Today was a very long day! We arrived in Ethiopia at 7:30. By the time we got out of the airport (was pretty sure for about 45 minutes they lost one of our bags) and to the Guest House it was 9:30. Our guide asked if we wanted to go to church, which was one of our favorite moments of coming to get Daniel in 2010, but we opted to settle in, take showers and put Daniel down for a much needed nap. Unfortunately, after I took a shower I fell asleep and woke up at 11:55 which they were coming to get us for lunch at 12, so we hurried to pack our bag for today and get ready. We meet up with 4 other families and had lunch (really good hamburgers) before heading to meet Matthew. We were the only family who wasn’t here yesterday so we were the only ones who still had to meet our child.
They brought him down those steps and all the exhaustion of 2 days of travelling and not sleeping since Thursday night melted away. He is sooooo cute and big. He is adorable even more so than his pictures. He is so even tempered and didn’t cry at all. It did take awhile to get a smile out of him though. Good news too, he liked the cars Daniel brought for him (Daniel was worried what we would do if he didn’t like cars) and he loves any kind of ball. He looks like he would make a good football player! He is a nosy rosy and kept looking everywhere and anywhere there was some action happening, even when he was trying to eat. Matthew loves Daniel, he would smile and laugh when he saw him and when Daniel wasn’t near Matthew kept looking around trying to find him, Daniel thinks it is cute now we will see in 5 years or so! I can't wait to share pictures we got so many cute ones of the boys but I can't share until we pass court on Tuesday (praying we will pass so I can share).
Here are Daniels thoughts on meeting Matthew (word for word no editing):
It was fun and cool. I liked that I got to see my brother and that I liked when I got to see my brother play with my cars. I was excited to meet my baby brother. It felt good to go back to the Transition home where I stayed before my mom and dad came and got me. I was surprised that Matthew got a lot bigger. I was happy to see Matthew. I am sad that Matthew didn’t get to leave with us today. I am excited I get to see him tomorrow though.
One cool thing about today was Daniel got to go back to the Transition Home where he spent the first year of his life. So many of the nannies remembered him and he even got this picture taken with the nanny he bonded to 5 years ago.
She recognized him instantly. They were all so excited to see him and he ate all the attention up. Our driver even remembers driving us around when were were here for Daniel. It is cool for him to realize where he came from. On our way in from the airport I asked him what he thought about Ethiopia he said “What this is my country”. I am so glad he got to come and experience it for himself and be involved in this process. He loved playing at the Transition home with the other boys, playing soccer and football and jumping rope. It is definitely an eye opening experience for Daniel and one that hopefully will stay with him forever.
Tonight we ordered dinner in and are going to watch a movie and hit the bed early! We are all so exhausted Mark fell asleep eating lunch! Tomorrow we spend more time at the Transition home bright and early which I can’t wait for, I couldn’t even take Matthew back to the nannies Mark had to. It was so hard to leave him but helpful to know the same nannies who took care of Daniel are the ones that are there with Matthew.