Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Embassy Trip: Day One

The journey to Ethiopia began with an incredibly crazy weekend full of unknowns. We got the email on Thursday, January 27 that we may have the Embassy appointment of the 8th, but they weren't sure! That would mean that we would need to leave the following week. Noah came down with the stomach flu and we had the cubscout Monster Truck Jam on Saturday. We were ready to go though. All of the unknowns were really pulling at us. We told them that we were willing to wait until the 8th since Noah was sick and we really wanted to make the birth family visit. If we went that weekend, we would not have been able to go to Awassa which was something we felt we MUST do. We waited through the weekend hoping for news. Finally on Monday morning while I was at work, my friend Brittany called who was also waiting on an Embassy appointment. She said, "Did you get the email?" I hadn't because I had twelve 3 and 4 year olds all around me waiting for our next project. I told her I would call her back and we would talk after work. I knew then that we were going. The scary thing was... A MAJOR SNOW STORM WAS ON ITS WAY!!!!!! Andy booked our tickets for Wednesday but we still weren't sure how the storm would pan out. That afternoon we realized that this was going to be a serious weather issue and we may not get out of Indianapolis. We frantically decided to move our flights up to Tuesday morning to get us out of Indy and into DC. We would then spend the night there for our Wednesday flight to Ethiopia. We had nowhere for the kids to go. My mom was suppose to fly up from Florida, but my dad was concerned about the weather and wasn't going to put her on a flight until Thursday. What on EARTH were we going to do with our other 3 kiddos!!!! We had to go, but really were at a loss. I got on the phone with some friends and in the matter of an hour we had their entire schedule for the week worked out. I love it how the family of God steps up for each other in times of need. My mom then worked it so she could get here on Thursday barring no more bad weather. We loaded the kids and their gear up for the week and took them to our friend's house. Monday night we spent packing up and cleaning. We still weren't sure if we were going to be able to get out of Indy because the storm was so bad. At 6am our pastor arrived to take us to the airport. The roads were EXTREMELY ice covered. There was about a 1/2 inch of ice on the roads with more moving into the area. I could barely walk to the car. He made Andy drive his car because he was so nervous driving!!!! We got to the airport and found that only certain flights were leaving... and ours was one of them!!! We boarded the plane and arrived in DC. Right after we left, they closed the Indy airport because of the icy conditions. God got us out just in time!!!! We met up with Will and Brittany that night for dinner and eagerly anticipated our trip to Addis. This was the first time we had met them in person and we had a great time at dinner with them. I think the Lord is building a lasting friendship!!! The next day we headed to the airport and checked in for the long 12 hour flight. We met up with another mom, Dana (who was a lifesaver in ET) and her mom Claire. We were all on the same flight. Brittany loaded us up with antibiotic ointment in our noses with q-tips!!!!! I'm sure we looked hilarious with Q-tips hanging out of our noses. I wish I would have gotten pictures... but hey, anything to prevent sickness right?~!?!! I also ran to the shop to pick up some all American Hershey bars for our church's sponsored children!!! They had to have some American chocolate!!! The plane ride was great. No problems whatsoever. We watched a few movies and caught some shut eye. We knew that we would be seeing our precious baby girl SOON!!!!! We had waited soooo long to go back and get her. I was really relaxed on the trip. Andy had a bit of anxiety when we first started and he had to work through it. We had started our malaria drugs and he was nervous about it. But, no worries... he was fine!!! So after an unplanned early departure, a day spent in DC, and a 12 hour flight, we FINALLY arrived in Addis Ababa. It was really wonderful flying over the city in the daytime. The last time we arrived, it was the middle of the night so we weren't able to catch a glimpse of the beautiful land from the air. I went to the bathroom on the plane and tried to peak out the window but the flight attendant yelled at me. I think she thought I was going to open the door or something!!! I will write about our first day in Ethiopia in my next post. Until then... here are a couple of pictures:
Daddy tickling his girl
Miss Olivia at the orphanage
Our travel Buddies... Will and Brittany with their precious Tytus

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