My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Second Leg of my Journey Home

I just finished up the second leg of my journey home, a fast trip to Tennessee and North Carolina.

My original plan was to visit the Miller family, some of my good friend's who are amazing supporters of what we do in Ghana and they are the family that has been working on adopting Portia for the past couple of years.  Portia was supposed to be home in October...and we waited to hear word on her visa...nothing came.  Then, Thanksgiving...no word.  Finally, Christmas...still nothing.  Finally, this week, we hear that their exit interview has finally been completed and they are coming home tomorrow.  Too late for me to meet up with them, but so happy and excited for our Portia girl to finally be with them.

I had also planned to meet up with the O'Leary family, the beautiful family that runs our partner ministry, Feeding the Orphans, but found out that they were going to be out of town, visiting family. 

So, plans changed and changed again.  But, I love traveling, so the journey began.

On the 28th, I traveled with my sister Brianna and my mom to Denver to go to the airport.  It was a fun trip.  Hanging with Bri in the backseat watching movies, helping her drive part of the way, enjoying conversations with my mom.  Sweet last moments with my family.  And then, a trip to Sweet Tomatoes (or Souplantation for those of you who know it as that)...delicious.  Finally, the airport.

And it was there that the craziness began.  I got all my stuff checked in and then found out, to my dismay, that my flight was delayed 2 1/2 hours due to a crew being late.  And then, not long after that announcement, my flight was canceled.  So, I began the process of figuring out what to do next.  I'd arrived at the airport shortly after 5, had scheduled to have a hotel and rental car available on the other side when I arrived in Nashville around 11 pm.  And here I was, in Denver, without a way to get to Nashville at all.

After standing in a customer service line for what seemed like forever, I finally got my flight changed to a red-eye flight to Nashville completely missing my "sleep" window at the hotel, but made it into Nashville by 8 am, picked up my rental car and got on the road.

I lasted about an hour out of Nashville when I discovered that only sleeping on my little flight into Nashville...well, that just wasn't going to do.  So, I pulled over into a rest stop and tried to sleep.  I slept for 2 hours holed up in the front seat of my rental car (and am thanking God for my little eye mask that let me get some much needed sleep), and woke up mid-afternoon and ready for the last leg of the trip.

I finally made it into Elizabethton, where my friends Kat and Isaiah were staying with family, right before dinner.  It was a joy to have finally made it and be welcomed with hugs from the kids, lots of warm hugs from Kat and Isaiah, and a great big welcome from Kat's brother and sister-in-law and Isaiah's mom.  We ate good food, played games, and then sat down to enjoy some pretty interesting TV...Duck Dynasty...let me tell you...reality TV sure has changed since I've been away!

The next day, we went to JP and Becca's church, shared some lunch (and some laughs with the kids), packed up the cars, and headed back to NC.  It was a fun drive, getting the opportunity to catch up with Katty.  We laughed and talked and possibly shed a few tears.  It was just what this quality time girl needed!

And by the time we made it to Winston-Salem, we were ready for a stopping point.  We got out, did a little walk around, and then quickly got back in, in search of coffee.  It was cold there!  Coffee was a bust, but we eventually found a cool restuarant and ate some delicious pizza, and then it was time to get back on the road.

We made it in late to their house, returned my rental car, and just rested.  I was so tired still.  That long night before Nashville, the drive from Nashville to Elizabethton to Raleigh...all of it was just exahausting.  So, I slept in...and it was wonderful.

The next day, Kat and Isaiah and I went to breakfast (it was delicious--some place called La Farm), and then we went to the store and prepared food for our New Year's eve celebration.  And then, we all decided to take a nap.  Except, I was the only one who fell asleep.  I had such a weird dream (that my cold had gotten so bad that I couldn't talk, and I kept crying out for Katty to help me, but I couldn't speak).  When Isaiah woke me up (with the flash of his camera and the ending of the movie--thanks Zay), apparently I had made all kinds of weird sounds in my sleep.  Oh joy!

New Year's Eve was a blast!  We went over to Kat and Isaiah's friend's house, Meghan and Paul.  Jill, Katty's co-teacher, and her husband and their little baby, Bryson, were also there.  It was so fun to get to know Kat and Isaiah's friends.  We played games.  Ate too much food.  And just laughed and enjoyed each other's company.  It was such a treat!

We spent the night there since we were out so late and their place was a little far from Kat and Isaiah's house.  I slept so well, wrapped up in their daughter, Violet's, comfy bed. 

When we got back to the Whelps, my sister came over to spend the day.  I got to meet her little dog, Bearcub.  She is such a mama to that dog!  It was fun to spend time with her and to get to welcome in the new day, relaxing in sweats, playing games, and just enjoying time together.

And that was my last day in Raleigh.

The next day, we got up really early to head to the airport.  We were all packed up and ready to go when I realized that I had lost my CA driver's license.  I looked high and low...coat pockets, suitcases, backpacks, everything was searched.  But, it didn't turn up.  We needed to get Cathy (Isaiah's mom) to the airport, so we just left.  I was in tears, thinking of how to deal with the situation when I decided to do one final search of my backpack (after Katty had prayed for me to find it), and wouldn't you know...there it was...at the bottom of my backpack, where I had already searched.  But, there it was!

So, I flew off to California, leaving behind Kat and Isaiah to begin school again.

It was such a precious few days with them.  I couldn't have really used at least two more good days with them, but such is life. 

It was a joy to just get a few moments.  These treasured memories. 

This year, I'll be praying all kinds of things for them, but at the top of my list is their new baby.  They're now on the waiting list (private in-state adoption) for a baby and I'm praying their new little one comes soon.  Such a blessing their little gift will have in Kat and Isaiah as their parents.  They are just treasures!  I can't wait!

1 comment:

  1. Stories of adoption make me so happy! :D <3 I will your friends in prayer!