In just a few hours we'll board the plane and head to ETHIOPIA to meet our kiddos face to face for the first time. I'm actually very calm about that part of it - the only part that makes me nervous is the flying, I just don't love it. You'd think I'd be ok with it since I have spent so much of my life flying around the country, but alas, it is NOT one of my favorite things. So as you're praying for us, will you please throw in a smooth flight - thank you.
We will fly to London tonight (so thankful that the weather is cooperating there now) and spend the day there tomorrow - just gonna do a little bus tour of the city and find somewhere to have some Christmas lunch. I'm sure this will make for a good story later as we have no real plan and many places will likely be closed for Christmas. Adventure awaits us - woo hoo!!
After our few hours in London we'll hop back on the plane and fly overnight to Addis Ababa and arrive there at 7:00am. We'll head to the guest house, freshen up and then hopefully head right over to the orphanage to see our kiddos. The "plan" is to hang out there for a while and play with all the kids at the orphanage and pass out some of the goodies that we have for them - just some candy and a few little toys. All the stuffed suitcases actually go to the Transition House for the agency workers to go through and divide amongst all the orphanages that our agency works with - that way each orphanage gets what they need.
Having said that we have a plan, I will say that I understand you MUST hold your plans VERY loosely while you're there. Apparently there is no real concept of time and things just kind of happen when they happen. There are going to be THIRTEEN families from our agency there at the same time and we will all be dependent on the same driver to get us where we need to be. Thankfully, there is a large van, but still, it might take some patience to sit and wait for our turn to get to the orphanage, to court, or wherever. So, we shall be flexible and just go with the flow.
I've been so blessed to become friends with many of the other families going to court with us and they are just awesome people. We've been sending notes of encouragement back and forth and talking through the details of everything - it's been a huge blessing. I'm really looking forward to spending the next few days with them and forming friendships that I pray will last a lifetime!
So, Bennet, Kaleb and Kali - here we come!!! AAAAAAHHHHH. Oh, I've said this to a couple people....there's a ride at Disneyland (I think it's Peter Pan) and right when you start it says, "Hold on everybody, here we GOoooooo"....that keeps playing in my head. Like, I hear it all day. LOL I am very excited about this ride!! People will sometimes look at us like we're crazy when we say we're adopting three kids, but when you know it's the right thing to do, you need to do it. I know that we are obeying God in this call on our lives - to disobey Him and walk away from it would be a much different ride, and I don't want to get on that one. When doubts creep into my mind (and they've actually been few and far between), I just remind myself that we must keep an eternal perspective. Not trying to over-spiritualize here, but this is what I believe...this life is NOT about ME. It just isn't. I want to be about doing the things that please God - and it is very obvious to me when I read His Word that HE LOVES ORPHANS and wants us to love them, too.
As you celebrate Christmas, will you just commit to praying about your role in adoption. Look around at all you are blessed with and really ask yourself if you could share with one more (or two, or three). As Christians, we are ADOPTED into God's family - can you imagine your life without it? I can't. Jumping in and taking that first step is the hardest, but I promise you, God will be with you every step of the way. He promises!! This past week my sister's family made the decision to adopt and I just can't tell you how excited I am. The verse that has been resonating with them is, "I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you". James 14:18. What is stopping you? Is it your own comfort level? Your fear? Your "lack of finances"? There are approximately 160 million orphans - could you save just one?
Ok, I have a plane to catch and I'm sitting here in my jammies so I better get ready!!
Merry Christmas - Amen and Hallelujah!!