Friday, September 26, 2008


I realized after the fact that I spent like an hour writing and didn't post any pics of Diesel. So here are a few.

One from at home

So small

Yassar Arafat impressions
Sleeping on the plane

Proud mom
Skinny legs Big belly


So we have been home for a few days now, and they have been some of the busiest days ever. I have been staying up all night and trying to get things organized during the day. Thus the long time between blog entries.

So after we left the orphanage we did some shopping and went home to rest and bond. We slept the first night and Diesel did the normal baby stuff. The next morning we went back to the orphanage to finish up some paper work. It was pretty routine. After the paperwork we paid more money, then they had a coffee ceremony for us.

They have a ceremony anytime something is happening. We attended a few while we were in Africa. They start by burning incense and roasting the coffee beans in front of you on a charcoal grill with out the grill. They offer everyone popcorn while the beans cook. When they finish roasting they smash the beans and put them with water in a pot. The smashed beans and water boil together for a while then they set the pot aside to let the grounds settle. Then they pour the coffee off the top. This leads to very very strong coffee with little grits floating in it. They use small cups but they feel about like a double shot of espresso. They drink 3 cups at each ceremony.

When coffee was finished we decided to take Yoesph out for lunch. We went to one of his favorites and had pizza. Everything was fine. Once home from lunch Katy started to feel under the weather. I had her lie down and rest. While she was supposed to be napping she was getting sicker and sicker. Eventually she started to throw up, a lot. When I went to check on her i asked if she wanted dinner. She said "no, but I need to go to the bathroom." She gets up walks across the room and passes out.

Tigist the girl who helps out around the guest house saw her fall. I picked her up and Tigist called for a taxi to the hospital. Tekabe and I carried her down the steps and into the taxi. Zhieed took Diesel and told me to go he would be fine. Then the driver started driving toward the hospital. I don't remember a time that I was more scared. I was very worried about Katy and the driver was driving very fast. We almost had an accident more than once. Katy was passing out and coming to and asking where she was. Very scary. We arrived at the hospital. Hospitals in Ethiopia are not the same as hospitals here. It was a little dirty but not gross. Still scary. We had to push her in to the emergency room and we had to push her up to the room she stayed in. The doctors did a good with her. They gave her fluids and antibiotics. She had to stay the night. I got her settled in and then asked Tekabe if he wanted to go and come back in the morning. He said "no, I am here to take care of her. I would not leave." The taxi driver was still there also. He did need to leave. I tried to pay him for the ride and he wouldn't have it. He told me to "Be strong" hugged me and left. I had never meet him before and will probably never see him again. After the fact I found out that he had paid 40 birr for an ID card for Katy while I was busy. I found that in Addis that this taxi was not the exception but the rule in how people cared for each other.

Tekabe and I now stand there in silence waiting to see what happens. Eventually I grew tired of standing so I asked him to sit. He declined and said that he was the host and I was the guest. He would stand and I could sit. So to put that in perspective he was planning to stand and be awake to take care of a person all night that he met the day before. Talking about compassion. I learned many lessons about people and how I treat people from Tekabe. Eventually I talked him into sitting and we chatted for about 4 hours. The next morning we took Katy home. The total bill from the medicine, the room, and doctor was 1548 birr. That's 154 dollars. Not very much.


Katy was still feeling weak but we had our embassy appointment that day. We went to get Diesel's visa and his other paperwork. We had to swear that we had told the truth in all of our paperwork. This was the last step in the adoption process.

We spent the next 2 days building relationships with Diesel, and the other people at the house. It was time very well spent.

Some highlights from those days:

2 boys washing our car with no water while we waited for the embassy appointment.

A guy on the street seeing Aki while we walked and saying hello. Then asking if I was a Pakistani.

Going to the bank with Yoesph and Zhieed, seeing the people on the street. They really liked my beard and tattoos. I guess they don't have those things over there.

Visiting a few orphanages. They have wonderful kids there. They are in the worst situation that I can think of yet they are so happy.

Meeting friends from Colorado who were also adopting.

I have some many things to write that it feels very long winded. I will go back now and put in a few pictures from the trip. None of the pictures we took seem to capture the way things actually are over there, but we tried.

Me and Aki

Elementary School

OSHA approved scaffolding

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Updates Finally

I am so sorry that it has been this long since I have been able to update. We thought that the Internet in Africa might be less than reliable and we were right. It worked, but only when it wanted to and only for the websites it wanted to. Of course Blogger was not one of the websites that we could get to work.

Enough about that. Since the last update everything has happened. I don't even know how to begin. When we got on the plane in Washington DC we were very excited to say the least. The plane was very large and there were lots of people. It was very tight quarters, my knees touched the seat in front of me. The food on the plane was OK but certainly not corn dogs and Cheetos.
It took a long time. I got to see some things that I had never seen before; France, the Mediterranean Sea, Rome. I was awed by the size the the Sahara Desert. I took a picture of the sand dunes then went to sleep and woke up to find we were still over the desert more than an hour later.

When we landed we went through immigration where they gave us visas. Immediately you could see the differences between Ethiopia and USA. They hand wrote each visa. We waited on our bags and then met Aki from the guest house where we would be staying. He would help us get there.

Outside the airport it was dark and there were people swarming everywhere. Aki helped with the bags and had to tell more than one person that we didn't need help. They try to "help" then ask you to pay them. Without Aki I don't know what we would have done. He hailed a taxi and away we went.

This was our first chance to experience the driving in Addis. There are no rules. Everyone fends for them self and just does what they please. There are lanes but they seem to be just suggestions. Addis is very large and has lots of people and zero traffic lights. Very exciting.

We stayed the night and woke up the next morning. We left after breakfast to go meet Diesel. After more of the driving we got close to the orphanage. We called to get better directions and they told us to just wait. They sent a person out to "check us out." When she was satisfied that we were who we said she joined us in the car and gave directions to the house. When we went in they immediately came to greet us. I'm not sure when is the best time to say something about the hospitality. I have never been met with such open arms, ever. Anyway we went in the house and then the infant room. This is when we first got to meet Diesel. Emotions were high. After big hugs and a few tears. they put him in our arms and said "OK see you tomorrow for paper work." Insert first family photo here.
There is so much more but no time now.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

We're Off

Well, we are on our away. We left Kansas City this morning at about 11. Now we are in Washington DC waiting for our plane to Addis. It has been a long day so far and doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon. On the other hand, the DC air port has these really cool people movers that look like giant 4x4 subway cars. The airport vehicles in general have been entertaining us. From the neat little trains of bags to the biggest planes I have ever seen. I also got a chance to finish the book Dear Mr. Henshaw. It was well worth the 2 hours. Well that's it for now hopefully this won't be the last post.

Some Pictures