Abeba woke up this morning while Melissa was in the shower, we made progress and she let me get her out of the crib, hurray! She started babbling and playing, it was great to see her happy and in my arms.
We had the great opportunity to take some pictures and videos for some friends of their little boy that is waiting for them. They are adopting from another agency, which will remain unnamed, but the agency was gracious enough to let us visit their care center and see their boy. It was an honor and privilege to be able to hold him and take pictures and video for them.
After the visit our driver, Eyasu, took us to Blue Top Restaurant for lunch. The restaurant was beautiful and the service was excellent. I had some veal that was excellent and Melissa had the Nile perch. She wasn't as impressed by the Nile Perch as I was when I had it at top view. Melissa especially liked the gardens at the Blue Top restaurant. The poinsettia trees in full bloom especially impressed her.
After lunch we went to Kebebetsehay Orphanage. This orphanage is another government ran orphanage. Abeba spent about 2 weeks here before she was transferred to the Gladney Care Center. This orphanage is desperately in need of help. We were blessed that we were able to bring a tote of humanitarian aid to Kebebetsehay, thanks to our church family. We asked our church family and others to donate humanitarian aid and we were able to fill and entire tote. We had already decided to take it to Kebebetsehay before we arrived, primarily because Abeba had been taken here when she was found abandoned. We were glad that they were receiving the supplies because it was obvious that they were desperatley needed here.
The tour was really difficult for us. Knowing that Abeba had been here and wondering how she had been found, what condition she was in and where she was when she was found. It was also amazing to think about the perfect timing a will of God that caused all things to happen to bring Abeba into our family. We were thankful for Kebebetsehay and the staff there for keeping her safe and healthy for the little time that she spent there.
We did have the privilege of meeting the waiting daughter of a blog friend there M. M is 12 years old and was a real sweet heart. We spent some time talking to her, send hugs from her mom and dad and telling her that they can't wait to come get her. Our oldest daughter Hannah, 12, had made some bead necklaces for us to hand out at the orphanages to the older girls. We gave all the necklaces to M and told her to pass them out to her friends. She put on one of the necklaces and we were able to get a picture of her with it on to show our daughter. When we returned home Melissa was able to talk to M's waiting mom on the phone to give her an update and tell her how much we enjoyed our time with M.
We continued to tour Kebebetsehay and our hearts continued to break. The infant room house about 25-30 infants. The orphanage director and the caretakers do their best to take the best care that they can of these children with the limited resources that they have. It really reinforced the need for us to stay involved in the lives of orphans in Ethiopia, we will see how God leads us in this direction in the future.
The evening brought the cultural dinner. This is a time where all the families from our agency as well as the agency staff meet at an Ethiopian restaurant for traditional food and dancing. We had to leave Abeba at the guest house with a caregiver. This was really difficult for us to do, we had made so much progress in the week with Abeba's trust of us, we were afraid that this would set us back. Well the caregiver arrived, we left and Abeba screamed.
We arrived at the restaurant and were greeted by Belay and Tafessa. It was great to see that the drivers would be eating there with us as well. The restaurant was decorated with alot of traditional Ethiopian things and there was traditional dancing and music. The food was execellent and we had a good time talking to the other families and the Gladney staff.
When we returned to the guest house Abeba was fast asleep. The next morning Zemmet said that Abeba had screamed for about 10 minutes and then she was relatively happy the rest of the time. The end of the day was bittersweet as we knew that we would be leaving Ethiopia the next day. We had fallen in love with the Country, the culture and the people. It made us have an even greater heart for all that was going on there and left us asking what more we could do. Pray that we would continue to have a heart for the people there and be open to how God would use us in their lives.