Monday morning the boys and I woke up both super excited and also sad. We knew we had to say goodbye. I treated them to bagels and we watched some TV and before we knew it my nephew was here to pick the boys up. My brother and his family are watching the boys until the weekend and then they go to my parents. We are so blessed to have so many willing to help out. The boys were super excited to be with their cousins and family. There were a few tears before they left but as soon as they saw their cousins car they hugged me and jumped right in with no regrets. This made leaving them much easier.
I then got the 1 pm shuttle to LAX. I haven't flown international since we got the boys so I was really looking forward to it. And I really lucked out as on both flights I managed to have an empty seat next to me. Flying isn't quite as much fun as I remember but that is probably as I am older and less flexible. I also do NOT remember people not holding their gas in. On both flights there were noxious oders flying about. I almost took out my body spray and started shooting people in the bum. But overall the flights were great and I got some sleep, watched 5 movies and read a book! That is what you can do on 20 hours of fly time without kids. I must admit that the whole flight I kept remembering that I had to do this whole long fight in a baby! Yes I am a wimp and I am fearing the flight home already...but it will so be worth it.
I arrived in Addis around 12:45 and since I remembered the system I hightailed it to the visa section. Good call as I was about 5th in line. I love walking out of the airport as the smell of Africa hits you like a wave. It feels like. I have never left. My driver was waiting for me which was great. He said he waited since 6 but then showed me his paper which said to be there later so I didn't have too much sympathy other than the late hour of night. By the time I got to the guest house I was wide awake. I was able to FaceTime the boys. I am so thankful that the Internet is good here and I can stay in touch with everyone, especially Yared and Nati.
Well I know you only read through all that to get to the good stuff. Yes I met our daughter today. There are two other families here at the guest house so we all had breakfast together and then walked 20 minutes to the Foster home. They bring the kids out to you while you wait in the court yard. They brought another families baby first and then our sweet Mari all bundled up in a blanket. She is smaller than I thought she'd be but so so beautiful. She was very smiley with the main nanny who was there but she was very serious with me. She never cried but had a little frown on and wouldn't look at me. They showed me that she can sit up and crawl and will be standing soon. She was so so serious while I just snuggled her and touched her mop of soft dark curls. She has wonderful curls and a boatload of them. The nanny was telling me she has small eyes. But they aren't small they are sunshine eyes the same shape as Yared's but with Nati's dark color and lashes. They brought me a bottle and I fed her. She did look at me then for three full blinks but then quickly closed her eyes. Within minutes she was asleep and spent the whole rest of the time snoring little baby snores while I admired and adored her.
We walked home and had a huge lunch the staff here at the guest house fed us. Now I am sitting in my room listening to the rain pour down on the tin roofs that surround us. I love that sound, it brings back childhood memories of our mountain home in Ethiopia. I just took a video so I could let my siblings here it too. This afternoon I get to go back and visit her again for two hours.
I feel so blessed. I wish Ben were here but other than that I am perfectly content with all the blessings God has showered down on us, a court date, family to watch the boys, a great trip, being in Africa again, and most importantly meeting Mari.
Ps written on ipad so sorry for all the errors.