Michael here… I’ve been feeling very patriotic since we got home. I know that when you turn on the news it seems that the apocalypse is upon us, but we seriously live in the greatest place in the world! I keep hearing Neil Diamond singing “We’re coming to America!” in my head and it makes me happy.
Some reflections on the trip:
I had never left the country before we went to China to bring Jude home, and it was quite the experience! I knew the food and the culture and the language and everything would be different, but it was much harder than I thought it would be. And living in a hotel room for 2 weeks is no fun at all. Especially with a 2.5 yr old stranger that you are trying to bond with!
I’ll be honest and say that those 2 weeks were the hardest 2 weeks of my life. I have never understood it when people say they are ‘too nervous to eat.” Now I get it. And not since I was on the brink of getting laid off 6 years ago have I felt truly felt desperate for God and His strength to make it through the day! There were some low points in China, and when you and your spouse are both feeling depressed and stressed and nervous, its craziness… For the last 10.5 years, one of us has always been up when the other is down. This was one of the only times I can remember us both feeling so defeated at the same time and it wasn’t easy.
However, it forced us to rely on God and not each other. That’s got to be a good thing, right?
I mean seriously, I live like a king compared to over 90% of the worlds population and on average I rely on God for the strength to literally make it through the day once every 6 years… This whole thing has been a reminder of how good I have it and how much more aware I need to be of those who don’t.
Now that we are home:
So I never got homesick as a kid. I would spend a week at friends or families homes all of the time in the summers, had a million sleep-overs during the school-year and went away to college. I always enjoyed myself and never cried for my mommy… Well, in China I was homesick for the first time in my life! I missed Ava and Jesse and my house and hanging out with my wife in the evenings (instead of sitting in the dark in the bathroom at the hotel while Jude fell asleep). Thank God we are home now!
It is so much more comfortable being in our own house, and Ava and Jesse are so helpful! Jude loves them and they love him, and Mary and I aren’t sitting around trying to entertain him all day! I have the entire week off from work, which has been a huge blessing as we transition back from a 13 hour time change and to being a family of 5! My in-laws left a ton of food, and great friends have already started dropping off meals as well. We are so blessed!
Jude is sleeping ok… He wakes up crying around 10 or 10:30pm and then usually again around 2am or 3am. I pick him up and tell him its ok, and then he is usually good to go. Thankfully I am usually able to go back to sleep, but my poor wife will be up for 3 hours after he cries in the middle of the night, even if she’s not the one getting up with him… I sent her and Ava to a hotel last night so she could sleep through the night, and Jesse and I stayed up late and watched Star Wars 3. I think everyone enjoyed it except for Jude, who cried from 10-10:30pm, which was killing Jesse because we kept having to pause the movie!
Was it worth it?
Obviously it was! Already I can’t imagine my life without Jude, and I am so excited to be a dad again! After having 2 biological children and getting to see them grow from baby to toddler to elementary age, its been a bit different to jump in head first with a 2.5 year old with a strong opinion about everything… But I love him and and I am so thankful that God chose us to have him. He is a beautiful boy!
Thanks to everyone for your prayers and everything else… You know who you are and we are truly thankful for all of it.
And many thanks to God for safe travels, blessing us with another child, and for getting us through the hardest 2 weeks of our lives!
Here’s a pic and some videos from our first night home…