The purpose of my first trip to Addis was to bring Marta home. The other purpose was to get to know Meklit so that my second trip to bring her home, alone, would be a success. Everything else I did and experienced was gravy.
Meklit. First thing was pronounciation. Meh-kleet, as in baseball cleat is how you say it. Early on we thought it was Mary, but it is obvious from Marta that she has never been called Mary, and they don't even know where it came from. So Meklit it is.
I don't think she was expecting me, and my first moments with her were right after school (she gets back at ~4pm) and she was just changing out of her school uniform. All I can say is overwhelming. This picture is from a different day, but the super shy, bashfull, doe eyed, I'm not going to speak to you look is all I got that day I think.
By Wednesday I think, and definitely by Thursday she was warmed up to me and would sit on my lap, let me cuddle and tickle and play games with her, and there were even a couple times when she came to me rather than Marta. I feel so much better about going back alone to bring her home.
I wasn't too sure what to expect personality wise. I had heard plenty of talk about princess, and pistol, and center of the universe, atleast in her eyes, and didn't really see any of that. Not that I don't think it is all true, I just didn't see it myself.
What I did see was an adorable, shy little girl, with a very sweet smile, who is probably trying to figure out what is going on. She doesn't have the experience of Marta, or the exposure to a steady flow of families coming to bring kids home, so I can understand what she is uncertain of. Soon though her perspective will change.
She did get to spend a couple nights at the guest house with us that we didn't expect, so that won't be new to her when it is her turn. The big change will be no Marta, and I don't know how much English she knows, and then the ordeal of the plane trip.
Above is Hanna getting her ready for school, and then saying goodbye to us on Friday morning when we took her back in the morning so she could get off to school. I didn't get a chance to talk to Hanna very much, but she is so good with the kids, and I know they all adore her. She takes Meklit and 2 others to public school each day as they are the oldest.