Today it is Friday and right now it is 7am. This means that in just 24 hours we will be at the airport in Guangzhou soon to board the first of three flights home. I would like to say at this point that all is well and for the most part it is. However, after being gone for so long emotions and stress levels are slightly elevated. Doing our best to maintain our joy and enjoy even this last leg of the journey might need more focus and intentionality than I originally thought. We can do this!!
My mom's anniversary proved to be very bitter-sweet as I knew it would and if there wasn't so much brokenness I might not be feeling on edge right now but I am. I know I have got to let go what I cannot change, I know this in my head but sometimes its so hard to get my heart to align to this truth. And so as I said in my last post I will choose God and His will, not my own.
Anyway, that is not what this post is about. This will be my last post in China and therefore I thought it appropriate to dish out some shout outs because there are so many people who deserve recognition for all they did during our trip. Beyond Brian's thanks they are in no particular order.
First off, to my hubby: thank you for being the main paper chaser in this whole adoption. Thank you for your patience and level headedness when I was being a complete basket case at so many different intervals during this adoption. Thank you for always remaining calm, cool and collected even when it looked as though everything was falling apart. Thank you for leading us emotionally and spiritually. Thank you for allowing God to move in you and for being obedient to God's will. Thank you for loving Jenna Grace the same way you love our boys. Thank you for loving and supporting me and for helping me remain calm on all the flights. ;0)
To our Reimage Church congregation and staff: thank you for all of your support throughout the past 2+ years we have been walking this road to our daughter. Thank you for all the times you have listened to us whine, moan or complain. And thank you for rejoicing with us as we passed from one milestone to the next. Thank you for covering us with prayer before and while we have been traveling. Your constant encouragement means the world to us and we are forever thankful to call Reimage home.
To our Agency, Holt: thank you for being amazing in every way. From your promptness in email/phone call responses to your patience in answering the same question 50 times and never sounding irritated. Thank you for always taking your time with us and for all the amazing preparations pre-travel. Your staff in the states and in China is second to none. We always felt taken care of and always knew exactly what was going on at all times. All the final paperwork in country was a breeze b/c of the professionalism of all of your staff. Here's hoping we get to work with you again!
To Laurie: thanks in advance for cleaning my house and picking up groceries. You have no idea how BIG these two things are to me. Both will give me, personally, so much less angst coming home. Knowing I will not have to clean my house is HUGE!!! I am so thankful for you and for your friendship that is so real and transparent. I am also so excited for the next phase in your adoption. Oh, and I will forever tell the story of us painting my laundry room...Love ya girl!
To the Daigle's: thank you for picking up the slack with our boys. Thank you for feeding them, loving them, and just in general watching out for them when Aubrey could not. Because of your help I was able to relax much more. Thank you for helping me have peace they were in good hands and well taken care of.
Thank you for all the times you listened while we cried as something else went wrong and for the times you celebrated when things went right. We appreciate your friendship more than you will ever know and look forward to moving into amazing new things with you guys! Paint brush is in hand and purging is my specialty! :0)
To the Teague's: thank you for feeding our boys, checking up on them, mothering them (whether they wanted it or not) and basically being me while we have been gone. Oh, and for driving out to pick up shoes from the boonies. HA HA.
Thank you for laughing and crying with us, for letting us be real and for putting up with all the drama this adoption has brought. Your friendship is the epitome of biblical and we are so thankful God allowed our paths to cross. You guys are next as you embark on the next phase of your journey to judgeship. Don't forget we will make excellent cheerleaders. Or at least I will, Brian actually understands what is going on. ;0)
To my precious friend Sandy: thank you for loving our boys like they were your own grandchildren. Thank you for spoiling them rotten and letting them be silly kids. I so appreciate the way you treat me and my family as if we are your family. Having no family close by sure helps close the gap. I am so excited to watch as Jenna Grace falls in love with you as we have. I love you!!
To our sweet friend AUBREY!!!! Girl, where do I even begin. The start was rocky but I am so proud of you and how well it ended. You became a shining star. Thank you for being willing and for finding that sacrificial bone in your body. I knew it was there. ;0) Thank you for loving my boys and taking care of them so well. Thank you for getting them where they needed to go and safely. Thank you for keeping the house in one piece and for preparing them for camp. Thank you for making sure that even at camp all was well. Thank you for spoiling them with all the things they like to eat and drink (even though it meant they probably haven't slept well ha ha). I knew God had not led us wrong. We both just had to find our feet. I hope you will take this experience and realize you really CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH HIM WHO GIVES YOU STRENGTH. I love you girl and am so thankful you are part of our family and such an integral part of bringing Jenna Grace home.
P.S. Thank you in advance for the clean sheets on my bed. HA HA!!
To all of you near and far, family and friends: Thank you for all of the support whether it be prayer, verbal encouragement, gifts or finances. We hope you know we couldn't have done this without you. We have always maintained this about adoption: we don't need help raising her, just help us get her home. Well, you have certainly done that and we couldn't say thank you enough!!!
To all the writers of the 19 letters and cards: WOW!!! Thank you for making us laugh and cry (well me anyway). Thank you for putting on paper all the encouragement and support we have already been feeling. It was so amazing to open those cards everyday and feel all your love and prayers from 7,000 miles away.
I am so hopeful I haven't forgotten anything or anyone. I have done my best to convey just how thankful we really are, although I am not sure I could ever say it well enough.
As we begin our journey home we still covet your prayers and so look forward to seeing you all soon. We have decided that once home we will cocoon for a minimum of 2 weeks to give us time to recover from jet lag and also to assist JG in acclimating to her new surroundings. She has done very well and come very far in just 10 short days. However, she is deathly afraid of strangers and that is exactly what her brothers will be to her. So, in order to help the transition go more smoothly we ask for your patience as we lay low for a little while to help her adjust. Please pray for that specifically as I certainly don't do well "stuck" at home. Thank you once again.