It is so hard for me to believe that it was over 3 months ago that we were beginning our trip to Ethiopia! In some ways, it feels like it was yesterday.
Our flight left Oklahoma City at 1:15 pm on October 8, 2010 via Delta with our first stop in Atlanta. My plan was to be completely packed and ready to go by 2pm on the 7th. Well, needless to say, that did not happen. We had been "packing" for the past 3 weeks. By "packing"I mean throwing everything that we think we may possibnly need for a 3-6 week stay in a foreign country into our spare bedroom. Packing was something that had really intimidated me. I had read my packet from Gladney telling us what to take and I had printed off every list and suggestion from blogland. I just felt like I was out of my league. I will admit I had 2 meltdowns that day. One becasue I was so unsue of what to take for Tate to eat, that I was sure he was going to starve. The other, I had bought over 300 size 3 daipers to take and we got an update from Gladney at 4pm that said he was wearing size 4's. So he had to make a last minute stop to exchange diapers. (Come to find out, 3's would have worked.)
When we woke up travel morning, it felt like Christmas. Brian and I just sat in the living room trying to wrap out brains around the fact that it would be the last time our house would only have 2 people living there. We left for the airport 3 hours early, which was a good thing too because we had to turn around twice because I left my iphone and then camera cord.:)
We ended up taking 5 bags, 2 backpacks, and 2 small carry-ons. We did have to pay $250 for the extra bag, but I have no idea how we could have downsized. We ended up staying for 5 weeks, but prepared for 6.
We checked our bags, said our goodbye's, and got through security in about 30 minutes
Brian even got a little nap in while getting creative with the travel pillows!
Our plane took off and we were on our way. First stop Atalanta, then Amsterdam, then Ethiopia!
We were lucky in the fact that our trip went smoothly and quickly. We slept a lot and watched a lot of movies. We kept commenting on the fact that on the way home we would have a son, and we had no idea where he was going to fit!
We landed in Ethiopia after midnight on the 10th of October. We got through the visa line where we were denied a 60 day visa, so we would have to renew that later. We grabbed our bags and found our driver, Hennock, waiting for us. Hennock was also the owner of the BNB guesthouse where we stayed which was actually very convenient for us. He took us straight to the guesthouse. The BNB is located about 5 minutes from the Gladney care center. The first week we stayed in the larger apartment until the Lovin's and Capps' arrived. There were two rooms, a kitchen, a bathroom with shower, and a large living room/dining room area. There was actually a lot more room than I had expected.
We settled in and went to bed. Trying to sleep knowing that your son is only 5 minutes from where you are was difficult!