Meeting Teme

We received confirmation of our Embassy date on 12/14, bought tickets that morning, and left our home bound for Washington D.C. on 12/15.  My mom and and my friend Alesha came over to help with all of the preparations.  My mom looked after Lulu and cleaned my house, and Alesha wrapped all of our Christmas presents while Matt and I ran around to finish packing.  We arrived in Ethiopia on the morning of 12/17 just before 7 am.  Our baggage all arrived intact, and we passed through customs uneventfully.  We headed to our guest home for naps and showers and then made our way to the Transition Home at about 2:00.  We were both exhausted but ready to have our little boy with us.  I couldn’t imagine waiting even a day longer for him.  The transition home moved to a different location about a month ago.  I am pretty disappointed with the new facility.  It is much smaller without any grass for the children to play on, just some uneven concrete.  The room where the children play is no bigger than my bathroom, and it is dark and damp.  They brought two small chairs in for us to sit on, and there is a dirty little mattress on the floor.  The office is quite large, has two desks and a couch (the one from the old transition home), and it is much brighter.  I found myself wondering why the children weren’t playing in there and the office in the darker and smaller room.  The old transition house was bright and clean, and there was plenty of room for the children to play both inside and outside in the grass.  We were immediately overwhelmed with 7 or 8 babies and toddlers, but none was my little boy.  One of the nannies left the room to get him.  We waited for 10 minutes or so and finally she brought him to us.  He was immediately terrified.  He only wanted to cry, but he held on to us tightly.  It was hard to soothe him.  We tried walking and bouncing a little bit, but he was only happy when I returned him to his nanny.  He sits up well and appears able to crawl and pull up, but he doesn’t seem to want to do much more than sit.  He is intermittently verbal, seems to know some words in Amharic because he was talking to his nanny and the door man a little bit.  He is so tiny.  He is very wrinkled with lots of extra skin.  I’m worried that he has lost weight recently, that maybe they didn’t feed him as much because they knew we were coming.  While we were there, they gave us a bowl of a clear jello-like substance, sort of like warm clear glue.  I can’t imagine that contains anything nutritious at all.  We spent several hours at the transition home.  The staff hardly acknowledged us (which is strange considering how friendly they have been with us in the past).  Once we left, Teme held on to me tightly and snuggled in close.  He didn’t say anything or smile for about a day.  It was hard to get him to eat much, and he would only take his formula from a bottle and eat some cereal.  He didn’t seem to like baby food at all.  He does enjoy peek-a-boo, and he likes to knock towers down that we build out of stacking cups.  He is pretty successful with a shape sorter, and he likes to chase a ball.  He fusses when we change his diaper and when we bathe him, and once he is upset, it takes 10-15 minutes to calm him again.  He has several medical issues that I have needed to address, all of which should get better fairly soon.    He seems like a very sweet baby.  We are trying to get to know him, to anticipate his needs, to learn how to make him smile and laugh.  I am trying to be a good mama to him, but it is difficult since I am so tired.  I haven’t been sleeping at night because of the jet lag.  Matt is also exhausted, so we have tried to keep to ourselves in our guest room and get plenty of rest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s