Two weeks ago we made an educated guess (and another leap of faith) and purchased tickets to Ethiopia to get our kiddos! If we waited, I was so afraid we would not get 7 seats together on the airplane to come home, so we took our chances. We didn’t even have Kieran’s passport yet, but that’s how we roll! Last Tuesday (4 days ago) we found out for sure that we have an Embassy appointment on Monday July 21 and all the pieces are coming together. We leave for Ethiopia in two days!
Here is the plan:
We fly out of Springfield Monday morning July 14–Michael and I, plus Kieran and Erin. We get to the hotel in Ethiopia Tuesday night (Ethiopian time, 8 hours ahead of CST) and SLEEP. Wednesday morning we will pick up the kids FOREVER and hang at the guest house most of the day with several other families and their kids. Thursday morning we will drive all day to visit Kieran and his siblings’ birth family. We will stay in a pretty primitive hotel, spend the next day (Friday) in his village, spend another night in said hotel, and drive back to Addis on Saturday. Monday the 21st is the Embassy appointment, and then we wait two days to get the kids’ visas and fly home Wednesday night!
On the Tuesday between Embassy appointments, we will spend the day with Kieran’s older half-brother who is going to school in Addis. Also if we are lucky, one of Kieran’s soon-to-be best buddies will have an embassy appointment during that same week. We are so excited that another big boy at the same orphanage, Tamarat Belley, will be living in our same town and come home almost the same time!! And yet another big boy, B Mott, will hopefully come home to our neighboring town 10 minutes away later this year. God is doing something big in Lincoln with 10+ Ethiopian kiddos!
- travel safeties and that ALL our bags make the trip with us
- time with kids as a family–unity and bonding
- pray like Elijah that the rains will hold back and we can travel to see the birth family as planned (see James 5:17-18)
- blessings on time with birth family–peace and closure, especially for Kieran who didn’t get to say goodbye 5 years ago as he left for medical help, which later turned into adoption
- physical strength for Kieran through airports and as we travel in more primitive areas
- health and God’s direction for Erin (14yo daughter) who gets really sick on airplanes but feels a call to be a missionary in Ethiopia in the future
- blessings and peace for my mom as she stays home with the rest of the kiddos
- thanks to God who is taking care of our finances. You can go here if you want to be a part of that.
It’s a good thing God doesn’t reveal too much of the future for us or we might bow out. Six months after we said “yes” and started the paperwork (read about that here), we are now bringing them home in record time.
God is writing this story and we are humbled to be a small part of His plans. As one of my favorite songs by Francesca Battistelli says,
I know it’s never really been mine
So do with it whatever you like
I don’t know what your plan is
But I know it’s good, yeah…
I want my history to be your legacy
Go ahead and show this world
What you’ve done in me
And when the music fades
I want my life to say…
I let you write your story on my heart
If you would like to meet the kids and help welcome them home, we are supposed to arrive at the Springfield airport at 6pm on Thurs July 24. There will be a church bus going to pick us up, so if you want a ride from Lincoln, check with Betsy Lewis. After that, we will not be out in public much for a while as we start to bond as a family.
Thank you, again, for being a part of this crazy journey with us!