"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day." Habakkuk 2:3

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ethiopia - Trip Two - Day Four - Visa Pick-up & Last Trip to Hannah's Hope

When you can't sleep, there is nothing else better to do then jump on the computer and get downloading pictures. Adam even had a helper.

We brought a couple soccer balls (futballs) with us this time to throw out in the field across from our hotel while they were playing ball. Today we finally got the chance to do just that.

I placed the balls in a backpack along with stuffing all the other pockets with snack treats. Outside the hotel, there were median barrier dividers down the middle of the street so I couldn't just cross the street over to the field. I had to walk up the street to the corner where I could cross safely. Walking by myself, away from the hotel and in another country was a weird feeling. Everywhere we have been, we were with other people. Never alone in an unfamiliar area, so to be out solo was a different feeling.

As I walked past others, they were all nice and said hello. I got to the corner and was able to cross the busy street quite easily. On the other side, there was a bus stop and two vans stopped letting a lot of people off. I definitely felt out of place but just kept walking. Even walked past a couple donkeys carrying cylinder blocks. Basically shared the sidewalk with anyone or thing.

Finally made it back across from the hotel on the field side. Located a path that took me down to the field. As I hit the path, there were 5 or 6 workers digging a ditch. They all looked up at me as I came down the path. We have been seeing donkeys in this located with water containers from our hotel window. We assumed there must be some water there but couldn't see due to the hill. Now that I was there in person, it was a small creek that flowed right under the highway and into the field area. It flowed right out of a huge culvert. Not sure where the water was coming from or how clean it was but people were filling up there water containers with it. These guys digging looked as if they were creating some type of channel for the water.

It was getting hot, even though it was only about 11:00AM. I asked how it was going. They smiled and said good. One then asked if I had any water. I wish I would have brought a bunch for them because they were definitely working hard. Instead, I reached into the backpack and gave them all a fruit leather snack. As I was walking away, I noticed that some placed it in their pockets, a few were studying what it was while one opened it up and started tasting it.

I finally made it up to the ball field where one guy met me along with some little kids standing by. I asked if he wouldn't mind me watching them play some as I've been watching from the hotel window all week. I then took out the futballs and said I also brought these over for you guys. As I gave them to him, thinking he would share, the whole game sort of stopped and all the players started coming over. They were kidding with the one guy I was talking with and handed the balls to when it dawned on me that this guy didn't want to share. He was trying to keep the balls for himself. It was actually a funny scene as they were all joking and laughing while they kicked the one ball he couldn't hold on to.

Since I had them all around, I then handed out all the snacks I brought down. Man did some new kids arrive pretty quickly behind me. One small boy I noticed came walking up and stood there. I thought I finished handing out all the snacks and looked around when he caught my eye. I don't remember handing him one so i asked if he got a snack. He shook his head no. I then gave him a package and he smiled. As I continued to stand there and watch them go back to playing, I noticed that one smaller kid did not like the gummy bear fruit snacks as he spit it out and then tried to trade with another kid for his peanut-butter crackers.

The first guy I spoke with, one that kept his futball, he had pretty good English and we talked a bit. He asked if we were here for work or vacation. I told him we were adopting and staying at the hotel. He thought that was cool. I asked how often do they play ball since I am always seeing them from the hotel. He said that they usually play for 2 - 3 hours as long as enough players show up. Then they have a school team that practices which is the one we also watched warm up.  They were all in colorful practice jerseys.

This is the guy that didn't want to share his new futball as you can see he's holding it instead of letting them play with it. :-)

Here is a view of our hotel from the field. Lower corner of the picture you can see the huge culvert I was explaining earlier.

Even saw and Ethiopian Airline fly over getting ready to land at Bole International Airport.

After that it was time to head on back. As I was walking back toward the diggers and the sidewalk, I walked right past two huge bulls with horns. Again, that weird feeling of wow, I'm walking next to these two huge bulls. I kept telling myself, please don't turn and run toward me. I then stopped by the diggers one last time and gave them everything else I had left in my backpack. They thankfully accepted the offer and I took off up to the sidewalk. I made the walk back up the road to the corner, crossed the street, and back down to the hotel. It was a fun walk.

Back in the hotel room, Amber took some pictures of me down in the field from our window. She also took some more of Seble. We had one more day in Ethiopia. With that, we started to organize how our luggage was going to be packed with the items we got and so we wouldn't have to carry as much luggage back with us. We placed the smaller ones inside the larger ones to lessen our load.

While the suitcase was on our bed, we had a pretty happy stow-away.....

It was then about time to head to Hannah's Hope for our last time. We had to be there at noon. It was going to be an exciting trip because we finally are going to get in our hands, Seble's Visa to leave and be able to come home. But, at the same time, it was going to be sad. We fell in love with Hannah's Hope and how they treat all the kids, old and young alike. It was a sad feeling to have to say bye to the Special Mothers and the orphanage as a whole. Well, Wass came and picked us all up and we made the last trip.

Once we arrived, we were able to head back up to Seble's room. We were hoping to see Beti again and for Amber to see her for the first time. As we got into the room, Beti wasn't there. The other special mother said that Beti was on lunch break. As we started to look out the bedroom door, we heard that Beti was heading up to see Seble. Here she is as she  is coming up the stairs to spend the rest of her lunch break with Seble.

Seble and her other Special Mother, Beti. Beti was on the night shift rotation during our first trip so we never got to meet her until now.

I asked Beti if she got the pictures of Seble we brought over as we left them all on Sunday, the first day we got in. She said, "Sara, other Special Mother got lots, I got one." I promised her we would take lots of pictures and then we would send them back to her. We never saw her the first trip so the pictures were all of Seble and Sara. (When we got home, we gave Beti a book like we gave Sara from the first trip and then we made another book for both of them from the second trip along with many pictures and sent them over with another family that was traveling)

In the meantime, another traveler from our group brought a travel size picture printer that prints little wallets. It was SO cool and she let us use it so we were able to take some pictures right then and there and then print them off some wallet pictures straight from our camera. They LOVED them. (Thank you SO much Lisa)

Beti, Seble, and the other Special Mother

We then were able to get a full group photo.

Then everyone started coming in to say bye as our time to leave was coming fast. This is one of the nurses.

We then had to head outside for our last meeting with Almaz. As we were waiting outside, we noticed that they were drying the baby clothes again on the clothes line but we then also noticed that they were drying some diapers and these were NOT cloth diapers.

The other nurse at Hannah's Hope.

It was then time for our meeting with Almaz. We met in the bigger kids courtyard, by the swing-set. Almaz wanted to let us know about the whole adoption process and how blessed each child is that were leaving with us. Wanted to let us all know that we are their light into the world and to let others know about adoption etc. It was a real nice talk. We have it all on video too. :-)

She then got to the point of handing out our packets that needed to be turned into customs once we land in the US and they were NOT to be opened. It has to be a sealed envelope. We already have seen all the paperwork that is in the packet so it's nothing new she said. We then were handed her Visa!! We couldn't believe we finally had ALL the paperwork in our hands we needed to take our daughter home!

Three of the families were flying out tonight while just two of us were staying and flying out tomorrow night. We looked over everything to make sure all was good and it was....at least for us. One family, one that we met on our first trip and became friends with, their daughters passport was all correct but they had Seble's referral picture on it. It was a complete mistake on the Embassy's part but this family was one that was flying out tonight so Almaz immediately took them back to the US Embassy to get this all straightened out. Almaz had to take Seble's Visa too so they can show them. Talk about stressing out about it and worrying if you would make your flight. Almaz got it all straightened out in a few hours and all was good for them to fly out.

Here is Seble's customs packet and her very own Passport and Visa!!!!

Before Almaz took the one family, we quickly took our travel group photo so they could get on the road and get the passport/visa photo problem corrected.

The Rapps Family and The Stutzman Family

The Stutzman Family and The Morrill Family

Because Wass took Almaz and the other family to the US Embassy using the bus, we had to have Geb take us back to the hotel in the van. We all crammed into the van. These vans are actually pretty sweet vehicles and have lots of room. I wish I could get my hands on one for our family vehicle. It would work out awesome for our family.

Here we are leaving Hannah's Hope. It was sad to leave because it just felt so much part of our lives these last few years.

We then headed back to the hotel where we finally got to meet back up with Solomon. We asked if Solomon would be able to take myself, Karen & Angela back to the shopping area for some LAST minute gifts and then to the Italian restaurant that has the Ethiopian paintings. So he did.

Heading down the street back to the shopping area. We picked up some last minute items I didn't get or that Amber didn't approve of on the first shopping trip this week. It was good to go back though to say one last bye to all the store owners and get some pictures.

We then made a stop at Kaldi's Cafe. Basically it is Ethiopians Star Bucks. They had some really good ice cream we were told from our first trip in November that we could eat and not get sick. We made a quick stop.

This was a sign hanging up on their wall. It was the story of coffee. Very interesting. Probably too small to read so below is the story.

From berries and beans
the first steaming cup
in the morning
Ancient legends tell the story of KALDI
an Ethiopian goat herder thought
to be the first to discover the mystical
properties of coffee. He was so amazed
at the dancing of his goats after they had
eaten some barriers from a near by shrub
that he decided to try some of the ripe
red 'cherries' for himself. The pleasant
Stimulating effect they produce led him
to share his discovery with the local
monks. Coffee quickly evolved in to a
ceremonial religious drink helping the
monks awake during their
long hour of prayer.
Coffee is a fruit and complex of one that
it takes three to five years of the perfect
combination of sun shade and rain. An
Arabica coffee produces its first mature
Cherries which contains the two green
seeds we know and value as
coffee beans.

We then head to the Italian restaurant that also has Ethiopian Art. Just outside there are little shacks that were selling magazines. Also, here is Solomons taxi car we drove in.

Here is a sign just outside the restaurant I spoke about during one of the first trip blogs. Short version of the story, while backing up, Wass tagged the sign with the bus after we had lunch at the restaurant. One guy was making a fuss about it to where Wass paid him some Birr to fix it and all was good. I joked that the sign would probably not get fixed and on our second trip, it would still be left bent. Sure enough, here is the sign on our second trip, still bent.

Through-out the city, we saw nothing but herds of goats and lots of chickens. Ethiopians were only two days away from their Christmas. Ethiopian Christmas is nothing like our United States Christmas. Chrismas for them deals mainly with family, friends, and lots of food. They don't do presents. It's mainly eating and this is why we saw LOTS of animals being sold and taken back to their owners home.

Solomon said that most people would just butcher the goat, cow, or chickens right in their living room or the commons area of their village. This guy is carrying his, I'm assuming, newly purchased goat home.

On our way back to the hotel, we went past a portion of the Korah Dump.

This guy is going to have chicken for his Christmas meal.

We arrived back to the hotel and made arrangements with Solomon to come pick us up in the morning. We were going to go again and visit the church Seble was found and then go to Solomon's house to see his family and to give his village and family some gifts we got and other gifts that were donated by friends back at home.

We got to see the other three families off in the hotel van to the airport. The hotel soon became a bit quieter and lonelier once they left. It was only us and one other family now. We ate dinner in the restaurant and then spent the rest of the night in the hotel packing and getting ready for our last day in Ethiopia.


  1. Brilliant Post. Really felt I got a good feel of your trip. Seble is so Precious!!

  2. I absolutely love how much detail you include in your posts... it actually makes me feel less nervous about traveling to ET. Thank you!


Our Airport Homecoming for our 2nd Adoption~

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Our Journey up to our Referral

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Seble's Referral Video

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"Although it may not always be obvious to us, there seems to be one distinct moment when God begins a new story in each of our lives. He writes words on our hearts that long to be spoken and strain to be lived out. Then with His own great hand, He begins to write the script. Experience by experience through seemingly ordinary days, He supernaturally orders our lives. Only when we look back and reflect on what appeared to have been the ordinary events of life does it become clear what a miracle the Lord has performed." Jan Beazely

LUCY LANE-AGCI-ADOPTION VIDEO! This inspired us to follow our dream!


What Adoption is About! What a Testimony! Lundy's Adoption

We Love this family and this video is inspiring!