Having made this flight before, I really was trying to find another route that has a layover somewhere in Europe so we could get off even for a short time and stretch our legs but it was not to be. So we are taking the exact same flights we took 3 years ago!
We leave Feb. 6th and fly to Dulles. There we meet up with Jill and her friend (YEA!) and hop the Ethiopian Airlines flight that will take us the rest of the way there. This is the leg that causes us trouble. We actually do have what is considered a layover in Rome (sounds wonderful, right?) but we are not allowed to get off the plane at all. We sit on the tarmac and have our plane cleaned and get a new crew and new food and water. This takes 1-2 hours. In our experience, this is a tough time. If they would just let me off the plane and allowed me to run around it 4 times, I'd be fine. I'd even pay $100 to do it!! But this isn't possible so Katie and I thought of another solution.
We are going to purchase those little battery operated hand held fans and use them during this time to get some "fresh air!" I know this sounds weird and it probably is but it gets pretty stifling in that airplane after an hour or 2 with the doors open and the air off. So we don't really care! So this is our little solution. Oh, by the way if you want to know, we will be on the same plane, sitting in the same seat for a grand total of 17 straight hours. See why I want to get out and run around the plane??????
But it is worth every second of discomfort to get our daughter!! It will sure be a different story on the way home, won't it?? Can't wait!!
We are staying at a very lovely guest home there that has a generator so when power is lost, which frequently happens in Addis Ababa, we will have power. There is internet access, hot water, free breakfast and lunch, a cell phone provided so Blaine can get ahold of us 24/7, our own bathroom and oh, did I mention the complimentary 1 hour professional massage?? This will be most welcomed after 17 straight hours on the same airplane, let me tell you!
We arrive Sunday night and will be picked up by our guest house. We'll try to get some sleep, get ourselves rehydrated Monday morning and then head to Layla House to get our girls! I have played this moment over and over in my mind.
What is the first thing I will say to my daughter? What would you say? Leave me a comment and let me know. I'll be crying, that I know and then Katie will start up. Oh, my that poor girl...I hope she doesn't think we don't like her!
We will take her back to the guest house and simply get to know each other. I'm sure she will go through her suitcase over and over, just looking at her new clothes and shoes. We will bring her a backpack that she can carry on the plane with her. What do I fill it with? Definitely a little stuffed animal but what else? Katie thinks it should contain a bag of gummy worms. I think it might be Katie who'd eat her gummy worms! Tarikwa could learn to share!
The agency has a farewell ceremony on Friday and after that we take off for home. Yep, only 5 nights in Ethiopia this time. Very short.
While we're there, I also want to ask the agency if they'll take us so we can see and get pics of any history that Tarikwa has in Addis Ababa. Since we have conflicting information on how she came to be at Layla House orphanage, I'm not sure what this will look like but we feel it is important to get any information we can for her. Maybe pictures of neighbors or something?? Not sure but I'll do what I can.
Katie crawled into bed with me yesterday morning and proceeded to tell me how I should keep her out of school that day so we could go shopping for her new sister! Sorry to all you strict parents out there but I said, "Yes" and told the school that we had family business that day and off we went to the Mall of America! We got a lot done, with lots more to do. Ok, ok to ease your minds...Katie is getting all A's with 2 B's and is a senior. It's also the end of a semester so not lots of new information being given out. Don't freak out on me now!
Today is the Genna (Ethiopian Christmas) celebration that we attend every year. It's always fun with lots of Ethiopian food, many adoptive families who've adopted Ethiopian kids, games and bouncy houses. Mihiretu and Misganaw get to see some of the children who they spent time with in the care center in Ethiopia before we adopted them.