After our first sleepless night in the guest house, we had a nice breakfast together with the whole group and then we all hopped back on the bus for the very short ride to the care center. (where the children stay) We can actually see the care center from the window in our room at the guest house...
It was pretty strange pulling up to the care center... It looks like a mansion, with big gates (although everything has gates here) an empty swimming pool, and a large patio in front....There were social workers and camera crews that met us at the doors. They told us that they were going to take two families at a time upstairs to meet their children and the rest could wait in a large room. Again, felt strange because we were sitting in a room with marble floors, huge pillars and chandeliers, but otherwise very empty.
They started calling families...of course we were called last.
But before long, we were headed up the stairs. We followed the social worker up four flights of marble stairs at the top there was a camera crew waiting and the social worker pointed to a room to the left and smiled.
We headed in to find babies babies and babies....babies in cribs, babies playing on the floor...I looked at the nanny, she smiled, I scanned the room trying to see his face...I couldn't focus on anything! The social worker looked at me and asked if I recognized him? I almost started to cry to because I really wasn't up for playing games---but then Jud spotted him!
He was sitting on the floor in a boppy looking down at a toy.
We both got down on the floor and started talking to him and he looked up at us with a big smile.
He is absolutely gorgeous!
We were able to spend a few hours holding him and playing with him. He is a very happy and smiley baby. He has an incredibly cute little giggle. He is very playful and seemed to really like all the attention he was getting from us. He was making great eye contact with us and loved grabbing our faces. He seemed quite fascinated with my long hair....loved pulling it!
He loves to suck his thumb....which gives me hope that we will be able to get him back onto the bottle.
I was bummed to find out that he has already been switched to cup feeding for formula....many of the children kept getting sick and apparently it is easier and more effective to sterilize the cups than bottles and nipples. Obviously, at his young age there are still many benefits of bottle feeding. The sucking motion is very important for speech development and obviously the bonding time, the closeness from gazing into each others eyes for several minutes many times a day...
We fed him his "mush" for lunch...he sure likes to eat! He quickly gobbled up the whole bowl, and then snuggled in to my arms and fell asleep.
It was so hard to put him down in his crib.
But it was time for us to go back to the guest house.
We had a brief meeting with some of the CHSFS staff about what our next week was going to be like. They sure keep us busy the whole time we're here!
After we all had lunch together we got back on the bus...they split us into groups. The first two groups went back to the care center for more time with the kids, and the the third group went to the CHSFS offices for a meeting with the social worker and saw the life video. A video that showed the birthfamily home and told some history of the family... An incredible gift!
I don't know what else to say about that right now, so moving right along... We met with the physician, then handed in some important documents to the office for the visa appointment and paid for the Hosanna trip.
Once we all had a turn at the office we headed back to the guest house for dinner and a few movies about Ethiopia. We were all completely exhausted! Emotionally drained. Off to bed by 8:00
Jud and I woke up around 2am and could not fall back asleep. At 4am we decided that since it was about 7pm at home, we'd call the kids!
We miss them sooooooo much!