June 14, 2017, is travel day.
Wow. 591 days after we officially began our adoption journey, Nicole and I will head to China. Amidst the packing, re-packing, calling on friends that have gone before us to ensure we don’t forget anything essential and combing through our documents for what feels like the millionth time, we are met with a lot of competing feelings. Joy, excitement, anxiousness, and even a bit of sorrow. For one, this is the longest time that Nicole and I will be away from Brody and Joia. And for another, the anticipation of a day filled with so much joy for us will certainly be a sorrowful day for those who have loved and cared for our daughter for two years. Violet’s sweet nannies, the orphanage director, her peers who have bonded with her, and Violet herself will all experience a loss and an absence of familiarity. So, we pray for them, thanking God for such amazing people who have cared for her and loved her, and for comfort in this time of loss.
There is also something very special about travel day. Not only is it a day we begin our journey, but June 14th is also Violet’s second birthday. Just this past weekend, we received a sweet update from her orphanage. We had sent Violet a care package of some small gifts, and fruit for her nannies and peers. In this update, we saw images of Violet sitting at a long table with the other children. Spread out on the table were plates of fruit, cake and small goodies for the kids. The image of Violet, adorned with one cute crown with a kitten on it and being fed a bite of cake, was having a birthday celebration with her nannies and friends. The company that we used to send the fruit, knowing it was her birthday, had gone above and beyond, donating cakes and additional items to make her day so special. It was a sweet and precious moment that Nicole and I were so thankful to see.
Sometimes, the words “unloved” and “unwanted” can appear in the same sentences as the word “orphan.” And though these children might not have the unconditional love of a mother and father, I find it hard to say those words in the case of Violet. She is and has been clearly loved. Clearly wanted. Now we are excited to give her a family and that unconditional love.
As we anticipate travel and seeing her on Gotcha Day, and the moment when we can hold her in our arms, we are filled with peace, an openness for the unexpected, and a great joy that the day is finally here.
We can’t wait to share our trip with you!
Karl & Nicole