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