Ethiopia, Pt. 5

Friday, June 29 - COURT! 
Here's a picture of us, all dressed up and ready to go to court.
We were about half an hour early arriving to the court building, and they hadn't opened the doors yet, so our driver took us to Kaldi's (kind of like an Ethiopian Starbucks). I got a chocolate milkshake, which was delicious. Our driver was great - he told us all about his family, his time at college in Lancaster, PA and then Virginia (yup), his excitement and fears for Ethiopia... it was pretty cool! We went back to the court building, and met our lawyer, Nati. He was so sweet! I don't think he ever stopped smiling. He was 27 years old and actually still in law school. He told us multiple times, "You are so, so cute!" HA! I think it was mostly because we're younger than the majority of the couples he's worked with. Doug had asked Nati about his future plans for after law school, and his face lit up and he goes, "I want to tell people about Jesus! I want to tell people the Gospel." 

Court itself... was actually anticlimactic. We were pleasantly surprised to only wait about half an hour (we had steeled ourselves to wait for an hour or two). I had envisioned a sort of, um... Judge Judy? courtroom picture - you know, the stand, the judge's seat, etc... We were ushered into a little office room, where the judge was seated behind a standard office desk. We sat in chairs against the wall, and she asked us a few questions: "Have you seen Bonsa? Do you still want to adopt him? Do you understand that this adoption is permanent? Have you done any adoption training? Are you familiar with the culture and history of Ethiopia? Will you encourage Bonsa to learn about his Ethiopian heritage?" And then she explained that we were approved, but not yet official, because our letter from the Ministry of Women's Affairs hadn't been received yet. And that was that. Approximately 3 minutes? 

We went back to the guest house, went for a walk, Skyped my dad & Ethan... and then I started to get a headache... and a few hours later, the headache turned into nausea. Doug maintains that it was the chocolate milkshake - I maintain that something so delicious couldn't have turned against me that way. Regardless of the source, that was a very long night for me. I fell asleep around 7pm, woke up at 9 feeling the urge to throw up (sorry, gentle readers)... nothing happened. Called my mom. Tried to go back to sleep... drifted in and out, woke up around midnight and hung out in the bathroom for awhile, waiting to get sick... still nothing... fell back asleep, woke up around 5am, went and threw up in the bathroom. Fell back asleep almost immediately, woke up again around 9am. 

Saturday, June 30
Doug and I originally had plans to meet up with two other adoptive families and go to the lion park, so I showered and started getting dressed, but was really dreading going out in public because I still felt pretty yucky. However, we got a call from one of the other families canceling because the mom had a headache, so we called the other family and told them we were out too, which they were glad to hear because they'd had a rough night with their new son. So, we were disappointed that we didn't get to hang out, but thankful because a little before noon, I got sick again. However, after that purge, I felt totally better! The waiter that we had become friends with brought up a plate of toast and rice for me, and after eating that I was ready for the day. 

Earlier in the week, we met an American guy staying at our guest house, and he had told us about the Boston Day Spa, urging us to go there for massages. After my long night, and realizing we were flying home the next day, we decided to try it out. And it was amazing. If you're ever in Addis - Boston Day Spa. We both got an hour long Swedish massage... for $14 USD each. Twenty-eight dollars for a couple to get massages?! One hundred percent worth it.

Sunday, July 1
We enjoyed a delicious breakfast and packed up all of our belongings. It was really rainy, so I sat at our window and took some pictures of what I could see... which may have involved me doing some creeping with the zoom lens.
We flew out that evening and landed in Amsterdam early Monday morning. We had about a five hour layover, so we exited the airport. After finding out from a taxi driver that it would cost us $50 to drive approximately 10k to downtown, we decided to just go for a nice walk. We discovered a lovely little bike path and spent about an hour just meandering. 
 The thing that I was most struck by was how clean everything was!
 Even under the bridges!
 Such a lovely, brisk morning in the Netherlands!
 Flew out of Amsterdam around 11am, arrived in Chicago around 3pm Central Time, spent a little time talking with Dave and Sara about the trip, and then drove back to Michigan, getting home around 10pm EST, where we were greeted by an ecstatic pup with crazy eyes and a most welcoming, cozy bed.

And there you have it, folks! Ethiopia Adoption Trip 1, complete. Hopefully only 8-10 weeks til our next one... pray for a speedy Embassy date!


  1. I am really enjoying reading about your journey and can't wait to hear about the next step in your journey! I was just at Schiphol in March. Funny to think you were there too.

  2. you look so motherly in your court attire!

    1. LOL. Is that supposed to be a compliment...?