So our wait times for the adoption are a bit longer than expected....well, a lot longer than expected! Before we even heard news about the most recent changes, we've been praying about God's plan for our family during this wait. I can't say I have all the answers (Let's be honest, I don't have hardly any answers on any given day of the week!), but earlier this spring I felt the nudge to look into traveling to Ethiopia.
Our adoption agency just began a mission trip program (ACT Mission Trips), offering multiple trip options all over the world throughout this year. When I received the first email about it, I'll be truthful. It wasn't something where I felt that immediate calling of YES, this is what you're supposed to be doing. But the idea gradually grew and grew in my mind, and I finally brought it up to my husband. His response was simple: "If you want to go, then go. We'll figure out the rest."
My planner-brain, the let's-figure-everything-out-or-we-won't-go-through-with-it-and-there-must-be-plans-and-logic-to-making-decisions brain, quickly churned with concern, asking, "Why God? Why go? I've never been away from my husband and girls that long. Can I do this? I don't know if I can do this. It's totally out of my comfort zone."
Fortunately, God quickly turned my Why into "Why not?" And then everything literally fell into place. Taking off from work became a non-issue, I had the exact number of days needed for the trip. Plans for my girls lined up perfectly: fall break for school hits the same week and my parents wanted to take them anyway...
Okay God. Got the message.
Long story short, I've taken all my vaccinations and I'm packing my bags.
I've had several questions about the trip, so let's see if I can answer some of them here:
When are you going?
We fly out Oct. 4 and come back Oct. 13. Want to hear something neat? Our DTE date (Dossier to Ethiopia - when our paperwork was shipped over) is Sept. 28, 2012. It arrived October 8, 2012. And exactly one year later, to the day, where will I be? Yep, same place. Love how God does that!
What will you be doing?
Our team will serve in the orphanages in the capital city, Addis Ababa, providing support for the nanny's who work tirelessly day in and day out. We'll work with all ages of kids, from infants to teens. I don't know exactly how the itinerary will go, but I'm trusting in being fully present and allowing God to show the way on what we can do to help out.
What about Micah? Is there any chance you could meet him without knowing?
Ah yes, the big question. Our sweet son. My response to this question is unfortunately, no. With the wait times being multiple years at this point, I just don't believe that is possible, given the current age range we're approved for (0-2). Yes, that would be neat, but that's not why I'm going.
What can I do?
This is one of my favorite questions. First of all, and most importantly, pray. Pray for our team, pray for the children and nannies and those whom we'll come into contact with during the trip. I believe we will have many opportunities to be His hands and feet on this trip, and my prayer is that we'll be aware and at the ready to do just that.
Secondly, I'm taking donations, lots and lots of donations, over with me. We can each check two, 50 lb bags, and my goal is to fit all my clothes, etc. into my carry-on bag leaving the checked bags open for donations (for those who know me to be the classic over-packer that I am, stop laughing. I'm going to do this. Seriously! I have a plan and everything and y'all know how I am about my plans.). I've been assigned to collect cloth diapers for the infants. If you would like to donate, please comment on this post. I've already got one bag/bin completely full, so I'm excited to see this second bag quickly fill up! If you prefer, I can also take money over there and purchase formula and other needed items for the orphanages. Did you know $6 can buy a can of formula?
Can we keep up with the trip?
Yes! Well, as long as power/Internet is up and going in Addis Ababa, which can sometimes be spotty. I've been designated the team blogger, responsible for documenting this trip. So I'll be using this blog to do just that. We have another girl who's the team photographer, so I'm going to post all her lovely pictures here too.
I wish I had more eloquent words for this post but for now, this will have to do. More info about the trip to come later!