God had broken our hearts specifically for Ethiopia prior to ever adopting. We figured when God finally did call us to adopt then that was why our hearts were yearning for it so much.
We now know that was not the only reason.
We prayed before we left that God and only God would open our hearts to whatever He wanted to show us. Good or bad.
When we got off the plane in Ethiopia hubby and I gave each other a look. A look we both knew what it meant. We were home! It was instant. We were tired, smelly, excited, and yet before seeing anything or talking to anyone we just knew this is exactly where the Lord wanted us.
We loved everything. And trust me that is only God because I like being able to do my hair and take hot showers and flush my toilet paper and eat my processed food :) The culture, the smells, the people, the food, the hurting, the land, the culture! We were in love! Oh I can not forget the coffee.. YUMMY!
We met some of the most amazing people. People who are now forever family. We met some people who didn't really like us being there, but it was great talking to them about why. It was great seeing all the religions there and having people ask us by whispering if we were protestant and then get a huge smile when we said yes. It was almost refreshing for them to know that we love Jesus.
So many of them, just like here need Jesus.
Don't think we were so in love because our experience was good. There was some rough stuff that I haven't processed through yet, but it was all the Lord.
When we had to leave I wasn't just devastated about leaving my precious boy, I was also devastated about leaving this country that stole my heart. We honestly did not want to come back. If we could have found a way to get our kids there then that would have been it for us.
I know.. Crazy!
When we did come home and we were driving around looking out the window of our "home" I cried. Hubby and I gave each other another look and he said to me " I feel so lost, this doesn't feel right." I couldn't agree more.
Don't get me wrong. We did not come back here to judge. "There are so many people who are starving and yet, that person is eating out." That is not our hearts and we could all, including us change many bad habits. That is for God to convict, not me. We were yearning to go back to where we knew God was calling us. The simplicity of Ethiopia actually made me jealous.
We went to the beach for a little bit to get the kids out and I have always said that I could never move away from the beach. The sun, sand and water is my happy place. That no longer had an effect. Hubby even asked me if I could leave all this and I said in a "heart beat!" Only God!
I have no idea what plans God has for our family and the country we desperately love, but we are now more then ever open to whatever He wants!
Some interesting observations from Ethiopia:
- All their mannequins in the stores are white.
-Their whites are very white! What I mean is that their clothes look brand new. They have the whitest cleanest clothes. I can not keep our whites looking bright to save my life and theirs are beautiful. Even in the muddy rain.
-They sell meat in their stands. Some have a cross by it and some have a half moon and star. The cross shows the Orthodoxs that it is safe for them since it was blessed by their religion before eating. The moon is the same but for the Muslims.
-They throw dirt on your shoes so you will have them shine it. They take pride in having clean shoes.
-When you go out to eat they don't bring you a check. You have to ask. They just assume you will sit for hours. Why rush. :)
-You bargain for everything.
-You hear chants from the Muslims the first half in the wee hours and the the last half are from the Orthodox. If that does not keep you awake the sound of dogs mauling each other will.
- They have blue and white "taxis" that the locals Al qaeda buses. You would not believe how many people they shove into one. Also the rules of the road is, whoever is bigger wins. They honk to tell you to move and if you don't then.... splat.. LOL They even have tiny little kiddos walking around and even they know to move. Craziness at its finest.
-There is so much more........ I MISS IT!
We can not wait to go back to a place that, thanks to the Lord, has our hearts.I can't wait to see how we can serve Him there. I can't wait til we can move there..... Just sayin :D