Today we bought tickets. Actual, real live, honest-to-goodness plane tickets. And not only for us - for our daughter as well. Oh man, this is really, truly, actually, honestly happening.
I must admit there have been times when it felt almost unreal. She was more idea than person and I wasn't really sure she would ever be here. Just after we met her, that fuzzy dreamlike feeling was lessened, but in the waiting it has returned some. The videos and pictures help put it back in perspective, but it still felt like a possibility rather than a fact. Now, it's a fact. Wow.
So how do I feel about this? Great. I mean, a bit nervous and scared but more happy and excited. Tonight I was talking to a friend about the good news and our imminent trip and I felt like I didn't even know what to say. There aren't words for where I am right now, mentally and emotionally. I guess I feel pretty ready, though, and that's a relief. I at least feel like I've studied enough for the test and all I can learn from now is experience.
The idea of taking her in my arms and walking out of that orphanage with her is unbelievable. I'm trying to avoid any preconceived notions, any pictures in my head of what it ought to look like, because I know the best way I can manage my expectations at this point is to not have any. Whatever it is, however it goes, we will get through it. We'll deal, manage, adapt, overcome, and generally come out the other side stronger and more connected. That's what truly matters. It can be a messy trip so long as everyone still loves each other at the other end. It will be a messy trip, I'm sure.
I'm also trying to put things into true perspective. We haven't reached the end of the road. This is coming up to the beginning. It's like when I was pregnant. The point isn't to give birth, and you can't declare victory when the baby is born. The point, from conception on, is to raise this baby to be a functional adult who isn't a big pain in society's butt and whose life honors God and fulfills their potential. Milestones feel good, but I won't be "done" raising these kids until the good Lord calls one of us home. Hopefully me first, because they're already cooler than I am so they should stick around longer.
Gosh, I hope the next two weeks passes quickly. I say that knowing I probably am going to regret it. The last time I prayed for God to make a period of waiting pass quickly, He really whacked me with some crazy stuff. Good stuff, but totally crazy. It made the waiting fly by, but am I ready to go into that wringer again? Ehhhhh... I don't know about that.