I really can’t believe it.
One year ago I was boarding a plane. Like all international adventures I had set out on, there were lots of forms to fill out; lots of wondering about things like “will the airline have our reservation?” and “am I really leaving tonight?”; and lots of jet-lag, zombie-like fatigue as we bounced from airport lobby to airport lobby. There was one thing different one year ago though. I was not alone as I most always was in travels of the past. Jack and I traveled to Ethiopia as a pair and came back as a trio.
A very small, very wide eyed, very dependent little 14 pound 8 and a half month old baby girl was in our arms. 16 hour flight. A little bit of sleep, a little bit of crying, quite a lot of staring at the seat in front of us and thinking, “Will this ever end? Was that seriously only just 5 minutes that passed since the last time I looked?” And I’ll just go ahead and say it, because it was such an ordeal for all of us adopting parents on the plane, there was a lot of poo! My word! Those poor little bellies, and poor little mommies trying to clean it up in the 1 sq. ft. bathrooms.
Jack took care of it a couple times, and once, when he had to change her clothes because of the major blow-out, he put the yucky diaper in one bag and her equally yucky outfit in another bag. ONE of these bags I held onto in my backpack all the way back to my bathroom in Kentucky, because I wanted to wash it and pretend such things had never occurred! However, when I emptied this bag into my sink, you guessed it…I had carried home a disgusting soiled bag of poo. The outfit? In some airline garbage bin.
(The following pictures are of Yemi’s room in the orphanage, shared by about a dozen babies. The woman was one of her nannies, Susanna.)
But alas, moving on…we made it. We arrived at the airport on April 25th to a boatload of people, tears in their eyes; it was obvious they had been praying us home. What a group effort the journey to Yemi had been! That’s exactly what I hoped it would be. I think it changed many of us along the way…our world view, our openness to different races and cultures, it taught us perseverance, and gave us to hold in our very hands and hearts one of the precious jewels of Africa.
For a million reasons, I’m so glad God led us to adopt. I admit, I’m also glad it’s over! But there is no length I wouldn’t have traveled to bring her home. She is my daughter; heart of my heart. My second born. Connected for life by our brown eyes that meet adoringly.