On Saturday we went to the Genocide Memorial. It was a very moving place to visit. If you do not know much about the genocide I recommend that you read the books "As we Forgive" as well as "Land of a thousand hills". Both of these should be read by anyone adopting from Africa as it gives a lot of history about the genocide as well as information about Rwanda. They are a strong people. They have gone through a lot and they are working together creating a better country.
Here is our awesome guide Lynn with Zoe and myself sitting outside of the memorial. I look awful as I had just finished going through the museum. It was very sad but especially when we went through the childrens museum portion and I was holding little Zoe in my arms, it was very moving and I couldn't help myself.
Here is Zoe and I walking around outside at the Memorial. It was a very emotional experience. The grounds are really pretty. There are big slabs of concrete. Under these are buried around 250.000 bodies.
On Sunday we drove to her birthplace about an hour outside of town. Here is the woman who took Zoe to the hospital at her birthplace. I am not going to share her story of her birth as I feel that this is something that I will only share with her when she is older. However this woman will always be very special to me. She was so excited. We went to her home and had fanta drinks with her. It was amazing we even found her. She said she is Zoe's grandmother. She kept clapping her hands and jumping up and down because she was so excited for her.
Here is the nurse who took care of her when she was at the hopsital. She was so happy to see her. She told us she was her God Mother. It was sad because Zoe of course would not want to go to her. I believe she thinks someone will take her away from me. But she held her anyway, crying. It was an incredible meeting. She took us all around the entire hospital and introduced Zoe to everyone. Many knew who she was. Zoe does not want to let go of me. She is always holding me tight.
This is her room she stayed in at the hospital. I was so excited because they said we could take a picture of the room. She lived here for 3 months before she went to the orphanage. The workers were all so nice. Everyone was so excited to see her. They couldn't believe that she was going to America.
The entire land is hills. It is crazy. All you see are hundreds of hills everywhere you look. Everything is terraced and placed up on the hills.
These are some typical houses here. Each house usually has 3 bedrooms. One bedroom for a sitting room, one room for the parents and one room for the kids. On average they have about 6 kids per family and all 6 kids share one room. Just a side note- for any of you thinking about adoption and not wanting kids to share rooms- it's ok. Here they share rooms and everyone is fine. Ok- that's enough of my adoption plug for now. They have a seperate type of little house in the back that they use for a kitchen.
Here are some houses built up on the hills. It is hard to describe how beautiful it is and I know this picture does not do it justice. It is so beautiful here! Very green!
Zoe is obsessed with her mouth. We finally got her a binkie. She makes me hold her sippie cup in her mouth all day long (even when she is not drinking it) I think she sucks her thumb and puts things to her mouth for comfort. We thought we would try this.
Today was so long. Josh told me that he likened Rwanda to sitting at the DMV all day long about 8 hours day with a two year old waiting for something to be done. Last Friday they told us to come at 10:00am. We went there at 10:00am and then they said to come at 1:00. We went at 1:00. We then waited and waited. Finally at 4:50 we had our travel documents. Finally!!!! The day before was so amazing and yet today was not very good. I'll be glad when all of the paperwork is done.
Today we went to Immigration. We got her passport started. For those of you coming just so you know you actually can start the passport process before getting your travel letter. You only need the travel letter to pick it up. They are actually very efficient here. We filled out some papers, gave them copies of all our documents and passport pictures of Zoe (which are really cute) and they will process her passport. It will be a Rwandan passport and it will still be under her name Lucie Uwimana. She also got her yellow fever shot today as she needs this for Kenya. That was really sad!!!