Something else happened after the visit, but I have to make sure Abe is cool with me telling about it. Let's just say I did one of the most fun things I have ever done in my life and it was a little scary but totally amazing. I was on an excitement high the whole day. :)
After that I went to Kaldi's for buna (coffee). I had a caramel macchiato which was especially delicious since I have been drinking all my coffee in the traditional Ethiopian style: black and thick. :) Anyway, the macchiato was amazing.
I went to Micah after that and he ran right to me and hugged me. Then he showed me the notebook I had given him--it was FULL of drawings. GOOD drawings. This child has artistic talent! We went back out to the courtyard and all the little kids were jumping all over me and I had gotten there late, so we didn't have a private area to hang out. I sat on the cement and pulled out an ABC picture book that I had brought for Micah. I started reading it in Amharic and signing the pictures. Sometimes I didn't know the Amharic word so I would just say the color. Micah copy-signed everything I showed him and then I made him read the book back to me. The nannies were all crowded around too, laughing and slapping me on the shoulders, because they were so proud of my Amharic.
The little kids kept fighting to sit in my lap and I tried to snuggle them all.....and big kids crowded around me, standing as close as they could, breathing over my shoulder as they tried to see the pictures in the book. Then we watched every. single. video. in my phone. Twice.
Three of the nannies remembered me and came and kept kissing me and telling me they were so happy that I was Micah's family. And another woman came up and told me that she is the one who brings Micah to school. And then she showed me that they have a home sign system to communicate. I was so happy to see her trying to talk to him. She kissed me and then led me into a school room where she told me that Micah and I could stay and play alone, without all the little kids. (The little kids were fighting and grabbing all Micah's stuff and trying to get me to pay attention to them and I really wanted to just be with Micah.)
Micah immediately started playing games on my phone. We started with Temple Run (which thanks to Levi and Z, I am good at) and then we moved on to Angry Birds. He played a ton of Subway Surf, and he is GOOD at it. Then we took a bunch of selfies and videos. He opened his care package, and started signing to me what was inside!!! He didn't know all the signs so he described some. I totally freaked out and showed him the signs for everything and then he went through the bag again and told me what the items were. He got them all right. I was grinning like an idiot and he started to, too.
We took more selfies and I started sticking my tongue out. He looked at me, grinned, and signed, MOM SILLY (which is something I have signed to him every day). So not only did he use the right signs at the right time, he GETS what they mean!!!!!
I showed him the video of Levi doing an Ethiopian shoulder dance and asked if he could dance. He got up shyly, and then he danced for me!!!! WHO IS THIS CHILD?!?!?! The vacant, terrified little boy I knew is gone.....and had been replaced by a bright eyed, eager, brave sweetheart.
We went outside again and he showed me his chin-ups and push-ups......and then he started doing handstands and walking on his hands!!!!! Z is going to have a run for her money. :)
Two of his friends came back from their school and Micah took my phone and ran over to show them videos. We watched them for the rest of the time. His friends were watching the videos intently, and asking me questions and I'd try to explain (all Amharic). I was so glad to know Micah HAS friends there.....and I am glad to know who they are. I had thought one of them was a staff worker before because he is SO big (maybe 16 or 17 but looks 20) and has tattoos all over his arms. He looks very tough. The other boy is as tall as me and also older. They seem to like Micah and he was excited to show them the pictures and videos.
When my driver came to pick me up, Micah hugged me. I told him I would be back tomorrow and he followed me to the gate. We signed ILY and I climbed into the car. And then the big man-child with the tattoos burst through the gate and ran up to the car door. He started speaking to us rapidly and asking something but I couldn't understand him. My driver shook his head, shrugged his shoulders in sympathy and helplessness and then started the car. The tattooed young man hung his head and walked away slowly, back into the iron gate, which clanged shut and locked behind him.
"What did he say???" I asked in Amharic. My driver looked at me with pity in his eyes and replied in English:
"He beg and say, 'I want family.'"