Our last morning came too quickly. I had told K all night the night before to be sad tomorrow. "Tomorrow. Tomorrow. Let's be sad tomorrow."
Tomorrow was upon us. When he opened the door to the guest house, he immediately burst into tears. I was able to swallow mine until he hit my chest. I'm sure The Hero and Yemamu loaded the car. I know that we drove to the airport with the entirety of our team, but I don't recall any of it. My final moments in Ethiopia were full of tears, spilling on the face of the eleven year old, laying his head in my lap, rotating between telling me that he was "no happy" and singing "I have decided to follow Jesus."
We were a mess.
He asked me if I would ever come back.
I promised I would.
I asked if he would be a good boy.
He promised he would.
There we were. Standing outside the gate, snapping final snotty, wet pictures and hugging good-bye. The Hero grabbed our bags and squeezed my hand and drug me through security. I really thought if I dug my heels into the sidewalk, I would sprout there and stay forever. It didn't work.
I cried all the way through security, checking in the gate and onto the plane. I stopped long enough on the way to Dubai to swallow some dinner, but as soon as The Hero asked if I was okay, the tears fired up again. They stopped when we hit Atlanta.
I'm still not sure after three years, why God put K in our lives. We know adoption is not available now and although I cannot imagine our lives without K in it, I often wonder if seeing him once every 18 months is breaking his heart and ours. But isn't life better with even one more person one your team? Someone else you love and who loves you?
The Hero says it best. Of course he does. He says that K has a network of love of those he loves and who love him and who wouldn't want that in their life?
So here's to our Ethiopia network of love and my favorite pics from our trip: