Saturday, April 26, 2008

two GREAT days

Yes, we are in the throes of adjusting, but I must say these past 2 days have been awesome considering the massive changes our family is going through. We are slowly starting to figure out their personalities, their limit-testing, what is fear, grief, attachment stuff, and what is just plain 4 yr old naughtiness.

They TOTALLY want to learn English, trying to repeat almost everything I say. I took them grocery shopping yesterday, and they needed to repeat every item I put in the cart (several times...). Amazingly, they have already put 2 words together in some make-shift sentences. Man, kids brains are incredible!

For those of you contemplating traveling soon, I have 2 suggestions (so far. . . actually I have about 100, but will spare you an exhaustive post).

Suggestion One:

Stay at the Ayat House, or there is also a house next door that is also supposedly just as nice. There is plenty of room, even for all 8 of us that were there. You can cook your own breakfast and the occasional dinner when you are weary of restaurant fare. You may have the special treat of sharing a beer with the owner, Waguyu. Now mind you, I don't like beer anyway, and this beer was warm, so an EXTRA special treat (think - - - gag). But the conversation was awesome and Waguyu is always open to answer all kinds of questions, which we were more than willing to ask. Zimit (the housekeeper) will do your laundry and actually iron your underwear (just like I do at home. . . ). Also, you may think BUGS when traveling to Africa, and I have been to parts of Africa where the bugs were the size of mice (gag, again). The Ayat house is VERY clean and I think I saw 2 or 3 flies the whole time, and no other bugs, just in case that is a major concern of yours. And the price is unbelieveable. $40/night for a family of 4, or $60/night for 5 or more.

Suggestion Two:

If you have older kids (ours are 11, 10 and 8) and are thinking of traveling with them, we would say, GO FOR IT. Yes, the airfare is a hefty chunk of change, but the in-country costs are relatively low, and if you stay at the Ayat House, you wouldn't have to get an extra room or anything, keeping costs way down. Our kids played SO well with the twins, and had the limitless energy kids have, never tiring of piggy-back rides, playing tag, doing handstands, headstands, tickle fests, you name it. Our kids are your average kids, yet they traveled extraordinarily well, really couldn't have asked for it to go any better. Yes, they lived on french fries and spaghetti at the restaurants, but who cares? So, I bet your kids could do it, too!

Well, the post is complete, after many disruptions from a twin wanting a hug, a twin needing to be wiped, a twin wanting a banana, a twin needing a shoe tied, a twin needing a nose blown. Yea, disruptions! That just means the twins are FINALLY here.

OK, here we are on our first family vacation, touring Washington DC. Actually, we got the sweetest gift from our blogging buddy, Kristy, who lives near DC. We had a 9 hour layover at Dulles, so she came to pick us up and we did a whirlwind tour of the main attractions. AND we got to eat at McDonald's, a major highlight for our bio kids (and their mom), as they found themselves dreaming of double cheeseburgers and fries several times while in Ethiopia.


the albertsons said...

yay! great post yall!
I agree with Buttercup's suggestions, for all you comment-readers. And she's not lying- her kids did amazingly well with the travel (only because they have GREAT parents who have raised them well). And for Gladney families- I thought of another thing Joanna really wants- boxes of family size kraft mac'n'cheese. some of those would be great.
Okay- sorry to hijack your post Buttercup :).

coffeemom said...

OH BOY! I LOVE this kind of post!! I do, second only to maybe those first baby pics and the meeting pics....ok they are all great! We are staying at Ayat House and are so glad, especially since we'll have half the kids (big ones). Any other tips are eagerly sought, so if you have 100's of suggestions.....well, we are all ears, or , em, eyes, you know what I mean! Great stuff!

Carri said...

YEAH!!! Welcome home :) You were in my thoughts and prayers so many times while we were in ET with Asher and as we traveled home. Glad to hear you made it back safe and sound and all in one piece. And I'd like to say, "You go girl!" for braving it to the grocery store so soon after returning home!! Haven't tried that one yet....

Blessings - Carri

sparkz said...

I love seeing the family photos! Glad that your trip went well too. I think its so important for the whole family to have had the experience. That will be something they will remember forever and I am sure it made the initial bonding time that much better. Welcome home! Glad to see your family untied at last!

Mary & Doug said...

Welcome home!!! I love catching up on your news.

We are planning to take our 10 and 11 year old when we travel (in a few weeks). Thanks for reassuring us of our decision!

Did you deal with any power outages where you stayed? We are thinking the Hilton for this reason. You are welcome to convince us otherwise!

Tell us what to see in D.C.! We are planning to go a day early to see some sites.

God has certainly blessed your family. Enjoy every moment of this precious time!


Amber said...

Thanks for the great advice! I'm taking note of all your experiences.

emily said...

Amazing! I really can't wait to pick your brain more on taking the kids. Your family is beautiful, I can't believe you are home, taking them to the grocery store.