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A Life Changing Journey

Four months ago, we walked into the airport.

Nervous, Excited, and Everything in between.

We walked up to the counter with our passports, and it hit me like a ton of bricks:

After two years of waiting, this was it.

Our bags were meticulously packed, our tickets in hand, our money belts around our waists.

This was the day we were getting on the plane and traveling 5,741 miles from home.

The next step of this life changing journey was about to begin.

We were flying half-way around the world to meet our youngest son for the first time and bring him home. We would be gone for at least 6 maybe 8 weeks.

A lump started to form in my throat.

Tears filled my eyes.

I turned to my mom, overwhelmed with emotion.

"We're leaving!" was all that managed to come out.

But we all knew the intense emotions those two weighty words held.

Over 30 years ago, at this same time of the year, my parents were making this life changing journey half-way around the world to adopt my brother and me.

And here we were...standing in the airport saying goodbye and getting ready to do the same thing.

15 long hours later, we arrived at the hotel.

We slept as much as we could that night...which to be honest, wasn't much.

The next day we would be driven a couple hours to the apartment that we would be living in for the next 6 weeks.

As the next 6 weeks unfolded, our lives were changed forever.

One day at a time.

We met our little boy.

A precious child. Beloved by God before the foundation of the world.

Born into a broken world.

We took him on our first walk together.

Holding his hand tightly so he wouldn't fall.

Watching as he nervously looked around unsure of what was happening.

He didn't know it yet, but he was about to begin a life changing journey.

Every day we got to spend a little more time with him.

And every day our hearts were knit together a little more.

Slowly, those careful, wobbly steps our two-year-old was taking turned into steady steps.

And those steady steps turned into the pitter patter of running feet.

Our neighbor below started to show his appreciation with the thud of a broom to his ceiling.

We laughed to ourselves as we would try to grab our son up.

It's strange how perspective makes such a difference.

What one person can see as an annoying inconvenience can be a small victory for someone else

And boy, were those small victories a much-needed morale boost for us as we faced immense challenges daily.

As the weather warmed up and the snowy drizzle went away, we spent more time outside.

What had turned into "let's just take a daily walk" became how we spent a majority of our time.

While we were there, we walked about 300 miles.

Up and down hills.

Over cobblestones.

Up and down giant steps and narrow steps.

Sometimes chasing after the tram to get back to the apartment.

Sometimes running to the nearest tree because we were caught in the rain.

To the park. To grocery store. To the cafe.

Filled with laughter, soul searching thoughts and conversations, and sometimes tears.

And often times gelato.

We watched as our son's eyes started to open for the first time to the world around him.

Cheering him on as he bravely tried new things.

Holding him close as he learned to trust us.

Capturing the smiles, giggles, and sounds that started to slip from his lips for the first time.

Seven weeks later we completed our process.

It was time to come home.

We packed our bags, got on a plane and traveled 5,741 miles to come home.

Utterly Exhausted. Exceedingly Excited. And Everything in between.

Our lives changed forever.

Our son's life changed forever.

Our family's life changed forever.

15 hours later, we walked through the airport to cheers, smiles and long-awaited hugs.

Our home filled with family, friends, signs, decorations, and meals - all celebrating...

This life changing journey.

To be honest, there's been a lot to process in the last two months.

The days were Simple but Hard.

Lonely but Loved.

Sweet but Nerve-wracking.

A strange dichotomy and really impossible to put into words.

It was easily the most difficult but rewarding thing we've ever experienced.

I can't help but be amazed at it all.

God is always working.

In the good.

In the bad.

In the waiting.

In the busy.

In the simple.

In the hard.

In the lonely.

In the loved.

In the sweet.

In the nerve-wracking.

He's over all things.

Bringing about redemption.

Making all things beautiful in His time.

Walking with us step by step on this journey.

That's who He is and what He does.

And that's good news worth telling over and over.

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