It sounds so glamorous… jet setting off to Ethiopia in just 12 days but I must say right about now I am beginning to second guess what all this is truly about. I can honestly say that my heart aches a bit as I prepare to leave three children and take one along. I ache at the thought of experiencing so many new things without Bob by my side. I ache at the thought of just not being here and wishing I could actually be in two places at once. Now seriously wouldn’t that be cool?
So I sit with that feeling when it hits and then I snap back to the reality that I get to go back to my daughter’s birth country and I get to bring my fifth grade son along. I get to be back in Ethiopia now as a momma who already adopted. I will be back on familiar ground and meeting with several locals who I have been in close touch with since our journey to bring Ava home. I get to dig deeper into the causes I was passionate about over the past few years as I began to lern more about the plight of the orphan and the needs in Ethiopia. I get to explore new areas outside of the capital city and I will be visioning for what it might be that we hope to do more of in Ethiopia. I of course have no idea yet where all this is leading but right now, just like a few years back when we felt very called to begin the adoption process, right now, I am taking things one day and one moment at a time.
I look so forward to meeting our team of 30 people with like hearts for the orphans in Ethiopia. I cannot wait to hear their stories and get to know them personally. I cannot wait to meet Kari and Roger Gibson who have a blog that has blown right up into a mission minded ministry. I knew traveling through Visiting Orphans, the parent company who organizes trips worldwide, was exactly who we should travel with but we are going sooner than I might have planned in order to travel with Kari Gibson’s team. I just love her inspiring attitude and all that she will bring to the team as we minister and serve in Ethiopia. Many of you have asked about our safety and where we will stay. We will be staying all but one night at the Ethiopian Guest House, a very safe place where numerous other mission teams often stay. We will be traveling with some security and we will have interpreters along to help us communicate. Ethiopia is actually a very safe place and frankly I felt extremely safe during our first two trips. One has to make wise choices but that is true anywhere right?
Here is what our current itinerary looks like:
02/16/2012 Day 1 You will travel to Washington DC where you will meet up with
the rest of your team and travel on to Addis from there.
02/17/2012 Day 2 Arrive in Addis Ababa around 8 am. Check in at the Ethiopian
Guest House. Afternoon visit to Fistula Hospital.
02/18/2012 Day 3 Our extra day of ministry. Visit to the new orphanage in Addis
where God arranged for us to be on this day!
02/19/2012 Day 4 1 hour drive to Holeta to visit children there and to minister in
community. Spend the night in Ambo.
02/20/2012 Day 5 Orphanage and home visits in Ambo. Return to Addis for
afternoon shopping and dinner at EGH. 8 pm team meeting.
Mon & Tues
02/21-22/12 Day 6 & 7 Tom’s shoe distribution. Lunch on the field and dinner at EGH.
02/23/2012 Day 8 Ministry at the Korah Dump and Project 61. Dinner out as a
02/24/2012 Day 9 Ministry at the Korah Dump and Project 61. Dinner at EGH.
I will be sharing more details as our departure date nears but for now I thought I would share these precious photos of my oldest child and my youngest child. I chuckle as I type that knowing that just eleven years ago we wondered if we would ever have children to call our own. Ha! As you can see Ava loves her dear brothers and Hayden is such a bright light when he is around Ava. She owns his heart in a way I could not have imagined. Just the other day he said. “Mom it should not cost so much to adopt and then more kids could come home.” So profound and so… I think I’d better leave that one alone, but just know that I am grateful he is thinking. His heart has been opened and I cannot wait to show him a land I never knew I would fall so deeply in love with… Peace and Blessings to you all!