We are the Snyder family and ... we are different

This is the story of our journey to our daughter in Ethiopia. God is preparing our family for her and preparing her heart to come home to her family. We chose the difficult road of trusting and obeying God. It is worth every step!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

our first full day

Since our arrival here on Sunday we have been on the go.  Aliya's first morning with us she wasn't sure of what was going on.  She looked stunned, sort of the deer in headlights look.  She let me get her up, showered, lotioned, dressed and hair done but without a smile or any ounce of personality that I know she possesses.  We ate breakfast with the other families and then played in the morning while the families went to the transition home.  She ate well at breakfast and started to open up once we started to play.  We played with a balloon, puzzles and slid cars across the lobby floor..

Our guide Job arrived and we left for the restaurant, Island Breeze, where the other families were having lunch.  Aliya shared some mushrrom sauced steak and pasta with me, she really liked the steak and would only eat the pasta when i smothered it in the mushroom sauce not in the marinara sauce.  She seemed sort of lathargic during lunch until she was done eating then the smiles came out and she was playing around with me.  We assume this is her first visit to a restaurant, she did very well with it :) 

So what do you do with your new daughter that you are adopting from a third world country the first full day you have with her?  You take her to the spa for her first pedicure!  Some of the other girls were going to get pedics and manis at the Boston Spa so we decided to go with them.  Aliya's feet were extremely nasty and dirty so I was very excited to get her feet really clean.  She was a little unsure of the water and the bubbles at first but her attendant was very good with her and got her used to it.  The woman working there were trying to get her to talk to them but she was being shy and wouldn't ackknowledge them at all.  Towards the end of our visit she finally warmed up enough to them that when my attendant asked if she spoke English she replied, "yes, I speak English."  Consequently that is the most I have heard her speak English at all.  Then suddenly she would answer the questions the women had been asking her the whole time.  It was really funny.  When we were all done the woman gave her hugs and kisses and spoke a little to her in Amharic.  We had a great time!  Did I mention that the best part was her feet were actually clean?  lol

We got done at the spa a little late so we were glad to see that dinner was still being served at the guest houes.  Our chef David had prepared a delicious pasta and vegetable dish for us.  Aliya ate quite a bit from my plate.  The we went upstairs and got her into some new jammies.  She opted for a nightgown I brought instead of the long sleeved jammies which was fine with me.  We also found out that she is a master braider.  She definitely broke in her new Barbie.  It was completely hilarious because she thoroughly brushed Barbie's hair, used the pointy end of the comb to section off some hair, used the comb then to keep the other hair out of the way and then tightly braided each section.  Barbie never looked better :)

She got to bed at a more regular time, 8:30, so we could get her on more of a schedule.  Our first full together was absolutely wonderful.  We got to share in many firsts with her and got to learn a little more about each other.  What a great start :)