Across the Pond

My girl is flying away today….for three weeks.

She is heading across the pond on a student exchange program.  Officially, she is a Loughlin Scholar.   She goes to Britain for three weeks, paired with a girl student buddy from the partner school, living with the family of the student buddy.

St Edwards School. Whoa.

Later, the same buddy comes here to stay with us for three weeks, same deal but reversed.  This is a great program, her brother Jon did it before her and it was a great experience all around. But even so, it’s her first time away from the family for more than one night.  Which means of course that she is chomping at the bit to go and we are excited for her but dreading having her gone.  And while she has spent time with celebrities and such…

….this living with a completely different family, strangers, is a whole new gig.  Can she do it? Sure, she’s got the social skills when she feels like it – typically much more in evidence when she’s not skulking around our own house on her regular loop: bedroom, kitchen, piano room, sunroom.

I fear she will be homesick, but know it’s good for her in it’s own way.  We will be daughter-sick, missing her terribly.

Anyhow, today she flies with her school group.  I would appreciate any prayers you might throw her way.  I pray for her to be happy, healthy, safe and sound – to have fun and be comfortable with her own self in this new group of Brits.  Because, she’s my girl, I think I miss her already.

>Risks of Adoption

>There are many risks in adoption.
The list can be long: time, money, public perception and opinion, exhaustion, attachment issues and so on and so on.

But one of the risks is specific to international adoption, and the travel.
This risk is not written about so much, specifically. It is alluded to.
It is often tossed around in conversation; sometimes in a flip dismissive cocktail party comment.

But it is a real risk.
It is more real than some, maybe many, would like to admit.

It is the risk of tearing your heart.
It is NOT the risk of opening your heart, the stretching that you do to make room for your next child – the one you have jumped through hoops for and finally, blissfully, amazingly have in your arms. That expansion is a known, accepted and expected event and/or process.I want to talk about the surprising hole that is torn in your heart, your soul if you will, after visiting these kids in the orphanages.
I know, it’s an old story. Drippy songs have been sung. Boxes have been stood upon to make speeches. Just by typing this I know I lost a chunk o’ readers. Yadda yadda.
It’s been done. It’s been said. I know.

But it’s a whole ‘nother thing to go and see and touch these kids, big or small. Jen Cantwell writes about this. Go, read if you dare (bring a tissue).
I am putting this out there, again, because it’s been more than three months now since we were there: in Addis Ababa, at the orphanages. Time enough for the hectic balm of our modern life to fuse those shredded seams…right? You would think so. But, no.
There are seemingly permanent jagged ragged edges now. A gash. More than one.
We were wounded, and didn’t know the risk. And it’s done. No bandaid is gonna cover it up and smooth it out. Or should, maybe. And I’m not complaining. I’m just saying…it’s the risk that goes kind of unspoken.
They don’t have a chapter on this in the books. They don’t have a page in the agency manual or travel info:

Warning: upon meeting the children in the local orphanages you might experience a certain sorrow. This is likely to continue and in fact can manifest in the positive upswing in overall gratitude and a more global perspective and outreach but it is important to consider that it is also a fairly certain risk of a significant shear in the fabric of your heart.”

So, for those in the process and paperchase, or considering international adoption:
Fair Warning. There are risks below the surface of adoption.
You could be torn, just a bit, but forever.