Saturday, July 31, 2010

Off We Go!

the face that awaits us

As I write this, I'm sipping on the fabulous coffee that only Ethiopia can produce and I hear Kai in the background packing his bags. He just yelled from the bedroom that he would like the bag of diapers we're taking to the orphanage be used on the return trip solely for more coffee, as he plans to bring home as much as possible without raising a red flag at customs upon our return through JFK. Funny, because I was just thinking the same thing. I yell back, "but of course!"

After exploring, trekking and seeing the ins and outs of Addis on trip one, our return trip feels like we're returning to old friends in a way. It's hard to describe, but it's definitely on the warm & fuzzy tip. Almost like a little kid who gets homesick at camp and gets an early exit ticket home. And the best part is knowing what lies ahead on this trip. I can't begin to put it into words, so I'll stick to the logistics.

This is the hunker-down-round with the majority of our time being spent at the guest house with Niko. (that just makes me want to burst) Our plan is to take placement shortly after our Tuesday arrival, meaning someone from the staff will bring Niko to our guest house around 3pm local time on Tuesday. (possibly a little later because I think he takes a 1pm nap)

We're staying at Bejoe which offers sooo much for what a new family needs. All bedrooms have a bathroom, crib if needed, high speed internet on location, laundry, communal kitchen, livingroom, nice yard and the best part? Caregivers are on hand if you need assistance and they are familiar with all the children and the children know them from being in the Gladney care centers. What a great transition for both child and parent.

So, of course Niko's bag was packed first (ours are still works in progress). It wasn't easy packing for him. There were many calls to The Mother who offered greatly needed advice. In addition to the in-country bag, a separate bag is packed for his plane ride home.

the clothes he will wear

Long ago, I read a tip that I printed and stuffed into the "When We Travel" folder. It was from an adoptive mother who also had a long flight home. She created 10 one-gallon size Ziploc bags, each with: a not-fancy outfit (no onesies), socks and a Huggies overnight pamper. They all went in one zipped carry bag with a carry-size packet of wipes. This was in the event her baby faced the very common bout of bad-tummy, to put it mildly. It's a no-thought process now. Grab the wipes and a baggie and head to the bathroom. The new outfit goes on while the dirty one gets sealed in the Ziploc, thrown in the bag and all will get tossed upon departure.

Also packed for the plane are toys, snacks, blankets, a stuffed toy, teethers, food, bottles, formula and a carrier. We've also packed a bundle of earplugs for our neighbors sitting nearby. Another tip from a mother making this journey suggested offering earplugs to fellow passengers. She said it worked like a charm. She let them know her baby may cry (or may not) but in the event he does, this is her little bit of peace to them. All were very respectful, even offering assistance when she needed it.

the place he will dine

So, upon our return I'll let you know what really happened and how these plans all panned out in 'real life'. You can probably tell by now, I'm a bit anxious about the flight home!

Okay, so I must stop yapping now and get back to what's at hand here. We leave tomorrow and our to-list isn't getting done with me blogging and drinking my fabulous coffee! For some reason, I couldn't log onto our blog from Ethiopia on our last trip, but will try to update via Facebook. My sister may jump in again too. (thanks Man!)

The next few days and weeks are going to be ones we will forever remember. On one hand this is so very hard to get one's head around, while it also feels so natural.
I just want to stop anticipating and DO. To be with him and start this journey.



  2. It's finally here!! YAY!! So excited for you guys and for Niko. Can't wait to chat when you get home - you always have the perfect tips!

  3. This post made me smile from ear to ear!! I am beyond happy for you!!! As Staci said... GO GET THE BABY!!

  4. Sooo excited for you guys to go get that sweet son! Have a wonderful trip!

  5. YES!!! I am so thrilled for you guys!!!! WOW...have an amazing trip!!!!!

  6. Hi Tam,

    We're in Dubai, and can't wait to greet you at Bejoe House! See you soon!

  7. hey girl
    safe travels to you two. and i will be thinking about you coming home with baby niko. what a HANDSOME boy you have there girl! those lips are to die for...sooooooooooooo sweet.

  8. so much love to you. wish i could stow away on the plane. i miss addis, it truly does feel like my other home.

    big hugs to you all. it has been amazing to watch your journey unfold. i love you beyond measure and am so eager to see more photos of your beautiful Niko. give him hugs from his honorary auntie. enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
    it's really happening. wow!

  9. SO excited for you to go get Sammy boy!! He's SO cute!! Your flight home will probably be LONG, but you'll survive. Elyana slept our whole first flight (on me), and then was awake most of the 2nd! Yikes (the 11 hour one!). She played with every single item in her diaper bag five times each- including wipes and diapers, etc. But not too fussy- just squirmy!! No tummy problems for her- we packed 2 extra airplane outfits and didn't need any of them. You'll know before you are heading home if Niko needs extras- I think the babies with Giardia are the only ones who need 10 outfits!! Good luck and have an amazing time! The BeJoe is amazing! No access to blogs there either though, and it's REALLY slow to upload pix. Have fun and hig all the BeJoe girls and our awesome driver Abiy for me!!

  10. I'm so happy for you! Way to plan, too! I bet he will be great on the way home. Love that face!

  11. I was thinking of you all day today. I am so happy that you can finally count down the days, then hours, then minutes until you can get Niko. Then, the countdown begins again with the first, then second, flight, then land in the USA, then countdown from the airport to the safety of your home at last. You think the journey to get Niko was long? It is nothing compared with the journey you will have raising him. What a wonderful journey that will be!!! You and Kai will be WONDERFUL parents. Lucky boy!

    Love and Kisses and Hugs to both of you..

    Lucy and Jimmy

  12. Beautiful post, Friend! You have done such an amazing job of planning and preparing and documenting and now you get to LIVE it! Let go if you can and trust your instincts, let them take over and just be in the moment with your sweet boy. You are already an amazing mother! See you back home soon! XOXOXOOXXOOXOXOXOX

  13. yayyyy so exciting! cant wait to see more :)

  14. Be safe and enjoy it. Waiting for details.

  15. I love the tip about the gallon zip-lock baggies (and the ear plugs)! You'll have to let us know how it all worked out! Have fun with your cutie! Can't wait to see more pictures of him!

  16. what WONDERFUL news!!! Go, go, go!

  17. Can't wait to hear about everything when you get back! And can't wait for more pictures of your little man!:)