We are home, and now a family of 5. Our trip was absolutely amazing. It is so very hard to put everything into words. And, frankly, I am still so tired that I am not even going to try right now. Over the next few weeks, I will blog about our trip in detail, but for now, I will just say it was truly life-changing.
Markos was absolutely darling. He is a tiny little thing, full of personality with a little touch of ornery that we got to see. He is very curious, very active, very athletic, and reminds us a great deal of Daniel. Those two working together might spell trouble! ;-) We were able to spend about 3 hours with him the first day and an hour the second day. We had a great time playing together. We gave him a little car that talks when you push the light on the top and he absolutely loved it. When we arrived the second day, he ran to me and gave me a big hug (** heart melting **) then he smiled really big and said, "machina?" ("car" in Amharic) hee hee. So, I'm not sure if he was happy to see us or just happy to get his car back, but either way, we were happy!
I know you are all dying to see pictures (and believe me, I'm dying to share them), but our agency is very conservative and asks that we not share them on public forums until we travel to pick him up. But, copying the ideas of some of our creative adoption friends, we took this one to share with you now.
We gave Markos a bracelet and Eric and I each had one. We all put them on together at the care center and will wear them until he comes home. Mine says "Faith". Eric's says "Dream" and Markos' says "Courage". I was glad we had them because when Markos noticed my watch and was pushing all the buttons on it and then tried to take it off of me, I was able to say, "oh wait, I have something for you". (and keep my watch!)
Our travel group was AWESOME! We so very much hope that we get to travel again with the same group of families. We had a lot of fun getting to know some of my online buddies in person and getting to meet their husbands. There is something special about getting to share something like this with others. Here is one of the pictures our driver took for us when we were visiting St. Mary's Church, built in 1885, on top of Mt. Entoto.
We were able to give him the family album that I made for him. He was so darling as he looked through it. He had a very proud little smile as we looked through, and when we finished looking, he jumped up to play, but tucked the album under his arm and tried to play while holding it. When he realized that would be too hard, he went over and hid the book under the TV stand shelf. Then occasionally, he would go over, get it out, sit against the wall and look at a few pages, then hide it back under the shelf and play some more. He would also slam the door shut anytime someone would leave it open, as if to say "stay out - mine".
The nannies were wonderful and when each would see him in with us, they knew we were his family. They would come and stick their heads in and congratulate him, shake his little hand & kiss him on both cheeks and hug him. His little friend who was able to come and play with us the first day was equally thrilled for Markos. He would actually yell and tell anyone who came near the door, "Markos America!". So heart-warming to see a child be so genuinely happy and thrilled for another child.
Lastly, of course, as you have figured by now, we passed court. It was unbelievably fast. In fact, we were the last family to go in to the judges chambers and one of the other families timed us. We were in the room for 72 seconds, at the end of which, the judge proclaimed, "Markos is yours."