Getting Theo Home

9 Nov

As of 4:30am this morning, we have officially cleared Embassy!!  This means we can make our VISA interview appointment and book tickets to bring Theo home.  HUGE PRAISE to our awesome God!

Our original plan was to fly back to Ethiopia and bring Theo home.  I was going to bring my sister and Josh planned to stay home with Giselle.  We thought it would be less disruptive for her if only one parent was gone for the 2nd trip and better for all of us if both Josh and I weren’t jetlagged after arriving home with Theo.  Well, our plans have changed a little (ok, a LOT) and God has woven together a truly unexpected and beautiful story to bring Theo home.

Our dear friend, Marcy Connett, will be flying Theo from Addis Ababa to Washington DC on Friday.  I will fly to DC, meet them at the airport and fly home with Theo to Seattle.  Marcy and her husband, along with their two teenage children, are missionaries in Addis.  They have been in Ethiopia for about 15 months.  I spent a lot of time with Marcy while I was in Ethiopia and talked with her almost every day while I was there.  She was a great support and encouragement to me while I was there.

Having Theo escorted to the USA was NOT my original plan or something I ever considered before last week.  To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea and had many mixed feelings at first.  It was something our agency suggested because of the unique circumstances of our case — a very long first trip to Ethiopia, a very short amount of time between the two trips, and a young, needy bio child at home who can’t possibly understand what is going on and why her mommy keeps leaving her.  Giselle stayed with my parents for two weeks while we were in Ethiopia and, for the most part, did wonderfully.  During that time we did not communicate directly with Giselle at all.  I talked with my mom almost daily and Giselle got to see pictures of Josh and I with Theo, but we all felt it would be too confusing and disruptive for Giselle if we tried to talk with her while we were away.  In addition, my parents don’t have reliable internet and neither did I, so using Skype or facetime while in country would have been difficult.

Although Giselle did pretty great while I was gone, she has REALLY struggled since I got back.  She’s been incredibly needy, clingy and whiny.  I know that if I left again after such a short time being home (and I’d be gone for almost 1 week), she would be legitimately traumatized.  Add to that my stress level, being jetlagged, and the addition of a scared, needy and sick newly adopted son —> an already difficult adjustment period would be compounded 10 fold.  Theo is going to need a lot of extra attention and care when he comes home and I need Giselle to be as secure and well-adjusted as possible.

It was hard for me to let go of the things I would miss out on by not taking the second trip — visiting Ethiopia one more time, saying a final goodbye to the nannies at Theo’s transition home, seeing our agencies staff once again. I got to spend a lot of time in that beautiful country and that makes me both want to go back there, and also not want to travel that far from home again any time soon. I also want to be a part of EVERY SINGLE PIECE of this process because it is our son’s story, including another grueling trip there and back to bring him home, while at the same time I know our case is unique and I need to make a decision that is going to be the best for our family as a whole in the long run (fully rest mommy vs. jet-lagged/stressed out/emotionally drained mommy, well-adjusted bio toddler ready to welcome baby brother home vs. super freaked out bio toddler because her mommy keeps leaving her and can’t understand why, etc, etc).  I’ve spoken with many other adoptive parents and asked them for advice on this decision.  The feedback has been unanimous — Having a close friend escort Theo to DC is a fantastic option and a huge blessing for our family!  Many of these moms have also told me that no real and beneficial attachment/bonding happened on the 2nd trip because it is such a stressful time for everyone involved.  This feedback has really helped to calm my heart!

All things considered, God has given us the most PERFECT escort situation.  As soon as Marcy heard that my agency suggested an escort to fly Theo home, she enthusiastically volunteered herself.  She has also been able to visit Theo at his transition home a few times so he will be familiar with her for the flight home.  Such a blessing!!! Her mom left yesterday to visit Marcy’s family in Ethiopia and drove right past my house on her way to the airport.  I was able to give her a box of things for Theo and Marcy’s trip home (clothes, toys, snacks and other travel essentials).  The timing of everything has worked out perfectly — all evidence of God’s handiwork.

We are looking at flights right now!  We’ve requested a Thursday VISA appointment at the Embassy and are hoping for Marcy and Theo to leave Ethiopia on Friday, Nov 13th.  Depending on what time their flight arrives in DC, I might have to spend one night there with Theo before flying to Seattle.  Regardless, he should be home by Sunday, Nov 15th.  I’ll post the exact time we fly into SeaTac when we have our itinerary.  All our friends and family are invited to meet us at the airport and welcome us home!!!


One Response to “Getting Theo Home”

  1. Linda Largent November 9, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

    WOW! What a might God we serve. Thank you Anna for letting us all be a part of this amazing journey.

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