Monday, January 16, 2012

The Journey

I don’t think you can ever prepare yourself for what you will see, feel and experience in a third world country. Having never traveled before or ever been on a plane I knew this was going to be an experience, but I never knew how it would change me. Even as I type this I am still in shock and processing all that I saw. My prayer is that no matter how much time goes by this feeling I have right now in my heart never fades. The love I had for Ethiopia before was nothing compared to what I now feel for the country and it’s people. When I felt God calling me to adopt I didn’t know what the journey would look like. So much about me and who I am as a person, a mother and as the Father’s daughter has changed since starting this process and I will be forever thankful he chose me for this journey. People have told me what a blessing I am to my son for adopting him and for giving him a life in America. The truth is he is a blessing to me. I don’t think anyone can understand it unless you go through it, but seeing this precious little boy who was chosen for me by the Lord has shown me more about his Love for me then I could have ever imagined.

Lesli and I left on Friday the 30th We would travel to Chicago and then to DC where we would spend the night and then wake up Saturday to make the long journey to Ethiopia where after 14 months of waiting and praying I would finally meet my son! I am so thankful for all the prayers that were said on my behalf. Making this journey was one of the hardest things I have ever done for different reasons. I have never left Noah and I had never flown, so I knew I was going to need strength that could only come from the Lord. Noah was a little unsure about the timeline and did not understand that Mommy was going to be gone a full seven days. To help him with the time I decided to write him a little letter to read everyday along with a little surprise for him to open every morning when he got up. I said my good byes to him Friday morning and then my parents took him out for lunch while Lesli came to pick me up to head to the airport. I can not say enough times how blessed I am to have such an amazing friend who would leave her two small children and husband to travel half way across the world with me. She has been such a huge help to me through this journey! She was even my personal paparazzi!!

Our flight to Chicago was delayed due to weather, which was kind of a blessing because it allowed me more time to pray and prepare myself for the first of three plane rides. Lesli had told me the first plane would be kind of small, she was not joking!! I seriously thought I was in a tuna can, LOL I got a tad bit nervous sitting there waiting to take off again so Lesli prayed with me and I was starting to feel better as we were taking off until she told me to look out at the beautiful lights and I almost had a panic attack! I immediately threw my jacket over my head and just prayed!! Thankfully the ride was only about an hour and 20 minutes so that wasn’t bad. Once we got to Chicago we had to wait about 2 hours to board for DC so we got something to eat and then headed to sit and wait to board. Our flight to DC was delayed as well so by the time we arrived, got our bags and waited for the shuttle we didn’t get into our hotel room until 2am!! We had to get up and be out the door the next morning bright and early so we both only got 4 hours of sleep :(

Here we are in DC ready to board the long flight to Addis!! I was so excited and couldn't believe I was only one plane ride away from meeting my little boy!!

When we arrived at the airport in DC I was amazed at how BIG it is!! Seriously who has a tram in a airport! It was a fun experience though for my non traveling self. We decided to get breakfast since we had a nice long 13 hour flight ahead of us. After we ate we went to sit and wait to board the BIG plane! That morning we had been talking about our friends Vince and Kelli who had gone to Ethiopia the week before for court as well for their daughter. We had been stalking their facebook pages in hopes of seeing that they had passed. Next thing I know someone was yelling Sarah and I turned around to see Vince and Kelli!! They had just gotten off the plane from Ethiopia and were heading home!! How awesome that God allowed us to see them before we left. I took a picture of the three of us to show their daughter once we got to Ethiopia. She is ten and will hopefully be home soon!!


And yes I have on my nice comfy pajama pants, LOL My sister told me once I had gotten home that she couldn't believe I posted that picture on Facebook because of my pants, Ha. I told her I was going to be comfortable riding in a plane for almost 14 hours! No worries though, the first thing I did once we landed in Addis was change my clothes :)


The plane ride was not too bad. Luckily the plane had different movies to choose from to watch on your own little personal screen so that helped. I was able to watch a couple of movies to pass the time and I tried to read some as well. Lesli had told me they feed you non stop on the plane and she wasn't joking! I felt like a baby, every few hours they were bringing around more food, Ha! I wasn't able to sleep like I had hoped. My doctor had given me some medicine to take with me that would help me sleep but of course being that things like this only seem to happen to me, lol the medicine had an adverse effect on me and I was wired for sound the entire plane ride?!?! Of course it didn't help that the young man in front of us was a wanna a be rapper with his Mr. T starter kit on and his rap music playing where everyone could hear it!! On top of that I am not sure how he was able to function by the time we landed due to the amount of beers he drank. I understand that we technically celebrated the New Year in the air but seriously he did enough celebrating for the next few years, Ha!!


Once we landed in Addis we stood in line forever to get our Visas, then stood in another long line to get them stamped, searched for our luggage and gathered in together and then Lesli said we would have to go through security to get everything looked through since we were coming from the states. We walked over to security prepared to put our baggage through and the guy looked at us and said to go on through! We were both shocked! I guess he figured two American ladies were fine, little did he know Lesli had brought a bag of clementines with here from home, Ha!!! We both laughed about that one but were just happy we didn't have to stand in another line!!



Once we were through we found Woudneh who is the director of my in country agency. We stopped for a Pepsi and to call home and let everyone know we made it safely :) and then out we went to get our stuff loaded in the car and head to the transition house!! I was minutes away from meeting my sweet boy!! I couldn't believe it.

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