Thursday, December 17, 2015

Meeting Mr. Scientist

This morning I’m flying to LA to meet our host child, Mr. Scientist. While we’ve never hosted before, after three adoptions (including one from China) I do know a little something about “meeting day” – bring food. I’ve got a mixture of American and Chinese snacks (including ketchup flavored french fry straws, which my littlest was clutching the day we met him) and a few things to do in the airport (the I-pad has the Chinese cartoon Xi Yang Yang loaded onto it).

You'll notice some flash cards in the picture. Mr. Scientist speaks Mandarin, we don’t. I have no idea how much English, if any, he knows. But, I also know that we can make it work. We've got the flash cards, Google Translate and we're really good at charades.

Not pictured in this photo are the plastic bags that GWCA, the hosting agency, suggested we bring for the car ride home. Many of the kids have never ridden in cars before and, therefore, may get car sick. I’m crossing my fingers that my plastic bags don't get used. If they do, it might not be my finest hour.

I’m excited and nervous. All of us are. Having another child in our home for a month is a big deal. Our house already operates on noisy and chaotic, and I’m someone who really craves structure and quiet and time to her self. But here’s the thing, I also really believe that children need families. 

They need someone to read to them at night, even if that person is a little “shouty” (a certain minx described me as such to my own mother). They need someone to kiss away the pain, even if that person forgets to sign permission slips. They need someone to sit in the back of the auditorium and clap wildly and proudly, even if that person was sneaking peeks at his phone during the long parts of the performance.

Children don’t need perfect families.

They don’t need wealthy families.

They need families who believe that love is the greatest risk and that laughter can cure half of the world’s wrongs.

I know how much adoption has changed our family’s life. Three times it’s been the most beautiful thing we’ve ever done. Has it been hard? Yes. Has it been painful? Yes. Have we grown and stretched and stretched some more? Yes. But I also know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it has made, and is making me, the person that I’m meant to be. That’s no small thing.

That’s why warm jammies lay waiting at the bottom of the freshly made guest bed. That’s why we’re setting an extra place at the table. (FYI: We have tofu and pot sticker wrappers in the fridge for tomorrow night. But, today Mr. Scientist and I won't be home until it's already dinner time, so Matt's making what he considers authentic Chinese. It's also known as Trader Joe’s orange chicken. He seriously went around China bummed that he couldn't find a comparable dish.)

Here’s to a beautiful month, Mr. Scientist. Thank you for letting us get to spend the next 30 days with you. My prayer for you is that you’ll find a place to call home.

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