I’m about an hour from touching down in Addis. The plane ride has, for the most part, been pretty uneventful which I’m super thankful for… however I’m a little concerned about getting the chainsaw in my checked bag through customs! I’m even more thankful to have my mom by my side on this trip. As I have mentioned more than once, the first trip we (Brandon and I) took to Ethiopia back in October was the hardest thing I’ve done in my adult life. Many factors contributed to my anxiety—from stress about how the kids back home would fare without us, to the unthinkable – some type of accident while traveling. Add those to the stress of being in a new country and meeting your two year old son for the first time. Yet as I should know by now, God’s grace came in such abundance, that my every little concern was covered in multitudes.
It was always our intention to travel back the second time together. Since it is not a requirement for both parents to come for the second visit, many adoptive families chose to have only one parent come. Since the second trip is so short, having only one parent (the primary caregiver) come is a great way to offset the overall adoption cost. For us it was only about 6 weeks ago that we decided maybe both of us wouldn't come. Many people were surprised that Brandon was okay with staying back this time. Once we began throwing the idea around of having my mom come, I was amazed at the peace God gave me about the trip. Brandon graciously told me he wanted to do whatever was best for our entire family. Being able to be totally focused on Elliot this trip was my top priority. As amazing as it would be having B here, I know that the stress of how the kids back home were doing would make me lose focus. Knowing B is home caring for our babies makes all of this so much easier. Having a mom whose heart is so inclined for the impoverished, and a heart so full of love for Jesus and all children was the best traveling companion I could have asked for. Not to mention, I can be my WHOLE self around her, and much like labor, feeling safe in this journey is of paramount importance.
The weeks leading up to this trip have been some of the busiest of my life. As if juggling 3 kids, a husband, and many extracurricular events wasn’t enough, I suddenly was hit with a massive wave of work. I’ve been a real estate broker for almost 8 years, yet about 6 months ago I made the decision to go work for a local company. Previously I just worked from home, mostly with friends and family, and averaged about 2-3 deals a year. I’m on track to close more escrows in 1 year with SLO realty than all the deals I did as a broker for myself the last 7 years . I wasn’t sure how well I would transition in to being a working mom, but without even knowing I went from very part time to almost full time. Thankfully, I really love what I do, so I didn't even realize how consumed I became. Instead of being super stressed about leaving the kids this go around, I became super stressed about leaving my open escrows. Yet, like my first trip, my amazing community rallied around me and is standing in the gaps for me. As I have some time to finally reflect, I’m really realizing how much God used all the work these last couple weeks to totally curb my anxiety about traveling. I was actually to busy to worry about anything but work!
I found myself saying things like the ‘storm before the calm’ these last few weeks. I know I can’t fully comprehend just how much my life will change in 1 week. To go from working my booty off, to girls nights, solo trail runs, date nights with my husband, pedicures with lily, to being a true blue stay at home mom is going to be a very interesting transition. It’s not easy for me to have to think about saying no to things, but I have to keep reminding myself that these next few months with Elliot are so critical. That establishing his trust and confidence in me has to outweigh everything. I know it will be such a battle with my flesh, yet as He continues to do, I’m trusting my God will give me everything I need to walk this out. Please be praying for me in this.
As many of you know, international adoption is quite costly. B and I were fully prepared to incur any debt for this adoption. There were times our credit cards got to high, and we had to wait to take the next step, yet either through gifts, an AMAZING fundraiser, or a closed escrow, I am so proud to say that we will walk away from this adoption 100% debt free. For all of you who have contributed either monetarily, or by watching my kids so I could work, or by having me be your realtor, my heart is so full of thanks and gratitude. I love seeing God in the details….