And we fell in love with our children. And we fell in love in Ethiopia. And we had our hearts broken open in the way only adoption can break them. We realized that we were not just adopting children, we were adopting a new family, a country, a culture, a new life. We vowed to return. We promised to visit the family whose hearts had also been broken by this adoption. We promised to bring our Ethiopian children home to Africa. As our plane took off just a few days after we had been granted full custody of our children, as I sat there with my arms empty but with two pieces of paper promising that we would someday soon be a family, together, I wept. I wept not only for my children, still living in a care center, but also for their country, for losing all these precious children to poverty and disease, and adoption.
Soon we will be getting on a plane again. A family of four. Definitely not strangers. We are returning. Our hearts were broken open and oh so much life and love has grown in them.
We are returning to fulfill a promise.
We are returning to try and heal the broken hearts and broken family that was left behind.
We are returning so that our children, such Americans now, can come to love Africa as she should be loved: Joyfully, unreservedly, with whole hearts.
We will probably be offline for most of our trip, but I'm sure I'll have loads of photos to share and stories to tell when we return!
* My homemade analogy between international adoption and pregnancy:
Waiting for a match= "trying"
Matched! = Pregnant!
First visit to child = 3D sonogram
Traveling home = Childbirth (don't ever let anyone tell you adoptive travel is "easier". Ha! There are no epidurals for flight delays)