Monday, February 20, 2012


For the last couple of days, when people have asked me how I am feeling, the word has been "overwhelmed".  I think that's the best way to describe it.  I am awash in so many feelings: so hopeful, so scared, so excited, so so so many things.

 I am overwhelmed by a combination of anxiety, appreciation, and amazement.

Anxiety about things great and small:
  • Did I get everything I need?
  • Can I fit everything I need into a suitcase that conforms to international and intra-China flight rules?
  • Will the flight go ok (I'm not a nervous flier at all, so I am not worried about our safety, but I have never been on a flight even close to this long, so I don't know how I will feel, do, sleep.  And the thought of the flight back with a three-year-old is really too much to contemplate).
  • How will Gracie react to all this?  For almost a year, I have been hoping and praying and working and waiting for this day, but Gracie hasn't been doing any of those things.  She has been living the only life she has ever known.  For her, this is going to be very much like being kidnapped.
  • Will I be good enough -- patient enough, flexible enough, creative enough, resourceful enough, to help through this, to meet her needs (immediate and long-term), to be the mother that she deserves?
Appreciation, for the amazing outpouring of love and support I've received:
  • From my family: my parents taking care of my dog and helping with all kinds of logistical and material support to make this happen (down to my mom taking my car to be washed and vacuumed so her granddaughter would ride home in a clean car!); my AMAZING "sister-aunt" Joy taking vacation time and traveling across the country to travel across the world with me; my extended family for their calls and e-mails and gifts and encouragement
  • From my friends: from high school and college and grad school and book group and past jobs so many places for the encouragement and the facebook posts and the gifts and the hand-me downs and all the other tangible and intangible expressions of caring and love for Gracie, and for me
  • From my colleagues: cheerfully dividing up my tasks and allowing me to focus on Gracie for the next several months, as well as so many warm wishes and words of advice
  • From my church family: so many expressions of congratulations, encouragement, and support (and a BEAUTIFUL prayer shawl); so grateful to know that so many people are holding Gracie and me in their prayers!
  • From my "virtual" adoption community: so much advice and encouragement throughout this process
  • That this is really, truly, finally happening!  I feel like I still don't really believe it, and maybe I won't until I am actually holding her in my arms.  What an astounding, astonishing, OVERWHELMING gift I am about to be given. 
Someone told me once that, "Mercy is not getting what you do deserve (reprieve from punishment) and grace is getting what you don't deserve (unmerited favor)"  This whole experience has been one of overwhelming, unimaginable grace.

So there's a lot still on my to do list (including posting the travel details for anyone who wants to know) and I'm sure tomorrow I'll be pretty panicky.  But tonight I'm focusing on the fact that a week from now I'll be holding my little girl, and just feeling overwhelmed by it all, but in a good way!