This morning I looked at my watch at 7:30am local time and realized that if things had gone according to plan (ha!) we would have been walking through the front door of our home.
It seems so far away, so long ago that we backed out of our driveway and Sarah waved “good-bye house! Miss you!” and blew it a kiss. I miss our family and friends back home. I miss cooking in my kitchen. I miss walks to the pool. I miss car seats and seat belts. I miss conversations with those who know me well. (Bern and Mary Bridget–I miss laughing with you and our 3pm cocktail hour.) I miss sitting on our back patio with guac and chips listening to music pump through the scratchy speakers. I miss watching the kids play in our backyard.
I miss our backyard swing with the dirt patch beneath where grass never grows.
But despite our homesickness and heavy heart at not being able to leave China (yet!) the fact that we have these two makes it ALL worth it.
They are precious in His eyes as well as ours. Already, we can hardly remember our lives before they were with us. And we keep talking about how when we get home, they are going to love ______ or we’ll have to make sure we move ______ out of their reach.
Sure…life is crazier now with two extra littles. But crazy sweet too. Living for 2+ weeks in a hotel is not easy. But you know what’s harder? Not having kids.
BTDT. Don’t wanna go back.
Our hands are full but our hearts burst with JOY. They keep us on our toes but make every discomfort, every single dollar spent, each extra day spent hoping for better news from the State Dept worth it.
And those long months of waiting and praying for them? Priceless.
They bring meaning to it all.
We have so much for which we are thankful. I need to remember that this time spent here is not a matter of life and death–we WILL get home. It’s just a matter of time.
The experience of the past few days has changed my perspective on what’s important. No longer do I fear (much) the flight home with two lap infants on a crowded plane. I surrender the dream of bulkhead seating–just give me some standing room on a flight to the US and a sling and I’m good.
But also, it’s made me realize just how enormously blessed we Americans are…and that when we do get home, we get to return to a fairly comfortable lifestyle.
It’s a little different here.
Other things we are grateful for:
– The kids are good sleepers and have been napping at roughly the same time each day. (which I know is apt to change when we are home–but I’m enjoying the schedule right now.)
– Everyone is healthy. The tummy bugs have swept through our little group and are at least held at bay for the time being. Mike’s sinus infection has improved (thanks to a forward thinking doctor who prescribed broad spectrum antibiotics for the whole family “just in case.”)
– Both kids are smiling, crying, pooping, peeing and getting into mischief at regular intervals. Both are saying words like “mama”, “dada”, “ball”, “hello”, “bye-bye”, “yay!” and “no-no-no”. Joseph continues to blossom more each day and graces us regularly now with his gorgeous, toothy grin. My heart sings to observe the transformation. Both kids are are attaching well to Mike and I though Joseph still sometimes has a stronger preference for Mike. Sometimes me. Sometimes I have two babies, one in each arm and on each hip, both wanting only me, often screaming at the other to go away, wanting my full and undivided attention. I now know what it feels like to be a rockstar. Like a million bucks.
– We are together–all of our kids are with us which is a luxury many families stuck with us cannot enjoy.
– We are surrounded by wonderful people who share our plight. We encourage one another daily and can cry on each other’s shoulders…all without shame and all with total understanding and commiseration.
– Our accommodations are comfortable and we have access to ample clean bottled water–even if we can’t drink the stuff from the faucets or brush our teeth with it.
– The hotel staff is sympathetic and helpful.
– The food is delicious and filling.
– The pool is lovely.
– I have access to laundry facilities. (sort of)
– The kids have been troopers. They are eager to be home but holding up well.
It doesn’t hurt that there are boys their age here to help pass the time. Praise God for that!
We are in this for them…for all of them. We’d do it again in a heartbeat if it is the means by which we must graft M&J into our family.
Soon, very soon, this will be a distant memory. A blip on the radar. Something we’ll be able to laugh over…or maybe write a book about. For now, we are continuing to lobby those back home to help us get them onto US soil.
You wanna know what else we are grateful for?
Everyone who has read this blog and followed our journey. Every single last one of you who have been praying us through this, offering support of all kinds and especially those who have helped these past 24 hours in contacting your senators, congressmen and news stations.
We read each and every comment here and on FB…every single share is noted and appreciated. Every single moment you spend thinking of us, praying for us, lending us support is appreciated. We are overcome with gratitude for the wealth of love and friendship you have extended to us.
Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!