Our trip to Ethiopia

Posted: December 3, 2006 in adoption, Ethiopia, family, pictures, travel

Wow! What an adventure. This journey called adoption is a wonderful time of learning. Although it is not always a wonderful experience, the rewards and the lessons learned make it wonderful. It was a hectic time because we left for Ethiopia the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We had so much to do and so little time. We spent time with family in Hot Springs, AR before we left. It was a great time, but it really made it much more challenging to get done what we needed to accomplish. We flew out on United from Memphis to Chicago to Wahsington Dulles, we transferred to Ethiopian Airlines for our flight to Addis Ababa. It was a great flight. We were able to catch some Z’s and eat a lot of good food.

After going through customs in Addis we met Dagne, Job (pronounced Yob), and Kasshion (sp?). They were very friendly and loving toward us. They drove us to the SIM guest house where we stayed during our time in Addis. It was a great place to stay. We met people from all over the globe there.
We went to the care center on Monday to meet Leulseged for the first time. It was an indescribable moment. We have been waiting so long and have known about him for so long that it almost didn ‘t seem real. He was no longer a picture on a computer, he was actually sitting in our lap giving us a hug.
The children were beautiful and the staff is very loving and they all have a great heart for the children. We loved meeting Leulseged for the first time.

Leul is a wonderful child. He is truly a gift from God. We are blessed to have him in our life. The bonding was difficult the first couple of days and I know we will still have times of trials, but we are family. We actually left the country early to return home because it was such a difficult adjustment for our little guy. On our return trip, he was really good. We flew from Addis back to Washington with no probelems. From Washington to Chicago we had no trouble. He slept the entire way. By the time we were in Chicago for our final flight home, Leulseged had enough flying. We ended up renting a car and driving ten hours, but it was great. When it was just the three of us Leulseged took off his jacket for the very first time. That was a huge step because he was so attached to that jacket and any time we tried to take it off to change him, he would throw a fit. But when it was just the three of us, he voluntarily took it off.

We have enjoyed our time together so far. We have many adjustments to make as a family and our biological son is having a hard time sharing his mommy and daddy, but it is a beautiful picture when they are enjoying each others company. How can you not smile at moments like this?

  1. owlhaven says:

    Congrats! how great to have him home!

    Mary, mom to many including 2 from Ethiopia

  2. Raskell Party of 8 says:

    I am so glad you are home safely. I can’t wait to hear more!

  3. Brooke says:

    Praise God that you are home safe and sound with your precious little boy. I love that last picture of both of your kids together! Can’t wait to hear more about it. We have waited so long now to get together. Now maybe it would be best to wait until after the holidays when you all are more settled in together. Praying for you guys now that Leul will feel at home in your family, will bond quickly to each of you in a special way, and that your love will continue to grow each day!

  4. Jason & Nicole says:

    Precious. I am so glad you are home. Thank you for sharing about meeting Leul and the joys and difficulties. We remembered your family last night at the Blands. This is just awesome!!!! -Nicole

  5. Ryan Fowler says:

    Daniel, we are really excited for you and Kellie! It’s going to be a very Merry Christmas in the Blankenship household this year! I’m looking foward to meeting Leul – bring him by the office sometime soon – I’ll restock my candy dish.

  6. Greg&Larissa says:

    Daniel & Kellie,
    How beautiful! Merry Christmas several weeks early! Doesn’t it seem surreal? Now you don’t have to depend on photos and short movie clips to get a glimps of your new addition…You can view him LIVE everyday! I still can’t get over waking up and seeing Tseganesh “in the flesh” every morning.

    Greg Kramer and Family

  7. Jason & Nicole says:

    Hi Daniel,
    Can you please email me or Jason with your home address so we can send a card to your family? Thanks so much!
    nicole & jason whaley

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