Facebook note before taking off for Ethiopia

September 15, 2009

While I am gone–

You can breathe for the first time….

Okay, seriously, I’m leaving on a jet plane (well, a car, a train and a cab and then a plane, a car, a plane, a car, and then I’m there–to put a point on it!)

Anyway, facebook access in Addis is not the best. And honestly, even if I get online, (dialup!) I’m not sure facebook will be my top priority. But, if you want to keep up with our adventures, I invite you to check my wall. My father and sister are on facebook (why not my Mom, I ask? hmm….maybe she has more sense than the rest of us.) and they will post on my wall when they hear from us. Alex’s dear beloved spouse Brett is a facebooker, too. Although something tells me his priority might be Alex’s page. Go figure.

Anyway, the short answer to “are you going to update us while you’re abroad?” is no. The long answer is check my page. My man-of-few-words-but-many-power-tools father and looks-like-a-younger-thinner-me-supermom sister will keep you up to snuff. You might even get a guest comment from the-best-brother-in-law-ever, Tim, if you’re lucky.

I covet your prayers, of course. If you’re a petitioner, I’m asking for safety for all three of us, wisdom and compassion from the US Embassy and its staff, and that I not barf, snore or cause any international incidents. I do worry about these things. I also really really hope this child feels safe and loved by me. I cannot pray for her love. Only for her ability to accept it from me.

I pray for Alex, although I do question the sanity of a woman who agrees to travel with me and spend much of that time in an exciting country sitting in a guest house playing with the Doodle Pro. I pray also for her family that is staying at home, for her husband and 3 gorgeous kiddos. All five are sacrificing on my behalf and I just can’t think about it too much or I cry.

I pray for my family–who have supported this endeavor in literally every way possible since day one. I can’t say any more or, well, I’ll cry. But pray for them, do.

Above all, I pray for her birth family, for her mother who gave her life, but was unable to live long enough to watch her grow up. Adoption is so bittersweet. My gain is only possible by her tragic loss–their loss. I hope that somehow her mother knows that I don’t seek to replace her but just to love Selam and keep her safe and full and warm and well supplied with books and play-dough. I hope her mother knows that I already love her so much it hurts. I will honor that young woman’s legacy—the legacy of a woman born in desperate circumstances but brave enough to give her baby a name that means peace. I wish that peace, Selam, to everyone who has cared for her so far. I only hope I am equal to that task.

Talk to you all on the flip side, international incidents not withstanding. Thanks for your enthusiasm and prayers and support and laughter. I’m taking it all with me. Fortunately, these things do not count in the 15 pound carry-on bag limit!!!

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