“Wow” is my favorite word lately! It seems that there are blessings and many things to be paying attention to everywhere I turn. I mean really people it is not mere coincidence that the guy working at the Apple Store that is assigned to answer my questions after a long wait has a close friend from Ethiopia and could help me prepare my packing list within minutes of meeting him. I am convinced this week that angels are all around me just whispering that everything is gonna be OK. The connections I have made to a land and a people I have not yet met within this week alone have been astonishing and I am again reminded that we are both exactly where we need to be and that the timing for the trip in the middle of this crazy life is exactly how it is supposed to be. Of that I am sure.
What amazes me most is the ripple effect our adoption preparation has had as of late. We are one of the first families to make the two trips to Ethiopia. We missed the one trip cutoff by one day. That is no accident! our daughter needs to be home but there is a reason we are traveling twice. After two years, tons of paperwork and lots of hardship and questions let me just tell ya there is a reason. My first thought is this…
It is easy to say that when we now know that two trips are a must. Yes that is true. We now have no choice. But you see that is what I love about this journey to our daughter. We do indeed have choices even if when the system dictates our next move. We will travel twice. I will be terribly sad to leave sweet lil Strobel behind but I have to tell you how I choose to see this:
1) We have to stretch and sacrifice to make two trips happen. For us this includes shutting down a business, leaving three bio kids, Buying four tickets in a very expensive airline market- YIKES! Leaving the comforts of home, etc. This is big for me and not something I do well. I am packing the smallest amount I have ever packed before with the hope of getting more supplies to Ethiopia than items I might need.
2) We are given the chance to experience our daughter’s birthplace on a deeper and richer level. Yes we will be with her at Hannah’s Hope as much as they allow but we will have lots of other time to take in the sights, sounds and culture of Addis. This will include time with other adoptive families who will be with us on the trip and the time to get to know them.
3) We have the opportunity to get many supplies to our daughter’s country. The need is great for numerous supplies and two trips is allowing us the chance to take full advantage of carting all the totes we can choke full of formula, medicines and shoes- nearly 60 pair going with us this trip- Yahoo and thank you to those who donated!
So what I see most is the effect adopting Baby Strobel is having all around us. Another list I know but I have to get this down. There is the letter that just came from a wonderful friend and mother who works with my husband reminding us of the faith she sees in us. There is the beautiful shower invitation that I opened this evening as my neighborhood of friends prepares to help us bring home our little girl. There is my friend from way back to 7th grade, an adoptive Momma herself, who sends us a check for anything we might need related to our adoption. There are the family members who will be taking care of our boys for much of the time we are gone and helping us to feel secure in knowing they will be fine. There is the family who will have our guys for two night s who we attend church with and who we have known forever. There are the countless neighbors who have embraced our shoe drive and brought so many shoes for us to bring to the needy children in Ethiopia, there is the friend who will drop off food tomorrow for us to bring with our boys when we drop them with family for the week. There is my oldest friend who lives far away but wanted to help by sending soccer balls she purchased and also coaxed the store owner to match in donations, there is my Dad who I call for the various projects I cannot seem to complete myself- painting a pink room and hanging window treatments, there are the numerous offers of pray and also the offers to help this week. The list goes on and on and we stand amazed. Adoption does take a village and we are so blessed to have a village that rises to the call and just won’t quit. We can feel the love and we now see more than ever that bringing home the daughter of our hearts is so much grater than what we wanted. Thank God for so many blessings helping to see us through. It is almost time to say, “It’s Ethiopia or bust!”