Monday, October 6, 2008
When Cyber space meets reality
Ahhh.....there's no place like home! We made it back!!
Of course, we didn't make it back without a story. I have come to embrace the fact that I have crazy things happen to me (or to members of my family). It gives me something to write about.
If you have been following my story for any length of time, then you know that the title of this site in and of itself is a story. Miles and miles to Mylei resulted in a the long and winding road to Emme. The blessings of that winding road was worth all the detours. All you have to do it look at Emme's little face with those huge brown eyes and the heartaches and weeks and weeks of waiting melt away. And, because God is so good, that road marked with suffering resulted in more than just Emme.
For me, it resulted in a friend.
When I was first faced with the news that I didn't receive my travel approval for Mylei because her foster parents would not return her to the orphanage, I turned to the adoption community for encouragement. If you are adopting from China, then you know that the place to hang out is at the Rumor Queens' site. And, while I had encouragement from many, many people publicly, there were several who contacted me privately for encouragement. Out of those private encouragements, there was one that stood above the rest.
I had a tendency to confuse the poeple who were contacting me for a while. Everyone on the RQ site has a screen name and then also a real name. It's so easy to confuse everyone. However, the first time Sharla contacted me she gave me a verse that she was praying for me. That email and verse pierced my heart, in a good way. I cried. And, if you know me, then you know that I will do anything to fight crying. I am not sure why, I just will.
I also remember another early contact from her. She had apparently been out of town. The way her email sounded, it was as if she had walked in the door from her trip and ran to the computer to see what was happening with our story. That is someone who really cares.
Our contacts became more frequent. And, then, she went to China before me to adopt her precious daughter, Abby. I was glued to her story. Before my eyes were opened in the morning, I was on the computer. I have followed a lot of blogs and a lot of journeys to China, ask Paul. I drove him CRAZY!! But, there's never been a blog that touched me like hers. I am pretty sure I cried every day. If you want to be touched and if you want to see how God feels about his children, then you must read her travel logs and home updates. And, because that won't be enough, you need to follow her new blog.
Anyway, I fell in love with Sharla's heart and her love for the Lord. That may sound a bit weird. I don't mean it to be weird. But, we all know that there will always be people in life that we are more drawn to than others. That is what creates friendships.
She too followed my journey every step of the way. If she didn't, she sure made it look like she did. She commented on my blog every single day. Then, when I got home, after she couldn't stand the absence of my posts any longer, she emailed me. She knew a tree had fallen on my house, that we had returned home without any power, and all the other things that accompany international travel to adopt a child. She wanted to make sure we were doing ok.
Again, if you have been following along, you know that 8 days after returning home from China, I packed us back up again to drive A LONG WAY to the beach in North Carolina. CRAZY, I know.
Well, I can read a map (even if Paul thinks I can't) and I knew that we could pass through her city on the way home. I asked if she wanted to meet in person.
The whole vacation, I was so excited to meet her. But, there were times I was so nervous. I knew, even while in China, that there was a good chance that we could meet in person during the beach trip. So, my mind went into overdrive.
I had two dreams about her. In one dream, she came to my house. I didn't really like her so I loaded the family in the car and left without saying goodbye to her. In the second dream, when I was meeting her in person, she had these raised lines on her face and the lines criss-crossed. She looked like a waffle!
So, we met at Chick Fil-A on Saturday and ate waffle fries together. And, she did not look anything like one of those fries!!
I knew it would be one of two ways. 1) We would have nothing to say to each other. In which case my back up plan was to have some intestinal issues and hide out in the bathroom. Or, 2) We would talk like we have known each other our whole lives.
Turns out, the quick stop at Chick Fil-A was much too quick! I am already scheming about how we can meet, in person, again!
Without the heartache of losing Mylei, I would likely not have met Sharla. Sometimes struggles make us stronger and bring about beautiful things.... just ask me, or Emme or a pearl:)
And, because meeting Sharla would not be enough of a story.... Sharla bought along her two beautiful daughters. Our kids hit if off with one another and for some reason they had to go out to the parking lot to look at each other's ipods. Shelby, while in the parking lot, sat in a pile of fire ants.
When we left the parking lot of Chick Fil-A, we had to run into the bathroom at Target so I could shake out her pants. I also had to confirm, after a bit of searching, (way to much information) that her butt indeed had been bit by fire ants. I heard about those bites often on the way home.