Today is the day we have been dreading all week…our last day…the day we had to say goodbye. We were able to spend more time at the Care Center this morning with our kids. After 6 days, all of the little ones were getting used to us being there. Their little personalities really started showing. One little girl provided lots of laughs for us as she giggled and hooted over the bubbles. We also heard our little Achole speak for the first time. She said something to Neni about the crayons although the only word we understood was his name. She also started communicating with us (especially me). She would tap on my arm and point to things. It is a huge bummer that we have to leave her when she was finally beginning to communicate with us! We got lots of giggles from her on video, priceless little snippets to watch until we return to bring them home. We took one last family photo together before we left, although we couldn’t get a smile from the usually smiley Neni because he had already figured out we were leaving at that point. Achole cried when I handed her back to the nanny for the last time. Broke. Our. Hearts! After we got back in the van, there were lots of tears…but we know we will be back soon.
We spent the afternoon doing more sightseeing. We went back to the Former Fuel Wood Carriers so we could watch them make the scarves. The first time we went on day 3, we missed seeing them make the scarves because all the women had left to attend a funeral. I’m so glad we went back! It is quite an amazing process to make the scarves. Jordan and I were able to try it out…it is safe to say, we would need a lot more practice! We also visited the Orthodox Church in Addis Ababa. It is beautiful inside with gorgeous stained glass. It was very interesting when the priest chased us down and rubbed his fingers together asking for money. Since I didn’t have any, he followed me over to Craig until Craig gave him some.
Then it was back to our hotel to finish packing and preparing for our flight home. Our flight left Addis Ababa at 10:15 pm – and after 17 hours with one hour spent on the ground in Rome for a flight crew change and fuel, we landed in Washington DC at 7:20 am. That is a VERY long time to be on one airplane! I’m thinking we will split it up the next time and fly an airline with a layover somewhere along the way.
Thankfully, our flight was on time getting in to DC so we made it to our White House tour with plenty of time to spare. The White House was beautiful all decorated for Christmas! Since we were attempting to keep jet lag from getting us down and switching our days & nights around, we drug the kids around DC until about 4:00. Once we got back to the hotel room, we all passed out…Craig woke us all up at 7:00 to eat and then it was back to sleep again. Jordan could hardly hold her eyes open long enough to eat dinner! We spent Christmas Eve ‘day’ at the Holocaust Museum and then attended a Christmas Carol service at the National Cathedral that evening. Although we were able to have an amazing day in DC, it just didn’t seem like Christmas Eve since we weren’t at home. We went to bed on Christmas Eve with visions of our airplane bringing us home on Christmas Day. Needless to say, we were all super excited to get back home!