What a day! I woke up early again to make sure that I was ready before Hadassah was awake. She was so happy to see me and had a huge smile on her face as the nanny, Ayster, handed her to me. She had on different clothes from the night before, so I figured that she wet the bed again. I took her back to our bedroom and Jay and I gave her a bubble bath. She had so much fun splashing in the water. Then I dressed her up and attempted Christmas pictures with lights. The photos may have been a bust. We shall see.
We had breakfast of something like bite-sized pizzas, little donuts, and fruit, then Jay and I went with the Taylor's to go shopping. Our main goal while shopping was to find something to take back to the kids. It was quite hard to find anything because each little shop was the same as the last. But we got Olivia a little Ethiopian doll and the boys a pouch and key chain.
While shopping, so many children kept stopping us, wanting us to buy something from them. Most were selling sticks used as toothbrushes. One little boy approached me and had the biggest, saddest eyes. He said something about school and begged for me to please wait and he'd be right back. We kept shopping and he found us a little bit later. He brought a box with about 6 packs of gum for us to buy. Jay and Mark bought some from him and we thought we wouldn't see him again. But he followed us all the way until we were completely finished at the market. I told Howie, our driver, to ask the boy how old he was. He said he's 10 years old. 2 years older than Isaac. My guess is that he is also an orphan.
A while later, we stopped at a shop to buy bags of coffee. Lynn and I stayed in the car while the guys went inside. A woman approached our car and asked for a jacket for her little girl who looked malnourished. The guys had taken the money, so we didn't have anything to give her. People kept coming up to the car, hoping that we'd have something to help them out.
Poverty is heartbreaking and I feel so helpless when it seems unending.
After our time out, we came back to the guest house and found Happy Hadassah. We played with her and she ate a bottle and fell asleep in Jay's arms. We had a wonderful lunch of stir fried spaghetti and vegetables with fries and a coke. :) Seriously, the spaghetti was amazing and we ordered the exact same thing for dinner. Now we know what to get for every meal when we go back.
As we ate, Aggie ended up holding sleeping Hadassah. I asked Aggie if her parents live in the city. She told us that her dad left them and that her mom had died when she was 12 and her brother was 8. I asked how she and her brother survived on their own and she asked me if I had ever heard of Compassion International. They found her and got her a sponsor. Through Compassion, she and her brother were given a house to live in, food, clothing, and schooling. I want to cry all over again just thinking about it. She has grown out of the program (she's 23 years old) and has lost contact with her sponsor but wants to find him again. It makes me want to meet our little Compassion boy, Kenneth.
After lunch, we spent every moment with Hadassah. I took her out back so that I could sit and watch the nannies and kids play. I found a spot on the ground and Sarah brought me a blanket to sit on. I love her. The connection I have with her cannot be described. She loves Hadassah us much as I love her.
I was invited into a room with Aggie and Zebene's wife. We played with Hadassah and Kate while they told me how they thought the girls were twins when they first came to stay there. We have heard that so many times. :) They talked about how good Hadassah's hair is and told me that she is 7 months old. They laughed about how active she is and called her "Mae". The first time I heard this shortened name for her, my heart leaped. WAY back when Jay and I thought we'd name a child Hadassah, I always liked the middle name Mae. But then we kind of thought it might sound hick if people call her Haddie Mae. Of course, now that is going to be her name. God makes me laugh. Most of the time that we were with Hadassah, we actually called her by her Ethiopian name, Melat. We grew to love the name.
I went back into the living room with Jay. Aggie came in and spent some time with us again. She brought Kate in and both babies sat on the floor while I fed them Gerber banana bites. They were hilarious to watch. Kate started crawling off and Aggie had left the room. So I decided to contain both girls in the bathtub. Kate cried for a split second, but then noticed the bubbles. She just kept staring at them and trying to pick them up.
Aggie came in and could not get over the whole event - the bath and the babies in the bath. She kept saying how nice the bathtub was and just laughed and laughed. She told the girls that they were taking a "special bath". I didn't plan on leaving the girls in for so long, but Aggie liked it so much that we all just kept giggling. We called Sarah in to come and see and she put her hand over her heart and covered her mouth. She wiped away tears and I thought it was the sweetest moment. She and Aggie both decided that they needed to bring in the 4 big babies all for a "special bath" at the same time.
We went up to the 3rd floor for dinner, the same menu as lunch. Chris and Elizabeth joined us. Mark and Lynn came back from having dropped off Vivienne. It was so hard to listen to them, knowing what a hard time their little girl was having anyway. But to have to leave her one more time and in a new place. Whew!
When we were almost done with our meal, there was a blackout. We didn't expect it to last long, but the lights were still out even when we left for the airport. Jay and I had not started packing yet, so we had to pack by Chris's flashlight. It was so hard to do while holding Hadassah. I finally told Jay that it was time for us to take her back to her room and say "goodbye". Nothing could have prepared me for that moment. We walked into her room and Sarah was in there with all the babies in their cribs. There was a candle in the window sill and Hadassah's eyes were as big as saucers. Jay and I hugged and kissed on Hadassah and then handed her to Sarah. Hadassah reached out to Sarah, which made me feel so good. Sarah was crying and we were crying. I just kept hugging Sarah and she kept kissing my cheek and hugging me. I wish that I could have told her how much she meant to us, but I probably couldn't have gotten the words out anyway.
We walked out of the room and finished packing. We said our goodbyes and thanked everyone at the guest house, then Zebene and his wife drove us to the airport. We told them how much we love Ethiopia and they told us how much they love the U.S. :)
Jay and I waited in so many lines at the airport and the tears just kept pouring. It was hard to see a couple of other families taking their adopted kids home. I know that that will be us soon and I should be happy for them, but today it's hard to watch.
After we made it through security, we realized that Mark and Lynn would still be there, waiting for their flight. It was so good to run into them and end on a high note. Now we are about to board a plane and head home. I hope we will be back very soon!