Journal Entry - Ethiopia {meeting Imani} November 1, 2010

Dear Imani,

“She is yours.” That is what the Judge told us about a half hour ago! Imani Anderson, you are ours. I only wish we got to bring you home this trip.

Meeting you yesterday was completely surreal. There was a bit of miscommunication so we only got to meet you for about 10 minutes before we had to go with the rest of the group in the van & play tourist.

Alazar, the man who owns the guest house where we’re staying, took us and 4 others to the Abay Gorge {Ethiopia’s Grand Canyon}. WOW was it beautiful.

Immediately after our day excursion, we drove back to pick you up. It was around 7 or so and already getting dark. You no longer wore the beautiful outfit they had put you in to meet us, instead you wore pink footed pj’s with a onesie underneath to keep you extra warm {it’s a lot colder here than I expected}.

Your nanny was not too excited about being without you. She looks after 7 babies {including you} but I think you’re her favorite. You have your own bassinet, with several cozy blankets. All the other babies shared cribs – some with broken rails. Some had blankets, some without.
{the baby room} 
{Imani's nanny}

She finally hugged & kissed you one last time & handed you to me. Earlier when we first met you, you were sleeping & I felt bad waking you to pick you up {but of course I did it…I could NOT wait to hold you!!!}. This time, you were wide awake & very cuddly. You didn’t seem to mind at all the fact that we were taking you away {for a few days}.

It’s funny, they didn’t give us a thing. Not a bottle, diaper, extra clothing – I don’t even think you were in a blanket. It was just a kind of a “here ya go…” kind of thing.

You slept cuddled in my arms all through the night. It’s completely amazing the love for you I feel already. I feel like I just birthed you. I love you every bit as much as Anton & Laith and there is absolutely nothing that separates our unconditional love for you. You are part of our family as much as anyone else. Our family grew by one back in August when we accepted your referral but it feels different now that we have me you & snuggled you.

You are mine & I am yours, and I will love you every moment of every day, for the rest of my life. No matte where you go or what you do, you have my whole heart…and you have since God placed you first in my dreams, and then into my reality.

This morning before our court appointment, Yonathan {our new friend who works at the guest house} walked us to a nearby clinic. We were worried about you from the moment we met you because you have a deep cough in your chest that you’ve had since at least a month ago when we received the most recent video of you.

Also because you weigh about 9 ½ lbs at 4 months. You are literally newborn size. None of the clothes we brought you fit {at ALL}. You are so preciously tiny. Your tummy however, is not. It looks bloated and thick and feels hard.

That especially made us nervous.

The doctor informed us of what we expected to hear: you have a bronchial infection…and are malnourished.

MY BABY IS MALNOURISHED?! How is that possible?! I was SO upset to think of my baby so hungry and poorly fed that she suffers from malnutrition.

Your daddy & I realized they were feeding you every 2 hours {which is great} but they were only giving you ½ the formula needed in your bottle, it was largely just water. We were given some medicine for your cough and formula recommendations from the dr {we ended up buying about 40 cans for you and the other babies, to help you all stay healthy & nourished}.

The entire dr visit cost us about $6.00 {American}…and that included the medicine.
{the group of us in front of the courthouse...we all passed!}
{the restaurant where we celebrated after our Court appointment}

{tomorrow we will drive to Debrezyet, the are in which the police officer found you}

I love you, my sweet.