I'm typing with Tariku taking his nap next to me. Beyond his head I can see out over the town of
So he is officially ours. We woke up this morning to eat oatmeal and cornbread but not of the instant variety on either one so it was a real treat. We then went to the infant care center to get a tour of that. I would be lying if I said I wasn't "done" with the tours. At that point I was just ready to get Tariku in my arms for good. It's a beautiful facility with beautiful babies but I probably would've appreciated it more had the tour been on one of the first days. After we got through part of it, we saw they had brought the older kids to the center for the good bye ceremony. Once Tariku saw us, he was not letting go so I made an executive decision to skip the rest of the tour and hang with him. A couple minutes afterwards, a nanny took him upstairs to change his clothes.
As the older kids who weren't being adopted this week sat patiently (they were very good, it's amazing) we parents sat in joyful expectation waiting to see our kids in their traditional Ethiopian outfits. The babies came first, and then Tariku hurled himself down the stairs and lept into Zach's arms. He looked sooo handsome and it felt good to have him hurl himself at us. Though he was supposed to stand against the wall with the other kids being adopted this week, he chose instead to sit on our laps. (We didn't mind). I won't spoil the ceremony for those who may be reading in eager anticipation of their children's good bye ceremony but it was amazing. Very sad, very emotional (isn't everything in Ethiopia?) but very worth it. Arguably the most emotional part was seeing the nannies get so emotional. They were crying and hugging and kissing on all of the kids. There isn't a way to describe how amazing the nannies are, there just isn't. But I do hope they understand how great and appreciated they are by us adoptive parents.
The good bye ceremony was bittersweet for us as well. I'm incredibly sad for Tariku that he has to leave this place in order to have a family. Ethiopia is such a culturally rich place, I am grieving for him that he won't be returning to his motherland for a few years. CHS taped the ceremony so I hope as Tariku gets older he'll be able to see how much this country and the people of this country loved him.
After the ceremony we were loaded into the buses to head to the guest house for lunch. Lasagna Ethiopian style is approximately 100% better than any American lasagna I've ever had. This could be because of the brief stint the Italians had occupying Ethiopia. Anyway, Tariku slammed that stuff down as well. I gave him the same proportions as I gave myself and he had that sucked down long before I did. We, in fact, had to teach him the word "shovel" as that was how he was using his fork. Our son also enjoyed feeding daddy some of that special lasagna so it was cute as usual.
A few minutes of playing and then off to the American Embassy to get our kids' visas. We waited in line, were scanned, waited in line, were scanned (they took my bookbag from me, I got it back but it was strange, for those going soon don't bring CDs, batteries, tapes, or ANYTHING electronic with you). Waited in line and then we got to go to the interview. It consisted of a few questions we answered honestly and then they said, "Your child's visa will be given to your agency." And that was it. Not a lot of pomp and circumstance for what turns out to be the very last hurdle in this adoption. They told us we could not cheer for each family making it through but I got teary eyed thinking of all the hurdles we've jumped through to bring this precious being into the Klipschhood.
So we celebrated with some food for Tariku (do you read a theme here?) and hugs and kisses for us all. Waiting for a bus was interesting as a group of young men just sat and stared at us. The Ethiopian people give new meaning to the phrase "People watching" as they do it without disguising who or why they are looking at you. I envy their overtness about such matters.
Next came The Sherton where we went to confirm our flights for Thursday night. We were told to be at the airport at 7:15 and our flight leaves at 10:45 pm so that should be nice. I was also able to buy a traditional wrap that the women carry their young in here. When I was talking to the woman in the store I asked Tariku which color he would like, purple or green. So she translated for me and then started laughing. She said, "He says he does not want you to carry him in that." This was made even funnier as I was carrying him in the Ergo carrier at the time. So I settled on the purple.
We stopped for a brief stint at a super market because another couple needed snacks. I didn't necessarily need anything but I bought this mix they have here that has nuts, popcorn kernels and other goodness in it. I'm presently munching on it.
That brings us to now. Tariku Asamo Abiyu Xavier Klipsch is napping next to me. His eyes got too heavy holding up the long, curly eyelashes apparently. We thought for sure we'd be in for a treat when it came to nap time as it was 2 hours later than he normally went down and, there is, of course, the whole language issue. But Zach and I laid next to him and showed him closing eyes, etc. Zach kept a strong arm on him to keep him from getting up. J He ended up breaking free for a minute but I grabbed him and laid him on my chest and started whispering "ischi ischi" which basically means either thanks, it's okay, calm down, it's cool or something like it depending on which Ethiopian you ask. I also rubbed his back and his legs. He started to get heavy breathing and closing his eyes. He got up for long enough to move his head to the pillow and has been out since. One nap down 4 trillion to go in our lifetime together, let's hope the others are half this easy.
The rest of the night is all Tariku all the time. We hear he's a bit of a night owl so we'll see how well that goes over tonight. I am overwhelmed with this guy. I never in a million years thought I would have attached to him so quickly and effortlessly. There is no "playing" mommy with me right now, he makes it quite easy to love him. I'm so eager to bring him home and have his brother and sister meet him. Zach and I were agreeing today that he and Trysten will have lots of fun and he and Dailah will undoubtedly keep me on my toes. What a perfect place to be!
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