It was on Thanksgiving Day one year ago, Nov 23, when we first met our three sons in the flesh and kissed those sweet faces. We were coming to the care center early and on our own with no other families and even though we called a day ahead and told them in Minnesota that we were coming, nobody was expecting us. We were in the lobby of the Hilton waiting for a taxi and I was cold, clammy, and my stomach hurt. I felt sick and I couldn't stop shaking. Our taxi came, we arrived after our driver called to get directions, we met staff, & received paperwork. Oh, I have to mention, our file over there was labelled "Triplets", and not G___ or C___, our lasts names, which was funny. Finally they said, let's go meet your children. We came in the room and they point out the crib. These? is all I remember Jerry saying. They handed Jerry two of our babies and me one (Tsega). I pointed to each of the three babies and said their names. The nannies laughed and clapped as they were impressed I could identify each baby (I had studied the paperwork before going in and knew to look for the pierced hole on Sira's ear!).
Needless to say we moved slowly throughout the week with three great weights hanging from us. Many families who travel describe waiting around endless for drivers and being generally confused with worthless schedules. Not us. We were the ones being waited on (are you ready yet?) and I wasn't even aware of a schedule until I was scolded for not attending a morning meeting. The only difficult part of our travels was when Sira threw up in my dinner on the plane ride home and when he almost got thrown from the top of a luggage cart on our way in Bole Airport. Oh, and the stomach bugs, ohhhhhhh. . .
Naturally this holiday has taken on profound meaning in our family although injera and wot may substitute for rolls and turkey at our thanksgiving table; and maybe some teg to wash it down ;). We loved them before we touched them, but we were strangers to each other a short one year ago. It took several months before we felt like a bonded family, but everyday the love has grown and I can't remember any bad days (well, that one sleep-deprived weekend when Jerry was out of town. . . ). So much has changed, a lifetime in only one year. Thank you cosmic universe, thank you A, ours sons' first mother, thank you Jerry for being father of the year, and thank you Tsega, Bereket, and Sira for all your love and miracles. Happy Thanksgiving to all.
I put together a photo montage of our first week with the boys at the Addis Ababa care center. I'm also working on a summary of our Ethiopian travels and photos in honor of our family's anniversary, so stay tuned. . .