On Thursday we visited the Toukoul Orphanage and met our two children and, improbable as it would seem, they were JUST the way they looked in their pictures! Avi/Befekadu was a smiling, happy, and laughing baby of 6 months, and Raizel/Bemnet was an impish, bold, and playful two-year-old who was firmly attached to her caretakers and (at first) did NOT want to be with us.
We decided to take Raizel home with us to the guesthouse for Shabbat and the last days of Passover, doting on her every need. She became so glued to Kerith that she would not laugh or play with anyone but her Mama. Slowly, she began to range further and let her papa hold her. Her first stages of adjustment have gone very well indeed!
Another case of "no surprise there" has been the Ethiopian people we've met so far. All those in the USA we've known have been kind, warm, happy individuals; however, it had been pointed out to us that those are just Ethiopians who left Ethiopia. Well, they're the same way at home in Ethiopia. We went to the most incredible market, one of many we've been to around the world, and Kerith commented that these people were the most polite sellers and buyers she had ever been around. The Ethiopians working at the embassies have also been unfailingly helpful and understanding, the guards equally nice not Ethiopians and foreigners. We also got multiple thank yous for taking care of two of their country's children. If it were not for the grinding poverty, this place would be a paradise.
Gotta get going now, but more to follow, plus pictures, in the coming weeks!
--Dean and Kerith