All day today I have been packing. Literally ALL day. You should see my packing spreadsheet. I have spent hours reading the advice of other adoptive families and compiling this massive Excel workbook. (I AM an accountant, you know. :) But now that the actual packing is behind me and everything on my spreadsheet is crossed off (well, almost), I feel such peace. I will definitely sleep well tonight.
Just for fun, here is a small sampling of my to do list from the past week:
- Withdraw cash to be exchanged into Ethiopian Birr when we arrive. (This required multiple trips to various bank branches because all cash has to be crisp and dated 2005 or later.)
- Research how to call home from Ethiopia and buy calling cards.
- Pick up donations from many wonderful, generous people who are sending gifts for orphanages in Ethiopia.
- Call our bank and credit card so that they don't shut down our accounts while we are in Ethiopia.
- Fill multiple prescriptions for us and Little Brother to take with us.
- Shop at Wal-mart, Walgreens, The Party Store, The Dollar Store, Costco, Target, Michael's, etc., etc.
- Make copies of all of our important documents both to take with us and to leave with our family at home.
- Get a couple of shots that I still needed before leaving (and meanwhile finding out that my doctor has moved to a different practice that doesn't take my insurance and I didn't even know it!)
- Make lists of what to buy and who to buy souvenirs for.
- Pick up luggage, converters, and other travel items that we are borrowing from friends.
- Wrap up all of my accounting work since I will be out of commission for a while.
I cannot wait to get on that airplane. I welcome the fact that it will take 40 hours from the time that we leave Nashville until we reach Addis Ababa. I will need at least that long to decompress. And I LOVE to travel. I love being in airports and watching people. I love the thrill of going new places. I love the fact that when you are flying there really isn't anything that you can do but talk, read, and write. My favorite things to do. Daniel and I have a lot of catching up to do. It's been a crazy year and a half to say the least. I am thrilled to be spending this time alone with him.
I can't believe that I am really traveling to the land of Africa, a place that has affected the lives of many in profound ways. I know a little bit of what I should expect, but truly I know that I don't have a clue. But I know that I will be affected. I pray that I will never be the same, that this will be a turning point in our lives.
When we began the adoption process, it was such a huge "leap of faith" for us. At the time the adoption itself was a daunting destination. But I now believe strongly that the adoption was just the beginning, a first stepping stone down a new path that our lives will be taking. I do not know what that will look like. I just feel the Lord telling me that he has much to teach us just ahead.
So here we go! We would welcome anyone who would like to greet us at the airport when arrive back in Nashville. Here are the details:
We will arrive on Saturday June 12th at 2:28 PM. We will be on Delta flight 6023. I strongly recommend checking that the flight is on time before coming to the airport. It is quite common for flights to be delayed when adoptive families arrive back home.
See you in a couple of weeks!
NOTE: In case there are creepy people out there who are reading this, THERE WILL BE SOMEONE STAYING AT OUR HOUSE WHILE WE ARE GONE. Besides, we don't have anything valuable left at our house. We sold it all to pay for the adoption. :)