The Field Trip
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 that adopts from China must visit before coming home.
Here we visit the U.S. Consulate and are issued visas for the kids.
We didn’t do well with traveling in China. Out of the four domestic flights, three were delayed, including the flight Friday. But the delay was only the beginning of our issues.
We left our hotel in the early 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 four 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. I think she understood that everything was about to change irreversibly.
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 as we arrived at the airport. It continued as we waited to board the plane. It continued as we board twenty minutes late. It continued while we sat on the tarmac another ninety minutes. She cried the entire time.
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 recites 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. The coaster is getting ready to plummet over the top and she is not enjoying the ride.
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.
She continued to cry after we took off. 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.
But I am not complaining because 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? That we keep giving when the only thing that is given back to us is a lap full of undigested food?
It’s hard to know isn’t it? Our culture doesn’t understand love. Because of our desire to sell books and movies we tell a love stories that make us feel good about ourselves. And 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. True love is the type of love that God offers us. He gives. Freely. Without any need of us making him feel good. The giving to us is what motivates him.
Have you ever been on a field trip that you wanted to be over?
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