What a journey! And really, it has only just begun.
We landed in Addis Ababa late Friday night. Our kids were such troopers with all the traveling and the time changes and the strange food!
The flight from San Francisco to Frankfurt was only about 10 hours. When we arrived in Frankfurt, we spent the first day just dealing with jet lag and the time change. After that, we got to enjoy 5 days together as a family just wandering around. We saw some amazing castles.
We rented a car and fulfilled a life-long dream of mine….we drove to Paris and saw the Eiffel Tower!!!
We spent our 15-year-anniversary in Europe!
I am thankful every day for the amazing man God has given me.
Then on Friday, we flew about another 10 hours to Ethiopia. The family that we are staying and working with for the next few months (Levi and Jessie Benkert) picked us up at the airport, even though it was the middle of the night! We came to their house and fell asleep completely exhausted. And then this morning, they took us around to see a little of our new home. The streets of Addis are simply overwhelming. Traffic and people and goats and cows all vie for a place on the roadway. The streets are lined with beautiful buildings right next door to shacks built out of corrugated metal. Well-dressed business men share the street corners with women and children who are begging. I saw one man with no legs, his pants pinned up to form a cushion for his body, “walking” down the street on his hands. We have been here less than 24 hours and my feelings are all jumbled up. The people here are friendly and beautiful. The need here is immeasurable.
We took all the children to a craft market and out to lunch. Levi and Jesse have 4 kids of their own who have promptly become best friends with Joel and Hannah. They have been inseparable all day. Playing and laughing, hide and seek, boys playing the Wii (yes, even here in Ethiopia!). We are going to attend church tomorrow morning and spend the day getting settled in to our guest house.
And underlying all of this is the constant sense that I am in the same city as my children. They are here. Somewhere. And I will finally get to hold them in my arms on Monday. We are going to meet them for the first time Monday morning. We will take Joel and Hannah and spend a few hours getting to know these little souls who are about to be a part of our family forever.
Still no word on a court date! We will have a meeting this week with the in-country head of our adoption agency. We will try to get an update from the courts on Tuesday. And you can bet that we will be calling and praying and emailing and doing everything we can to speed the process of making these children ours. But in the meantime, we will be starting the long journey of growing together as a family, a few hours at a time.
*Our court date!
*That the government officials would do everything in their power to get the needed documents completed quickly.
*Our first meeting with our children.
*Our health as we adjust to the water/food here.