We made it!!
Four weeks, almost 20,000 miles, hours and hours in airplanes and cars, seven people, every piece of luggage.
We arrived home yesterday (morning, noon, or afternoon? I'm still not quite sure--there's a six hour time difference). The immaculate house we walked into is no longer quite so squeaky clean, instead there's the clutter of unpacking and the reality of a toddler in the house.
We're all still processing many parts of our trip. Eric and I are starting to grapple with the things that we saw and experienced in two very different countries that neighbor each other. Right now, our brains are spinning with thoughts, but also with jet lag, exhaustion and the stretch of adding a new family member.
For all those reasons, I decided that tonight I would copy a few paragraphs from my family email.
As we rest and talk with you and others, it's amazing how the stories are already leaking out. But what I've realized is this very simple, yet profound truth: God went before us, around us, and after us. It is phenomenal to look backward and see all that did happen and didn't happen--how major things were handled quickly and minor problems didn't become big. My biggest prayer was this: that the kids stay emotionally safe. And God answered: as far as I can tell, they haven't been harmed or felt their safety threatened--there seemed to be nothing that will dampen their memories of this trip. Our continued prayer is that in time, God uses this trip to break our hearts for His and allows us to align our priorities with His.
It is impossible to come home from a trip like this unchanged. Even if we hadn't been in those places to get our daughter, just processing what we've seen is difficult: true, real, third-world poverty, the deep and dividing effects of sin, fear, racism, and hate, the sad truth that mothers hand over much loved children for lack of maternal support, beautiful, wonderful children just waiting--for governments, for families. As time goes on and we gain more perspective on what we have seen and experienced, pray that God allows us to dwell deeply in the brokenness of this world and that each of us is reminded, that even though this is a beautiful creation, this world is not our home. Our hearts are longing for heaven, for peace, for His presence. Yet, while we are here, we want to walk and act closely aligned with His heart for the broken parts of this world.
You may or may not hear from us in the next couple days. We'll do our best to be responsive, but there's a lot going on. Keep us in your prayers. They have sustained us more than anything