Subject: Huge Life Changing News

Mikias being welcomed home
Last Friday was Mikias's 5th Gotcha day. We celebrate, not on the dates we met the boys, but on the dates we landed at Logan airport. Because the girls didn't travel to Ethiopia with us, the day we arrived home was the day we all 'got' each other.  It is a hugely important day in our family.

We are a sentimental family.  On the girls' birthdays, Kurt and I always reminisce about the days they were born.  The labor, the terror, the indescribable joy.  We talk about how crazy fast it has all gone by and the women that they are today (which is far more amazing than we could possibly deserve).

For the boys, it is Gotcha Day that triggers our trip down memory lane.  Last week we talked a lot about the first time we saw Mikias (in an emailed photo), the wait, the wondering and the amazing moment of meeting him, holding him, hearing his voice, seeing his smile, being stunned by the fact that he was even more strikingly beautiful than his picture.

I hoped to capture some of those emotions for a blog post.  I kept coming up short.  Then Kurt forwarded the below emails to me.  They were sent by us (Me, Maddy, Devyn and Kurt), to each other during that time.

With their permission, I am sharing pieces of these emails.  I think they say what I can't seem to.

From me to Kurt sent on the day we got the call to go to Ethiopia to bring Mikias home:
From: Alison
Sent: Friday, January 06, 2006 11:20 AM
To: Kurt Noyce
Subject: Huge life changing news

We have to be in Ethiopia in 2 weeks!!!  I just got the call this
morning...I have been trying to reach you but no luck on your cell

I called the recommended travel agent and she is going to get us the
info we need....she'll give us quotes on both Ethiopia Airlines and
British Airlines....We would probably fly Providence to Washington
Dulles then from there to Addis Abbaba.

Hun...can you believe it???!!!!

I love you ....we have 3 kids!!

In 2 weeks will will hear his voice and hold his little hand.


From Devyn (who was 17), sent before we were able to connect with her, the day before we were to meet Mikias.

Hey guys!!!

how is it over there??? I ve been thinking about you non stop

trying to imagine what you're doing!! I bet you're going to meet Mikias
tomorrow!! it makes me so happy to think about it.  Mumma, take
notes! I want to know EVERYTHING.  I bet a million dollars you both water
when you see him!  i'm sure he'll love you guys right away.
Hows the city? is it gross or nice?  Your hotel looks gorgeous!  Do they
have diet coke?   i hope so or else mumma will have a heart attack!
How was the flight? Was your back ok, dad?.
i cant stand not hearing from you guys!!! I hope you email
i love you guys so much!  Give Mikias lots of love for me! Im so
happy for you guys being there.  Take lots of pics!
email soon!!
love you!!

From Kurt to the girls, sent our first night with Mikias :

first moments
Sent: Mon 1/23/2006 1:06 PM
From: Kurt Noyce
To: Noyce, Devy
n; Noyce, Madison B.
Subject: Your brother

Your brother is sleeping with mom!

Been so hard not being able to talk with you's killing us!

Air trip was fine...I couldn't sleep at all, but you know mom didn't
have any issues!  Arrived late Sunday night (Ethiopian time), then took
2 hours to get thru customs and get our luggage...sadly someone stole some
stuff out of my suitcase

Arrived at orphanage about 10:00 am
this morning, to find Mikias not in class where he was supposed to be (should have known right then
he was going to take after Maddy  - more on that later!)...his
caretaker/nanny found him helping the cook make lunch and brought him out ..he ran and gave mom

 a hug for over 10 minutes!  I got
pictures...we hung around orphanage until about 2:00 (whoever said he
was shy was sadly mistaken - as he is clearly the most rambunctous kid
at the place - a little more like Maddy, than Dev, if you know what I
mean!)...sadly, he hoards all food he sees...he is very possessive of
whatever toys we gave him, except for one girl he'll share everything
with ...we then spent the rest of day
at US Consultate with four other families completing paperwork.  Afterwards the three of us were dropped off at
hotel...dinner at the restaurant certainly was Mikias's first ever...we went
for a nice walk around the hotels' playground, and then tried to get him
to sleep - he won't put on his pajamas as he is fearful he won't get his
new pants/sweatshirt back, as they wear "community clothing" at far, Addis Ababa is not as overwhelming as Bombay, but far worse
than anything mom ever saw...

Despite being so careful with eveything I ate, I was sick all
day...first thought it was just nerves, but most feel it is Altitude
Sickness, as Addis is about 8,000 feet above sea level...

Will not get another chance to contact you until late Wed (time here),
as tomorrow we leave for a 5-6 hour ride to his old village...that
should be interesting with how I feel!  We will need to find a hotel
there for the night...

Good thing we know what "shinty kaka" means, as I had to get him out
of the consultate and restuarant today!

Just when you feel "what the heck are we doing", you see young kids begging
everywhere and know that within 5 more years, that may have
been his fate...

He kissed the picture of you guys on mom's camera...

We love you!!


from Maddy (who was 14)
From: Madison.B.Noyce
Sent: Monday, January 23, 2006 2:26 PM
To: Kurt Noyce
Subject: RE: Your brother

Hey Daddy!!!
Oh my gosh, it was soo good to hear from you!
What is the time difference there? Well, life waiting for you guys to
come is very boring! I miss you guys, all three of you, very much!!!
Tell Mikias that he has some snow to look forward to when he comes home!
How is everything going with my little rambunctious boy? How is the
language thing interfering with getting to know him? Does he know any
English? have you guys picked more of his language up? Are you feeling
better? Where is Mikias going to stay when you guys go meet his family?
Whats the deal with the pronunciation of his name? There are more
questions but i will leave that for later....
Tell Mumma to take so many pictures, even if we will think its boring, i
want to see EVERYTHING!!!
I miss you guys soo much and can't wait til you guys get home!!
I love all three of you soo much it hurts!
Love, Hugs, and Kisses,

5 years later at his 'Gotcha' celebration, given by the world's best neighbors!

Opening his 'Gotcha' gift with Jemberu