Posted by: Kristin W | December 5, 2011

Away We Go

In two days, we will start our journey to Africa.  I can’t even describe how I’m feeling about that.  Excited?  Yes.  Anxious?  Yes.  Happy?  Yes.  Sad?  Yes.  There is so much going on in my brain that I can’t concentrate on anything.  But, here goes…

We got word last week that our kids’ birth family has testified in court and that all went well, meaning that they understand that adoption is final and that they relinquished their rights.  This is a good thing in terms of our adoption, but I found myself incredibly sad.  Can you imagine the pain of going before a judge and telling her that you are no longer able to parent these two beautiful children?  My heart breaks for them.  But at the same, my heart leapt for joy for our family and the wonderful gift we have been given.  Then again, my heart breaks for these two innocent children who have lost everything.  Eee gads!  You see the teeter totter of emotions!

I have these two pictures on my fridge.  Every time I get a drink, I look at those precious faces.  Some days I think that those two kids were absolutely meant to be my kids, and I feel a strong sense of connection to them.  Other days, they are just random strangers held up by a magnet.  How is it possible to feel so intensely  in love one moment and so indifferent the next?  Again, I’m swinging from extreme to extreme here.

We got new carpet all over the house last week.  In doing so, we had to take all of our belongings out into the garage and I have slowly been bringing things back in, carefully sorting, donating and throwing away what we don’t need.  I’m overwhelmed with how much we have.  At the same, I’m starting to pack donations for the care center where our children will stay.  We are lucky to have such incredibly generous friends who have given so many donations that we  likely will have to save some for our second trip.  We have so much.  And the things they need are things we take for granted.  Tylenol.  Vitamins.   Powder.  Again, two extremes.

Thursday morning we will pull out of the driveway for what is possibly the most important trip of our life.  I can’t wait, and I wish we were leaving today.  Then again, I am not quite ready, for reasons I can’t quite explain.  But the day we’ve been waiting for is finally here.  And I’m more excited than not.

Here are the details of our trip for those who have asked.  (And for those who are stalking us, our house will NOT be empty…don’t try to rob us.)

  • Thursday – drive to Jacksonville, fly to DC, and have dinner with “the other Kristen Watkins.”
  • Friday – board Ethiopian Air for a direct flight to Addis Ababa.
  • Saturday – arrive in Addis at 8:05 am, drive to Horizon House, MEET OUR KIDS!!!!
  • Monday – attend court.
  • Wednesday – take a tour of Addis Ababa to see the sights.
  • Thursday – say goodbye to the kids and take a late night flight out of Ethiopia, through Rome and back to the states.
  • Friday – arrive in DC, fly to Jacksonville and drive back home.  (UGH…this is the part I’m dreading)

Of course, all of this is tentative and could change at any time.  We’ll try to keep you posted on what’s going on, either by blog or on facebook.  And look for pics soon!





  1. I can totally relate to the mix of emotions. The Embassy is trying to interview E’s father. I want to rush it along, but I can’t imagine what that experience is like for him. I hope for it and dread it at the same time. Have a GREAT trip. Give my E a big hug from me. She’s a big hugger (and kisser)!

  2. Safe travels to your kiddos. Wow!!!!

  3. Have a wonderful trip!

  4. I so understand what you are saying … Have a great time!

  5. The teeter-totter of emotions must be amazing. I can only imagine it at this point, but even in my imagination (which I bet is only covering a fraction of what it’s really like, it is so intense. Your joy comes from tremendous loss. But, I am so, so excited for you and all you will be experiencing. I can’t wait to hear all about your trip, and of course, those kids!

  6. A special family is about to become even more special. God bless all the Watkins, near and Afar.

  7. Oh the extremes and the ups and downs. Get used to it =) Have a safe and wonderful trip. I cannot wait to hear all about it!

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