This boy. He has no idea what is about to hit him. No idea that in a few short weeks, Lord willing, he will be orphan no more. That he’ll belong to two bros and three sisters and 20 Kevins and a Keloid scar named Steve. And a mom who defrosts Lucy’s hot dogs in baggies in her arm pits while making everyone’s lunches. He has no idea the chaos and beauty and sheer lunacy that is this family. That we regularly drag our kids to Ann Arbor just to buy peanut butter and popcorn, that laundry gets cleaned but not folded, that there are more toys in the yard than in the garage most days, despite ridiculous threats.
Y’all, we might be two weeks away from having him in our arms, his chubby cheeked, curly lipped self (yes mom, he does sort of look like Grant. Sort of.) Father is throwing open doors and showing me once again that my trust is barely enough to keep my lips above water and yet, his hand, it’s always there, pulling me away from the abyss of my doubt. I told my sister this week I feel like a remedial student in trust school. Totally failing that class most days. Laying in bed, wondering if Father will answer the big prayer to get us there in time for his birthday on May 7, doubting wether all the pieces will fall in. And if they don’t? Father will still be on his throne. Because the delivery part is not my deal, just the go part. So I’m packing like a madwoman. Thinking and over thinking how many NoGii bars and Aldi’s dark chocolate and beef sticks these people of mine need to survive another China trip. Wether he’ll need pull-ups. If his buns are squishy and how soon it’ll be before I feel comfortable giving them a little squeeze. Whether his eyes are the same black as his sisters and how they’ll get along. How long it will take to hear him say mama and how badly it’ll wreck me. If my girls will survive two weeks without us and how wicked sad I’ll be to give them some last sugar before I head to the airport. Oh my stars, can’t imagine walking away from their sweet selves.
But there is this: our boys needs us and I would move heaven and earth for any of my children, Chen XingYou being no exception. And so we’ll pack twenty deodarants for the orphanage workers (don’t judge me) and we will buy our plane tickets in lieu of taking the kids on a smashing vacation this summer and we will walk away from two people we love most in the this world, leaving them in such capable hands, to go and redeem another that we love most.
Because we have been called for such as him. Cannot wait.
So we wait for our Travel Approval to be issued.
And you’ll know when it happens because we will be shouting it from the rooftops. Us and the Smalls, who keep reminding me that this is family work by their eager anticipation and, in Lu’s case at least, their sometimes funky moods as they get less than all of me, my mind split in seventeen hundred million different directions over seven thousand miles. This is family work.
This is me being real. Admitting to you that I sent Dan to take the kids out to dinner even though I already had flank steak marinating in the fridge simply because I needed to hear myself think for one hour. Admitting that one hour was woefully inadequate, but happy to see them run through my back door anyway. Can’t wait till those 5 become 6. Slightly terrified of when those 5 become 6. Just being real.