Sunday, May 16, 2010

Trip to Gladney Foster Care Center

On Wednesday morning of the week we were in Addis, the families and the children visit the foster care center. This is our first outing as a family, and, as our trip unfolded, it was my first trip thru Addis Ababa.

Once we made it to the foster care center, it looked exactly like I thought it would. We have all seen photos from many coffee ceremonies and many photos of our children in foster care. Everything looked like I thought it would until we got upstairs. The rooms where the babies slept were much smaller than I thought. They were happy, sunny places, but quite a lot smaller than I thought they would be.

We barely made it through the door of foster care center 1 before the special mother came and swept our little lady away from us. We ran into her a few more times, and each time the special mother and Zadie were playing and talking to each other. The care was evident between them. Zadie also had been dressed in her adorable traditional clothing.

The caregivers were all friendly. The children seemed happy and healthy. The older children were laughing and playing. We enjoyed moving room to room meeting the children, laughing with them. Giving hugs and kisses. Taking photos for moms and dads back home and delivering a few packages.

We made our way back to the coffee ceremony. The coffee was yummy. Popcorn topped off the ceremony. Then, when we were about to leave, Travis said, "We need to get Hayat (that's our Zadie) back, right?" She had not made it back to the coffee ceremony. When the special mother brought her back to us, the tears began to flow. My tears. Charlie's tears. The special mother's tears. She sent us away with blessings. Charlie and I gathered ourselves, and headed out. As we were walking to the cars, Charlie happened to look back. The special mother was standing on the balcony watching us walk away. She had tears in her eyes. My tears began to flow again. But knowing that our daughter's sweet, loving nature was nurtured by these caregivers is priceless.

The morning was such a lovely one. We saw the two beds where Zadie had slept while she was in Gladney's care. We even have her sweet little name card that hung over her bed. We met so many people who had taken care of our daughter. We also were able to thank the special mother who had developed a special relationship with Zadie over the months.


  1. Loving the posts about your trip. Every time I read about the Gladney caregivers I think about what special women they must be, to love these babes with their whole heart when they know they'll eventually be leaving.

  2. Man, I'm teary now, reading about it, knowing we'll soon meet the women who've loved our daughter so well.

  3. You tell such a lovely story, making all of us feel like we're with you. Yes, these women are amazing!

  4. What a special lady! Daniel and I are so excited for you guys!

  5. hi-this is totally random...we are also a gladney family- brought home our b/g twins last August. I have, for the most part, stopped reading the FBI list but tonight, for some reason found myself caught up in it again. I somehow ended up on your blog and immediately noticed your daughter's special mother was OUR TWINS special mother! I was so excited to see her holding your daughter--I would know her anywhere! Here's the thing...I can not remember her name...Misret? I have lost the notebook I kept while we were in Ethiopia. This breaks my heart because among other priceless things it contained my notes from our meeting the birth family, Amharic vocabulary related to our kids, and--the special mother's info, her name, her email address. I can't tell you have much it hurts to have lost that notebook. I would be so grateful if you would send me any information you have on your special mother. I'll be glad to send you a picture of her w/ my kids to prove my crazy random story. Whatever you need. I want to include her in the lifebook I'm making for the twins. Thank you so much...and congratulations on bringing your daughter home! kat gospaulding at