I finished up the packing this morning to, unfortunately, find our luggage to be 13 lbs overweight. Blah. With almost all of those 80 lbs being supplies/donations, it is hard for me to figure out what to keep behind. Whatever that ends up being, I will be sure to take it on our next trip, but it's still hard to choose.
For those of you praying for us, I thought I would give you a list of requests I can think of I would love to have covered in prayer. By all means, this is not an exclusive list, so as you feel prompted to pray for anything, please do so. I know we have a God who is going before us, who will be there with us, and will remain there behind us. Thank you all for standing up with us through prayer and support.
- First and foremost, there is a tropical storm (Sandy) heading through the Caribbean as I type this. The brunt of the storm should pass through Haiti today, tonight, and tomorrow and then go northeast on out to sea. However, the winds may still be hanging around Florida on Friday evening and Saturday morning. We fly into FL on Friday evening and on over to Haiti on Saturday morning. Please pray for the weather to be calm enough our flights continue on as scheduled.
- My sister-in-law, Judi, is flying from South Dakota on American Airlines (we are on Spirit). Please pray American is running all of their flights on schedule due to their recent employee "strike" issues.
- Travel sickness. I typically get pretty sick when traveling so I medicate up to get through it without getting sick. This typically works just fine because then I sleep a good deal of the trip as a side effect of the medication. However, this time around, I need to be coherent due to Lily still needing me to function as her mom. I plan on taking half doses of the meds and relying on prayer to get me through it.
- Layovers. Please be praying for our layovers in FL to go well. Our overnight layover will be at a hotel for 5 1/2ish hours. Those hours need to be spent sleeping. Pray for our shuttle to and from the hotel to go off without a hitch and for the little sleep we get to be profitable for our attitudes the next day. Our return layover in FL is over 8 hours long. Pray for patience for both Lily and myself and for the time to pass quickly as I attempt to entertain.
- Haiti airport. I'm probably most nervous about the time frame of landing in Haiti until we are met by our director outside the airport. The atmosphere in the airport can be pretty chaotic to say the least. Lots of people, lots of pushing, lots of begging to help you with your luggage for a price. I had envisioned me keeping Lily close to my side, holding her hand through it all--first to keep her safely with me and second to keep her from getting overwhelmed. This wouldn't be too hard with having our backpacks and one suitcase to walk out with. Well, the amount of supplies/donations has led me to two suitcases now so I'm just a little concerned as to how I'm going to be pushing both suitcases and keeping Lily's hand. God is going before me and I know He will work this out just fine, but pray for me to let go of my nervousness over this little tiny step of the trip and just enjoy those first moments with my daughter on foreign soil.
- Meetings. Our US Embassy appointment is at 7:30 a.m. on Monday. This meeting has been as simple as a 1/2 hour wait for some, while others have been there 5-6 hours just waiting to be seen. Please pray we get through quickly so we can enjoy more of our day outside of the walls of the Embassy. Our court appointment with the Dean is either on Tuesday or Wednesday. The same holds true for this appointment--it could be a very quick wait or it could be a long day. Supposedly this waiting room is very dirty, very hot, and horrible bathroom conditions. Please pray, again, that our wait will be fast so we can avoid needing to eat, drink, and not use the bathroom while there. Please also pray for favor in both of our appointments. I am a little nervous going to these appointments without Micah, so pray I will be able to answer all the questions they will ask me, have all the correct paperwork ready, and get through them with no problems.
- Sleeping arrangements. This one seems silly to even type, but will you just pray that Lily will be able to get good amounts of sleep so she remains as cheerful as she can during the days. There will be another team at the guesthouse where we will be staying so we will be sharing a bunk room with other women from that team. I'm just praying her earlier bedtime will be honored by the rest of the members of the team there as I'm sure with the tile floors and such, it will be hard to control the loudness of the group. We have at least one very early morning and I know how much Lily (and I, too, for that matter) need sleep to function best. I'm also praying the only beds left by the time we arrive will not all be top bunks...for my sake-ha!
- Time with Nora. Oh, pray for this sweet, sweet time we have to spend with her, friends! No doubt she will not have a clue who we are. She has never met Lily and she was only 2 months old when Micah and I were with her last. Pray for her heart to be ready to accept our love for her. Pray for Lily and her to bond as sisters instantly. Pray for the communication to go beyond language barriers. Pray for both Lily and I to leave with heavy hearts because we will be leaving part of us behind with Nora. Pray for us to be able to witness her smiles, her laughter, her crawling, her playing, and most importantly her singing. Yep, singing. Our director once emailed us Nora likes to sing from sun up to sun down so Lily has this on her heart as the #1 thing she is excited for in this trip...the girl just wants to hear her sister sing...bless that, Lord. I have to say, my heart could use a good ole' dose of Nora singing too.
- Photo opportunities. Lastly, please be praying for our cameras and video capabilities to work great...including Skype. We really want to be able to connect to Micah and the boys back home at least once while we are there. Photos and videos will be what hold us over until our next trip and are a lifeline on days where you think you just can't do it anymore. Please pray we get some wonderful shots of the three of us together for our memory books. Also, I am very excited to be able to take photos of all the other children at the orphanage for their Mamas too. We are from areas as far high as Canada and as far south as Florida, from the east coast to the west, but we are a common sisterhood at this point and we all love on each others' babies as if they were our own. I truly feel as these kids are my nieces and nephews. Please pray we get great shots of all of them so I can give that gift to the women who I have grown to love over the past year and a half.
Thanks again, friends, for praying over our trip. I plan on finding moments to blog or post on facebook while we are there so long as the internet is up and running well for us. If you are on facebook and haven't liked our adoption page yet, please do so to make sure you don't miss out on any updates. You can follow the link at the top of the right-hand column to do that.