When you are awake at 4 am, going grocery shopping is a really good activity. There is no one there so you have the place all to yourself. I can’t tell you how nice it was to walk through the grocery store and see meat that was sealed and refrigerated and just really food in general that was completely recognizable. I am however, not happy to be awake. I went about 36 hours without sleep, crashed at 7:00 last night and woke up at 3:30.
I haven’t updated my blog since I’ve been back and thought that I should. I have shared so much about my journey with you guys and I didn’t think it was fair to leave you hanging. I also felt like I needed to share these terribly flattering good bye pictures with you. Crying my eyes out is an incredibly attractive look for me. I am also completely kidding.
I woke up at 3:30 this morning and realized that Ihad been dreaming about being back home. It was a lot like what being home today actually was. But in my dream, I had my little boy with me. That was a hard reality to wake up to. I miss him so much. It is a really unbearable kind of pain. To be so close to him for 6 weeks and then to be on the other side of the world. It is really just not fair. That is a juvenile way to express my feelings on the matter but I Don’t really see any other way to describe it. Not fair.
On my past trips to China, the reverse culture shock on this end has always been pretty terrible. This time is expectedly worse. I Can’t really communicate adequately how strange it felt to get in my car and drive down the road today, to be alone in my apartment without the sounds of children around me, to have full conversations in English, to eat a salad. Strange. I also realized just how much I actually have to process. I have been through a lot this summer! If any of you all are familiar with Steven Curtis Chapman’s music, you may know the song ‘What now?’ One of the verses says :
I saw the face of Jesus
In a little orphan girl
She was standing in the corner
On the other side of the world
And I heard the voice of Jesus
Gently whisper to my heart
Ddn’t you say you wanted to find Me
Well, here I am, here you are
So what now
What will you do now that you’ve found Me?
What will you do with this treasure you’ve found
I know I may not look like what you expected
But if you’ll remember
This is right where I said I would be
You found me, what now?
I continually ask myself that question. What now? What do I do now that I’m back on this side of the world?? I Have come to no conclusions or answers to this question and I guess finding those answers is part of my continuing journey. I only know that I am so open to being a part of this picture, a part of something so much bigger than myself. I know that God will take me back to China. I don’t know when but I surely hope that it is sooner than later. So many of my friends said to me today ‘I didn’t think you would come back!’. I know that they were joking for the most part but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t go over there with a little bit of fear that that might be the next step for me. I Would also be lying if I said that there wasn’t a part of me that thought I Would be on that plane Tuesday with my little boy beside me. Maybe its wishful thinking or a complete childlike faith, but I am a true believer in miracles. I am not naive enough to believe that you can go to China, pick a kid out and bring them home. But I kept hoping that something would happen, that he would get a medical visa. Something! But that didnt happen. So now, on the other side of the world, I just have to sit here and pray for him. Pray that there is a family somewhere out there that is perfect for him and wants to bring him home. That’s all I can do right now.
On the plane from Newark to Nashville, I noticed a beautiful little family. A young man and woman with three precious little children. It was obvious that these children were not the couple’s biological children. I was wearing a shirt that said ‘I Show Hope’. The man asked me ‘ Do you work for Show Hope?’ I said ‘Not officially, but I have been in China all summer working at Maria’s Big House’ He said ‘ Show Hope helped us with our adoption!!’ Turns out, this couple was on their way home from Ethopia and had only known their special new family for one week. I can’t express what a perfect ending that was for my trip. I loved seeing adoption full circle and I feel like God gave me that gift.
I have to get focused. I have to get ready for the new school year. I have to move into a new apartment next week (anybody want to help? Seriously….I don’t know how I’m gonna get that done!!)
Its a brand new day. I woke up this morning and I kept thinking that over and over again. A new start and God has so richly blessed me. So many of you had said how you can’t wait to see what God will do with my life….well, I certainly can’t wait either. I feel like I’m at the beginning of something great.
Thank you all for reading my thoughts and sharing my journey with me. I have to admit how shocked I was when I saw my blog stats and that I had over 6000 views. That blows my mind. But if this blog has raised awareness about the orphan crisis, then my story has made a difference and that is such a big part of what I want out of this. I will not be writing everyday, but when there is something exciting going on, or I feel led to, I will keep you updated.