It is the day before we leave for China and I can’t sit still.  Can’t be fallow or my mind wanders and I doubt and worry.  So I’m balancing being still before Father, pressing in to His safe self, and keeping my hands busy so that we are ready to fly away in the morning.  But before we go, I feel the need to explain how our lives are going to look when we return.  

Many people have been laboring with us through prayer and in other ways to bring our girl home.  We long for you to know her and show her in person the love you have expressed through action.  But our first concern is going to be helping her adjust, grieve and understand that we are her family and we are not going anywhere.  Her whole world is going to be turned upside down in six days.  I ache for that.  But there will be beauty from ashes, I know.  There will come a day in the near future where she will feel safe with us and will recognize that we are hers.  Until then, we will severely limit her exposure to the outside world.  It will be important that we alone feed her, comfort her, hold her.  This is what every study on adoptive children says to do.  It goes against my grain.  You know I love throwing my doors open and welcoming people in.  But I will stifle that impulse until our bonding is sure and strong.  Our first priority is her well-being.
Please understand if we live behind closed doors for a time (could be weeks or months) when we get home.  And even when you see us venturing out and showing her our world, please allow us to be the ones to feed, hold, comfort her.  My parents, who are traveling with us and are the most hands-on parents imaginable, cannot even hold her until she is well bonded with us.  It pains me to think about it.  Our girl was left outside a shopping mall when she was days old.  She has been raised in questionable surroundings, getting less than stellar care since she was months old, but her foster parents are the only mama and baba she’s ever known.  We are about to steal her away from that and take her to places where nothing and no one is familiar.  I could weep thinking of it.
So, as we cocoon, we ask for space to help our baby adjust.  We will let you in eventually.  You know we will let you in.  Until then we covet your prayers and we commit to trying to update you as much as possible so that you can watch this process unfold.  We have said often in the past weeks, there is a whole community of people will be birthing with us next Monday, who have labored these past nine months.  We bless Father for the Body.  It has lifted us high.  You are our people and we are so thankful for you.  
This is me being real.  Off to google how to do a stylish high bun.  I’m sweating just thinking of the heat and humidity there.  And asking that all photos be taken from the neck up.  I have no idea what I’ve packed.  It’s irrelevant.  And wondering if they sell terry cloth shirts so I can mop up the tears I spontaneously burst into these days.  Deep breath.  Prayer.  Chocolate.  Repeat.


We are nearly ready.  You can tell by the suitcases lined up in my bedroom in various stages of being packed.  You can tell because I’ve gotten my brows waxed and my toes painted China Red and I’m going to be wearing the same outfit tomorrow because everything else is packed.  You can tell because I’m nesting-putting her little rails on her bed, setting up a little diaper changing station in the family room, calling everything that pertains to her little.  You can tell because my heart has started to race a bit faster as we get closer and the kids have mentioned that they are a little scared, but mostly excited.  You can tell because we can’t think about anything other than her and getting there and doing this thing.

We fly out first thing Wednesday morning, ready or not.  Her car seat will be installed and her suitcase will lay atop ours.  There will be four Smalls with backpacks filled with junk food and coloring books.  And four Bigs with stress and happy written in equal parts across their faces.  And this process, which has been so sweet, but so so hard will be reaching it’s zenith.  For nine months I have dreamed this, good and bad, but the reality is that nothing I’ve done up till now, not the exhaustive paperwork, not the massive checks, not the worrying about why her eyes look empty and her feet limp, it all pales in comparison to climbing on that plane and going there.  
Father is stretching me.  Stretching me long.  He knew that the papers and running around would be nothing compared to the actual doing.  That hard is the barrel I’m staring down.  This is where I strap on my trust shoes and walk.  Onto the airplane.  Into a culture and cuisine that frighten me.  All the way to a teeny orphan whose world we are about to ruin.  And then redeem.  The trusting was easier before the travel and the actual act of getting her were a reality.  But I’m ready.  And I have a supernatural peace.  That has seen me through unpacking countless boxes and settling my family in.  Through packing us and preparing to leave.  This peace that passes understanding, it blesses me.  And confounds me, no matter how many times I feel it.  Always confounds me.  So, when I kick the trust shoes off and begin listening to the wrong father (little f), to that father of lies, that author of deception, when I begin to sink and feel the warmth of panic creep up my neck and blush my cheeks, when I doubt that we can or that she should or that He will, I sin.  And so, I’m working today on focusing my eyes on Father so that I can walk.  Because she is waiting and so is obedience and they are both worthy prizes.  
And I’m trusting that my dad will find healing for his back and our TA will arrive before we fly out and that a million big and small pieces will fall into place before Wednesday at 9:56.  And if they don’t, well, God will still be on his throne.  And we will still be flying to her.  Jesus, such a kidder that one, having one of my Smalls be born in Asia.  Such a kidder.
This is me (and four Smalls and a whole lotta baggage, real and imagined, and a keloid scar named Steve) being real.  Wondering where you’re walking in your trust shoes today?