Anyway, yesterday I attended a travel information meeting my agency hosted. It was for families who are getting ready to make the trip to China to meet their child! It was the second time I've heard the details of the process, by the same sweet social worker, but I felt that no matter how many times I adopt, there will always be something to learn about the journey, amen? ;)
I'm so thankful I went, because it confirmed what the subject of this post would be, something that I've been thinking a whole lot about lately:
The Big Build-Up to The Big Trip
If you have traveled to China, or if you are thick in the paperchase to adopt your child, or if you are about to get on that plane in three days, or if you are just thinking and dreaming about adopting one day...I think you will agree with me on this one point: there is so much anticipation, so many butterflies in our stomachs, so many dreams and scenarios played out in our heads of "THE TRIP".
As our social worker presented all the glorious details leading up to "Gotcha Day", I felt those familiar emotions of anxiety, nervousness, and extreme excitement that I was getting closer to the day I would meet my son. Who, by the way, is the CUTEST thing you ever did see, don't you agree? ;)
I'm off track. Looking at him does that to me! ;)
So I'm getting excited as she talks about the moment your child is handed to you...which is really how it happens mostly. They just hand you your child after checking your passport and paperwork. And then she went on to talk about attachment and adjustment, and the wide spectrum of issues that go along with that.
And I was reminded (and brought back down to reality, frankly) that this TRIP, this marvelous, long-awaited trip....well, that's all it is...a TRIP. It is not the end-all, be-all of my journey. Certainly not! Yes, it is important, because it is the vessel used by God to bring me my child. But in the big picture, it is all about getting through the trip to the other side...home with our son!
Both times we've gone to China, I get wrapped up in the preparation of this trip. It does seem huge, looming before us. The packing, the buying of gifts for Chinese officials (don't let this stress you out like I have done!), the tizzy of ordering plane tickets, the details of who will keep my other children while we're gone. (Don't tell anyone, but our first trip to China....I consumed myself with making sure everyone had matching outfits. And then Gotcha Day came, and we were handed two 2-year olds, and how 'bout those matching outfits? Do ya think I cared one bit about our clothes after that? ;) It's easy to let the trip consume our thoughts, of course. And certainly we should relish every bit of our child's culture and birth country while we are there... taking in the sights, smells, sounds, and people of China. But this trip is two-three weeks long. In the big scheme of a lifetime, that's pretty short. It will be full of bumps, unexpected surprises-some good, some bad, and we will survive it and get our son home, and then new life will begin.
The REAL TRIP will begin...getting to know him, establishing a new normal and a good routine, cleaning up his messes, taking him to doctor appointments, comforting him through major heart surgery, and prayerfully one day taking him on vacations, watching him walk across the stage at graduation, smothering his children with my kisses. That is the trip I want to prepare for...and it is a wonderful trip called LIFE!
John 10:10 "...I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full"