In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Yikes! and Why I am Still in America

So, I have a true story, about myself. Turns out that I need to come to terms with the reality that my 45 year old eyes can not see small print any longer. Before this story, my biggest concern was overdosing a child with cough medicine in the middle of the night, but now I realize that my lack of close eye-site is a bit more concerning.
My sister and I had (yes, HAD) tickets to travel to Ethiopia yesterday. The hardest thing I ever do is prepare my family for me to be gone for a week. Honestly, every trip, I swear that it will be my last. This trip required elaborate plans for the week that I was gone. I lined up child care for the days that JD could not be home during the day, I got a substitute and went over the week for the CC class I tutor on Tuesdays, I cancelled and rearranged doctor and therapy appointments. I shopped ahead, cleaned, caught up the laundry and prepared some frozen meals for JD. Finally, I drew him a weekly chart of where people needed to be when and what to thaw for dinner what day.
The last few days before leaving, I packed. I gathered my money belt and passport and was working on the cash that has to be carried to pay different people. I pulled out my sister's passport as well and told her to double check that it was the current one. I then told her that my passport expires this December so I would be getting a new one this year. Debra casually looked at it, started yelling, "No, Jen, No!" She was carrying on that it was expired and what were we going to do. I tried to calm her down and get her to realize that I had all year to renew it. She then realized that I couldn't see and what I read as 2016 was actually 2015. Yes, the night before our trip, I found out that my passport had expired only a few weeks before. After a frantic search that there is no way on God's green earth to get a one day passport on a Saturday, we realized that I could not get on the plane. (Need I mention that JD was finishing up the six hour drive to take Julia to a friend's house for the week?) 
I would not have blamed my sister for leaving me home the next day, but she instead spent HOURS on the phone with the airlines to reschedule our entire trip. She had a ticket with another airline to leave Ethiopia and travel to Asia, and she had to rearrange those as well.  You would think that in the end, this would have cost us several hundred dollars since the tickets were nonrefundable, but it really did not. I also have a walk in passport appointment in DC next Monday, and they assure me that I will be issued a new passport in the four days I will have until my second chance to leave the country.
In some aspects, things actually lined up smoother that the first time we made plans. JD gets home from one trip the day before I have to leave and then leaves again the morning after I get back, BUT the kids will have a home-based parent. The airline tickets decreased in price and the schedule there seems to work just as well if not better.
I am believing there is a reason that I did not see the date correctly, until too late to correct it, and the new dates are when we need to be overseas, rather than our previous ones. In the meantime, I can put an extra meal or two in the freezer for JD and pack a bit more organized!
The whole thing has been rather humbling and I may purchase a second pair of reading glasses so that I can actually find a pair when I come in contact with small print! The sad part of the story is that Alayna and Nathan did leave yesterday back to their home in San Diego. We already miss them!
So, new plan- I will be leaving for Ethiopia two weeks from today.
The beginning stages for suitcase rearranging.


  1. Yay! It all worked out for you guys! I can't see that little font on medications now either so not only do I have a couple pair of 'cheeters' but also a magnifying glass! Good luck on your trip!!

  2. OH my goodness, I had not even checked your blog this week because I knew you were gone. After the initial shock and panic, I am so glad it is all working out.