I was hopeful, and would have been extremely disappointed if it hadn't worked out for me to meet Maeve's birth mom, but I didn't know if a meeting was set up until we arrived in Addis Ababa and received our itinerary for the week. That whole morning I was a nervous wreck. I had severe butterflies in my stomach and I felt almost shaky. It was such a monumental moment for Maeve, Maeve's birth mom, and me. We would be in each other's presence for the first time, and maybe, only time in our lives. What an amazing and rare opportunity.
I was really really curious how I would react during the meeting. I have an ability to shut off my emotions, sometimes, when things are stressful and then just process my feelings later. This happens often without effort or desire. I didn't want it to happen with this meeting. I wanted Maeve's birth mom to know how authentic I felt. I was so nervous about meeting her because I was afraid that I would not be able to articulate, and show her adequately enough, how much I loved Maeve already, and how I promised to love her with all my heart. That I also promised to love her with twice the love -- my own and her birth mom's. My emotions did surface, and there were some very real moments in our meeting.
I will keep the details of our meeting for Maeve alone, but I am thrilled that Maeve comes from such an amazing woman. Such strength and love. Two extremely admirable qualities in a person. I am thrilled that Maeve now has a video (thank you Stacy) to hear her birth mom's voice and see her mannerisms, and hear, from her own mouth, how much she loves Maeve. I plan on keeping in touch with Maeve's birth mom to let her know what Maeve is up to through AGCI. I truly hope that she will be able to reciprocate this communication.
I was exhausted from the emotions of the day, but very relieved that things had gone so well. We had the opportunity to rest and hang out at the hotel some more (ha) before we had an evening out. It was hilarious to watch how giddy we all were with the prospect of getting out. Cabin fever had set in. We all piled into the vans again, children in tow this time (yay), for an authentic Ethiopian meal, with entertainment to boot. It was very fitting to have this meal on our last night in Addis Ababa. We had all received our children's passports/visa's etc... earlier in the day and there was only celebrating left. I celebrated Maeve, her country, and the fact that I get to raise this amazing, sweet, little girl -- who deserves nothing but all the love in the world.
Hanging out in our hotel room
At the Ethiopian Dinner
It was great food and fun conversation. It was most fun watching the toddlers enjoy the music and night out.
It was also great to chat with Almaz over dinner. What an amazing woman.