As you may know, we’ve had our feet back on American soil for 18 days now. Two and a half weeks. And you may have noticed, we haven’t said a word here about the trip. I think I’ve finally figured out the reason for that.
Our trip was huge. Life-changing. And we’ve been processing that, both together and separately.
I think the other reason for the silence is that we simply don’t know what to say. Today I want to answer some of the questions that we’ve been asked most frequently, and then I have a question for you.
1. How was your trip?
We both agree that we could talk about this for days without ever really making anyone understand. The truth is, without being there yourself, you simply can’t get it. Before we went, we thought we were prepared for what we would encounter, but it simply isn’t possible. This trip changed our hearts and our perspectives. The smells, the sounds, the people absolutely everywhere; every detail of life there is completely different than the life we experience here. We walked through muddy creeks to visit ministries and homes, met so many new people, saw wild donkeys, goats, dogs, sheep, and monkeys, ate new foods, fell in love with complete strangers, got caught in the pouring rain, worshipped in another language, saw a donkey run into the side of the van in front of us and bounce off (unharmed!). We were caught in the craziest traffic jam ever, we brushed our teeth with bottled water, we threw our toilet paper in the waste basket because the Ethiopian plumbing can’t handle it. We hugged more people than I maybe ever have in my life, and we were stared at as a minority not often seen. We laughed, joked, experienced, and processed. And then as suddenly as the trip came up, we were back home again.
2. Did you meet your child or children?
We met a whole lot of kids on this trip. We visited three different orphanages, where we did meet some kids available for adoption, as well as kids who are already in the process of being adopted, kids who live with their birth families but benefit from a sponsorship program, and kids who can no longer live with their birth families but are deemed unadoptable by the legal system. It’s entirely possible that we met our child or children. It’s also completely possible that we didn’t. There’s just no way to know at this point. God’s plans are bigger and better than ours, and we are doing our very best to simply follow His lead.
3. When will you go back?
Unless something drastic changes, we won’t be returning to Ethiopia until we are assigned a court date; we do not get to choose our court date. Before that happens, our dossier has to be processed and approved, and we have to receive and accept a referral. Every adoption process is unique, so there is no set timeline. Our best guess is that we won’t be traveling again for at least six months; it could be much longer than that, or there’s a small chance that it could be sooner.
Now, here’s my question to you: what do you want to know about our time in Ethiopia? Post your answers here in the comments, or over on our Facebook page, and then we can work on telling you the things that you’re most curious about.