Monday, February 2, 2009

Trip to Hosanna

Yesterday was a long, emotional day as we travelled down to Hosanna to meet Geta and Tamene's birth father. The bus left the guesthouse promptly at 6am, which Mike was NOT so happy about. It was a long 3 ½ hour bumpy ride and many on the bus had upset stomachs. However, we all faired pretty well, except for sore rear ends from sitting on seats without much cushion for so long. The meeting with Etore was priceless for both Mike and I, but I won't share any detail to maintain his privacy. We were so happy to have the chance to meet him and reassure him that we will raise Geta and Tamene with as much love as we can give them. He was so grateful that we had a big family and even took a picture with all of us!
After the meeting, we had a short prayer service with all the birth families and adoptive families. Each birth parent lit a candle and gave it to their child's adoptive family. There were many tears on both sides of the room. After a prayer by the birth parents and a prayer by the adoptive parents, we said our good-byes and they were escorted back to their village, about a 25 minute ride from Hosanna. I was very glad to hear that the birth parents were well fed while they waited for us to arrive. It was a day that Mike and I will never forget.
The adoptive families then celebrated a traditional coffee ceremony. While this was a nice cultural experience, it was also a good time for us to release all the emotion of the morning and take some time to ourselves to figure out how to deal with what we just experienced. There is a tremendous amount of guilt that I have come to know in this adoption process. The world can be so unfair. In Ethiopia, people work from sun up to sun down and then some. They come home to small, one room huts that they share with their cattle to have a very modest meal and then sleep on mats that lay on a dirt floor. There certainly is an upper class here in the city, but the rural areas are all about the same. One village looks just like the next.
We did get to stop by the Orphanage where Geta and Tamene stayed from May through September. We weren't allowed inside, but there is something about walking the path of your children that helps you understand their fear a little better. We also got to see a small bakery and school that our Agency has funded in the Hosanna area. It allows single women to work and local children to get an education. Finally, we stopped on the roadside to see the inside of one of the huts that our children would have lived in. It is amazing how well they manage space. The hut that we saw housed 5 or 6 children along with the parents and some cattle. It was probably 15 feet in diameter. The dirt floor was freshly swept and there was nothing out of place. There was a small garden behind the house where they grew food for them to eat.
We arrived back at the guesthouse last night around 4:30pm and had dinner. It was an early night for everyone. (Except dad and one other adoptive father who got up at 4 in the morning to watch the second half of the Superbowl!



  1. I imagine it's late Monday evening in Addis. I'm glad to hear that everyone made it safely to Hosanna and back, despite the uncomfortable transport! Hoping your last three days in Addis go smoothly.

  2. I have to learn to read this when I am at home and alone, not at work! I tear up every time. I am so happy you are doing this, I love to come in a read about your adventure! Sure has been quite an experience!

  3. I think I would need a vacation after all that you've been through emotionally. Hopefully, Geta and Tamene will be comfortable enough with Grandma and Grandpa and their new siblings that you and Mike might be able to sneak out for dinner alone when you get back. There is value in just sitting and letting your guard down, especially when you've had to be "on" for so long. The body needs a break now and then. I just can't emphasize enough how proud I am of you guys and impressed!