The first day we arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was gorgeous. Honestly, every day was gorgeous, 70 degree weather. Much better than the 30 degree weather we left in.
We got out of the airport and our driver took us to the guest house run by the adoption agency. I was surprised that everything is behind fences and gates. Everything private or semi-private anyway. Homes, many hotels, churches, etc. Later I learned that there are thieves that break in these places so they have a guard for them as well.
After we dropped our luggage at the guest house and sat for a little while, our director took us to visit 2 of the 3 orphanages. There were 4 families, 3 orphanages. (Mili and another baby were at the same one an hour and half away so we visited them the next day.)
Each couple had brought a bag of candy to hand out to the kids at their child’s orphanage. At the second one, watching the kids was as much a treat for us as it was to them to get the candy. They slowly and carefully sucked on the Smarties. Have you ever seen an American kids suck on Smarties? No. Mine practically inhale them. But for these kids, it was such a rare treat. Two little boys sat on my lap quietly and ate their candy, enjoying the attention and treat.
Kids in Ethiopia are truly loved. So it’s not that they don’t get attention, but that attention is just divided in so many ways. It was obvious that the nannies and staff loved the kids wherever we went.
The kids’ clothes were kept clean; everywhere we went there were clothes out on bushes or ropes drying. Unfortunately, though, the clothes were very worn and often too small. On one of our trips to an orphanage, all the kids came up to us showing off their new shoes. They were crocs or flip flops. One boy had on flip flops with a big flower on top; he was probably 9 or s0. He didn’t care about the flower; he was just thrilled he had new shoes! It was very heart-warming to see them excited.
It’s hard to be very sad around these kids when they’re so happy. What it did was to strengthen the spark in my husband and I into a fire. Our desire to do more is stronger than before.
I wish I could show everyone what we saw. I wish I could take every spoiled American to Ethiopia. I wish I could inspire even one family to adopt. The kids are beautiful kids that deserve another chance.
I’m excited to go back in a couple months and have started collecting donations again. And if anyone wants to come, you’re more than welcome 🙂