Saturday, May 12, 2012

Our Court Trip in Ethiopia

We are excited to introduce our son, Fetinet Nikao

Well, we have been home from Ethiopia for almost 3 weeks now.  We have been very busy with getting our house ready to become a family of four and have been and still are, working on adoption grants, USCIS paperwork and continuing education.  To be honest I am so over all this paperwork and to-do's and just want my boy home!  I have been "nesting" I guess one would say.  Just like a couple months before Jalen came into this world, last touches were being done to his room and cleaning and organizing was in full force, yep, same thing going on now.  We have no idea when we will get the email saying we are cleared from the US Embassy, and can book our flights to go get Fetinet and bring him home and I want to have everything done and ready just like I did when I was pregnant, although I probably won't pack my bags this time.  We do know that lately it is taking 30-90 days before most families are getting the email and we are guessing we will bringing him home sometime between mid June to mid July!

While we were in Ethiopia we got to spend every day with our boy.  After breakfast we were taken to the transition home where he lives and and got to play with him and the other kids.  The cool thing is that all but 2 of the kids that are there now are kids that will be coming home very soon too and we know their families and all are within a drive from us!  We got to take a package to a little boy who will be meeting his forever family in the next couple weeks and got to take pictures and videos to share with all of their families who are waiting to travel for their court dates.  We also got to meet up with a great friend of mine whom we had never met in person but God gave us court dates within days of each other so it was very fitting that we met in Ethiopia.  We made friends with another couple who was staying at the guest house we were at and were also there for their court date, as well as we made friends with the guest house staff who were wonderful and we look forward to visiting them again real soon.  We got to take Fetinet to lunch everyday, got to give him his first ice cream, took him to the museum, zoo (which is very VERY little so he will be in shock when he comes to a zoo here), and got to play a lot of "futbol" with him, one of his favorite things to do.  We also got to meet his father and that was one of the best experiences we could have asked for.  We got to ask him questions, tell him about us and got pictures with him as well as a video of him leaving a message for Fetinet that we will show him when he is older.  We are keeping most of that time to ourselves for the privacy of our son but just know we couldn't have been more blessed by that meeting.

We got to ask Fetinet (through a translator) what his favorite colors were, if he wanted to share a room with Jalen, if he wanted top or bottom bunk and a bunch of other things to get his room ready when he gets here.  I also have been learning a little bit of Amharic and had a phrase book with me so I could say things to him like:  I am your mommy, this is your brother (while showing him pictures, are you hungry?, are you happy?, I love you, you are going to live with us and we are excited to have you in our family.  These all came from a little book I got on Amazon that gives words and phrases for adopting families, very helpful and he thought it was funny having me talk to him in his language as I was reading from this book :)

For those who have asked about him.  He is 7 years old and is in school now in which he learns Amharic (the native language of Addis Ababa but not his native language) and English amongst many other subjects but this was his first year so his English is very little.  We will be working with him to learn English and from what we have been told, many kids pick up on it pretty quick, but will also be trying to learn his language as well so we can make him feel more at home.  He will start 1st grade in the fall at the school right by our house and I have a meeting in 2 weeks with the principal to see the rooms and get information that the kindergartners know and what the 1st graders will be expected to know.   This school has yet to have a student from another country but this fall they will have one from Haiti, one from Ethiopia and one from the Ukraine...our town is becoming quite the adoption community!

So now I will leave you with a few photos from our trip...there are so many I would love to share but I would be here all night so we'll start with these :)
some random pictures of Addis Ababa

just need one more hand in this picture to be complete but oh how I love it!

views from our room

out to lunch at top view where he ate his first ice cream

out to lunch and carry his Brown Bear with him everywhere

this was in the midst of me taking picture after picture of him and he thought it was pretty funny
we got to visit Fetinet at school while he was taking a test, he got to leave early with us for the day but it was amazing talking to his teachers and the school psychologist and getting pictures of his classroom and classmates!

our first family picture after passing court

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