Saturday, September 18, 2010


Most of this blogging about the trip is to make up for the lack of journaling I did ... there are so many things that I know I've already forgotten from our trip.  Our flight home was scheduled to leave at 10:15pm ... we arrived at the airport by about 7:30pm.   My biggest concern was keeping Kenenisa attached to us and keeping him occupied for the hours that we had to pass.  Since we had not eaten anything before leaving the guest house, our first priority was getting some food.  Fortunately, there was a little restaurant near our gate where we unloaded all of our carry-ons and sat and relaxed for a bit.  Jennifer had not been feeling all that great the whole time that we were in Addis, and had not eaten much.  For some reason, she thought that egg rolls and fried rice sounded good ... so we ordered that plus some french fries and cake.  Kenenisa loved the egg rolls and the chocolate cake.  We all took turns taking our bathroom breaks and wandering around a bit ... and evidently, only "lost" Kenenisa once ... when he took off running after Kristen and I when we were headed to the "toilet".  I think it was Ryan that sprinted after him and caught up to him.  Oh, and it was around this time that we actually watched Kenen's hands everytime he needed to go to the bathroom. Jen finally said, is he making a sign language letter?  Oh ... he's signing the letter "T" for toilet ... after 3 days, that was quite helpful to realize.  Discovered after returning home, that waving the letter T is a universal sign for I need to go the restroom in the deaf community.  Would have been good to know.  And when we went through the last security check into the gate area, for some reason, Kenenisa got on the ground and crawled through the security check.  They didn't think too much of that.  I discovered that it is very important to the Ethiopians that "their" children are behaving well, because whenever someone would stop and speak to Kenenisa in Amharic, and I would then ask what they said to him, it was always something along the lines of "you are obeying and behaving, right?". 

While we were waiting for the plane, a very nice American gentleman came up to me and started asking about our story and if this was our new son.  He said it brought back fond memories of 2 years ago when he and his family brought back their son, who was about the same age.  He said several encouraging things that filled me with hope for this long journey.  Once I got on the plane, I saw all of these people in matching t-shirts ... and recognized them from an organization that I follow in the blogosphere called Ordinary Hero.  Click on the video to see the incredible work they were doing while they were in Ethiopia working among the people who live at the Addis trash dump.  I felt like we were traveling with famous people. :-) It is amazing to see what God can do through ordinary people who are compelled to make a difference in our world.  Only later when we landed in DC, did I find out that this nice man that spoke to me was the husband of Kelly Putty, who was the founder of Ordinary Hero.  :-)

Other memorable moments ... Ethiopian Air serving fish .. twice ....; rude man behind me who wouldn't let me recline my seat for the entire flight; Dave getting up to go to the bathroom and leaving Kenenisa with a plate full of food alone in his seat; Kenenisa locking himself in the airplane restroom ....

Pouring powdered creamer on his butter
 Overall, the flight went well, and Kenenisa was amazing. He was not afraid at all ...and slept great, with a little help from Dramamine.  We arrived in Wash., D.C. ... tired, glad to be on American soil ... and not happy at all to find out that our connecting flight to Chicago had been cancelled.  Despite our best efforts, we were going to be spending the night in D.C. ... delaying our arrival home by one more day. 

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