For us, it started about three and a half years ago. Not that we felt anything then. Not even an whisper. We felt the calling, the desire, the urge, the need to adopt. From far away. That was it.
And along the journey we changed. We were changed. We have been changed. And yes, we will continue changing.
With a heart for where we were, we felt there was something more...different. What we had seen was raw and real and our passion was being drawn somewhere different, somewhere new, somewhere unknown to us...but through this unknowing and unknown, we felt content. Together. Affirmed. Confident.
And so, four days before we were to fly to Ethiopia we flew a province east. For a whopping twelve hours. (It was all we had...in the middle of an intense week...the first week of camp.) And, at the end of that same week, the night before we left for our court trip to meet our daughter for the first time, we came to the decision that this is what would be.
Our life as a family was about to change drastically in more ways than any of us could have imagined.
Less than two months later, the summer barely behind us we packed up our house (having already purchased another one sight unseen, registered the boys in school and soccer, and all the while trying to figure out whether we were coming or going) in the middle of our Visa wait.
Timing was everything.
We had spoken with our agency to find out what would in fact happen, should we move inter-provincially while not having completed our adoption. I mean, she was legally ours but not yet home. And if we've learned anything through this journey it's this: it's not over until it's over. And it wasn't over. Makeda wasn't in our arms.
We found out that while working outside the province was fine, should we no longer be residents of the province in which we were approved to adopt we would have to register with a new (provincial) agency to update everything. Oi Vey. Money doesn't grow on trees, time wasn't on our side, and we had no desire to redo our homestudy all for the sake of a couple weeks' timing.
Wanting to do nothing that wasn't above reproach or integral, we kept our house (yeah...we owned two for awhile), and everything else that would ensure our residency requirement was met. We anticipated being in our new home, city, province for many weeks before receiving our Visa call.
On September 12th, we arrived in our new city. (City! Keep in mind we're from a town, population 2500.) And, had it not been an Ethiopian holiday we would have found out that same day that our visa was in. As we all know, two days later that call (actually email) came. Wow.
Talk about a blitz. I've never unpacked so much in one go. I've never burned the midnight oil, tried to figure out my head from my tail and maintained some sort of sanity all at the same time. A fantastic friend made sure Makeda's room was painted (two coats!) all in one day. She made food for her (I may have sat and watched a lot of this...it's all a blur), so that once we were home there wouldn't be (as) much to worry about. Family helped out in countless ways.
Six days after arriving in Alberta, four days after receiving word of the Visa, and a day before Ben started his new job (the reason for the move!) I left for Ethiopia.
So where are we feeling fulfillment now? Here.
And each day I hear new stories of Relief taking place and I swell with joy. And I ache with passion - passion for a job I don't even do! But to be a part of this new family, with a child who comes from a country in which they serve brings immense joy.
And when we tell people we just moved from BC they look at us like we have two heads and three eyes.
Why?! They exclaim, as though we've just been hit by the stupid train.
And we explain.
But it's cold...you just wait, they say.
Yes, we've heard, we often reply. And then we look up. And the skies are blue. They are clear blue and the sun shines every day!
And more to the point: This is where we are meant to be.
And as the pictures continue to be hung (those are always the last aren't they?!), this house is starting to feel like a home.
And, while we miss friends and parts of life in BC we are making new ones. When the "polite" chat is colloquial that will be nice. And I don't think it will take all that long...people are so very friendly here. They are approachable and helpful and wow. And things are becoming familiar. And comfortable. And the streets are beginning to make sense.
We've been welcomed with open (!) arms and for that we are so very grateful.
This is home now.