Sunday, December 19, 2010

meeting our boy

Hey everyone,
 
To say that today was amazing would be a complete understatement! We had a full day of activity but by far the best part was finally meeting the sweet boy we've been staring out in pictures for the last 3 months. After a pretty good night of sleep, we woke up early this morning and made the 2 hour journey to the Nazaret, Ethiopia. Our little man has lived in Nazaret his whole short life and we were thrilled to get to see his original hometown with our own eyes. The scenery alone to Nazaret also made the trip very worth the drive. It was funny to be driving along the road in a large, modern van and then pass a herd of goats or a man on a donkey pulled cart. It felt like we had stepped back in time!
 
When we finally made it to Natty's orphanage, we were both immediately tearful just from seeing the orphanage's name printed on the gate. After what seemed like a lifetime, the guard opened the gate and both of our hearts began racing knowing that we were finally so close. We were then led on a tour of the orphanage with our final stop being the infant room. The room's walls were lined with cribs which held around 15 babies. At first we were led to a crib of a little baby boy who we thought they were saying was our baby. The more we looked at him, the more we realized that this was not our Nathanel!! We were starting to get a little worried that we had been given the wrong referral picture or that there was some drastic mistake but then one of the nannies walked in with our freshly bathed little guy. We realized that our tour guide was just showing us one of the cute boys in the room, not trying to tell us it was Nathanel! They were just waiting for our little guy to finish getting ready for our special meeting :) When the nanny brought him in the room, she walked him over to put him in his crib and he just stood there looking at us. He was {of course} wearing his favorite color, pink, and looked just like his pictures!!
 
We scooped him up and didn't let go for the rest of the time we were there! He was a little fussy at first but as soon as the nanny brought his bottle over, he was perfectly content. Ryan and I took turns feeding him his lunch and he seemed a little confused about who we were, but that is to be expected since we just met! After he drank his bottle, we sat outside passing him back and forth and giving him all the hugs and kisses we've been waiting to give for months now. He was pretty serious the whole time but we were determined to get a smile out of him before we left. We finally found a tickle spot and saw his smile and heard his sweet laugh for the first time. It was definitely music to this mommy and daddy's ears! 
 
After about an hour, we took him around with us so we could pass out candy and a couple soccer balls to the rest of the kids in the orphanage because we were told that our time was drawing near. All the kids were preparing for nap time so they were in their beds spread out over about 4 rooms. In the bigger kids' rooms, almost all the kids slept 2 to a small bed, with a few sleeping 3 to a bed. Despite their circumstances, the kids were so sweet and gave us the biggest smiles when we handed out the candy. Nathanel was a trooper and went along with us on our hip and seemed content to walk around visiting with the other kids. After passing out the candy, we took Natty back to his room so he could lay down for a nap. We weren't sure if we'd be able to visit with him again today or not so we gave him kisses and promised to be back soon.
 
We left and were on cloud 9 pretty much for the rest of the day! After the orphanage, we had a great lunch at the hotel where we are staying tonight in Nazaret. We sat outside a the hotel's restaurant next to the pool and we couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day {70 degrees sounds a lot better than the 27 degrees in KY today}! It was definitely a surreal experience to be eating next to a lush swimming pool, especially after what we have experienced so far on the trip but we were thankful for a mental and emotional break. Later today, Hannah, from our adoption agency, and our driver, Yonas, took us to a park in Nazaret to feed the wild monkeys. Before going to the park we stopped to buy 7 kgs of bananas, and it only cost us only about $2.50 for all those bananas!! We were definitely shocked by the price. At the park, the monkeys were everywhere and pretty much swarmed when they realized that we were handing out goodies. Some of them would come right up to us and eat the bananas out of our hands so obviously they are used to a lot of visitors!
 
After hanging out at the park for awhile, we headed back to Nathanel's orphanage to pick up another couple so we got to see him for a few more minutes. When we got back to his room, he was standing in his crib and we put him on the floor for a few minutes of playtime. He crawled around a little bit but we were most impressed when he grabbed onto a plastic chair, pulled up on it, and started walking around the room pushing it. He seems so little to be cruising already but we forget that he's already over 13 months old! We kissed him goodbye again and are now settled into our hotel room for the night. The hotel's accommodations are very nice to say the least, and Ryan loved the price...only 365 birr {equivalent to about 21.00 USD}/night!!!
 
We will get to go back to the orphanage again in the morning for one last visit with our little man before heading back to Addis tomorrow afternoon, since we have to appear in court on Tuesday. We can't wait to spend more time with our little guy tomorrow and will update again as soon as we can. We also hope to send and post some pictures of our growing family if and when we pass court Tuesday!!
 
Thanks again for all your prayers, sweet emails and support!!!! We are overjoyed and can't wait to bring Nathanel {Greer} home soon to introduce him to everyone. Blessings to you all from the beautiful Ethiopia!
 
~Ryan & Lesli

4 comments:

Barry and Amy said...

So very happy for you guys! What a blessing!

Can't wait to be in your shoes and meet our little guy soon!

ARMSTRONG ADVENTURES said...

Awesome!! What a sweet day. I can't wait to see some pictures and hear more about your trip.

amiyourmother said...

Sounds like everything has been wonderous so far!

Life with Lucy said...

Praise the Lord!!!! I'm so giddy for you guys! SO EXCITING! Praying for court today!!! (it's Tuesday here already) Love you so much!!!