"This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalms 118:24

Sunday, February 13, 2011

One year ago.....boarding a jet plane

Hard to even believe it has been one year since bringing Little J home!  I'm exhausted even thinking about the couple weeks leading up to our departure last year.  I thought I was in pretty good shape as I had 3 of our 4 large duffel bags packed the Monday before thanks to my best friend coming to help.  We weighed them all and were so pleased with ourselves that all 3 were between 47-48.5 pounds!  That just left our stuff for the last bag and we knew we were packing light so I figured no problem.  That Friday we took Big J to her vacation destination for the week, again my best friend as both grandparents were down south since we never figured in a million years when we started the process in September that we would be traveling in February!  Big J did great and I thought oh good, she's not even going to cry, we took our pic....

We went to the door and said our last good bye and then, oh it hit her, and she was hugging me so tight and crying.  I almost lost it, but she got settled down and of course she had the best vacation ever!  So we got home in the afternoon and started putting our things in our last bag, I had a few care packages we were taking for other families and had them saved for this bag, weighed it......50 pounds right on the nose.  UGH!  50 pounds is the weight limit without getting over weight fees which were hefty for our airline, $250!  So, I didn't feel comfortable with that knowing that all 3 of the other bags were minimum 1.5 less.  We ended up repacking ALL FOUR bags!  When all was said and done, we did it, they were all 49 pounds or a little less, but lets just say that ended up leaving about 3 hours for sleep since we had to get up at 3:30 AM to get to the airport by 5:30.  We did it and all our flights were on time and DC did not have any more snow storms which had closed the airports just two weeks earlier!  We had a long layover in DC and my cousin and her husband live there so they picked us up and we went out for an early dinner.  That was great not to have to sit in the airport for 6 hours and even better since we don't see Paula and Eric very often.  When we got back to the airport we did all our checking in and got to our gate and immediately I recognized Matt.  He was traveling to pick up his son, as his wife had gone to pick up their daughter two weeks before.  She unfortunately was delayed in Addis with an Embassy problem and then couldn't leave because of the snow here in the US!  I couldn't imagine.  She was home I think less than 48 hours before Matt was to leave.  I had been in contact with them and so I knew who to look for.  Our other traveling family was one that we had gone through the entire process with, to the point that our paperwork arrived in Ethiopia on the same day!  Michelle, myself and Amanda all went through the entire wait time together and were all hoping to travel together.  Amanda had court the day before Michelle and I and no families on that day passed.  It was very bittersweet to be going without Amanda but she would end up going just two weeks after us.  Michelle and I had been texting that morning and I was telling her where we were at with each flight.  She lives in Atlanta and they had gotten 6 inches of snow the night before.  She was going to meet up with her mom in DC who was going to travel with her while her husband stayed home with their 3 year old.  With all her efforts, unfortunately Michelle was not going to make it to DC in time for our evening flight.  So, she texted me what her mom was wearing and told me her name and I was on my search to find her.  We did find her mom so the four of us, Tim, me, Matt and Annette, boarded our evening flight.  We had started Sat. morning on our 7:45 a.m. flight, flew to Chicago, Chicago to DC, and left DC at 8:30 p.m. Sat. night for our 15 hour flight to Addis Ababa.  I don't usually sleep all that great on planes, especially over night flights, but wow, I struggled to stay awake!  It was like I was drugged, when I would try and open my eyes they just didn't want to stay open, a meal would come and I would barely get that eaten and I was out again.  Very unlike me, I think Tim was even a little worried!  We arrived in Ethiopia at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.  Day two tomorrow.....

2 comments:

John Mark said...

LOVE THIS!!! I can't believe it's been a year.

-Amanda

M and M Nichols said...

Thanks for leaving out the part about my complete meltdown in the Atlanta airport trying LIKE MAD to get a new flight! It was a memorable trip for me as well!