Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday, August 14, 2009-Saturday, August 15th 2009- and Today.

Friday was our last day in Ethiopia. I woke up early and ran downstairs to see if the coffee was ready. It wasn't but I saw Tanya in the courtyard. The next group of families had arrived and Tanya was among them. I think I cried when I hugged her. And not just because she threw me that amazing virtual shower before ever meeting me. I think it was because it had been such an emotional week. I think it was because I had already met her beautiful boys. She looked out to the care center the same way I had just a week before.

Meazi was still out of sorts and we had Roza talk with her. Roza said Meazi was happy, liked us very much, and knew she was going on an airplane later in the day to America. I think Meazi just pretended to be okay.

We left mid day.

If you ask Meazi about the first flight, from Addis Ababa to Dubai, she will tell you over and over again how we had to sit in different 'carts'. Steven and Melese were in the row with the bassinet, and Meazi and I were in a row behind, and across from them. Meazi couldn't believe that we didn't all get to sit together. She was amazed by absolutely everything at her seat. She showed everything to the amiable college girl sitting next to her. The girl would nod and pretend to be as excited about the tray table, and the seat belt, etc. Then Meazi fell asleep. We have a short video clip (that I can't transfer to a mac) that captures me in my first fully relaxed, happy moment. It was as if I let go of everything . The plane doors had been securely locked, and I was headed home with my children. I haven't seen an image of me looking that peaceful in over a decade.

Once we got to Dubai we camped out at one of the pay-by-the-hour lounges.

Then it was just a mere 16 1/2 hours to Los Angeles.

How did they know to serve M&m's to our little M&m's? I ate this while Meazi was asleep. She still talks about that too. She was pissed.

I did save the M&m's for her though.

Steven just said to me now, that he had no idea how we were ever going to manage that flight. It wasn't as bad as we thought it would be. Meazi only slept for about twenty minutes in the whole 16 1/2 hours. Melese cried a lot, but really it wasn't as bad as we imagined. The Emirates crew on the flight home, was nowhere near as nice as the flight crew had been on the way out. That kind of sucked. They also seemed to always exclude Meazi every time they went through the aisle passing out cool kids' stuff. I started muttering under my breath that they were racist. But we made it to LAX.

All of these people were waiting for us. I know that most social workers would recommend that you do not have a large group waiting for you at the airport. We had no idea so many people would come. Meazi will say to me from time to time, "Mom, can you believe all of my friends came to meet me at the airport? They are so kind. They must love me." So, yeah, if you are considering a big airport welcome, and have the generous, beautiful, friends and family whom are willing to participate, I say go for it.

We were home...
Nana had organized everything...

I introduced the kidlets to the pups...

Deb and Allen brought home our luggage. And this family brought us the world's best pizza.

And we rested...

Thank you for bearing with me and reading this. It has been totally cathartic to relive what was probably the biggest week of my entire life. It took me a year to be at a place where I felt like sharing.

Steven has a three week vacation starting this evening. It is the weekend. That means...

Saturday culture class and doggie yoga...

Sunday swim lessons...


'M' pancakes...

and the beginning of our 13th month as a family.

Keep on truckin'

Keep on truckin'

Say it with me...

Keep on truckin'


  1. Keep on truckin' indeed! Thanks for sharing all this with us. It was wonderful to be able to relive it with you. XO

  2. Oh Julie,

    I wish I had somethign intelligent to say but instead will just leave o
    it at - it's been such a privilege to read this.

  3. 13 months of sunshine, Julie!

    Happiness, sweet family!

  4. Our hug grounded me that day Julie. After those couple of weeks travelling, you were exactly what I needed. Laying my eyes on you, Steven, Meazi and Melese was just so very perfect.

    I love listening to M's voice in the video! Again, thank you for sharing this week with us!


  5. I'm so glad you shared all of this. I feel a little like I was there!

    And I am reconsidering our coming home plans - that will be two weeks from tomorrow.

  6. Thank you for sharing Julie and family! You inspire us. You have a beautiful family!

  7. You gave me goosebumps. Love it, every single day.

  8. After reading this, I feel like cheering! Keep on trucking!

    These are such beautiful posts and they touch so much on our own experience. I am speechless and grateful that you shared your amazing week of a year ago.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing all of this with all of us. Such a beautiful story. I feel honored to be able to read about it and "know" your family.

  10. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING!!! It is so great to read about the adventure to families. Especially when your kids are from the same SPECIAL place. ET and CHS....
    Love to you all!
    Keep on trukin'!

  11. To this day, I cannot wrap my head around the fact that all of that happened a year ago. It has been wonderful reliving our memories while reading your blog and it was a gift to have traveled with such a great family.

    Happy Anniversary and lots of love to your family!

  12. It is a wonderful thing to be a part of your life cyber space that is.... I can only imagine how amazing it is for the people who get to spend their days with you! Thank you for the gifts of these posts.

  13. No!! You can't just SAY have to sort of sing it...and you have to do that dance Meazi does on the blog video...

    Keep on truckin',keep on truckin', keep on truckin' !!!

    Oh yeah!


  14. That last line made me cry. Thank you so much for sharing all of this.

  15. i've yet to be able to bring myself to write about our week in ethiopia to bring yonas home. i didn't journal while we were there at all. reading about your journey has given me something. it feels less scary to process it thru writing somehow now and i thank you for that and for your willingness to share your experience.

    keep on truckin'!!

  16. I love that you are able to share your story now. What an emotional journey. It's hard to put it into words of any sort. Keep on truckin...keep on truckin. Love it.


  17. Keep on Truckin, sister friend dear.

    I hope it rejuvenates you to finally bring the weight of this experience dwelling underneath to a bright, welcoming surface where friends wait to read. To let it fly like would a pair of doves into the clear.

    And I'm REALLY happy your flight home was universes better than ours. I still haven't been able to totally write about that. I started to, but never finished it. Someday I'll put it into words - hopefully on a bright surface where friends are waiting to read.


  18. This was like, exactly the pep talk I needed... We've been waiting for our sibs for 9 months and only very recently have we acknowledged the reality of receiving a referral in the next few months. Thank you for sharing your journey. I only recently discovered your blog and it is so, so helpful. Many thanks.

  19. beautiful and I love the most recent pics!

  20. Everytime we stop at your blog my daughter Jane says "That's the keep on truckin girl." Paige got to my genius comment of "13 months of sunshine." before I could. Thanks Paige... :)

    So glad you finally wrote about your week. It's been wonderful to read. Those kids are so stinkin' wonderful.

  21. You know, Julie, that line and the sound of M's little voice in the video you once posted, pop into my head every once in awhile, when I need some encouragment. I think you should get shirts with that on it, and sell them. :) Love reliving the journey with you! I can't believe it has been a year already. Amazing.

  22. I love every word. Thanks for sharing your heart with us.