We left Knoxville at 6am on 12/10. Don't really think I slept at all that night! Our donations were all packed and we were ready to go - that big box is a rocking chair and we had a tote and 2 duffle bags packed full of diapers, wipes, formula, etc. So thankful for all the things that people gave to take over with us.
We went from Knoxville to DC, and then boarded our plane that went straight to Addis Ababa - a 13 hour flight.
Watching the screen the entire way - pretty sure I didn't sleep for that 13 hours either!
We landed in Addis at about 7:45am (about midnight our time) and after we stood in line forever to get our visa, go through immigration, find our luggage, customs, etc. we found our ride and got to our hotel at about 9:30. We were given our itinerary and saw that we were being picked up in 45 minutes to go to Hannah's Hope to meet R! Can't even explain that feeling - to know that I was finally going to get to hold my little girl. This is us riding in the van to go to Hannah's Hope.
Finally we saw them - the black gates that I had seen so many times in other people's pictures - the gates that lead you into Hannah's Hope.
We were greeted by the older kids will shouts and hugs - so precious to be greeted by these sweet little faces. Tears are already rolling down my face and these aren't even my children, but they are kids that I pray for daily. Then our driver D told us that our little one was over at the baby house. The special mothers take the babies and toddlers outside every morning to "sun" and play. R's special mother was holding her when we got there. Finally, the moment of holding her in my arms had come. She was so tiny, even more tiny than I thought she would be. But so perfect. She fit perfectly in my arms.
It always amazes my how my body doesn't forget the feel of a baby in my arms, or the swaying my body automatically started when I held her. It remembers what to do. We spent about 4 hours that day holding her, giving her a bottle, and getting to know her.
We also met with Johannes (our family coordinator) to exchange money (100 birr = ~$6 USD) and to place our coffee orders.
Fell into a very happy sleep that night - looking forward to the next day!