Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Gift

I've been given a gift. A huge one. I am going, unhindered and unencumbered, to Ethiopia, to see my daughter.

This whole week I've been a bit on edge, and nervous. Not about actually going, just about the fact that I AM going, and all the implications.....$$$, Abe's vacation time being used, being away from Levi and Z, and making it alive through the airports alone (if you know me, you know that I am beyond directionally challenged). People have had two reactions to the news of this trip: excitement, or worry. It's been a 50/50 breakdown. The whole traveling alone, navigating a foreign country with no interpreter or internet/cell phone service, and running some errands with random drivers seems to make people nervous. I don't know why....... ;) For the record, I am ALL about the challenge. :) My mom actually called me again this morning to tell me how nervous and worried she is, and then she said something that made me laugh. She said: "Remember when you and Leigh were biking home when you were little and those bullies (4 of them) knocked over your friend's lemonade stand and then stood in a line, blocking the road? And you plowed right through them and Leigh pedaled behind you? Remembering that makes me feel a lot better about you going alone."

I'd forgotten about that, but it made me grin. And I do remember it. I remember being so scared of those big, mean boys, but thinking, "I have to bluff and scare them by being BRAVE!" and I remember riding as hard as I could straight at them and smashing through their bike blockage. And they NEVER bothered us for the rest of our time living on that road.

Anyway, back to the trip. No, I'm not bluffing this time. I'm really NOT scared of this trip. :)

I've been so busy preparing to leave and trying to get everything in order though, that I haven't had a chance to think about the positives of this trip. I've been blinded by the cost, the daunting travel, and the need to take care of everything here. I have tunnel vision regarding the fact that we aren't going for court and embassy....this is a visit. Precious and cherished, but it won't help us get her home faster. And that saddens me. Beyond words. So for me, this trip has been viewed as amazing, and yet heartbreaking. I will be leaving my daughter TWICE now, before she gets home. It's horrible. And I've almost been dreading going, even though I am thrilled to go meet Natalie and show her how much we love her.

But today I realized that this trip is a gift. I am going to a place that I love. To a child that has my heart, and who I know is excited and eager to meet me. My little girl wants her mommy, and I get to fly in like Superwoman and be there for her. I get to go alone. I don't have to care for anyone but myself. I will be able to sleep. I will be able to do whatever I want. I am bringing BOOKS to read, for crying out loud! I haven't read a book for enjoyment since before college. And reading used to be a favorite activity.

I get to be the one going. Abe won't be there for those first precious moments as we are united as a family. For the tears of happiness. For the smiles that make the sun seem dim in comparison. For the trust that will be built and solidified. Abe has to stay here while I get the privilege of meeting our DAUGHTER. I feel so rotten going, when he can't be there with me to share those moments. And I feel torn between my family....half here, and half in Ethiopia.

I won't be tied down by a schedule or obligations from our agency. This is a trip arranged and paid for by time is mine. And I am thrilled to spend it as I choose.

I get to deliver pictures, videos, and letters for THREE children who are there with Natalie, waiting for their families, and I get to deliver pictures and letters FROM three children who were adopted and live in the U.S. TO their contacts in Ethiopia.

I will be on a flight, in the air, in 12 hours.

I can't wait. :)

P.S. If you haven't caught up on why I am going in the first place, read this: "Natalie Jasmine, I love you."

Thank you for your prayers. <3

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