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:)
    My encourager and friend, Sharla.  

    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.

   Why????  Of all the things....

     A few more of my favorite beach pictures from my real camera... not my phone!



darja said...

you're cool. i'm happy you guys are back from vacation!

Jeremy & Jeni said...

These pictures are great! I love Gracie's little red swim suit. Emme is so sweet! I hope I get to see her again on Wed at awana.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say hi and I'm glad you are home.
> I've missed you!!
> I haven't been commenting on your blog much because
> every time I start to
> write something I think, "man, I have so much to say,
> I should just email
> her" and then I never do. Also I feel a little bit
> like your blog is another
> one that I go to every day to read and I never comment on
> those, so it feels
> weird commenting on yours. But believe me...I read it.
> What's up with that
> new thing you put on the sidebar?? It's like a stalker
> tracker. If I want to
> go to your site 50 times in 3 hours to see if you wrote
> anything I should be
> able to without the world knowing I was there. =) I know
> you do the same
> thing with your websites so I don't mind though...
> I LOVED the picture of you and Sharla and I'm so glad
> God gave you a new
> friend out of all of this! She looks so fun and not at all
> like what I
> pictured, but I like her.Maybe I was picturing her as a
> waffle head. But I'd
> be happy to live on the same block as her. I really love
> the new pictures of
> the kids too. Gracie is like a total hottie. You guys
> better watch out.
> I have nothing new to report. I'm just trying to learn
> how to be a mom of a
> toddler and take care of a house and laundry and meals and
> such when all I
> want to do is shut myself in my room with the computer and
> tv for like a day
> or two. Seriously, do you ever just feel like all you do is
> the same thing
> over and over and over again? I just keep telling myself
> all moms feel this
> way at some point in their lives. I really love being a
> mom. It's just tough
> sometimes! Plus this kid has got a WILL of his own. He can
> be so sweet and
> then BAM. Tantrum. He is Dr. Jekkyl and Mr. Hyde in toddler
> form. Yikes!!
> Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that even though I
> don't get to talk
> to you much or write, I still think of you at least 7 times
> a day. =) When
> you get settled we'll have to talk about a time for me
> to come visit. Just
> what you need...ANOTHER toddler in your house....
> Love you!!

Sharla said...

Hi Friend!

I'm cracking up...I didn't even make the connection between waffle fries and the dream about my face! Too funny! So, if you decide to come this way again, you and the kids can stay here if you want while Paul works and then he can hang out too when he's done.

I'm glad you're home safe and sound!

Truly Blessed said...

My word -- you have SUCH a gorgeous family! The pix of the four kids on the beach (in white) and the one of Emme in the little pink dotted romper are my favs.

Sharla's family is beautiful as well. I so enjoy her blog and envy you for not only being able to meet each other, but for getting to meet at a CHICK-FIL-A - my absolute, #1 favorite fast food restaurant of all time (sadly, there are no CFilAs within 200 miles of where I live...)

Tony and Rett said...

Friends are God's little hug in the physical form!

So glad you're home and settled!

Kay Bratt said...

What a cool story! I've also made "virtual connections" with several people I've met through blogging. Now I need to meet up with them, I know I can, there is a Chic-Fil-A in my town!!


theweaver said...

the pictures of your girls on the beach at sunset remind me instantly of "cinderella" ... gorgeous girls and a handsome man...