This past week I've been a cranky mess. Matt and Marina are flying out Saturday (and now we are going with them, but hold that thought!) and I was so frustrated and stressed because I desperately wanted to be on that plane with them. I wanted to travel with good friends, and I wanted my daughter to feel safe because her friend would be with her. And I was done waiting. I was near a breaking point. Exhausted and heartsick, I cried multiple times a day this whole week.
Fast forward to Friday the 19th. I don't know if it was God giving me a hint or my own stubborn self trying to force something to happen, but I started feeling like we were going. So I started believing that we were going. Going on Saturday the 27th. I even wrote a post about it (although I held off actually posting it because I didn't want people asking about the trip when there actually was no trip at that point). We spent the weekend shopping for donations and minimal outfits for the kids (how do you shop when you don't know their sizes? Weight charts and eye-balking pictures!!!). Then we packed. I sorted and rearranged and went all out crazy the entire weekend. Abe is a saint for putting up with me. I also spent all Saturday crying. Like EVERY. TEN. MINUTES. Allllllllll afternoon. Every movie we watched while packing made me start the waterworks. "What To Expect When You're Expecting" (total trash by the way and completely inaccurate), "Killers", "Beethoven". Cry cry cry. Abe just sat there and snuggled me and let me be a mess. (Thanks babe <3 I love you!)
By Sunday afternoon, I was done with the waiting and inaction. I had to DO something. I emailed my travel agent and asked about getting on Matt and Marina's flight the following Saturday. At 9pm or so that night, I got an email back from her (who does that? They were CLOSED. How awesome is SHE?!?!?!) with a quote of $1,600 per ticket with that flight being open. For our court trip, tickets were $2,300 each. I started freaking out again. What if the embassy didn't give us our date and we couldn't catch the flight? What if the birth parent interview (BPI) went awry? What if we didn't clear embassy????
Sunday night I went to sleep and got up at 3am for work. Worked two torturous hours and then at 6am (the time of the BPI) I started checking my email every other minute or so. Wore my phone battery down before I even left work to head to my next job. Abe had to come bring me my charger.
Ethiopian embassy closes at 10am EST (5pm their time). 7am hit. 8am. 9am. I met with my mentee and sat down with her to give her feedback on a project. And lo and behold, at 9:17am an email made my phone buzz and I jumped at it like it was a live bomb. We had CLEARED!!!!!!!!! I emailed back that instant with dates we wanted to go (I gave them three days for next week) but they did not respond before closing for the day. I was more tense than before now. We didn't want to announce it because we didn't have confirmed travel and we still weren't sure if we were making on M&M's flight AND even if we did, flight prices could wreck us.
I didn't hear anything from my travel agent all day yesterday. I knew she was probably crazy busy and I didn't have an appointment with the embassy anyway, so there was no point in bothering her. Around 9pm that night (LAST NIGHT :)), she called me. And told me of a miracle. Here's how our conversation went:
Agent: "Marissa, it's me! I'm so sorry I couldn't get back to you. I was slammed all day!"
Me: "No problem! Thanks so much for calling me."
Agent: "Okay, you're all set. I've booked your flights."
Agent: "I know you really wanted to get on that flight and the only way to hold them was to book them. So I did, and I processes it as cash so they would go through and I have 24 hours to cancel them! If embassy doesn't give you a date, let me know so I can cancel."
Me: "OH MY WORD!!!!!! You're amazing!!!!!!!
Agent: "It gets better! Tickets are cheaper than what I had quoted you! $1,500 each for you and Abe and $1,350 for each kid!!!!
Me: "That's amazing!!!!!"
Agent: "Yes! So I already booked them. But there weren't any seats left for the kids on that return flight. You and Abe were the last two."
Agent: "So I wait-listed the kids and called Washington, DC, and spoke to the airline manager and told them we need two priority/emergency seats for your kids since you are already on that flight. Those seats will be clear by tomorrow."
Me: "Are you an angel from heaven?"
And that, ladies and gentleman, is the story of our embassy trip miracle. How cool is God? The kids seats cleared this morning and I paid for the tickets. We are ready to roll! and Marina and I are sending the agent flowers.
Leaving Saturday for Ethiopia!!!!!!!!!!