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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ethiopia-Day One to Levi: part two

Today truly began our journey.  A 14 hour plane ride began,
but at least it was direct, no layovers and once you get there, you are there.  :)  I won't mention much of the drunkard who was double fisting Heinekans and bottles of wine for ALL 14 hours!!!!  And I quickly learned that Ethiopians have no regard for personal space, as I would learn on BOTH my flights, if you are seated in the middle seat, then you are in fact, fare game for lounging on and being slept and slobbered on, and being sang to loudly. 

Let's Do This! 
 Silly Video
We were ON OUR WAY TO MEET OUR BOY!  The precious boy we had waited for all these years!  I was taken to how many years I had dreamed of this little life in mine.  I had stopped journaling and writing, it was just too much of nothing.  Sometimes I think I quit because I wasn't quite sure this day would actually come!  But now it has!!!
In a very dark year of grief in my own life, this little boy came to us, as a bright and shining star!!!  It led me to ponder Grampy's involvement in God's plan and how he would have loved this precious boy.  I'm sure that they already know one another.  And I know that Grampy gets to watch!  And though it hurts badly to know that he can't play with this precioud boy on earth, I now he gets a front row seat!
6 years waiting and 30 dreaming.  The years crept slowly by as we watched our number slowly rise on the list.  Slowly but surely and God's timing!  I'm not sure why he took my dad first, but you, our son have brought smiles back to our faces and much needed joy unto our hearts!
Son, you have been longed for, prayed for, anticipated and loved for so many years!  ANd now we ride our airplane to come and get you!  A day I've imagined in my mind for so many years!  You are my dream come true!!!   You are my perfect gift!
We are so close!
I have extreme butterflies!!!
This flight was SO.  LONG. but totally worth it! 
I have to share that landing in  Addis was the most beautiful descent I'd ever  seen.   We were literally watching the sun rise for the last hour and then it was literally like we flew from the darkness, down through the orange clouds, INTO the day, INTO the light and when our wheels touched down, I cried and sobbed and cried.  My feet were about to touch Ethiopian soil!  The soil I wanted to touch since I was 9.  A knowing I'd always held dear and true to my heart, that ONE DAY I would be in this country in the continent of AFRICA.  It blew my mind and was too much for my heart.  The culmination of a lifetime of dreaming was about to come to fruition. 
A couple of divine stories to share.
We met a lady on the hotel shuttle who started a non-profit for pro-life and pro-adoption ministry! A Christian. we were on the wrong shuttle to the hotel but by divine intervention we learned of her ministry and she had had a tough day  of cancelled flights and needed encouragement. :) 
On this plane there is a group on young adults on a mission trip and its founder has an adopted daughter from Ethiopia! 
Finally, in line at the Visa place, we met a couple who were coming to visit her daughter's family who had their adopted kid! 
The other families we met when we got off the plane were amazing.  People are so loving in Ethiopia.  Our guides and drivers were superb. 
And how can I describe meeting my SON???? The video speaks volumes. I was giddy and in shock, and couldn't speak and wouldn't let go of him.  It was all I ever dreamed and I think our son felt the same as indicated by his comfort level with us and ability to sleep ON US. :)  This cuddle-deprived mama was in heaven!!!
Oh! And those children coming right up to the van as we pulled in. Children reaching our arms around them saying "love" and reaching their arms up to us to hold them.  JUST TO HOLD THEM. These children, all the want is love.  The universal desire of ANY CHILD is LOVE.
There was a precious 5 year old who I've since learned is unadoptable, was my girl soul mate.  We  clicked and spent a week together.  She would light up when she saw us and would stroke my cheek and say "Mama love."  Oh BE STILL MY HEART!!!!  I wanted to take her (and about 50 more) home with me.
This was a quick and exhausting day and visit after arriving that morning after flying all night with no sleep.  Emotions were running high after meeting our son and wanting to take him with us.  We got back to our room and we crashed at 7 pm after we ordered a burger from an area restaurant.  (Ick)
Had to get some sleep for Day #2!
Our first shot of the city! :)  BEAUTIFUL!

The Airport
Ethiopian Diet coke get in my belly!!!!


Meeting our Son!


THE SIGN!  I had seen it in SO MANY Other family videos!!! FINALLY

THE COUCH!  That so many families have sat on with their children!




Next Update: International Evangelical Church! SO FUN!!!

A little more on this day.  After our long flight, we made our way through the LONG line at customs and another long line to get our visas, we found Yonas, our guide, waiting for us.  After we checked-in our guest house and rested a bit before we went to lunch and then met our boy!
After no food, and dehydration and motion sickness, I got anxious and sick and dizzy.  We went to lunch at Makrush and bought a pricey piece of art and a pizza. :) This classy restaurant holds local artists' work.  It is a gallery and wonderful restaurant in one.  I had my first Pizza with dark meat chicken (of many) and VERY cooked veggies to be safe.  I began to feel better as I drank water and ate real food after eating all gluten free granola bars etc. The owner even teased me that my pizza was the very first one he had ever made without cheese.  Ha!  Welcome to my world friend!!!
Lee had beef peppered tips and we both felt much better.  After an hour nap we headed to meet our son!!! I was overwhelmed the moment our plane landed in Addis and a lifelong dream was realized.  Again I cried as the children stormed our van.  And when a 4-5 year old girl kissed my face and said
"I love" I melted and I loved her right back.  She will always own a piece of my heart.  And a story of the Transition Home would no be complete without Mr. Friendly 1 and Mr. Friendly 2, brothers who just craved your arms draping over their shoulders.  BIG WHITE SMILES from ear to ear.  ALWAYS.  Then there was "CAMO" as we called him because he ha on camo pants most of the time.  Then there were the toddlers beating on the glass in their room,looking out on us where they would call  "Ababu" over and over.  And then we saw "L', the happiest sweetest boy who has a family we would soon meet and a great answered prayer would occur after a heartbreaking failed adoption, he would become their redemption and we got to witness it with our own eyes.

Then they brought you out and the blubbering started.  You were timid and shy and leery to come to your new mama.  I took a step back so you could just check us out, but soon the years of longing for you in my arms took over and I immediately reached for you with no longer a reservation.  We loved you immediately and without hesitation.  You were overloaded and fell easily asleep on us both those next two days.  I can't imagine what that little brain is trying to process.  It was ok for you to sleep in and cuddle with me, for that had been my prayer all along.  To have a snuggly boy!

The Platts arrived next, and met their sweet Abigar.  After playtime we went back to the guest house and ordered a bag burger from the delivery joint next door and decided not to eat it and Daddy made Raman noodles and we cuddled to sleep by 7:00 pm, while listening to the sounds of the Saturday night Club scene and dogs barking. :)

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