The travel to get here felt brutal. Nothing even went wrong, but just the sheer number of hours sitting on an airplane and waiting for the distance to close between me and her seemed to drag on forever. It was a quiet night in Ethiopia when we arrived; I guess there's not much going on at 9pm on a Wednesday night. We arrived at our hotel and unpacked a few things, then quickly headed to the lobby restaurant for a bite to eat and to connect to wi-fi.
I slept fitfully all night, dreaming weird dreams and darting out of bed a few times in my classic sleepwalking style. I kept looking at the clock but time didn't move as much as I wanted it to between wakings- 12:15, 12:42, 1:30, 3:40.... Finally at 6:30 I was awake, my body all jet-laggy and desperate for more sleep but my mind and heart alert and bursting with joy.
Just a few hours. That's it! Four years of waiting and time is ticking the final minutes until I meet our daughter.
I'm excited, but honestly I still feel a little numb. I know that's just leftover layers of coping mechanisms I've used to get through the wait and unknowns and disappointments. But today I've committed to throwing all that off and being fully present in every moment while I'm here. My mind cycles through the "I have to leave her" part quite often, and that makes me want to just not get too close so it won't hurt as bad when I leave.
But no, I'd rather be a hot, emotional mess when I leave this place, knowing that I gave her all my heart and emotion and attention, bringing all of me fully present into every second I'm with her and the other precious people I'll see on this trip. It'll be worth it and I love knowing I have Jesus to sooth my pain on the other side when the airplane widens the distance between us.
Love is always worth it. Always.
We are off to breakfast and then later this morning we'll go to the orphanage. We have a full day after that, but I'll post pictures as soon as I'm able.