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The Seidel Family Blog

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And…We’re Off! Beginning Our Travel Journey


Mabuhay (welcome/hello)!

Greetings from Tokyo! Yes, you read that correctly…we're officially on our way to the Philippines!!! I am writing this blog post while we await our connection to Manila in Tokyo (Narita International) during our 4-hour layover. What a difference a few short weeks can make in the adoption journey. Let me back up and share the unfolding of God's plan for us these past few weeks.

A few short days after cancelling our previous flights due to needing another approval, the Philippines government made a clarification in the restriction that one of our previous approvals would be valid until the end of May. With that update, we technically had everything we needed to enter Manila prior to the end May…except tickets on a flight. If you recall, the soonest we could get flights after we rebooked was June 4th.

So, for the past week, we have been monitoring tickets on a daily basis. It's hard to explain in words how limited flights to Manila are right now. But let me assure you, they're extremely limited as the government has a restriction on how many foreign nationals can enter Manila via the airport in a day.

But my God is great and He opened a door that only He could. On Friday evening, we found the last two tickets on a flight for Sunday open up to Manila with a Tokyo layover. God provided the reassurance that this was the path He had for us – even though I had always been insistent I didn't want an international layover. He arranged the details so we could book updated flights home from Manila, as well as coordinate updates with our hotel and get rushed RT-PCR COVID tests.

Needless to say, Saturday was quite the whirlwind getting final preparations made. Between printing what feels like hundreds of documents (maybe an exaggeration…but not by much) and packing 3 weeks' worth of items, Ben and I worked nonstop Saturday to be ready for a 6am flight on Sunday.

Since Friday, I've been a bundle of nerves and stress. More on that next blog post, but suffice it to say, we are leaning on God each step of the way. Because of COVID restrictions, each leg of our journey so far has come with many explanations for our trip and how we qualify to enter Manila. It hasn't been easy, but we've worked with some amazing individuals that have been very gracious in listening to our pleas.

So, as I sit in the Narita airport, that layover I was scared of…well, it has turned into merely sitting 4 hours in an airport that has very few people in it. COVID restrictions are strict for foreign nationals in Japan as well, so it appears the airport is nowhere near at its normal activity/capacity. Not to mention, we had an amazing flight on Japan Airlines to get here. Quite frankly, the best plane ride either of us have had and that's saying something considering it was 13+ hours long. Ben even enjoyed his favorite food in the world – ice cream, as I enjoyed a nice glass of white wine. 😊 As silly as it seems, even in our choice to take this route, God knew we would be just fine.

A few pictures for you to enjoy.

Our prayer request – Lord, continue to orchestrate each of the next steps on our trip. Help us pass through Manila immigrations without any issues and arrive safely at our hotel. Be with us as we quarantine for 2 weeks and anxiously await being with our son in person. Help our COVID tests in the Philippines (both of them) come back negative! Be with JP as he continues to process the changes that are just around the corner. Fill him with excitement and peace that comes only from the Holy Spirit. Help him see our love for him.

P.S. I am just as tired of saying "because of COVID restrictions" as you are of hearing it. I pray that phrase becomes less frequent in the foreseeable future – not only for us, but for everyone in the world. We never imagined (although we definitely were naïve not to) that COVID would so drastically change our adoption journey. Our comfort rests in knowing that what Satan tries to use for evil, God uses for His good (Genesis 50:20).

Until next time – all of our love!