......don't know when I'll be back again..."
The words are true. We have plane tickets booked for next Friday, June 8th! We will be arriving in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Saturday night.
Hmmmm.... if I were you, what would I be wondering? Let's play, "20 Questions!"
1) Do we have a court date? No.
2) Are we going on faith? Yes.
3) Are we looking forward to serving with Bring Love In? Yes.
4) Will we be able to meet our boys once we arrive? Yes.
5) Will they be able to live with us? No, not until we pass court. But once we pass, they can live at the rental house with us.
6) Are we feeling a little crazy? Yes, but in a good way.
7) Are we packing our house up for a 4 month stay? No. Talk about rationing.
8) How many suitcases can we bring? 10, but I've already packed 7 with donations, our new sons' clothes, and some schoolbooks. So now we have 3 left to pack with our family's clothes, food, and the Little Dresses for Africa that the women in our church have sewn for us to bring. We are allowing only a few outfits per child (and us) and one bathing suit. They get to bring a pair of flip flops, rubber boots (we'll be there during rainy season and the roads are mud), and they can wear their tennis shoes. Everything else they want must fit into a backpack that will be their carry-on on the plane. They must make some tough choices about what to bring. It's good for them!
9) How am I going to keep my hair blond while we're there? (That question was not really for you, okay? Just talking to myself here.) I'm not. My talented hairstylist, Selina, took out my blond yesterday. Sniff, sniff. It looks good (or at least as good as it can get, since it's NOT BLOND), Selina, but I am mourning my blondness right now. Okay...moving on. (Excuse me while I blow my nose.)
10) Was I being extremely shallow with my last question? Fine. Yes. I know, I know... First World Problem. Can I have an "Amen"?
Wait. I just realized that for the next 4 months, at least, I can not be the recipient of any blond jokes. I can make them. Except that I don't know any. Ok, somebody has to send me a blond joke. Then I have to find someone who's feelings won't be hurt when I insult them with my blond joke. Any takers?
11) What foods will you miss the most? (Again, First World Problem. Just hang with me here, people.) CHEESE. CHEESE. CHEESE. Cheese from the Publix Deli section. Cheese on my nachos. Cheese and crackers. Grilled cheese. Cheese in my salad. Feta. Aged White Cheddar. Mozzarella. Gouda. Gorgonzola. Blue Cheese. Goat cheese. Dear cheese, I know we have a love/hate relationship - my mouth loves you and my thighs hate you, but I will miss you more than words can say.
Oh, are you still reading? Also candy. The other food group. Starburst. Jellybeans. Skittles. Gummiworms. Life Savers. Airheads. Mentos. I think I'm hyperventilating.
12) Who's taking care of your funny farm (donkeys, cows, chickens, goat, dogs, and garden) while you're away? My parents. Yay for willing family and for a Dad who enjoys agriculture!
13) Can you receive phone calls while you're gone? We can Skype. Apparently we now have an account. We just have to learn how to operate it.
14) Are you scared of being in Ethiopia? No. Just the plane ride. I hate planes. I mean, I HATE PLANES. They creep me out. I don't understand them. I would rather spend two months on a boat sailing to Africa than a day flying there. But I guess that's not an option.
15) How are you going to fill your days? We will visit our boys, work with Bring Love In doing whatever they want us to do, eventually do school (yes, all the books are coming with us, much to the dismay of our children), and ? We'll see about the rest.
16) What would you like people to know? Wow. Big one. I would like people to know that it's okay to follow God's lead when you don't know where it's going to go. God is leading us to Ethiopia. Is it going to be easy? I don't think so. Is it going to always be fun? I don't think so. But I am beside myself with anticipation of how God is going to move in the next few months.
17) What's it like to give up control? Sometimes scary. For most people I know, especially those of us in America, land of the abundant, control is something we are bred to have. God, however, can laugh at our plans. And that's okay. Because He is in control. Not me, not Alan, not America World Adoption Association, not Bring Love In Ministries. God. I am so thankful, I wouldn't have it any other way.
18) Do you have a verse that helps you through this? Oh my, yes. Times 1000. Maybe I could narrow it down to 100. It's weird. When I went to our friend, Mike's, funeral last week, his life verse was Micah 6:8 -
"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly(A) and to love mercy
and to walk humbly[a](B) with your God.(C"
and this is the verse I wanted for my life verse because I love it so much. I turned to Alan and said, "I had no idea Mike's verse was the same as mine."
So I guess that's it in a nutshell. I want to act with justice. I want to be merciful to the people we meet. I want this time overseas to not be about us, but about God and His purposes. For His glory alone. Soli Deo Gloria (that one's already tattooed on my ankle.)
19) Who will we miss? Everyone. Our church family. Our parents. Our extended family. Our friends. There are some big events we are missing. My Grandmother's ashes are being spread in the ocean and I won't be here. My niece is due with her first baby in October, and I won't be here to see her belly grow really big. My little nephew is going to learn how to crawl before I'm back. But, yet, God will make all things new. He will redeem any time lost. I have faith in His Word.
20) If we have questions, who can we ask? Us. Go ahead. Email us. Facebook us. It's okay. Once we get to Ethiopia, we'll post pictures and updates here on the blog. Please check in with us. See where your donations are going.
Know we love each and every one of you. We are thankful for you. We may be leaving on a jet plane and we don't know when we'll be back again, but we will carry you with us.