Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day 3

What’s So Magical about 3am?
- Once again my body clock awoke me at 3am on the dot! The night before in Dubai the same thing happened. Go figure! For a girl who needs sleep, this is not good. As I backed up the time I was wondering what I am normally doing at this hour back home. Well, at 7pm, that would be 3am Ethiopian time…I am usually winding down, not amping up. So, God gave me an extra 5 hours in my day to read, have my Quiet Time and simply ponder the day. Brent however, was one smart man, he took an over the counter sleep aide and slept like a baby until 8am!!!
Servant hood with a Smile!
- The chef at the Guest House is an incredible human being – his name is David. When he smiles the room lights up. He has a servant’s heart through and through. The meals he makes are quite the spread, yet most things we are afraid to try. Our prayer is that we will not offend him and we’ve tried hard to eat most everything. Our favorite item so far is a flat pancake, sautéed in syrup. Yum!!! Oh, and fresh Pinnapple juice washed it all down. (Brent’s favorite!)
“Paper Party”
- Now on Monday mornings, the main objective is filling out the paperwork for our U.S. Consulate appointment. It did not take too long since there was just us. Usually they are walking 7-15 families through this process. It was here we saw the birth certificate they created for him (a key piece in obtaining his Visa). The picture on it must have been the first one ever taken of him; he looks so scared in it. One new piece of tid bit was getting to see the birth date he was given, which is March 3, 2006. That makes him three. Originally they had told us he was four. While his stature is older looking, everything else about him seems to be on the younger side.
Off to See “Lucy”
- All we wanted was to be “off to see was Corban Tekle”…but they were not expecting us until after 1pm. So “off we went to the lunch” at the restaurant near the National Museum where Lucy is housed. Lucy is allegedly the oldest human remains ever found. They were found here in Ethiopia in 1974. There are no words to explain the simplicity of this museum compared to our National Museums in Washington D.C.

The Moment…
- The Transition House was farther than I thought and driving there was incredibly painful. (See details below) However, upon arriving safely, we were able to lay eyes on Tekle for the very first time. As he walked out to meet us he looked a bit confused. The one word we hear over and over again to describe him is “shy.” And that is exactly what he was…shy. Tekle was also very responsive, sweet, obedient, engaging and we really felt there was a connection made within moments. (Only something God can do.) We spent about 4+ hours there playing soccer, basketball, touring the facilities, having a snack, looking through a picture book we had sent him of us…and simply having fun. Leaving him was not as hard as I thought it would be…what’s one more day in the scheme of things, plus he waved good-bye and toddled away to be with his friends – for one last day.

The Best EVER…
- Massage…Yep, from the Transition Home we were whisked away to the Boston Spa. There both Brent and I had one-hour massages for $20 each. They do this to help you fair through the next hours until you are able to bring your child home. Let’s just say it worked…and it was the best message I have ever had!!!!

Road Rage…
- Driving in Addis Ababa is like a scene in a movie. Cars and people everywhere. While they have street rules, no one (and I mean no one) obeys them. There are no traffic lights and driving on the wrong side is accepted. Most cars use Diesel fuel and the fumes are enough to send you to the hospital. The smog is so bad here; it can be seen hanging low just above your head. Besides the noise of pollution, the noise of horns is non-stop. Never is the sound around you void of honking. To be honest…we are waiting to either be in or see an accident. I hope my hunch is wrong!

Mama Please…
- Street kids, moms with babies, those who are handicapped – all beg, all the time. We were told by Robel (who has a ministry with many of these street kids) not to give money because it only keeps them in “business.” Robel has taught the children to sell things, like gum or Kleenex to give something in return for your money. Then at one point the light bulb went on about giving them food. Now we travel around with a bag of snacks and so far this has worked. In fact, think of a pool of carp…you know how when you throw food in the water, they usually go crazy and swarm the food. Now, picture our van…we’re handing out the food…they always come to my window saying, “mama, please” and often will tag on “I’m hungry”…once one is given something to eat, the swarm of “mama please” begins.

Choir Practice (and I don’t mean poker)
- From the Boston Spa we went to Robel ‘s choir practice (again, he is the man who has taken care of us all week…along with our driver David). Robel attends the International Evangelical Church here in Addis. It is lead by an American pastor from North Carolina and the weekly attendance is about 4,000. What is really AWEsome about this church is it pulls from all walks of life. In the choir alone 30 countries are represented. This church seems to meet a wide range of needs in this community. Talk about diversity…this church exudes it!
- We met quite a few people at choir practice. It was neat to hear stories along with many different accents. One man we met was named Jim. As we talked with Jim we found out that he works at the embassy in the consulate’s office, In fact, he deals with adoptions! Every 2 years there is a major switch-er-oo in the embassy and they take out the old and bring in the new. Robel had many contacts with the old group, but has no inside tracks with the new one. Well now, after meeting Jim, he has a relationship started that he can use to help the process to be smoother for families. And for you CA. folks, Jim is from Lodi.

How Do Their Heads Do That????
- We ended the night going to a traditional Ethiopian restaurant. Our family had tried one in Austin but it was not a family favorite. Needless to say, we were a bit hesitant to try it again. The restaurant they took us to had live music and dancing, incredible décor and the food was actually amazing. By the time we arrived it was almost 9pm and we were tired. But you could not help but be awakened by the Ethiopian cultural music and more importantly the dance. The men and women shake their groove thing like no one I’ve ever seen (Elvis and Michael Jackson included)…and their heads do this chicken jerk thing, that makes you think at any moment their head is going to fall off. We’ll attach video footage of it soon.
All and all…it was an amazing day. God protected, provided and gave us a beautiful son. HOY Day (Hand on You Day) will be one that goes down in history.


  1. Great stories, thanks for sharing. Congrats on meeting your new little guy. Can't wait to here more...love you guys, be safe! Nelsons

  2. We are so happy to hear all is going so well.
    We all cannot wait to meet Corban!

    Love you!

  3. Wow! Great post. Leah, I heard choir practice and I immediately thought 7 card stud, no peaky, follow the queen. Brent would've been in his element. Thanks for clarifying! I was excited to hear that you did so well on the flight. If you post the dance video make sure Brent is in it copying the local moves. Brent, great job on trying the food! Keep the posts coming!

    Love you guys,


  4. We are reading this and reeling from it all--YOU ARE IN ETHIOPIA~ eating foreign food- :) The journey is amazing--love the encounters with people along the way! Go God!
    We cannot wait for more--you are just miles away from Corban! Thank you for sharing it with us! love you both--kath
    (you know you don't have to believe all that Lucy stuff--people say things like that all the time--you can never be sure!??) lol

  5. Oh my goodness, I am glued to your blog and can't wait to read what happens next! What an amazing journey God has you on, in all regards! Leah, I am so glad you made it through the flight (I totally get it). We are thrilled beyond words for you guys. Loves to you from the Collins -- Greg/Deb & kiddos

  6. Wow! Thanks for sharing your journey. It is amazing to hear how many ways God has shown Himself to you in the past few days! I got teary eyed reading about your first meeting with Corban...can't imagine how you felt.
    Love. Sheri