but thanks to jet lag, I am! We are home! We arrived home yesterday afternoon. Another first... I've never seen so many of my family and friends (and been photographed) after being awake for 36 hours, either. I'm just glad everyone was at the airport to see Minte and not me, LOL.
He LOVED the trip home. He absolutely loved it. We took one last drive through his sub city before we went to the airport in Addis. He was all smiles all day because he was excited about the trip. I'll never forget how precious his voice was when we got into the terminal to wait to board the plane, and he saw the plane through the window. "Ohhhhh, Mommy-look!! So BIG!" (Bless his heart. He has to cram so much enthusiasm and almost-10-year-old wisdom into so few English words! He's learning more and more each day, though...)
Let's see. He loved: Watching the planes at the airport. Taking off. Airplane food. Sleeping with his head on my lap. Watching "Kung Fu Panda." The music on the headphones. Airport escalators. Airport moving sidewalks. Chicken wings at the McD's in Frankfurt. Pushing the button to get the flight attendant's attention. The airplane bathroom. People watching. Cloud watching. Seeing the city as we landed. It was so fun to experience everything from his perspective, for the first time.
The BEST part was arriving at the airport in TX. He had memorized the part of the video we sent him that had some of his new friends waving at him, and that was what he was eagerly anticipating when we arrived home. He was not disappointed! There was such a precious crowd of people waving at him when we walked through terminal... all cheering, waving signs, clapping. His face lit up! The first person we walked over to was a precious little baby girl who he had been at the children's home with. She is the first one home, he is the second. What a fun reunion! So many of our family and friends were there, I am overwhelmed with gratitude on his behalf. I couldn't have imagined such a welcome! He greeted person after person, with a smile, reading their names on their nametags in Amharic (thanks to Luke and our fun friend Andrew who printed/wrote them.) I don't think he was as overwhelmed as I was! It was amazing!
We went and got some dinner with family and friends after we left the airport, and he LOVED eating and laughing with his new cousins and friends. It's as if they've always known each other! It was like watching a miracle unfold all afternoon. And we're still watching it, moment by moment.
I am going to try to upload some pictures soon. My resident expert-photographer-daughter took about 2,000 pictures on this trip, so after I have strung more than 4 hours of sleep together I will post some. She is a great photographer!
Okay-- before I sign off and try to get some more sleep, here's one. Here we are, meeting for the first time:
What an amazing trip. What an amazing transformation of our family. What amazing God. He continues to write an amazing story.