(This is the document that we have been working for 6 years to receive. Our daughter is coming home…)
The view from our window is incredible tonight. From 16 floors below, the roar and tide sounds of the city pulse through the panoramic windows. The sidewalks below are bustling, and the lights of the surrounding towers flash and shift brilliant against the deep charcoal sky. We are packed and ready to begin our journey home. And yet, we feel a yearning to hold on to the experience.
We have made friends here. Goodbyes are often difficult, but I think few people actually experience a known permanent farewell. Typically, we say goodbye to someone, but we believe that there is a likely possibility that we may see that person again. Usually only tragedy, or at least unknown circumstance is the only permanent separation that we encounter. With international adoption, this is not the case for us.
We have made deep relationships these past two weeks that have been necessarily based on mutual trust. On multiple occasions daily we have placed our well-being, the life of our new daughter, and all of our finances in the able hands and smiling face of Simon. Through many discussions this week and long drives we have learned about Simon, his family, and his history. We have shared many laughs, and we have shared many meals.
Kellie and I know that the part of China that we will feel absent from the deepest when we pass through the security checkpoint at Guangzhou… will be Simon.
And yet, as time passes and we are able to gain perspective… I also know that there is much more than that from which we walk. Although we can never know the name or the situation of the people who brought our daughter into the world, we can never even know the city in which she was born… even so, we leave behind the ties to our daughter's past.
We do not regret this reality, even so… we look reality square in the face and we know that there will be a day that we face the tough questions. We get them already with Aleksandra. We have learned though, that we are not required to have the answers, we are simply required to be dad, and to be mom. Life does not require answers, it merely requires living.
This has been an incredible week. We have executed the stacks of documents and procedures. We have completed the kilometers and signed our names countless times. We have accumulated a book of official red seals from the PRC. Most incredibly, from the time since we collected our daughter this Tuesday past… we have built a forever relationship with her.
And this is the incredible part of our journey. Not where we have been or what we leave behind… simply what we are moving forward. As I described early in my Sterling Mei posts, we are nothing special… we have accomplished no great feat…
we simply are a family who is trying to live out our beliefs and reconcile them to our actions.
We celebrate this moment and we thank God that he has granted us this honor. And I thank God that He has not allowed us to be satisfied with a comfortable life, but He has given us this desire of pursuit.
May we never forget that we are simple hands and feet. May our eyes never close to the truth. May we always see both the pain and the beauty that links us to the image of God.
To my daughters Aleksandra & Sterling: thank you for showing me how God feels about me. To my son Caleb: thank you for showing me how God understands my heart.