We leave tomorrow to go get Addis. That is a bit hard to believe.
We are busy making our final preparations for the next two weeks away from home, so I don't have a ton of time to write about all of things we are feeling, but let me tell we are excited to get back to Ethiopia. We are excited to meet Addis and create memories that we will never forget. With that being true, we are also not looking forward to leaving our boys for an entire week. It's going to be tough to say goodbye to them (I am sure it will be more difficult for Sara and I than them because they are so excited to get to spend the week with their Grammy and Pop).
How could I not miss these two fellas...
Sara and I arrived in one piece on Sunday night after
crossing the Atlantic Ocean and then traversing the
English countryside via bus. Our flight got into
Moscow at around 8pm and, lucky for us, two other
flights arrived right around the same time (one from
Seoul and one from Warsaw). So the small baggage
claim area at Sheremetyevo 2 became even smaller. We
made it through that and my luggage even came with us.
We spent Sunday night in Moscow and Monday morning we
rendezvoused with the Colles for a day on the town.
It was quite enjoyable actually, Red Square is very
impressive. We did a few of the touristy things like
going into St. Basil's Cathedral and walked through
the Gum, which is an incredibly nice shopping mall
right on Red Square. We scouted out areas for family
pictures on Thursday and of course had a meal of food
at McDonalds on Red Square. The arches are
Last night, Monday night, we flew from Moscow to
Samara on the 9:30 flight which put us into Samara at
around midnight local time. We finally arrived at the
hotel, our home away from home, at approx. 1:30am
local, 4:30pm EST.
After a brief sleep we were up for what we thought was
going to be a day of sitting and traffic and filling
out paperwork. To our surprise, the paperwork was
very minimal and we were able to pick our little buddy
up this afternoon. Thus, I am now the proud father of
a beautiful little boy. He is absolutely perfect. If
Sara and I could have drawn up a blueprint of the
perfect little guy, he would have fit that description
We arrived at the orphanage around 1pm maybe. We
spent about an hour there playing with him and picking
up up some paperwork. The orphanage doctor even took
us into the new children's room that they are about to
open so that we could see the curtains that our
donation on the last trip paid for. She was very
thankful that the Colles and Sara and I made such a
generous donation. So that was very nice to see.
The exit from the orphanage was a bit sad actually.
All of the caretakers came and said their goodbyes to
the little guys. It is because of these hardworking
women helped to make our Lleyton who he is to this
point. So to see them as sad and happy at the same
time while watching the boys leave, was a bit surreal.
Lleyton was enamored at first with the car ride back
to the hotel (I am not sure that he ever left that
orphanage other than the two trips he made to the
hospital). But very soon after we left the orphanage
he fell right asleep into his mother's arms.
He has been so playful all day and he has not even
thought about crying once. We ate dinner with the
Colles and he just had a ball playing with a couple of
the toys that we brought for him. The one difficulty
we have run into in the brief time that we have had
him is that he is not too sure he likes formula. But
I just hung up with our doctor in Cincinnati and she
said that was normal, and just try to give him whole
milk or anything else and she will assess the
situation next week when we go to see her.
The gist of this email is that we couldn't be happier
right now. We have the child that we have always
wanted and our journey back home will begin very soon.
We are leaving here tomorrow to head back to Moscow.
We will have a doctor from the US Embassy come by our
hotel tomorrow to examine Lleyton. Thursday is an off
day, so we are really looking forward to getting him
out on the town and taking a bunch of family pictures
in his homeland. Friday we visit the US Embassy so he
can get his visa and then Saturday we are on our way
We can't wait to get back home and begin our lives
with this little guy and we certainly look forward to
being able to introduce him to everyone. Thanks so
much for all of the help and support that each of your
has given us over the last year.
I am going to head back upstairs now to start learning
the words to more Raffi songs and hopefully nail down
some of those more difficult Wiggles dance moves.
Hope all is well back home, see you soon.
Matt, Sara, and Lleyton