A Year Ago Today || Michelle Doesn't Do Goodbyes Well
November 22, 2017
I have never done goodbyes well. Ever. And I certainly didn’t do this goodbye without tears.
I’m a feelings person. Always have been. And living this experience rocked my world to the core in such a mammoth way.
Before we ever knew our travel dates, I had had my heart set on traveling in October. I wanted the month of October SOOOOO badly. But God knew I needed November. I needed those extra few weeks to get ready, and I also needed to be surrounded by rock solid Believers. Every single one of these families have made an impact in my life. From hearing their stories, to watching them embrace their child into their hearts with a love so fierce it could overcome anything.
This trip was NOT easy by any means. It was a radical life changing moment for us, and most importantly, our children.
The days ahead would not be easier. In fact, they would often times be harder. But one thing was certain, God was and still is, doing mighty things in the lives of every person we traveled with. And man, is it awesome to witness and watch.
Today a year ago we began our journeys home. Our journey away from everything our children had ever known. The sounds, the smells, the taste of food… everything. We were preparing to travel to a land completely foreign to them. We all had 20+ hour travels ahead of us, some even more, and we all knew it would be grueling. But, the end result would be the beginning of a beautiful life with families that loved and cherished these sweet children. The beginning of a lifetime of healing.
When we walked into the lobby to say our final goodbyes to the other families, I lost it. I had been telling myself I could stay strong. That I wouldn’t cry. That I could get through this. But I didn’t. And that was okay. Even now I am choking back tears thinking of that day.
One of our guides, David, approached me and said, “Thank you for taking care of our China babies…” And again, I lost it.
Michelle doesn’t do goodbyes well. It hurt to say goodbye to the people we had experienced one of the most intimate and emotional journeys of my entire life. But I also longed for home. I longed to get back, to introduce my son to his new family, friends, community.
We had all been through a lot emotionally these past 14 days. And I couldn’t be more grateful for the people that God had us travel with. He knew that I needed November. God knew my daughter needed to be surrounded by other amazing kids. He knew my son needed Simeon.
We said our goodbyes to the other families who would travel to Hong Kong for their flights, while we would take a flight back to Beijing and head home on Thanksgiving Day.
To the man who sat in front of me… Thank you for being so kind and patient with my kicking and busy toddler.
We made it to Beijing, found our shuttle, and got to our hotel room late in the evening. The kind staff brought us a crib, but we all ended up sleeping in the king size bed together one last time.
Oh how I couldn’t wait to get home and sleep in my own bed!
The next morning would come early. So off to bed we went so we could get a good night’s sleep before our long trek home.