Travel Journal – May 5, 2010

5 05 2011

(NOTE:  This post picks up half-way through the journal entry I made Wednesday night, when I stopped talking about Tuesday and started writing about Wednesday.)

Weds 9 pm

Today was another holiday so the traffic was light in the morning.  Still, L.D. was up about 5:20 am.  Lucking Jamie got me a diet coke yesterday so I had that as an option.

He is the most active of the young kids in our group.

We ate breakfast downstairs with the goal of going to the the Care Center slightly before 10 am for the Good-bye Ceremony.

LD and I were the first to arrive at the CC.  They had it set up beautifully with a coffee ceremony and cake, cookies, soda, etc…

They took me into a baby room I had not seen before to get LD dressed in his ceremonial outfit.  But then they saw he didn’t have a t-shirt on. 

(NOTE:  He had a shirt on, but not a onesie under his shirt.  Just like in many other countries, they really bundle the babies in lots of layers.)

So I had to run back to the hotel to get a onesie… Fortunately S had one in her bag so I didn’t have to come all the way upstairs.  LD did NOT want me to leave him with the nannies.  He was crying and never quite recovered.

He looked beautiful but felt lousy.

(NOTE:  I really think the way our Agency handles the transition from Care Center to adoptive parents is great.  The gradual process of meeting your kids but leaving them at the Care Center.  Which over the course of a few days goes to you taking primary care of them but them still spending a little time at the Care Center probably eases the transition for MOST kids.  It certainly worked well for Little Dude.  In five days he fully transferred his allegiance from them to ME.) 

We were both in full body sweat mode and he wanted to take a nap.  I had the nannies bring me a bottle which helped – but only temporarily.

LD and I dressed appropriately for ceremony.

There was a bible reading about Moses and some praying.  I was crying about all of it.  There was a ceremonial cake cutting which I also got wrong (didn’t have LD’s hand on the knife).

The Sister telling me I needed to put his hand ON the KNIFE. Having gone to Catholic High School I am used to having nuns correcting my behavior.

Then the nannies and staff fed us cake, and drinks and popcorn and coffee.  We should be waiting on them – not the other way around.

All the kids waiting - for cake and orange soda.

The videographer asked us to say something about our Agency but I couldn’t talk without crying.

Already showing my inability to control this child.

LD makes the best out of the group photo situation.

Eventually it was time to leave the kids there for lunch and nap.  By that time I had stripped LD down to a onesie and he felt better.

Tired of sweating, I break all cultural rules by stripping Little Dude (and myself) down to the bare minimum. That is a dress I am wearing, not a slip.

(Note:  another perfect example of my journal saying one thing, but my memories telling a different version.  The going away ceremony was a nightmare.  LD and I were both in full-body sweats the whole time.  I hated watching a bunch of young toddlers eat cake and drink bottles of soda.  I felt bad for the woman doing the coffee ceremony as it seemed at that point we were all coffee-ceremonied out.  The fact that I couldn’t talk to a video camera when doing on camera interviews about emotional issues has been a cornerstone of my career was testament to just what an emotional wreck I was.)

We headed out for shopping and lunch.

Shopping was okay.  The tiny stores they took us to had cool stuff but it was way too crowded with the big group and the prices were high and random.  I did get some stuff I like.

Lunch was a bit of a nightmare.  Apparently one of the cooks at the restaurant was out sick.  Our lunches came out one at a time.  Mine was first.  Some people’s took well over an hour to come.  We stopped at a coffee store after lunch.  I did not go in, just bought bracelets from a street vendor.  (Note:  what I remember most about this is staying in the van with one other mother and having women begging at the windows.  The other mother and I got in a discussion about how we felt about giving the Ethiopian women money or food or nothing.  This is something I struggle with… I just don’t know the right answer.)

When we finally got home I went straight over and got LD.

We ended up having a bit of a baby party in our room.  And I discovered that LD is a biter.

Eventually we went down to dinner after 7 pm.  This was a mistake as LD was already losing it.  Finally I just brought him upstairs and Jamie brought up our pizzas when they were ready.

We should have split a pizza – as we each only ate ½ and there is a full pizza going bad on our table.  It is shameful to waste food anywhere – but especially so here.

LD fell asleep drinking his bottle.  We had to wake him up to take his meds.  He really fought us – poor kid.  Then I just held him until he fell asleep again.

A group of people are going to do a little more shopping tomorrow.  Jamie is going to go.  I will be staying here.

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3 responses

5 05 2011
Shonda

I am loving reading your travel notes and I forgive you for cutting me out of the group photo 😉

I also got scolded for not having J layered and not having a onesie on underneath. I think they ended up dressing him in his traditional outfit over top of his regular shirt (I should go back and look at photos but I’m too lazy). I recall getting scolded numerous times for “baby care” issues, which I find sort of ironic, but I never really took personal. I also vividly recal sweating, being disgusted by the babies ingesting all the sugar (and thinking “I wonder how many times they have had to repeat this ceremony”) and feeling desperate for a Diet Coke and no. more. coffee. ceremonies…..

And, my “club” sandwich at lunch took 2 hours, and it was full of raw onions and I was too afraid to eat it.

And I really enjoyed the baby party in your room (even if LD did try to bite J) and our discussion of boy parts and circumcision 😉

6 05 2011
claudia

interesting comment about what you wrote, and what you really thought. Because the writing makes the ceremony sound lovely. But I’ve read Jamey’s version. (And your comment on Jamey’s version).

We were constantly getting scolded about not enough layers. I’ve never seen a baby as sweaty as ours were, underneath all their blankets. I was terrified by it – they were slick. I was so happy to finally strip them down to one layer.

6 05 2011
Christine

I hope you do a post about giving or not giving to people who beg. I would love to hear your opinion and the opinion of others, too. Maybe I will write about it on my blog. I love that you couldn’t speak to the video camera, it’s sweet, you sappy thing.

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