Monday, November 29, 2010

Court Trip - Post 6 - Hugs, Pictures, Lunch, and Goodbye

After court was over, our driver took us back to the guest house so we could all change clothes. Once we were all wearing something a little more comfortable, we again piled into the white van and drove to the care centers to say goodbye to our children. The driver dropped Eric and I off first at Care Center 3. He blew the horn and the gates were opened for us. We started to walk into the court yard area just as Markos was being brought out of the care center building into the same area. He ran to us and gave me a big hug. (ahhh, heaven!) Then, he leaned back to look me in the face and, with a big smile, said, "machina". (pronounced ma-key-na, Amharic for "car"). heehee. I told you he really loved that car! Not sure if he was happy to see us or just happy to get that car back again! But, either way, we didn't care!

The three of us went into the same big empty room that we were in the previous day. We played with the balls, car and punching balloons again. But, first, we sat down with Markos and showed him the family album we made him with pictures of us and the kids, our house, our yard, his bedroom, and other extended family members. I tried to get him to repeat names, but he would just smile and nod his head. I attempted to say, in Amharic, things like "Markos bedroom", "Markos brother", "Markos sister", "Markos family", "Markos America" to try to make sure that he understood that we were, in fact, returning for him to take him to America. Mr. Independent insisted on holding the book himself and flipping the pages himself. Ai yi yi. Flashbacks of Daniel at that age are running through my head...

When we finished looking through it (at record speed), he tucked it under his arm and attempted to play while holding onto it. Once he realized this would be too difficult, he went over and hid it under the shelf of the TV stand in the corner. He would play for a while, then go over, sit against the wall and pull it out, look at a few pages, tuck it safely away again and play some more.

Here is the only other picture I can show you from our time together on day 2:


You can't see his face, but trust me, he was laughing and smiling behind that punching balloon (or kicking balloon as the case may have been!)


We exchanged bracelets. If you don't know what I'm talking about, read it here. Then, a guy came in to install a new DVD player to the TV that was in the corner of the room. Markos was enthralled with watching the installation. People were in and out which was a little distracting. Then, nannies came in and pulled out large sheets of plastic and covered the floor. We weren't sure what they were doing, until they started setting up 2 long rows of plastic tables and plastic chairs.



It was LUNCHTIME and we were in the room in which the kids eat. Once they were finished setting up the tables and chairs, a nanny called Markos to come and wash his hands. We watched as all the kids lined up outside to wash their hands for lunch under a hose in the court yard. Markos was allowed to go first, so he quickly came running back in, ran to me, gave me a hug, and sat at the end of the row of chairs in front of me. Directly behind Markos was the cutest little girl, with the most darling little smile that you've ever seen. She ran straight to Eric and gave him a big hug and sat in the row of chairs directly in front of Eric. So sweet. One by one all the kids filed in and filled the chairs. I counted 39 kids. The nannies were playing Barney (in English) on the TV and the kids were thrilled.


We listened as one of the nannies gave the kids a lecture on not touching the new DVD player. I had to chuckle when she singled out a few kids (mostly boys) and tapped them on the head with a rolled up piece of paper in her hand and asked them if they understood. They all responded "ishi" (OK/yes). Markos was one of those singled out for the extra warning, of course! I was not surprised given his apparent love of all things electronic with buttons to push!

Once the lecture was over, the children all prayed together in Amharic. So, so sweet. Then, as they ended with a hearty "Amen!", the nannies began carrying in plates of injera covered with a pile of chopped up spinach-like stuff and a big pile of yellow lentil-like stuff. I was shocked at how much the children ate. They were each given a large, dinner-sized plate, completely covered with a piece of injera bigger than the plate, that was rolled up on the sides. As they finished the stuff on top, they were given more of the yellow stuff to eat with their remaining injera.

Markos ate like a champ. As he ate, he would occasionally turn to me, smile, & put his hand out for me to squeeze. Of course, poor Eric was having his heart broken next to me because that little girl kept doing the same to him throughout the meal. I think if he could have snagged her up and taken her with us, he might have!

Sadly, in the middle of their meal, our driver came and knocked and the window and told us we had to leave. Our goodbye wasn't what I would have wanted it to be. We pretty much were just able to kiss Markos' head and hug him while he ate. No big squeezer hugs or tears -- just a rushed goodbye. Maybe it was better that way.


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