After a slight detour to London (which I will share in an upcoming post), we made it home to the good old US of A. The Cross Family was waiting for us at the San Francisco airport… Wendi said that the flight for Nebeyu was okay… he actually was super excited about the plane ride at first, and then dealt with a bout of motion sickness, which made the experience pretty difficult. He didn’t want to get sick, he couldn’t really communicate his feelings, and Wendi did all she could do as a mother to comfort her son, but without being able to understand why he was crying (was it sadness? sickness? homesickness? fear?), she felt a little overwhelmed by the time they reached Washington, DC for their layover. They made it through immigration and customs just fine, and Wendi sat on a seat with Nebeyu resting on her shoulder… that was when it hit her that she did not know his language, she did not know how to communicate, and what was she going to do? She knew she couldn’t do it alone, and even Rick’s guidance would not help break the language barrier. She prayed right then asking God to help her find a way to comfort her son.
Just then a man walked by Wendi and Nebeyu. He turned to Wendi and said, “Adopted from Ethiopia?” To which Wendi replied, “YES! Do you speak Amharic?” and the man said, “Of course! I am Ethiopian!” And he came over and helped Wendi right in her moment of greatest need. He asked Nebeyu why he was upset (because his stomach hurt), and told Nebeyu that his mom wanted him to eat crackers and take a pill that will help his stomach feel better. He asked if Nebeyu was sad, and Nebeyu said he wasn’t; he was very excited to be going to the US to meet his brothers and sisters. The man told Nebeyu that it was very wonderful that he has this family that will love him and care for him and give him a good life in America. And that man, that random stranger who appeared just as Wendi cried out for God to help her, gave Wendi a sense of hope and strength. That maybe she couldn’t do it alone, but God would provide the people along her path that will help and things will be okay.
After a 2 hour car ride from San Francisco to Sacramento, we arrived at Nebeyu’s new home. He went in first…
and he finally got to meet his new baby sister, Cami. Cami was just a little chatterbox (“Come here, Double-You!”), guiding him all over the house to meet his brothers, to see his new bike, to see the living room and the TV, to see Grandma and Grandpa, and everything…
and Nebeyu was very happy.
He loved his new room and couldn’t wait to start decorating his bulletin board. As you can see, Cami is showing him the beds.
We had a cake for him, but as we discovered, Nebeyu isn’t a fan of cake. ha!!
After the home tour, we all sat around the table for a family meal and Rick said a blessing.
We all dug into an amazing spaghetti meal made by Wendi’s mom. IT WAS FABULOUS!!! Cami was too excited to eat and kept talking away, showing Nebeyu how she knows the alphabet and letters and stuff…
By then it was getting to be a little late, so the boys started their evening routine…
And we all went to sleep and had a wonderful, restful night’s sleep at HOME in the US.
The next morning was Sunday, and the kids all got ready for church. Cami spent the night at Grandma and Grandpa’s house so I took some pictures of Wendi and her four sons before church…
My favorite one…
At church, Nebeyu got to meet his extended family. It’s a big one.
And he brought his Amharic Bible with him to follow along. He liked looking verses up and then taking Wendi’s Bible and comparing them.
He really enjoyed church. Our whole team attends this church, so we all got up and shared about our trip and some of the special moments of our journey… It was great.
And after church, we were finally able to get a family picture of the COMPLETE CROSS FAMILY. ♥
We also attempted to re-create the front door shots, but the sun wasn’t cooperating with us and I had a flight to catch… but we did it anyway
The Cross Family – 14 Feet of Love.
Thank you so much for following along on this journey to Africa and back! I still have to share our London detour, but for now, I am happy to say that Nebeyu is home in Sacramento and I am home in Las Vegas… although right now, I feel like a piece of my heart has remained in Africa. I know I will be going back. Hopefully sooner rather than later.