I have learned (and am learning !) so much from this experience. The main thing being that God will equip you to do things that you either didn't think you could do or things that you just flat didn't want to do. Throughout this process, there were so many things that I told God, okay, as long as I don't have to do _______________(fill in the blank with whatever) and God seemed to keep saying "Okay, that's precisely what you need to do!"
I didn't want to adopt a child older than 3 (he's almost 5)
I didn't want to have to deal with his family (I am)
I didn't want to go to Ethiopia without Greg (I did)
I didn't want to meet the family (I did)
I didn't want to meet his family outside of the orphanage without Almaz as my 'safeguard' (I did)
and I could go on and on
I had my reasons and justifications for all of things that I didn't want to do....but with each thing, God either changed my heart or walked me through it. I can't imagine our family without him--no matter what his age is, I am so thankful that I had the privilege of meeting his family and being able to help them keep up with his life, and I am in awe of God enabling me to do the trip without Greg.
I am still processing alot. For some reason when I am in the car (I think because that is my most 'still and quiet' time) that my mind immediately go to the children of E.A. and my heart just breaks. I cannot remove their faces or their 'home' from my mind. I am trying to figure out what to do with it. I know one thing that it has brought close to home is what is truly important. I don't want to waste my life and time and money on things that will make no difference whatsoever. I want to be able to walk in Heaven's door and Jesus to be able to say "well done, good and faithful servant" and maybe a holy high five. How to live that here and now? Still working that out in my life.....
I know that I can honestly say at this point that if I had the financial ability, I would begin the process again (Greg asked last night at what number would I stop??)
I am sure that if I write this post a month from now, that I will still have things that I will be learning......