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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Final Days ...

This is our last weekend at home before we leave for Ethiopia on Thursday! I can't believe the day is almost here - we are so ready to have our sons home! And at the same time - we feel awe and fear for what the momentous days ahead will hold for us. Awe, that 2 weeks from now we will be back in MN, trying to get our hearts and minds around the things we experienced in Ethiopia, and we will miraculously be a family of six! Fear of the unknowns during this journey - sickness, exhaustion, safety, and concern for what our sons will be thinking and feeling as well. There are so many things they will encounter in the days ahead that are new and frightening for them - and we have a language barrier too.

Our packing and preparations are mostly complete - we only have a few loose ends to tie up at this point. We have 8 suitcases packed with nearly 80 cans of formula, along with clothing, medical supplies and shoes for the orphanages. Only one of those suitcases contains our clothing for the trip, everything else will be delivered to the Transition Home and orphanages.

Here is a snapshot of our schedule:

Thursday (Thanksgiving Day): fly to Washington DC.

Friday morning: Ethiopia Air flight from Washington DC to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (flight time 15 hours).

Saturday morning: Arrive in Ethiopia - we have Saturday and Sunday to explore and rest.

Sunday night: Our dear friends, Bob & Kate Hutchinson arrive (also from MN and adopting 2 daughters).

Monday: We meet our sons for the first time and spend the day with the children at the Transition Home (an emotional day for us!).

Tuesday: We spend the day at the Transition Home and the children will say permanent good-byes to their nannies and return to the Guest Home with us (an emotional day for our Ethiopian children!).

Wednesday: Embassy appointment and medical checkups.

Thursday: Spend the day at Kids Care orphanage (this is where our kids spent their first months as orphans).

Friday: Return to the embassy to acquire passports, visas and birth certificates.

Saturday: Meet with Duni (the Africa program director for our adoption agency - she is moving to Ethiopia to lead the program from in-country). She has walked this entire journey with us and it will be such a fitting occasion to meet her personally as we are leaving and she is arriving! At 10:15 pm on Saturday, our flight leaves for Washington DC (flight time 17 hours)

Sunday: Arrive in Washington DC. After a long layover, we will arrive in Mpls at 4:04 pm, Sunday Dec 7.

All times listed are local times - Ethiopia is 9 hours ahead of our time zone (at midnight here it is 9 am there)

During our trip, I will try to blog as much as possible, if we can get a reliable internet connection. Your prayers during our entire trip are needed and very appreciated!


Anonymous said...

testing.............setting up NEW account.

Thinking about you guys and can't wait till your all back home in Buffalo on December 7. Enjoy every minute. God is good. He knows all, has a plan and will act.

Kari said...

We can't believe you leave next weekend!! This is it:))) We will stalk your blog & PRAY YOU HOME! God is so good....your new family is a blessing indeed!
love you lots,

Rob and Candy said...

Karen, We are so excitied for you! Praying for safe travels and attachment with your boys.
candy (ys)

Karla said...

Feeling the jitters with you! Love - Karla

ethiHOPEia said...

Yeah! We're so glad the time is approaching quickly! I think it is wonderful that you will be able to meet with Duni as well. We'll be looking forward to watching your travels!

Jaime said...

i cannot wait to follow your blog while you are IN ETHIOPIA!!! Praying blessings for your whole family!

alisa said...

Praying for an exceptional journey!!! Hug our little guy if you can!!
Alisa & Vince Martin