From home to Chicago to Frankfurt to Addis I made my way back to Ava only three weeks after we had met and then quickly said goodbye. I met my sister in Frankfurt and we were off… On our way to pick up Ava and attend embassy. We would need to pass the embassy and then wait for three days to be able to acquire her Visa to come home. I can clearly recall touching down in Addis and feeling so much like I had come home. Have you ever had that feeling of visiting a place that brings you great comfort? Addis brings me angst but in a purposeful way of that makes sense. I feel a purpose there to love and serve. I feel welcomed like no other place I have visited on earth. The people with all their needs are so generous and warm, so smiley and kind. I had come home and within hours I would be back at Hannah’s Hope holding my daughter and praying for her to remember something, my eyes, my smell, my touch, just something to ease the stress that even a baby feels when she is removed from those who have loved her for the beginning months of her life. Ava was so loved by special mothers with high energy and contagious smiles.
Heading back to Hannah’s Hope with our orginal team of adoptive families was great fun. There was a nervous energy but mostly we were all ready to get our children and never let them go. This time we would be arriving and not leaving them behind. I was so eager to show Shannon the beauty of Hannah’s Hope and the face of my daughter and her niece. We were escorted back up the stairs to Ava’s room and there she was sitting, wrapped like a perfect package in a crisp white hair bow. She was sitting on the lap of one of her special mothers and when she saw me walk toward her she began to cry. The special mother was amazing, soothing her and keeping eye contact as she placed her back in my arms. This time it would be for good. Both Ava and I cried bog tears. It will always be one of life’s most spiritual moments Next we spent the rest of our hour at Hannah’s Hope outside just soothing and helping Ava to fall asleep. Aunt Shanny watched and took many pictures and was able to learn more about why I had raved about Hannah’s Hope. It was one year ago that my journey to our daughter became a reality. For so long I had dreamed of who God would bring to our family and finally there I was in Ethiopia holding this little gem with the big beautiful eyes. I had a daughter and I knew in that moment that God’s plan was perfect.
So to those of you who are somewhere on the path of adoption. I know it is a long and often forever winding road. Some days you question your every move or wonder if you have the tenacity to weather the storm. Our journey to Ava was so long and a very sordid tale. If we knew what we would endure we may never have listened to God’s call on our lives to bring a daughter home to our hearts. We cannot go it alone, such a journey is not for the faint of heart but it is for those who are willing to have their hearts wide open for God to step in. My faith was challenged and strengthened every step of our way to the beautiful country of Ethiopia and to the amazing little one, Ava, our sweet sweet daughter.