Abebu ("Abby") Akelu Barnett Metsewat ("Sue") Akelu Barnett
My wife Vonne recently sent out an email to couples who had court dates around the end of June/beginning of July to see if any of them had come across our daughters in their new surroundings in Addis Ababa (the "WACAP House"), where they will stay until my wife and her mom (Nona Vonne) travel to spend time with them in mid-August prior to the visa hearing at the US embassy and then bring them home to Indy. I will not be making the second trip because I have speeches scheduled and need to be here to move my daughter at Indiana University (a big event in itself).
Anyway, the hope was that we'd elicit impressions from parents who were passing through Addis during the time after the girls were transported north and put through their initial paces with doctor exams, etc. at WACAP House.
We got the following response from one mom we met during our trip (along with her husband):
I'm not sure about the dolls, but we definitely remember your daughters well! I will say that Abebu made herself known (in a good way!) She immediately came to [my husband] and then stayed very close to him all day long. She loved to be held, and got jealous whenever he held someone else. She was very sweet and we heard her laughing and talking a bit. Metsewat seemed more reserved, but she gladly accepted whenever we gave her a hand to hold. We saw a little sister rivalry going on - with them pushing a little - it was actually very sweet! The "fighting" was easily stopped and they seemed close. Abebu has such a bright smile and seems to have learned out to get her way - she definitely had [my husband] wrapped around her little finger! They both seem to be doing well and healthy.
What this tells us: the girls have no bonding issues whatsoever, which is a big deal.
I type this from my home office where behind me sits the hybrid crib/daybed/double bed that I just put together in the daybed mode (rails on three sides). We need to buy a crib mattress for it, and it will be Abebu's first bed with us. Older sis Metsewat will sleep on the bottom of a bunk-bed set-up we currently have being made (also by a local Amish furniture co.), with Vonne Mei occupying the top bunk. The three girls will take over the largest bedroom soon to be vacated by our first-born as she heads off to college.
Whatever "empty nest" dynamics threatened our psyche will be dealt a terrific blow!