One Week in Ethiopia

What a difference seven days can make. One week ago, we were nearly ready to land in Addis, and our plans were to sleep as much as possible that night, meet our daughter the next morning, and have a tour of Addis that afternoon. The rest of the days that stretched out for us in Addis were to follow the same sort of pattern: see Nola Zinash in the morning, explore in the afternoon. And then, after Jarod left, my plan was Nola Zinash in the morning, volunteering in the afternoon. And then six words changed everything. “You can have her with you.” Instead of touring Addis, we took our daughter back to the guest house and had lunch, then took a nap. When we put her down on the bed between us, she turned her head from one to the other of us, beaming. She couldn’t believe her good luck.

The new plan is: Nola Zinash in the morning, Nola Zinash at lunch, Nola Zinash napping in the afternoon, Nola Zinash at dinner, Nola Zinash in the bath and into bed. We can’t believe our good luck either.

crazy face

Nola Zinash will make you laugh. Also, she styles her own headband. You like it, no?

her favorite toy is the maglite

Nola Zinash will take your flashlight, and use your flashlight, and take apart your flashlight. She can mostly put it back together.


Horizontal stripes in order to show off that magnificent belly. Leg warmers because Mama thinks they’re funny.

And now just a quick note in order to cover our butts a little bit. Previously, I had agreed to our agency’s request not to share information about seeing Nola Zinash during my extended in country stay if that indeed happened, and I thought that was a perfectly reasonable request and intended to stick to it. But when this happened, it changed what I wanted to share about my time in Ethiopia. When it was just a possible couple of hours with her from time to time, I figured it didn’t matter if anyone knew. But now our lives are upended, in a good but challenging way, and I think it is only appropriate to share this part of the journey with everyone who has followed our story this far. In all honesty, this is partly because we need support as we navigate how to proceed from here; your comments and the knowledge of your presence here buoy us up as we contemplate things like how long Jarod can stay in country and what it would take to get things taken care of at home while we are both away for longer than planned.

If you are an adoptive family using our same agency, we only ask that you respect the decisions that are made on behalf of you and your child. We believe that both the staff in the US and here in Ethiopia have acted in the best interests of our child, and we do not encourage anyone to seek (or especially to demand) this same path, as it may not be best for you and your family or for your child. Respect, respect, respect. Got it?



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11 responses to “One Week in Ethiopia

  1. Mom

    If there is anything Dad and I can do to help with things here, just let us know. Miss being able to pick up the phone and visit. I can receive texts, just can’t send them. We’re changing that soon!!We love you and can’t wait to see the THREE of you.

  2. Kelli

    Mary, Jarod, and Nola,

    Congrats! I am so happy that things seem to be going so well for you guys over there. And the photos are great…she truly is beautiful. Hope the rest of your time in Ethiopia is good & looking forward to hearing more once you settle back in at home.

  3. Mom

    Aaack!!! We missed your call, but we have it recorded, not to be erased!! I still have one of Hannah wishing me happy birthday three years ago!! We were actually on our way to deliver eggs to customers at your home! I’m sending email to both of your gmail accounts with details. Loved the message. 🙂

  4. Erica

    Wow, Mary. I’m so happy for you and your sweet family!

  5. cara

    She is so beautiful! She looks spunky, too. I love spunky! You look so happy, Mary, and for good reason!!!

  6. nicole steineger

    i love reading these little snippets 🙂 i think of you everyday and wondering what you are up to. nola is adorable and i love her little leg warmers 🙂
    love to you my dear friend.

  7. Faith

    Jarod and Mary, Congratulations! I am so glad that you get to spend so much time with Nola. She is so beautiful. I love the video as well. It was so touching! Your whole family is in my prayers! Much Love, Faith

  8. Sharon

    Agreed on the respect. I love you three! Welcome Magnolia-Nola Zinash McBride! 😀

    So happy for you.

  9. Amy

    So overjoyously happy for you guys. She is gorgeous.

    I’ve been looking for a ball like that for Atticus forever! Where did you find it?

  10. Glo

    The picture of her with the flashlight made me cry – she’s so beautiful. And the picture of the two of you – sooooo happy for you!

  11. She is absolutely gorgeous. Congratulations, McBride family! I’m so happy for you that the agency has decided that what is best for you and your daughter is to spend as much time as possible together. Beautiful.
    My heart is bursting for you all! Hugs!

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