Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Backtrack...Part II- It's a dry heat.

We had always planned on taking at least one extra week to travel around Ethiopia before our adoption week. That was about all Steven could take off from work, and still have some time with the kids when we got home. We had reservations to fly to Lalibela, and I thought we might even attempt to go here. We were excited to see as much of Ethiopia as we possibly could. When our social worker told us that there was an opening in an earlier travel group, we needed to make a decision: Scrap the traveling and go early to meet the kids? Or keep our itinerary and see more of Ethiopia? If Jesus himself was in Lalibela hosting viewings of the Arc of the Covenant, I still would have chosen to go early and meet my kids. (I did mention that it has taken ten years didn't I?) Rock-Hewn, Smock Hewn. This meant, however, that our Ethiopian experience consisted of only a week in Addis, and one day down south. I still would have made the same decision though. I know now that when we do go back, we will go back as a family, and maybe it will be better that way. I couldn't concentrate on anything but getting there, getting to M&m.



We chose to fly Emirates because as soon as you get on that return flight in Dubai, 16 1/2 hours later you are at LAX. It is a direct flight. We would be just minutes from home. This seemed a lot easier than navigating Dulles. I didn't want to lose those kidlets in transit. I realize that if we had taken Ethiopian Airlines we would have contributed more to our kids' birth country, but selfishly I just wanted to be able to get home. I also really liked the idea of staying the night in Dubai, catching some sleep, and taking a hot shower before arriving in Ethiopia.

There was an issue. Our social worker Jan told us that Meazi hadn't gotten her TB test yet, and that we were taking a big risk if we kept our reservation and left for Ethiopia. If Meazi's test was clear, they would just hustle and get her paperwork together so that we could make that week's embassy appointment. If her test was positive, we would have to stay longer in Ethiopia; a week maybe? Two months? We decided to go for it.We would figure out what to do when we got there. Jan said she would e-mail us the results, but that she wouldn't have them until we were mid-flight, on our way to Dubai.

Everyone said, "Make sure you get a bassinet!" We did get a bassinet...ON THE WAY THERE. There was a family of three woman and six children. The flight attendant came over and plunked the bassinet into the bulkhead right above my lap. It was right on top of me. I couldn't get my t.v. out. The baby's mom had a nice aisle seat, where she enjoyed movie after movie. After bitching and moaning to Steven about the injustice of having to endure somebody else's drooling, crying, baby in my lap on what was sure to be my last flight ever alone, without children, I said to myself, "This is a test. This is a test to see if I am ready to be a mom. This will prepare me for what it will be like on my way back." Oh, and I also brought Valium. Valium can make any baby cute.

Emirates was great on the way there, not so much on the way back. It is a bizarre thing to be in the air for that many hours. Since I wasn't watching any movies, I just kind of sat there, filled with anxiety about the TB thing, and excitement about finally meeting Meazi and Melese. I would close my eyes and just think about things. Then, when I was sure we had been traveling for at least four hours, I would open my eyes, check the travel marker screen and yell, "FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY IT HAS ONLY BEEN TWENTY MINUTES!!!!!!" It was a long flight.

I don't remember landing in Dubai. I do remember getting outside and feeling the extreme heat (112 degrees I think), and stumbling into the hotel bus. Once in our room, I immediately fell face first, fully clothed, onto the bed. I fell asleep. Steven went downstairs to get something to eat. I don't remember at what point I checked our e-mail. Obviously we found out that Meazi tested negative for TB, and that we would be able to take the kids home on August 15th like we had planned. That was a good e-mail. I think I may have jumped up and down on the bed a few times at that point.

When I woke up, Steven was asleep. I decided to go down and get some coffee. My excitement was growing. There wasn't any time for sleeping now. This was a feeling that I wanted to be awake for. We were so close to meeting our M&m. I got into the elevator, and there was an American woman in there. I asked her what time it was and she said, "Almost 1:00 a.m." She told me that she was going downstairs to take the "Middle of the Night Tour of Dubai". This sounded fun to me, so I went back up to our room to wake up Steven. He groggily agreed that we should do it. It really would have been a shame to have gone all the way to Dubai and just seen the inside of that hotel room. A lovely man from India was our tour guide. The tour was from 1-3 am, and cost thirty bucks apiece. We were excited to see some of the sights in this bizarre, ostentatious city.




The tour was okay. It was pitch black, so there was only so much you could see. Many of the major buildings were lit up. Dubai is a strange place. It kind of reminded me of Las Vegas. The best part, by far, was going to the beach.

I remember standing there in the warm Arabian Sea, in the middle of the night, with my arms around Steven. I felt incredibly happy. I was reveling in our daughter's good news. There was nothing standing in our way now.

We came back to the hotel, had a bite to eat, took a shower, and got ready for the final leg of our journey. At six am we left for the airport. We were going to Ethiopia.

26 comments:

  1. Aaaaahhhh! This is such a tease. I'm right there with you in Dubai and I just want to get to
    Addis! I hope you take us there someday. I loved reading this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm totally sucked in! Can't wait to read more!

    Poor Kate, every time I see her these days I spend more time asking about you and the kids than I do about her!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I miss your blogging but totally get why you don't have time. This is amazing. I can just picture it and it brings tears of joy to my eyes. Can't wait to read more.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I, too, can't wait to read more. I am sucked into this adventure, even tho I know it turns out well! HURRAH!

    ReplyDelete
  5. When Yvan and I went to Thailand the same thing happened to him (o.k. and me too) I fell asleep after take off and I swear I slept for 9 of the 13 hours of the flight - turns out it was only for 3 hours - when I woke up and looked at Yvan he turned to me with big eyes and said "we still have 10 hours left, 10 HOURS!!!

    I am already dreading the long flight from Toronto to Dubai but now am looking forward to the night tour. (It is a given that I am looking forward to having Ade in my arms just so as you know)

    o.k. that was long - I will stop writing now.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You should totally write a book. Or 30 (in your free time).

    ReplyDelete
  7. i am so happy you're backtracking!

    ReplyDelete
  8. thank you for writing about such a sweet moment in your life. it's breathtaking.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This makes me soooo excited to make the journey, and I am ridiculously afraid of flying, so that is saying a lot :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a great post. The picture of you holding your children's pictures has me crying. What a crazy feeling, to have children you can only hold in a picture. What a contrast to other pictures on your blog now. AMAZING.

    ReplyDelete
  11. LOLOLOL...
    Trying to picture Jesus, himself, giving tours at Lalibela that include viewings of the arc of the covenant.
    Wonder how much those tickets would cost?
    Love to hear about your adventure...even if I already know the happily ever-after ending!
    :o)
    Amy

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm so glad you are feeling up to writing about your trip now! More, more, more!

    ReplyDelete
  13. what a great little snippet of the journey!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Emirates all the way. I did NOT enjoy my Ethiopian Airlines experince mainly because it was a small plane. And then the whole thing about being in Rome and not being able to get off the plane,k torture I tell you!!
    fraserfive

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oooooooh! So in love with this post...and eager, desperately eager for more and more and more...

    ReplyDelete
  16. I DO hope you got the bassinet for the trip home.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love, love, love the backtrack episodes!

    As usual, I can relate. I just had a conversation last night about how we had all these great plans to travel around Ethiopia, but as we get closer to the whole thing becoming a reality I don't know how I am going to want to spend one minute away from the children!

    ReplyDelete
  18. thanks for letting us in on that part of the trip:)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh, I LOVED reading that. Especially since I'm so close to my own trip. I hope you post more about the journey soon.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love storytellers. Go on, please.

    ReplyDelete
  21. LOVED this. On the edge of my seat, waiting for more.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sounds much nicer than my flight over. About midway in flight absolute horrific panic settled in. Suddenly I was walking the aisle to the bathroom about every 15 minutes. I couldn't breath. I tried to control it, and finally had to admit to Jerry, I'm having a panic attack! And we were still about 7 days from meeting our children and I was hella glad! ;) I was finally OK again 7 days later, until the morning of and I was making those same hurried walks again to the Hilton bathroom. I took a pic of myself in the taxi ride over to the care center and later burned it. I looked like I was walking my hanging. Woa. :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Sounds much nicer than my flight over. About midway in flight absolute horrific panic settled in. Suddenly I was walking the aisle to the bathroom about every 15 minutes. I couldn't breath. I tried to control it, and finally had to admit to Jerry, I'm having a panic attack! And we were still about 7 days from meeting our children and I was hella glad! ;) I was finally OK again 7 days later, until the morning of and I was making those same hurried walks again to the Hilton bathroom. I took a pic of myself in the taxi ride over to the care center and later burned it. I looked like I was walking my hanging. Woa. :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh those flights. I do not ever need to relive those...but the excitement and anticipation of getting to ET...that I could relive a hundred times over. Thanks for taking us back Julie.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm loving getting back story! Keep it up! (And thanks for your TWO lovely blog comments today!) Still in the clouds:-)

    ReplyDelete