The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The Five of Us, Spring 2014

Da Plane! Da Plane!

Finally, for your reading pleasure, an account of our weekend...

We flew from Boise to Chicago to Minneapolis. We were supposed to arrive in MSP at 7:30 PM, drive 2 hours to a B&B and take the rest of the drive (2 hours more) Saturday morning. This is so incredibly far from what happened, it's startling.

The flight from B to C was just fine. We even got in a little early. After wandering around O'Hare for some time looking for something that resembled actual food (as opposed to deep fried cardboard), we ate dinner and headed for the gate. And so the longest delay ever began. Our plane was late. Then it had mechanical problems. We were assured every half-hour that our plane would be fixed in the next half-hour. We went through three different gates, three broken planes (including a shattered windshield), loaded on and off of two planes, sat on the runway for an hour, and finally left Chicago at 12:30 AM. Needless to say, we called the B&B to say we weren't coming.

We arrived in Minneapolis at 2 AM, where we called every hotel in town looking for a room. After being told by a dozen different hotels "No vacancy", Aaron hung up the phone and said, "I think they think I'm bringing in a prostitute!" Just then a Marriott shuttle arrived. Aaron asked the driver if we could hitch a ride. The pilots from our plane were on the shuttle too. They said they'd never seen such a string of difficulties.

Of course, since I looked more like a bedraggled traveller than a prostitute that ANYONE would hire, they found a room for us at the Marriott. We called Patty in the morning and left a message about where we were, hoping by some miracle, she might check her messages in the midst of the Fest and be eased of mind as to our whereabouts. It took over an hour to get our rental car and we were finally on the road by 11 AM. With four and half hours in front of us. The festivities were slated to begin at noon. Sigh.

Well, after driving all over the Wisconsin country-side trying to find the farm, we managed to pull-over a kindly older gentleman who was delivering newspapers (I wish I had a snapshot of the wonderment on his face when two city-folk in a fancy rental car covered with road dust got him to stop on the side of the road by honking wildly and waving their arms with gumption--actually only one of us had the arms going, I'll let you guess who!) to ask for directions. After trying to explain and being rebuffed by blank stares, he gave up and said he'd take us there. A half-dozen paper-throws later, he shooed us down the proper road. Thinking the farm was only 1/2 mile in from there, we were cock-sure we'd have no trouble finding it. Several miles down the road, we employed our honking-and-flailing method again and wound up with a sweet woman who also employed the explain-blank-looks-follow-me method of giving directions, and before you know it, we were making our way up the Anne-of-Green-Gables-ish driveway of the farm.

We arrived just as everything was winding down, but we got to meet a few people and eat a few bites. After things settled down a bit, Patty gave us a quick tour of our soon-to-be home! It was kinda surreal to see these places I've thought about in my mind. Then we went with Patty into "town" to see the place (and pick up pizza and other groceries). That night we had a little campfire with S'mores. Mmmm. I never pass up a S'more! :)

The next morning was great as we had a worship service and testimonies from people who've experienced Liberia. Junior, from the Liberian staff of AOH, told us about his life. And, Lloyd, a retired Texas businessman-turned-missionary spoke also. It was wonderful to hear and share the passion in their voices. Aaron and I wiped tears from our eyes more than once.

Later in the day, after most everyone had headed home, Harold (Patty's very significant other!) gave us a tour of the rest of the property. It was fun to imagine Pence, Punk, and Pea rollicking in the hills and forest! :) As the weekend wound down and the number of people diminished, it seemed our connection with Patty and Harold increased accordingly. It was very reassuring to feel that comraderie and mutual appreciation grow.

We drove with Patty and Lloyd back to the airport on Monday. It was fun to get to know both of them better. They are like old friends with each other and witnessing their relationship was fun. We also had a very funny conversation about what our new title(s) should be! Hee hee!

Then, it was back to the wonderful world of airtravel. I have to believe that Liberian travel takes the cake, but United is getting my second place award for awfulness. We made it from MSP to Chicago quite easily, but then everything broke lose again at O'Hare. There was a thunderstorm and although our plane made it in, apparently our pilots did not. Go figure. We were on a 2 AM streak, so why change anything? We made it home to Boise at that lovely hour, and were thanking God that we live a mere 10 minutes from the blessed airport.

So there you have it. Now, we begin the unbelievable breakneck-speed wind up to taking our places as the US Directors of Operations! We'll be helping cover simple phones and emails at the end of the month while Donna (whose shoes we'll be filling) is in Liberia. Then we head over ourselves Sept 4-12 to visit our babies, meet the Liberian staff, and seeing how things go on that side. We'll head to Wisconsin about a week later, settle in, and start training by Sept 24th! Wowza! So, pray, Pray, PRAY for us!

PS--Every time I mention we're taking Punk to the farm, he lights up and cheers! Fun!

5 comments:

Will said...

Rae, I just read your big reveal and got caught up. I am so excited for your family, for the transition and the upcoming trip to Liberia. What a beautiful journey and adventure you are having in Jesus! Jen Klier

Tarah said...

Rae-Rae-
I have decided that this is all well and good, but you can't leave! I won't get to meet the kids, I won't get to talk at Carls' for ever with you... Yes, all about me. Selfish girl!! OK, see you at the zoo tomorrow, most likely I will tear up a bit!

Jocelyn said...

Praise God, I am so happy you are taking up the position. What a blessing.

I love Lloyd, I got to spend time with him in Liberia. He is a great guy, and has a beautiful compound at "virginia beach" liberia!

-J

thecurryseven said...

I've enjoyed following your journey. But, as someone who lives near Chicago and has to use O'Hare....nothing ever works as it should there. I would avoid flying through O'Hare like the plague. (I think the rest of Chicago is wonderful, though.)

amber said...

Hmmm... I realized that you ARE going to get to do the Laura Ingalls thing!!! In Wisconsin, too, of all places (Little House in the Big Woods...) So now you're going to be the one roughing it... washing your clothes in the creek, reading by candlelight at night, churning the cream into butter (hee hee, can't wait for pics!!)
Seriously, though, I am so excited for you and your kids. They are going to LOVE all that room to play and explore!
And you're touching that "community" spirit you've written about longing for with your friendship with Patty and Harold... I think thats an answer to prayer for you!

Amber

My Man and Me

My Man and Me
married 7/7/2001

Punk

Punk
ours through biology, born 7/25/2004, home 8/1/2004

Pea

Pea
ours through adoption from Liberia, West Africa, born 7/15/2005, home 10/25/2007

Pup

Pup
ours through domestic adoption, born 1/15/2011, home 2/10/2011, final 8/3/2011

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Round Two Timeline

  • 9/24/08 Home study update home visit for Ghana adoption
  • 10/15/08 Dossier sent to AOHG
  • 10/15/08 I600A application sent to USCIS
  • 10/30/08 First heard about possible domestic private adoption
  • 11/18/08 Last spoke with contact about possible domestic adoption; expected to hear back about meeting with birthmother
  • 12/3/08 Withdrew application from AOHG
  • 1/6/09 Found out another family had been chosen for possible domestic adoption
  • 1/21/09 USCIS fingerprinting appointment
  • 1/8/09 Received USCIS fingerprinting appointment notice
  • 4/11/09 Sent Pre-Application to Covenant Care Adoptions for Domestic Infant Adoption program
  • 6/8/09 Social worker visit to update home study from International to Domestic
  • 7/24/09 Received completed home study update
  • 8/25/09 Went "on the list" for birthfamilies to choose from
  • 4/28/10 Found out a birth mom had chosen us
  • 5/8/10 Met the birth mom
  • 5/11/10 Got the call that birth mom changed her mind
  • 5/19/10 Birth mom's scheduled c-section
  • 11/30/10 Visit from DSS sw about foster parenting
  • 11/30/10 Got the call that another birth mom had chosen us
  • 12/21/10 Met with the birth mom
  • 1/15/11 @1:42 PM BB was born!
  • 1/19/11 ICPC (interstate) paperwork sent to GA for approval
  • 1/31/11 ICPC Clearance Approved
  • 2/10/11 Placement Ceremony and Pup comes home!!!!
  • 8/3/11 It's Official! Pup's Adoption Decree was issued