Saturday, March 28, 2009

From my Ethiopian Journal -- April 26th, 2007--We arrive

...As we walked through security at Nashville Airport, I felt free -- that leaping calf freedom that is promised in the Word that seemed so far away during the days of lost refferals and losing or precious Joshua (to a mid-pregnancy miscarriage) --years of waiting and growing and watching those black baby calves leap in the farmer's field near our home--would I ever again? The day of travel, April 26th, was Joshua's due date -- 4 years old on that day--how precious this was to my Mother's heart that God included our precious glory baby in the celebration of today...Now, on the plane...these babies are so beautiful!!!And so are the stewardesses and the older women even -- Wow! what a gorgeous people group. Of course the babies are making me yearn to hold little legs and pet/stroke soft curly hair, to look into my own set of brown eyes...

Ethiopia--from the moment we stepped out of the airport into the bright sunlight, bleached white clouds, smelled the sweet air and took in the tall, rounded mountains, I felt--like a college girl arriving home for the first semester break--or stepping into a movie after reading the book--or shaking someone's hand that I had only previously spoken to on the phone.

Africa--in 3D was ALL I knew it would be--its like God gave me a hunger for it--prewired me with the sensations of it---before I even stepped foot here--I missed it. Strange that we did not feel strange on the plane of hundreds from another place--but it all felt so --right. Richard and I kept exchanging grins and squeezing each others' hands--he was in the very same place--so incredible to walk this together...

The Ethiopian people are truly beautiful with their fine features and lovely figures. White beauty pales (quite literally!!) in comparison!! But what is more exquisite is the quality and figure of their hearts. They have a quiet,gentle almost tender warmth about them. They walk with ease, length of stride and dignity. We did not hear one cross word on the airplane or as we went through customs--unimaginable in my reved up land!!

Girmanchew -- an Ethiopian national who used to work for the African UN and now America World Adoption Agency -- waited for us a we deplaned--he was waiting behind a large group of families waiting for their extended families peacefully--restful in their expectancy. As each traveller made it through the mechanical trays and tracks of customs and gathered and bundled themselves back up, they pushed through doors at the bottom of a wall of glass. There they were enfolded into family groups. Bundles relieved, arms wrapped around, the family lingered and just enjoyed being together--the arms remained on the shoulder--there is much affection here--no one rushed off or away like we do in America , where the fetching of bags can feel like a crazy race on one of those shows on T.V.--"O.K. (pant,pant, scan, scan, dodge around) lets get your bags (hug, pat, pat) now let's get to the car--I'm on the meter in the parking garage or double parked ;) "You got the bags?"

We had our own welcoming party. Albeit a party of one--it was a moment and a face we had already anticipated for so long..

Girmanchew was camouflaged in the vast group of national families, yet as we took off our shoes and deposited our suitcases on the customs' conveyor belt, we knew he was near. We gathered our mass of suitcases, stroller "balanced" on the top like the umbrella and little fish bowl in The Cat in the Hat illustrations, piled around various other bags and hopped around, getting our shoes back on, then we huddled back together with arms draped over and around the top of mounds of international trappings, pushing and guiding them --wobbling -- out the glass wall into...African sunlight--Oh , my! Arrived!! We made a path tentatively through the nationals' warm greetings and then, off to the left--set back about 3 rows --there was our anchor man--Girmanchew.

Dressed in dark jeans jacket with a relaxed smile and a sign that read, "America World, Tucker Family." He extended his hand in a universal gesture of hello and welcome and honor--a warm handshake. He and our driver, Zadu took our bags under their command and pushed us out of the crowd into the expanse of parking lot that melded into a grand horizon of ancient green mountains--dome shaped--sleeping under an African Blue sky. Bright white clouds sailed over-head--fat, pregnant with moisture. Mounding, glorious clouds...

"The humble will be filled with fresh joy from the Lord. ((I believe it--stand on it))
The poor will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. ((I'm impoverished without Him --without resource,strength, direction,or holiness))

"No longer will Jacob ((Gillian)) hang his head in shame, no longer gaunt and pale with waiting,
For he's going to see his children,
my personal gift to him--lots of children ((and answers to hard questions))
and those children will honor me by leading Godly lives. In holy worship they'll honor the Holy one of Jacob and stand in holy awe of the God of Israel.
Those who got off-track will get back on-track, and complainers and whiners learn gratitude."

From Isaiah 29 Parenthesis are my response...

Still, Before you,
yields glory,
uncovers true joy.

Love, Gillian

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