Friday, June 15, 2012

Ethiopia 2 - New Friends

We planned our trip dates for our second trip based on a few factors.  The first being when we needed to be in Ethiopia for our Visa Interview at the US Embassy in Addis Ababa.  Then, we thought about how long we could possibly wait until seeing Feven again.  In case you were wondering, the answer was "not long."  And then we tried to find out when other families from our adoption agency were going to be in Ethiopia and if we could overlap our trips.

On our first trip to Ethiopia, we were the only family there from our agency.  While it provided some great opportunities to get to the know the staff better and also have all of the agency's resources at our disposal, it felt a little lonely.  Meeting other families in-country is probably our only way of meeting others who are working with our agency.  Because our adoption agency is based in St. Louis, MO, many families who use that agency live in the south.  I have yet to meet another family in Minnesota who is working with this agency. 

I learned that three families who are also adopting through our agency were going to be in Ethiopia near the time that we were.  I had been in touch with two of them regularly via Facebook.  I was so glad when Zac and I were able to schedule our flights to overlap a day or two with each of them.  Finally I would meet some of these wonderful people!

We arrived in Ethiopia late Thursday night and were shown quickly to our room.  I think the guest house receptionist could see how tired we were!  She opened the door to our room, and on the coffee table was a welcome note from the families who were already there.  What a sweet way to arrive in Ethiopia!  I was so excited to meet them, but it was late and they were probably in bed.  We too were tired, so we resolved to meet them in the morning.

At our last guest house, we tried to honor the staff by arriving promptly when breakfast was served.  We wanted to do this again at our new guest house, so we awoke early the next day and headed downstairs to breakfast at 7:30am.

There was nobody downstairs.  

Apparently at THIS guest house, it was more of a continental breakfast.  All of the food was laid out on a table in the dining room, but not another person was in sight.  We snuck back upstairs and decided to go back down when we heard voices of others floating upstairs.

About 15 minutes later we could hear stirring downstairs, so we got ourselves ready to meet the other families from our agency.  We entered the dining room to find a Danish couple and their newly-adopted son.  Not from our agency.  We did enjoy meeting them that day, but our hearts were still excited to meet our Facebook friends.

Finally they trickled downstairs, and it was such a joy to meet them!  We met Jen and Trevor who were there meeting their son for the first time, and Kristine who was there meeting her daughter for the first time.  It was incredible to see them face-to-face and talk about our new children together. 

I know you know what I mean when I say that it's such a comfortable feeling to meet others who are going through a similar experience.  It's almost like your friendship is fast-tracked. 

Days later, Becky and Andrew flew into Addis.  Their little boy was in the crib next to Feven for quite some time.  We were thrilled to meet them because of this relationship that our children had.

It was such a joy and comfort to meet these great families.  We spent time at the House of Hope playing with our children together, eating out together, and just conversing back at the guest house.  I was sad to say goodbye to our new friends, but I hope that we'll be seeing each other again in the future.

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