Yesterday was insane. To say the very least. I intentionally procrastinated several things that needed to be done before Joey left, so that there would not be a lot of sitting around and waiting. I do not like sitting around waiting for anything. Intentional procrastination is a serious art, and I have pretty much mastered it. It is different than regular procrastination. It takes a lot of planning. My mom hates it. She is the person who gets every task finished the second she knows it needs to be done. I just don't operate that way. However, you do have to factor in any unexpected events that might slow you down, so you cannot leave too much to be done. Well yesterday we had several unexpected events.
For starters, I got the most awesome phone call first thing in the morning. My good friend, Whitney Runyon, who also happens to be an incredibly talented photographer, had been talking for a while about she and her husband going with Joey on the trip to document his journey and his reunion with Archie. We also talked about how great it would be if she was able to take pictures at the orphanage in hopes of creating something to share with people back home to open up some eyes to the severity of the orphan crisis. She has a huge passion for orphans as well. Unfortunately, when I talked to Whitney on Friday, she let me know that her husband, Nick, who is a pilot (I know how cool is that, a photographer and a pilot) could not get the time off work. He did everything he could to try to make it work, but it just didn't. We were both bummed, but agreed we would not let this idea die, and that we would still try and create something powerful once we were back home with Archie.
Well at 8 AM Saturday morning when my phone rang, I was happily shocked when Whitney asked me "can we still go?" UM. YES! I guess Nick was able to work some super pilot magic and they made it happen. They got tickets on Joey's flights. That morning. They booked the flights that morning and headed to Bulgaria just a few hours later.
They live in Austin, so they started driving to Houston so that they could ride with us to the airport. We were in a bit of a time crunch and didn't know if we might have to leave them behind to get Joey there so that he didn't miss his flight. They were set to arrive at our house at about 1:45, and they really needed to be at the airport at 2, or as close to 2 as possible. And we live 30 minutes from the airport, so yes, we were cutting it super close.
In the meantime, while we were waiting on them to arrive, Joey got a call from a client. They needed him to fax them something right away, and it was super important that he get it done since he was going to be gone all week. So at 1:10, Joey headed to his office. WHAT? I know. Crazy.
At right about 1:40, Joey pulled back up to the house, and Whitney and Nick pulled up right behind him. We loaded the car and were on the road! Joey missed the airport exit (to be expected) But we got to there at 2:10 and they were off.
I can't even express how blessed we feel to have Whitney and Nick there with Joey. To be able to have this part of our journey documented by someone as talented as Whitney is truly priceless. And I know Joey loved having some travel buddies. So I am thankful for that.
Ace and I got to Skype with Joey this afternoon which was so nice. Especially for Ace, being able to see him and talk to him is so important. She misses him so much already. I do too, but she doesn't fully understand. She told me this morning that Archie and Daddy would be home today. When I explained to her that it would be a few more days before they got here, she cried and told me, "No Mommy, the sun's gonna stay up, and Daddy and Archie will get home before the sun goes away." Sweet girl.
For now, Joey is asleep in a hotel room just a few miles away from Archie's orphanage. And in just seven hours. SEVEN HOURS. He will be walking out of the orphanage with our son.
Here are some images from the trip so far. All photos are by my friend, the amazing, talented Whitney Runyon.
Saying goodbye to Daddy
Made it to Frankfurt. On to Sofia.
About to land. Beautiful Sofia
Sunset in Kazanluk. Last sunset with our son.
And tomorrow is Gotcha Day. Archie will leave behind the orphanage. The only place he has known for his seven years of life. It is bittersweet for his primary caretaker, Ani, and the other staff members at the orphanage who love him so much. They will miss him dearly, but they are so thankful that he is coming home to our family. They have seen what happens to the children who do not get adopted. And they are so happy we were able to change Archie's fate. And we feel so blessed that we were called to be his family.
Lots of Love!