday, May 17, 2010

Going Back to "Gotcha Day"

Here's the beginning of what I hope to be a series of posts from my trip to Ethiopia. I included a picture from the airport before we left. The only other things to say about that are 1) the flight was long; 2) I felt like dog meat upon arrival. Nuff said.

So, after having a decent night of sleep, we got up for the big day. The day you wait for & try to envision for a very long time. It was very surreal, & then became a bit comical. We were picked up in this van...there are many, many of these in Ethiopia, and they all have their own flare. Ours was decked out in fur on the dash & all kinds of other funky accessories. We got to enjoy what I assume was Ethiopian rap on our way to the orphanage. Not sure that's what I had envisioned, but I was kind of diggin' it!

The metal gate to the orphanage was opened, and the first thing we saw were toddler-age children everywhere, but we didn't see K'Tyo. So, we followed the other parents into the baby room & watched as they were united with their little ones. I was glad we got to witness this for a few minutes, but then we decided to venture out to see if we could find our boy. Just as we were about to step out of the door, Kami said, "Mom, there's 'Tyo". With his huge arm sling, it was unmistakably him. I think he was trying to figure out what all the excitement was about b/c he looked kind of puzzled. It's a little bit of a blur, but I remember squatting down & saying his name. He looked at me, & I pointed to myself & said, "Mommy". He came to me, a little bashful at first, but once he put his arms around my neck, he literally did not let go. I know I keep using this word, but it was very surreal.

Now, that was the fairytale part. The reality began to hit as this sweet little boy stayed very close during our whole visit. He never got far from me or Kameryn, but all I could think was, "I need to clean him up". I moved past the emotion of the experience to a bit of panic. I think a lot of it was being tired & it's also very overwhelming. We finally got back to the guest house, and I was into "roll-up-my-sleeves" mode. He was in desperate need of a bath, nail trimming, & teeth brushing. Lots of teeth brushing. At the end of the day when he was tucked into bed, I felt more like a nurse than a momma. I had to shed a few tears as I desperately was missing my husband & other children all the while wondering what had just happened.

The reason I'm sharing this is b/c I've said before that I don't like to pretend or try to portray perfection. Lots of things in life are hard. This was a beautiful but extremely hard day. But here's the good news: We made it through, and Monday morning brought a new day with new experiences showered in a good dose of God's grace. I look forward to sharing in the coming days details surrounding falling in love with my son.....


Christie said...


Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. I can't wait to hear more!! He looks so much "bigger" in his pictures since he's been home!!

Love you!

kristen said...

We are so excited for you. You have been so supportive of us and we really appreciate you. Can't wait to read more.

Kristen and Kasey

one + one said...

Oh, I just can't get enough of those pics of you guys meeting. LOVE the new family photo!

(Did you get the pics I emailed you? A few more to add to your first day together!)

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Thanks for the honesty. I had a lot of tears the first couple of nights in Ghana. Yes ... it was overwhelming!