I was able to go on a trip to Ethiopia in January 2011 to adopt my brother and sister. Before when I was asked if I wanted to go on that trip or not, I said, “no”. I didn’t really want to go, I didn’t want to sit in a plane for so long, I didn’t want to go somewhere that was completely different from where I’ve been all my life. I just didn’t really care.
Apparently GOD wanted me to go because every single time I was talking to someone and the subject came up (which happened all the time) everybody said that I should go. They all said it was the chance of a lifetime or if they were in my place they would go. GOD was making it pretty clear that I should go on this trip. GOD provided the money through friends and family (mostly grandparents). It’s funny to me because as soon as I agreed to go to Ethiopia, GOD provided enough money for the plane ticket. As the days went by I began to get more and more excited, and nervous.
The day came when we would get on that long plane ride to Addis and I was ecstatic. I woke up at 3am, left the house at 4am, got to the airport at 5am and were headed to D.C. by 6am. That was a crazy morning. Then we were on Ethiopian Airlines for 13 hours?? That was the longest, most maddening plane ride of my life.
When we made it to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia we were picked up by one of the guides from our adoption agency. I could not believe the difference between America and Ethiopia. Different landscape, smell, language, houses, food, driving, stores, different everything. The people were the biggest difference for me. It was the way they smiled, the way they looked you in the eye when you were talking to them. The people were so polite and happy.
I made friends easily with the guides, guest house workers, guards, and nannies. I loved these people, and they seemed to love me. Some other people I fell in love with were the children at the orphanages. I remember playing matchbox cars with some of the little boys, painting older girls finger nails, and blowing bubbles with some of the little girls. But what I remember most clearly was going to the toddler room. The nannies would let me come in, sit down, and let about 15 snotty, wobbly toddlers crawl all over me. Blowing kisses, giving high fives, pulling up my shirt and slobbering all over my belly. The were all so sweet!
Then one little shy boy came over from the corner and sat down on my lap. He never smiled, and he never cried. He would just stare at me with his sad little eyes and let me hug him tight. When I had to leave I set him down and he watched me leave. He never cried, but those sad eyes glued to me, and broke my heart.
That day I realized that these amazing children need to know GOD loves them. These children are starved for affection and love. I feel like I need to show them GOD’s love. That week went by way too fast, and as soon as we landed back in America I knew...that I would be going back to Ethiopia... because now I care.