A lot of preparation goes into a trip of the magnitude we are about to take. Peter and I have spent the last year of our lives preparing for this trip and now in just 4 short days we will off! It's kind of hard to believe that the day is finally here! As I learned on our first trip to Africa, if you forget to pack something, there isn't any going to the store and picking it up.
We've prepped 200 pounds of donations to be distributed! Packed snacks and entertainment for the long flights and tried to restrict ourselves to 10 days of our own stuff in the carry-on's. Downloaded apps so we can check in with the kids while we are gone. Purchased new memory cards for the camera's because this time there will be MANY pictures of our son's birth country captured!
We've had to coordinate schedules of childcare for the kids. Cleaning the house like a madwoman for the 3 different sets of people who will be staying here while we are gone. Written down everything I can think that someone may need to know. Made up medical releases "just in case". Made up goody bags for every day we will be gone so the kids can tangibly see that "grown ups come back." Tried to emotionally prepare myself for 10 days without seeing my babies faces.
The biggest component of this trip is preparing mentally and spiritually for it. This is not something I would have ever chosen to do on my own. There was a day, that I didn't think I would return to Ethiopia unless and until Malachi wanted to go. Our first trip to Ethiopia was no picnic for us. I was very sick with morning sickness and we had a scared baby boy that we were just scraping the surface of beginning to know. The only thing I wanted, was to get home as fast as I could! However, Even just the tiny glimpse of Ethiopia we were able to capture last time, left us longing for more of this amazing country. Adopting Malachi became so much more than just giving a child from a 3rd world country a home. Ethiopia has grown into a part of our hearts and a part of our entire families heritage. All of a sudden, we were longing to go back and to learn more and experience more and invest more!
As I shared in my last post, this is scary for me. Leaving my children who I am used to being around almost 24/7 is very hard for me. Stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things is very scary for me. But even though this sometimes feels like a very challenging step forward for us, we are sooooo excited to return to Ethiopia! We are at peace as we prepare to leave and most importantly our hearts are ready for whatever God has in store for us!
Talk to you from the other side of the world!!!