We're on the countdown. Very soon we will be flying across the ocean to bring our little girl home. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I'm terrified. Terrified of rejection. Terrified that things will never be the same again. Terrified of the unknown. But I'd also be lying if I didn't say that there is also peace. Oddly so, and much of it. And yet I try to imagine the day that we meet her, and my stomach twists up in nervous knots. I doubt I'll get a wink of sleep the night before.
I've lost count of the hundreds of miracles that have led us to where we are. Dennis and I talked about it for a long time last night- of how the Lord started preparing us for this long before we were even married, in tiny little ways that at the time seemed inconsequential but were quietly changing our hearts. We are as prepared as we can possibly be and, at the same time, woefully unprepared. I don't think we can ever be fully prepared for what the Lord has in store for us. Preparation and obedience... and then finally, faith. I think that's as much as the Lord ever expects from any of us. We've completed the first two steps, and now we are riding the final wave. Faith.
The last few months have felt like preparing for a hurricane. Essentially, we've gone into lock down. We pray that the storm will never come, but we are metaphorically boarding up and hunkering down for the long haul, just in case it does. I closed the door on my photography business and I've gotten in my final hurrahs with my friends. As Dennis wrote about in his previous blog post, he asked to be released from his church callings, as did I. We both know that we need to turn our complete attention and energy onto our little family in every possible way, without any distractions. But even with that sure knowledge that we needed to do this, it has brought with it surprising grief- grief of letting go of serving in a church that we both love. But for the time being, our calling is elsewhere- a calling that we both accepted almost a year ago.
We have been working on learning some basic Mandarin, which in case you were wondering, has to be one of the most difficult languages to learn. My Mandarin is atrocious- comically so. I installed Google Translate onto my phone and tried out my newly acquired words that I was so proud of, only to realize that Google didn't even recognize my speech as Mandarin. I thought my kids were going to die laughing when they saw the app's confusion as it tried to figure out what I was saying. I'm crossing my fingers that our little girl has both an abundance of patience and humor.
Our family also started seeing a family therapist in preparation for the changes coming to our family. She has been wonderful and has given them some helpful tools to help us know how to be assertive, compassionate, and when to ask for help. What a blessing our therapist has been for us already.
Her bedroom is ready. The linens are freshly washed and clothes are hanging in her closet. She has only seen a handful of pictures of us and we've only seen a few pictures of her, along with a two-minute video clip. Her adoption file is confusing, vague, and at times, self-contradicting. That's it. That's all we know of each other, and still I love her fiercely.
We pray for her every night- that her heart will be prepared. That courage will defeat fear... in all of us. That we will be blessed with patience and understanding as she grieves the life that she knew and the people she loved. But we are not alone in this. Angels, both seen and unseen, are shoring us up. They have been all along the way and I know they won't abandon us now.