So I tried to journal every day while in Ethiopia...I did not do a great job but here is a start. Most of this comes directly from the journal. All of this was written during the trip in case the tense is confusing.
Day 1: May 5, 2012
Today started at home with us finishing our packing. I did not sleep well. Shocking! I tossed and turned and woke up numerous times. JT grabbed Wendy's for us as an early lunch. As we were loading my father in law's truck with our luggage, the letter came from Brown Elementary. It was our first choice for optional programs. They only take 48 kids and we are NOT one of them. Oh well! We got our first choice for genera public schools. Several of his pre-school classmates will be at his school anyways. There is always a reason..... a reason for everything. We may even start Chernet at Bloom. We will have to wait and see once we meet him.
Check in went smoothly other than the $100 extra for our bag of donations. She could not promise that we would not have to pay $200 more tomorrow. It is worth it to provide medical supplies in our sons' country.
We sat at our gate people watching. It was a great day because of all the people arriving for Derby. All the ladies wearing too high wedges, carrying Louis Vitton hat boxes..... or my favorite, the middle aged ladies talking too loudly while wearing said derby hats. OR their husbands carrying their wives' hat boxes around. One lady was carrying a three foot by four foot Louis Vitton bag filled with the largest bag you can imagine. I commented on this to JT and he laughed saying "What a first world problem?!?!"
This has me thinking today about my own "first world problems" and first world preoccupations.... what earring do I wear when I meet Chernet OR when I meet Tedi's birthmom OR which outfit is flattering in pictures...what elementary school the boys will be into.... since the country we are traveling to would be fortunate to have education and my clothes are the least of their problems. How my eyebrows are not plucked does not matter.
Our flight to DC from Louisville was bumpy but quick. There was of course "that guy" on the flight. The one who asked for multiple drinks, kept getting up during the times he should not, having his iPhone on too long. At least he was entertaining.
Man, what a large airport Dulles is.... I have been through JFK and Laguardia and O'Hare and Atlanta but this place was a maze. Thankfully, the size will make for passing time during our 8 hour layover when we come back. We stood in baggage claim with two men from Salem, Indiana. They helped us gather our medical donations that spilled all over the belt.
The most comical and yet frustrating part of our trip has been the Embassy Suites transportation. We waited almost an hour to be board the shuttle then had to circle back for a guest standing at the wrong location. Later we asked for a ride to get dinner. We went to a beautiful place called the Reston Towne Center. We ate dinner and walked the streets lined with shoppes....J. Crew, Gap, Pottery Barn mixed with Anthropologie, local shoppes and coffee shoppes. I even picked up the journal I am writing in at a cute boutique. After grabbing yogurt, we called for transportation and waited 45 minutes before giving up. We just took a taxi home.
This place, Reston Towne Center, was gorgeous. The weather had cooled off and the time together was great. We held hands and talked about Tedi. But the tall, tall condo buildings and $200+ Anthropologie dresses and frapps and overpriced card shops (which I love) are standing juxtaposed in my mind to a place I have not yet been. I am interested to see the picture of this nice shopping area next to those of Woolayita, Ethiopia.
I want to return changed and yet be able to function in this world, America, with one foot in the other,. We shall see. I pray for Him to continue breaking my heart for what breaks his...and at the same time I fear for what this will mean.