It's really good. At least one of us needs to be organized. My brain WILL NOT allow me to get it together, no matter how hard I try! I just want to go - get there and meet our girl. It's OK if I forget something - I don't even care! As long as I have a camera with which to take a gazillion pictures of her, and maybe some clean clothes, I'm good! But my awesome husband, is SUPER prepared, and I am SO thankful :-)
We had planned on trying to get our vaccinations this week anyway, so we pretty much made that A1 priority. Fortunately on Tuesday when Rob called our county's Department of Health, they were able to schedule an appointment for us that afternoon, they had all the vaccinations we needed, and charged us about half the price of what I hear other families paying. So, other than some soreness and itchiness around the injection sites (SIX of them!), it was win-win!
By Wednesday, we had booked our travel for NEXT WEDNESDAY! Yes, in the end, we had a week and a half to put together a trip that we hadn't even STARTED preparing for. Oh well, makes for an interesting life :-)
So, bright and early on Wednesday the 11th, we will fly to DC to spend the day and night. Fortunately, we have some friends who moved up there last year, so we'll get to eat dinner with them and meet their new little son.
Then on the morning of Thursday the 12th, we will fly from DC straight to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - about a 14 hour flight. We will arrive in Addis on the morning of Friday the 13th.
Our driver will meet us at the airport and take us to our guest house. We have a friend who left today to get her son, so we should see her at the guest house before she leaves to come back home. I am SO excited about that. It has been a REALLY long journey for them, and I'm so glad they are so close to bringing their son home.
We have very few plans for the weekend, but we are planning on spending time with yet ANOTHER friend. This very dear friend has also had a REALLY, REALLY long journey adopting 2 little ones and is in Addis for an indefinite amount of time. We're hoping to spend some time with her and the kids over the weekend, and then have plans to go to church and out to lunch on Sunday. I can't tell you HOW excited I am about attending a worship service in Ethiopia. We weren't sure we would get to do this, and I'm so glad it worked out.
And then... Monday is the day. On Monday the 16th, we will get to meet our Lottie. Just thinking about it makes me all kinds of emotional. I really hope I don't cry and freak her out. It would not be good for Rob and I to cry puddles of tears all over the floor and her. Plus, according to the packet we got from our agency this week, THIS IS NOT A BONDING TRIP! We don't want her to bond with us, because it will be harder for her when we leave. So we're just supposed to keep it light and playful. Here's hoping we can do that!
We are scheduled to have one-hour visits with Lottie on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. The rest of the time we will be sight-seeing and doing tourist-y things. Except on Thursday. Thursday is the day we got to court and meet with the Judge. Hopefully, if everything goes well, she will tell us that day that we are a family. It's possible she won't, but I'm really, really hoping she will... because once she does, then we can share with the whole world just how gorgeous our Lottie is (i.e., we can post photos on the blog and facebook). I really cannot wait to share photos of the little girl that captured our hearts the first time we saw her.
And then on Friday night, we'll fly from Addis to DC. It IS a direct flight, but we have to stop in Rome for fuel, although we don't get off the plane. Because of the stop, this flight is about 17 hours.
We will arrive in DC early on Saturday the 21st. Unfortunately, we have to spend all day in DC, as our flight home isn't until about 6:00, BUT did I mention we have great friends in DC? They have graciously agreed to come pick us up and take us to their house for a nice, hot shower. I'm so thankful for good friends :-)
So that's what we're expecting. I'm sure it won't all go smoothly, and I'm (mostly) prepared for that. Here are some prayer requests:
- That we don't get sick. We have meds in case we do get sick, but we really, really don't want to get sick.
- That we would be flexible and understanding of plans changing at the last minute, and able to easily deal with the disappointment of things not happening like we thought/hoped they would.
- That Lottie would at least like us a little bit, and that the Lord would prepare her heart to accept us as her parents.
- That we would relax and enjoy our time in Ethiopia.
Thank you so much to everyone who has already been praying! The Lord has definitely shown us favor by giving us a court date so soon, which puts us in a GREAT position to be able to bring Lottie home by her first birthday, which is what I've been asking from the day we received our referral. It's certainly no guarantee - the Embassy process can be rough these days - but no matter what, we're trusting in His timing and provision.