Verse of the Day

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Days 1-3: Ethiopian Court Visit (11-25 to 11-27-2011)

The following posts are directly from my personal journal:

It all feels surreal--- sitting on a cramped, uncomfortable airline seat--- headed to Ethiopia once again. I have within me a mix of inexplicable joy and a bit of anxiety. I keep praying to push the last airline flight out of my head... He never gives us more than we can handle, right? I am determined to believe and to walk in faith. His presence comforts me immediately and I feel no fear. I am extremely grateful to God--- and very humbled by His grace. Why us, Lord? Why have you chosen to bless us in such a way? Please help me, Lord. I want to do this well.

Our flight this time around was much more palatable than the first visit. T-Man and I were determined to find some way to lessen the effects of severe jet lag, and we hoped traveling at night might be part of the answer. We initially departed Phoenix in the evening (8:45 p.m.), and headed to San Francisco. After a two hour layover, we took a non-stop United flight that landed in Washington, D.C. by 7:15 a.m. on Saturday morning. During this leg of the journey, we attempted to stay awake. I dozed a bit the last one or so, but T-Man managed to stay awake the whole journey.

We boarded Ethiopian Airlines by Saturday at 11:15 a.m.--- and braced ourselves for a 13+ hour plane flight. By this time, T-Man and I were totally exhausted and ready to sleep. We managed to get a good 7 or 8 hours of sleep on this flight so that when we arrived in Addis Ababa by 8:15 a.m. Sunday morning, we actually didn't feel too horrible. I think this travel strategy really paid off (thanks, Heidi at Susan Parr Travel!).

At the arrival, we patiently waited in the incredibly long Visa-upon-entry line. During the wait, we made instant friends with an amiable young man named Sega. Sega was adopted from Ethiopia many years ago, and was returning to visit his biological mother and family. He was planning on a long 3-month visit, and hoped to learn a lot more about his birth country.

Sega was a very articulate, well educated, charming young man of about 26. Sega was born in Ethiopia, became a citizen of Nigeria, was educated in private school in the UK, and currently lives in the US. He knows multiple languages and hopes someday to work with the United Nations. He is currently in transition again, awaiting his US citizenship papers. Sega had a very interesting, albeit unusual upbringing.

The hour and a half wait in the Visa line proved to be such an encouragement to me. Sega showed how wonderful adoption can be when the adoptive family encourages and promotes a continuation of the biological family relationship. Sega loves and adores both of his families and considers himself double- blessed. This is what I so want for all of my internationally adopted children. I pray in my heart while I talk to Sega: Lord, is this is your will for my children, please show me a way.

Finally, we managed to get through the Visa line. When we arrived at the desk, the attendant looked at us funny: our Visas from almost 2 years ago were still valid! We had not even looked at the passport dates; we just assumed we needed a new Visa. In November of 2009, we ordered Visas through Assistant Stork. I didn't recall ordering long-term Visas, but oh well. We were happy to have made a new friend while waiting in line, and also happy to not have to pay again for Visas!

Upon leaving the airport and getting plenty of Birr (Ethiopian money), we were greeted by a face we knew from the YWAM Ethiopia website: Abdissa Tadessa. Abdissa is my dear friend Tsebay's husband. Abdissa is the director for Youth with a Mission Ethiopia Mercy Development, and we were very surprised that he even had the time to pick us up from the airport--- we know he is a very busy man with many responsibilities. He was incredibly gracious and pleased to meet us; he escorted us to the airport parking lot where we were met by his very pregnant and beautiful wife, Tsebay. I got very teary-eyed seeing her; she is one of my "heart" friends. I am immediately concerned about her, as she looks very large for a woman who still has over 2 more months of pregnancy. She tells me she is in danger of developing gestational diabetes and will see a specialist later in the day. My inner prayer life is going into overdrive....
Tsebay, Mommy, and Abdissa

Sweet Tsebay, a forever friend!

After arriving at the Ethio-Comfort Guest House (Tsebay is the manager), we were greeted by delicious bunna (coffee) and lots of wonderful, warm conversation. I love Tsebay! She is a gentle, diligent, sweet woman who has managed to follow and serve the Lord in difficult circumstances. It was such a joy for me to bring her many things for her new baby. I think we overwhelmed her a bit....

After visiting for a few hours, T-Man and I headed for bed about 6:00 p.m.! We slept fairly well, despite the continuously barking dogs and screaming cats throughout the night. Note to self: remember earplugs next visit.

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea Tsebay was pregnant! :) So happy for them. Can't wait to keep reading your updates of your latest trip. :)