Three days until we get on an airplane and fly to Ethiopia.
Five days until we hold our new daughter in our arms.
I think I know what to expect...but in reality, I have no idea.
What will I feel when I see that door open and watch her walk down the stairs towards us?
Will I be able to contain my tears?
Will she understand me when I whisper "I Love You" in Amharic?
This journey has brought a new understanding of our adoption in Christ. I have held four newborns in my arms and wept with their birthmothers as they made the most painful decision of their young lives. I have experienced the bittersweet joy of adoption as I rejoiced in my babies' first smiles while being painfully aware that their birthmothers were, and always will be, grieving.
This time...I will watch my child walk toward me with hope in her eyes. This time...she is old enough to understand the transfer that is taking place. This time...she comes wounded, grieving, and in need of a family to fill the gap that has been created by death and poverty. She comes in need of stability, security, and safety...
just like we come to Jesus.
God takes us wounded, scarred, and empty and adopts us into His family, forever. He loves us unconditionally, walks us into healing, and holds us when we throw tantrums. He loves us until we reflect His face to the world. He brings us into a place of safety where we can work out our salvation...our place in His family...until we stand trembling in awe of His goodness and mercy in our lives.
This week, I will experience that reality in the flesh. I will get the honor and privilege of watching God graft a new little branch into our family tree. I will see and feel the love of the Father to the fatherless flow through my husband and me into a tiny, malnourished, three year old Ethiopian orphan and watch as He does what only He can do...graft our hearts together.
And then we will have to fly back to the United States without her until the Embassy clears her to travel home. My heart aches just thinking about it.
I know you have all been praying, and I humbly ask you to continue to do that.
Pray for our safety as we travel, for our children at home with oh-so-brave grandparents, for our new daughter to know us and trust us, and for the weeks we will have to be apart until she comes home to be a time of sweet anticipation in her young heart. Pray for angels guarding us throughout this entire process so that the Lord may be glorified in this adoption. Pray that others will be spurred to action when they see what He does in us so that many more children who wait will be blessed with families.
I will blog, internet permitting, from Ethiopia. We leave here Sunday at 1:00 and arrive in Addis Ababa at 7pm local time. (Ethiopia is 8 hours ahead of Central time.) We will spend Tuesday through Thursday with our daughter then go to court on October 1st. We then fly out that evening and arrive home Saturday afternoon, Oct. 2, at 4:45.
Thank you...from the bottom of my full heart.