Today was the day (9/8) we were able to go to the Transition House & get Tekle…for good. When we rolled up it was naptime-again, but there was not a lot of napping going on. You see, the kids know he routine – Monday parents come for the 1st meeting, Tuesday they come back & then the child gets to leave with his/her new mom & dad! Terrific Tuesday’s is what I think they should be called!
While at the Transition House (TH), we spent some time with Tekle & his nannies. He has a night nanny & a day nanny. In fact, his night nanny (who they call mommy) slept with him in his bunk). Just imagine being the mommy of 14 boys, living in a 10-x10 room, two boys in each bed and trying to keep mayhem from not taking over- day or night. These women work hard and have poured their lives into our son. How grateful we are for both of these women. I think they will both miss our son very much and I believe he will feel the same.
Next, we gave our donations to the staff (which every family is asked to bring). Immediately most of the women started putting on the shirts that we had brought for them (thankful for LHC donating their leftover VBS shirts, now 150 of them are circulating Addis Ababa, Ethiopia). For the rest of naptime we played outside with Tekle and became better acquainted with some of the staff. Our desire was to come here with the “intent” of really getting to know and love on the people we met. This was a highlight to our day, as we began to hear their life stories. Of course we did while playing with Tekle and still we had yet to hear him utter a word or even laugh. However, there were lots of smiles!!!!
After naptime was over things got a bit crazy. First the boys came running outside, followed later by the girls. Mind you…this all happened in the middle of a downpour, so we all ended up congregating on a back porch. What did we do? Great question…we had lots of fun tickling, wrestling, throwing around a ball & hugging on and simply playing. The children were hungry for attention and some for constant hugs and kisses. During this timetable stayed at a distance at 1st, but then joined in as time went on (still no talking yet). Once the rain stopped we pulled out a Barrel of Monkeys game, some balloons & played with all the kids for about 2 ½ hours. It was a blast for them & us, but we were ready to head on out with our little boy.
As soon as the van did pull up (again, they knew the drill) the door opened & Tekle hopped right in. He was so excited to go. As we drove through the city he just stared out the window at the traffic, people & utter craziness that was just outside of the van. The last time he was in a car was when he went to the transition house & now he is headed again into another transition.
We came straight to the guesthouse & headed up to our room. Lots of big-eyed stares & looks of wonderment (probably some worry in there too). This is by certain the nicest place he has ever been in. Kindly, he walked in and sat on the couch. We wanted to bath him right away but the power was out. This meant no hot water. So we colored. Let’s just say he could do this for hours!!! Finally, the generator went on and off we went for his first bath. He was a tad bit dirty…actually- filthy dirty. He did amazingly well as we scrubbed him down, & lotioned him up and put on his new clothes (again, all without a peep). Next it was time to head downstairs for dinner where he ate everything that was put in front of him. He will give our kids at home a run for their money when it comes to eating! Tekle has a great appetite and eats very slowly. After dinner we headed upstairs, did some more coloring, looked at pictures & Skyped the kids back home. It was so great to hear the excitement in their voices as they laid their eyes on him and watched him smile for the camera. We think Tekle loved it too.
Bedtime was a precious ending to one incredible day. We began a routine of: brushing teeth, getting into pajamas, reading a book & ended with holding hands to pray. Then he zonked out. I think he was asleep within 3 minutes & he slept throughout the night. He did toss & turn quite a few times with moments of lifting his head and saying something, then right back to sleep. Neither Leah nor I felt like we ever got into a REM state of sleeping. Instead we felt we were up all night. Our hearts go out to him for we can only imagine he things are going through his little head. You know how “dark” makes everything harder…in spite of it all, he did well. We keep praying that God would comfort Him & give him peace as all of this new life is unfolding before him.
I must say that much of the day has felt very surreal. We are so thankful for the gift of this little boy & it all kind of feels like a dream! Thankful today that dream became our reality. Now, we just want to get home and be a family!!!!