We're in the JAL Lounge enduring our 7 hr layover in luxury. Thanks to my Dad's Star Elite something-or-other status, we've been fortunate enough to eat, drink, enjoy wi-fi, sit comfortably and quietly, and shower...all for free!
To back track: we returned to the orphanage Thursday for a final farewell, at the request of E. They fed us again and the food was just as incredible as the first two times I've had the privilege of eating there. We stayed three hours, the children sang to us (in Amharic and English!) and we were privy to even more of E's story and her heart for the children of Ethiopia. If you've ever read "There's No Me Without You", I would have to say in all honesty that E's life, passion, and compassion mirrors that of Haregewoin Teferra. No word of a lie. (If you haven't read the book, I would highly recommend that you do...it's a page turner and a life changer.)
The departure and final farewell Makeda Mihret received from her nannies, nurses, cooks, and family from the past many months was heart wrenching. I'll go into it another time as it's still too raw and I'm digesting.
So, here we are in Frankfurt after a 6 1/2 hr uneventful flight from Addis. The first tears I've seen fall from this girl's eyes, streamed down her cheeks just after take-off. Our guess would be that it was all just too much...overtired (it was nearly midnight), out of sorts, over-stimulated, nearing a bottle feed, confused...the tears streamed for a few moments.
She settled quickly with the bottle and passed out for the remainder of the flight.
We arrived in Frankfurt (at 6am local time), made our way through what felt like umpteen terminals and gates, to the lounge. Fed Makeda, had a drink (coffee!), and took Makeda to shower and clean off. The showers here are fantastic if for no other reason than they clean off that previous-flight-ick feeling and prepare you for the next.
Makeda is a water baby, there's no doubt. And, after holding her in the water with me for a few minutes, I plonked her down on the floor in the corner where she'd not be sprayed and where she proceeded to splish splash away in the cm deep water. Moments later I went to pick her up and give her a full rinse off.
She looked content. Relaxed. Satisfied.
And she left a rather disgusting load under her...stuck to the tiles on the shower floor.
In order to ensure I protected my Dad's reputation and that he would maintain his status I did what any girl would do and...well...let's just say it's all clean now. Wow. That was gross. Certainly it wasn't made better by the fact that I am transitioning Makeda to the baby cereal and formula she will eat at home and the fact that she had butternut squash last night for the first time ever.
The word explosive comes to mind.
Anyhoooo...we are now still several hours away from our flight home (!!!!!!!!!!!!!).
We can't wait...
Today is our Forever Family Day.