I have prayed for this day for so long. Probably envisioned this day even more than the day that I finally got to meet her. I knew it would be hard. I knew it would rip my heart out, and tear a piece of me off to say good-bye to her - to leave her so far away from me, to have my children on 2 different continents.
It was a day like most of the other days - we were picked up to be taken to Hannah's Hope. We spent the morning easily getting smiles, holding her as she slept, giving her her bottles. Then back to the hotel for lunch. Then back to Hannah's Hope for our last visit with her. I knew it would go by quickly. A part of me longed to go home: I wasn't feeling great, I was dreading the 28 hour travel day home, I was missing my sweet kids here, anxious to get this heart break over and start marking the days until we get to go back and bring her home. In those last few hours of holding her, I longed for her, even more than I ever have. Wondering at her, at this precious child that God had chosen to bless us with, marveling at how He could have picked me, picked her, picked us to be brought together as a family. As I was holding this sleeping child in my arms, I saw Wass coming toward me, I knew the hour. I tried to blend in hoping he would just walk on by so I didn't hear the words I knew were coming,
"It is time to go."
As I walked over to the baby house I felt as though I was walking to my doom. My heart was surely going to beat out of my chest. I had done this every day this week - left her in the more than capable, very loving arms of her special mothers. Yet, this was different. This time didn't have a 'you get to come back in the morning.' It was hard to see my big strong husband saying good-bye to his tiny little girl. Snuggling her one more time.
I held it together pretty well, not wanting to freak the other older kids out with my sobbing disaster of a self. I held it together pretty well as we went back to the hotel to pack up and get ready to go to the airport. I held it together pretty well through the chaos of finding our way through the Addis airport and having our plane delayed over and over because the oven in business class wasn't working.
The plane was pretty full but there were some empty seats right in front of our row so we decided to spread out a bit. Not a great idea, I really needed the comfort of my husband because I DID NOT do so well as the plane took off. In that moment of that plane lifting off from my daughter's country, it hit me so hard I could barely breath. I was leaving her and I didn't know when I would get to go back. There is no getting up and going back in the morning. There is no after lunch visit before her bedtime. I am going to miss these next few days, weeks, maybe months of her life. I really thought I was going to stop breathing in that moment it hurt so badly. I had been praying for grace and mercy all week long, and it was only that building up of my strength in God's presence that got me through that moment. Leaving her not only in the hands of her special mothers, but in the hands of her very Special and very Loving Father. Trusting Him with her took on a completely different meaning once I had held her in my arms.
The flight home was hard. Long and hard. It took us about 28 hours of traveling to get home. There were several times that I swore that only the love for one of my children could make me go through that again! But go through it again I will, and next time I will bring my daughter home for good!