To an amusement park? To an art museum? A family vacation to Uncle Bob’s?
Our saga has officially become a field trip. One that no picture, despite it’s worth of words, could adequately describe what this past Friday was like.
The Field Trip
The day was monumental in many different ways. We traveled from Shenyang to Guangzhou (pronounced “Gwang-Joe”). Singificant since Guangzhou is almost our last stop before heading home. This is the place where every family travels out of before going back to the United States. Here we receive medical exams and finalize paperwork and are issued visas for the kids.
We didn’t do well with traveling in China. Out of the 4 domestic flights, 3 were delayed, including the flight Friday. But the delay was a minor problem compared to the rest of the trip.
We left our hotel in the afternoon. As we packed and gathered our things, our daughter, Eva, completely broke down. She began sobbing. Then mixed in some screaming in between the sobs. We had picked her up 4 days prior, and over that time she had been holding in all of her feelings. We could tell that she was feeling, but it took this long for them to come out.
I think she new the significance of what was happening. That we were leaving and taking her with us. She understood the finality of leaving her foster family behind. Despite knowing little Chinese, she started uttering something through the sobs that we both understood.
“Wo xiang mama.” Loosely translated, “I want my momma.”
Eva wants the field trip to be over.
A Broken Heart and Dirty Shorts
The sobbing continued until we got to the airport later in the day. It continued as we waited. We boarded the plan only 20 minutes late, but then sat on the plan at the gate for another 90 minutes. She cried the entire time. She kept saying, “Wo xiang mama.”
Eva’s heart is broken. There is no other way to put it. We have pictures from a party we threw her while she was with her foster family. We pulled them out and it seemed to help. She points to the woman and says, “Mama.” She points to the man and says, “Baba” (Dad). She points to the other 3 kids and calls their names.
These moments are tough. It hard for us to see her hurt. Nobody asked her if she wanted to leave her family. Nobody asked her if she wanted to be adopted. Nobody asked her if she wanted to move to America. She is strapped down on a roller coaster of life and orphanhood, and she isn’t enjoying the ride.
All of that and our ability to communicate is minimized by a language barrier.
We are definitely okay with not being the mama and baba of her life right now. But we hate to see her hurt. We hate that we can’t make all of the bad feelings go away. Our hugs do not provide the kind of comfort she is used to. The kind that comes when she falls and scrapes her knee and then there is “mama” to pick her up and wipe away her tears.
After two hours of sobbing on the plane, she finally settled down when dinner came. She became distracted from the pain and settled down. We started feeding both her and Jude, our adoptive son. Things seemed to be getting better.
Then Jude threw up all over both him and me.
We arrived at Guangzhou around 10:20pm. Physically tired. Covered in tears and snot. Exhausted emotionally. Reeking of vomit.
I hope it doesn’t sound like I am complaining. Well, maybe I am complaining about the vomit. It was awful. I went to the bathroom and washed my shorts in the airplane sink. Wet shorts were better than vomit shorts.
These two kids are worth every bit of what we are doing. I would still do this trip again knowing what I know now.
Isn’t this love? That we hang in there despite how hard it is?
It’s hard to know isn’t it? Our culture doesn’t understand love. Because of our desire to sell books and movies that tell a love story that make us feel good about ourselves, we have forgotten what true love is. When we “love” something, we are referring to a warm, gooey feeling we get on the inside. Like a drug. Or chocolate cake. People don’t go watch the movie when love is about dying to our self.
True love is one that gives despite the hurt. It is one that is always there. True love would still do the trip a thousand times even if it found out that things will get worse. The type of love that God offers us. He gives. Freely. Without any need of us making him feel good. And just the giving to us is what motivates him.
Friday was our last domestic flight. The next time we get on a plan it will be to fly home.
Have you ever been on a field trip that you wanted to be over?
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