Today was Dave’s second full day in Ethiopia and Trey’s second day away from the Transition Home – and pretty much everything he has known for the past year. Traveling families often find it easiest to communicate with each other through Facebook. I’ve been keeping my phone handy at all times (which is not really anything new) and I seem to even be listening for the message alert in my sleep. Sometime around midnight our time, I received this message:
Woke up sad this morning :( He wants someone named Sara. We leave for Embassy in about an hour.
A few hours later, I received the following update with a few more details:
Embassy was easy. Trey's morning sadness lasted for about 30-45 minutes, which was a huge improvement over yesterday. He was stoic but not crying during the Embassy appointment. We waited about 40 minutes and they called our last name. Each family went to the same window to interview with the same man, which lasted about five minutes. He was a very nice man, who happened to be from St. Louis. Trey was wearing his Cardinal's hat, so he commented on that. He spent some time explaining that they had been suspicious of our case because not too many young men would take a child they are not related to off the streets to care for. He also said they had some concerns with the Shalom orphanage and that they are taking extra precautions. I took an oath to tell the truth, signed a couple of forms, and we were done. He handed me a bunch of paperwork. Our visas will be ready at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.
We have good moments and not-so-good moments. Most of the time Trey is stoic. I think he tolerates me at this point. We’ve had a few good times when we laugh and play. Most of the time we just sit and color, play with cars, or watch movies, but it’s mostly playing along side one another. I am doing well. Amazingly, I have the patience for this. Lately, I have wondered where my patience had gone, but I think I found it!!
About 15 minutes later, I received another update:
A funny (or not so funny) thing just happened. Trey clearly wants the heck out of here. I'm pretty sure he wants to go see Sara. I found out she is one of the nurses at the Transition Home. While I was typing the last message, he started to pack up his stuff. I could tell he was a bit upset and was ready to leave. I told him we were staying and he got ticked. He tried to leave. I just stood in front of the door. Then , he proceeded to empty the contents of his bag, throwing everything as hard as he could into the bathroom. I grabbed a couple of the breakable items, but let him throw what wasn't breakable (thought maybe he needed to vent). He probably threw around 15 things, including crayons and markers. About 30 seconds after he was done, still whining mind you, he started to pick his things up one by one and put them back where they were before. I think he is looking for me to react, and when I don’t, he gives up. Right after picking up, he became playful again, even smiling a few times as we hit the balloon around the room. I think he felt bad.
I love you all! I will send more messages later. It's dinner time here.
Maybe I shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t help but laugh about that. I wish I could have seen Dave’s face as he hurried to snatch the breakable things. It’s sad to think that Trey is so frustrated, but the little boy I remember was very, very particular about his things, and I can just see him scrambling to put his things back in order.
A while later, we were able to connect over Skype. He and Trey were just hanging out in the room. I had sent a V-Tech toy which teaches letters and numbers. Just like at home, the kids there LOVE electronics. Dave said that Trey knew both the alphabet and his numbers in English, as well as his colors. We were able to use the video feature for most of the call, and Trey would sit on Dave’s lap and push the correct letters and numbers as Dave called them out. He seemed to be trying to impress me – and he did!!
Late in the afternoon, I received one more message:
Trey is still awake and it's after nine. I think I got him wound up. We played an amazing game of “the claw” and then hit the balloons around. Probably not the best bedtime routine, but I wanted to get my happy time in while I could. Lots of smiles and laughs while we were playing.
I'll try to message soon, unless I fall asleep too.
Love to you, Sami, and Toby. I miss you all very much.
(Photographs by our friend and fellow traveler, Michael Gowin)