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Monday, December 13, 2010

In 35 days my life will be forever altered as we step onto a plane and head to the country my son was born in, Ethiopia. I wish there was a way to adequately prepare myself for what will happen to me. I know that I will return home a very different person. I know that God has been doing an incredible work in my heart breaking it to pieces this past year in preparation for what I will see, what I will experience. I continue to ask Him to break my heart beyond recognition, yet I am fearful of what that truly means.

How do I prepare to meet a son that does not know me? How do I guard my heart against the pain I will be causing him when we travel to Ethiopia the second time and take him away from all that is familiar to him? How do I look into the nannies' eyes and see the love they have for my Jamesy, and then walk out the door with him in my arms? Adoption is painful and filled with extreme loss. There is no way around it. I am just beginning to understand how that will impact my family.

Jim was talking on the phone with a fellow adoptive mommy who lives in Texas. She is actually one of the founders for the awesome ministry Into the Streets of Ethiopia. Kara just returned home from a trip to Ethiopia and was talking with Jim a little about what she experienced. If I understand correctly, Kara said that families who travel to Ethiopia with our agency AWAA, and stay at the guest house and inside of Addis, really do not get an accurate picture of Ethiopia. Jim and I want to experience an authentic taste of what Jamesy has come from, what his relatives are still living in, so we have gotten permission to travel to his birth city. The same city that Kara traveled, too. She told us that the poverty is devastating, so devastating she was physically sick over it for days. So devastating that after being home for weeks she is still not able to mentally process all that she saw. And I am wondering how do I prepare for that? Some would say, just don't go. But I have to go. I have to see with my own eyes what could have been Jamesy's life had not God intervened on his behalf. I have to experience it. I have to know the people that we are leaving behind when we come back to our cushy, American existence. I have to have these images burned into my mind so that I can never fall asleep without crying out to God on behalf of the people living in my son's birth city. I have to see the reality of poverty, so that I can better advocate for these sweet people, in order that I can obey Proverbs 31:8 "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute."

And while I have to do this, and want to have this piece of Jamesy's past, I am scared. I am fearful that it will change the course of our lives forever, and I am hopeful that it will.

I am at a crossroads here. I am ready to get on a plane that will take us to a place that will forever strip away pieces of me. I am filled with nervous anticipation, my camera is posed, my journal is waiting, and my heart is expecting to be broken and take on the appearance of something much more similar to the heart of Jesus.

Please let that be true, God. Don't let me come back here unchanged. That would be far scarier than anything I will experience in Ethiopia.
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