On Tuesday afternoon we received a call that we thought might not come for several more weeks. K’s paperwork was complete, her visa was approved, and she could come home. My first call was to Russ to tell him the wonderful news. My second call was to Susan Parr, our fantastic adoption travel agent, who began searching for tickets for Russ. We were trying to work around an important work commitment on the 21st, but most of all, we knew we needed to get her home quickly. It had already been nine weeks since she had seen us.
Ethiopian Air was almost completely booked for the month of May, but Susan was able to find a ticket for Russ to depart from DC on the 12th, and then depart Addis on the 17th. The problem was that she couldn’t get a seat for K. coming home from Addis. She said she would work on it and call us back in the morning. On Wednesday she called to say she had a seat for K., so we booked the flights!
Now the excitement and packing frenzy began – Russ was leaving in TWO days!
Just a few of the things I had to do:
– pull out the summer clothes and put together outfits for . I packed K. each one in its own Ziploc bag since I didn’t think Russ would enjoy trying to figure out which shirt went with which pair of pants and I didn’t think I would enjoy seeing photos of my beautiful daughter in a wardrobe that looked like a motley collection of random things.
– email the Addis Kidan guest house and make a very short notice reservation (Yeah! They had room for them).
– call my parents to see if they would pick Russ up at SeaTac, take him home for the night, and then return him to the airport by 5:30 AM.
– call my parents back to see if after they picked Russ up, they could swing by Bellevue (a mere 30 min. or so away from the airport and an hour from their house) to pick up some beautiful donated blankets, before taking Russ home for the night, etc., etc. (Thanks Dad!)
– go shopping for last minute items needed for the trip, and then go shopping again for the things I forgot.
– help Noah compose a last ditch church email requesting donated twin and crib sheets for the orphanage (part of Noah’s Eagle project).
My phone rang constantly and life was generally pretty crazy.
The thing that I was most burdened about was that when we were in Soddo, I had asked Sister Amarech, the nurse there, what I could bring to her when we came back to Ethiopia to get K. She told me that she needed sheets for the beds and cribs – 15 twin sheets and 10 crib sheets. She also asked if I could get more of the beautiful flannel blankets we had given them on our visit. (I hope to write more about the blankets and the visit to Soddo this week) I told her with complete confidence that I would be happy to send both the sheets and the blankets.
Then we got home with the boys, Russ dove into an intense work project, I dove into survival mode, and the trip to get K. seemed far away. Now it was two days before he left and I had no sheets or blankets. To make a long story short, one friend called and told me she had seven twin sheets to donate (thank you, Mary!) and another emailed to say that she had found eight twin sheets at the thrift store in Spokane and she would meet up with Russ at the airport (thank you, Sandra!). I contacted the Oki Foundation, which had generously donated the blankets, and asked if they would give us more to take to Ethiopia, and within hours they said yes. Now all I had to do was get the sheets in Spokane and the blankets in Seattle all into Russ’ suitcases.
The great thing about God is that He cares about the details of our lives. Russ just called to tell me that he got the sheets from Mary on his way to the airport, got the sheets from Sandra at the airport, and was on my way to my parents house after picking up the blankets! Whew! It all came together and I am very thankful.
I hope to hear from Russ shortly after he arrives in Ethiopia. He gets in on Sunday evening and will go get K. on Monday. I told him that this feels like the beginning of our real life – we’ll finally have all of our children.
I’ll keep you all posted.
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