My Etsy Shop!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Shopping, etc.

The rest of the day after meeting our babies and going to the embassy
was pretty uneventful and relaxing-the babies and children all did
fairly well for the most part and we all just hung out at the hotel
and napped, had dinner, talked and then went to bed. Zoe did
GREAT-had a bottle around 11:30 and then went immediately to sleep and
didn't wake again till 5:30 to eat again. Of course she didn't want
to go back to sleep but it was ok because we had to be up to get
breakfast and get all the donations up to Hannah's Hope and get ready
to go on our big shopping day. We had to leave the babies at Hannah's
Hope which was nice because it gave them a little more transition time
with the special mothers (nannies) and us. And it was also fairly
cramped in the small shops and dirty in the market area where we were
shopping so it was best to not have them.

We had about an hour and a half to shop and look for whatever things
we wanted to bring home and we had our list ready so that we didn't
waste any time. Here in Ethiopia, it is customary to haggle and
bargain and so we spent a good bit of our time doing the "best price"
dance--going back and forth on how much they say they want you to pay,
we say "no way, too much, give me the habesha (native Ethiopian) price
not the firenji (foreigner) price", they say "this IS habesha price!",
we laugh and say "oh no it is not and it is too much and we will look
at another shop". The dance is nearing the end when you say no thanks
and walk to the door and they follow you saying "ok ok, this best
price" and will either give you what you offered or offer slightly
higher. All in all, we did pretty well and according to Almaz (AGCI
Director here), only paid about 50 cents more than what she would have
paid on a good many of the items we bought-we were happy with
that-there are a few things that we know could have been cheaper if we
were habesha, but we also knew we had the money and goodness knows the
Ethiopian economy could use it and it was STILL a good price, so it
was ok. Maybe I will try that approach next time I go to Target
though.... It was fun to shop and haggle, but also tiring. Street
vendors follow you everywhere with jewelry, belts, sunglasses,
maps-trying to get you to buy. Even children trying to sell us purse
sized packs of tissues. And there are "enforcers" who walk around the
marketplace with big sticks and they literally whack any children or
sellers that appear to be pestering us-we didn't enjoy that part at
all, but the kids and peddlers seemed to expect it and just ran away
from her sometimes even laughing.

After our shopping trip, we went to a place that serves Italian food
and is also an art gallery with paintings on the walls from local
artists. The paintings were beautiful and interesting and of various
styles and all of them were available to be purchased right from the
wall. We spent most of the meal talking and enjoying getting to know
each other more, and also debating which paintings we might like to
buy. Pat and I could not decide and we each liked a different one-Pat
liked a huge oil painting of some folks fishing by the water and I
liked an impressionist-style watercolor of 2 African women. I also
liked the one Pat liked, but he did not really love the one I liked so
after debating the whole meal, we finally decided on the big oil
painting Pat liked best as it will look great in our house. They take
it off the wall for you, un-tack the canvas and roll it into a
shipping tube right there and we will be hauling it on the plane with
us-it is like 5 feet long!! By the time we were done with lunch and
the drive back to the hotel, we were all exhausted. We all just went
our separate directions, some right up to Hannah's Hope to go see
their little ones, some to take a brief rest. We took a few minutes
to wash hands and faces and rest a bit-it was very hot and dusty today
and all the riding in the van gave us a fine coating of grime that we
wanted off!! We got cleaned up and headed up to Hannah's Hope to get
our Zoe!!

Along the way we ran into our little buddy Danny again, who is so
incredibly sweet by the way, and he walked along with us a bit and
asked "you Christian?" to which we enthusiastically replied "yes!" He
said "ok, you have this then" and pulled a little red Gideon New
Testament out of his pocket and gave it to us. We were so touched and
asked him if he reads the Bible and he just laughed and said "oh yes!"
We asked him if this Bible was his only one because we did not want to
take it from him, but he said he had 2 others and to please take it.
We also asked him if he tells his friends about Jesus and he
responded "oh yeah" with a big smile. I am telling you, that boy is
one smart kid and he wants to be a children's doctor when he grows up
and I think he will be a great one!!

Anyway, we got up to HH and we got to go into the house where Zoe has
lived for 5 months and see her bed and meet one of her special mothers
who was holding her and feeding her. We suddenly felt very intrusive
as this women obviously had a bond with Zoe and I could see her
hesitancy to give her to us. We made ourselves busy looking around at
the other babies and talking to them and seeing the other beds. It
was very emotional to look at the bed where she has slept every day
until now and it was humbling to see how much she was loved by her
special mother and to think of how hard it must be for them to say
goodbye to these babies to whom they grow attached, especially when
they are going where they will never see them again with a firenji who
they don't know. We finally got Zoe, said thank you repeatedly and
went back outside to play with the older kids some more. On the way
in we had handed out tiny cars to all the little boys and they were
now running everywhere with them, fighting over them, trading
them-boys are boys no matter where you go! We played there at HH for
the rest of the afternoon-it was wonderful to play with those kids as
they are super affectionate and silly and love to meet new (white!)
faces, but it was hard too, sometimes overwhelming, to think that
although they have an excellent home at HH, it is not the same as
being in their very own family. And while most of the children are
placed and just waiting, a few were "new" and learning the ropes and
needed/demanded a bit more attention. They LOVE to have their
pictures taken and were constantly posing and asking to see on the

The big hit of the day was when Tim passed out spider man masks to all
the boys (the girls all got beanie babies-and loved them!) and they
all put them on and went nuts webbing all of us! What IS it about
spider man?? He is mega-popular here!! They kept running around saying
their name then "spyy-dare-mon" in their thick accent behind their
masks and posing for pictures-hilarious!!!! We left at their dinner
time and just had a relaxing rest of the evening and night talking,
eating dinner (they made us french fries-hallelujah!! Dawn and I are
already planning out just what cheeseburger we are getting in the
Dubai airport where they have Burger King! None of the "burgers" here
contain any meat, interesting), and just talking with each other and
some folks from another group of adopting families who are also at our
hotel. The whole time Zoe just snoozed away, we woke her up to feed
and change her and she went right back to sleep. Let's hope it is a
repeat of last night as we are up early again tomorrow as we meet with
Zoe's birthmother-it was changed from Tuesday to Wednesday and we are
the first meeting of the day. We are a little nervous, but know it is
a great opportunity as well. Then tomorrow night, MORE cultural
dancing-and hopefully this time I will NOT be participating!!!

ETA: This post is a day behind b/c the internet was not working for
the last day and a half—our birthmother meeting did not happen because
she did not show up so that was not enjoyable-we just spent the day
playing with the kids at Hannah's Hope and catchin up on some very
much needed rest, as well as trying to calm our slightly angry
tummies. We are getting packed up and ready for the long trek back
home tomorrow. Our visit with our little guy from Compassion is
supposed to take place tomorrow so we are hoping it will work out this
time!! Zoe seems to have a pretty bad cough/chest congestion/wheezing
thing that has us eager to get her home to the doctor-please keep her
in your prayers!


Nancy said...

Thanks for the update! I have been constantly looking, and I am glad to know the internet was not working. I, of course, was thinking the worst. We are praying for Zoe, and I relayed what info I got from Molly to our BSF discussion group, so they could be praying for Zoe's health in particular. We will be praying for your long journey home, and we look forward to meeting Zoe!

Jessica Knitter said...

Praying that Zoe feels better and you have safe travels back! Thanks for the updates and all of the wonderful information!!

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that you all are well(except for the angry tummies, which is to be expected!). We are praying for Zoe and your speedy, safe return. Can't wait to see you back home. Love, Kelly

Michelle said...

Praying for a safe trip home and Zoe's healing.

Kristi J said...

wow, i love your awesome!! Ok, I'm not sure I can hand back my baby once they give her to me to go shopping...Can you skip out on the shopping or take your baby with you?? Oh, it would hurt me too bad after all this time to hand her back...not gonna do it :) ha... praying for Zoe...Love your posts, kristi

Jstar said...

Hi, Jody! This is Jamie Morningstar... I guess I was Jamie Reinhart when you knew me, but Steve and I have been married for almost 11 years now and have 2 boys by birth and a new daughter by adoption! Selena Brewer sent me your blog link and clearly I have a lot of reading to do :)

So, so happy for your family... adoption has been one of the most amazing adventures we have experienced and I'm sure you'd say the same. In your copious free time (hah) you can read about our adoption journey at