Day 1 - We flew out of Lincoln at 10:30 Tuesday morning. We flew to Chicago, had a two hour layover, then flew into Frankfurt Germany.
Day 2 - We arrived in Frankfury, Germany at 5:15 Wednesday morning. (the plan was to spend 2 1/2 days for our 9th anniversary) We picked up the rental car and drove 15 minutes to downtown Frankfurt. The German roadsigns were very easy to read and had no problems driving (we had a GPS which also helped, more to come on that) We grabbed a bite to eat and then took a 3 hour walking tour of Frankfurt. The old architure and the Jewish memorial cemetery were the highlights. We then jumped into the car and drove along the Rhine river for about 60 miles, which was an awesome scenic drive with a castle around every turn!! We checked into our lodging, (which was an old castle which was really fun.)
Day 3 - Amos slept in and slept about 14 hours (maybe a little jetlag). Paula finally had to drag him out of bed. We got going and hiked around the castle a little bit, then jumped in the car and drove along the Rhine river again to Koln, Germany where there was a cathedral that was absolutly amazing. We toured it, walked the town and drove back to the castle. (This time the GPS was not quite as helpful, as it took us down the wrong side of the river and wanted us to use the ferry. Yes, if you are a fan of The Office "the technology told us to drive in the river".) Fortunately the ferry made one last trip accros and we made it back.
Day 4 - Got up had breakfast, left for the airport. Somehow the GPS took us to the US airbase??? Long story short we missed our flight, and had to spend another night in Frankfurt at an airport hotel.
Day 5 - Went back to the airport and flew to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We arrived at 9:00 pm. We had someone from our adoption agency there waiting for us and another couple that was on the same flight, but didnt know it. He took us to our guest house (about the same as a bed & breakfast) and we called it a day.
Day 6 - Sunday, May 22, we went to an english speaking church which was very similar to our church at home as far as music, sermon, etc. In the afternoon, the guest house staff put on a traditional coffee ceremony for all of us (Coffee originated in Ethiopia) There were 5 other couples from our agency there which made it kind of fun telling each other our specific stories.
Day 7 - Left our guest house at 7:00 to make it to our court hearing scheduled at 9:00. We got there about 8:30 and sat in a crowded room for alost 2 hours, but made it into the courtroom, which was not much more than a small room with two desks and a few chairs. We passed court and became "legal" parents!! Right after court we went to the orpanage and met Elijah Emmitt, and played with him for about 1 1/2 hours. It was an unbelievable experience. We then ate lunch at a French Cusine restaraunt, went sightseeing on the 10,000 ft mountain next to the city, went to a christian bookstore, and did some other shopping and got a few traditional outfits, and ethipian flag, etc.
Day 8 - Tuesday, May 24. We went back to the orphange for about two hours and got to play with Elijah and 4-5 other little children. He is at an orphanage with 0-3 year olds. We also went to an orphange with older kids and watched then sing songs, play soccer, read stories, etc. The kids were just totally happy and loved us being there and some even kept saying "family, family". It was a nice feeling when we found out that most of the kids in those two orphanages have been matched with someone and will be adopted soon. We then went and ate lunch at the only golf course in the whole country. Was going to buy something at the ProShop, but they didn't even have one. Went back and finished packing ate supper and headed to the airport for our flight that went out at 11:00 pm local time and about 3:00 pm Tuesday in Nebraska.
Day 9 - Flights were pretty good, but got long with a 6 1/2 hour flight to Frankfurt, then 5 hour layover and another 8 1/2 hour flight to Chicago. Originally we had a 5 hour layover in Chicago but they had storms and had been shutdown 6 times that day, so delays of 5-6 hours were the norm. There was one other flight to Lincoln so we jumped up to that one and got left at 6:00 pm (it was orginally scheduled for 12:30) We made it home, had a friend pick us up, took us home and headed for the bed.