Exactly one year ago, we were preparing to leave the country and travel around the world to meet and bring home our youngest son. All the cliches apply, especially the one about feeling like it was yesterday. It was, to date, the most emotional, amazing, difficult 2 weeks of my life, and I remember every small detail, especially the way Bangkok assaulted all of my senses and the way this little man got into my heart so deeply, so quickly. I'm forever grateful that God gave me the energy and desire to blog throughout our trip, b/c those memories are priceless to me, and I love looking back on them. I hope to have time to process in writing what it means to have spent a year as a family of five, but until I can do that, I've decided to re-post the blog entries from last year on this site, since they were on a separate, password-protected blog, and we no longer have to keep up that level of privacy. Thanks to so many of you who traveled this journey with us, who kept us afloat with your words and prayers while we were 8,000 miles away, and continue to love our family.
Originally posted on May 30, 2012:
Tomorrow morning at 6:45 am we leave our house for the airport. We travel a total of about 23 hours and arrive in Bangkok on Thursday night after 10pm. I have lists, they are checked off (well mostly–sorry to the family staying here with the kids. The floors did not get mopped and the freezer did not get cleaned out). I’ve checked and re-checked the travel document check list, have my organized binder in the carry on, have my PEOPLE magazine crossword puzzle book, my paperbacks, my snacks (thanks, C!), our borrowed iPad with the newest season of Sherlock downloaded, a DVD player with some comfort movies just in case, and my husband! I guess we are ready to go. Of course on the way home we’ll need very few of these things and will instead be focused on yogurt melts, baby einstein videos, play-doh and crayons.
A friend of mine who traveled in February said she couldn’t believe when she stood in her bedroom over her suitcase and realized the weight of this moment: I’m no longer waiting. I mean, obviously, the child is not in my arms yet, but the long, drawn out process of months of ups and downs is over. We’re leaving. On a jet plane. Some moments I’m thinking really deep thoughts about the heaviness and importance of this once-in-a-lifetime trip. Other moments I just keep saying to myself, “Don’t forget your passport. Don’t forget your passport.”
Since Sunday I’ve had a pretty constant nervous, anxious excitement in my gut. The butterflies came and they have not yet left! I’m running on adrenaline and having a hard time sleeping. Which works OK, because I’ve had a trillion details to take care of. My emotions are all over the map. One minute I’m crying because I don’t want to leave my big kids and the next minute I’m crying b/c they are driving me crazy and I can’t wait to leave them and then I’m crying b/c I feel guilty for having such a thought and I know i’m going to miss them SO MUCH! See? Do you feel sorry for my husband right about now?
Several people have asked what the schedule is for the next week or so. We’ll get a firm itinerary on Friday, but we do know that on Sunday, June 3, we will meet Asher. A social worker will pick him up from his foster home and bring him to our hotel. She and he will hang out with us at the hotel for a few hours. Then she will take him home.
It is possible that we will go to the foster family’s home that same afternoon. That seems like a lot of outrageous emotions for one day, but we’ll do what we’re told! Sometimes the families go on Sunday, sometimes on Monday. When we visit his home, we’ll meet the foster family, give them gifts, take lots of pictures and video for Asher to see when he is older. We’ll have a translator and be able to ask questions and convey just an inkling of our gratitude and love for them.
On Monday, the social worker will bring him to our hotel again. We’ll all get a ride to a big mall and have forced public interaction for a few hours. It sounds like this is often a rough time, but it gives the child and parents some more time together. If we haven’t gone to the foster family on Sunday, we’ll go after the mall visit. Then Asher will again return to his foster family.
On Tuesday, the social worker will bring him to our hotel for good. We will have custody of him from that day forward. That is Tuesday, June 5th, and I’m sure it will be another crazy emotional day. Just a heads up, it usually seems to also be the day the bloggers fade away out of exhaustion and lack of time to update.
The rest of the week is filled with meetings that I’ll explain later, with getting to know each other, and figuring out what makes our little guy tick.
We applied for this adoption 29 months ago. I distinctly remember standing at the mailbox with a huge paper envelope and kissing it. I know it’s cheesy, but I did. Now we are at the end of this life-changing wait and the beginning of our new and improved family. Surreal doesn’t really cover it. As if the truth of those thoughts weren’t enough to break me, the AMAZING love and support we’ve received surely leaves me breathless. I cannot thank you all enough. I mean it. I can’t! Each little comment on a blog or FB, each hug, each smile, each question, each prayer…they ALL have been a part of this journey and made it more bearable and more exciting. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.
One last thing…my 4 of 4 prayer request is pretty basic: safety and health. Call me old-fashioned, but it’s no small thing to travel around the world. It’s hard to leave my babies on one side, even if it is to go get the other baby. And health for me, Trent and Asher. Trent is worried for me, b/c I’m very predictable: stress and lack of sleep= sick. Usually hoarse. So we’ve been downing the airborne and emergenC. Will it help? No idea. But this is going to be challenging enough in full health–I don’t want to see what it would be like sick. Pray that Asher, too, will stay healthy. He’s going to have enough on his plate! Thank you so much! See you on the flip side.