Day 6, The Long Journey Home

Friday, July 20, 2012
Day 6 marked our last day in Ethiopia! It is an understatement to say I was full of emotions! There are no words for how much God changed me during my time in Ethiopia. The longer I am away, the more I miss it there. I will always be thankful that the Lord allowed me two opportunities to experience another part of his beautiful creation. I pray he takes me back there in the future!

I spent the day packing and preparing for the long journey home, and of course saying our good byes to the nannies who had cared for my little guy for over 6 months. They also had a coffee ceremony for the families that were leaving that day. This is tradition in Ethiopia, and I never get tired of them. While I was there for my second trip we took part in 3 and they are just so neat.

I just love this lady. She has the sweetest personality. This was during the coffee ceremony.

This is Ashew, our driver while we were there. Let me explain the reasoning behind my hysterical laugh in the picture below. Right after the first picture was snapped, Ashew leaned over and whispered in my ear "Don't you go home and tell that boy I am his father" I lost it!! I just love Ashew and his comment caught me totally off guard!!

This nanny literally had me in tears the last hour we were at the transition house. As I was saying good bye and getting pictures she came up to me and asked to hold Isaiah. She then took him and went and stood in a corner and just cried her eyes out while holding him and kissing him. It broke my heart. I am so thankful he had such wonderful ladies loving on him for me when I couldn't They don't know it but I have friends traveling next week who are taking updates pictures and a letter that I had translated for them updating them on Isaiah and how well he is doing. I hope they enjoy it :-)

Some more of the wonderful nannies. They are all so special to me.

So began the long journey home!! I had prayed and prayed that I would get a bassinet seat for Isaiah, but when we got to the airport I was told they were all out. I tried not to stress out and just thought to myself I would do the best I could, and I asked the guy at the desk if he could please leave the middle seat open, in hopes that I could lay Isaiah on that seat to sleep. Let me just go ahead and throw in here that my sweet boy's world was being turned upside down and at this point he was realizing that everything was changing and he was not so sure of me anymore, at times even acting frustrated with me. I had brough 10 different outfits and a bag full of diapers for the plane rides home. Thinking surely that would be enough :-)

Praise the Lord once I got on the plane and sat down I soon realized that there were some open seats and the middle seat was in fact open so I thought I would nicely ask the guy sitting in my row if he would mind moving and letting me have the entire three seats for Isaiah and myself. Isaiah must have known what I was thinking because right before I asked him Isaiah went into a screaming fit and pooped all over himself, so while I was changing him right there in the middle seat (LOL) I asked the guy if he would please mind moving and would you believe he quickly agreed, Ha!! I guess he didn't want to be that close to my screaming pooping machine!! This was right after we took off for our 17 hour flight home. I thought he would sleep for atleast 6 hours or so at first, since we were leaving at 9pm Ethiopia time. Boy was I wrong!!

Let me just tell you out of those roughly 17 hours, my sweet boy only slept TWO HOURS!!! Those other 15 hours he was busy pooping through every outfit I had brought, screaming, crying, hitting me, pinching me and trying to head butt me. Let me add by the time we stopped in Rome to refuel I had tons of Ethiopian people giving me the ugly stare like I was doing something wrong, because my poor boy was so miserable and there just was no making him happy. I was finally able to get him to smile for a picture. He was probably thinking to himself "Yep I have been giving you a run for your money" As you can see he was down to just a diaper!! I told you he had pooped through every outfit I brought in my carry on. I knew I had 3 other outfits in my big suitcase that I would pick up in DC but we had to get there first!!

About an hour before we landed in DC he decided to take a 30 minute nap. Those were some peaceful 30 minutes, Ha!!

We SURVIVED!!! I had never been so happy!!

When I booked our flight I had agreed to a 10 hour layover in DC because my friends live in DC and they had agreed to come pick Isaiah and I up and let us go to their house to shower and take a nap before boarding for home. Well, a few days before I left for Ethiopia my friend Jess e-mailed me and told me she was so sorry but she had gotten the dates mixed up and they were not going to be home that day we landed. They were traveling out of town for a wedding! I assured her it was okay and that we would be fine. Let me just add for anyone who will be traveling to bring your young infant home in the future, BRING A STROLLER!!! It will save your life and your sanity!!! I only wish I would have listened to my friends and taken one!!!

Once we landed and got our bags, we headed to the bathroom to get cleaned up and changed. I had 3 outfits for Isaiah and within the first hour he had pooped through ALL of them!! Trust me I wish I was exaggerating, but sadly I am not. My friends and I stopped at Five Guys in the airport and let me tell you there is nothing like a big juicy American burger to make you feel at home when you have been out of the country for a week :-)

After lunch, my friends and I had to say our good byes. They were catching a flight to Cleavland and then heading home from there. They were due to get in at 9:30 and Isaiah and I were due to arrive around 8:15 that same night. We said our good byes and then Isaiah and I got comfortable for the long 8 hours it would be before boarding our plane for home. I wasn't exactly looking forward to sitting for 8 hours with a baby who at the time wanted absolutely nothing to do with me, and who was sitting in just a diaper. The stares I was getting were enough to make me feel like the world's worst mother. If only all those people knew that beside me was a suitcase full of poop filled clothes!! I had about 6 diapers left when we settled in for our long wait. I was hopeful that they would last.

In the first 6 hours Isaiah managed to explode through 4 of those 6 diapers. I had two diapers left and two hours before we boarded. I had next to no battery left on my phone, and just kept hoping it didn't die on me, because I had accidentally packed my charger in my suitcase that I had already checked in. It was 6pm, I was down to one diaper and I was counting down the minutes until we boarded at 6:25!!! At 6:10 I heard words that I never wanted to hear, "attention ladies and gentlemen the flight to (my hometown) has been DELAYED 2.5 hours!!! I seriously could not believe my ears. I was emotionally and physically exhausted, I hadn't slept in over 24 hours and I now was another 2.5 hours away from getting on the plane that would take me home. I LOST it!! I was hysterical. My phone was dead, my baby hated me and was wearing his last diaper!! I was done!!!

By this time I had made friends with some people who were waiting on different flights. One lady was traveling to her mother's funeral in Canada, she was so sweet and came over to me and handed me a bag from the gift shop. She had seen me crying and from the looks of my half naked baby she had assumed I didn't have any clothes for Isaiah, so she had gone to the gift shop and bought me a DC shirt and Isaiah some socks and a onesie that said "Born in the USA" which I think is just too comical. I was so touched by her kindness, and at the same time my heart hurt for her. I thanked her and gave her the biggest hug. God sure did send an angel when I needed one. I talked with her for a few minutes before she boarded. I was thankful Isaiah now had clothes on and was just praying the last diaper would last us!!

Fast forward 2 hours, only 30 minutes before boarding and yet another announcement "We're sorry for the inconvenience but the flight is now delayed for a storm that has come into DC" Yeah you guessed it, I lost it again, Ha! It was right around this time that Isaiah exploded through his LAST diaper!!! You gotta love bringing a baby home that has a parasite!!! At this point I was an emotional wreck, even contemplating on renting a car and driving, LOL How sane was that thinking?!?!

God was awesome and sent yet more angels :-) A nice couple who were also waiting on the same flight as myself, went to the gift shop and bought another onesie for Isaiah and diapers!! I was so thankful and was crying, thanking them. FINALLY at almost 10:00pm we landed the plane that would take us home!! By this point Isaiah was again down to nothing, he has exploded through the onesie and I had one diaper left. It never felt so good to sit down in an airplane, knowing in a little over an hour we would be HOME!!!

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