We had the privilege of driving three hours outside Addis Ababa today to visit the area from which our boys came. Although it was not possible to talk to actual families members due to the remoteness of their location, we were able to visit the children's home to which the boys were originally brought. This home is associated with Kids Care, a larger orphanage in Addis that cooperates with our agency to find forever families for orphaned children. This smaller, remote orphanage had a small yard with some tiny concrete block rooms, a main living area with a TV, table, and some cooking equipment, an office, and one room (maybe 10ft. x 10ft.) with several small cribs. One small baby lay in one of the cribs. She smiled whenever one of us would lean close and talk to her.
Our guide explained that we were adopting two boys who had been originally placed here. When he gave her their names, she immediately remembered them. She estimated that they had arrived about six months ago and had stayed there about one month. She said that they came very sick with many stomach problems and needed much medication. She also described her understanding of their family of origin's situation, confirming much of what we had been told. She even showed us the two beds that the boys slept in during their time there and described them as happy children. We thanked her for her care for our boys and promised to do our best to continue to care for them well. She requested that we send pictures J. What a blessing to have had this opportunity to glimpse this place that served our boys at such a critical time in their lives!
Of course, our drive also provided us the opportunity to take in many other unique sights. In one town, it was obviously graduation day, with fancily-dressed celebrators lining the streets waving flowers. In another place, however, hundreds processed solemnly away from a funeral. One we passed explained that the village witch doctor had passed away. We saw many of the traditional Ethiopian homes with their grass roofs and mud patched walls and the wide open spaces where farmers plant their crops and graze their sheep, goats, cattle, horses, and donkeys. While I wouldn't describe the countryside as beautiful—there is a lot of mud (this time of year at least), rocks and boulders, and scraggly grass and trees, the beauty of small things stands out. The smile of a girl who waves to our van as we drive by. The tiny purple flowers that roadside along a few fields. The kaleidoscope of color at the open markets.
For those of you asking "When do you meet those boys???," the answer is Monday afternoon. We should also hear the results of additional health testing then as well. When we know more about that we will let you know! As other families continue to join us here at the guest house, we are certainly very excited for this week's planned events to go into full swing.