Ethiopia: Time to book our flight!

It wasn’t quite 6:30am. I was sitting on my living room couch, as I often do in the morning, writing a new blog post on my laptop. My husband was reading the newspaper. Typical day.

So it took a minute before I realized that the chirpy marimba sound wafting in from the kitchen was my iPhone. Ringing. This early in the morning?

My first thought: It must be that darn insurance adjuster from back east who keeps forgetting we are three hours behind him. (We are still waiting to find out who is paying for carpeting so we can move back into our office. It’s now been 26 days since the flood that forced us to evacuate.)

But the display on my phone said “Brian & Keri deGuzman.”

I grinned and picked up the phone. “Keri?” I asked.

“Pack your bags!”

I could hear the relief and joy in her voice. After more than a year of uncertainty — of waiting, wondering, praying and trusting — this Paradise Valley couple finally has a date when they will leave to meet two new members of their family, Tesfanesh and Mintesnot Solomon deGuzman, for the very first time.

For me, this certainty is almost more disarming than the waiting that I, too, have done since a spring morning last March when I met the deGuzmans for the very first time. Keri and the deGuzmans’ other two children, Jesmina and Musse (who were also born in Ethiopia) were on our May 2009 cover. At one point as we were chatting during a photo shoot, Keri invited me to go with them when they returned to the country to adopt two more children.

Was it crazy or courageous of her to ask me? Was it crazy our courageous of me to say yes?

We both are taking risks here. She is opening an extremely intimate life experience to a journalist, allowing me to travel with them, witness the early moments of their time with these two new babies and share every step of this journey.

I am spending my own money and taking two weeks of my life to make this trip with them. I’m sure we have both wondered, at many points during these months of waiting, “What am I doing?”

And yet we were drawn together, for whatever reason. A question was asked, a question was answered. And our lives were joined.

Where will this lead? I can’t possibly know. As a dear family friend told me recently, “You will go where the river leads. You can’t force the river.”