On Sunday of the week we were in Ethiopia, our group traveled to Hosanna, where our children's' original orphanage was located. This day was set aside for all the families to potentially meet birth family or a special person from their child's life.
Our son's story, how he became orphaned, is his story to tell some day. So, we will not be sharing any details about this special and sacred day for our family.
We left our guest house at 6:00 a.m. for the 3 1/2 hour bus ride. Along the drive, we could see mountains from a distance but mostly green, rolling hills and some very small farms with various crops, such as corn and banana trees. Trees were sparse. Most of the homes were constructed grass/mud huts, built in clusters, surrounding by stick fences. In the early morning hours we could even see smoke coming through the roof tops of the huts, from the open fires built inside.
There was so much scenery to take in and so much to think about. We knew this would be a very emotional, difficult day and it was evident by the quietness on our bus that others were feeling the same heaviness as I.
Just before we left for Ethiopia, a friend of mine, wrote the following verse in a card to me: "for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard." Isaiah 52:12.
I clung to this verse our entire week of travel. And at a time when I was feeling very anxious and unsettled on this bus trip, I prayed that God would go before our bus and prepare the birth families minds and hearts. I also prayed that God would protect all the adoptive families' hearts and lighten our load. I needed to feel God's presence and peace at that moment.
Just as I made these prayer requests to the Lord, Steve tapped me on the shoulder and showed me a picture he took of the sky. This is the picture: