Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ethiopia 1st Trip - Day One!

I am so excited to begin sharing about our 1st trip to Ethiopia!  I will share my journal entries, and try to fill in the gaps from the few days that I didn't have time to journal when we were in Ethiopia last week!

I woke up around 6:00 am on the morning of Thursday, July 18th to shower and get ready for our trip to Ethiopia!  This day we were just flying to Washington, DC and spending the night there before our flight to Addis Ababa on Friday morning.  I had slept pretty good the night before, but I woke up excited and a little nervous!  This was the day!!!  We had just found out about our court date the Monday before...and were heading to Ethiopia just 3 short days later!  It was such a fun, crazy whirlwind!!!  And we were so thankful to get a court date before the rainy season!  Such an answered prayer!

Here we are with all of our suitcases packed and ready to head to the airport!!!

Giving some last minute good-bye hugs to the kids!

We said good-bye to my mom and the girls, and we left with Carson.  We were dropping him off at baseball camp on our way to the airport.  We got him to camp, and then drove on to the airport.  A kind man from our church had given us airport parking passes to use, so we parked and tried to get all of our suitcases inside.  It was starting to rain a little, and Jody had to make another trip back to the car because we couldn't get them all in at once!  But we finally got in and settled and ready to board our first flight!

It was a fun start to an incredible trip to Africa!!!

Here is my first journal entry on Day 1 of our trip...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

"We are on our first airplane-heading from Jackson, MS to Charlotte, NC and then on to DC!  Tomorrow morning we fly out to Ethiopia!!!  Ahhh!  Baby girl, we are coming!!!

I can hardly believe that this day is here.  After 3 1/2 years of waiting, praying, growing and hoping, we are finally on our way to meet our daughter for the very first time!  I am crying as I write these words.  God's goodness and perfect timing are just so overwhelming!

We have received so many emails, call, texts and FB messages (and blog comments!) from friends who are praying for us.  I truly do feel so prayed for right now.  I am very emotional (and a little nervous!), but over all, I feel peace.  It is truly that peace that passes all understanding.  Peace that only comes from the Lord.  I know this is the exact day He has chosen for us to begin this journey to our daughter.  I feel His presence, and I know He is with us.

God gave us an amazing MIRACLE this morning at the airport!  I have been working hard over the past several weeks at packing the suitcases - most of them are donations for Hannah's Hope and gifts for the staff and children there.

We arrived at the airport this morning with 4 suitcases to check - all around 50 pounds each!  Plus, we each have a carry-on suitcase and a backpack/bag.  LOTS of stuff going to Ethiopia with us! :)

We really thought we may have to pay extra for the suitcases, but we were hoping not!  We are flying US Air, and I watched some ladies check-in in front of me, and the US Air lady charged them a fee for their bags, $25 for first bag and then $35 for second bag.  She told them that US Air charges for ALL checked bags.  When Jody walked up, I told him about the fees.  But we were just trusting God to provide.  I told Jody, "God's got this!"

Well, we approached the counter and a young man helped us.  I asked if they ever gave grace to those with lots of bags, and that we were taking donations to our daughter's orphanage in Ethiopia.  And I showed him a donations letter from AGCI.  He smiled and said, "You came to the right person today!"

He weighed our bags on the scale.  Two of the suitcases were right at 50 pounds.  One of them was a little over, and one was a little under 50 pounds.  He took them all back to be tagged, gave us our boarding passes and baggage claim tickets and wished us well on our trip!

We walked away, and it hit us - he didn't even charge us at all for our bags!  We checked all 4 huge suitcases for FREE!  Wow!  I couldn't believe how God had already provided!  I got tears in my eyes!!  God is just SO GOOD!  Praising Him as we are getting to take LOTS of stuff with us to Ethiopia.  YAY!!!

Then as we were going through security, we were talking to some older ladies and told them we were going to Ethiopia to adopt our daughter.  They were so precious and excited for us!  They said they would be praying for us!  So sweet!

We got through security totally fine and went to wait to board our flight.  Texts started pouring in from friends praying for us!  So sweet!

My friend, Laura, posted on our FB page that in today's Jesus Calling was our verse we have claimed over Caroline Faith's adoption - Hebrews 11:1!!!  We are just so amazed how God is in every little detail of our journey!  These past 3 1/2 years have been part of His divine plan to prepare us for this moment in time - meeting our Ethiopian-born daughter for the very first time!

He has given us an unbelievable love for her already.  He has used these years to grow an emotional bond with her.  Even though we've never held her, we know she is the perfect child that God has chosen for us.  We have no doubt that He will be with her over this coming week as we meet her.

I pray that the Lord will prepare her heart for us. I pray that she won't be too scared of us, and that we can form a quick, but deep bond with her.  I pray that she will attach to us quickly and like us! :)

Can't wait to see what the next few days hold!  We're on our way, baby girl!"

1 comment:

Meaghan said...

Oh I hope we get a nice check-in person too..I'm nervous about getting all our stuff on the plane! Ready to read all your updates..I'll keep checking til we leave this weekend!