Who travels to Africa for a mere two nights?
Ty and I left on Sunday, July 21. We arrived in Addis Ababa on Tuesday, July 22. After 30+ hours of travel time, I changed clothes on the airplane, put on make up (for pictures of course), and made our way through the couple-hour process of customs in Ethiopia. We met our driver and promptly asked, "Can you take us to the Thomas Center NOW?"
Visiting hours at our son's orphanage are 10 - noon and it was about 10:30 when we arrived. We were ushered into a small, cluttered office and after many formalities, moved into a classroom (of sorts). And we waited.
Little Keraji arrived in the arms of a nanny. He seemed hesitant in her arms, but even more hesitant to meet new people. He is 17 months and until the previous Saturday, had been in the same orphanage his entire life. Everyone at the Thomas Center was new to him, including this white, blonde woman who was chomping at the bit to hold him.
I took him from the nanny. Literally, took him. Neither of them were very excited, but I couldn't help it. I'll be honest; he didn't care much for me or Ty. It took about 30 minutes for him to warm up to us. Oooooh, but once he did...!
He seems to be such a happy boy! He easily laughs. He loves to bang toys together and throw them. Can you say BOY? Though not walking, he crawls with speed and efficiency. He babbles with gusto and says, "Daddeeeee" all the time. And he is handsome. So stinkin' handsome! His eyelashes are to die for and his smile will melt your heart.
His name will be Jace William Keraji Robuck. "Jace" has been my favorite name of all time, and is that of my childhood best friend's - my cousin. William is my dad and Ty's brother's name. Keraji is his Ethiopian name. And Robuck is his forever family name.
The second day we visited Jace, we traveled with him and his nanny to the lab for blood work. Though it was unexpected, we made the most of our time in the van holding him and in the lab caring for him.
We didn't expect to be able to visit on Thursday because our court hearing was that day. The hearing ended a bit early (we passed!) and we were able to squeeze in about ten final minutes with our boy. He was all smiles, and it was hard to say good bye. We left pictures of us and Lainey above his crib and promised to be back soon.
Which we will! On average, it's been taking 3 - 4 weeks for families to receive an embassy appointment. That means travel time is between 2.5 and 3.5 weeks!
We flew out at 10:30 on Thursday night and arrived home Friday night at 9:00. Lainey was giddy with excitement to see us.