We all nervously drove down bumpy uneven gravel allays in our van. Everyone was anxious to see their children. Through the big gates of Enet Alam we entered the orphanage. The brightly colored laundry strung back and forth on stings across the courtyard like decorative flags at festival. We were asked to sit and participate in a coffee ceremony but all our focus was on all the little children surrounding us. Some of the families brought small toys and the children were giggling with amazement.
As quickly as we came in, the nannies were bringing out children and onioning the their names. I was first struck by the beauty of Dan and Sus's little girl (about 2) and her brother that followed. These children all seemed so beautiful in contrast to their American families. You could see the parents all attempting to bond with their kids and fishing their bags for toys and trinkets to entertain them. The smaller children started to come out in the arms of the nannies. First Ruhammah (Tara's best friend). You could see her bold eyes and identify her unique features as soon as she walked out the door. No one will ever look "like" Ruhammah. She is very exotic looking and fine. Immediately as soon as Rachael received her she went into inquiries about her health. Rachael was able to meet her daughter last Friday due to her health. I hope it is ok to tell you that she has Rickets in an effort to gain prayer for Ruhammah. You could tell by Travis's juicy eyes that he was very concerned for is daughter. If there is any way to keep this little girl in your prayer we would appreciate it.
Last Tara came out. The called her by her full Ethiopian name Tarikua. She was so cute and you could tell by the coo of the crowd that she admired. They poured her into Riches arms and she busted out in a smile from ear to ear. We took turns holding her and talking to her (yes it is on video) for about 30 minutes. During that entire time she was laughing and giggling.
All the children had been specially groomed and dressed in the finest clothes for our arrival. Little Tarikua had big tight curls and her hair was greased in a design. Rachel and I tried our best to do quick and unnoticed medical of our daughters. There was no need for privacy among the two of us as our goal was to both look at the "girls" and evaluate. Both girls were covered in mosquito bites from head to toe. Rumahah slightly worse than Tara. Both had a very bad respiratory issues, cough, issues breathing from congestion and a slight fever. We have concern of scabies, malaria and also parasites as well. All those will need to be checked in the states on both Tara and us as well.
There was a nurse on staff. We asked about treat meant options as we had access to medicines. We were told by the nurse were viral and could just be treated with steaming the room with garlic. We told her that we had access to medicines and she suggested cough syrup. We would never give babies that young cough syrup in America. Looks like we are on our own : )
We did a lot more at the orphanage. We visited the babies room. Played with her little girl and video taped her. Amy if you are reading this she is doing great and crawling. Alert, happy and no issues that we could see. She slept one bed away from Tara and has her own mosquito net. No sign of a cold or any issues.
We gave gifts to the nannies and the director. They took our email addresses and passed out a nicely written thank you letter explaining the need. This was not necessary as it was obvious to us that they were thankful and the orphanages all were in great need. We gave an article of clothing to the orphanage director that was given to us by a friend at Display Pack. We used this to "pay" to take Tara away fully dressed. I think they would have allowed us anyway, but that is not the case with all orphanages.
All the parents took a big exhale as the van pulled away and one of the fathers whispered "finally". We brought her back to the hotel and she could barely keep her eyes open in the car. She is alert and playful. Very smile and happy. She explores everything and seems very bright. She got a kick out seeing a photo of herself and looking in a mirror. Rich claps for her and she trys to clap back. She can sit up with a little support and will be crawling soon. I would rate her progress as advanced. She is cutting two little teeth in the bottom on the front. We are in love!