Sunday, March 28, 2010

Days 1-3



The pictures are at the end and in reverse order. I am just glad I got them to load.

Getting out of the house was a bit of a frenzy. I was so concerned about leaving things behind and we knew our bags were close to the weight limit. We had three large suitcases, four big tubs, two carry on suitcases and our two personal bags – all of which added up to about 430 pounds of luggage. The tubs were filled with humanitarian aid and art supplies for the orphanages. We finally loaded it all up and headed for the airport. Once we got there, the concerns we had about weight limits became a reality. We had to move some things around, but we managed to make it work. We only had enough money to take three tubs, but we were hoping they would waive the fee on all of them and we could take the fourth, but they didn’t, which was disappointing, because we wanted to be able to donate the $400 to the orphanages and not to Delta. However, we feel very blessed to have received all of the needed money to be able to cover the supplies. We are also very grateful for all of those who donated both art supplies and humanitarian aid. We will just donate the fourth tub of supplies to a local charity.

Our first flight was a Delta Connection flight from OKC to Atlanta. It. Was. Tiny. Two seats, an aisle, and two seats. I can’t imagine spending more than two hours on a plane that small. Our second flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam was also with Delta and was delayed an hour, but that wasn’t a big deal because we had a long enough lay over in Amsterdam. This flight had more room, and showed a couple of movies, but I tried to sleep. The Amsterdam airport was really nice and had a great area to sit and relax, which will be great on the way back with miss Sophie and our five hour layover. Our last flight was with KLM and was a nice plane. Each seat had a screen that plays movies, TV shows and has games. I slept most of the flight, because I took Dramamine and it knocked me out. Michael took in a couple of movies. We touched down in Khartoum, Sudan for an hour and a half, and then headed for Ethiopia. I stayed awake the rest of the flight, so there was hope of me sleeping once we got to the guest house. When we arrived at the airport we made a straight shot to the Visa office. I am glad we did, because there were only 15 people in front of us, but when we were done, there were at least 50. From there we stood in another line where they stamped our passport…I think. After that, we went to exchange a little money and went to get our luggage, which all had arrived!!! We went through customs and then went and waited for our driver. He found us and there was another Gladney family there also. He took us to the guest house where we were greeted by two very sweet ladies who made us feel right at home. We stayed up trying to unpack and finally went to bed, thus concluding Day 2.

Today, we had a wonderful breakfast, courtesy of the ladies at Bejoe. We talked to Travis and he thought he would bring Mekdes to us after lunch. We decided to go ahead and get ready in case his plans changed. He called around 10:25 and said he would be over shortly. We got our video camera and camera ready and watched as he pulled through the gate. He got her out of the car and brought her to me. She is smaller than we imagined and even more beautiful in person. She is perfect. She didn’t cry or seem upset when she met us, but had a quizzical look on her face for a while. After we fed her and she had a power nap, she was all smiles. We have watched so many videos of families meeting their children for the first time. It was amazing to finally be on this side of the journey. She is more than we ever could have hoped for. She spent the day just staring at us, which was beautiful. She smiled so much. Our driver and one of the workers here, both call her Mekdie, which is a common nickname and she LOVES them. Our driver was born in Gonder also. She hasn’t been very fussy at all and she has the cutest pouty lip, which I am sure won’t always be cute, but for now it is to die for.

Her daddy is in big trouble, as he is going to have a hard time saying no to his little girl! She fell asleep about 6:15, so I imagine it will be an early morning for us, but we’ve waited a long time to have a baby wake us up in the morning, so right now I am looking forward to it.

We stayed at the guest house all day, so all we have seen of Ethiopia is the five minute drive from the airport at midnight. I hope we can see more tomorrow.









11 comments:

Belleme said...

So happy and excited for you guys! It's so great that she has been so content! She is adorable! Love on all the babies at the foster care centers- Mine is surely there by now!!! :) So strange to think about it...

Eryn said...

Love Love Love it!

Charlie said...

Amazing so far! She is adorable!!!

Thank you for sharing your story! Leanne and I were both tearing up as we were reading your post! What a great few days for you!

So happy for you both!

Charlie and Leanne

Cheryl said...

Aidan Said, "Aunt Katie is holding her!!" He wanted to know when you would be home! We love all three of you :)

Athena said...

She is gorgeous! You guys make a very beautiful family! I couldn't be happier for you!

Stephanie said...

I am so happy for you all. She is beautiful!!!

Stephanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gayla said...

gorgeous!!!

have fun at the Bejoe! Tell Genet and we said hello!

KillerB said...

Love that first family photo! I've been waiting to see it! She is so gorgeous :)

Donna Hale said...

You all look great! I am so happy to see you holding YOUR baby!!! God is good all the time! Have a safe trip home!

Regs said...

She is so beautiful!!!
I am so happy for you both!!!
Got completely misty eyed looking at those pictures!