Sunday, June 7, 2009

Thoughts on our trip

Wow. That's all I can say at first... this was an experience like no other. Awesome in the way that giving birth is, but different in so many ways because the experience of adopting these children is also wrapped up in the experience of being in a country where the people are so poor and have so little compared to us, and yet they are so cheerful, loving and rich in spirit. So many strangers went out of their way to be kind to us. We met several Ethiopian people on our short trip that we now consider friends.

Meeting the twins the first day, Sunday, was a little scary. They were very shy at first. By the second day, I could tell that they understood we were their family. We didn't take them back to the guest house with us until Tuesday, and on Monday they cried when we left. I felt like dirt. But I guess the up side is that when we came back on Tuesday, they were thrilled to see us. I thought they would be sad to leave their friends, but after running around for a final good-bye to some friends and the nannies, they jumped right into the van and were ready to go. No looking back for them!

The trip home went almost ridiculously smoothly. We spent about 20 hours traveling home, and the twins only cried a little toward the very end. At the airport in Washington, DC some nice Ethiopian-American lady thought they were so cute she gave them each a balloon. (Which we then got to drag through security through both DC Dulles, Chicago O'Hare and the Omaha airports. Yes, they do make you put helium balloons through the x-ray machine.) We haven't had any major food issues, and sleeping has gone great... although today the twins decided that one toddler size bunk works out well for two kids. It looks a little crowded to me, but what do I know? The rest of us are all very glad to be back in our comfy beds. And quiet bedrooms. It was kind of noisy at night around the guest house.

So now we are all getting used to each other. Boy, can these girls pout if they aren't getting their own way! I'm hoping that as our communication improves, we can reduce these pout fests. I know that they don't always understand why I'm saying no. But I have to admit that this pouting grates on my nerves in a big way. Lord, give me strength! And patience... lots of it! Overall, we are lucky. I think we got two children with a lot of love to give who really want to be with a family who loves them back.

More tomorrow. :)
Oh, and I forgot to mention that today is the 23rd anniversary of my marriage to my wonderful husband, Tom. Also, it was one year ago this past week that I suggested adopting from Ethiopia to this same wonderful husband right after attending martini tasting on our Mexican Disney cruise. I think Candace Selam and Sarah Fikir are pretty sweet anniversary gifts.


Becky and Naing said...

oh Paula, I'm so glad it went well and the long flight home was ok. Of course you had extra pairs of hands to help. I hope the transition is easy for them. I can't even imagine what they think of all this. Do you know what language they speak?
can't wait to hear more.

Paula said...

They speak Amharic. We're learning some key words... bathroom, food items, etc. They are soaking up English like little sponges.

Gina said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. My email address is I was wondering how the communicating is going. It will be interesting to follow your blog and see how they adjust. Thank you again for taking pics of Yoseph. Have a great day with the girls! They are so cute. :)

Cara Meyer said...

you have two beautiful girls....and a beautiful family!! Wow, what a journey you have been on. I am sure it's fun to reflect being on the other side of the adoption journey. Funny you mentioned the girls sleeping together. Someone told me to be prepared that they may want to sleep with the parents for awhile because they are so used to sleeping with at least another person. At least they have each other!! Praying for you this week!

Jen Stutzman said...

Wow!!! It blesses me so much to read what the Lord has done. If I stilled lived in Nebraska I would be bringing you some meals. I have read that pouting is very common in children from Africa. Stick with it, you go girl!!

Kristen said...

Happy Anniversary! What a journey you and Tom have had in these 23 years! What a wonderful journey lies ahead as well.

I will continue my prayers... I know there will be ups and downs... but that's life isn't it! They are darling girls and God has placed them in such a wonderful family! I can't wait to read about your adventures in the days ahead. I will be praying for you dear friend!

Love and Hugs!!!

Janet said...

Hi Paula. I just wanted to let you know that I have so enjoyed reading all of your posts and to thank you for letting me participate (from afar) in your journey. I'm so glad you are all home safe and sound - and know that you have waited so long to have your sweet little girls. Now - incorporating them into your lives - your next challenge. I'm certain everything will go just as it does when you give birth...some frustrations, some sleepless nights, but overall JOY. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family as you go through this adjustment period. And thank you in advance for your continued posts! -Janet

Anonymous said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us! Happy Anniversary. You have a beautiful family and I can't wait to keep reading and to meet the girls!

Cara Meyer said...

BTW....Happy Anniversary. I also wanted to tell you that you DON'T look like a 40 something year old. You look way younger. Anyway, have a good day!! :)

Jennifer said...

I've heard about the infamous Ethiopian pout! I am sure I will be experiencing it too. Your trip sounds wonderful; can't wait to hear more. The girls are just exquisite!
ps. i think my twins sleep 2 to a bed also!

Bennett said...

I wld have to agree that is a wonderful Anniversary gift.....

I love the updates and the pics, I never realized how much your girls look alike, I mean I know they are twins, lol, I wonder how you tell them apart.

Well I keep you posted after I get the news.


Rebecca Smith said...

When our girls came home last August, they were the MASTERS of the Ethiopian pout, and it certainly can get on your nerves! Now, 8 months later, they don't use "the pout" nearly as often. Your girls are beautiful! Congratulations!

Farmboy and Buttercup said...

Yes, yes, yes!!!

So awesome to see you home!

Oh, and the grating on the nerves thing, I was sooooo there at first. It is just such a massive adjustment for all, with emotions at their breaking point at times, but day by day it gets better and better.

You are doing great and they are lovely girls.