Many people told me that they appreciated the break-down of our days with regards to specific prayer requests that I did on the blog for our first trip, so I thought I'd do it again for this trip. Here is our itinerary and some specific prayer requests:
Monday, January 17th - Please pray for my dad as he travels to our house to stay with the kids, also that we would get all the packing and preparations completed!Of course, we ask for prayers for our kids and parents back home as they attempt to get along without me/fill my shoes. (they're BIG, you know?!) ;-) kidding!
Tuesday, January 18th - Please pray for our flights and that there would be no delays or cancellations due to weather; also pray for my dad as he manages the kids schedules, packs lunches, prepares meals, etc.; and pray for the kids - that they would also have peace (and fun with Pappy - not that that is ever really much of a problem though).
Wednesday, January 19th - Please pray that we arrive safely in Addis, and that our luggage does as well. Also pray for a good day and safe travels that day in Ethiopia. We are in the process of arranging a possible day trip to the south of Addis, or visits around the capital to see a variety of other agencies, orphanages, etc.
Thursday, January 20th - Please pray for the bulk of our travel group who will be arriving late this evening, that they would arrive safely. Also, pray for Eric and I and our travel friends who will be accompanying us north of Addis on a day trip.
Friday, January 21st - Please pray for our time with Markos. We should spend a majority of this day with him at his orphanage, learning his routine and his likes/dislikes, etc. Pray that Markos would be comforted and would also feel peace in this transition. **Back on the home front, please pray for my mom as she travels to our house to meet up with my dad for the remainder of the trip. Pray for no snow as she travels over the mountain because she is not a fan of driving in the snow.
Saturday, January 22nd - Pray again for our additional time with Markos at the care center. Also that we would have clarity of mind to ask the questions that we need to ask to make our transitions easier.
Sunday, January 23rd - Please pray for us as we travel 7 hours south, close to the area where Markos was born and raised for the first 3 years of his life. Also, please, please, please pray for our meeting with Markos' birth father. My heart hurts at the thought of this meeting. I am scared, anxious, excited, and in awe of the possibility. Please pray for our composure -- that we would not be complete basket-cases who are crying so much that we can't even talk. (seriously, it could happen!) Also, pray that his father attends the meeting. We long to be able to share as much as possible about his family, his birth, his infancy, etc. with Markos as he gets older, but we need his father to show up for this meeting in order to do so.
Monday, January 24th - Please pray for our trip back to Addis, and also for all 3 of us as we take custody!! Pray that we are comfortable in our hotel room with each other, that Markos transitions into our care easily, that we continue to have peace and confidence in our ability to parent once we are all he has! (yikes! what a responsibility!) Also, pray for our ability to communicate with him. We are grateful that we are staying at the same guest house where we stayed for our first trip and that the staff there are AMAZING. We know that they will be helpful with this, but it's still a little scary that we won't speak the same language as our son!
Tuesday, January 25th - Please pray for our U.S. Embassy interview and also for all our travel buddies' interviews. There are a lot of rumors going around right now regarding changes in American policies regarding relinquished children, changes in Ethiopian process, etc. It's scary, but our agency is assuring us that we have nothing to worry about (and yet that won't stop me from feeling called to worry!) ;-)
Wednesday, January 26th - Please pray for Markos and his friends as they say goodbye at the farewell ceremony. :-( Pray for Markos as he again says goodbye to the caregivers who have loved him and cared for him this past year, and as he, once again, has to endure great loss.
Thursday, January 27th (otherwise known as MY 40th BIRTHDAY!) - Please pray for the start of our trip home! Pray that all of Markos' documents from the U.S. Embassy are completed on time and accurate. And, pray for the start of our LONG trip home! We fly out of Addis at 10:15 pm. We have a direct flight to DC, but we will stop in Rome to refuel, we just won't get off the plane.
Friday, January 28th - Please pray that our flights continue to be on time, and go smoothly. Also that Markos is getting along well with us, and that we are able to communicate effectively. Also please pray that everything goes as it should as we go through customs with Markos. After a few hours in Washington, DC, we should arrive in Pittsburgh around 1:15 pm (and hopefully our luggage will arrive there, too).
Thank you all for your prayers and your support throughout the journey! Thank you, God, for allowing us to participate in Your Kingdom! Oh, how WE are blessed when we choose to do so!
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.