Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ethiopia Day 1

We made it.  After a long trip Friday and Saturday we are finally in Ethiopia.  We had a few bumps along the way, but still managed to arrive here on time.  I will try to keep the trip portion of this post short because I know most people are more interested in our first time meeting Denver. 

We flew into Chicago with no problems.  We boarded the plane in Chicago and waited.  Then we waited a little longer.  Finally 10 minutes after we were supposed to leave, someone came over the intercom and said “the pilot is stuck in downtown traffic”.  So we got to sit on the plane and wait for him.  We finally got to Frankfurt, Germany.  After going through the maze, that is the Frankfurt airport, which included having to leave the airport and re-enter to get our boarding passes, we finally got to our gate only for them to inform us that they have a full flight and had to bump us to a waiting list.  Just before I was about to lose it with this lady for bumping us, another airline employee stepped in and said “no, no, I will take care of this”.  So she took our waiting list boarding passes and went to the front desk.  She then came back and apologized for the mistake and because of it she bumped us up to Business Class.  So our flight from Frankfurt to Ethiopia turned out to be really nice.

So we finally arrive in Ethiopia and our driver picks us up.  It’s probably around 10:30 on Saturday.  We finally arrived to our guest house and they open this huge iron gate with barbed wire at the top of it.  After we got settled in, we try calling with our international calling card to let people know we made it safely.  And it doesn’t work here.  So we try getting online to Skype, and the internet is down.  We decided to give up and try to go to sleep.

So today we headed downstairs for breakfast and to wait for our driver.  While we were down there we met some people that are here adopting.  It was comforting to talk to them.  Then Wes and Nina show up with our driver.  Wes and Nina are a couple from Kentucky that are adopting twins.  Nina & Wes do photography, so they came to take pictures of our first time to meet Denver.  So we loaded up in the cars and drove down the street and we were at the orphanage.  It turns out the orphanage Denver is at is so close we can see it from our guest house.  We went into the courtyard of the orphanage and were met by some of the nannies that take care of Denver.  They told us to wait there while they go get him ready.  Five minutes later, they came out with cute little Denver.  Of course he is dressed in pink.  They handed him over to Vanessa.  He wasn’t sure about the whole situation at first.  He would just stare at us with a serious look on his face.  We were told that a lot of kids cry the first time they meet their new families.  So at least he didn’t cry.  After we passed him back and forth a couple of times and had tons of pictures taken, we got to take him inside and change him into one of the outfits we brought him.  And of course Vanessa picked out the green one that says “I Love Mom”.  We then got to feed him his bottle.  He then fell asleep while I was feeding him.  We spent the rest of the time in the courtyard with him.  All the other kids in the orphanage wanted to be held as well.  So we spent most of the time with 2 to 3 kids on our laps.  By the time we left Denver started warming up to us.  We even got him to smile and laugh at us a few times.  It was good to spend some time with Denver.  We can’t wait to go back tomorrow. 

Afterwards, we went to lunch with Wes, Nina, Nina’s parents and our driver Solomon.  We went to Cloud 9.  It was a nice restaurant with some American food.  I had a Filet Mignon and Vanessa had a Margarita Pizza.  It was the best $4 Filets I’ve ever had (Food is really cheap over here).  We were supposed to go and visit another orphanage today, but they were not accepting visitors.  So we came back to the guest house to rest.

Tomorrow we go back to see Denver.  I’m not sure what else is on the agenda tomorrow.  I guess we’ll see.  Hopefully we’ll sleep better tonight.  Last night there were some dogs that kept us up all night.  In fact as I’m writing this, they just started barking again.  Hopefully they’ll get it out of their system before tonight.      
This is the only picture we can post because it doesn't show his face


  1. So glad you made it safe and to hear about your meetcha day! Give Denver lots of hugs and kisses from Aunt you!

  2. Loved the picture.......any picture is good. Glad the meeting day was all you hoped for, and that his orphanage is good. Keep posting when you can. Give him a kiss from me. Take care of yourselves. Love, mom

  3. We are so excited for you. I am so glad that the orphanage is a nice one and that Denver did so well with you. God really does more than we can imagine. Enjoy your time getting to know your son!

  4. It was so good hearing from you and that you made it safely! This picture of Vanessa holding Denver melts my heart! You guys are going to be the best parents ever!!! God is truly amazing how he creates our little families perfectly for us! Denver is absolutely precious! Be safe and keep us posted if you can! :)

  5. VANESSA!! GRANT!! You guys look like such naturals and Denver looks so comfortable and happy with you. The looks on your faces are priceless! Denver has no clue the amount of crazy he's about to get into. :) Seriously, can't you just stuff him in your purse and slip someone a crisp $5 bill to move this process along and bring him home already? Love you guys and I'm glad you made it safe.

  6. It was so wonderful to hear of your safe arrival and being able to see Denver so quickly! The photos of you are so very touching. Please take care of yourselves so you'll be top notch during your time with Denver.

    We love you and continue to pray for your family!

  7. Can't wait to meet Denver! He is SO CUTE! Can't wait for you to get him home! Someone new to rough house with!!!

    From Uncle George

  8. He is the cutest baby I've ever seen! Don't wait for next trip, just put him in your little pocket & bring him home now!!! Can't wait to meet him!

    Give him a GREAT BIG HUG from Auntie Alex (mom says that isn't right, but I don't care!).

    Love you!
    Alexandria Summer Rennee Smith

  9. Lots of prayers going your way. You guys are going to make great parents! Denver is a very lucky boy to be getting such good Christian parents. God is good. Can't wait to meet him. Oh, by the way, I miss you at work!!

    Debby Bowd