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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Pictures from yesterday

So Paul & I got about 3 hours of sleep last night.  I am thinking that it is a combination of excitement and being completely off schedule.
This morning we decided to just go ahead and unpack everything so we felt more organized.  Each of us have our own drawer and Nathaniel has 2. :-)
Interrupting...This is Paul...My wife is hilarious...She packed and re-packed every bag hundreds of times for the past 6 exaggeration...ok mabye a little...But even now that we're in Ethiopia (which feels surreal) she's still packing and re-packing...
So here are some more details about our travel (Grandma, I am writing everything down in the little journal you gave me!):
We woke up at 2:30 AM Saturday morning, left the house by 3:30 AM to be at the airport in Seattle by 4:30 AM.  Our flight from Seattle to Dulles was uneventful for me, but for Paul, it is not easy being 6'7" and cramming yourself in an airplane.
We had about a 5 hour layover in Dulles.  I was very happy that we didn't have to leave the secure area to check in with ET airlines.  Our bags were checked through and we stayed in the same terminal, just a few gates away.  We joined the line when the ET airline desk opened and were able to get seats with more room.  In fact, they were the bassinet seats.  That leads me to a story.  Paul sat on the isle and I was in the middle.  Across the isle from Paul was a woman with her 1 1/2 year old boy.  Next to me was a woman with a 10 month old little girl.  Talk about training for our plane trip home!
I will tell you, the bassinets seem very nice to have, but when they are on the wall, the space for us was almost nothing.  Being that I was in the middle, it wasn't so much fun.  I am going to request the same seats, but the set up is 2 by the window, 3 in the middle, 2 by the window.  I am going to try to get the 2 by the window. That way there is no middle.
When we landed in Ethiopia, we got our Visa and then stood in line to get our passport and visas checked and stamped.  Next was baggage claim.  I was so thankful when I saw all of our luggage!  One thing that wasn't so fun was dealing with some of those who were trying to "help" us, but really just wanted a tip.  We had to be in full control of our bags and refuse help constantly.  Robel was there waiting for us with a sign (which he was holding upside down!  I thought that was cute!).   
After we all got through, we headed out to the bus.  It was a little chaotic, because there was a "team" of guys trying to "help" us.   Then as we were waiting for the bus to be loaded, they started hounding us for tips.  That was when they had all the families get on the bus.  Still, the guys were tapping on the window and begging for tips.  I was glad that we had people there helping us!  I can't imagine doing all of that ourselves.
Paul Interrupting again...Holly forgot to mention that we all had so much luggage that there was literally bags to the bus ceiling...not just in the back, but also on top of all of us...I thought I was chlosterphobic on the plane...nope the bus wins the contest...Holly mentioned earlier that being 6'7" is hard...SERIOUSLY...I've been asking God why He didn't make legs unattachable...
We headed on to the hotel.  Every stop sign, stop light or intersection, people came to the window begging for money.  My heart just hurt, especially as I began to notice that some of them were little kids. 
So here we are.  After lunch we get to go see Nathaniel!!!  My tummy is doing flip flops just thinking about seeing our little boy for the first time!!!
Enjoy the pictures.


small world said...

Holly and Paul,
We are praying and fasting for your safe, sweet and successful journey. Paul, I agree about your legs, but maybe instead of unattachable... retractable would have been more convenient! Then there would be no need to store them separately!! Kidding!! We can't wait to see your baby! Love, Ray and Theresa

the Steiger's said...

Sounds like our trip.
I can not wait to see pictures of your little boy.!!!
Have fun.

Marilyn Starr said...

Thank you for the wonderful updates and pictures. We are the family of Tony & Anne Starr from Michigan they are to get their two sons. If you see them please tell them Hello and God Bless....yes God bless to all the adoptive parents these are very lucky children.( I saw a pix of Tony & Anne in your photos standing in line)

The Gillman Family said...


My tummy is doing flip flops for you!! I hope it's a Happy Gotcha Day!!!!

Kim (YG)

Mary said...

Paul & Holly - We are all SO excited around here! Every one that walks by my office has to come in and see pictures and read the blog. Love you Both!

Mari said...

So excited about what God is doing in your family. Thanks for the details and the pictures. God's blessings on your family!!

Mari Jaeger
(YG not terribly active)