Archive for September, 2011
To preface my post, let me say that I really, really dislike preachy posts on blogs; most of the time they are not well written and they come from a point of the person saying “I understand and you need to as well. Be enlightened like I am”. I’m not that way, but if I get preachy, I’m sorry. It’s self referential for me so, well, you’re more than welcome to go to more entertaining posts or blogs .
The past couple of weeks have been weird for me, simply because things have been good so far. We’ve had our moments, we’re still struggling with family dynamics and getting used to being 5 and figuring out people getting upset at others getting preference. Everyone’s experienced it and it’s not uncommon. Last night was a night I felt like I slept and woke up rested versus just tired. I skipped running this morning (part heat, part knowing an extra hour of sleep would be beneficial). The last couple of days I’ve hit 4 p.m. feeling like I was able to sleep if I sit for any long period of time. We have been reminding ourselves that 2 weeks ago we were 8,000+ miles away and we went through an emotionally exhausting experience on gotcha day.
Gotcha day. Wow. That’s going to be one I’m going to remember from this trip for a while. I grabbed my point and shoot Nikon for gotcha day because it always feels weird observing it with a large, cumbersome SLR. In our case, in China, around a dozen other families were in the room with us when we were filling out paperwork.
I have an will always feel a reverence for seeing and being in that space because there were a dozen families that were changed forever – new families were being created before my eyes with paper, pen, gifts, and lots of tears. A dozen other stories (some in Europe, some in the US, some Australia and other places) were beginning that day and it felt like holy ground to walk on. Here I am sitting with my camera and trying to convince my new 5 year old son that we’re not that scary. Poor Melissa was strapped to a desk doing paperwork that would make Kafka blush. “Sign here. Write the number here. Print your name here”. At one point, I remember signing above Melissa’s name and it was enough at that point to make the overstressed manager of the room blow up at our guide.
Brendan, who was not one for crowds, and I went outside to just sit and I remember, borrowing from Russell Moore, talking to him saying in words he’ll one day read here that this wasn’t the end that even though this was familiar something better waited. It really helped me too because I remember lamenting taking him from the familiar even though he had a family and community ready to love him.
I also appreciated fighting through that day with Melissa. I’m not sure I can quite put adequate words to screen of how much I appreciate the opportunity to fight through that day together. It’s easy here in the day to day grind to neglect that aspect of our relationship. She’s beautiful and tenacious and being able to play to our strengths and fight together was valuable time. Even praying that night together and how much she cared for me to go get me water when we got back to the hotel and I was not feeling well and put herself in yet another uncomfortable situation was amazing to watch. I’m so thankful I married her.
There’s our community as well. It’s easy for me to idolize relationships and to idolize and depend on them for self worth, but at one point we asked on our blog to email us to let us know that there was still a world out there and we are thankful for those that prayed (because of all that we saw that night) and those that emailed us and we treasured those encouraging words that night as we sat in the hotel. Because of those prayers we saw we had a God who did not abandon us and we saw that we had a community that hadn’t forgotten we were there either.
In the end, I’m appreciative of the day. I think I’m completely sold out on orphan work for the opportunity to see new happen – new lives, new families, new…everything.
Now if I could only work through my feeling of inadequacy…well, that would be wonderful.