In 10 days I fly out of Portland for Addis, and finally get to meet the girls who have stolen my heart. This wait has been so short, but has felt like an eternity to me. I am ready.
In 9 days we drive to Portland to stay the night, so we can avoid trying to get out of the house at 3 a.m. Saturday morning with all the kids. It would be a bad start for Lisa with tired grumpy kids, so we might as well start out with an evening in the pool.
In 8 days I work my last day before taking a week and a half off for the trip. I am ready to be away. It has been a very long year for me at work, and it is a great time to go away and be rid of thoughts of work for a little while.
In 7 days the last of Meklit's waiver paperwork will be packed, ready for our embassy appointment.
In 6 days I will be impossible to live with, or maybe I already am...
In 5 days my sister gets Meklit's waiver form signed by our OHSU Doctor, and FedExes it to me.
In 4 days I attend church for the last time without Marta physically present in our life. What will these girls who were raised in the Ethiopian Orthodox church think of our version? I want to know what they think, and I look forward to trying to see things from an Orthodox perspective. I am certain there is richness to be discovered by looking.
In 3 days I pack my 2nd bag. The first was packed a few weeks ago, and holds all of Marta's and my things for the trip. This one is just for donations, gifts for the kids at Layla and AHOPE - lots of board games, balls - tether, soccer, volleyball, and wiffle, hackey sacks, jacks, pumps and needles for the balls, hand drums, clothes, luxury items like Luna bars, lavender soap and soft for Denise, and medical supplies for AHOPE. Lisa is very skeptical about the mountain in the corner of our bedroom fitting into one very large rolling duffel, but if you suck all the air out of everything, it is amazing how dense one bag can get. After this there is just my backpack remaining. And, that evening I will watch the USC-Notre Dame game.
In 2 days we lay around and eat left overs. What will it be this year? Turkey tacos? Asian turkey soup? Maybe turkey wat? We do have some injera in the freezer, so maybe that will be it!
In 1 day we celebrate Thanksgiving. Thankfully, it will be the last without Marta and Meklit being home. We have so much to be thankful for, and will have so much more to be thankful for next year. And the next? Who knows. Well, He does.
And finally, in 17 days, Gus will no longer have to toddle around saying "Ta Ta" to the pictures that are everywhere in the house. He will have the real thing right here at home with him to love on and be loved on by. And maybe he will learn to say Marta, but personally I am hoping "Ta Ta" sticks around for a little while longer at least.