Friday, May 6, 2011
It had been such a whirlwind- planning this trip in only 2 weeks. But we were so very thankful for so many of YOU, our family and friends who came alongside us and helped in so many ways. We brought so many donations for the children and had every piece of luggage jam-packed and weighing exactly 50 lbs- we probably had 100 lbs worth of vitamins and Easter eggs alone! We managed to survive the 16 hour flight to Dubai and stayed at a local hotel overnight, although none of us got much sleep- between the nerves and the loud party on the floor below, it was almost impossible!
A little excited maybe?!
View of Dubai as we were speeding to the airport
Last leg of the journey!
As we were flying that morning towards our beloved Ethiopia, I wrote a little in my journal about some of the feelings and thoughts that were going through my mind. I kept picturing our N and M and wondering what the first moment that we saw them again would be like. In so many ways it felt like it did that morning we were in Korea and going to meet Elliana for the first time. Back then I was nervous about how it would go and yet so excited to be only hours away from meeting the daughter we had prayed for so many years to be blessed with. And of course you know the rest is history. It was one of the best days of our family’s life and we cannot imagine life without our sweet, spunky little girl.
I knew that this being in Ethiopia would obviously be a lot different, but in some ways it was the same. We were not coming as part of a mission team, but as a mommy and daddy who were ready to call them our children forever. Here’s a little excerpt from what I wrote that Friday morning:
…I wonder what their reaction will be? Do they love us? Do they even still remember us? Will we be able to express our feelings and everything we would like to tell them through a translator? Will they understand the huge loss they will face in the coming weeks, months, and years? Will they even want us to be Mom and Dad?
Lord, I know how much you have been at work in mine and Randy’s hearts since September and it really is incredible. A year ago, I could NEVER have imagined this road we’d be on. And now? Well… I can’t even imagine them saying no. We will be devastated. But please Lord, as we have been praying for months already, we want your will and I ask you now to be at work in the hearts of our N and M. I’m asking you to make it completely clear even TODAY when we see them again. We won’t even tell them until tomorrow, but I know that you are in this and will make it clear to us and give us a peace- even today.
And before we knew it, we were getting ready to land. We were back and we were so excited! After having only a little hassle at the airport with customs (they were trying to open all of our plastic Easter eggs and were accusing us of bringing in expired candy because they couldn’t find the dates on each individually wrapped one! It was actually quite humorous!) then we were on our way to our guest house. We quickly got our bags in our room and then had our friends waiting for us downstairs already. We were so blessed to have the same three guys with us the whole time we were there- the orphanage director, a friend from Hopechest, and the driver of our van- who we had just met this time and became fast friends with. We love them all!
It was SO good to be back in Ethiopia! The sights, the sounds, the smells.
We were soon on our way to a local café to meet with our agency’s legal rep. We knew we had some business to discuss first and we just wanted to get it over with so we could see the kids! It wasn’t too painful, especially since I was getting to enjoy a macchiato at the same time- oh how I had missed those amazing little shots of espresso and milk the past 7 months! As I mentioned in one of the posts from Ethiopia, there was one piece of news that was discouraging from our meeting. We were not going to be able to talk to N and M about the adoption on Saturday. In fact, at this point we didn’t know when we would even get to and we were really disappointed. We thought we had it all planned out.
But oh how good our God is and how His plans are far better than ours!
Some more views of the city. (All taken from the back seat of a van driving fast on some bumpy roads. Not bad I think!)
Because we were there during Fasika (Easter) there were sheep and goats and animals EVERYWHERE. Even more than usual because everyone was preparing for the big day and getting ready to have some big time feasts!
Look closely at the top of the van. Yes they're actually still alive
And then we were FINALLY on our way up the mountain, into the countryside, heading towards the children’s orphanage in Sululta.
View of the city as we were driving
During the 50 minute drive, my stomach was in knots.