Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 10...Africa (Our Journey Home)

AKA, the day that never ends! :)

Saturday, February 20th, would be our last day in Ethiopia and it would be a LONG one!

We were up for our normal breakfast. I sure would miss the awesome pancake and omelet breakfast we were spoiled with every day! After breakfast we went out for a final round of shopping at the shopping area they call "The Post Office". We had a goal to get a gift for each of Sam's 18 birthdays and his wedding. We didn't get it all, but were able to get most of it. Just another reason to go back!! After shopping we went to metro pizza for lunch (we had been told to go and we weren't disappointed) and a macchiato from the coffee shop next door. Yum! After we got home it was time to finish packing. It sure went faster than the original packing that took me about a month, but was still no easy task! After we were packed and ready to go we had time for a dinner before heading to the airport. Matt, Madison and I went to the Zebra grill and left Nani with Yacob to babysit. Along the way we stopped at a couple silver shops and bought the girls each a silver cross necklace to someday celebrate their baptism.

A few images from the roof of our guest house...

We were so happy to be traveling home with the Wells, for at least the first leg of our trip! We loaded up the vans (I think at this point it was maybe nine o'clock at night) and headed to the airport. Our guide "T" and driver David, whom we had grown to love, couldn't go even across the street to the airport with us and we had to say our goodbyes in the parking lot! It was extremely stressful being on our own and going through security twice and dealing with the pushy and unfair airport people. After about two hours later we were finally on our way home. Our flight left around midnight and we had about 20 hours of travel left ahead of us. The first flight was pretty cramped but we were grateful that Yacob slept most of that flight to Khartoum where our plane landed for about an hour. Then it was off to Amsterdam. I can't remember for sure, but I think this was about a 10 hour flight. I probably slept off and on for about 2-3 of those hours. Yacob was doing well, with minimal fussing! When we got off the flight Paw Paw and Mamaw were waiting to meet Yacob.

After a quick in airport breakfast we made the trek across the airport to catch our flight on to DFW. I purchased a couple water bottles for the flight and realized they costs me $10 when it was too late. Going through the line to get on the plane the costly bottles were confiscated, Yacob peed through his outfit and in the process of boarding Matt and I got separated and he had the diaper bag with the change of clothes etc. By the time I found our seats and we got situated it was too late to change Yacob's diaper/clothes so I got to take off with a soaked baby strapped to me. And, during take-off Matt said while he was boarding the plane two security guards were escorting a man off the plane. That was a fun plane change...let me tell ya! :) But we got situated and the sweet, sweet stewardesses moved Matt and I from our cramped seats to a center row of three seats at the back of the plane...PERFECT!!! The final leg of our journey had begun! Yacob did a great job with lots of sleeping and minimal fussing! We were getting oh-so-tired, but knowing we were so close to introducing Yacob to our family and friends was exciting!

When we landed we had to go through customs at the airport. I was a little anxious because I knew lots of friends and family (probably 40-50 people) were waiting for us) but once we got through all of that and got our luggage and headed through the doors the cheers of so many people that we loved dearly melted away all the anxiety from the trip! What a welcome home. I am still so completely humbled at all of the people there to celebrate Yacob coming home. Each of the people had supported us in this journey in so many ways and were a huge part of bringing him home and I will never forget!!!

* this little guys was SOOOO relieved to see his daddy again...the feeling was mutual!

My best friend from high school surprised me with a trip all the way from Austin. Well, actually I think she was at a family reunion maybe even farther away and drove straight there to see him and followed us home, helped us settle in and picked up dinner! I think she has loved Yacob from before we even had a picture!!! How did I ever deserve such a friend???

When we got home Abby didn't want to leave Yacob's side. Actually all she wanted to do was hold him and love him. She has always loved babies, but I had no idea that she truly felt like he would be her baby. We are still having to set boundaries for how much she can hold him...LOL! I was amazed at how well Yacob did at the airport with all of the people holding him and all of the noise, but he did amazing. I just knew we were due for a breakdown so when he began to fuss and Abby begged to hold him I thought it would last about a minute. Well, she climbed on the bed, turned him backwards on her tummy so he was facing out and could see, and began to rub his cheek and quietly sing to him. It was the most precious thing ever! And, wouldn't you know it, Yacob was asleep within a minute or two! She was so proud...such a GOD moment!!!

As I ponder my parting words, I feel a sadness that it's over! A big part of my heart is still there and always will be! I hope and pray that God brings us back in some capacity...still not exactly sure His plan there, but can't wait to find out! I do know that both Matt and I love the people and feel the pull!!! This was an amazing blessing and we are so grateful that God allowed us to be a part!!

1 comment:

Renee' said...

Wow... your pictures and stories take me right back!! So nice to "meet" you all! :-)