America, Here We Come!

Guys, today was a big day! Ya know why? Cuz today was our LAST full day in Kenya!

Last night, we had a GLORIOUS night’s rest. It was the first night since Gotcha Day that we haven’t had to clean up any vomit OR diarrhea blowouts! Praise Jesus! And if that weren’t sweet enough, both girls also slept through the night for the first time! Will miracles never cease?! We are thanking the Lord for finally getting some rest.

This morning, we went to the US embassy to apply for the girls visas to come to the US. Basically we sat in a waiting room for 3.5 hours, and then had a 10 minute interview. So. Boring. Thankfully, the girls were their typical silent and still selves when we are out in public so they did a great job of waiting patiently. We also met some missionaries serving in Kenya and a couple Burundians, so that was cool. But the bottom line is that we passed our interview and got approved for visas! The very last thing we have to do is go pick them up tomorrow morning, but that will be a super quick thing.

After the embassy we went to lunch and then the city park. I loved meeting the monkeys, but Mercy and Noella did not. I can’t blame them though, it really was pretty scary. Those monkeys are FAST and they will just hop up on you and snatch whatever is in your hand…including Noella’s sucker. Like in the blink of an eye a monkey jumped on their stroller and snatched her sucker. It was legit scary for them, but on the bright side, watching a monkey eat a sucker was SO CUTE. One monkey also bit me, but it didn’t break the skin so I’m fairly certain I don’t have rabies. The girls had had enough so we stayed at the park for all of about 3 minutes before heading back to the hotel.

This afternoon we had a long playtime while Blake began organizing and packing our suitcases for travel. We had lots of fun playing with blocks, dolls, stacking cups, and of course looking out the window to spot buses. Today was definitely the moodiest I’ve ever seen the girls. One second, everything is totally fine, everyone is all giggles, and then the next one of the girls would be back in their zoned out space, just staring into the distance without looking at anything and almost unaware of what’s going on around them, like they’re in a deep trance. Even when we touch them, talk to them, try to feed them, etc. it takes them a while to kinda snap back to reality, and when they do they are usually pouty and irritated. Is that a thing that all toddlers do? Or is it a symptom of previous trauma? I’m wondering if that’s part of PTSD, where they are mentally in another place as they process their grief, and then it affects their mood. Or is that something toddlers just do sometimes? I don’t spend a ton of time with toddlers, but it doesn’t seem like typical behavior.

In spite of the moodiness, we still had a good day. I think today included more giggles than any other, especially when they got a bath! These girls LOVE bathtime, and tonight was the first time they’ve ever bathed together. Noella loved playing with the toys, and Mercy just loved pouring water on her head over and over and over again. It was adorable!

So, tomorrow is the day – the day we start our loooong journey home. Blake and I are both pretty anxious about how the flight will go. I am just trying to prepare myself now for when they scream and cry and not let the judgmental stares of strangers get to me. We are packing a ton of toys, snacks, movies, and Benadryl to hopefully make travel as smooth as possible. We fly out of Nairobi at 7:15 pm Friday, then go through Ethiopia, Dublin, DC, and Charlotte before landing in Birmingham at 6:12 pm Saturday. I probably will not be blogging again before we land in the States, so we have several prayer requests for y’all:

Please pray for the girls to get lots of rest tonight and a good nap tomorrow so they will be rested for the flight! Please pray that we make our connection in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We have a short layover, and it will be VERY difficult to get the girls and all our stuff to our gate in time before they close the door. This is probably the main thing I am worried about, more than anything else. If we miss our flight in Ethiopia, we’ll be stuck another day. We’re going to get to the airport early to see if there are 4 seats available on an earlier flight so we are not as crunched for time making our connection in Ethiopia. Please pray there are extra seats available on that flight! Please pray that the girls are calm, quiet, and well behaved on all our flights. Or at the very least that we won’t have any meltdowns! Pray that all 4 of us are able to get some sleep! Please pray for timely flights and safety. Please pray that our first night home goes well and the girls do well with handling yet another transition!

Thanks for praying us through this trip everyone! We are ALMOST HOME!