On the eve of our departure, I just wanted to mention that the amount of love and support we've received throughout our adoption process has been borderline ridiculous. We knew we had 'a support network' going into it, but we had no idea how excited and involved everyone would become. Things we didn't even know we needed are being noted and taken care of. We've gotten the kind of generosity and attention that can't be created by people alone, and is usually reserved for folks going through a tragedy. There's just no way to thank all you guys enough for your unending enthusiasm and willingness to help.
I tried to describe in an earlier blog (and ended up bailing out) about how this adoption is so much bigger than just 4 people. It stopped being about "our family" and became a "whole village" endeavor very early on. Chris and I have found that Belvidere is less than six degrees from Ethiopia. Two months ago, we didn't have any African contacts. Now, through friends of friends we have the phone numbers of two Ethiopian men (in Belvidere no less) who still speak Amharic. Through a different set of friends' friends, we've received an Ethiopian cookbook, complete with African spices, and a local chefs recommendations.
We never expected to receive so much from so many. If we've been acting kind of stunned and disorganized, it's because we are. There's really nothing left to say except, "Thank you."
Oh, and I'd also like to mention the corporate 'sponsors' whom I visited in the past two days while attempting to prepare for the trip. In order they are: Sears, Eddie Bauer, Walgreens, K-Mart, ShopKo, Walgreens, ShopKo, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart, Applebees, and Wal-Mart.