Today was our embassy appointment day. Mr. Teklu came over to the guest house with Jessica and Melat so we could all go together to file our papers. Unfortunately the embassy lost one document that had been cabled over from WACAP so there was a few hours where I honestly thought I would not be leaving on Thursday night. Fortunately Megan got on her e-mail right away at 3:00am and emailed the embassy insisting that she had filed it and it was their oversight. We returned to the embassy after coming back to the guest house for lunch and suddenly the document appeared. Phew…so I turned in the paperwork, answered 5 questions about Noah Musse’s life before he came into my custody and Waalaa…he was declared our son. Amazing how much anxiety can accompany what would seem to be a simple task.
Another defining moment today….we are in the van waiting in traffic (as it seems like we always do) when a woman whose eyes were clouded with cataracts appeared at our van door, begging for food. She stood at the window in front of Noah and motioned with her hands that she was hungry and wanted him to give her food. He locked eyes with her and in a very sad sorrowful glance shook his head and raised his hands up to the sky motioning that he could not. She asked again. This time his big brown beautiful eyes just took her in. He just stared at her as she continued to motion for just one piece of food. Cindy and I sat in silence…watching this little guy who, only months earlier was in that beggars shoes pleading for just one bite, be on the other side of the coin. I brought a new jacket for Noah to wear…he is so proud of it and he wore it today because it was bit rainy. He put on that new jacket today and suddenly in the eyes of those who beg…he was a ‘have’ to those who ‘have not’ on the streets of Addis. One clean new jacket…
After our embassy appt. we went to AHOPE an orphanage for HIV infected children. The children were beautiful, kind, respectful, funny…and were loved as best they could be. What a place. I held the hand of a 2 month old baby who had just been relinquished earlier that day. I laughed at an adorable little boy, Ebram, who did the old top of the thumb disconnecting from the rest of the thumb trick…and he was really good at it. I stood in line to use the bathroom ( if you gotta go, you gotta go) and we celebrated the adoption of a little girl with 23 beautiful children who are just a drop in the bucket of the children infected with HIV throughout Ethiopia. Almost one million…so now I am crying. The first tears I’ve shed in all the days we’ve been here. Yes…what is going on over here is mind boggling, unfair, wrong, and seemingly impossible to fix…but we cannot give up on these children. As we were leaving Mr. Teklu was taking the names of a couple of children. He will advocate for them. It’s people like Mr. Teklu who drive these streets every day and sees the despair, yet he forges on, he finds our children and he makes it his personal mission to fix this problem one child at a time. It’s the least any of us can do.