This is the next excerp from my journal while in Ethiopia. It is still the first day-the day we got Malak.....some of this you may have read from the one time I posted while we were in Addis, but some is new. Maybe more information than you want to know but it is my blog and I am in charge. So read on suckas. :)
...After such a short nap Malak was very tired and cranky by about 6:00pm so we decided to just let him go down early. We rocked him to sleep with his bottle and he went to bed fairly easily. A short time later we checked on him and he was throwing up! Not spitting up, full blown projectile. It was so out of control! He probably threw up 10 times. Daddy was holding him and soothing him and so both Mal and daddy were completely covered in vomit. Completely. So apparently, Malak’s little tummy does not like the awsome, organic soy formula that we bought for him. The unfortunate thing is that it was all we had, aside from a little rice cereal and this little guy still wants to eat every 3-4 hours during the night. So here we were in the middle of the night, with a hungry, barfy baby with no food and no way to get food. Tricky. We ended up feeding him some rice cereal and a bottle of water and he seemed fine. As soon as he was done throwing up he was laughing and smiling again- silly boy.Mal woke up about 3 times that night and we would rock him back to sleep, but he decided to wake up for good at 5 am…grrr. We hung out and played for a while, talked to our housekeeper and owner of the house, Wagayu for a while and it was a nice relaxing morning. The house is beautiful and the yard is just gorgeous, so it is wonderful to sit outside in the perfect Addis weather. Wagayu cracks me up, in the mornings it is a nice perfect 65 degrees out and apparently that is cold for him because he keeps coming out in a ski parka- zipped up, hood on, with the drawstring pulled tight so we can barely see his face. I love that guy. (This is wagayu holding Malak)
Later, we met all of the other Gladney families at a Chinese restaurant and it was so fun to meet them and be able to see their precious children. I feel like we know them already, just from the blogs, so it was fun to actually meet in person and be able to catch up. We "knew" the Thorne's - we are old blog friends, but it was so fun to meet them in person! The two other families we hadn't met before- the Brown's and the Enright's, they didn't have blogs! GASP!! How one could survive the adoption process without blog friends is unknown to me, but they did and I stand amazed. :) We LOVED all of these families. (side note: you will notice that the Enright's do have a blog now (phew!) and you should go check out their precious family)
Later we came back to the house and played with Malak for a while and then wrapped him up in the sling- which we love! He is so cozy in it and it so comfortable to wear; he usually falls asleep in it. We headed down a few blocks to the Hill Bottom restaurant and ate dinner. Eric got a cheese burger, fries and African beer, which he said was delicious and I got spring rolls and Fanta which were also very good and spicy! All of that was only about $4.00. It almost feels wrong to pay them so little. After our great dinner we walked home and Mal fell asleep in the sling so we just put him to bed as soon as we got back to the house. The weather in Addis is nearly perfect, about 75 degrees during the day and around 65 in the evenings. We sit out on the porch a lot and just relax, it is absolutely beautiful!
Yesterday, we went to the Gladney foster care center. First we went to the tiny baby house (for babies under six months). This is where Malak lived for the first six months of his life. As soon as we got there he was swept away by the eager arms of the caregivers. Everyone was SO excited to see him, he was like a rock star! It was wonderful to meet all of the ladies that took such good care of our boy. It was very evident how much he was loved and he obviously remembered them as he instantly laid his head on their shoulders. It was a fun reunion! As we were getting ready to leave a girl ran up and said she was Malak’s nanny, his special friend who primarily took care of him. We were so excited to meet Fasika and she was so excited to see Mal one last time. She gave him an adorable Ethiopian outfit including a hat, what a treasure! She also gave Eric a scarf and me a blue shawl, it was very thoughtful and we took some family pictures with her.
While at the orphanage, we were able to meet all of the babies and play with them, although, many were afraid of us. It was fun to see the babies of friends and see Malak’s old bed that he was in for most of his life. Bittersweet really. I used to wonder why other families wouldn't take many pictures of Mal smiling...now I know it is because most of the babies are terrified of us! As soon as we would give them any attention, they would get real nervous. It was actualy pretty funny to see them playing having a great time and then all of the sudden cry because we looked at them. :)
There was one precious baby that I was playing with and I was told that he his brain has stopped growing and he has many disabilities…he will not live past 8 or 9 years old. My heart broke for him and I was completely consumed with grief for this poor sweet baby. I cried over him for a long, long time so I just kissed him and stroked his sweet face and played with him for as long as I could. One of the nannies saw me crying and handed him to me, to hold, it was wonderful to be able give him a little piece of love, because he will probably never have a family to love him. I am crying over him as I write this and each time I see his picture. Plesase pray that his life is somehow blessed and that Jesus will give his little heart peace. My heart still breaks for this precious child and I think of him often...
This is Fasika- she loved Malak and we hope to keep in touch with her. We are so grateful for the love she showered on Malak while we waited for him!!