Today is our first full day in Ethiopia. We’ll have an orientation briefing, cover miscellaneous stuff, meet with case workers and other folks, and then the big moment:
We’ll get to meet Milo for the first time.
It will be a brief visit, but our first chance to see him in the flesh.
With the wonders of transatlantic flight and time changes (Ethiopia is about 9 hours ahead), we’ll end up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in the early evening (after a brief fuel-stop in Rome).
After making it through customs we’ll head to the guesthouse where we’ll be staying. Then I think we crash.
We’re leaving for the airport at 10:00 a.m. We’ll hopefully have a tear-free goodbye with Lexi (yeah, right) and then head to the airport for much waiting and metal-detection.
Lexi will be spending the ten days while we’re gone with her grandma, hopefully having a blast and being spoiled and not dwelling too much on the fact that we’re gone. We’re not sure how this is going to go, but we have lots of friends lined up to step in and help out if need be.
This afternoon we’ll fly to Washington, D.C., for about a three-hour layover, then depart for Ethiopia in the evening.
I’ve written blog posts like this for each day of our journey, explaining what the itinerary says we’ll be doing (Abby wrote up an overview of the whole trip). You can also follow along with what actually happen on Twitter, as I hope to post a handful of updates per day (assuming local technology cooperates). Depending on how much computer access we get, we may try a few blog posts from Ethiopia as well.
Thanks for following along!
In less than 24 hours we’ll be on a plane for Ethiopia to bring home our son. It’s been such a long wait. And it’s almost here.
As the hours tick down, I love how all the extra stuff falls away and doesn’t matter anymore. My last day has been flittered away with random tasks here and there, none of which really matter. It doesn’t really matter if I heard the conference call my wife already heard a week ago. It doesn’t really matter if I write that blog entry today or not. It doesn’t really matter if I clean off my desk or not.
As I’ve told about everyone I can, you can follow along at our adoption site. My latest blog posts (if you come here you already know where to find them) will be there—many are just pre-programmed updates of what we’ll be doing each day— as well as my on-the-ground Twitter updates (assuming it all works).
I’m awash in emotion right now. I’m so excited to meet Milo and hold him in my arms. I’m eager to see his homeland and the country where he was born. I’m worried about Lexi and how she’ll do without us for 10 days (and how Grandma will cope with 10 days of Lexi). I’m expecting to be broken as the reality of this 19-month journey finally comes together.
Some things in life just wash over you, flooding you with grace and love and mercy and hope. That’s already happened so many times in this journey, but now we’ll be diving into it. Can’t wait.
OK, never mind yesterday’s post. Looks like I will get to be a techno-geek while we’re in Ethiopia picking up our son. At least a little bit.
A friend has stepped forward and offered to pay for my Twittering. They shelled out for four updates a day for our 10 day trip (each international text message is 50 cents), and then some. How cool is that?
So when I’m thousands of miles away you can know almost immediately when my son spits up on me for the first time. Seriously though, we’ve had so many friends supporting us in so many ways, it will be fun to share this experience with you as it happens, a little bit at a time. Of course that assumes I can work the 9-button keypad fast enough to send four messages a day (I’ve used my cell phone exactly one other time to send Twitter updates).
I didn’t ask anyone to do this, I wasn’t expecting it and I’m pretty humbled.
Follow me on Twitter for the whole Ethiopia experience.
We’re furiously trying to get ready for our trip to Ethiopia next week. While I’m quite the tech-addict in my day-to-day life, I’m not a very good techie when I travel. I didn’t get a cell phone until 2006 and while I bring my laptop when I travel, I use it primarily for watching movies on the plane.
For our trip to Ethiopia I think I’ll be even less of a techie. Our laptop has no battery life left, so it’s useless on the plane (plus I’m not sure 3 hours of movie for 18 hours of flying justifies the extra baggage). My iPod battery is also toast, so it’s useless (though I think Abby’s may be good). On the plus side, we are delivering a laptop to the care center, so we might be able to use it en route. Which might work out really nice. Something tells me we won’t have time to watch movies on the flight home.
Continue reading Testing E-mail Posting
Two weeks from today we’ll be heading to the airport. We’ll spend a few hours on the ground in Washington, D.C. (never been there before), and then fly across the Atlantic (never done that before). We’ll spend maybe 45 minutes on the ground in Rome (my first contact with Europe) and then fly off to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (yeah, never been there either).
If you noticed the trend, you could probably guess my international travel experience begins and ends with Canada. So this is going to be new and different. Plus that whole thing where I get to meet my son. It’s hard to put into words exactly what we’re feeling right now.
We’re excited. We’re stressed. We’re giddy. We’re tired. We’re overjoyed. We’re busy.
We’ve got a lot to do. Our to do list keeps getting longer, but we’re hacking away at it. It’s amazing how the things of everyday life begin to fall away as you realize what’s really important. Some of my side projects are being neglected right now. Other distractions I just don’t have the time for. I do still manage to find time for certain stress-reducing diversions (preserving sanity is a priority). There’s somehow time for tickling, laughing or just sitting with Lexi. What needs to happen does, and the rest falls away.
Continue reading When Regular Life Falls Away
It’s been a while since I’ve talked about adoption, and even then I didn’t have any news. Well, we have news, but it’s not exciting.
Last week we got an e-mail from our agency informing us that all the expected wait times are going to be longer. What was a 6-9 month wait is now a 12 month wait. The end of September would have been 9 months of waiting for us, but now we’ll likely be waiting until the end of December or later. It’s frustrating, to say the least.
Continue reading More Waiting While Ethiopians Go Hungry
It breaks my heart to hear the stories of starving children in Ethiopia. Thanks to drought, failed crops and rising food prices, Ethiopia faces a return to the 1984-85 famine that killed more than one million people. The Big Picture blog has stunning pictures.
- 4.5 million children are threatened with starvation.
- 75,000 children are currently suffering from severe malnutrition and need urgent care.
- 3.4 million Ethiopians will need food aid in the next three months.
- 6.8 million Ethiopians are at risk for malnutrition. (all stats via Telegraph)
Continue reading Famine in Ethiopia. Again.
This story from a woman who spent time at an orphanage for HIV positive children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is amazing:
Once they started getting the ARVs that were needed and at a fair price, children stopped dying. And so money that they used to save to pay for children’s coffins is now being used for growth and development, empowering the organization to grow and help so many more people.
It reminds me of the stories of Ethiopian orphans in There Is No Me Without You.
Talk about getting a double spoonful of crap in life: orphaned and HIV positive. While these tragedies may not be able to be rectified, they can be redeemed. That’s what the church is supposed to be about (not just teachin’ and singin’).