Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day Six

Going shopping


AJ's always telling Merdi how much he looks and sounds like Ludacris so this photo op was too much to pass up!


The girls all done up... Merdi took T out shopping to pick up a little gift for each of them from him... Merdi actually styled the girls hair and bought Etienne a pair of stylish kicks... He is so loving, kind and generous... Our family is blessed by him!

Filling out our exit forms... note the stack of passports


It was our last day in Addis and although the prospect of going home was so enticing, the thought of leaving our Ethiopian family and a country we are truly in love with was, at times, too much for each of us to bear. The day was filled with packing, visiting with some friends now living in Ethiopia (Lunch at Lime Tree) and shopping outside of Yebsabi ( Note for future travelers - navigating a double stroller and three small kids along the crumbled Addis sidewalks is an adventure within itself). Eventually it was time for us to head over to the airport, Merdi insisted on taking us, and Sophia and Etienne were beside themselves as we said our goodbyes. We were all in tears and embracing... Etienne wouldn't let go of Merdi and then the moment came and we walked up the hill, passed through security, checked in and boarded our flight. We were going home and our boys were coming with us. Bittersweet yet so liberating.

Faith. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Day Five




Etienne's new friend - He insisted on giving him some Birr so he could buy some food and shared his candy with him. The same age, they talked about soccer and bashfully smiled at each other.










Archangel Raguel Church




Inside of the oldest church in Addis atop Mt. Entoto / 7oo years old



Part of the structures forming the former palace of Emperor Menelik II and Empress Taytu (Menelik ruled from 1889-1909)




Our guide walked Etienne down the mountain to be near the donkeys

Woman carrying eucalyptus branches down Entoto / She had a baby strapped to the front of her as well!

Coffee ceremony atop Entoto with some local women and their daughter. They insisted on feeding Nicasio to help!

New Friends... They played together with nothing more than some old bottle caps and a pile of dirt and were having more fun than when they are surrounded by battery powered toys. We had to coerce them to leave!
The day was spent atop Entoto Mountain and in the evening we went to Merdi's church. We experienced pure, unfiltered Jesus during the service. It was amazing to see a gigantic room filled with people all worshiping freely and without hesitation. As tears filled my eyes, Charlotte rose her hands in praise and I wept. We were called to the front of the church where the congregation prayed over us and again I cried out in thanks for I've never seen something so beautiful with such clarity.

An Italian dinner at the Sheraton and a walk through the starlit gardens finished out the evening as Merdi chased our giggling kids along the winding paths.

Perspective.

Day Four















Pool Day!!! It was time to relax and what better place to do that then at the Sheraton Addis. Warm water, unfiltered sun, delicious peach ice tea and beach blanket dining. The kids had a blast and AJ and I were able to sit back and relish in the fact that we were all together... forever... The calm suited us well.

Later in the evening we met up with Merdi again with his lovely girl and along with the Jupps we all made our way to Yod Abyssina for an authentic Ethiopian meal complete with dancing and music.

Celebration.



Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day Three









On the way to Embassy


Etienne and Merdi
This was the day we had come for - Embassy Day. Our appointment was at 9:00am so we spruced up, packed all of our baby gear in our various totes and hopped in the van... all seven of us! In truest Fink fashion we arrived five minutes past the hour made a commotion as we entered the room simply because there are so many of us, and then about 45 minutes later we passed and it was all over. Evan Elliott, the USE representative handling our case thanked us for turning in supplemental evidence regarding our case, joked around with us a bit and then we headed back to the guest house. Pretty anti-climatic but a fitting end to a very dramatic journey. 

For many reasons we decided to switch guest homes and moved the fam to the Yebasbi and couldn't have been more pleased when we walked into a spacious apartment with two bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen, living room and deck with mountain view and no bed bugs. Our dear friends, Natalie and Jon Jupp, were set to arrive to Addis this evening and were also staying at Yebsabi so we snuck a note in their room and couldn't wait to surprise them half way around the world... It was such a gift for God to bless both of our families with the chance to travel to bring our babies home at the same time!

The remainder of the evening was spent hanging out with Merdi, our Ethiopian family. The kids LOVE Merdi and he adoringly refers to himself as their Ethiopian uncle. We ordered take-out pizza and eventually ended up at his parent's house which was amazing for the kids to be within the walls of an actual Ethiopian home... They didn't want to leave and actually asked if they could sleep over! We shared conversation, sipped coffee and relished in the fact of how good the Lord is late into the evening. Oh and lest I forget, Merdi, an advocate for orphans, adopted a baby boy himself just weeks before our arrival (he's only 22 years old!) so we had the chance to oohh and ahhh over his little guy, Robel, who is beautiful beyond words. 

Perfection.


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