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And we're off!!

Well, it is official. We are on our way to Ethiopia. It is all a bit surreal, and I sit here in the airport in Tampa, I think it's the first chance I've had to take a deep breath in weeks.

Several friends have asked how I'm feeling this last week. Excited? Nervous? Honestly, I have been so busy, wrapped up in everything that needed to be done in preparation for this trip, I haven't had time to really stop and determine how I feel!

When I reflected on that question the other night, I realized what I feel most: incredibly blessed. Spoiled rotten. Who gets to do this?! Who gets to bring a precious little girl home and love her forever?! Who gets to travel overseas and enjoy a beautiful country with beautiful people?! Who gets to spend some uninterrupted time enjoying an incredible husband and friend? Who gets to have so, so many people praying, following, and loving us through it all?! I do. Blessed.
That is how I feel.

And I can tell you this, it is wonderful to be at this point, where I can sit back and enjoy this time with my husband as we travel. And to also really, really begin to let the truth sink in that in less than 48 hours I will finally get to hold my little munchkin in my arms.

We will do our best to post as much as we can on here and on facebook. For now, our schedule looks something like this:

Tuesday-Wednesday: travel; arrive Wed night 9:30pm
Thursday: morning "Meet-cha" time with Abby; afternoon visit with her as well; also we will visit some friends at Drawn for Water and take donations
Friday: court date (not sure of time yet); more time with Abby; meet up with a few other friends in country
Saturday: hopefully more time with Abby; link up with our friend Sammy; fly home at midnight
Sunday: arrive home @ 8:30pm

So that's the tentative plan. Our visits with Abby are scheduled around the House of Hope's visitation plan, so once we get there and know when those times are, we will plan our other activities around that. And of course around our court time, once we know that. Addis Ababa is 8 hours later than Tampa (Eastern time), so that gives you a frame of reference for how our activities will relate to your time zones.

Many of you know my niece Katie is traveling with us to photograph and chronicle this amazing experience for us. We link up with her at our next stop, and she'll be with us the rest of the way! So blessed to have her with us!

We are grateful for your prayers. Some specifics:

  • for our kids as we travel; safe and fun times while we are away
  • for Abby, her little precious heart and adjustments as she meets us and processes all that that entails
  • safety and health (specifically no migraines for me)
  • our meetings with locals, always looking to see how God is leading our church to future ministry in Africa
  • glory to Jesus in all we do and say; that we represent Him well
I'll leave you with some more photos from today. I'll be back as soon as I can be...for now, know we feel so loved, so blessed, so overjoyed.

Erica comes by to pick up my kids and see us off

Barbara & Larry: our chauffeurs

the Masers came to pray over us and send us off at the airport



Christy said...

LOVE that you are documenting so well already! Can't wait to see more - my heart is LEAPING with JOY for you guys and for Abby! :)

Erica said...

YEAH!!!!!!! So excited!!! Praying praying praying!!!

Jenny said...

Very excited for you guys!!! Have a great trip, I look forward to more updates :)

PotterMama said...

Praying for you all on your trip!

Angela Hunt said...

Yay! This is so exciting! I'm praying you have an amazing trip!

Courtney hawkins said...

WOW! Congratulations! Prayers being sent your way! How amazing!!!

Alison said...

YAY, Rachel!!! So excited for ya'll! Can't wait to hear all about your trip and meeting sweet Miss Abby!!

To God be the Glory! said...

As Erica always says: WOO HOO!!!!!! :)

To God be the Glory! said...

...and we will be praying these things tonight at CG

Susan said...

Congrats on being on your way!