Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mekele-Days 5 & 6

Before I start into Days 5&6, please pray with us for a solution or Adia's digestion.  We are running low on Ethiopian formula and tried transitioning to several formulas.  Our doctor says formulas are basically the same, only dairy or soy-based, but Adia is having problems!  This morning, we switched to powdered goat's milk for 1/2 of the mix, but she still seems uncomfortable (not as bad as she did with Similac). 

My mom started the day with us and then Kristen drove from Indy for the afternoon.  We have had some fussy girls, hopefully she will come back!  :)

On to our adventures...
Mekele is in the state of Tigray, far North in Ethiopia. The girls are from this region and we were very interested to learn more about the area they were from. We had the opportunity to spend two days there.

We boarded a plane early Saturday morning and then embarked upon many adventures.  At this point, another family from IAG had joined us, so it was so fun to have travel buddies! Brian and Mabel are both nurses and have been through several kinds of adoptions, so they were great resources!

The region was very arid and more like a desert.  The architecture was very different and much was done with this amazing stone from the mountains.  The houses were mostly rectangle and covered in stone.  The landscape designer in my husband couldn't stop taking pictures! 

Our first stop was the IAG Care Center.  We met the kids and took hundreds of pictures for the waiting families, delivered care packages and did lots of playing.

All of the pictures I had received of the girls were from families who had traveled and were kind enough to post pictures, so we wanted to return the favor! Unfortunately, I can't post pictures of this, because some of the waiting kids haven't passed court. 

We went to the coolest, biggest open air market I have ever visited.  It is very likely the market that the girls would have shopped in, had they grown up in the region!
This little boy cut chunks of salt off from the salt mines. Camels bring salt in from the mines.

Every aisle had new wares
Kids in the marketplace followed us and wanted to see themselves on camera
We bought the girls dresses from the Tigrina region and I bought this dress, typical from the region.  The vendor told me "You look like a beautiful Tigrani woman!"  He may have been trying to get a sale...:)

I love this picture!  A little boy, totally decked out on top with no pants.
We wanted to go to the Castle of King Johannas IV.  Our driver dropped us off at "The Castle".  We were so excited and took pictures on our way in...turns out it was a hotel called "The Castle".  We walked to the real castle we wanted to tour.  This is Brian and Mabel.
We weren't supposed to take picture of the outside our inside, but our guide let us.  Here, Jon and I stand with Biranu (a social worker for IAG) in front of King Johannes IV throne.
It was so funny, our guide went from "don't take any pictures" to telling us where to go to do a photo shoot for us!

We went back to our hotel and met another IAG family, Scott and Heidi.  Heidi and I had been reading each other's blogs, so it was so fun to finally meet!
Everything was stone and built to last.
The following morning, we headed out with a driver to see a "rock church".  Northern Ethiopia has churches that are over a 1000 years old and still used. These churches, built by the orthodox church, are incredible, hewn out of a mountain, everything is one large stone.

We thought it would be so close, but after twirling and climbing up a mountain, we learned why the locals said it would be hard to do in a day.  :)  We made it though and the way up was fantastic!
A view of the terraced mountain

More houses.  The girls were from a farming background, likely their house looked like this...

The front of the church, carved right into the mountain.

The church bells aren't 1000 years old. :)
Inside the church

Okay, going to have to finish tomorrow, this is too much for one day! 


Amber said...


Thinking of you so much. Pray you guys can find a quick and peaceful conclusion to the formula delimna. And praying you're getting some sleep amidst it all!! Glad you have help. : )

Kristen said...

I'm coming back - for sure! :) Hope Adia sleeps well tonight.

Shawn said...

You might try baby gas relief. I can not think of the name of it now, but it worked when I was having troubles with Anna. I believe that you can find it in either the baby section or the pharmacy/medicines section at Walmart.
I have really wanted to come over and meet the newest members to the neighborhood, but totally understand how overwhelmed you must be feeling right now. Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to help. I know how overwhelmed and scared I felt when I just brought one baby home, I can not imagine how you feel with two...other than double blessed :)
Please let me know if you need anything. I am just right next door.
Good luck!
Jada and Adia are so beautiful!

Sarah said...

Enjoying your re-cap posts...keep them coming! :)

Kevin & Erica said...

Amy, randomly and sporatically are we able to access any blogs but today I could again so I was excited to read about your trip to Mekele since we didn't have time to hear all the details. Sounds like a really cool place and I'm glad I could "visit" it through your good explanations!
Prayerfully, Erica

Jennifer M said...

Such beautiful pictures you guys! Wonderful!

Janell said...

Just a thought...a good friend (also a Pediatric Nurse Practioner)once told me that switching formulas is hard on some kids. Maybe she just needs time to adjust. What about trying one formula for a week or more instead of switching around so much????

Justin & Sarah said...

I second the gas drops. Worked wonders for Hudson. I believe the name is Mylicon. Very safe, but talk to your pediatrician first. Were either of the girls diagnosed with those parasites you had mentioned?

Todd and Teresa said...

Thanks for sharing your adventures on your trip. Hope today has been less "fussy".

JILL said...

Hey Amy! Praying for you guys that the adjustment period can go by quickly and everyone can get settled in. I have to second the Mylicon thing, maybe it was all in my head but it worked wonders with Laynie. Also, I wanted to add again that Nestle Good Start was the formula here the docs recommended as easiest to digest. And I agree with Janell in the aspect of it will take a while for their bodies to adjust to the new formula. For one kind to fully get into their system and the other out... Hope this is helpful and doesn't add to your frustrations :) I am sure as their mamma you will figure it all out!