Today my thoughts are still with the people of Haiti and I find it difficult to post good news, but the fact remains that we received some very good news this week and are moving forward with our travel plans.

Some time ago I posted about the conflict I was having over staying at the orphanage guest house versus staying at another guest house that would be less expensive. Dave and I spent some time talking about the options and ultimately decided that it was best if we went the route of saving money and stayed elsewhere. So I made reservations for us to stay at the Ethiopian Guest Home (EGH) in Addis Ababa. We will have a few additional expenses as a result. For example, the fees charged at orphanage guest house provides 3 meals a day and EGH provides breakfast and lunch with dinner being an additional $5 per person, children 5 and under are free. The orphanage guest house provides transportation from the guest house to the orphanage and to the Embassy appointment and we’ll now need to pay for transportation. However, even with those extra expenses, we’ll still be savings somewhere between $300-$400 and that’s an important thing right now. Of course there are some things that are nice about EHG over the orphanage guest house such as the 1 hour massage for each adult in the party. Yes, that’s included in the price of the room and after the long flight to Ethiopia, we’ll be in need of a good massage.

Ultimately, the purpose of our trip to bring home our baby girl and where we stay doesn’t matter as long as we’re together and bringing Naomi home.

I also contacted Susan Parr Travel about flights and fares. This is the largest of our travel expenses and right now we’re looking at somewhere around $4100 for just the airline tickets. Of course we can’t purchase our tickets until we have confirmation of our Embassy appointment, but we’re also a little short financially as well at the moment. We should have confirmation of our Embassy appointment within the next 1-2 weeks and will need to purchase our tickets by February 2nd, so we have a few more weeks to raise the money we need to travel. Anyone want to buy coffee? 🙂

That’s where things are regarding our upcoming trip to Ethiopia and we’re very excited about going. We’ve started preparing Lili for the trip as well and now she talks about getting on a big airplane to go get Naomi. All of the talk about Naomi is also improving Lili’s pronunciation as she is pretty consistently calling her baby sister Maomi instead of Mayo-may. She’s getting closer.

In preparation of Naomi’s arrival we also had to purchase another car seat. I’m a big fan of Britax car seats and Lili has been in a Britax Marathon for almost 2 years now. My original plan was to buy a 2nd Marathon for Naomi, but unfortunately, they aren’t cheap. So I started doing some research and heard from several moms that really liked the Graco Nautilus. It’s a toddler car seat with a 5-point harness system, which can be removed later when it’s time to convert to using the regular seat belt. The back of the car seat can also be removed later when it’s time to convert to just a booster car seat. The bonus is that it is about $130 less than the Britax I was looking at, so I bought the Nautilus. Do I like it as much as the Britax? No. But do I like the Britax enough to spend the extra $130? No. The Nautilus is a nice car seat and Lili seems to like it, so until and unless money starts falling from the sky, she’s in the Nautilus and Naomi will be in the Marathon.

The other plus in purchasing the new car seat was the box it came in.

Nothing more fun than a big box to play in.

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