Everyone's still asleep and the house is quiet......thought I'd better get on here and post before the rush of the day begins and it gets too busy!!
I can hardly believe this is the last night we'll be home to tuck our kids in as a family of 5!! Life will surely be much different after this point! It's a strange feeling. SO excited, and yet just like I remember feeling as I was whisked off to the hospital to deliver each baby.......that sobering time of realizing you are entering a new phase of life. Even though it's exactly where you want to be, you sort of mourn the loss of life as you now know it and realize you are closing the door to many things this past season of life had. Definitely no more running off to the grocery store by myself to leave Caleb to babysit the others.(Who can basically fend for themselves anyways!) Here we come bottles, diapers, sleepless nights and LOTS of sign language!!! We've had the privilege of watching many friends tread through similar waters, and we're thankful it has given us a realistic perspective of what to expect. It'll be rough for awhile, but we know God will give us the grace to get through ONE day at a time!! =)
So we leave our house at 4am tomorrow and head to Peoria airport. We have about 33 hours of transit time before we arrive in Addis Ababa, and then when we do, they are 9 hours ahead of us. So upon arrival, it will be bedtime (11pm) in Ethiopia and only 2 pm Illinois time!! (on Thursday) Hopefully we'll quickly adjust to the flip-flopping of nights/days because the week is too special to be walking around in a daze! We ARE bringing a sleep aid amongst a whole HOST of other drugs.(Really, we could have our own pharmacy.....just in case!)
Some wonderful friends of ours blessed us with a laptop, so we'll have a way to communicate while we're away. It sounds like the guest house we are staying in is really safe and wonderful for adoptive families to stay at. It was actually started by an American couple who adopted from Ethiopia themselves. ALL of the profit they make goes right back to the orphanages surrounding them. They have generators so that we can have HOT showers even when the electricity is out!! (which it sounds like happens very frequently) We hear internet is "spotty" at best in Ethiopia, but we should have some times where we can update throughout the week. We'll try to post after arriving safely and atleast once or twice throught out week before leaving.
Here are some ways you can pray for us:
1.) That all three of us (Eric, Caleb, and I) will stay healthy for the extent of the 9 days we are gone. SO many people are sick from one thing or another by the time they come home. We want to be able to soak up this trip and don't want anything to take away our short 6 1/2 days in country.
2.) Safe travel on our long flights there and back. And for the way home, being able to manuever our 1 and 4 yr. old through the airports with our luggage in tow. Hopefully they will SLEEP for a good part of our LONG trip back the the USA.
3.)For the kids we are leaving behind.....that God would bless them with comfort and peace at having mom and dad gone for so long. We're so thankful to have loving grandparents to step in and help us in that area. That makes it MUCH easier to leave them.
4.)That Hana and Edilu would quickly begin the process of attaching and bonding to their new dad, mom, and brother. We have a lot to learn about each other in the days ahead......
5.)That God would grow our love and faith in Him as we step into this foreign land.......that we will be impacted by what we see in a positve, life changing way.
And finally, that God would give each in our family wisdom and grace as we figure out how to transition into a family of 7.
We've been SO blessed..... It is hard to explain the love we have felt from the support and encouragement of so many. Please continue to keep us in your prayers this week! Hope I'll be on here again SOON! =)