Monday, September 8, 2008

We've Arrived

We flew out of Houston at 6:45pm on Saturday evening to Dubai on Emirates. It was such an amazing airline and the people were so accomodating! We had to board and deboard the plane from the tarmac and then take a shuttle to the actual airport in Dubai. When we got off the plane in Dubai, it was a sweltering heat that felt like our faces were in front of a car's exhaust pipe! Once in Dubai, we had a layover, inwhich Emirates automatically pays for a hotel, so we stayed overnight. We were so exhausted, we immediately ate a little something, showered and fell into bed! We were fortunate to have that layover so we were not so tired on Sunday. Early Sunday morning, we flew for 4 hours and arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia!!
The view from the airplane flying over Ethiopia and one of their many lakes!

After getting through customs, and purchasing our visas, we were picked up by Ryan and Travis of Gladney. We walked down to meet our driver who drove us to the Hilton to check in and get our baggage in our rooms. We were able to freshen up for a little bit and then they drove us straight to the Gladney Foster Care Center. They brought Yalfal & Kinetibeb to the baby house so we could meet them without all the other children around.

When we arrived it was raining and we hurried inside and through the hallway, we saw Yalfal and Kinetibeb sitting quietly on the couch waiting for us. When we walked into the room, Yalfal smiled and ran to me with her arms raised to me. I scooped her up and she immediately put her hands on my face and kissed me smack dab on the lips!! She is so afffectionate and sweet! She also began to "discover" Brad and myself and the moment she laid eyes on the pink Ethiopian cross I was wearing, it HAD to be hers. She quickly removed it from my neck and around her neck it went! She kept putting it around her forehead and looking over at us smiling so big! It was so special to be able to give it to her! Kinetibeb sat quietly on the couch just watching us as Brad came over and picked him up. He was sporting a cute little girly sweater with flowers and did so with such security! Obviously, the orphanage does not dress the children in gender specific clothing, so we have many pictures of Kinetibeb in girly outfits! For the first hour, he was really quiet and stoic, just watching us so we tried to keep everything very low key for him. Yalfal began playing with us immediately and when Brad pretended to chase her, she burst out laughing with the cutest little giggle! Kinetibeb finally showed us his first little smile and quiet giggle. It was a turning point for us with him! He is just precious and so sweet. He loves to stand by and watch and take everything in. He is just beyond precious! As he warmed to us, his true personality emerged...a little mischievious one! Kinetibeb trying to "sneak" a drink from our water bottle! So funny!

We gave them some little animal figurines to play with and he absolutely LOVED his animals and would not put them down! They caregivers then served us tea and bread, and both of the kids drank the tea while it was still boiling hot and it never bothered them at all! They are used to drinking hot tea in the orphanage so they will fit right in with us at home as Brad and I both love hot tea!

We are even more smitten with them now and are so grateful for this amazing blessing in our lives!!!

There is so much more to tell but I know everyone really just wants to see pictures!! So here they are...enjoy!!! Finally some wonderful kisses for Mommy and Daddy!


Jim and Ryane said...

They are adorable!! Have a wonderful time!!


The Roberts Family said...

Oh my sweet friend .... you're finally there! I am just so happy for you guys!!! Love ya, Shelly

~Laura~ said...

That picture with her hands on your face is absolutely priceless. They are precious and you guys look totally smitten.

MKH said...

Kim-What beautiful pictures! I'm so glad you're together finally. Praying for a safe return! megan

Wolfemom said...

How beautiful!! Congratulations! Praise God for He is good and the giver of blessings! We are so happy for you all!