My Heart is in Ethiopia and So is My Little Girl

My heart has only one BIG thing to focus on this week – getting ready for Ethiopia and our little girl who waits for us there! We are just a few days away from our trip to Africa to meet Aster!! If you are new to my blog, you can click here, here and here to read more about our journey to adopt her.


This is Aster wearing an outfit we sent and holding a little elephant blankie we bought for her. In her left hand she’s holding a soft photo album we sent with pictures of us – her forever family. So cute! I just want to kiss those toes!

We would treasure your prayers for our travel, meeting Aster and bonding with her over the time we’ll be there next week, our Embassy appointments, the hopes and plans that we may get to meet Aster’s birth mother and many, many details.

Our flights will be long and there are all kinds of things we are trying to plan for and bring. I just found out Sunday that we will be bringing a backpack filled with gifts to a little boy from his soon-to-be family in Indiana! I love that we get to be part of his story too.

We are also going to visit Compassion International and spend time with Meseret, our Compassion sponsored child, who also lives in Addis and attends the Compassion project there. We have sponsored Meseret for 13 years so we are very, very excited that we are going to get to meet and spend time with her, too! She is fifteen years old so we are also praying about a special gift to bring and give to her while we’re there.

Here is our itinerary if you want to follow our journey in prayer as JJ, Joshua, Andrew and I travel to bring our little girl home. We can’t wait to see our daughter/sister… it’s been such a long time coming!

Friday, 10/2
Leave: Charlotte @ 2:46pm
Arrive: Wash-DC @ 4:10pm
Leave: Wash-DC @ 5:45pm

Saturday, 10/3
Arrive: Frankfurt, Germany @ 7:35am
Leave: Frankfurt, Germany @ 10:25am
Arrive: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia @ 6:20pm
Check into Hotel in Addis

Sunday, 10/4
– Meet Aster at the orphanage for the first time!!
– Rest and spend time together as a new family.

Monday, 10/5
– Love on and spend time with Aster
– Play with the kids at the orphanage
– Spend time in Addis

Tuesday, 10/6
– Travel to Debre Zeit (45km south of Addis) to spend the day with Meseret Fiseha – we have sponsored her for 14 years through Compassion International
– Spend more time with Aster

Wednesday, 10/7
– Appointment with US Embassy in Addis to complete Visa paperwork for Aster
– Time with Aster
– Sightseeing/shopping in Addis

Thursday, 10/8
– Meet and visit with Aster’s birth mother in Addis (we hope)
– Spend time with Aster and the kids at the orphanage

Friday, 10/9
– Time with Aster
– Pick-up Aster’s Visa paperwork
– Prepare for travel back to US

Saturday, 10/10
Leave: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia @ 1:35am
Arrive: Frankfurt, Germany @ 7:35am
Leave: Frankfurt, Germany @ 1:15pm
Arrive: Wash-DC @ 3:45pm
Leave: Wash-DC @ 5:05pm
Arrive: Charlotte @ 6:48pm (Lufthansa FLT 5534)

Thank you so much for your prayers, excitement and encouragement. I’ll try to post again before we leave.

PRAYER REQUEST:Andrew came home from school today with 102.4 fever, cough, sore throat, aches. Please pray for him to get well and for us to stay well. THANKS!

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. I'm so thrilled for you! I will be praying. : ) I know I've said this a lot before, but I really am thankful to be able to follow your journey. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

    Love,
    Becky

  2. I'm SO excited for you Renee! What a journey it's been. God is so full of surprises, isn't He?

    And how WONDERFUL that you get to carry a backpack of goodies for another child waiting to meet his family. Soon they'll have a photo of him just like you have this one of Aster.

    Thank you, Renne, for posting your itinerary, so I can pray specifically! May your trip be everything you dream it will be…and much, much more.

    Praying for you with joy!

  3. So excited for you. So prayerful for you all. So rejoicing with you! May you see His faithfulness moment by moment!

    Staying tuned…..

    Sharon

  4. That is so wonderful. She is so cute. Enjoy every moment. God is so glorious He will give us the desires of our hearts. I'll be praying and looking forward to seeing a new family picture.
    Blessings,
    Cindy

  5. Praying for you, Renee, and your family on this journey to Ethiopia and Aster! Thanks for posting the sweet photo of Aster. This is so amazing how our Lord God has worked this all out! So happy for you and your family.

    Love, Andrea

  6. The time is finally here! I'm so excited for you, Renee. I had no idea you would get to spend time with Aster's birth mother. I pray that will be a very sweet time and that she will have such peace once she meets the terrific forever family God has given to Aster. I pray she will know she made the right decision for her baby and that you will be able to minister to her in a special way.

    So exciting to meet your sponsored child too. This sounds like an all around blessed trip! Praying for your safety and that the angels of God are already there working out every last detail.

    I can't wait to see pictures of you and the boys with Aster and I can't wait to see her in person one day. Please bring her to She Speaks and show her off next year! We all want to see and touch the manifestation of your faith- a precious little girl named Aster.

  7. Will be holding your family in prayer! Especially for travelling mercies and for quick, but thorough paperwork with no glitches. I can't wait to hear stories about you getting to hold and cherish little Aster. Those little brown toes are just too precious!
    And how exciting to finally meet the girl you've been sponsoring all these years. You have already blessed her life and I know God will place just the right special gift in your mind to bring to her.
    God bless you all- real good!
    Jenn

  8. The flight will probably seem longer on the way there than the way back because of the anticipation of getting there and seeing Aster.

    God has blessed it all, be at ease.

    smooches,
    Larie

  9. I'm simply an emotional wreck right now after reading this latest post of yours, Renee. This story of Aster joining your family and the journey to meet her for the first time has touched me in ways I can't even explain. Thank you for sharing your itinerary so that I can pray for you and your family every step of the way! Be blessed sister!

  10. Renee,
    It has been awhile since I have checked in and I am just SO THRILLED that the time is NOW!!!! I will be praying for your journey as you embrace your sweet little girl even further into your hearts and bring her "home."

    Things often have a way of not going exactly as we plan…cling to Him in each moment that presents delay or inconvenience. He is continually at work!

    Love and prayers!

  11. Phew!! Lots to see and do. Praying for your safety and hoping you have so much fun you can't stand it!! :0)

  12. I will be praying for you and your entire family. I will pray for safe travel,sufficiant rest,schedules,bonding,health,patience,strenth,sensitive spirits and that you will see God's unmistakeable "hand" throughout your journey to bring baby Aster HOME!
    Blessing to you, my friend!
    http://www.sueheimer.com

  13. Oh Renee….

    Please know I will be praying for you and your family as you travel.

    And I will be praying hard that Andrew feels better REAL soon and that no one else catches it. There's a bug going around my house right now and I'm currently the one stuck with it – as I pray that my little ones dont get it – I will be praying the same for your family.

    Lifting you up in prayer,
    Kate 🙂

  14. Isn't it so like the devil to try and throw a roadblock up when he can. Pfftt… he should know our God by now! If God has truly opened this door–and we all believe He has–nothing is going to close it!

    I am so excited for you and your family! May God give you safe journey and speedy flying times and coming home. How awesome is this?!

  15. Hey Renee, What a sweet picture of Aster and her gifts that you sent over, what a wonderful idea:) she looks so healthy:) I have just prayed for your family and for your boy i believe when i prayed all will be well and things will go as planned:) Thank you for sharing this journey with us i cant wait hear the exciting things God does as this your life unfolds:)

    God bless you sister in Christ
    Lisa

  16. Oh WOW! I will be celebrating our daughter's 2nd birthday on your Gotcha Day! No doubt I will be praying for ya'll!

  17. Praying right now for you & your family! Thank you for sharing the journey & blessings of adopting Aster. It has been a joy to read about how God has worked in your life. Blessings & Peace Mary

  18. Wow! What a trip PACKED with amazing blessings. I had no idea you would be getting to meet the little girl your family has been sponsoring, too!

    I am praying! And I am so sorry about Andrew coming home sick! I am definitely praying for everyone's health.

    Cannot wait to hear all of the praises when you get back!!!
    Love,
    K

  19. You are in my prayers. I enjoy your blog. Thanks.

  20. I am praying!

  21. Oh Renee, so glad I found this here today. Printing out your itinerary and committing to pray.

    Love ya my friend. He's carrying you all,
    Joy

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