The Beginning

We left for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Saturday, August 4th. Our first flight from Lexington left at 3:15p.m., went to Detroit, then to Amsterdam, then onto Addis in Ethiopia. It was all that quick too. Not. But soo worth it!

These are the donations we were given, even on such short notice. We ended up transferring everything to one big duffel bag. I also drank one of those pedialyte liters when I was sick, so thank you, Jennifer, for donating them!

Our good friends, Cathy and Tony dropped us off at the airport. We are on our way, girly!

Waiting for our first flight.

I peeked out the window to see Africa for the first time! There’s the ocean and then the top of Africa. I was so excited.

Getting closer…

Once we got to Ethiopia (Sunday evening in Ethiopia), I didn’t take any pics that night, because it was dark, I was tired, and I was so confused. I was in Africa… Ethiopia. What the heck?!

When we got through customs and got our luggage, we looked for Wass, the man who would be picking us up. The only problem was, there was no man standing with a sign for AGCI. Uhh. So Ryan decided to go look outside, and told me to stay in with the luggage. Yes, he just left me in an airport in Ethiopia all by myself. He’s very protective of me. Once he went outside, he was told he could not come back in apparently, and had to go all the way to the other end of the airport to go back through security. Except I didn’t know any of this, because I was inside, by myself. The people were so sweet though, and kept coming up to check on me, especially when I started crying and such. Blah blah, Ryan came back wearing no shoes as he ran through the airport to get back to me. We went outside together and found Wass in the parking lot. Apparently, the airport had stopped allowing the drivers to go inside, but this was not communicated to us or any of the other families there that week haha. It has been now, though.

When we got to the guest house, two families were waiting up to meet us. Two others were already in bed, so we would meet them the next day. We sat and chatted with them for awhile, and then headed to bed. It was such a blessing to be staying in the guest house with these families all week. I will never forget how special this trip was, and a lot of it was due to the other families there.

Ryan and I’s room for the week. We stayed in the blue bed there… it was bigger and much more comfy. The bathroom was down the hall. If only I knew when I took this picture that I would be soon spending much more time in there than I’d like… ha!

The next morning (Monday), we woke up, ate breakfast and chatted with the other families while waiting to go see our sweetie! Some day, I will post a video of us meeting her, but for now, here is our first family photo! Not my favorite, because she was looking at the ceiling, but it’s still our first =)

Our sweet, sweet baby girl.

We played with her for the morning and I fed her our first bottle! Nap time came, and we all had to leave, so we headed out to lunch and go shopping. I think that lunch was one of my favorites, because everyone went around the table and told their family’s story on how God led and directed their steps up to this point. God was so obviously involved in each family’s story, even though they were all different in some way. We were so blessed to witness a part of their journeys.

We headed back to Hannah’s Hope to play with our kiddos again, ate our leftovers for dinner, chatted more again, and then headed off for a good night’s sleep.

It was all so surreal. Surreal meeting our daughter. Surreal being in Ethiopia. We never imagined we would have a referral so early on in the process, but she is ours. It’s normal now, and maybe some day I will share the story of how she was placed with us, but just know this could not have happened without our God. Every little detail lines up perfectly, and we are certainly not perfect.

Tuesday things got a little more interesting…

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