Thursday, May 20, 2010

{ethiopia} GETTING THERE IS HALF THE FUN... RIGHT?

Our luggage. Ready to go to Ethiopia.
Unfortunately, our luggage took a detour...

We waited 18 months for our day.
Our day to travel to Ethiopia to meet our son.

We spent months planning, shopping, packing.

We were ready.

Our paperwork was in order.
Our bags were packed.
Our humanitarian aid was ready to go.

Unfortunately, nothing went as planned.

"Dallas... Washington DC... Addis Ababa Ethiopia. Praying the weather cooperates!"
7:07 AM Feb 13th via Twitter

Well, it didn't.
The Dallas airport shut down due to fog.
No planes coming in or going out.

"Our flight to Dallas was delayed over 2 hours this morning. We pulled up to the gate just in time to watch our flight to DC pull away."
2:14 PM Feb 13th via Twitter

We missed it.
There was a plane sitting at our gate and we had to wait for it to move. While we were waiting, Keith and I watched out the window as our flight pulled away from the gate. That has to be one of the worst feelings in the world. Horrible!

When we got off the plane, we hurried to the counter to find a new flight and were given two options:
(1) fly to Charlotte, catch a flight to D.C., and arrive with about an hour to spare.
(2) fly to Baltimore, take a taxi to D.C., and hope we make it in time

We decided to go to Charlotte, because we didn't know how the roads in Baltimore were. (They had a huge snow storm the week we left that shut down the city.)

The lady at the American Airlines counter tracked our luggage, had it put on the flight to Charlotte and sent us across the airport to the US Airways counter.

So, we took off running from one terminal to another to make our connection. The airport was so crowded and all the lines were so long, which, I guess is what happens when an airport shuts down for two hours.

We finally made it to the counter and got in line. After about ten minutes, an announcement was made that the flight to Charlotte will be delayed three hours.

THREE HOURS.

There is no way we will make our connection to D.C. if we wait for this flight.

So, we take off running BACK to the American terminal.

We already know our options, and it's not looking good.
The flight to Baltimore was scheduled to take off in less than an hour, but we didn't even know if there would be any more seats.

The lady at the American counter told us that she can get us on the flight, but our luggage would still go to Charlotte. And that's where it really hit me. There was a really good chance that we were going to Ethiopia without any luggage. It was all I could do keep it together.

Since the flight was leaving in less than 30 minutes, we didn't even have time to think about it. We told her to book it and she told us to do the same.

We run BACK through the airport, to another terminal, get to the gate, they give us our tickets, we get on the plane and they close the door.

"After 2 hrs of running around DFW airport, we are headed to Baltimore & our luggage to Charlotte. Not sure when we will meet up?!"
5:37 PM Feb 13th via Twitter


On the flight to Baltimore, Alex and I sat beside a nice man from Nigeria, who ironically asked me if I knew if his luggage would be in Baltimore... ha!, and Keith sat 2 rows behind us beside two sweet ladies. We were too tired to even try and switch seats, which turned out to be a good thing.

Keith ended up talking to the women beside him and shared our adoption story with them and what we had been through that day. And Lindsay, one of the ladies, reached into her bag and pulled out 2 shirts to give to me so I would have something to wear besides what I had on. Keith told her that I would not accept them and she told him to put them in his bag and don't tell me until we get there. So he did. (Thank you, Lindsay! What an unexpected blessing!)

We landed in Baltimore, got off the plane and took off running.
When we got to ground transportation, we found a taxi driver that was willing to drive us to Washington D.C. We spent the majority of the drive on our phones returning phone calls, text messages, emails, talking to our travel agent and our caseworker.

"In Baltimore. Taking a taxi to DC. Decision time... IF we make our flight, we go w/NO luggage. NONE! Or stay 2 days & go w/luggage."
6:07 PM Feb 13th via Twitter

We arrived at the airport 45 minutes before our flight was scheduled to leave. We grabbed our backpacks, and ran to the Ethiopian Air counter. After stepping up to the counter, we told the gentleman our names and he said... "YOU'RE LATE!" Keith told him we didn't have any bags to check and asked if we could there was anyway we could get on the flight. He stood up, looked over the counter at the floor and looked at us and said, "You're flying to Ethiopia without any luggage?"

Apparently we are.

He gave us our tickets, and told us to RUN!
So we did just that.
Straight to our gate, where, once again, we were the last to board the plane.

"We're out of here! We've waited long enough!"
7:05 PM Feb 13th via Twitter

We decided that we would keep trying until we hit a dead end. If we had to wait until Monday to fly out, we would, but it had to be the only option.

It may sound silly, but I wanted to be able to tell Misikir that we did everything we could to get to there. That we never stopped trying. Just the thought of not being in Ethiopia on Monday to hold Misikir was enough for us. We would just figure it out when we got there.

1 comment :

  1. Wow! What a stressful day of travel! I'm so glad your luggage eventually caught up with you. Yea for your parents!!!

    ReplyDelete