There is literally no way I can tell you how very awesome it was to have our son run into our arms this morning. There is NO WAY I can tell you how good that felt.
So it began with some awesome pancakes made by the beautiful, talented cooks here at the guest house. Then it was time to go to the office to sign a waver saying it was okay to take pictures of us. Then the words, "You can go meet your children now". The 4 sets of us adopting older kids loaded into the van. I started getting chocked up, tapping my legs, chewing my lips.
When we got to the school where they were, we were told to go in a room. One at a time they called us to meet our kids. Guess what…we were last. But it was priceless, Tariku's social worker told us to come meet him.
So we went through the garden, the play yard and into the first school room. We just peaked in and saw him right away. Once he saw us he got the BIGGEST smile and came RUNNING into Zach's arms (because he was kneeling). I started crying, and Zach stood up so I could get a good look. Tariku took his other arm and brought me into a big family hug. He did not let go the entire 2 hours we were there. He kept touching our faces and our arms. He would have us sit down so he could sit on our lap. When he wanted to move he would get up then put his arms up. Once we said "up" he caught on and ended up telling us "up" by the end of our time. At one point I had taken him to snack area. Zach went to talk with another family. Tariku turned and noticed Zach wasn't there and started yelling, "Daddy, daddy". So we quick went to find him and Tariku was much better.
Then a few minutes later I had to go to the bathroom (turns out my bladder must be smaller in
In our short time together he had learned mommy, daddy, up, thank you, please. We had learned machinet (car), Tariku (pronounced tar-ee-koo but roll the r, memorize that, because that is how we will be calling him now). J So we're already learning from each other.
He was such a joy. Always loving, gave us lots of hugs, lots of kisses and we got quite a few belly laughs out of him. He's a Klipsch, loves when daddy throws him in the air. He also loves to play with mom's hair and chest (for some reason he enjoys rubbing it, but that's cool). When it was time for us to go, he started to cry until his social worker translated that we are coming back today. After that he gave us LOTS of hugs, kisses, waves and blowing kisses.
So we're very hopeful today. He is very possessive of the car we brought him and he quickly took over our water bottle and proceeded to down the entire thing and then keep refilling it. Though he was quite nice and shared the water with his friends.
I'm not going to lie to you, the first meeting exceeded my expectations. The pictures do not do him justice, he is far too adorable. He has HUGE dimples, beautiful white teeth, a beautiful smile. The curliest, light hair. His eyelashes are looong and curly and his lips are perfect for smooches!
So we just had lunch which was AMAZING and are now waiting to head to the office again so we can do some paperwork business. After that, we'll get to spend some more time with Tariku which obviously I'm so excited for.
I probably won't be able to post this until tonight as there's just one internet connection for all of the centers at CHS and it turns out 3:30 in the morning is best time to get on.
Ok, so we're back. It's now 5:30 our time. We just got done seeing Tariku for the second time. He got excited when we came again and came running into my arms (that will doubtfully ever get old). It seems attaching is going well as he would leave us for a bit more knowing we were still going to be there when he turned around. Still wouldn't go too far, but it was good seeing he understood we're here for him.
The kid loves THINGS. He hoardes them like it's his business and let's out a little squeal if someone tries to take things from him. Another cute thing he does is, instead of answering yes, he just nods (kind of like people do when they're saying something akin to "what's up?"). It's soooo precious.
We went through the photo album with him. He had obviously seen it many times. He can say "TT" and "Dailah" and knows who they were as he would point at them in every picture. Zach and I are attempting many Amharic words to help ease the transition. So far the only one we're real good at is "Shinte" which is basically asking him if he has to go to the bathroom. Can you tell what we consider important in this family? J
We're in the guest house for the rest of the night. We were able to take a bit of a walk to the office today. The city is amazing in the dichotomy of it all. Big buildings with squatters outside. Gold brushed buildings with cows and goats randomly walking by. It really is amazing.
One of my favorite parts of the day was when the kids were getting ready for a snack. One of the couples here are adopting a 6 and 7 year old and the 7-year-old led the group in a prayer. All the kids folded their hands to pray. I swear, I could literally see God smile.