So..today was kind of a crazy day. It started with my getting pulled over for speeding. Interesting story, not appropriate for blogging.
But I was also looking at the calendar and realized the 13th is just 12 days away and the 20th is, obviously, 19 days away. NOT LONG at all. Not that I've been promised that we'll travel then, but I should certainly be somewhat prepared.
First thing I did was email a travel agent we had talked to earlier in the post-referral process. It looks like tickets are around $1990 A PERSON!!!!!! That's about $500 more than last time I had looked. We are hoping to take a route that would enable us to use frequent flyer miles. We actually don't have any frequent flyer miles, but this way we could rack some up big time. Until then, we are going to start saving money like it's our business as we didn't have quite that much set aside for tickets alone. Even Tariku's ticket is $1195 ONE WAY!! He's worth it right? Dad, how much longer until we get our tax money back? teehee.
Second thing I did was start loading up a suitcase with some of the stuff that can be put in a suitcase for awhile. Sunscreen will obviously not be used this Iowan winter. Neither will the special shampoo and conditioner I bought for Tariku. Okay, okay, I did, in fact pack all of Tariku's clothes that I have as well. I couldn't help it, Trysten and Dailah were helping me and they were both excited.
I'm wanting to go shopping tomorrow to get other things we need. One of those things is a map of the world with a line from Iowa to Ethiopia. If we are able to meet any of Tariku's birth family while we're there, we will give them a map and a picture for them to keep.
I've been thinking about Tariku's birth family a lot lately. Jody and I have been talking about moms. Moms who adopt special needs kids, moms who foster kids with lots of issues or just lots of kids in general. Just moms. I can't help but think of Tariku's mom all the time. I don't know the differences between us but we have such a deep, special sameness and that is a deep love for our son. It's strange, to think of him as "our" son, but that's who he is. He will always be hers as he is mine. I've said it before, but I'll say it again. I hope God gives me the wisdom to raise Tariku in a way that will make his mom proud of both of us. I hope I raise him in a way that will honor his birth family as well as his birth country.
I honestly feel like I've prepared myself the best I can to do those things. All that's left is the first step in raising him and that is getting him here. And for that, I must continue to pack, continue to do laundry. But most of all, continue to storm the gates of heaven with the prayers of my heart for little Tariku.